Prudence by Gail Carriger

As a reviewer, there are times when I read books and it just isn’t the book for me for some reason. I used to just write the book off and give it a lower review. But then I realized that an author who does a good job deserves a review based on that and not whether or not I’m “in the mood.” This was a good book and I’m glad I didn’t just write it off. I will say the main character is a little silly for my tastes, but she is PERFECT for this story and I don’t think if one of the ass-kicking heroines that I’m used to could have made this story better. The plot of this story is unlike any I’ve read before. It’s fast action and moves the reader to the next page just to see what happens. I LOVED the steampunk aspect, but I don’t know that much about it yet. From what little I’ve gleaned, the Victoria age was full of upper class flirting and changing outfits several times a day. It was also full of women who were tough and could get any job done that needed to be done. The part of the story that really drew me it was the author’s descriptions of the settings. I could see everything in my mind’s eye. It was fun to read about Prudence’s adventures and I’m looking forward to reading more about the Custard Protocol. 

 

Introducing the Custard Protocol series, in which Prudence travels to India for Queen, country…and the perfect pot of tea.

When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (“Rue” to her friends) is bequeathed an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female under similar circumstances would do — she christens it the Spotted Custard and floats off to India.

Soon, she stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier’s wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis (and an embarrassing lack of bloomers), Rue must rely on her good breeding — and her metanatural abilities — to get to the bottom of it all…

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NYT Bestseller Gail Carriger writes comedies of manners mixed with paranormal romance (and the sexy San Andreas Shifter series as G.L. Carriger). Her steampunk books include the Parasol Protectorate, Custard Protocol, Supernatural Society, and Delightfully Deadly series for adults, and the Finishing School series for young adults. She is published in many languages and has over a dozen NYT bestsellers. She was once an archaeologist and is fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea.gailcarriger.com

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

SO WHAT IS THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring. Once nominated, the blogger is required to write a post in which they:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated them and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them.
  • Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  • Notify your nominees and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post.

I was nominated by Ashleigh @ Ashleigh Jayne Reads. She’s a very sweet lady with a lot of energy and a friendly smile for all (even if it is only virtual).

WHY DID YOU START BLOGGING?

I started this blog for selfish reasons. I became good friends with indie author Sherry Rentschler and became her PA. I needed a place to share about her work, but I didn’t want it to be just about her.  Through her, I started to meet more indie authors. They really have an uphill battle, and I’ve always loved rooting for the underdog. So I used my blog as a platform to help with promotion. Now it has become so much more. It’s almost like a calling card or a passkey into a great club. I have met some great authors and bloggers.

2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO BLOG ABOUT?

Meeting people and helping indie authors. I read both traditional and non-traditional authors, but there’s something so grassroots-activism about reviewing an indie author. It gives me the confidence to go for my dreams.

3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK AND WHY?

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. I think this is one of those books that can teach you everything you need to know about how to get along in life. I taught this book in various forms for twelve years. Those were always my favorite lessons.

4. IF YOU COULD MEET A CHARACTER FROM A BOOK WHO WOULD IT BE?

There are a lot. Going along with the previous question, Atticus Finch. I don’t think there would be much conversation but it would be powerful. From a more recent book, Cara Devon from the ARTIFACT HUNTERS by A.W. Exley

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD AND DRINK?

Coke, for sure, and as far as food goes, there’s not much I don’t like.

6. IF YOU COULD VISIT ANY PLACE WHERE WOULD IT BE?

Stonehenge on the Solstice.

7. IF YOU HAD A CHANCE TO MEET YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Again, there are a lot. Since I started blogging, I’ve actually met a few, which is always great. Maybe Michael Garland who wrote the Miss Smith series.

8. IF YOU WHERE TO WRITE YOUR OWN NOVEL WHAT GENRE WOULD IT BE?

I’m actually working on a historical fiction book.

9. WHAT GENRE DO YOU NOT LIKE AND WHY?

Cookbooks- I don’t like following recipes. I like to just experiment and see what happens. I think cooking books create too high expectations.

10. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING FOR AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START?

For about a year and a half and see the answer for #1

11. WHAT IS YOU FAVOURITE THING TO POST ABOUT?

Interviews. I need to do more of them. It fascinates me to see how other people think and what they experience.

