A few reviews

I’m playing catch up with my reviews so I’m going to do a few today.

Let’s start with the one I didn’t like so I can finish strong. The Shadow Rises by K S Marden, Witch Hunters book 1. Witch hunters and witches and inherited powers. A little confused with poorly developed characters. DNF. Not much to say but at least it was free.

——————-

Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott, Sam Capra book 1

Sam works for the CIA. His wife is expecting their first baby. She also works for the Company. One day Sam goes to work and receives a call to from her to come outside right this second. As soon as he does a bomb goes off in the building and she disappears.

Sam is now the only survivor and the chief suspect. He only wants to escape custody and find his wife and baby. To do that he has to make some new allies and go on the run.

I love a good thriller and this one sounded really exciting. It has a great premise, as who doesn’t identify with wanting to find your family and keep them safe? The bad guys were pretty bad,the pace was goos. But the writing kept me from giving it more than 3.5 stars. Also I don’t enjoy political thrillers as much, so it wasn’t quite what I expected.


 

Goldmayne by Kate Stradling

Duncan escapes an abusive father to wind up servant to a witch. There he meets a talking 🐎 who helps him escape. They set off for a neighboring country and find work at the castle.

This was a fairy tale retelling of two French stories, Scurvyhead and Goldmayne. I was unfamiliar with either story, so I couldn’t tell at first how it was going to end. It has a happy ending, of course, and the hero gets the girl. Fun stuffstuff. This one is on Kindle Unlimited or it’s only $1.

——————-

Finally my favorite of the bunch, Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

“Far from city politics in the Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans’ most savage enemy – the Marat – return to the Valley, he will discover that his destiny is much greater than he could ever imagine.” Caught in a storm of deadly wind furies, Tavi saves the life of a runaway slave named Amara. But she is actually a spy for Gaius Sextus, sent to the Valley to gather intelligence on traitors to the Crown, who may be in league with the barbaric Marat horde. And when the Valley erupts in chaos – when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies – Amara will find Tavi’s courage and resourcefulness to be a power greater than any fury – one that could turn the tides of war.

I actually liked this better than the Dresden Files. I liked Tavi and Amara better than I like Harry Dresden. It still has some problems, mainly a hyper sexualized female villain (her character does get explained though), but I thought it was a lot of fun. Looking forward to the next book.I

 

Hope this have you done ideas for your next read. See you later!

 

Advertisements

Blog Tour: Q & A

38363145 Hey bookies! Yesterday I had a review of Happily by Chauncey Rogers. Well, I’m back today with a Q & A with one of the main character, Luc! This interview with our happy-go-lucky merchant takes place before events in the book really get started, so there’s no spoilers!

What brings you to the capital?
Work! I’ve heard that this is the best place to sell fine cloth, and I come with nothing but the very finest. I’m hoping to establish myself in the royal market.

Is this your first time in the capital?
It is. It matches my mother’s description very well—as beautiful as she said it would be, if not more so. You really are fortunate here in Écarlate.

How long have you been trading?
A while, but to be honest, this is my first time really trading. Before it was just bartering. My family had quite a few nice things, once upon a time. Most of it’s gone now, traded away for things that we needed. But you do what you have to do, and life goes on, I suppose.

So, do you have a girlfriend? What do you look for in a girl?
No, no girlfriend. I mean, I have some friends who are girls, but it’s been a while since I’ve spent time with any of them. But if I were choosing a wife… I think I’d look for someone who could work hard. It takes a lot of work to build a future for a family. I’d want someone who I could work beside. The work has to be done anyways, so I guess you might as well do it in good company.

Tell me more about yourself. How would you describe yourself?
Hmmm… I’m not sure. I’m me? Haha. Uh, let’s see…. I’m a morning person. I like going to bed feeling like I got a lot done that day. I like planning, I suppose—thinking things through. I like to watch the stars come out, and just think. I don’t like fish very much? Haha, yeah, I guess I really don’t know what to say.

