Reviews

Review: Soothsayer by Kathryn Amurra

Book Review

Soothsayer by Kathryn Amurra
Historical Romance

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Synopsis
Aurelia has always valued love and happiness over titles and power. Though her kind-hearted father has allowed her to turn away suitor after suitor in pursuit of a love she cannot yet define, when he dies her choices die with him. Knowing that marrying the elderly governor of a neighboring province can secure her mentally challenged brother’s safety, she gives up on her dream of finding love in return for his protection.Cassius is the ill-fated captain of the governor’s guard tasked with escorting the Lady Aurelia and her unpleasant aunt to the governor’s estate. Since the soothsayer Tullia foretold an early death for him, Cassius wants nothing more than to keep his hands busy with labor and his heart free from any connections to the world he believes he will be leaving soon. As they work through a series of misfortunes on the road to the governor’s province, the words of the soothsayer start to make sense, and together they find the courage to allow their true destiny to unfold.

What I thought
I received a copy of this book from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This book is a hate-to-love clean romance set in Ancient Rome.  I did enjoy this book so hear me out.  With any book set in another time in history you have to accept how things ran then even if they make my skin crawl.  So yes I have a level of acceptance for this book that I would not if it took place in modern day. 

Now with that said.

In this story Aurelia is cornered into marring the Govenor of another providence.  This man came to visit under the guise of paying his respects for the death of her father whom he served in the military with.  Yep this guy is order than her father.  Aurelia is told that he will pardon her brother from the forced service in the military if she marries him.  Her brother is what we would consider autistic today and it is obvious that should he enter the military he would not live long.  

The Governor leaves his most trusted solder, Cassius, to escorte Aurelia to his home.  On the way there they run into so many issues that had she not been doing this to save her brother she surely would have turned around.  Near the end of their journey they run into a soothsayer who they bring along so that she is not traveling alone.  This just so happens to be the same soothsayer that Cassius was taken to when he was young and read his future.  

Long story short both Cassius and Aurelia have had their futures read to them.  The key is that you interpet the meaning not the soothsayer.  I really liked that mystical aspect of the soothsayer. And the lesson that comes with her.  Just because you think you have your future figured out does not mean you have intercepted things correctly.  

The journey of Cassius and Aurelia figuring out that things are not what they thought they meant and learning the real meanings was very enjoyable. 

If you like hate to love and clean romances then you should give this one a try!

My Rating: /5

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Tours

Book Blitz: Lockdown Innit: Poems About Absurdity by M.J. Mallon @Shalini_G26 @Marjorie_Mallon

Lockdown Innit: Poems About Absurdity
by M.J. Mallon
Poetry

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Lockdown Innit is a poetry collection of eighteen poems about life’s absurdities and frustrations during lockdown. Wherever you live in this world, this is for you. Expect humour, a dollop of banter and ridiculous rants here and there. Amongst other delights, witness the strange antics of a swan posing by a bin and two statuesque horses appearing like arc deco pieces in a field. Check out the violin player on a tightrope, or the cheeky unmentionables wafting in the lockdown breeze!

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes!

On the 17th of November I was born, in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit.) My early childhood was spent in Hong Kong. During my teen years, my parents returned to my father’s birthplace, Edinburgh, where I spent many happy years. As a teenager, I travelled to many far-flung destinations. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six-foot hunk of a Rock God husband. My two enchanted daughters have almost flown the nest, but often return with a cheery smile to greet me.

During the day, I work in an international sixth form with students from around the world. I’m the meet and greet lady who welcomes them to their new college and issues them with late slips when they don’t get to their lessons on time!

I write YA fantasy, paranormal, horror/supernatural short stories, flash fiction and short form poetry. More recently, I have produced and compiled an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown. Following on from this, in February 2021 I will be releasing Lockdown Innit, poems about absurdity.

I’ve been blogging for many moons at my blog home Kyrosmagica, which means Crystal Magic. From time to time I write articles celebrating the spiritual realm, inspiration and my love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

My eclectic blog shares my three loves: reading, writing, and creativity. I adore reading and have written over 150 reviews on my blog: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

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Tours

Blog Tour: Fire And Cinder by Christina Bauer

Fire And Cinder by Christina Bauer
(Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, #6)
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Publication date: February 23, 2021
Published by: Monster House Books

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Meet the Magicorum: modern folks who are supernaturally locked into fairy tale life templates. For eighteen-year-old Elle, that role is Cinderella. Meanwhile, Agatha is her evil stepsister. Things go downhill from there…

Cinderella On The Run
Elle—never call her Cinderella—has found the love of her life in Alec Le Charme, the prince of a jewelry dynasty. But when Alec gets spirited away, Elle must ditch her Manhattan home for the perilous Faerie Lands. To save Alec, Elle must also swap her glass slippers for a flying carpet. But will switching templates from Cinderella to Aladdin snap Elle’s sanity?

