Book Spotlight: Queen to Ashes

Congratulations to author Mallory McCartney on the exciting new release of Queen to Ashes, the next installment in the Black Dawn series!

Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win signed copies of Heir of Lies and Queen to Ashes!

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Queen to Ashes (Black Dawn #2)

Publication Date: April 21st, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

“You lived your entire life feeling like half of you was missing. Fight for the missing part. Fight for this.”

Emory Fae has abandoned everything she thought she knew about her previous life on Earth. Stepping up to her role as Queen of Kiero she makes a startling sacrifice- feigning her allegiances to Adair Stratton, the man who murdered her parents and casted Kiero into ruin. Emory’s memories slowly piece together, and she soon realizes the Mad King may not be all he seems— and the man who was once best friend, may be fighting beneath the surface.

With the King’s attention on her, can she buy Black Dawn Rebellion enough time to recuperate their forces? And when the times comes, will she be able to kill Adair, ending his tyranny and rising herself as the rightful Queen? Fighting to hide her secret, Emory navigates the brutal trials of the Mad King, trying not to lose herself in the process.

Sequel to Heir of Lies, now a bestselling series, the sparks are ignited, as Emory learns the cost of freedom, and her heritage. Will the rebels unite in time? A sinister force has spread across the land, stripping everyone bare- their betrayals, their secrets, their intentions. But above all, what will their decisions cost? By refusing to give in to the darkness, will Emory rise as Queen?

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Excerpt

The darkness kissed her, embraced her. Squinting, Emory tried to make sense of where she was but was met with a black, dense wall. Sweat pooled at the base of her neck, warmth flaring through her body. Fear choked her then as she gulped down stale air. She knew she wasn’t alone because she felt them before they said anything. “Emory, you need to wake up.” Memphis’s voice, just barely a whisper, caressed her. Right beside her left ear, another voice sounded. “Em, wake up.” Brokk’s rough voice was harsh and clear, but she felt her body still being pulled, pulled down into the black abyss. A third voice then sounded; one she could only recognize from her dreams. “Emory, darling, wake up.” Her mother. Her voice danced all around her, and she clawed blindly, trying to connect with her lost friends and family. Trying to find them. Silence landed heavy, and a putrid smell enveloped her senses. It smelled of rotting meat. Bile rose in her throat as a she felt a slimy, boney hand wrap hard around her wrists, pulling her toward it. She couldn’t scream; she couldn’t move. Sweat drenched every inch of her body as the creature she couldn’t make out leaned closer, whispering right in front of her, “Emory, I have found you.” Swivelling around, she was met with darkness until the monster pulled her closer, its breath tickling her ear. “And you belong to me.” The knife slid in between her ribs, pain blossoming, and cackles spun around her. Then, she was dragged down into the darkness.

Screams tore from her chest as she shot up. Drenched in a cold sweat, it took her several minutes to register where she was and the guard standing at the foot of her bed, arms crossed and eyebrows raised. She screamed again, pulling her blankets around her, her nightdress clinging to her curves. “Who gave you permission to be in here?” she demanded. Smirking arrogantly, he said, “I did.” Blinking, she recognized the man as the same one that guarded her down in the cells. Rubbing her eyes, she tried to shake the feeling of that damp death-like hold of the creature in her dream. She pointed to the door. “Get the hell out.” He scoffed, rolling his eyes. “It’s time to start your day. The king awaits.” Throwing a bundle at the bottom of her bed, he turned his back, briskly stating, “You have five minutes to get ready. I’ll wait outside.” Shutting the door, he left her in stark silence. It was time. Panic clutched her heart, squeezing it, threatening to break it. She couldn’t breathe. The walls seemed stretched too thin.

She could do this—she had to do this. Emory would grant the rebels the time they needed, the time she needed. Dying wasn’t an option. Besides, she was already dead to the people who had believed in her. Leaning forward with shaking hands, she opened the parcel. Several stacks of light black clothes spilled out, including shirts, pants, and undergarments. A blood red sash sat atop them all. Lovely. Sitting on top all of this, though, was a light, sheer, gold chest plate. Squinting, she leaned closer to inspect it. Markings she didn’t recognize adorned all the edges, and its sheerness was unearthly. She was so close, her breath was fogging it, her reflection lost. Strong leather buckles joined at the shoulders; its back plate just as impressive. She shimmied out of bed, quickly dropping the armor. Emory went through the motions of getting dressed numbly. Braiding her long ebony hair back, she looked in the mirror behind her. She didn’t recognize the woman standing before her, the stark cheekbones, emptiness in her eyes, bruised skin underneath them. Tying her sash tightly, she set her resolve. Emory Fae of Earth was dead. Everything had led up to this moment. Her parents shaped their world, defying the paths they were told to go down: A warrior from the Shattered Isles and a Prince of Kiero were never supposed to break away and build a refuge— The Academy—for peace. In her heart, Emory knew they had made mistakes, but their life’s dream was to fight and to ensure everyone, no matter their ability, would have a place to call home. Emory loosened a breath. She would not let her parents’ dream die. If Adair wanted a challenge, he would get one. She would make him pay. For her family. Her friends. For herself.

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About the Author

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Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

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Check out Lisa King’s brand new novel called The Vanishing Hour which is available now on Amazon! She is a Canadian author from London, Ontario and I am super excited to share the love on her new book! If you like post-apocalyptic books, then this one is for you!