 

Now I nominate the following bloggers. Please answer the eleven questions I did and the nominate some more bloggers. If you don’t know eleven, don’t worry.

Connie @ Lucky 13 Book Reviews

 

Terri Luvs Terri- Airplanes on Sunday Mornings

This is another one of my short stories. It’s a little longer than the last one. I entered this into a contest. The prompt was, an old plane lands in an airport unexpectedly. I didn’t win, but I like this story.

Airplanes on Sunday Morning

John hated working early mornings, even more so on mornings like this. Mornings in January were colder than his mother in law during Sunday dinners. As an owner, he’d earn the right to come in after the sun rose, after breakfast with his wife and son, and long after the frost melted, but half his team called in sick. Owning his own security company sounded more prestigious and seemed a logical next step for a decorated flying sergeant pilot. However, John hated it. During the war, John followed orders but as a business owner, responsibility meant something different. That dedication did nothing to keep him warm as sat in his truck guarding a field at the back end of Idlewild Airport.

Sitting alone gave him time to think about the company. This job wasn’t hard, his clients were happy, and they had meat on the table every night for dinner. He pictured his life as grand as when he flew in the European Theater. Life developed faster and changed in a heartbeat. Now life trickled and nothing changed.

He turned to truck on to warm the engine. A steady stream of air circulated in the cab from a small hole he cut through the firewall of the cab. Between that and the coffee his wife made, the cold was almost tolerable.  Without any distractions, going back to sleep sounded good. Maybe life wasn’t that bad after all.

John and his men only guarded this section of the airport. The contract lasted until the airport became fully functionable, then this area would be used for dignitaries and the government. Government contracts provided most of the work for everyone these days; a lot of rebuilding after the war. John knew a job like this lead to more work and it wasn’t hard. Even his laziest guy wouldn’t complain about just sitting and watching a landing strip.

He flipped down the visor to get his Camels and got out of the truck. Quitting never worked because that sensation of the first drag called every time. His wife asked him not to smoke in the truck because sometimes they used it when they want out and she claimed the smell lingered in her hair. He learned a long time ago, standing outside for a few minutes made life easier than an angry wife.

He inhaled the last puff and threw it aside. When he got back in the truck he hit the rear-view mirror with his shoulder. He adjusted the mirror and saw something that made no sense. After turning around and looking out the back window, it made even less sense.

What the hell? More coffee. I need more coffee.

He’d only seen one of these before, on a visit to the National Air and Space Museum while on a short leave in Washington D.C. A Wright Flyer.  

He opened the truck door and almost fell. The nightstick on the bench provided a little security, but the gun in the glove compartment provided more.

Surely the Germans wouldn’t go backward with their planes?

The plane stopped a few yards in front of him and the pilot turned off the engine then climbed down.

“Stop right there. I don’t know who you are or what this is about, but I’m close enough to do some major damage. Keep your hands in the air.”

The man turned and faced John, palms out in front of him as if surrendering. “Um- I don’t think you need anything like a gun Mister. I have no weapons myself. I just flew in from up north a ways. I promise you, I’m not up to any ill-intent.”

“I’ll decide that for myself. What I know is you have no business being in an airfield used by the United States government.”

The man looked around. “Airfield? It does look different from the last time I saw it. It was just a farm then. But now-” he used his had to shield his eyes from the sunlight. “What’s going on here? Isn’t this Idlewild Farm?”

“It hasn’t been that for a long time.” John felt his heart beating in his ears. “In a few months, it will be dedicated as New York National Airport. Everyone knows that so don’t pretend you didn’t.”

“I haven’t been here in about thirty-five years. A lot changes in that time.”

“Where have you been?”

“France, mostly. Fought a little bit for them in the war and now I’m rebuilding my own land.”

“You don’t sound French.”

“I’m not. Born in Indiana, son.”

John looked closer, noticed gray hair and realized this guy must be a lot older than first thought.

“I’m going to come closer and I want you to take off your jacket nice and slow. I’m warning you now to take out any weapons and throw them on the ground. I don’t know who you are and what you’re doing but know that I am not afraid to do whatever is needed.”

