Did you survive the Holidays? Today I have a book review of
The Snow Collectors by Tina May Hall
THE SNOW COLLECTORS BY TINA MAY HALL
*Pub date 2/12/20.
*Paperback:224 pages. *Publisher:Dzanc Books (February 12, 2020)
#DZANCBooks #tinamayhall #TheSnowCollectors
Haunted by the loss of her parents and twin sister at sea, Henna cloisters herself in a Northeastern village where the snow never stops. When she discovers the body of a young woman at the edge of the forest, she’s plunged into the mystery of a centuries-old letter regarding one of the most famous stories of Arctic exploration—the Franklin expedition, which disappeared into the ice in 1845.
At the center of the mystery is Franklin’s wife, the indomitable Lady Jane. Henna’s investigation draws her into a gothic landscape of locked towers, dream-like nights of snow and ice, and
crumbling mansion rife with hidden passageways and carrion birds. But it soon becomes clear that someone is watching her—someone who is determined to prevent the truth from coming out.
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
THE SNOW COLLECTORS By Tina May Hall
A captivating contemporary murder mystery
A gripping novel of snowy dreamlike, A year and seven months after the loss of her parents and twin sister at sea, Henna, a freelance encyclopedia writer who specializes in entries having to do with water, moves to an unnamed village where her constant companions are the oppressive snow and her sister’s basset hound.
Lush imagery, with a stellar gothic mystery that sucks into its atmospheric storyline. The Snow Collectors, engages the reader with a creative twisty, darkish ghost of a Victorian exploration against the eerie beauty of a world on the fringes of environmental collapse. An eerie labyrinth of poetic prose, that I found impossible to put down. Tina May Hall’s exquisite writing, of a cold case murder, along with a ghosts of a nineteenth-century expedition, interwoven with environmental collapse, is completely original. This is one of those books that stays with you long after you finish reading it.
Tina May Hall’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in 3rd bed, the minnesota review, Quarterly West, Black Warrior Review, Water-Stone Review, Fairy Tale Review, and other journals. Her novella in prose poems, All the Day’s Sad Stories, was published by Caketrain Press in the spring of 2009.
She teaches at Hamilton College and lives in the snowy Northeast with her husband and son in a house with a ghost in the radiator. Some days, she spends with her ear pressed to the wall. Some days, she snowshoes with her son to the wolf-ring in the woods where they drink hot chocolate and howl until the crows chase them home.
Thank you to Orbit Books for gifting me a finished copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January Author: Alix E. Harrow Publication date: September 10, 2019 Publisher: Redhook Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
In the summer of 1901, at the age of seven, January Scaller found a Door. You know the kind of door–they lead to Faerie, to Valhalla, to Atlantis, to all the places never found on a map.
Years later, January has forgotten her brief glimpse of Elsewhere. Her life is quiet and lonely but safe on her guardian’s estate, until one day she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds in its pages, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure, and danger. A book that might lead her back to the half-remembered door of her childhood.
But, as January gets answers to questions she never imagined, shadows creep closer. There are truths about the world that should never be revealed.
Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Author: Alix E. Harrow
Publication date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: Redhook, Orbit Book Publishing
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Orbit/Redhook) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 Star Book
One of the most stunning, captivating book of 2019
“Listen, not every story is made for telling. Sometimes just by telling a story you’re stealing it, stealing a little of the mystery away from it.”
Have you ever had penchant for the whimsical? Have you looked sideways at doors ever? Or held your breath as walked through a threshold? Or maybe in a moment of fancy, while staring longing at a wall hoping for for a chance of something magical. An opening, a portal…That just maybe there is something magical in the world.
I have despite voices to the contrary, telling me otherwise.
Are you a readers who remembers what it was once like to have the ability to imagine a wide world of endless possibilities. In Within these pages, January will discover the impossible truth of her own existence– and the harrowing dangers that lurk between the Doors and other worlds.
This fairy tale will have you stepping through the void, into fables, folklore, adventure, love and sanctuary, and the infinite power of words and love. In this completely original lyrical debut, Alix E. Harrow captivating book is a magical blend of both historical fiction and magical realism.
Alix E. Harrow effortless writing is stunning and unconsciously literary.
” I almost didn’t notice the Door at all. All Doors are like that, half-shadowed and sideways until someone looks at them in just the right way.”
The Ten Thousand Doors of January is completely original storyline but written in classical childhood fairy tale style of older work. Beautiful writing that is poetic and the words are fluid in this captivating and lyrical debut. In the turn of the twentieth century, a time of change with inventions and new discoveries, We meet January, an oddly colored, wild and headstrong imaginative girl.
From the first pages I fell in love with January Scaller. When we first meet January, she is seven years old and, though her father is living, she is being cared for by Mr. Locke, her fathers benefactor. Her father travels the world, seeking out exotic treasures to bring back to his employer. Throughout her childhood years, she is herded and tamed into submission, well almost..
The Ten Thousand Doors of January, is lush and richly imaginative book of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the incredible power of opening doors .
Alix Harrow’s has masterly written a captivating illustrious tale with this story. If you love stories that have rich descriptive prose and a within a wonderfulhistoricalstoryline with magical realism then you definitely want to pick this one up.
” Life has a kind of momentum to it, I’ve found, an accumulated weight of decisions which becomes impossible to shift.”
Alix E. Harrow has been a student and a teacher, a farm-worker and a cashier, an ice-cream-scooper and a 9-to-5 office-dweller. She’s lived in tents and cars, cramped city apartments and lonely cabins, and spent a summer in a really sweet ’79 VW Vanagon. She has library cards in at least five states.
Now she’s a full-time writer living in with her husband and two semi-feral kids in Kentucky. Her short fiction has appeared in Shimmer, Strange Horizons, Tor.com, Apex, and other venues, and The Ten Thousand Doors of January is her debut novel. Find her wasting time and having opinions at @AlixEHarrow on Twitter.
Rodrick is a prince of the ruling country of Diar. He has a face kissed by the Gods themselves, with deep blue eyes and long ruby-red hair. Speaking of Gods, he also happens to be the Acolyte of Time. Gifts and curses with this power give him control over aspects of time. And being a dragon-human hybrid has its amazing perks too.
But since childhood, Rodrick has had a target on his back, and his insanely power-hungry father, Demon King Ryton, comes across as his closest but worst enemy. Throw in the workings of an alcoholic mother, a bipolar sister, a recovering addict brother, and an adopted little sister with magical powers, and you have the royal family of Diar.
Things couldn’t get any worse, until he meets the beautiful Princess Arcelia—but Arcelia isn’t the main problem. Her and Rodrick are on now on the run from Rodrick’s father, Ryton. And with the looming risk of world destruction ahead of them, Rodrick is worried about more than college exams.
This book was received as an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.
Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
An inventive fantasy by a debut author, Winnifred Tataw
The Gods’ Scion: Child of Tempus.
Right from the beginning you are swept up into the books enjoyable plot and likable characters that will have you cheering them on. Tataw has Created an urban/contemporary fantasy that takes on a faced passed storyline.
Rodrick a ruling prince of the country of Diar, Being a Acolyte of his time, And dragon-human. But not everything is perfect, with turbulent family dynamics and a Demon King as your Father. Impending world destruction and magical realism with a dash of romance makes this an intriguing and engaging storyline. Great dialogue and magical elements makes for well written book.
If you enjoy Ya Contemporary Fantasy than this is the perfect book for you.
I look forward to reading more books from this creative Author.
