Top Ten Tuesday: Books Titles That Sound Like Crayon Colors

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


When I saw the topic for today’s TTT, I was happy. Crayola Crayons always have the most interesting names for their colors. I couldn’t wait to see what I could pull out of my read/tbr pile for crayon colors.


Red

Flesh and Blood by Willow Rose

Book Cover

Orange

(I had an issue finding a good Orange title but this one seemed to fit)

Elixir Project by Kary Oberbrunner

Book Cover

Yellow

The Burnt Sunset by Chris Ledoux

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Green

The Queen’s Opal by Jacque Stevens

Book Cover

Blue

Foam on the Crest of Waves by Silke Stein

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Purple

Starswept by Mary Fan

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Black

Darkest Night by Tara Thomas

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Brown

Whispers in the Woods by Victoria Lynn Osborne

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White

A White Picket Fence by Laura Branchflower

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Fairy Ring: Changeling of Janderelle (Fairy Ring: Book 2) by Jacque Stevens

Fairy Ring: Changeling of Janderelle (Book Two) by [Stevens, Jacque]

4 Stars

Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: May 23rd, 2019

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Series: Fairy Ring

Fairy Ring: Shards of Janderelle—Book 1

Fairy Ring: Changeling of Janderelle—Book 2

Where you can find Fairy Ring: Changeling of Janderelle: Amazon | BookBub

Book synopsis:

Queen-bee of her freshman class, fifteen-year-old Grace is no angel. 

That spot was reserved for her brother, Gabriel. But now that Gabe has died, it seems everyone has forgotten him. Even her mother would rather focus on her new boyfriend than plan a funeral.

Grace can’t forget, and after discovering a way into the fairy world that killed her brother, she is ready to take her revenge. Even if that means befriending the trolls of that world and becoming their queen, their changeling child. 

But as accessing her full magic requires her to draw others through the fairy ring, it seems her revenge may come at an even higher price—her soul.

Sequel to Fairy Ring: Shards of Janderelle.

Clean Read. References to substance abuse, nonexplicit sexual references, and other more serious issues. Recommended for young adults and teens fourteen and up. 


My Review:

My brother, Gabriel, was a saint, right up there with whatever angel our parents named him after

I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to read this book when I came across it. I took one look at the cover and went, “Ugggh. Another YA fantasy.” Then I read the blurb, and my feelings changed. I couldn’t wait to dive into this book.

The author did a fantastic job of explaining why she wrote Grace the way she did in the author’s note. She drew on her experience of a mental health nurse to make Grace as realistic as possible. She also made it clear that in no way is Grace a hero, which I loved.

Like I stated in the above paragraph, Grace is not a hero. Grace was damaged. She was a bully who took pleasure in tormenting Livy. She never dealt with the car accident and then Gabe’s death. She was a hot mess. I did feel bad for her. She was hurting, and her mother wasn’t there for her.

You do need to read book 1 to understand this book. I didn’t, and I was lost for most of the book. Kaito does go into what happened the night that Gabe died, but that still wasn’t enough detail. This isn’t a stand alone book.

Grace caused a lot of harm in this book. She was going to do anything to get back at Kaito. Anything. That’s how she ended up becoming the Ogress of the trolls. That was also how she ended up with shards from Jaron and Cody. And finally, that is how she got in trouble in the human world for trying to kill Briar.

The end of the book was heartbreaking. Her confusion over what exactly happened that night was palpable. I will say that she didn’t have any regret for anything that she did. I am curious to see what her character will be like in the next book.


I would give Fairy Ring: Changeling of Janderelle an Older Teen rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Fairy Ring: Changeling of Janderelle.  I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Queen’s Opal (Stone Bearers: Book 1) by Jacque Stevens

The Queen's Opal: A Stone Bearers Novel (Book One) by [Stevens, Jacque]

4 Stars

Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: December 5th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: Stone Bearers

The Stone Bearers—Book 0 (review here)

The Frog’s Princess—Book 0.5

The Queen’s Opal—Book 1

The Queen’s Gift—Book 2

The Queen’s Heir—Book 3

The Queen’s Bane—Book 4

Where you can find The Queen’s Opal: Amazon | BookBub

Synopsis:

Elves never use magic or leave the forest.

They aren’t supposed to get sick either, but Drynn’s mother just died from a mysterious illness, which has targeted the elven queens for generations. With no female heir left, the symbol of the curse—a green stone called the Queen’s Opal—passes to Drynn. Unwilling to lose another family member, Drynn’s impulsive and overprotective brother drags him out of the forest to search for a cure. And the oft-diseased humans seem the most likely place to start.

But the opal isn’t all that it seems. Once outside the forest, it shows Drynn visions of the first queen—a time when the mortal avatars of the lost gods walked the earth and the humans and elves lived in peace. Much has changed in the human lands since then. It’s a darker world, ruled by power-hungry wizards who covet any kind of magic. Magic like the opal. Magic like the natural energy the wizards can see inside the elves.

More than healing one illness, Drynn’s visions call for him to restore the world’s former peace, but if the wrong wizard learns about the elves’ innate gifts, even the forest will no longer be safe. 

