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September 7, 2017

Shots of YA: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake + Nashville Cocktails




What's your poison? 

I can't remember the number of times I've been asked this question. And just to be clear, I'm referring to alcohol (say NO to drugs, kids!) and since I've started dieting, I have to abstain from craft beers and drink liquor if I want to partake. I'm not a SHOTS! girl, now that I have a 21yo, I can't risk being turned into a meme so cocktails it is!

I live in Nashville and my city can party with the other big cities. There's a lot of places to choose from and Yelp! or TripAdvisor can help with your itinerary depending on your interests. If you're into beer, I suggest you start with our local breweries, we have a lot here. If you like whiskey, Jack Daniels isn't that far from Nashville and it's definitely worth checking out. But if you just want to unwind and loosen up without getting hammered, I suggest you go for cocktails. It's fun and an adventure of their own. Here are my favorite places to get cocktails.

  • Merchant's at Broadway: Smack in the middle of honky tonk bars is this pretty bar called Merchant's. The ambiance is a throwback to the days when people dress up when they go out with it's brick interior, chevron black and white floors, antique mirrors, and deep booths. Their cocktail menu is categorized between Swiggin', Bucks, and Sippin'. So depending on how adventurous you are, they can cater to your taste. I tried No Sleep til Brooklyn & Vesper Martini and both are delicious. Be sure to get some duck fat tots or their mac 'n cheese to go with it.

  • Hemingway's Bar & Hideaway at Wedgewood Houston: located outside of Nashville, this cool spot is tucked in the middle of industrial complexes and old neighborhoods, this place is easy to miss. I tried the Porter's Briefcase (?), I may be wrong about the name, it's been a while since I've been there and I can't find their drink menu. Anyway, this restaurant requires reservations because it has limited seating, the food is median priced, and the ambiance has a mild upscale feel to it so it's perfect for celebratory or splurge dining. 

  • Gray's On Main at Downtown Franklin: 30 minutes away, this bar and resto is my favorite to get old fashioned cocktails. The place used to be a pharmacy, the staff will give you a mini tour once you walk in. They also have live music and the stage, located on the second level, is set-up real nice.  




Aside from alcohol, books are my next poison of choice and this week I binge-read Kendare Blake's Three Dark Crowns series. In case this flew under your radar, this series is fairly new. The first book, Three Dark Crowns released last year and the sequel, One Dark Throne is hitting shelves next week. The story has a tragic premise: a set of triplets, a poisoner, an elemental, and a naturalist, have to kill each other until one is only left to rule. 

As you know, I'm not the biggest YA reader but I have to admit KBlake and her triplets locked me down within the first quarter of Three Dark Crowns. The poisoners, the villains in this tragic story, got my attention. They're a ruthless bunch and the details of their culture is so lurid and unnerving, I absolutely love it! The plot twists are endless and just when I thought I got it figured out, KBlake moves the trajectory slightly, completely changing the feel and possible outcome. This series is not an adventure story nor is it about love, it's about sororal rivalry, that greed for power no matter the cost, with a twist of fairytale-like fantasy to keep things interesting and undoubtedly enthralling. 








Talk Supe


41 comments:

  1. I heard a lot about her books but I confess that I haven't tried yet

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    1. It's worth it. I really love the myth and the deadly sibling rivalry

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  2. I really liked the first book, I need to pick up the second. I don't know why I've been stalling on picking it up.

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    1. Though not necessarily a cliffhanger, but the first book opened a lot of questions. Pick it up soon, Ali!

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  3. I SO need to read the first book - I can't believe the second is coming out so soon. I'm always behind on series books, unless it's something I got for review. Glad you loved this one!

    -Lauren
    www.letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com

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    1. You're good, it's easy to binge read I promise

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  4. Braine what a fab post thanks for sharing some of the haunts in your wonderful town. I've always wanted to visit Nashville, to see the Country Music stuff and visit my all time favorite author JT Ellison who lives there.

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    1. On that front, Nashville will not fail you. I hope you visit soon!

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  5. Great post. Never been to Nashville, but I'll try and remember to hit one of your favorite spots if I do. Also, have to be checking out this series. Sounds wicked good.

    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. I hope you find your way up here soon! You and the mister will love it!