Winnifred or Winnie, as most know her by, is an artist, writer, and author of her debut novel: The Gods’ Scion: Child of Tempus. As a military child, Winnie has traveled extensively around the US East Coast and Germany, learning about the history, lore and culture of each region. Winnie has spent the last two years writing and expanding the world of The Gods’ Scion trilogy series. Winnie has had a lifelong love of literature and art. As a new writer she wants to create beautiful fantasy world and with compelling and intriguing characters. Winnie resides in South Carolina and is an undergraduate at the College of Charleston. She loves to spread positivity and joy to those around her, and look at the world through a glittery pink lens.
The Great Jewel Robbery:A Front Page Mystery Book 1
Category: Adult Fiction, 204 pages
Genre: Cozy mystery
Publisher: Elizabeth McKenna
Release date: May 28, 2019
Tour dates: August 19-30, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13
There is no profanity. There is drinking, desire, and a kiss.
Mystery with a splash of romance…Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. When Grace is assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a lakeside mansion and her boyfriend bails on her, she brings Emma as her plus one. The night is going smoothly until Emma finds the host’s brother unconscious in the study. Though at first it is thought he was tipsy and stumbled, it soon becomes clear more is afoot, as the wall safe is empty and a three-million-dollar diamond necklace is missing. With visions of becoming ace investigative journalists, Emma and Grace set out to solve the mystery, much to the chagrin of the handsome local detective.
This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
The Great Jewel Robbery by Elizabeth McKenna is the first book in this delightful cozy mystery series.
Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. Grace has been assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a Lakeside Mansion on shores of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. When her boyfriend has a change of plans she brings Emma along.
I was immediately sucked into the narrative and devoured every single page of this highly entertaining and deceptive book. Once I started reading it I was hooked and so absorbed in the storyline that I lost all sense of time. The author ability to keep my attention in this intriguing cozy mystery. I was definitely lost in this book and nothing was going to distract me until I finished reading it.
An entertaining and quick read with the right amount of romance, a robbery, murder..a weekend party at a mansion. What more could you ask for?
This is a fun, breezy mystery that totally enchanted me. The storyline is engaging tension filled who-did -it.
A great light hearted mystery, that keeps you guessing all the way through.
Faced paced exceptional dialogue with well developed characters.
I definitely recommend this book and I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
Do you read cozy mysteries, The light hearted who don it’s?
Cozy Sweet Cream Pancakes Recipe
• All-Purpose Flour
• Baking Powder
• Baking Soda
• Vanilla Extract
• Heavy Cream
• Milk, to thin the batter if desired
Toppings for Pancakes
These pancakes may take a few extra minutes to cook, but boy is it worth it! I feel like pancakes are kind of like the blank canvas of breakfast food!
You can add different toppings to create totally different experiences.
Gwendalyn G Anderson
Meet the Author:
Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She combined her love of history, romance, and a happy ending to write the historical romance novels Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, is loosely based on her life (she eventually married her first crush)
The Great Jewel Robbery is her debut cozy mystery, and she hopes readers will like it as much as they have enjoyed her romances. Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.
Series: Pages of Darkness, #2
Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Fantasy
A cursed child, a dangerous path, and a price to pay…
Six-fingered Mary Sparrow dreams of escape from the brothel that is the only world she knows. But when a mysterious old man drives her friend to madness, she begins to fear for her life.
Toby Chyrche also hopes for a better future, away from the confines of the tailor’s shop where it seems his fate is set in stone. So when a chance meeting with an old man at the brothel offers him a different path, he is only too eager to accept. Then the discovery of an ancient book of magic throws a new and shocking light onto the past – his mother had a brother, and that brother was a witch.
As the old man’s shadow over Bankside lengthens, Mary is drawn into the growing web of darkness. Unable to escape its reach, she turns to Toby for help. But Toby has daemons of his own to face. Will possession of the book be enough to protect them from the old man’s power? And what price will they have to pay for victory?
For the Sorcerer’s Whore, nothing is as it seems …
This book was received as an ARC from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
25 years have passed since the first fateful production of Macbeth, and the forces of evil are about to be reawoken.
The Sorcerer’s Whore, is Samantha Grossers second book in the Pages of Darkness Series. A wickedly delightful, gripping and immersive tale that totally absorbed me into its hauntingly dark characters.
The setting takes place 25 years after Shakespeare’s Witch. The book reintroduces some of the characters from the first installment, and introduces us to some new characters as well.
Six-fingered Mary Sparrow dreams of escaping from her line of work in Bankside, London. In her lot in life there is no room for real love. She is confused and torn by unsettling emotions she has for a new handsome client. Living in the stews of Cardinal Cap is the only world she knows, it’s a place of distractions and debauchery. Survival is the main priority, and Mary must keep her wits about her.
Dark plans from a mysterious older gentleman may have her questioning her safety and fearing for life.
Toby Chyrche, also hopes and dreams for a better future, after the death of his father, dark shocking secrets come to light.
A chance meeting with an older gentleman at a brothel offers Toby a different journey in life. One he is only too eager to accept, which takes him down a dark pathway. Nothing is what it seems, a discovery of an old book of magic which once was lost, and now found, along with past revelations sets events in motion in this well layered novel.
In this dramatic sweeping plot, I was immediately drawn in and I devoured every single page of this wickedly entertaining book. Once I started reading I was hooked and engaged in this creative storyline. It wasn’t an easy task to pull away from the book.
This intense and riveting novel, has well developed characters and an enjoyable storyline. The authors writing had me hooked from the very first chapter.
Grossers, intricately plots a character driven romance that fights poignancy through the complex conflicts of fate. Dark seductive magic drives the story forward with several interesting twists that make the ending all the more anticipated and satisfying. I was immediately pulled into the story, totally intrigued by the premise, and fully absorbed in this suspenseful page-turner.
What really stood out for me was how the author included the religious strife that was coming to head and political drama it caused in the area around Bankside London with Puritan belief system. It caused a climactic change in the area that once allowed prostitution and the creativeness the theater brought with it. Puritan beliefs that stifled and frighten the population to the living conditions and strict code of conduct that restricted woman into believing that sexuality was only for procreation for children and anything else was considered evil and that of satan and sinful. The Authors creative and atmospheric details that captures the turbulent times of 1632
A Seductive, and wickedly alluring gritty tale that was such an irresistible read.
I am looking forward to the next installment in this memorizing dark a provocative and alluring series.
About the Author
Historical fiction author Samantha Grosser originally hails from England, but now lives on the sunny Northern Beaches of Sydney with her husband, son and a very small dog called Livvy.
Combining a lifelong love of history with a compulsion to write that dates from childhood, Samantha is now bringing her passion for telling compelling stories to the world.
Samantha has an Honours Degree in English Literature and taught English for many years in Asia and Australia. She is the author of wartime dramas Another Time and Place and The Officer’s Affair, and The King James Men, set during the turbulent early years of 17th Century.
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away one eBook and one paperback copy of The Sorcerer’s Whore! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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for a house on the site of the present No. 49, Bankside, and for the narrow alley which runs down beside it,
Photo taken from the, British History Online is a digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a primary focus on the period between 1300 and 1800. We aim to support the learning, teaching and research of our users from around the world.
BHO was founded by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust in 2003.
A story told through a variety of interfaces, Written in the form of journal entries, text messages, emails, and excerpts of the novel Crystal is writing, A brilliant romantic comedy about mothers and daughters, and the hilarious consequences of a not really telling the real truth. The characters were all endearing and the subject matter was interesting and I really liked the format the author chose to write the book in.