Family bonds will be tested. Friends will become foes. With two kingdoms spiraling into chaos, can a shy bookworm conquer his fears to bring peace to the realm?

The Queen’s Opal is book one in a new high fantasy adventure series set in the same magical and exotic world as The Stone Bearers (2016).

This coming of age story will appeal to teen and young adult fans of the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, Cinda Willams Chima (The Demon King), Christopher Paolini (Eragon), and other works of epic sword and sorcery.

Clean Read. Fantasy violence and a few darker themes. Recommended for young adults and teens twelve and up.

Stone Bearers:
0. The Stone Bearers (2016)
0.5. The Frog’s Princess (2016)
1. The Queen’s Opal (2017)
2. The Queen’s Gift (2018)
3. The Queen’s Heir (2018)
4. The Queen’s Bane (Coming 2018)
5. The Queen’s Rite (Coming 2019)

Please Note: The Queen’s Opal is Book One. The Stone Bearers is a standalone novel that can be read before or after the full series.

The short story, The Frog’s Princess, can also be read in any order. Find it in The Fantastic Worlds Anthology (2016) or have a free digital copy delivered to you after signing up for my email list at sjacquebooks.com. Those on my email list will receive monthly emails with updates on deals, review opportunities for new releases, and other exclusive content.

Fairy Ring:
1. Fairy Ring: Shards of Janderelle (2017)
2. Fairy Ring: Changeling of Janderelle (Coming 2018)
3. Fairy Ring: Prince of Janderelle (Coming 2019)

Others: 
Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen (2017)
Depths: A Tale of the Little Mermaid (Coming 2018)


My Review:

The Queen’s Opal is the story of Drynn and his journey into the human world. It is also the story of Tayvin and the reason why he wanted to leave the forest. Finally, it is the story of Kol, his secret and his hatred of the robes. What happens when Kol meets Drynn? What happens to Drynn in the human world? Will Tayvin find what he is looking for? Can Kol overcome his hatred for the “robes“? Or will that hatred be his downfall?


Drynn (Aldrayndallen-Falberain): I liked Drynn. The main character in The Queen’s Opal, he was my favorite. I did feel bad for him. His mother dies, his brother forces him on a trip out of the forest and he gets kidnapped. On top of that, he starts to have these strange dreams about the first Queen and her life. He had a lousy couple of months. There was a point in the book where I wondered if he would ever be free of those people. I also was kinda hoping that Tayvin would find him first. I wanted to see a couple of those thieves get drop-kicked into next Monday (Picc and Cain mainly).

Tayvin (Tayvinaldrill-Falberain): I understood why he wanted to go to the human world. He wanted to save his brother. He couldn’t deal with losing another family member. He was impulsive and hot-headed at the beginning of the book. But, that tempered as the book went on. By the end of the book, he showed a lot of restraint. Even when Drynn told him what happened to him. I was half expecting him to go off and avenge Drynn.

Kol: I wanted to shake Kol during certain parts of the book. The way he treated Drynn at first. He wasn’t exactly nice. He was also afraid of the robes (wizards). That fear was understandable. He watched his mother burn to death, protecting him from his father. But to act the way he did after Xavien got guardianship over him was jerky. He refused to heed the advice that the dragonet gave him until it was almost too late.


The Queen’s Opal as a great read. The author did a great job with world building. She took what was a flat 2d world and built it up. I can’t wait to see what this world is going to look like in the other books.

She also did a great job with character building. Drynn, Tayvin, and Kol were complex characters with many layers. They were as realistic as two elves and a halfbreed can be.

Any issues that I had with The Queen’s Opal were minor ones. I wished that more went into how the stone chose its bearer. During Drynn’s dreams, Saylee was called to the temple. But how? I also wanted to know why someone so young? With my luck, it will be answered in the next book.

The Queen’s Opal can definitely be read by kids as young as 12. The only thing that I could even see being traumatic for anyone younger are the beatings that Drynn and Kol endured. They were somewhat graphic. There are also scenes where Drynn was chained in a cart and a scene where Drynn was drugged. Other than that, this book is a great starter book for someone starting to read fantasy.

The end of The Queen’s Opal was intriguing. Some storylines were wrapped up. Other’s were started and other’s were left open. It made me want to read book 2 and see where everyone ends up. Also, I loved the epilogue. It was a different way to do things.


I would give The Queen’s Opal a Young Teen rating. There is no sex (only one kiss). There is violence. There is mild language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 13 read this book.

I would reread The Queen’s Opal. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review The Queen’s Opal.

All opinions stated in this review of The Queen’s Opal are mine


Have you read The Queen’s Opal?

Love it?

Hate it?

Let me know

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen by Jacque Stevens

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen

Title: Winter Falls

Author: Jacque Stevens

Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: January 24th, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Mental Illness, Depression

Number of pages: 288

POV: 1st person

Series: No

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

Katie knows better than to believe in happy endings.

She learned there was no such thing after her mother died. In the postindustrial town of Riverside, Katie struggles to care for her distant father and his failing hotel. Her only comfort lies in the arms of her true love, Shay.