What are your long-term plans?
Well, I’ve got to get up this hill for starters, but that’s definitely short term. I have enough cloth in here, though, that if I get it all sold I’d be well set for a long while. I think then I’d be going out to restock at even lower prices—maybe travel closer to the sources, but perhaps get a horse so I can give my back a break from pulling this cart around myself. But if you mean really long term, I don’t know for sure. I just want peace and prosperity, really.

Thanks for dropping in and reading this Q&A with Luc. It’s been a while since I finished writing Happily, so it was fun to drop back into Luc’s head and think about things from his perspective for a little bit.

Luc’s positive nature and work ethic are endearing to some, and a bit annoying to others. How do you feel about it? Would you want to spend a week at a job with Luc? Let us know in the comments!

Day 7 of 13 of Happily’s Release Blog Tour. Seethe full schedule here.

Happily on GoodReads
Purchase Happily on Amazon!

Catch more of the blog tour here:

Blog Tour Schedule - Optional.jpg

And this tour is courtesy of R & R book tours.

r & r

Blog Tour! Happily by Chauncey Rogers

38363145
Hey bookies! I’m so excited today to tell you about this book that I really enjoyed, Happily by Chauncey Rogers. Today I’m just doing a book review, but I’ll be back tomorrow with a fun Q&A with one of the main characters!

No Fairy Godmother

No Magic Pumpkin.

Just One Grumpy Girl

And a Glass Slipper.

C’mon, how can you resist a tag line like that? I’m such a sucker for fairy tale retellings (In fact, I’m writing one myself!) that I knew this one was going to be fun. Cinderella without the magic? Yes, please!

Only this one is not about Cinderella. It’s about Laure, a street urchin who’s been hustling to survive on the streets of the capital. Laure is trying to make a big score, one that will get her out this miserable town and her rotten life and onto something better. But the day of her big score, everything goes wrong and she winds up in the company of a wannabe merchant named Luc. Luc is completely the opposite of Laure in terms of personality and outlook. He’s sure things will get better, but he needs Laure’s help. She comes up with a scheme, and here’s a hint – it involves a glass slipper.

I enjoyed this one so much! Laure is a brat in the beginning of the book, but I did come to like her and Luc is just great all the way through. I loved the way the writer took a familiar tale and added his own twist, by creating new characters and a fresh plot. Laure and Luc’s dynamic is well done, with the way they have to team up in the beginning, but slowly coming to trust each other as the book progresses. I just heard that a sequel may be in the future. This one does have room for more developments, but it’s not a cliffhanger, so if you hate those, don’t worry about that. Also, it’s available for free right now through Kindle Unlimited.

In short, if you like fantasy or fairy tales, give this one a try.

Firethorn Chronicles

I’ve been really lucky with the fairy tale retellings – most of them have been very good, a couple have been great. But luck doesn’t last forever. I just read a couple that were disappointing.

The Firethorn Chronicles by Lea Doue are set in a land with dragons and sorcery. Sounds promising, right? Here’s what the description says:

“The Firethorn Crown, a re-imagining of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” is the first in the Firethorn Chronicles, a series of stand-alone novels inspired by fairy tales and other stories. Follow the sisters on their adventures in a land where sorcery is feared, women can rule, and dragons fly.”

The dragons that I encountered in the two books I read ranged from the size of a bird to large stone dragons. Both cool, but not exactly impressive. That’s kind of where I am with these books. The first is a retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses. Princess Lily is the oldest and for some strange reason, her mom is intent on announcing her engagement as soon as the king goes out of town. That’s never really explained either. There’s several suitors, a bunch of sisters, and an evil-ish sorcery type guy who places a curse on Lily.

You can tell how much I liked it it, right? It just didn’t make as much sense as it should have, but I thought that maybe I had just been in the wrong mood and I should give the author another chance. I did like the dragons. So I tried the next book, The Midsummer Captives. This one was based loosely on A Midsummer’s Night Dream and brought back the same evil-ish sorcerer. This time it’s Princess Gwen who gets tangled up in events and is trapped by the stone dragons I mentioned earlier. But the plot is just as confusing and if the antagonist is better characterized, there’s not enough description of anyone else to make them stand out. I won’t be reading more by this author.