What really stood out for me and what I really loved about this story was the development of the relationships between the Women in the story, and the complexity of the mother-daughter relationship.
It’s a creative a perfect summer read. Fast paced and enjoyable book that you won’t want to put down.
Overall, this is creative Romantic comedy that I would recommend to anyone looking to read and is a big fan of a contemporary novels
I Couldn’t put this Rom-Com down!!
This book was received as an ARC from the Galbadia in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
Crystal Hemmingway is a corporate washout and novelist. She lives in Los Angeles with her favorite person and two cats. In her spare time, Crystal enjoys binge-watching TV shows, eating sugary cereals, and pretending to write at coffee shops.
Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (July 2, 2019)
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Sold by: Macmillan
ASIN: B07CRFSDLS Author of one of BuzzFeed ‘s Greatest Fantasy Books of 2013
Do you have what it takes to be a Dragonslayer?
In this epic, adventure fantasy series, an unlikely hero, Guillot dal Villevauvais, must overcome his disgraced past as a failed member of the King’s guard and hunt down a ferocious beast thought long extinct. A dangerous quest, led by the swordsmanship of Gill, the magical powers of Solène, a barmaid nearly burned to the stake, and the goodness of Prince Bishop. From the critically acclaim fantasy author Duncan M. Hamilton, this fast-moving series is a must-read for fans of epic, sword-and-sorcery adventures.
–Successfully mixes swords, sorcery, and skullduggery with complex characters. Dumas fans will especially appreciate the faux-French setting. This is pure adventure fun with plenty for epic fantasy readers to enjoy.–
In his magnificent, heroic, adventure fantasy, Dragonslayer, Duncan M. Hamilton debuts the first book in a fast-moving trilogy: a dangerous tale of lost magics, unlikely heroes, and reawakened dragons.
Once a member of the King’s personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?
On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacingthe young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead.
Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?
You can purchaseDragonslayer at the following Retailers:
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
– 6 Winners will receive a Copy of DRAGONSLAYER by Duncan M. Hamilton.
-The Author Successfully mixes swords, sorcery, and skullduggery with complex characters. Dumas fans will especially appreciate the faux-French setting. This is pure adventure fun with plenty for epic fantasy readers to enjoy.–
Mirabaya, a country similar to medieval France, is ruled by a young, untried king who should be easily led by Amaury, the head of the church. Amaury knows power is often best wielded frombehind the throne, out of sight, out of range of an assassin…. Threatening his plans is news of a dragon, a creature thought destroyed centuries ago. How best to deal with this nuisance?
Duncan M. Hamilton
The Dragonslayer Trilogy:
2. Knight of the Silver Circle
3. Servant of the Crown
This book was received as an ARC from The Author,
Duncan M. Hamilton and the Publisher Tor Teen, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
Once a member of the King’s personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais
is now a middle age over weight, and living his life down a bottle. Gill needs to resurrect himself if he is actually going to accomplish the daunting task set before him ….and become the eponymous Dragonslayer once more , …Our hero
Selene character slowly builds but she just wants to have a simple life. A character in this book that I was connected to, I was really intrigued by the undefined nature of her raw magic I just wished there was more of her in the storyline. Maybe I am just being biased.
Together they join forces to take down a vengeful dragon, Alpheratz
The storyline develops as millennium of old secrets are brought to the surface.
This Old school Fantasy World-building but it felt somewhat light. Personally I think the book is actually more character driven. The Authors creative and engaging dialogue and writing style, sucked me into this heroic, adventure fantasy, world.
Together they join forces as a millennium of old secrets are brought to the surface, What really stood out for me was how the author descriptive voice of the Dragons POV. Hamilton draws on our sympathies for the dragons and gives them emotions.
This is the First installment in Hamilton’s Trilogy, And I am already looking forward to reading more. The author gives little subtle hints of empire he is building.
I think there is going to be more back story brought to life in the following books in this series.
Photo Credit: Jason Clarke
Duncan M. Hamiltonis the Amazon best selling writer of fantasy novels and short stories, including The Wolf of the North and the Society of the Sword trilogy. He has Master’s Degrees in History and Law, and practised as a barrister before writing full time. Duncan is particularly interested in the Medieval and Renaissance periods, from which he draws inspiration for his stories.
“Sendo used to tell me fairy tales. How he’d love mine if he were still alive: the tale of a girl who’d sewn the sun, the moon, and the stars into three dresses.”
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise. And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars.
Sendo used to tell me fairy tales. How he’d love mine if he were still alive: the tale of a girl who’d sewn the sun, the moon, and the stars into three dresses.”
His gaze bored into mine, deep and penetrating. Melting my resistance. “I know one thing, Maia Tamarin–being with you makes me happier than I have ever been.”
This book was received as an ARC from NetGalley,in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
This story follows Maia Tamarin, a girl with aspirations to be a tailor, but because she was born female all she can hope for is to make a good match in marriage. However, when her father, a renowned tailor in his own right is summoned by the royal court, Maia decides to pose as a boy to save her father from becoming even more ill on the journey. Aware that the penalty of death is imposed for her actions, she’s determined to overcome the hardships to become the best tailor. Except she’s one of twelve tailors eyeing the coveted position. Despite her skills, she becomes caught up in the schemes of saboteur tailors and is saved by the royal court magician Edan, who has seen through her disguise; his motives unclear. Her final challenge is the most difficult: crafting three dresses for the king’s bride-to-be using the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of the stars. Her journey will set her on a path that she never imagined,
Maia Tamarin, has aspirations to be a tailor, in world where women are subservient. Born the only girl in a family of three older brothers, with a Father as Tailor. She sacrifices everything to protect her family. In a turn of events she seizes the opportunity for a one in life time chance to become a Court Tailor. Maia decides to pose as a boy and Travel to court In disguise as her brother .while there she must avoid court intrigue and schemes of saboteur tailors .She must face her final challenge crafting three dresses for the king’s bride-to-be using the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of the stars.
Her journey will set her on a path that she never imagined..
The Author has creatively weaved One Thousand and One Nights into a Chinese-themed adventure story, with just enough sweet romance to make it a perfect read! This is one of those books that you just have to read to know what feeling I’m getting at. It sucks you in and keeps you hungry for more until you reach the mind-blowing ending. It’s a unique and unforgettable magical storyline. Masterfully created spellbinding world. I devoured this one as fast as I could and was completely drawn into the lives of these characters. I turned those pages as fast as I could and then slowly took in this beautifully written page turner. What I especially liked is Elizabeth Lim imaginative writing style. I feel in love with the overall premise of the novel, and the quick pace it kept me engaged.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the next installment in this series.
I am having a give awayon my IG Account
Clink On The pic below, to takeyou there
Elizabeth Limgrew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.
Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel — for kicks, at first, then things became serious — and she hasn’t looked back since.
Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.
A Bad Breed
(Gaslamp Gothic, #3)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: May 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retelling
A creature out of folklore. And nightmare.
January 1889. When a Romanian village suffers a series of brutal attacks, occult investigator Anne Lawrence is dispatched to the forests of the Old Country to hunt the killer – only to vanish without a trace.
The trail leads her mentor Vivienne Cumberland deep into the Carpathians to a remote monastery. As a blizzard rages outside, trapping them all with the pricolici, Vivienne risks sharing the fate of the woman she came to find. But is the culprit truly a werewolf … or something even more dangerous?
A man bent on revenge. And a love that was never meant to be.
Imprisoned in a decaying castle, Anne finds herself ensnared in a web of dark enchantment, at the mercy of a mysterious captor with a beast inside – and a memory as old as the ancient legends.
