January 13, 2020

The King's Questioner: Excerpt & Giveaway


The King's Questioner by Nikki Katz
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 14, 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Host: Xpresso Book Tours
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |iBooks
Synopsis: From Nikki Katz, the author of The Midnight Dance , comes The King’s Questioner, an epic YA fantasy featuring royal drama, dark magic, and a secret that could topple a kingdom. Kalen is a mental picklock, able to access a person’s memories and secrets by touch. His skills make him the perfect questioner to the king, and he spends his days interrogating prisoners of the crown. But when Kalen’s estranged childhood friend, Prince Cirrus, falls into a sudden coma, the king begs Kalen to intervene. By accessing Cirrus’s mind, Kalen saves his life—and uncovers a terrifying secret. The prince has a sister, banished long ago, and she is the key to the destruction or survival of the kingdom. With the help of Cirrus and a silver-haired thief named Luna, Kalen must find the princess and bring her home. Or risk death at the hands of his king.

Excerpt

A loud knock woke Kalen the next morning.
“You dressed?” Terrack’s voice rang through the door. 
“Does it matter? The door is locked.” 
Kalen stretched and rose from the pallet before walking over to open the door. Terrack blocked the hallway with his bulk, and his mouth moved like a horse’s as he chewed on a piece of bark.
“Actually, I just wondered if you had a girl in there.” 
“Have I ever had a girl in here?”
“There’s a first time for everything,” Terrack smirked. “To what do I owe the pleasure of your company so early 
in the day?”
“I’ll give you one guess.” 
Kalen steeled himself for yet another headache. “Give me a minute.” 
He shut the door and splashed water on his face from the basin. He quickly changed and grabbed a pair of gloves be- fore returning to the hallway. Terrack hadn’t moved. Kalen shut the door, turned the key in the lock, and followed the large man down the hall. 
“Who is it?” Kalen asked.
“Ship captain,” said Terrack. “Arrived yesterday.”
The Antioegen ships Damien mentioned.
Kalen’s worry over his impending headaches disappeared. This would be interesting. Much more interesting than a woman falsely accused of stealing correspondence. 
They wound down the curved staircase into the darkness of the cellar. Rough stone walls caught at the sleeves of his coat, as if clawing him into the depths. The cool air was thick with moisture that gathered at the back of his neck. They reached the cellar floor, and Terrack turned in a different direction than the one leading to Kalen’s normal interrogation room. Kalen’s chest heaved with a silent sigh. This way were the holding cells. 
Kalen despised having to go into the mind of someone shackled by chains. 
They approached the two cells, heavy doors facing each other from across the narrow hallway. The slits in one door allowed flickers of dusty light to dance into the hall. Terrack pushed that one open, and Kalen got his first glimpse of the prisoner. 
The captain was tall, in his mid-thirties perhaps, with sun-weathered skin. Limp, long hair fell into his eyes, one of which was nearly swollen shut. He stood upright, his arms hanging at his sides. His wrists were wrapped in metal cuffs threaded with a heavy chain linked to the wall behind him through a ring just above his head. His breaths came fast and shallow, like he couldn’t fully inhale. Kalen imagined that underneath the captain’s jacket and all those gold buttons were whip marks or bruising . . . or both. 
“Why is he in chains?” 
“The Law’s orders. He put up a good fight when he arrived.” 
The prisoner attempted a laugh but winced as soon as his chest expanded. The sound was more of a wounded cough. Footsteps echoed in from the hall behind them, and the 
King’s Law swept into the room. His black cloak swirled and settled around him, flashes of the green silk interior visible as he threw back his shoulders. 
“Good. You’re here.” Ryndel nodded at Kalen. “I think we’re ready to get started.” 

The Author


Nikki Katz is an author and editor living in sunny San Diego with her three children. With a BS in aerospace engineering, Nikki first put her writing skills to use publishing four nonfiction books. She moved on to writing young adult fiction, her favorite genre to read as well. The Midnight Dance is her debut novel.




Giveaway


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January 1, 2020

TTT #99: My Favorite Books of 2019


HAPPY NEW YEAR! I read 95 books in 2019! Here are some of my favorites.

My Favorite Audiobooks

 
 

My Favorite Graphic Novels

 
 

My Favorite Young Adult Books

 



My Favorite Books for Adults

 

 
 

Did any of my favorites make your list?


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October 6, 2019

September Wrap Up & October TBR


Did I stick to my September TBR post? Yes and no. September was a strong reading month for me!

# of Books Read from My TBR Post: 3 out of 8 (I'm halfway through one of them and didn't count that.)

Total Books Read in September: 11

Books Read in September

5 Stars
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung

4 Stars
Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo
No Judgments by Meg Cabot

3.5 Stars
The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
The Chain by Adrian McKinty
Say You're Sorry by Karen Rose
Dark Debt by Chloe Neill
Singe by Aly Martinez





How many books did you read in September?


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September 17, 2019

TTT #98: Favorite Things I Like to Eat/Drink While Reading


This week I am sharing with you all what I enjoy snacking on and drinking while I read. Although I look pretty awkward trying to turn the pages while enjoying my snacks, I make it work.

The Drinks

1. Hot coffee w/ vanilla cream that I make at home in my Keurig.
2. My favorite winter drink is hot chocolate. 
3. Ice cold water is my usual go to drink while reading.
4. Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is my current obsession.
5. Lemonade is perfect during the summer.
   
Check Out My Bookstagram HERE

The Snacks

6. Homemade air-popped popcorn is where it is at.
7. Pretzels in any form.
8. SweeTarts is my favorite candy snack.
9. Apple slices with caramel is my favorite fall snack.
10. I rarely eat this, but I always enjoy puppy chow/muddy buddies.

Image result for popcorn

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September 11, 2019

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words

It consists on answering these three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I'm Currently Reading

My current audiobook is Dark Debt by Chloe Neill and my current print book is Serpent & Dove. I am enjoying both of them a great deal. Dark Debt is book 11 in the Chicagoland Vampire novels. That means I am almost done with the series! 

 


What I Recently Finished Reading

My last two read were The Chain and The Beautiful. I enjoyed both, but I didn't love either. I wanted a little more from The Beautiful than what it had to offer. (Full review to come soon.) I gave both books a solid 3.5 stars. I just noticed even both covers have the same color scheme. Crazy.

 


What I Plan to Read Next

Say You Still Love Me is next up from my TBR thanks to some bookstagram friends. As for my next audiobook, I have no idea. Right now I have The Everlasting Rose in audio on hold at the library that I am waiting for.

 

What are you currently reading?




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September 1, 2019

What I Hope to Read This Month


September is here! I can't wait for fall weather. I love the sweaters, football, and pumpkin everything. Although I don't always stick to them because I am a mood reader, I love making TBR piles! Here are the books I plan to read this month.


Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
+ Add to Goodreads

"Bound as one to love, honor, or burn."


Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks & Ted Caplan
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"She never thought she would want to fail a test - until now."


No Judgments by Meg Cabot
+ Add to Goodreads

"The choices we make decide our fate."


Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
+ Add to Goodreads

"Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway."


Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep
+ Add to Goodreads

"Gladiator meets Game of Thrones."


The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
+ Add to Goodreads

"By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid, but by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column."


Chase Darkness with Me by Billy Jensen
+ Add to Goodreads

"How one true-crime writer started solving murders."

The Miracle and Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets by Sarah Miller
+ Add to Goodreads

"Five children who captivated the entire world."



What do you plan to read in September? Do you make monthly TBR goals?


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