Tours

Blog Tour: In Solitudes Shadow by David Green @DavidGreenWrite @EerieRiver @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #InSolitudesShadow

Wow! Would you just look at this cover! I’m happy to share with you, this beautiful dark fantasy, In Solitudes Shadow by David Green. Read on for details and a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card.

In Solitudes Shadow by David Green
(Empire of Ruin #1)
Dark Fantasy
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The Banished have returned, and they will have their revenge.

Zanna Alpenwood, a powerful mage, stands atop Solitude’s walls staring down at an army bent on invasion. Two hundred aged and forgotten Sparkers are all that stand between the Banished and the nation of Haltveldt.

With time running out, Zanna is forced to reach out to her estranged daughter, Calene, and set her on an impossible quest. In doing so Calene must decide between her masters and her own conscience, as she teams up with unlikely allies to forge their way over land and sea. Will they arrive in time to save the fortress of Solitude from destruction?

Only one thing is certain. Ruin is assured if Solitude falls.

The moon hid behind the highest rise of the Peaks of Eternity. Black clouds hung heavy in the sky. Zanna’s senses felt dull. They told her there should still have been rain. A storm with thunder and lightning. Instead, it felt as though the night held its breath. “Master?” Arlo asked, his voice subdued as he stared out over the walls. “Does the darkness scare you?”

“You get used to it,” Zanna replied, putting an arm around his shoulders.

“No, I mean tonight. There’s something… odd.”Zanna glanced at him. She felt it too. The night held a strange quality. All too quiet, but a tense quivering underpinned the silence. Feeling eyes on her, shescanned the rampart and saw they were alone. At first, she thought it her imagination, but faint sounds drifted to her. The sound of whispers that lingered at the edge of her hearing.

“You’re right, Arlo,” she said, gazing across the ramparts. Lit braziers dotted the walls that ran a half-mile in each direction. She drew their flames inside her, the sensation thrilling her. Arlo’s eyes widened at the depth of her power. Zanna kept pulling fire into her, her limbs filling with warmth, heat, power. It made her feel alive, to the point she wanted to keep drawing, to not let go. A struggle every Sparker contended with.

“We need light.”

Quivering with energy and almost at her limit, Zanna lifted her hands to the skie sand unleashed a fountain of flame across the heavens, lighting up the plains for miles below them.

“Oh, teeth of the gods,” she whispered, taking in the sight below before darkness swallowed the flames. She turned to Arlo. The colour had drained from his face and tears filled his wide, blue eyes. His fingers dug into the stone ramparts as he gripped the wall.

“Raas preserve us. Get Protector Garet. Run. Can you do that?”

Arlo nodded and shot away, leaving Zanna alone. She looked out over the ramparts again. The darkness hid them as they spilled over the distant hills. An army marched across the slate plains towards Solitude. Thousands of them. The Banished were  coming. And less than two hundred Sparkers, with a single apprentice, stood in their way.

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PUTTING THE SOLITUDE IN SOLITUDE’S SHADOW

You’ve probably visited this site and noticed the banners for In Solitude’s Shadow—an epic, character-driven dark fantasy, they say—and seen a guest blog spot by some bloke called David Green. Well, you’re reading in now, so let’s say you have.

Who’s David Green? That’s me, and In Solitude’s Shadow is my first foray into long-form fantasy writing, after thirty-odd years of reading it (thirty-one since I read The Hobbit for the first time at the age of seven, to be precise. How do I know? I still have the same copy, with my name, age, and address scrawled in it. I must have had wild dreams for the future, as my address included which planet, solar system, and galaxy I lived in… but that’s another story.)

So a little about me; I’m a ‘dark fiction’ writer, which means while I love me some fantasy, I dabble in other genres. Horror and sci-fi, mostly. Though I do enjoy noir. In fact, my first series is an urban-fantasy paranormal noir, in my crazy attempt to throw as many genres into one book that I could. I get notions like that from time to time. I’m Irish, but grew up in Manchester in the not-so sunny UK, before moving back to the not-so sunny Galway at the tail-end of the 00s. Three years ago, I became a stay-at-home dad to a wonderful little boy who’s my partner-in-crime in all things, but I needed something else to do.

Writing became that thing.

I’d always harboured ambitions to write, but my old familiar friend—the Doubt Monster, I call him Doug—would convince me not to bother.

“No one will care,” Doug would whisper, prodding me to play more Xbox, or read something good. “You won’t be able to do it.”