As the weeks pass, Anne learns his real identity, and slowly uncovers a complex and deeply passionate man. But is she willing to pay the price for falling under his spell?
Note: This darkly magical reimagining of Beauty and the Beast is the third book in the Gaslamp Gothic series, but can be read as a standalone with no need to start with Book #1, The Daemoniac.
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
A Bad Breed is Kat Ross’s is the third book in Gaslamp Gothic series.
After having read and enjoyed the previous other books in this series, I knew I wanted to fall back into Ms Ross’s Victorian Gothic world building.
The Author has masterly created a a compelling Retelling of the age old storyline of Beauty and the Beast. She masterly sets character conflicts of Enemies to Lovers, with an unsettling, intense, suspenseful, twisty, plot. Ross has tasteful written a fast, edgy and face blushing, erotic read.
Occult investigator, An Anne Lawrence is dispatched to the forests of a Romanian village. The village in the suffers a series of brutal attacks in January 1889. Anne’s investigation takes her deep into the Carpathians, where she mysteriously disappeared.
Vivienne Cumberland, Anne’s mentor must travel with her bonded Nathaniel, to find out what has happened to Anne. All is not what it seems in this complex paranormal, suspenseful reimagined fairy tale.
The author delivers a fast moving tale of shape-shifters, necromancers, daevas, and enchantments, for a non stop read.
I am definitely looking forward to her next book, The Necromancer’s Bride!
*Trigger warning of sexual content *
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.
Power. Courage. Invincibility. The marks of a true hero.
Meg Sawyer has none of these things.
Meg has never stopped a moving bus with her bare hands, been bitten by a radioactive
insect, or done anything moderately resembling saving the world. She doesn’t have to. She’s a background citizen, a nobody, one of the swarms of faceless civilians of Lunar City–where genetically enhanced superhumans straight out of the comics have thwarted
evil for years.
For as long as the Supers have existed, Meg has had one goal: to not become a
casualty in their near-daily battles for justice. And for the last seventeen years, she’s managed to do just that. Sure, her minimum-wage job at the local coffee shop isn’t great, she can’t even leave her apartment without loading herself up with protective
gear, and her car was just hijacked to throw at a supervillain (again), but she’s not dead yet.
But when Meg accidentally finds one of the city’s perfect, invincible protectors
murdered under extremely suspicious circumstances, her whole “innocent bystander” strategy falls apart. After being coerced by his determined girlfriend into a mission to help prevent the deaths of the remaining Supers, Meg finds herself forced into the foreground
of a story she never wanted to be part of—one that challenges everything she thought she knew about both her city and herself.
Collateral Damage Chapter 1
Arnold is dead.
It’s not my fault. Let’s get that clear. These kinds of things usually aren’t, but that doesn’t change the unavoidable fact that he’s super, super dead.
I wish I could say Arnold’s dead-ness is unexpected, but the truth is, I’m impressed he even survived this long.
My last car only made it six months.
To be fair, he’s not technically dead yet, but he’s definitely going to be in a few minutes. Maybe it’s fatalistic to write this off as an inevitability, but I’ve lived in Lunar City long enough to know when it’s someone’s—or something’s, in this case—final day.
In this case, it’s the police scanner duct-taped to my dashboard that sets off the feeling of impending doom—but even before it starts blaring, I can already tell something’s wrong. The desperate hope that maybe the hordes of people running hysterically down the street toward my car are participating in some kind of 5K only lasts a few moments before, with a pavement-rattling eruption, the tidal wave of dark smoke starts rolling in behind them. This, as you’d imagine, shuts my original theory down pretty quickly.
As if the stampeding herd isn’t enough of an indicator, the police scanner suddenly lets out a static-laced crackle that quickly gives way to a garbled, warped version of the authoritative shouting I’ve come to expect from it. I prod the finicky device until the muffled noise turns into something that sounds like “two casualties,” “East Seventh Avenue,” and “SuperVariants have engaged,” and that’s enough for me.
“Absolutely not,” I mutter, yanking the steering wheel to the left and dodging across the traffic down a side road. “Not today.”
This turns out to be one of my worse ideas, because the side road is already occupied by one of the Supers.
SuperVariant Three, if we’re being specific.
I would accuse the Lunar City Police Department of misinformation (East Seventh, right? Did the scanner not just say he was on East Seventh?), but I’m not really supposed to have a scanner, so there’s no one to complain to.
My tires screech as I hit the brakes, just feet away from the standstill traffic blocking the road, the owners having abandoned their cars in favor of running. And there, about six cars ahead of me, boots firmly planted on the hood like it’s some kind of pedestal, is SuperVariant Three. The morning sun glistens off the gray leather supersuit he’s wearing like it’s a second skin, his famously perfect blue-black hair positioned in its trademark coil over his forehead.
“Everybody out of the streets!” he’s ordering, a gloved hand cupped around his chiseled jaw. “Get to someplace safe! You need to—”
A piercing scream grabs both of our attention. It’s impossible to tell who it came from, but it’s clearly someone out of the cluster on the sidewalk—one of the dozen or so heads gaping upward in terror at a massive billboard groaning on its hinges, a light breeze away from crashing down to the street below.
“Oh, no,” I whisper, and then Three and I both move at the same time.
I’m not worried about the people underneath the billboard. I’m worried about me. Because I’ve seen Three in action before, and I know his MO.
In the few seconds that it takes me to lunge for my backpack—an unwieldy black monstrosity jangling with a color-coded assortment of safety gear all firmly labeled please return to Meg Sawyer—and smash a thumb into the release on my seatbelt, the billboard has wrenched free with a fantastic howl. I can see Three flying toward it in a gray blur.
Get out of the way, get out of the way, get out of the way—
I tumble out of the car and lunge for the sidewalk just as Three reaches the falling metal. There’s a weird moment of optimism where I wonder if maybe today, he’ll be different; maybe today, he’ll just catch it and gently put it down on the ground like a normal, rational human. No show of power, no flashy stunts.
But then he raises his fist and decks the absolute hell out of it.
I have just enough time to snatch the closest thing I can grab off my backpack—which turns out to be a safety helmet, thank god, and not something completely useless for the situation, like a Band-Aid or hand sanitizer—and jam it on my head before the billboard’s trajectory is walloped away from the paralyzed citizens and toward the small army of abandoned cars lining the road.
I’ll give Three this: the guy’s got a future career in bowling if he ever wants it.
There’s something weirdly satisfying about watching the ripple of cars get smashed to pieces. It’s like when you line up a chain of dominos and push one over. The not-satisfying thing is the knowledge that the billboard on its own would never have been able to cause this much damage, but I guess you can turn anything into a missile if you super-punch it hard enough.
The rippling of the first few cars is the only thing I see, however, because that’s when I dive behind the closest tree, cover my organs with my backpack, and clamp my eyes and mouth shut against the impending cloud of dust and debris. The last thing I need today is to get impaled by flying shrapnel.
The next few moments are underscored by a soundtrack I know very well—the sound of metal screeching as it wrenches apart, glass shattering, steel pounding into the sidewalk. When the noise gets replaced by silence, followed by the clamor of breathless, relieved sobs of gratitude that can only mean the people on the other side of the street have suddenly realized they’re not dead, I know it’s safe enough to open my eyes and peer around the corner.
