Books I'm Grateful I Read Giveaway - US Only

Val at Stuck in Books has set up another great giveaway hop. This is one that I enjoy participating in since I get to show off some of my favorite books. :)

Some of the books I am most grateful I've read are from different genres.

My favorite series (besides Harry Potter!!!) has been the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

I also love everything by Sarah Dessen! From That Summer (which started the love), all the way to Saint Anything, I am so glad that I discovered Sarah Dessen and have had the chance to read all of her books. 

Other books that I'm grateful for are recommendations from friends. 

And of course, I'm grateful for a wonderful friend who wrote a book and let me read it before it was published. I'm so happy and thankful that Hafsah is part of my life!
One US winner will win a book listed above. If you'd rather, you can choose a $15 Amazon gift code. It's totally up to you! Entrants must be at least 13 years old.

Make sure to visit all of the other blogs along this hop!

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: The Last of the Firedrakes

The Last of the Firedrakes
By: Farah Oomerbhoy
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Pub Date: August 15, 2015
Pages: 488
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Copy received for a blog tour for an honest review.
A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic.

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

Purchase Links:
I honestly enjoyed how this book started out. I kind of got a Harry Potter-ish kind of vibe with Aurora being an orphan and left to people who didn't care for her. All of the quick beginning chapters, we lose those people quickly (thank goodness!) and move on to Avalonia...through a magical tapestry!

Once through the portal, we learn that there are different lands. Not just where we live. There are other beings, too. Magical beings! This story mostly discusses mages and the fae. We quickly find out that Aurora is the lost princess to this land, Avalonia. Unfortunately, her method of getting through the tapestry to the land landed her in a prison. In that prison, she met 2 fae. Thankfully, they were a couple of important fae and someone came to their rescue. Aurora was rescued along with the fae, and free for the time, away from the person who wanted her dead.

Once the story really got started, the names of the lands were confusing me. Once I kept seeing them mentioned and "meeting" people from those lands, I began to enjoy the story much more. I think with a physical copy of this book, a reader can flip and look at the beautiful map much easier than I was trying to do on my ereader.

With a medallion around Aurora's neck, we find the history of it and how it got there. It was the only thing she had from her childhood and she never took it off. Which, was a great thing! If she had, she would have discovered her magical abilities. In our human world, that would have been a disaster!

It is decided that she will go to a school for mages to learn how to use her magic. While there, we have some other Harry Potter-ish moments with a kind headmaster, a friend, and then the evil family who are out to aid their uncle in helping Aurora's evil aunt rule all of the lands. However, no one at the school, other than the headmaster and a professor know Aurora's true identity. It's for her safety that no one knows. Also, it's for her safety that no one knows that she possesses two types of magic: mage and fae. It's a combination she inherited from her parents, the kind and queen of Avalonia, who were murdered many years ago.

I loved the friends that Aurora made along the way. Her roommate at school, who helped her and truly liked her. Kalen, one of the fae who enjoyed his adventures and telling stories to Aurora. Then, there's the Black Wolf, AKA Rafe. Boy, oh, boy! Did I love Rafe! I was feeling the frustration right along with Aurora through the story. Haha! Rafe is a wanted man, who helps save fae. He has some interesting secrets that are revealed later in this book. It makes so much sense!

I truly did enjoy reading Farah's debut story and fell in love with her story-telling. I will have a copy of this book on my shelf and I look forward to the next installment. Very much!
I enjoyed Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles immensely! I can't wait for Book 2 and more adventures for Aurora and the crew!
For Farah Oomerbhoy, writing is a passion and reading her solace. She is a firm believer in the fantastic and magical, and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest.

Farah lives with her husband and three children in their family home in Mumbai, India. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Mumbai.

Farah's first novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles will be published worldwide August 15th, 2015.