The man lowered one of his hands and stuck it out towards John. “Well, we can make that better. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Wilbur Wright, but everyone calls me Will or Willy.”

“Do you think I’m some young pup who’s still wet behind the ears? Everyone knows Wilbur Wright died in 1912. Now get your hand back up.”

“Oh yeah, about that. That’s what we wanted everyone to think. I guess it worked.” The man looked over John’s shoulder. “Is that your truck?”

“What if it is?”

“Look, son, I’m cold. I left from up north early this morning and I still have a big day of travel ahead of me. I’m here for my brother’s funeral. Let’s go sit in your truck and I’ll explain.”

“Take off your jacket.”

The man did and dropped it on the ground where John motioned. John stepped closer, never looking away. He cautiously checked for weapons, then walked behind the man targeting his back with the barrel of the gun.

“Go to the truck.”

John was so focused on the man claiming to be Wilbur Wright he stepped in a hole and stumbled. He scrambled for his gun, afraid this stranger would take advantage. The old man turned around and held a hand out to help John.

“I don’t need help.”

“Of course not. Say do you happen to have any coffee in your truck? I thought I could handle this chill, but it just got to be too much. I remembered this farm from a long time ago and I thought it would be a good place to rest and wait until it warmed.”

“Go get your jacket. Sorry, should have gotten it for you.”

They walked to the truck and before John could protest, the stranger opened the passenger door and let himself in the cab. None of this made any sense as the old man poured some coffee out of the thermos. How could this old flyer be any kind of threat? Maybe he was just some crazy pilot left over from the war.

John put the nightstick in the bed then climbed in himself, keeping the gun on his leg for easy access.

“Mister if you are indeed the Wilbur Wright, you’ve got a lot of explaining to do. I remember learning about your death in school. Typhoid Fever, right?”

“You sure you want to hear the whole story? I’m not keeping you from anything important, am I?”

“I don’t think there is anything that needs as much of my attention right now as you do.”

“It does seem like a quiet morning. Sunday morning normally are, no matter where you live. Orville and I did our best test Sunday mornings. Even in France, you can count on a peaceful Sunday morning.” He sighed. “I’ll tell you my story if you tell me what happened to Old Man Idlewild’s Farm.”

“I’ve never known it to be a farm. It was a beach golf course before the city took it over. Now it’s slated to open this July as an international airport with fifty-five terminals. This strip here has been set apart from the others because the government plans to use it for God knows what. My company watches over things here at night and on the weekends.”

“Your company?”

“Yes, sir. A small security company I started about a year ago. I hired some of my buddies from the war.”

“You fought?”

“As a pilot for three years.”

“Sometimes I wonder if my brother and I didn’t make the war worse.”

“How so?”

“With our planes, son, but if it hadn’t been us, it would have been someone else, I suppose.”

“Sir, I’ve told you all I’m going to tell you about me. It’s your turn.”

“Right you are.” He finished what was left of his coffee. Then sat for a few minutes as if thinking. “I guess I can’t really prove to you who I am. All my identification is in my new name. So you’re going to just have to trust me and you can start by putting that away.” He nodded to the gun.

John studied him a little then put the gun on the dash; still accessible, but maybe not so intimidating. Both men stared at other for a little bit then Wilbur let out a big sigh.

“The best time of my life was when Orville and I worked together down on the Outer Banks. Do you know where that is?” John nodded. “The beaches there are beautiful. There is nothing like gliding over the water.

Designing, making, and testing our flyer was the easy part. It was just the two of us creating magic. The hard part came after. Everyone thought we made up all our records and data.” He blew in his cupped hands trying to warm them a little. “Hard to believe we even had a few people who wanted to kill us. Every step grew harder and harder. The worst battle started in the patent office. Seems there were other people who felt their designs were the originals and ours was the copy. It became very stressful. Orville was the better fighter.” He put a cigarette in his mouth from the pack JOhn left on the bench. “Do you mind?”

“Well, my wife-” John stopped.

Which is she going to mind more in the truck; a cigarette or a man risen from the dead?

John nodded once then took out one out for himself.

“By 1912, I didn’t want to fight anymore. So Orville helped me fake my death, I joined the army and fought in WW I, and ended up living in France. I only came back here to go to my brother’s funeral.”