Top 5 Fairy Tales of 2017

Photoshop_The_castle_from_a_fairy_tale_022470_
From Booksource Banter

It’s the time of year to list your top reads of the year! And since I always have a tough time sorting such lists, I’ve given myself a theme of the top fairy tales/myth based books. I’ve narrowed it down to these 5.

32501051

The Princess and the Pea by A G Marshall

Alaric is under pressure to marry a princess. His family’s right to rule is being questioned, but with the right princess besides him, that would all be resolved.  He finds the perfect woman – except that she’s a powerful warrior, not a princess, and she’s just awoken from an enchanted sleep to save the kingdom. I loved the way this took a familiar fairy tale and updated it. The friendships between the princesses were really refreshing too. Give this author a try.

36562220

The Princess Game by Melanie Cellier.

Celeste is not asleep, but she might as well be. She’s under a powerful enchantment that turned her from brilliant to foolish. Only she knows that her mind is still as alert as ever. The only way to break the spell is to find someone who loves her for more than her looks, but for that hidden mind as well. I think this was my favorite from the series because it’s so unexpected.

34628948

Endings by KM Shea

I loved this series of King Arthur and her knights, but it was the final book that really put it over the top for me into a 5 star read. The author wrapped everything up so beautifully that I was practically in tears. Just great.

40158

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

I have gushed about this series again, but it’s just that good.  If you haven’t tried her books, you are missing out.

36148019

The Green-Eyed Prince by Brittany Fichter

This novella takes the story of the Princess and the Frog and sets in an African setting. Queen Kartek’s people have been attacked by an evil sorceress and her only means of helping the people has been lost. A misshapen stranger offers to retrieve the magical item but only if she will marry him. I loved this one for the setting.

So that’s my list. I have plenty of others that almost made it, if you want more! What’s your favorite fairy tale?

More Happy Ever After!

81YT1FhXpvL._UX250_Like I mentioned with the Camelot post, I am in the mood for some great comfort reads. I’m still not feeling very good, and I’m not up to dealing with a stressful series right now. I want something that will make me happy! My newest writer to do that is Melanie Cellier.

Melanie writes the most adorable light fairy tales! They all have the most gorgeous covers, great stories with plenty of strong princesses (and more than a few commoners), some swoon-worthy princes and guards, and plenty of humor throw in there too. And of course, a happy ending.

The first series is The Four Kingdoms and it starts with The Princess Companion. All of the books are included in Kindle Unlimited, but if you don’t have that, they are all around $3, so it’s pretty hard to beat that.

I don’t always go for light and fluffy, but that’s what I’ve been in the mood for and I’m not even going to apologize for it! If I read serious stuff for 11 months and fluff for 1, I think that’s fair. But I may not be ready to get more serious! When life is serious, you need something that makes you smile. I’m not even sure that made any sense, but hopefully you’ll get what I mean. Tell me what you read for your happy books in the comments.

 

Traitor’s Masque: A Review

34569547
gorgeous cover!

Title: Traitor’s Masque

Author: Kenley Davidson

Free on Kindle Unlimited

So you’re wondering what would be left of Cinderella without the magic? Turns out, a really great story!

Here’s the publisher’s summary:

Trystan has only two goals — to free herself from her stepmother’s household and to live her life on her own terms. But she cannot do so alone. In her desperation, she accepts the aid of a mysterious band of conspirators in exchange for her promise to help protect the kingdom. Trystan is uncertain whether her new friends can be trusted, but then she meets Donevan, a compelling and enigmatic young man whose face haunts her dreams.

Caught between her desire for love and the needs of a kingdom in turmoil, Trystan attends the Royal Masque, where she learns that her quest for a happy ending may have betrayed the man she loves. Plunged headlong into a nightmare of duplicity, espionage and intrigue, she will have just one chance at redemption, though she may be forced to sacrifice everything she’s ever dreamed of to prevent her kingdom from falling into the hands of a ruthless adversary.