I’d nod my head and park my dreams for a little longer. But then my son came along, and you know what? I wanted to have something to make him proud. One printed story in an anthology. That would do me. Just one thing he could see, aged seven, maybe like when I read The Hobbit, and he could say, “My dad did something? Who knew?”

So I practiced. I went to creative writing lessons, and was invited to read a little story I wrote about the time I had to spend almost forty hours of my life dressed in a female bunny suit to a room full of people. Her name was Dot. Probably still is, for all I know. But mainly, I kept all my scribblings to myself.

Then came the pandemic.

Now, what I didn’t realise about writing was that it’s quite a lonely business. Shock horror, I know, I know. I’m quite famed for missing the obvious. But the pandemic took that to new levels. Gone were the creative writing classes. A weekly book group I joined was no more. Housebound in lockdown, I considered what to do. I could stop; go back to the Xbox, become great at increasing my waist size.

Or I could take it more seriously, get that one printed story. Just one.

A few months later, after immersing myself in a wonderful online writing community, getting that interaction and advice, I got my story. Then came another, and another. I had the writing bug. And each time, I moved closer and closer to writing fantasy, after avoiding it at first; how could I, Mr New Writer, hope to create anything as fine as the stories I loved?

Well, you try.

I had the idea for In Solitude’s Shadow for years. Not fully refined and formed, but the spark lived inside me. But I hadn’t written it. Then I saw an upcoming call from Eerie River Publishing, a wonderful imprint of dark and delightful things, announcing that they would be open for dark fantasy standalone novels and series from June 1st to June 30th 2020.

This was my chance.

But… I hadn’t written it. And we were in May.

I spent a day thinking about whether I could do it. I’d need to give some things up (Xbox, movie night, a few TV shows on the back burner) but if I set myself daily goals, got my trusted beta reader onboard, I could do it, couldn’t I?

I thought of my son, two years old then, and realised yes. All I could do was try.

I wrote every night into the small hours. Alone in my kitchen, on my couch, in my bed. Anywhere I could type. I’d thought writing a lonely business before, but throwing yourself into writing a novel in a month… that’s something else.

Lonely… but rewarding.

I’d created it. The idea in my head. The working title, The Banished, changed to Solitude’s Shadow (no In, at that point). An apt title; not only for the themes in the book, but a novel written during a pandemic lockdown, mostly in the middle of the night. And what’s more, my beta reader loved it. As did the next set of eyes, who gave me some valuable advice before it was ready for submission.

One evening, a few weeks later, I got a message from Michelle at Eerie River Publishing, telling me she was reading it. Another few nervous hours later, another message. “I’m still reading this, I’m over halfway through.”

Nerves built.

Soon after, a third message. “Can we talk?”

I ignored my first instinct of saying “NO!” and heading for the hills.

We talked. We made plans. We discussed the positives and the parts that needed more work, then Michelle stopped and asked: “Wait, you do want to publish with me, don’t you?”

I didn’t give it a millisecond of thought.

“I really think you should call it ‘In Solitude’s Shadow,’ though, don’t you?”

Almost a year later, and the book is ready for people to read. It’s nerve-wracking, but exhilarating. I’m hard at work at the sequel, but not forcing myself into as much Solitude this time.

So what’s the point of this blog? If there’s one thing I’ve learned since beginning my writing journey, it’s this: try. You have an idea you think no one will ever read, ever care about looking at? They won’t if it’s still in your head, or on your hard drive. If you have an ambition to write, or to create, or to try something new, go for it. Don’t let you stop you.

You never know what might happen.

I hope if you pick up In Solitude’s Shadow, you enjoy it, and find something of worth. While it pays respect to many things I love in fantasy, I believe it offers unique spins and perspectives and if nothing else, is a fast-paced ripping yarn.

For now, happy reading.

David Green.

David Green David Green is a writer of dark fiction. Born in Manchester, UK and living in Galway, Ireland, David grew up with gloomy clouds above his head, and rain water at his feet, which has no doubt influenced his dark scribblings. David is the author of the Pushcart Prize nominated novelette Dead Man Walking, and is excited for his fantasy series, Empire of Ruin, debuting in June 2021 from Eerie River Publishing.

June 14th
Reads & Reels (Guest Post) http://readsandreels.com
Catz Luv Coffee (Review) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com
Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com
I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

June 15th
Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news
Scarlett Readz & Runz (Spotlight) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

June 16th
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
@swimming.in.books (Review) https://www.instagram.com/swimming.in.books/
@dreaminginpages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/

June 17th
I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com
The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

June 18th
@disneyallthe_way (Review) https://www.instagram.com/disneyallthe_way/
Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/
Sophril Reads (Spotlight)  https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

This Event Was Organized By:
R&R Book Tours

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Wrap Up

April 2021 Wrap-up

Monthly Wrapup

Welcome to my April wrap-up.  I know this is very late but better late than never right.