John shook his head. “No one is going to believe you are Wilbur Wright, you’ve been living in France, and you returned for you brother’s funeral.”

“I suppose they won’t. I didn’t plan on running into anyone. I knew there was a barn out here where I could hide my plane until I took off. I’m so old I don’t think many people will pay any attention when I slip in the back and slip back outside right before the service is over.”

Wilbur grabbed John’s shoulder. It spooked John but not enough to grab for his gun. “You have to help me with this, son. A lot of good people will have a big mess to deal with if it gets out that I didn’t die. Please.”

John felt torn. This guy probably belonged in the mental hospital over in Manhattan. In fact John began to think he might need to stop by there too.

“If I do help you, and I’m not saying I am, but if I do what do you need?”

“I need a tow for my flyer; somewhere where it won’t be noticed then I need a ride into the city. The funeral is in Dayton. I planned on taking a train. I’ll be back here in a week.”

“Ya know, if I remember correctly, there is a hanger at the end down there-” he pointed to the left.”And there won’t be any crews out here this entire week. There’s only one guy on my team I’d trust to help with something like this. He and I can take over this job for the week.”

“Would he believe you?”

“Probably not, but he’s a good guy. If I ask for his help, he’ll help whether he believes or not.”

“I can’t tell you how obliged I am to you for helping me. I guess I didn’t think all of this out very well.”

“Mister…um… Wilbur did you fly all the way from France?”

“From France via Halifax. I have a cousin there who proved to be very helpful with the layover.”

“This plane made it all that way? I don’t see how your old plane could do it?”

Wilbur laughed. “Did you think this was our original plane? It’s not even a copy of the original. I’ve made a lot of modern day tweaks. It’s much more like one of your Grumman F4F planes. It just has the look of our Wright Flyer.”

“I’ve got to see this. I can only imagine what you’ve done. Does it still have a steerable rear vertical rudder?” “Well, let’s go see. Wait until you see what I’ve done with that rear rudder.”

They got out of the truck and walked to the front.

Wilbur leaned a little towards John. “Does this mean you’re going to help me?”

John looked around. If the wrong person found out about this, he’d lose his job and the government might arrest him and Wilbur. But no matter how impossible all of this seemed, he could not deny a Wright Flyer landed just a few yards from his truck. A thought formed in his mind.

“If I say yes, I have one request.”

“I don’t have much money if that’s what you want.”

“No, I don’t want money. I want something better.” He looked towards the plane and nodded. “Can we take her for a spin first?”

“Nothing sounds more fun. You may never want to fly another plane, though.”

“I think I’ll just have to take that risk.” He stuck his hand out to shake on the deal. Wilbur gladly took it

They walked towards the plane as John began asking one question after another so fast Wilbur couldn’t even answer all of them. John didn’t care if he left his truck or walked out on the job. He was the boss. That should account for something.

 

Weird Girls by Cecy Robson

Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls—with one tiny exception: they’re products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, well, weird… 

 

I  cannot remember how I found this series. I may have gotten the first one, Sealed With a Curse, from Instafreebie. It doesn’t matter how I got it, I’m just glad I did. Celia Wird and her sisters are products of a botched curse that killed their parents. Each of the sisters gained a unique supernatural ability. The characters in this series are the best part. Yes, the sisters can fight. Yes, they have these awesome abilities. Yes, they are gorgeous and they get the hottest guys. That’s all typical urban fantasy stuff. But these girls are funny, quirky, and sometimes awkward as they learn how to deal with their fate. That’s what I liked. They are human and real (as far as sisters who can shift, change wood into knives, heal, and shoot fire are real).

I stopped reading the series between A Curse Unbroken and Of Flame and Promise. The other finished one line of the plot and started on another. I did not stop reading because the books were bad. It was about that time I started working on my own writing and reviewing books so I found other books to read. A few weeks ago, I received a copy of her newest Of Flame & Fate due out September 26. This was a great opportunity to catch up on the books I’ve missed, Of Flame & Promise and Of Flame & Light. I’m glad I found this series again and caught up on the ones I haven’t read. This series is still just as good as it was.