Follow The Tour:
August 14th – Reads All The Books – Review
August 15th – Dizneeee's World of Books – Review / Guest Post
August 15th – Melissa Martin's Reading List – Review / Top 5/10 Post
August 17th – Ya Fiction Queen – Guest Post
August 17th – Christine Abee – Review
August 18th – Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between – Interview
August 18th – EndlessReading – Review
August 19th – Motif by Tanya – Author Interview
August 19th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post
August 20th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post
August 21st – Book Addict – Guest Post / Author Interview
August 21st – Author of The Not So Public Library – Review / Interview
August 24th – Miranda's Book Blog – Review / Guest Post
August 25th – BookishFever – Review
August 26th – The Reader and the Chef – Review / Top 5 or 10
August 27th – The Power of Three Readers – Promo
August 27th – Ashley Martinez – Review
August 28th – Bookish – Review
August 31st – The Renegade Zombie Reviews – Review / Author Interview
September 1st – Beauty's Library – Review / Guest Post
September 2nd – Pixie Vixen Reviews – Character Interview
September 3rd – Creatyvebooks – Review / Author Interview
September 4th –
September 7th – serenastone – Author Interview
September 8th –
September 9th – Read with Royella – Review
September 10th – Reading with AngelaRenea – Review / Author Interview
September 11th – Atomic Pirate Girl's Book Worm Booty – Review
September 11th – Triple T Tots tweens and teens – Review / Teasers
September 14th – Anything but Vanilla Book Blog – Playlist
September 14th – Rockin' Book Reviews – Review
**Giveaway consists of a Kindle Fire HD 7 and a Firedrake Prize Pack.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Firedrake Facebook Party:
Don't miss the 2-day Facebook Party to celebrate the release of THE LAST OF THE FIREDRAKES, featuring several guest authors, lots of prizes and even a few secrets.

August 14th and August 15th 10am - 8pm Eastern Time.

Event Hosted by:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Last of the Firedrakes 

by Farah Oomerbhoy

The Last of the Firedrakes

by Farah Oomerbhoy

Giveaway ends August 15, 2015.

See the giveaway details

at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Review: Rome in Love

Rome in Love
By Anita Hughes
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published: August 4, 2015
Copy received from publisher for an honest review. 

Goodreads Summary
From the author of LAKE COMO comes the story of a young actress who lands the lead in a film that is shooting in Rome, bringing about difficult life choices, new friendships, and a chance at love.

When Amelia Tate is cast to play the Audrey Hepburn role in a remake of Roman Holiday, she feels as if all her dreams have come true. She has a handsome boyfriend, is portraying her idol in a major motion picture, and gets to live in beautiful Rome for the next two months.

Once there, she befriends a young woman named Sophie with whom she begins to explore the city. Together, they discover all the amazing riches that Rome has to offer. But when Amelia’s boyfriend breaks up with her over her acting career, her perfect world begins to crumble.

While moping in her hotel suite, Amelia discovers a stack of letters written by Audrey Hepburn that start to put her own life into perspective. Then, she meets Philip, a handsome journalist who is under the impression that she is a hotel maid, and it appears as if things are finally looking up. The problem is she can never find the right time to tell Philip her true identity. Not to mention that Philip has a few secrets of his own. Can Amelia finally have both the career and love that she’s always wanted, or will she be forced to choose again?

With her sensory descriptions of the beautiful sites, decadent food, and high fashion of Rome, Hughes draws readers into this fast-paced and superbly written novel. Rome in Love will capture the hearts of readers everywhere.
Amelia is a rising Hollywood starlet. She's is in Rome to film a remake of one of the best movies of all time: Roman Holiday.

At the beginning of the story, we meet Amelia. She snuck out of a party in a maid's outfit from the hotel where she is a guest. While out and roaming the streets, she discovers that she's quite tipsy from the party and has no purse or money with her. She meets Philip, a man who saved her from the rain, and shares a taxi with her.

The next morning, we meet a mysterious girl. She gets injured and Amelia goes along with her to the doctor to make sure she's okay.

After meeting these two people, Amelia's world becomes topsy-turvy! She finds a true friend in the mysterious Sophie and finds romance with Philip, the reporter who pretends to not know who Amelia is and why she's in Rome.

One day, while in her suite at the hotel, Amelia discovers letters taped to the inside of a desk. When she begins to read them, she realizes they're letters written by Audrey Hepburn! Through the letters, we find many parallels between Amelia and Audrey Hepburn. They were both beautiful ladies who were engaged to somewhat pushy and bossy men. Each of them ended their relationships while in Rome, while filming. Both women found strength and freedom.

Rome is magical! I need to go to Rome! 

I absolutely love stories that are so detailed with the setting that I feel as if I'm IN the story. While reading Rome in Love, I could picture myself sitting at a cafe near a beautiful fountain, enjoying a plate full of pasta with a glass of wine.

I also love stories with happy endings. I especially love when it's a happy ending because the women in the story do what they want to do -- without regret.

The question posed in the summary, "Can Amelia and Sophie finally have both the life and love they've always wanted -- or will they be forced to choose?" will definitely be at the forefront of your mind as you enjoy the ride through this lovely story to find out their fates.
If you enjoy stories about strong-willed women finding love while in romantic, foreign cities, this book will be a great read for you!
If you've read Love, Lucy by April Lindner, you will definitely love Rome in Love!