As expected, SuperVariant Three is not looking in horror at the destruction he’s just caused to eight different vehicles (including my poor, useless Arnold, which is now a blackened, charred mess with a sliced-off roof and an eruption of smoke pouring out of the engine). No, he’s floating above the awestruck crowd, beaming down at them. I can’t make out any of what they’re all saying to him—probably something along the lines of “I love you” or “sign my face” or “let me name my children after you”—but his proud, confident voice carries.
“Not a problem,” he’s saying. “Just doing my duty.”
My mouth falls open. Not a problem? I have a problem. I have several problems. I’m about to step off the sidewalk to march over and tell him so, but then there’s a near-intangible blur of orange light accompanied by a gust of wind that rips past me so quickly, my helmet clatters to the ground and my choppy red hair blows over my eyes. “Watch it!” I yell, shaking my bangs back into place.
“Hey, Three!” The blur zig-zags through the maze of destroyed cars and slams to a stop near Three and his fawning fans, coming into focus as a tall figure with a sleek wave of black hair, coated in a dull orange neoprene bodysuit. SuperVariant Four. Take a guess what his thing is.
“Quit flirting; One needs backup.” Four stands still long enough to get the words out before he readjusts his opaque goggles and runs up the side of a building, disappearing in another orange flash over the top.
“I do not!” an unseen voice screams in outrage, and then, oh, what a surprise, another Super. A deep purple blotch in the distance that I recognize immediately as SuperVariant One, asymmetrical cape trailing behind her, rockets out from over the building Four has just disappeared behind. I vaguely wonder where SuperVariant Two is in all this. If I had invisibility powers, I probably wouldn’t show up to these shenanigans at all. No one would even know
SuperVariant One executes a sharp swivel in midair that makes her thick, dark braid snap like a whip, and yells, “I can handle this!” She makes a claw shape with her hands, reaches toward the ground, and scoops upward. In response, a car parked at the end of the street rises languidly into the air. She uncurls her right hand into a flat palm and presses it forward, sending the car catapulting over her head and toward some unseen enemy
“Oh, no,” I moan, and instinctively try to shield Arnold behind my body, even though he’s pretty much a lost cause as a vehicle at this point. “It never works!” I yell up at her. “Throw something else!”
She doesn’t even look my way. Before I can say anything else, her left hand is thrown out in that claw shape again, and Arnold is hurtling through the air to join the other car. The thing that’s been antagonizing the Supers has come into view from behind the building, and I can see the polished gleam of an eight-story-tall robot, with some human operating it from inside its transparent head. A robot. Not for the first time, I feel myself filled with irritation rather than terror at the threat of the day. I mean, come on, guys. How did someone build a giant robot in this city without anyone noticing? If someone’s getting eight hundred tons of metal delivered to their house, that needs to be a red flag.
The robot doesn’t even turn its head as its right arm swings up and blocks my car with the earsplitting clang of metal on metal, sending it careening back toward the pavement in a shower of sparks.
I shield my head with my arm as my car crashes and rolls, coming to a smoking stop a few yards away from me, then look back up dejectedly. The Supers are already gone, leading the robot farther down the street.
“You’re fine, right Arnold?” I yell at my car.
It erupts into flames.
Okay. I’ll just walk to work.
I reach around for the metal rod clipped magnetically to the side of my backpack and press a button. It instantly lengthens and expands into a titanium umbrella, riddled with minor dents and scratches. A bowling ball-size crater dips into the left side, giving the whole umbrella an uneven, sagging look. A burn mark from who knows what (I want to say maybe lasers) is just below that. It’s been through a lot, but it still works, I think. I mean, I’m not dead yet.
I raise it above my head and start walking.
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1. Q: Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.
A: I don’t know if two books is enough to supply a scientifically justifiable pattern, but pretending it is, here’s the process:
1) A book premise and ending drop themselves into my head fully formed. I know who my characters are and where they’re going and I have no idea how they’re going to get there.
2) I pants. I write without an outline. It is bad. “The first draft is telling the story to yourself!” I scream at myself as I write many, many bad words that I know I will delete later.
3) Somewhere around the 40,000-word mark, I realize that I have made a crucial error in developing one of my lead characters. That personality isn’t right at all. I have to fix it. Wait, I need to change the opening scene to match the characterization I actually want them to have. Wait, none of these characters are right. This worldbuilding is so half-baked. This would make a much better inciting incident. What am I doing?
4) I move all 40,000 words to a file labeled “WIP Dumping Grounds” and start over from scratch.
5) I do this three more times until I have 40,000 words I don’t hate and then I finish the book, still screaming
2. Q: When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
A: I have to know who my characters are before I start writing, or the story will never get written—I’m the world’s worst pantser, so all I ever know going into a book is who my book is about and where they’re trying to get to. For COLLATERAL DAMAGE I had a set of references for each character to use as a template for if I got stuck (Meg was Mia Thermopolis x Veronica Sawyer x Darcy Lewis x Haruhi Fujioka, for example, mixed with a few friends I know in real life). I feel like if I can understand my characters on as many levels as possible—what they want, what they fear, what they’re trying to accomplish, who or what raised them, how they connect to others, how they talk and move—they’ll become as familiar to me as real people. And if I let them act like real people, they’ll naturally make choices that create the plot
3. Q: Where is your favorite place to write?
A: DISNEY WORLD RESORTS. I’m so lucky that I live so close to them. I work from home as an editor most of the time and if I had to stay in my bedroom all day I’d go crazy, so my favorite thing to do is go work at one of the themed hotels. It makes me feel like I’m on vacation, and it’s so easy to be inspired when every aspect of the Disney brand relies so heavily on thematic storytelling. My top three spots are Beach Club, which makes me feel like I’m on a cruise ship, Wilderness Lodge, which makes me feel like I’m on a writing retreat in the woods, and the Grand Floridian, which is just fancy.
4. Q: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find
A: Yes! COLLATERAL DAMAGE is a play on the superhero genre, which I’m a huge fan of, so there are Easter eggs and references all over the place. No real names or exact details are used, of course, but they’re clear enough for a potential fellow nerd to be like “Wait, this feels like Spider-Man. That’s a Flash joke. That thing covered in gemstones they just walked past in the vault is totally the Infinity Gauntlet.” Stuff like that.
5. Q: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
A: I prefer each book to stand on its own! One of my favorite concepts is “leave the reader wanting more, not needing more.” I’m an advocate for letting books work on their own as a self-contained unit; I don’t like it when a story ends with all of its ends still loose. I shouldn’t have to buy another book to know how the first book’s conflict wraps up! I think of it as a TV series—you know how each season typically has a central theme, antagonist, character arc, collection of new characters, etc.? By the end of the season, almost everything that has been presented should have reached a conclusion—but then the last episode will hit you with a tease that there’s more to come, like the camera shift to the looming Upside-Down after the school dance scene at the end of Stranger Things. I prefer books in a series to work in the same way—when a reader picks up a book, they’re being invited on a journey, and it’s unfair to the reader to cut that journey short. Without giving anything away from the end of COLLATERAL DAMAGE, there is definitely room for a sequel eventually because it’s superheroes, but I don’t think anyone would feel confused or infuriated if this was the only book in this world that ever got written. I like to put bows on things!