 

 

 

Below is my review for the latest book:

I read Cecy Robson’s first book in this series a couple of years ago. I read the next two as fast as I could. Then every time the next book released, I ordered it and read it within a day. There was a lag between a couple, and I found a few other series, and I lost track of this series. When I came across the chance to review this book, I realized there were two books I had not read. So I quickly read those two, so I could catch up in this series. I think this book CAN be read as a stand alone, but it is a lot better if you read the whole series or at least the two books right before this.
The women in this series are as kick-ass as any I’ve read. The spotlight is on Taran in this book. She struggles with accepting that unconditional love is not only possible, but she is worthy of it.  The passion she feels for Gemini is strong, and it will help her through anything if she remembers to trust and rely on it. Robson has created such life-like characters I feel a strong connection and would totally take them all out for a beer if I could.
The fast-paced action pushed me to read “just one more chapter” until I finished it. The world building is so solid; it was easy to SEE this book as if I was watching a movie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is an author of contemporary romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double RITA® 2016 finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, and a published author of more than seventeen titles, you can typically find her on her laptop writing her stories or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine. Connect with Cecy online:

www.cecyrobson.com
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Fractured Past by D.E. Chapman

I found this book difficult to get into at first. However, I have this OCD need to finish books I start. I am a reader who likes a lot of dialog and movement. The first part of this story centers around the main character and much of the story is told through flashbacks. There were a few passages I had to read twice in order to understand the story better and to make sure I knew which parts were current and which parts were flashbacks. It made it hard to connect and empathize with her her. However, once I got into this story, I discovered a world with richly developed characters and a quickly paced adventure. As a fantasy reader, world-building is very important to me and this author does a thorough job convincing me this world really exists. It was also nice to see a story that branched into other areas of fantasy instead of relying on traditional tropes of vampires, shifters, wizards, and witches. I think the author did a good job touching on various moral issues without being overly preachy and hitting the reader over the head with own thoughts and opinions. Overall, there will be readers who will appreciate the high fantasy world the author created and will enjoy the whole series. However, I do think this might be one of those series where it would be better to wait until all the books are out and then read them all at one time.

Alanna isn’t sure what she is anymore.

After the experiments, she’s cursed with a power she can’t control. Now, Alanna must seek out the very species that ruined her life; the talnarins. These creatures are capable of doing things no human can do, but she’s desperate for their help.

Alanna finds herself in an unknown world, her very existence a threat. Now she needs to prove her innocence or she stands to lose her entire life’s purpose…revenge.

Recommended for 16+ due to profanity, dark themes, and violence.

(This is not a standalone and ends in a cliffhanger.)

Amazon

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D.E. Chapman is the author of A Talnarin Novel Series. She first started writing Fractured Past, book one in the series, after a vivid dream one night in early April 2017. From there, the vague idea took off and it’s been amazing rollercoaster since.

When D.E. Chapman’s not writing, she’s usually on social media saying hello, reading or rereading the plethora of novels she owns, playing video games, or giving her cat and dog lots of love! D.E. Chapman also loves spending time with her family so she’s visiting as often as she can.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to say hello, she would love to hear from you! The best place to reach her is through her FB page, twitter, or her contact page on her website!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road to Yesterday by Greta Cribbs

Families are complex. We are either born into one or create our own. Love is complex. We either embrace it or ignore it. This author creates a book that explores both these issues. It could have been a heavy book with one tear shedding after another. But this author takes this heavy idea and turns it upside down, and that’s why I loved it. The idea of time travel fascinates me because there are things in my life I’d like to change, but I know it would change who I am now and what my life is like. The author takes a sci-fi trope and gives it an emotional umbrella that pulled me in from the very beginning. The characters were very well-developed and read like people I know if my own life. Her dialog was completely realistic and served to move the plot to the end. I stayed up way too late reading this one, but I just needed to know how it ended. When I finished this book I had a hard time reentering my real life. It gave me all the feels.

 

Would you travel through time to save your brother’s life? How much would you be willing to sacrifice for the good of your family?
Two brothers fight for their lives in two hospitals, one in 2007 and the other in 2017. Meanwhile their younger sisters, Kim and Violet, find themselves traveling a road where time is no longer constant. The four of them are hurtling toward an unknown future, or an unknown past. Determined to save the lives of both their brothers, Kim and Violet seek the help of a mysterious man who seems to hold the key to everything. Can they find the answers they need before time runs out?