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You can buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B081ZHCPGF/



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Book Review: Iron Gold

I finally got around to reading Iron Gold by Pierce Brown. It has been on my bookshelf for a couple years now so it is a good thing I picked it up and stopped neglecting it.

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Synopsis: They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-second of his life.

A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever:

A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.

And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

Pierce Brown? You might say he is my favorite author. And by that, I mean, yes he is definitely my favorite author. So naturally, I absolutely loved diving back into this world that he created in his Red Rising series. It was such a joy to get to experience the characters I loved all over again at a later time in their lives. Imagine reading all of Harry Potter and then getting more of that. That is exactly the feeling I had when I got into this book.

I especially enjoyed getting to know more about Lysander’s character and traits since you only know him as a young boy in the other series. I found that a lot of side characters in the first series become more prevalent in this one which was awesome. It did not disappoint with the number of action scenes and battles it had.

I love how Pierce writes his books with so many twists and turns that you never really know what the outcome ifs going to be and that is the way it should be. Predictable books are just not as much fun to read. It even opened with the line, “To my Howlers” which was just amazing.

If you want a sci-fi book that is action-packed and has lots of loyalty and deception, then this is the space opera you have been waiting for!

Book Rating: 4.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book with my own money in physical format to read and review because I wanted to.


December is here and the year is almost over. Check out all the books I got as a last haul of 2019!


One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann (, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

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Book Review: War Remnants

Hey bookworms! Recently, I was approached by a bookstagrammer friend of mine to read and review the novella that they wrote. At first, I was a little hesitant because I have interacted with them a bunch on Instagram and was worried that if I didn’t like the book then it would be awkward. The book is called War Remnants by Moud Adel.

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Synopsis: When the price of Gate Magic is a shorter life spent with your loved ones, will you want to keep that door closed?

Prepared to give up all of his power for a few more years with his family, Rakamai, the leader of his faction, a Magic Master who swore to defend his people against those who possess special powers, believed the only way out was to offer peace. But in a world where factions love to be enemies, his dream would soon be shattered.

Yamen, a Forest Elder, reminds Rakamai that controlling Majestic animals is a power he should always fear, and trapped in another war, Rakamai has a decision to make. Protect the legacy of his people or save his son from the hatred plaguing his world.

Now, when the Forbidden Warriors, the strongest in his world, are hunting him down, Rakamai must first escape their wrath before choosing between a longer life for himself or peace for the next generation.

I can happily say that I enjoyed the book. I was really interested in the magic system and wanted to know more about the different factions and their powers/abilities. I believe that they could have been explored more and kind of wish that this was an actual full-length book and not a novella so that we could get that history and build more on this world.

The battle scenes were very descriptive and showed the range of powers that each adversary had. I enjoyed that they mixed modern weapons into the magic.

I did get a little bit lost with the names. A lot of them were very similar so at times I was getting confused as to whom I was reading about. And a lot of them started with the same letter so that didn’t make it any easier to differentiate them.

It is a great setup for a full on series and I would love to read the series and learn more about these characters.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in the ebook format to read and give an honest review.


Watch my Small Booktuber Tag video where I talk about what it is like to be a small booktuber and all the amazing people in the community!

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Book Review: Kingdom Come by Justin Coogle

Hola bookworms. Guess what!?

I made it to 400 followers on Twitter 🙂 This has been one of my goals for awhile and I am super pumped to have surpassed it. Also, Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I doubt they read the blog but hey if they do, this will make their day. Anyways enough about the socials and down to the knitty gritty as Scott would say from HQ Trivia.

Another review by our external reviewer @saramact !! This one is called Kingdom Come by Justin Coogle. It is a Christian fantasy. Pretty cool as I am reading a book about angels and demons too right now. Read on to see what Sara had to say!

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Synopsis: In this book, our protagonist Jason Collins is a Demon Hunter, as a part of an organization sanctioned and funded by the modern Catholic Church, headed up by the new Pope, who initiated the organization. Their tasks range from defending the Vatican against demon invasions to hunting down and eliminating demons around the world. Jason, as the newest member of his team, struggles between earning his place in this life he wants so badly, and feeling like he belongs in his faith as well.

Because of his heroic antics, Jason is on thin ice with the DH, and must prove himself in the upcoming mission: a mysterious graveyard that appears out of nowhere, with several missing crews of DH agents within. What comes back with the team from this mission will forever alter the way that the world sees the DH, as they are soon confronted with an evil they never expected, that attacks where they least expected.

I found this book very enjoyable. It did a good job of developing characters in a very natural way, and the book itself progressed very fluidly, without being predictable at all. I also found that Coogle did a very good job of blending the Christian with the Fantasy. I am not very religious and was a bit worried about how the faith aspects of the book would impact the story for someone who isn’t interested in that bit, but it came off much more like just a regular trait that the characters have rather than a central focus of the book. Even the religious aspects of the demon-fighting were very minimal, and so as a non-believer I still found it very enjoyable. I imagine if the reader was religious this would be an even better read, as you could relate to the characters on a deeper, spiritual level.

My only complaints would be that my copy had a few minor spelling errors, though sometimes that happens as a result of conversion to e-book format. I also might have liked to see a bit more detail in a few places, just to flesh out what I was visualizing a little more, like character descriptions, or even more setting etc., but this is mostly just preference. Overall I really enjoyed the book, and I was slightly surprised by this, because of the genre. It was a good fantasy/supernatural read, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find the book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in e-book format to read and give an honest review.