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  6. Wine's my poison but there's something about it, (the tannins? the histamines?) that ends up messing with me. I used to love craft beer but found out that that too was making me sick. :\ Thankfully, there's a gluten-free brewery not far from my house and so far that hasn't caused me to get sick. The Mister is a whiskey/liquor drinker but I just don't have the stomach for it. His favorite is Jameson.

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    1. I'm starting to develop a taste for liquor. I still can't take it straight, it either has to be watered down or in a form of a cocktail. I have to try a gluten-free beer just for comparison.

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  7. I've been up in the air about this because of the mixed reviews but I am noting that the bloggers I trust have read this and enjoyed it.
    I love craft beer, but I'm trying to lose weight myself so... wine is good :D love wine

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    1. They need to come up with great tasting low carb beers for sure

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  8. I live in Oregon we are all about craft beer and cider. However, a good cocktail is always nice. I am glad to hear you liked this series. I was so disappointed in the first book. It started out great but by the ending, I just didn't care especially since it ended with a cliffhanger.

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    1. No! Really?! I'm sorry to hear that, I obviously love it. lol

      Damn, I'd visit Oregon again for the beers!

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  9. Neat to see some good places to visit if I find my way back to Nashville. :)

    This series has caught my attention a few times. I do feel curious after reading the premise. Glad its turning out so good.

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    1. I'm probably not reading enough YA but this has a refreshing premise that really worked well for me

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  10. A quality shot is noms, but so are cocktails. I may actually own book one, so you've got me curious.

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    1. I hope you love it!

      And I do agree, a good shot does the work sometimes. I just hate regretting it in the morning if I had one too many lol

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  11. I love craft beers, too, but I really should not drink them too often. Not that I'm on a diet, but it wouldn't hurt me to be a bit more careful ;)
    I haven't read this series by Kendare Blake, but I loved her Anna Dressed in Blood series!
    I hope you're having a great week, Braine!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Oh yeah! She did write that and I have that one too! Thanks for reminding me, I might pick that up next especially with Halloween around the corner. Thank you!

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  12. I plan on starting One Dark Throne this weekend *excited*

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  13. I love Blake's Anna Dressed In Blood but I never got into these books, but the premise is cool. Great review!

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  14. I love books too. I don't drink alcohol at all because too many alcoholics in my family but I do love my sweets. lol

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    1. I have a horrible sweet tooth. It's unbearably annoying sometimes when the cravings hit!

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  15. Damn! I'm coming down to Nashville just to hang with you and we'll look cool :) I can't drink alcohol either but I'll pretend with ya! Stupid diets (booo!) I'm right there with ya!! I've GOT to read these books, too :)

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    1. Let me know, we don't have to drink but I hope you dance ;). Then again we could always eat

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  16. Alcohol and books, two wonderful things. :D I think I have the first book in this series ... actually might have the ARC and never read it. I'll have to check.

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    1. Please do and I hope you'll find the time to give it a whirl

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  17. I'm not a big YA reader either, but I always love a good recommendation, so thank you for sharing these! And Nashville is such a wonderful city! My boyfriend and I went about three years ago and fell in love with all the honkytonks (hope I'm spelling that right, lol). Thanks for the drink suggestions--you make me want to plan another visit!

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    1. Can't visit Nashville without hitting those bars. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit!

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  18. We don't really get to "go out" to drink anymore. We have to look for the cheap drinks. Ugh. I can't believe how expensive things are anymore! So we party hardy at home with friends. lol.

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    1. So true that's why when I do indulge in cocktails, I tend to pick the one with the most alcohol so I can nurse it and get a buzz after. LOL

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  19. I drink Scotch and 7Up. If it is really good Scotch that I can't usually afford, I will drink it straight, but that is extremely rare. That is my main go-to for alcohol. I don't drink beer or wine. I have fallen in love with Mike's Hard Strawberry Lemonade.

    I've seen this series and I've been thinking about trying it. I'm like you and very picky about YA books. This one sounds really good though.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. I'm going to try Scotch next since I've developed a palate for Whisky and Bourbon. I'll try your cocktail :)

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  20. Glad to hear you're enjoying those Kendare Blake books. I don't really drink a lot of alcohol, I usually just stick to tea.

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    1. Good for you! There are days where I just need a drink lol

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  21. Argh! I am loving the sound of the Three Dark Crowns Series. I just checked it out and there's going to be a few books, so I might hold off a while.
    I'm a bourbon and coke girl... you can have it with diet coke!

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