Amazon

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Greta Cribbs has worn many hats over the years, from mom to schoolteacher to church choir director. She constantly seeks out opportunities to indulge her many interests, but writing is the passion that has been with her the longest. She wrote her first poem at the age of nine and has been creating stories ever since. She published her first book, Amelia’s Children, in 2015. Primogénito is her second published work. You can follow @GretaCribbs on Twitter for the latest information about her writing and other projects she is working on.

 

 

 

Moonburn by Claire Luana

Let me start this review with one word- WOW! I flippin’ loved this book from the moment I started this book. It was one of those books where I was annoyed when my family interrupted me. It is one thing to use tropes but when you use them with as much excellence as this author did, I take notice.  The lead female was the kind of hero I would want on my side in any battle. The author made all the characters three dimensional. I wanted to meet all of them. This story line was so intense that sometimes I actually felt myself fighting with the bad guys during the battle scenes. One of the best parts of this book- no cliffhangers. The author’s world building was so complete, I believed it was a real world. The author compares her book to Sarah J Mass. I liked this book more. Even though this is a series and I’m glad I started with the first one (that appeals to my OCD) this story ended but piqued my curiosity enough to read the next one as soon as I can find a hole in my TBR.

 

 

Mulan meets Sarah J Maas in this thrilling tale filled with celestial magic, death-defying adventure, and enduring friendships.
Kai is a Moonburner—a female sorceress reviled by her people and normally killed at birth. Except Kai’s parents saved her by disguising her as a boy—a ruse they’ve kept up for almost seventeen years. But when her village is attacked, Kai’s secret is revealed and she’s sentenced to death.
Thankfully, the gods aren’t done with Kai. Despite the odds stacked against her, she escapes her fate, undertaking a harrowing journey to a land where Moonburners are revered and trained as warriors.
But her new home has dangers of its own—the ancient war against the male Sunburners has led the Moonburners down a dark path that could destroy all magic. And Kai, armed only with a secret from her past and a handsome but dangerous ally, may be the only one who can prevent the destruction of her people…

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Claire Luana grew up reading everything she could get her hands on and writing every chance she could. Eventually, adulthood won out, and she turned her writing talents to more scholarly pursuits, going to work as a commercial litigation attorney at a mid-sized law firm. While continuing to practice law, Claire decided to return to her roots and try her hand once again at creative writing. She has written and published the Moonburner Cycle and is currently working on a new trilogy about magical food. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and two dogs. In her (little) remaining spare time, she loves to hike, travel, binge-watch CW shows, and of course, fall into a good book.

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

This is the second book in the Winternight Trilogy. If you didn’t read the first one, you can pick this one up and still understand what is happening. So in that regard, this could be read as a standalone. However, I strongly recommend reading this first book, The Bear and the Nightingale. This book felt easier to read but I believe it had more to do with I knew what to expect. I knew there would be Russian words and customs that would be hard to understand.

This author creates strong characters and powerful descriptions of the places in the story. I had no trouble picturing every aspect of this book. It flowed like a storm or maybe a snowball, it started slowly with a hint of adventure and then increased in intensity and action. Once I got about 20% into the book I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. I love this story. Vasilisa adds so much value to all those around her, yet because she is a girl she is discounted. That was hard for to read because I wanted to shout, “Look at what she is doing for everyone. Get a clue, men.” The fact that I actually yelled at some of the characters gives you a clue as to how good it was.

If you are an avid reader you may understand what I’m about to say, or if you’re a little nutty like me. This story is not a fairytale retelling but feels like a new fairy tale she created. The words the author uses create an almost fuzzy soft picture like feeling in my head. Let me put it another way. She used the words of her story to paint a soft mystical painting for the reader. (I hope that makes sense). Perhaps she was going for the feeling you might get if you were snuggled in a cabin with a nice fire on a quiet snowy night. That’s why I loved it so much.

 

A remarkable young woman blazes her own trail, from the backwoods of Russia to the court of Moscow, in this enchanting novel by the bestselling author of The Bear and the Nightingale
Katherine Arden’s enchanting first novel introduced readers to an irresistible heroine. Vasilisa has grown up at the edge of a Russian wilderness, where snowdrifts reach the eaves of her family’s wooden house and there is truth in the fairy tales told around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko—Frost, the winter demon from the stories—and together they saved her people from destruction. But Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch.
Now Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, the only options left for her are marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey.
But after Vasilisa prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself.