Whatever. Bring on the straight jacket. Elle is one Cinderella who’s determined to save her prince, no matter what.

Evil Stepsister or Elf Queen?
Agatha always accepted her role as Elle’s evil stepsister. Then her life template changes from nasty sibling to evil elf queen. Agatha has one thought on that score. Thanks but no thanks. Agatha refuses the regal life, even though stepping away from her crown means ignoring her lifelong attraction to the elf prince, Jacoby.

Then everything changes. Agatha discovers that Elle’s life is at risk… and the only way to save her Cinderella is by teaming up with Jacoby. Trouble is, that’s a lot of togetherness. Working with Jacoby could easily end in disaster, not only for Agatha’s heart, but also for Elle and Alec’s lives.

Fairy Tales of the Magicorum
Modern fairy tales with sass, action, and romance
1. Wolves and Roses
2. Moonlight and Midtown
3. Shifters and Glyphs
4. Slippers and Thieves
5. Bandits and Ball Gowns
6. Fire and Cinder
7. Fairies and Frosting

Elle

Here I am, sprawled on the couch and feeling mighty sorry for myself. In other words, this is a typical afternoon at Chez Elle. All around, the floor is littered with pizza boxes and unopened mail. There’s a postcard which reads, congratulations on finishing high school online. I use it as a napkin.

Things have been this way ever since an evil elf named Nal’Adel chucked my boyfriend, Alec, into a magical prison. I tried a rescue attempt, failed, and have been moping around ever since.

Leaning over, I scoop an old take-out cup from the floor and check out the contents. Huh. Looks like a green milkshake. But is the flavor mint or week-old mold? Hard to tell. I set the cup onto a side table. Some things are best left a mystery.

If only my roomie, Bry, were here. She’d slob-shame me into cleaning up. But Bry is off on an adventure. Without her, I’m like a human marble trapped in the empty shoebox of my apartment, rolling around without path or purpose. For now, I’ve temporarily landed in the living room.

Closing my eyes, I picture what I should be doing at this moment, and that would be one thing: rescuing Alec. I have the whole thing planned out. Like a warrior queen of old, I would leave the familiar streets of Manhattan and take off for the dangerous Realm of Faerie. All the while, I’d yell my words of vengeance…

“Behold,” I would shout. “For I am on a mission to free Alec and punish his jailer, Nal’Adel!”

Anyway, that’s the ideal version of my life. In reality, I already tried to open a portal into Faerie… but chickened out before ever reaching Nal’Adel. In my defense, there were lots of doors involved and no clear way to get bio breaks. I lost my nerve and came home. Don’t judge.

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Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

February 22nd
The Reclusive Reader >> Review
Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Love  >> Excerpt
Ilovebooksandstuffblog >> Excerpt
Radioactive Book Reviews  >> Excerpt

February 23rd
Living in a Bookworld >> Excerpt
Ingrid’s Book Blog >> Review
diary of a wannabe writer >> Review

February 24th
Kelly P’s Blog >> Excerpt
Jazzy Book Reviews >> Top 10 List
Rockin’ Book Reviews >> Guest post

February 25th
Daily Waffle >> Excerpt
Book Butterfly in Dreamland >> Review

February 26th
Sophril Reads  >> Excerpt
Rincon de Joss >> Guest post
Angel’s Guilty Pleasures >> Excerpt
The Avid Reader >> Review

March 1st
Wishful Endings  >> Interview
The Book Junkie Reads . . . >> Review
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm >> Excerpt

March 2nd
Books, Tea, Healthy Me >> Top 10 List
Westveil Publishing >> Review

March 3rd
FyreKatz Blog >> Review
Sadie’s Spotlight >> Excerpt
LenniLand >> Review

March 4th
books are love >> Review
Brooke Blogs >> Excerpt
Pine Enshrined Reviews  >> Interview

March 5th
Fiona Reads and FoodSpots >> Review
breen.rb >> Review
Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author  >> Excerpt
Books A-Brewin’  >> Excerpt

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Reviews

Review: Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

Book Review

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
(Powder Mage #1)
Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy

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Synopsis
The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it.

It’s a bloody business overthrowing a king…
Field Marshal Tamas’ coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.

Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.