Yet one evening, he disappears without a trace.

Devastated, Katie jumps off a bridge in the dead of winter, expecting to meet death at the bottom. Instead, her fall transports her to a snowy netherworld, where trapped souls take on the form of animals and the only thing that matters is survival.

When Katie discovers that Shay has been kidnapped by a deadly witch called the Winter Queen, she goes on a journey to find him, traveling through the realms of storybook fairies, princesses, thieves, and monsters to bring him home. But the path is harsh and dangerous. Will Shay and Katie be reunited? Or be forever trapped within an eternal winter?

A retelling of the classic fairytale The Snow Queen, WINTER FALLS is a young adult epic fantasy romance which examines the trials of depression and mental illness in a magical world of action and adventure.

Teen fans of C.S. Lewis and Shannon Hale will love this inspirational novel by author Jacque Stevens

My review:

What a great retelling and imaginative retelling of the Snow Queen.

Told in 1st person and through flashbacks, after Katie jumps off of the same bridge that her mother, Winter Falls explores depression, suicide and how it affects the people left behind. The way the author wrote about it and the sensitivity that she showed about such sensitive subjects was amazing. I also like that she didn’t glamorize suicide, as I have seen in some books. Beth’s reasons for committing suicide were awful and I cried when the reason was revealed.

I liked how Katie’s character wasn’t perfect by any means. She is a snob, keeps herself away from her family and openly mocks her stepmother as she tells fairy tales to Katie’s younger brother and sisters. You are hard-pressed to like her in her flashbacks because of how she is.

But, everything does change when she enters the land of fairy and starts on her quest to get Spring, Summer and Autumn’s tokens of powers. You could just see her come into her own and you could see her processing how closed off she was, how rude and how snobby she was as she is retelling her life story and how she fell in love with Shay.

Shay’s character was as flawed but he was aware of it and he did try to better himself. I felt awful when he was talking to Katie about how bad his home life was after his mother died and when Katie’s stepmother basically told his father to get lost.

Katie’s quest was different and full of surprises. The people/animals that she met and helped/were helped by stood out to me. Each season was basically her finding herself and her understanding that she didn’t need to live her life the way she was and that only she could change her life.

The climax of the story was great and I was put on edge. I did get slightly emotional during a certain scene with Shay and Katie.

All of the storylines were resolved by the end of the book. I really liked how they were resolved in realistic ways. Not every storyline was a HEA and it was refreshing to read that.

The end of the book was great. It was pretty standard but the changes in Katie and Shay was there for everyone to see.

How many stars will I give Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen: 5

Why: This was a book that I really got into and it has to be the most creative retelling of the Snow Queen that I have ever read. The characters are engaging and the storyline was great. I really liked that the story was told, in part, by flashback. It made for an interesting read. The author also did a great job of covering the sensitive subjects of suicide, mental illness, child abuse, and rape.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older Teen (16+).

Why: This is not a book for a tween or younger teenager. Because of the content (suicide, mental illness, child abuse, rape), I would suggest that older teens (16+) read this book.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

The Stone Bearers by Jacque Stevens

The Stone Bearers by [Stevens, Jacque]

Where you can find The Stone Bearers: Amazon

Publisher: Future House Publishing

Date of publication: March 4, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Book synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Ashira just received the worst coming-of-age prophecy imaginable. 

After years dreaming of oceans, princes, and fairies, she expected the diviner to speak the words that would finally whisk her away from her ordinary desert village. Instead Ashira hears, “you will live a life of no renown.” 

Ready to choose her own fate, she discovers a djinni’s bottle and starts making wishes. When the djinni proves uncooperative and annoying, Ashira sets out to the great city of magicians to learn magic and free herself from an uneventful life as a potter’s daughter. 

But there is another prophecy being whispered in the shadows. It is said that among the great magicians, there is a demon on the rise with the power to destroy the world. The djinni might be Ashira’s only chance to become someone important, or he just might be the very demon that triggered the dark prophecy. With the world on the brink of destruction, can Ashira fight her fate and stop the forces that threaten to upset the balance of the universe?

My review:

Words can’t even express how much I liked this book!!! I shouldn’t say like; I loved this book!!!

Ashira was a hoot. Her reaction to finding her out her destiny was what I would have done if I had been in her shoes. And then her determination (along with finding Jin and his bottle!!!) to change it resulted in some dangerous, but funny, adventures.

It did take me a little bit to figure out who Jin was. The author didn’t hide it but didn’t put it out there either.

The writing was superb and jumped off the pages into my mind. I could see the dumb (but sweet) elves/pixies. I could smell the smoke/sea of the island that Ashira and Danith went to get rid of the demon. I was there when she struck up a friendship with Kylta and Raven and then stuck with them.

Not too many authors can do that.

The ending wasn’t what I expected, at all but fit the book. Hopefully, the author will decide to do book 2, and we can see what happened to everyone!!!!

Will, I reread this? Yes

Will recommend it to family and friends? Yes

Age range? Tween/teen on up. It is clean, but there is some violence in it.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**