This book is due out December 5, 2017

**I received a copy of this through NetGaley**

Virtue Inverted by Piers Anthony & Ken Kelly

This was my first exposure to Piers Anthony. I’ve always seen his books on the library shelves but never picked one up and I don’t really know why. If his other books are like this one, (which I’m sure they are) I need to read more. This book is the first of the PAKK Trilogy. It is also written by two authors. For the record, I can only imagine how difficult this is. It read very smoothly and as if written by one voice. I appreciated a light fantasy book with a simple world that was easy to absorb. There weren’t any difficult names or far-out inventions that made my head hurt. The beauty of this story boils down to the story-telling. It was good well-written story-telling. I read much like a campfire story shared for generations.  I want to read what comes next just to see how this story develops.

 

 

Virtue Inverted is the first novel of a hard-hitting sword and sorcery trilogy by Piers Anthony and Ken Kelly. Benny Clout is a poor mountain boy who has found true love in Virtue the vampire. However, Virtue is not an ordinary vampire; she’s actually a very nice girl. Her bites contain extraordinary power, but will that power be enough to combat the evil that awaits them?

 

 

Piers Anthony is one of the world’s most popular fantasy authors, and a New York Times bestseller twenty-one times over. His Xanth novels have been read and loved by millions of readers around the world, and he daily receives hundreds of letters from his devoted fans.In addition to the Xanth series, Anthony is the author of many other best-selling works. Piers Anthony lives in Inverness, Florida.

 

 

 

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Breaking the Girl by M.C. Webb

This was not an easy book to read, not because it was written poorly, in fact, it was written very well. It was hard to read because it moved me. I think there is a tendency to make the world of a love-story somewhat like a fairy tale. And that’s fun to read, but you know going into it, that it’s not real. This love story is real. The characters are real people who have to deal with harsh realities. That’s what made this story a five-star. My heart hurt for these characters. I wanted to reach through the book and hug them and even at times kick their butts because they acted stupidly. They were multi-dimesnsional and well-developed. Each character played a significant role in plot progression.
As a voracious reader, I appreciate a plot line with no wasted time. The plot never lagged, and I had to keep turning the pages to see what happened next. Each scene flowed into the next. It only took me one afternoon to read it.
This book has more than one scene that may trigger negative emotions for the reader, but I feel like the author did not sensationalize any the graphic scenes. Nor did she play them down and gloss over them. They just were what they were. Read the blurb for this book and understand what it is about before you read it.

Breaking the Girl by M.C. Webb is a dark story of desire. Two souls collide, breaking open a long forgotten past, and a very tortured present. What drives the lovers closer, may be the very thing the tears them apart.

Axel Stone is a porn star, a highly successful porn star. Now semi-retired and frigidly cold, Axel stumbles through life the only way he knows how – lots of booze and women. With more than 1500 movies over his short career, Axel has slowly removed himself from filming, opting instead to “train” woman for the industry resulting in their near stardom as they emerge onto the adult film sets. Every director wants one of Axel’s girls because Axel’s girls, make money.
And Payton Knight needs money.

Homeless, survivor of a horrific ordeal has left Payton broke and desperate. A chance encounter to meet and be trained by Axel, with the possibility of making enough cash to right her wrongs, Payton jumps at the chance. It doesn’t hurt she is instantly attracted to the leading man. Neither get what they expect and as they both struggle with which reality is less damning, both Axel and Payton pay an ultimate price.

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M.C. Webb is a contemporary author of dark romance. First published in high school, the attention shy writer avoided publication for many years, opting to limit her work locally. Her now widely released bibliography includes the suspenseful “The Black Trilogy” a touch of second chance love in “Second String” and newest spellbinding novel “Breaking the Girl” out Valentines Day 2017. Born in Chatsworth Georgia, M.C. spent most of her childhood in the deep south until landing in the place she calls home today, Knoxville Tennessee. She loves interacting with readers and is a huge supporter of film, football, hockey and the blues.

 

 

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