Series: My Myth Trilogy (Book 1)
Publisher: CreateSpace (March 5, 2017)
Winner: 2016 Publishers Weekly’s BookLife Prize in Fiction, Young Adult
Winner: 2016 Moonbeam Gold Medal, Young Adult Fiction
Winner: 2017 Royal Dragonfly First Place, Young Adult Fiction
Winner: 2017 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award
Nominated for the 2018 Indie Next List
Which reality would you choose? Seventeen year-old Emily’s dad is in prison for securities fraud and her mom’s strung-out on pain meds, leaving Emily to parent herself and her younger brothers and sister. She’s got things mostly under control until a couple weeks before Dad’s release, when voices start whispering in her head, and Gabe, the hot lifeguard at the pool, notices the strange brands engraved on her arm…the ones she’s trying desperately to hide. Emily doesn’t know how the symbols got there or what they mean. They appeared overnight and now they’re infected and bleeding. She’s pretty sure she’s losing her mind. Stress, insomnia, and her wounded egos drive Emily to self-medicate, which has to be why the nightmares from her childhood have resurfaced, why they’re commandeering her conscious even when she’s awake. It has to be why the fairytale creatures she created as a little girl insist they need her help.
Triggered by the return of her childhood abuser and unable to cope with reality, Emily slips completely inside her elaborate fantasy world. She’s powerful in the First Realm, maybe even more powerful than her attacker. It would be so easy to stay there, to lose herself in enchantment…to lose herself in love. But something sinister lurks in the forest shadows. Emily soon discovers her demons have followed her inside her fairytale. They’re hunting her. With the help of the Fae, she frantically searches for the weapons she needs to defeat her greatest fears and escape back to reality before the man who tortured her can prey on her younger brothers and sister, too. Time is running out…*Non-explicit Trigger Warning: This book deals with issues of child molestation and abuse.
Behind-the-scenes picture from the making of the trailer for Secret Keeper (sequel to Riven).
Photo Content from Film 14.
Behind-the-scenes picture from the making of the trailer for Secret Keeper (sequel to Riven).
Photo Content from Film 14.
ABOUT SECRET KEEPER
Secret Keeper is the second part of the My Myth trilogy, and this astonishingly insightful and moving YA fantasy novel takes us even deeper into the painful reality of Emily’s existence. If you thought that the first novel in this young adult trilogy was moving, fascinating, unique and powerful… just wait and see what lies between the pages of this remarkable sequel to the first psychological thriller.
You can purchaseRiven (My Myth Trilogy #1) at the following Retailers:Film 14 is an LA-based film studio.They produce cinematic book trailers, author’s videos, short films, and more. Cinematic Book Trailers leave that lasting impression on the viewer, and remain with the book for as long as it’s in print. They’re stand-alone works of art, and at the same time they compliment the book perfectly. We create these cinematic trailers to give a poignant vignette of the book, which leaves the viewer curious. The tone, the pacing, the details, all generate tangible interest in the book and its author.FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | YOUTUBEPhoto Content from Jane Alvey Harris Jane Alvey Harris has a Humanities degree from Brigham Young University with emphases in Art History, Italian Language, and Studio Art. She’s CRAZY about the visual and performing arts! Jane enjoys playing classical piano, painting & sketching, singing & acting, and especially writing poetry & prose.But her real passion is PEOPLE. She loves to watch and study what makes us tick as human beings. Jane is definitely a dreamer. Her favorite thing to do is weave together sublime settings and stories for characters to live and learn in…herself included.She currently lives in an enchanted fairy-princess castle in Dallas, Texas, with her three often-adorable children and their three seldom-adorable cats.
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
– 2 Winners will receive a Signed Copy of RIVEN by Jane Alvey Harris.
– 1 Winner will receive an Exclusive Basic Book Teaser from Film 14 (Valued at $500.00)
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
Book Title: Eternally Artemisia : Some loves, like some women, are timeless by Melissa Muldoon
Category: Adult Fiction (18+), 312 pages
Genre: Fiction General, Fiction Women
Publisher: Matta Press
Release date: March 2019
Tour dates: June 3 to 28, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (The themes of the book deal with rape and overcoming sexual abuse. It is a book about female empowerment and how with the right tools, and support women may rise above past tragedies to build a better future for themselves.)
They say some loves travel through time and are fated to meet over and over again. For Maddie, an art therapist, who wrestles with the “peculiar feeling” she has lived previous lives and is being called to Italy by voices that have left imprints on her soul, this idea is intriguing. Despite her best efforts, however, proof of this has always eluded her. That is, until one illuminating summer in Italy when Maddie’s previous existences start to bleed through into her current reality. When she is introduced to the Crociani family—a noble clan with ties to the seventeenth-century Medici court that boasts of ancestors with colorful pasts—she finally meets the loves of her life. One is a romantic love, and another is a special kind of passion that only women share, strong amongst those who have suffered greatly yet have triumphed despite it.
As Maddie’s relationship develops with Artemisia Gentileschi—an artist who in a time when it was unheard of to denounce a man for the crime of rape, did just that—Maddie discovers a kindred spirit and a role model, and just what women are capable of when united together.
In a journey that arcs back to biblical days and moves forward in time, Maddie encounters artists, dukes, designers, and movie stars as well as baser and ignoble men. With Artemisia never far from her side, she proves that when we dare to take control of our lives and find the “thing” we are most passionate about, we are limitless and can touch the stars.
Praise for Eternally Artemisia:
“A true Renaissance woman, Melissa Muldoon weaves her passions for art and Italy into a stirring saga that sweeps across centuries. As her time-traveling heroine Maddie reconnects with kindred souls, we meet Artemisia Gentileschi, the 17th-century artist who overcame rape and ignominy to gain respect and acclaim. Historic figures such as Galileo and Mussolini also come to life in this intricately plotted novel, but the women who defy all constraints to take control of their destinies are the ones who prove to be eternally fascinating.” — Dianne Hales
What a lovely story! Melissa weaves the lives of 4 women across time, all with some connection to Artemisia Gentileschi, a 16th century Italy painter. They represent the feminine strength that arises from life challenges, each with their unique intelligence. Underlying their stories is the idea that love transcends all, even time, love is timeless. As with her other books, Melissa fills the story out with interesting facts and references to the Italian life, culture and it’s history, her attention to detail is immaculate . I loved all of the many connections in this story that tied it all together, very cleverly done. Wonderful read, I would highly recommend it. – Lize, Amazon Reviewer
Melissa Muldoon does a phenomenal job blending fiction, romance, art history, and the Italian language into this gem. For fans of historical fiction, romance, and time travel, I strongly recommend this novel. –Exemplary Editing, Amazon Review
In the pages of this book, you will learn the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the first famous female artists to paint in the tradition of Caravaggio. I’ve always been fascinated and inspired by Artemisia and have wanted to tell her story. But Artemisia is just a part of the equation—the novel takes readers back to biblical days and forward in time again exploring the idea that some lives are intertwined and are destined to meet over and over again.
Prizes: 1st Prize: Win a 3-book set (Dreaming Sophia,
Waking Isabella, and Eternally Artemisia) by Melissa Muldoon; 2nd and 3rd prizes: Win a paperback copy of Eternally Artemisia (open to USA & Canada / 3 winners total)
Thank you to iRead Book Tours and Melissa Muldoon for providing me a free personalized and autographed copy of Eternally Artemisia in exchange for my completely honest and unbiased review.
Eternally Artemisia is Melissa Muldoon third book.
In the beginning we see through the narrative eyes of the painter, Atremesia.Right from the start the author grabs your interest with imagination details of trials the pious young widow from a Jewish city beheads the general of an Assyrian army sent to destroy the city.
It then moves forward to present day, with Maddie a 40 year old art therapist who has decided to live her dream of relocating from New York City to Italy. Melissa Muldoon, weaves multiple layered time lines to create an engaging historical rich book. The authors ability to weave her descriptive voice and historical magical realism to create an intriguing novel. Wonderful character development engaging narrative and dialogue.