But when gods are involved…
Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should…

In a rich, distinctive world that mixes magic with technology, who could stand against mages that control gunpowder and bullets?

What I thought
I was on the fence about picking this book up. However, hearing it mentioned on a Brandon Sanderson live stream between himself and Dan Wells made me decide to give it a chance.  I never thought I would pick up a flintlock fantasy book. I never saw myself liking that kind of story, however I am so happy that I did because I really enjoyed this book.  

I liked the world that was built and I found the magic systems to be interesting.  In this world you have three branches to the magic system Power Mages, Knacks and Privileged.  The magic system was easy to understand and I thought it was straight forward, the only one that could have any variation was the Knacks, since people can be a Knack in virtually anything.  I also appreciated how this book was not info dumpy even though it is the first book in a trilogy.  

I liked all of the POV’s however I expected a little more from Adamat he was introduced as the top of the line inspector but I just did not feel it.  One thing that I really liked is how the POV’s were intertwined and I felt like I was getting the whole story and not just pieces here and there.

If you enjoy character drive stories then you may enjoy this one.

My Rating: /5

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Sword of Rage by Jennifer Anne Davis

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

Sword of Rage by Jennifer Anne Davis
Reigning Kingdoms
Genre: Fantasy
Expected Publication: March 16, 2021

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Harley has three goals—stay alive, avenge her brother’s death, and overthrow the traitorous king.

When Harley receives an invitation to the royal castle for her cousin’s birthday, she’s elated at the offer. As the queen’s niece, she’s expected to make an appearance, but this will also be her first time attending a formal function as a married woman. However, what starts as an elegant party quickly turns into a nightmare. One that flips Harley’s world upside down.

Ackley’s mission should have been simple—arrive in Melenia, submerse himself in battle, and retake the kingdom for his sister’s newly betrothed, the rightful king. Instead, he finds the land ravaged and a young woman who could be the key to his undoing. When forced to choose between family, honor, and love, he realizes all of his years training to be an assassin, knight, and prince never prepared him for this. Ackley always thought he’d die by the sword. But what he never realized was love could be the most dangerous weapon of all.

This is the first book in a new series by Jennifer Anne Davis. Filled with romance, battles, and espionage, this book will immerse you into the world of her previous books like you’ve never before imagined!

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Reviews

Review: Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird

Book Review

Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird
(Sherlock Holmes Adventures #1)
Historical, Mystery, Sherlockian

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Synopsis
Mlle La Victoire, a beautiful French cabaret star writes that her illegitimate son by an English lord has disappeared, and she has been attacked in the streets of Montmartre.

Racing to Paris with Watson at his side, Holmes discovers the missing child is only the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem. The most valuable statue since the Winged Victory has been violently stolen in Marseilles, and several children from a silk mill in Lancashire have been found murdered. The clues in all three cases point to a single, untouchable man.

Will Holmes recover in time to find the missing boy and stop a rising tide of murders? To do so he must stay one step ahead of a dangerous French rival and the threatening interference of his own brother, Mycroft.

What I thought
I have found that I am very picky when it comes to Sherlockian stories.  If 2020 taught me anything that is it.  I have gone through many and only liked a few.  Most of them were never finished.  I am soo happy to say that this one does not disappoint. 

I was pulled into this story from the beginning.  I loved the writing in this story it mimics Doyle’s well and it made me feel like I am really reading additional stories.  The pacing was spot on I did not feel the story lag at any point.  

If you enjoy sherlockian stories then I highly suggest you picking this one up.  

I can not wait to pick up the next book in this series!

My Rating: /5

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? February 22, 2021

It's Monday What are you reading.png

Good Morning!

It’s the start of another week. It’s Monday! What are you Reading is hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind.

Recent Books
I finally allowed myself to do some mood reading which ended up being me binging a trilogy. I loved it so much and I highly recommend it!

The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams | (Secret, Book, & Scone Society #1) |Cozy Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing. Strangers flock here hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That’s Nora’s special talent—prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person’s deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.

When a visiting businessman reaches out to Nora for guidance, she knows exactly which novels will help. But before he can keep their appointment at Miracle Books, he’s found dead on the train tracks.

Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to gain trust and earn redemption by helping others. To join the society, members must divulge their darkest secret—the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place.

Determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman’s demise, the women meet in Nora’s cramped and cozy bookstore to share stories and trade support. And as they untangle a web of corruption, they also discover their own courage, purpose, and a sisterhood that will carry them through every challenge—proving it’s never too late to turn the page and start over . . .