28193548
another great cover

I just found this one when looking for new Kindle Unlimited books – I love that program, BTW, so many great books for one price – and I found this one. I’ve never read anything by this author before but I admit to being a sucker for fairy tales. You might think I’d be too old for them, but even at my age, there’s nothing quite like a Happily Ever After.

It didn’t take me long before I was hooked! Trystan is a little bit of a brat at first, but I did like her. Really she’s just awfully young and self-centered at first. By the end of the book though, she’s really learned to be aware of the people around her and not take things for granted. As for Ramsey, he won my heart from the first. I loved this serious, responsible prince who just wants a few minutes privacy. Except this girl keeps crossing his path!

I liked the secondary characters as well and I’m so glad there are more stories out there. I will definitely be reading the next in this series and I see there’s even a prequel about Lizabeth, Ramsey’s aunt. I’m looking forward to reading them. You should definitely check these out!

Rapunzel’s Revenge: A Review

159990070X.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_

Rapunzel is a terrible tomboy growing up in a very restricted castle with no one but the guards and her mother around. One day she decides to climb to the wall that surrounds the castle.

What she sees comes as a complete shock. The entire horizon, as far as she can see, is a complete wasteland. Her mother has used her magic to drain the energy and power from the land and used it to create the gardens and food she grows for the castle. Even worse, Rapunzel’s own real mother is working in the mines. Rapunzel was taken from her by the witch.

Well, anyone familiar with the story knows what comes next, with the whole locked in a tower thing. But the Hales have given this story a fun Western twist and made Rapunzel a feisty heroine who can save herself, thank you very much. She eventually does meet Jack and teams up with him to save her real mother and stop the witch.

Lots of fun.

Last Set of Clues!

Open book on wooden table.

October is going fast, which means only a couple of weeks left until I draw the winner for a FREE SIGNED BOOK by a mystery author. I don’t want to drag the mystery out too long, however, so this is the last set of clues I’m going to give you before revealing the book!

 

 

  1. This author grew up in California then moved to China.
  2. This is her first published book.
  3. It’s published by Simon & Schuster.
  4. This is a YA sci fi/dystopia.
  5. This book was just released THIS WEEK!
  6. It’s the first in a series.
  7. It has a little fairy tale twist going on.
  8. This author currently lives in Utah with her family.
  9. The fairy tale twist is from Sleeping Beauty.
  10. The main character is a girl accused of a crime.
  11. There’s a strong Chinese influence in the book.

I hope that’s enough to get you thinking, maybe doing some research online. This book is for sale on Amazon, but it hasn’t hit bestseller status yet. It should! I’m really enjoying it. So suspenseful! I’m dying to see what happens next!

Make your guesses down below and check back on Friday, when I will do the cover reveal!

Frogkisser!

Reader Discovers Enchanting New Audio! Details to Come!

Title: Frogkisser!

Author: Garth Nix

I heard a lot about this one when it came out. It seemed like everyone in YA and MG books was talking about it, and honestly, it sounds hilarious. Young princess has to kiss a frog to disenchant him, but he won’t cooperate. Pretty great premise, right?

Princess Anya is not in love with anyone. She’s too young. But her sister’s true love has been turned into a frog by their step-stepfather and her sister is too much of a drip to save him herself, so Anya steps in to save the prince. Along the way, she’ll meet the Association of Responsible Robbers, a Truly Terrifying Giant, a Druid or two, and the Evil Gray Mist. Royal Dog Ardent accompanies Anya on her Quest, which starts as a simple one – get the ingredients for Disenchanting Lip Balm, kiss the frog, go home – and turns into something much more complicated.

I loved the characters in this one. Anya has a nice little character arc, growing from a girl who only wants to stay in the library and study magic while someone else deals with everything to a leader who faces her problems head on. Anya also meets some great friends. Even Ardent the dog has a solid story line.

This was so much fun on audio. I really recommend the format. But it would also be great to read aloud or turn into a little play for kids at school. It is a little young, but sometimes that’s a fun change.