Ms Muldoon, captures the strength struggles of women in multiple eras, to create a passionate and beautiful written novel. The book was a nonstop read for me and what I really enjoyed was the female bonds the author creates through extraordinary folding parallel timeframes.
Four courageous women across multiple times controlling their own destinies.
Melissa Muldoon is the author of three novels set in Italy: “Dreaming Sophia,” “Waking Isabella,” and “Eternally Artemisia.” All three books tell the stories of American women and their journeys of self-discovery to find love, uncover hidden truths, and follow their destinies to shape a better future in Italy.
Melissa is also the author of the Studentessa Matta website, where she promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog written in Italian and English (studentessamatta.com). Studentessa Matta means the “crazy linguist” and has grown to include a podcast, Tutti Matti per l’Italiano and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram feed. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Programs, which she co-leads with Italian schools in Italy to learn Italian in Italy. Through her website, she also offers the opportunities to live and study in Italy through Homestay programs. Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
She has also studied painting and art history in Florence. She is an artist, designer, and illustrated the cover art for all three of her books. Melissa is also the managing director of Matta Press. As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again, but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event. Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency—a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways. Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Eternally Artemisia, Waking Isabella, and Dreaming Sophia.
She also curates the Dreaming Sophia Art History blog site and Pinterest site: The Art of Loving Italy, where you will find companion pictures for all three books. Visit MelissaMuldoon.com for more information about immersion trips to learn the language with Melissa in Italy, as well as the Studentessa Matta blog for practice and tips to learn the Italian language.
Today I have teamed up the author, Cryssa Bazos And Historical Fiction Book Tours, to bring you
By Cryssa Bazos
Publisher: W. M. Jackson Publishing
Publication Date: June 16, 2019
Barbados 1652. In the aftermath of the English Civil War, the vanquished are uprooted and scattered to the ends of the earth.
Barbados 1652. In the aftermath of the English Civil War, the vanquished are uprooted and scattered to the ends of the earth. When marauding English soldiers descend on Mairead O’Coneill’s family farm, she is sold into slavery. After surviving a harrowing voyage, the young Irish woman is auctioned off to a Barbados sugar plantation where she is thrust into a hostile world of depravation and heartbreak. Though stripped of her freedom, Mairead refuses to surrender her dignity. Scottish prisoner of war Iain Johnstone has descended into hell. Under a blazing sun thousands of miles from home, he endures forced indentured labour in the unforgiving cane fields. As Iain plots his escape to save his men, his loyalties are tested by his yearning for Mairead and his desire to protect her. With their future stolen, Mairead and Iain discover passion and freedom in each other’s arms. Until one fateful night, a dramatic chain of events turns them into fugitives. Together they fight to survive; together they are determined to escape.
Severed Knot is Cryssa Bazos follow up to her award winning debut novel, In this emotional charged book set in 1652. We meet the two main protagonist, Iain and Mairean. Iain is a Scottish soldier captured while fighting for the Royalist cause in the Battle of Worcesterin 1651. As a consequence to his royalist loyalty he ends up being shipped out with his band of soldiers as indentured servant to the island of Barbados.
Mairean is a young woman who is kidnapped by marauding English soldiers who descend on Mairead O’Coneill’s family farm. She finds herself on board a slavers ship bound for Barbados, there she meets Iain. They are eventually sold at auction to the same sugarcane plantation.
I was fully immersed in this character driven drama, with well developed characters, who came to life right off the page.The Author sets this historical romance to the backdrop of the lush and hostile Barbados. In Ms Brazo’s tragic historical fiction, Mairead and Iain romance interweaves between survival and the dark cruelty of servitude within plantation life. The strength of the novel lies in the authors ability capture the human heart and soul. With both futures stolen, Iain and Mairean, find passion and freedom in each other’s arms. Both have vowed to gain there freedom and return to there homeland at all costs.
The Authors realistic storyline catapults you into a world authentic details about sugar manufacture. Her portrayal and descriptive content draws you into the harsh reality of the horrors and violent struggles of plantation life.
Severed Knot, is a stunning achievement of heartache, survival and death.
Cryssa Bazos’s sets the bar in realistic historical fiction. Her ability to precisely set the character conflict with romance, for a powerful and unforgettable, riveting novel.
The novels premise and the writing definitely intrigued me and kept me entertained. The pace was brisk and the dialogue is fluid and engaging. Her true to life candid theme of enforced labor is gut wrenching and gruesome at times.
I thoroughly enjoyed the tension of this storyline and it had me hooked right from the very first chapter. Ms Bazos’s meticulous research pulled me in from page one and kept me fully captivated and intrigued until the very end. Knowing the caliber of her writing, I knew I would be in for an intense and gripping read, which is exactly what this was. The authors execution is impeccable and each scene is richly atmospheric.
Severed Knot, is a stunning achievement of heartache, survival and death.
Once again the author delivers a captivating and nonstop historical fiction, with intriguing plot twist with believable characters that keeps you vested all the way through until a satisfying end.
I am definitely looking forward to reading more books by this author!
Thanks to the author and to the publisher for sending me this early Arc,
in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Sunlight sparkled on the water. A slight breeze rippled the otherwise still water. Another splash. At first, Mairead didn’t see anything, then someone surfaced. A man, skimming across the pond, arms and legs slicing through the water. Even before he turned, she knew who it was. Johnstone.
Mairead knew she should back away and leave before he caught her watching—he’d be insufferable otherwise. That, or bark her head off as any self-respecting ogre. And yet something pinned her to the spot.
He dove into the water, his body curving with a flash of his naked buttocks.
Mairead’s eyes widened, and she edged closer. When he split the surface of the lake, he caused a spray of water drops to splatter. He stood facing her direction, eyes closed. Raising his hands to his head, he slicked back his dark blond hair.
Mairead didn’t dare move. She watched how the muscles in his arms flexed. Her eyes travelled across his broad chest with its light mat of hair. A trail of darkish hair ran down from chest to stomach until it disappeared below the pond’s surface. Mairead craned her head to peer into the pond, but the water was murky and brownish-green.
Johnstone dove under again. Mairead sat back on her heels and nibbled her fingertip, considering her options. She really should leave. A smile played at the corner of her mouth as she made herself more comfortable.
Johnstone surfaced and began to paddle lazily in the water. His head was tipped backwards, his face presented to the sun. His skin had become tanned and gleamed against the lapping water.
Mairead watched, captivated. He seemed at one with the water. She didn’t know too many who could swim, and none so well. Her own brothers had enjoyed a quick barrelling leap into the river back home, splashing like mad puppies and thrashing in the water. They had taught her to float, but swimming across the water as this Scotsman was now doing, with strong, purposeful strokes, was an art, and one she admired greatly. So she told herself.
After a few moments, prudence whispered that she had stayed long enough. Mairead rose from her crouch, careful not to rustle a leaf, but just as she moved Johnstone finished his swim and headed back to the bank. Mairead dropped to the ground again so he wouldn’t notice her.
Johnstone slowly waded out of the water, all glorious and dripping. Mairead’s breath locked in her throat. She took in that expanse of chest, the tapered waist then . . . Blessed Mother of Jesus.
She made a slight choking sound, and Johnstone stopped to look around.
“Who’s there?” he called out in her direction.
Mairead’s face flooded. He would never let her live this down. She had to get away from here without him seeing her.
No time for discretion.