Inuyasha, Volume 01 by Rumiko Takahashi | (Inuyasha VizBIG Omnibus Series #1) | Manga, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

Kagome is a modern Japanese high school girl. Never the type to believe in myths and legends, her world view dramatically changes when, one day, she’s pulled out of herown time and into another! There, in Japan’s ancient past, Kagome discovers more t han a few of those dusty old legends are true, and that her destiny is linked to one legendary creature in particular–the dog like half-demon called Inuyasha! That same trick of fate also ties them both to the Shikon Jewel, or ” Jewel of Four Souls”. But demons beware… the smallest shard of the Shikon Jewel can give the user unimaginable power.


The Key by Jennifer Anne Davis | (True Reign #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Rema lives in a brutal kingdom where travel between regions is forbidden, people are starving, and looking at someone the wrong way can mean death. Nineteen-year-old Darmik is the king’s son and Commander of the King’s Army. He spends his days roving the island, doing his father’s bidding and trying to maintain control over the people.

When a chance encounter throws Rema and Darmik together, they share an instantaneous connection, but any sort of relationship between them is strictly forbidden. Darmik’s brother, the Crown Prince, notices Darmik’s interest in Rema and, in a calculated, political move, blackmails her. Faced with an impossible choice, Rema is forced to sacrifice her heart in order to save her family.

As Rema is taken to the palace with the Crown Prince, Darmik confronts the growing rumor that a legitimate blood heir to the throne exists and is trying to overthrow Darmik’s family. In Darmik’s quest to hunt down and kill the threat, he discovers that nothing is as it seems. Locked in the king’s castle, Rema finds herself a key player in a massive power struggle. When Darmik shows up, she’s not sure if she can trust him. The line between friends, enemies, and loyalty becomes blurred. As truths are unlocked, Rema understands that she just might be the key to finding the rightful heir and restoring peace to the kingdom… if she can manage to stay alive long enough. 


ЯED by Jennifer Anne Davis | (True Reign #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

Sentenced to be executed.
Betrayed. Alone.
Hanged on the gallows.
Rema thought her life was over, but she was wrong.

Saved by a rebel force she’d only ever heard rumors about, Rema finds herself in a forbidden place. She is finally safe—free from the king and Prince Lennek. But not everything is as it seems at the rebel fortress. Secrets are whispered, and loyalties are tested. Once Rema uncovers the truth of her heritage, will she flee? Or will she ascend to the throne, taking on the responsibility of an entire kingdom?

Now that Darmik knows Rema’s true identity, he’s on a quest to save her. But when an Emperion assassin arrives on Greenwood Island, Darmik knows he doesn’t have very long to find her. In a deadly game with high stakes, will Darmik remain loyal to his family? Or will he break away and join the rebels?

Kingdoms rise and fall.
Heroes are born and made.
But one thing remains the same—love conquers all.


War by Jennifer Anne Davis | (True Reign #3) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

When Rema chose to be crowned queen and join the rebel forces, she knew she’d face the fight of her life. What she didn’t expect was to be kidnapped by an Emperion assassin and taken to the mainland to be executed in front of the emperor. How can she save Greenwood Island if she can’t even save herself?

Darmik knows he doesn’t have much time to rescue Rema. He’s denounced his position as Commander and Prince in order to join the rebels. But now he must rely on his family name in order to go before the Emperor—his uncle—and beg for Rema’s life.

If Rema and Darmik have any hope of being together and saving their kingdom, they must survive the greatest threat of all—Emperion.

This is the heart-pounding conclusion to The True Reign Series.


Currently Reading

A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova | (A Trial of Sorcerers #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

Ice is in her blood.

Eighteen-year-old Waterrunner Eira Landan lives her life in the shadows — the shadow of her older brother, of her magic’s whispers, and of the person she accidentally killed. She’s the most unwanted apprentice in the Tower of Sorcerers until the day she decides to step out and compete for a spot in the Tournament of Five Kingdoms.

Pitted against the best sorcerers in the Empire, Eira fights to be one of four champions. Excelling in the trials has its rewards. She’s invited to the royal court with the “Prince of the Tower,” discovers her rare talent for forbidden magic, and at midnight, Eira meets with a handsome elfin ambassador.

But, Eira soon learns, no reward is without risk. As she comes into the spotlight, so too do the skeletons of a past she hadn’t even realized was haunting her.

Eira went into the trials ready for a fight. Ready to win. She wasn’t ready for what it would cost her. No one expected the candidates might not make it out with their lives.


The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner | Historical Fiction | Add to Goodreads

A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course

Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.

Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive. 


What are you hoping to read this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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