Mairead darted for the trail. She risked a glance over her shoulder to catch a glimpse of Johnstone yanking on his breeches. And that was her downfall. Literally. A root hooked her foot, and she crashed to the ground with a cry. Then she heard him thrashing through the brush behind her. Mairead scrambled to her feet and managed to take a few more strides before he caught up with her, grabbing a fistful of her petticoat in his hand.
Mairead twisted around and found herself face-to-face with Iain Locharbaidh Johnstone. It was one thing to gawk at the man from a distance but to be this close to his still-wet chest squeezed the breath from her lungs. She averted her eyes, not sure where she could safely look, and her gaze landed on his unlaced breeches. More wet skin. Heat flooded her cheeks.
Johnstone released her and swore under his breath while he laced up his breeches. “What were you doing, woman?”
“Nothing! I . . . I came down for a wash.”
“Do you always hide in the shrubs when taking a wash?” His eyes narrowed, causing her to squirm. “Here’s a tip, lass, the water works far better. Not sure what they do in Ireland, but that’s how it’s done in Scotland.”
“I was not hiding in the shrubs.” Mairead hid her crossed fingers in the folds of her petticoat and searched lamely for an adequate rebuttal. “I had only reached the shrubs when you starting crashing around like a mad man. And don’t you dare disparage my homeland with your poor attempt of humour.”
“How long were you watching me?”
Mairead felt her face blaze. “I was not watching you, to be sure. Have you not heard a thing I’ve said?”
He folded his arms across his chest and quirked his brow. “Building a nest in the shrubs, then, like a wee mouse?”
“Stop calling me a mouse,” Mairead said, now with true outrage. Small and insignificant—was she always to be thought this way? No one ever compared Ciara to a mouse. Not even Bronagh—a shrew, perhaps, but never a mouse.
The corners of his mouth lifted slightly. “Aye, you were watching.”
She knew it—she knew he’d be insufferable! “I didn’t know who was in the pond and the moment . . . the moment I discovered who it was . . . For certain, it could have been anyone . . . even . . . even Masterton the Younger.”
Johnstone quirked a brow, amusement playing across his features. Mairead’s gaze latched on to his deepening smile, and she only now noticed the firmness of his jaw and how the droplets of water clung to his blond whiskers.
Mairead tore her eyes away and forced herself to meet his eyes. “What? What do you find so amusing?”
“Not sure where to start.” Was that laughter in his voice?
Mairead’s inner voice sat her down and delivered a stern lecture. Concede the field, Mairead. Retreat now. No shame in admitting defeat. And yet she dashed the voice of reason and found herself saying, “Make an effort. Explain it to me.”
“You thought you were ogling Masterton?”
Mairead’s jaw dropped. “I never said—”
Johnstone’s teeth flashed in a smile. “He’ll be flattered, lass, but
I’d steer clear of his wife, were I you. She’ll not think twice to chase you off the croft with a broom.”
“I never said I was ogling him!”
“Oh aye? But you were ogling someone?”
Mairead sucked in her breath. “You. Are. An. Impossible. Man!”
She finally did what her good sense had urged her to do earlier. She whirled around and fled the field.
Cryssa Bazos is an award-winning historical fiction author and 17th-century enthusiast with a particular interest in the English Civil War. Her debut novel, Traitor’s Knot, is the Medallist winner of the 2017 New Apple Award (historical fiction), a finalist for the 2018 EPIC eBook Awards (historical romance) and the RNA Joan Hessayon Award. Her second novel, Severed Knot, was longlisted for the Historical Novel Society 2018 New Novel Award.
Book Title: The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani
Category: Adult Fiction, 399 pages
Publisher: Lake Union
Release date: September 2018
Tour dates: June 3 to July 12, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (There are some non-explicit sex scenes)
An Amazon Charts, USA Today, and Washington Post bestseller!
From the bestselling author of Trail of Broken Wings comes an epic story of the unrelenting force of love, the power of healing, and the invincible desire to dream.
Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past. Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation.
Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.
“home is not a place or a lifestyle, but the state of your heart and all the people who take their place in it.
In the present time of 2000, Jaya a heartbroken and devastated New York journalist, must come to terms of the collapse of her marriage. Still dealing with a third miscarriage and the information that unlikely possibility that she may never be able to carry child.
Sejal Badani, delivers a well-paced and beautifully written story here with interesting, compelling, and believable characters that I found quite compassionate to read about. The story was told in alternating perspectives. In the story we really got a different understanding and look into the of the social injustice to women in India’s culture and the injustice towards the people of India during the British occupation.
A multi layered historical fiction story, that covers several generations of an Indian family, starting with a young woman tracing her heritage back to her family’s homeland. This captures and draws you in. The author has created a riveting real life to fiction novel.
I especially enjoyed how the story unfolds and the emotions explored in the book, such as grief and love. The multilayered storyline weaves together perfectly. The Authors achievement in bringing India’s culture to life was beautiful written.
I was fully immersed in this character driven drama. I devoured this one as fast as I could and was completely drawn into the lives of these characters. I turned those pages as fast as I could and then slowly took in all the depth and layers to the characters.
This book was received from Author and the Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
A former attorney, Sejal Badani left the law to pursue writing full time.
She is a USA Today, Washington Post & Amazon Charts bestselling author, Goodreads Fiction Award Finalist and ABC/DISNEY Writing Fellowship Finalist.
Hi book-lovers! And welcome to my stop on the blog tour for.
The Thirteenth Gauradain, hosted by Ya Bond Book Tours
K. M. Lewis
Author: K. M. Lewis
Publication Date: June 7, 2019
Publisher: self publish
Page Count: 295
Genre: Science Fiction, Apocalyptic
Da Vinci’s secret pales. Michelangelo concealed an explosive truth in his famous Creation of Man fresco in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Everything we have been taught about Eve is wrong—she didn’t cause the fall of man. Instead, Eve carried a far more devastating secret for millennia; one that will change the world forever.
As the modern-day world suffers the cataclysmic effects of the “Plagues of Egypt”, Avery Fitzgerald, a statuesque Astrophysics major at Stanford, discovers that she is mysteriously bound to five strangers by an extremely rare condition that foremost medical experts cannot explain. Thrust into extraordinary circumstances, they race against time to stay alive as they are pursued by an age-old adversary and the world around them collapses into annihilation.
Under sacred oath, The Guardians—a far more archaic and enigmatic secret society than the Freemasons, Templars, and the Priory—protect Avery as she embarks on a daring quest that only legends of old have been on before. Avery must come to terms with the shocking realization that the blood of an ancient queen flows through her veins and that the fate of the world now rests on her shoulders.
This book is currently on sale for only $0.99 through July!
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The Thirteenth Guardian is an apocalyptic action-packed roller coaster ride from start to finish! The author delivers a creative Ya Mystical Realism novel.
Imaginative background information with astonishing theories proposing new presentation of cultural art and artifacts. This book explores Themes of conspiracy theories, ancient civilization, mythology and religion, along with secret societies.
The storyline follows a cast of six character with a genetic code, all the way through disastrous event happing to the world aground them The author delivers the book using multiple POV’s to keep the reader satisfied up until to the very end. Appealing atmospheric world building makes this an entertaining read.
Imaginative Ya science fiction, apocalyptic, mystical realism novel
K.M. Lewis has lived in multiple countries around the world and speaks several languages. Lewis holds a graduate degree from one of the Ivy League Universities featured in his book. When he is not writing, Lewis doubles as a management consultant, with clients in just about every continent. He does much of his writing while on long flights and at far-flung airports around the globe. He currentlyresides on the East Coast of the U.S with his family.
Social media: twitter.com/kmlewisbooks and instagram.com/kmlewisbooks