5 Star Reads

The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan | (Powder Mage #3) | Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 2 by Mizuho Kusanagi | (Yona of the Dawn #2) | Manga, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 3 by Mizuho Kusanagi | (Yona of the Dawn #3) | Manga, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 3 by Ryōsuke Takeuchim and Hikaru Miyoshi | (Moriarty the Patriot #3) | Manga, Mystery, Historical | Add to Goodreads

Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World by Amy Stanley | Biography, Historical, Nonfiction | Add to Goodreads


4 Star Reads

The Sapphire Library by Rosalie Oaks | (Lady Diviner #3) | Regency, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance | Add to Goodreads

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle | Classic, Mystery, Sherlockian | Add to Goodreads


3 Star Reads

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder | (Burton & Swinburne #1) | Fantasy, Steampunk, Historical, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown | Self-Help | Add to Goodreads

Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life by Jim Kwik | Self-Help | Add to Goodreads


DNF

The Sword and the Dagger by Robert Cochran | Young Adult, Fantasy Medieval | Add to Goodreads

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason | (Stoker & Holmes #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads


How was your reading month? Take to me below I would love to hear from you!

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Pariah by Anthony Ryan

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:

The Pariah by Anthony Ryan
(The Covenant of Steel #1)
Genre: Fantasy
Expected Publication: August 24, 2021

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Born into the troubled kingdom of Albermaine, Alwyn Scribe is raised as an outlaw. Quick of wit and deft with a blade, Alwyn is content with the freedom of the woods and the comradeship of his fellow thieves. But an act of betrayal sets him on a new path – one of blood and vengeance, which eventually leads him to a soldier’s life in the king’s army.

Fighting under the command of Lady Evadine Courlain, a noblewoman beset by visions of a demonic apocalypse, Alwyn must survive war and the deadly intrigues of the nobility if he hopes to claim his vengeance. But as dark forces, both human and arcane, gather to oppose Evadine’s rise, Alwyn faces a choice: can he be a warrior, or will he always be an outlaw?

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Tours

Blog Blitz: The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton
Historical Romance
Expected Publication: June 15, 2021
Publisher: Berkley Books

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Purchase
Penguin Random House | IndieBound | Amazon

A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.

Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She’s also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it’s a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.

Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he’s under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.

When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her–hopefully proving, once and for all, that she’s as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them. 

There was no possibility of walking to the library that day. Morning rain had blanched the air, and Miss Dar­ling­ton feared that if Cecilia ventured out she would develop a cough and be dead within the week. Therefore Cecilia was at home, sitting with her aunt in a room ten degrees colder than the streets of London, and reading aloud The Song of Hiawatha by “that American rogue, Mr. Longfellow,” when the strange gentleman knocked at their door.

As the sound barged through the house, interrupting Cecilia’s recitation mid-­rhyme, she looked inquiringly at her aunt. But Miss Dar­ling­ton’s own gaze went to the mantel clock, which was ticking sedately ­toward a quarter to one. The old lady frowned.

“It is an abomination the way people these days knock at any wild, unseemly hour,” she said in much the same tone the prime minister had used in Parliament recently to decry the London rioters. “I do declare—­!”

Cecilia waited, but Miss Dar­ling­ton’s only declaration came in the form of sipping her tea pointedly, by which Cecilia understood that the abominable caller was to be ignored. She returned to Hiawatha and had just begun proceeding “­toward the land of the Pearl-­Feather” when the knocking came again with increased force, silencing her and causing Miss Dar­ling­ton to set her teacup into its saucer with a clink. Tea splashed, and Cecilia hastily laid down the poetry book before things ­­really got out of hand.

“I shall see who it is,” she said, smoothing her dress as she rose and touching the red-­gold hair at her temples, although there was no crease in the muslin nor a single strand out of place in her coiffure.

“Do be careful, dear,” Miss Dar­ling­ton admonished. “Anyone attempting to visit at this time of day is obviously some kind of hooligan.”

“Fear not, Aunty.” Cecilia took up a bone-­handled letter opener from the small table beside her chair. “They will not trouble me.”

Miss Dar­ling­ton harrumphed. “We are buying no subscriptions today,” she called out as Cecilia left the room.

In fact they had never bought subscriptions, so this was an unnecessary injunction, although typical of Miss Dar­ling­ton, who persisted in seeing her ward as the reckless tomboy who had entered her care ten years before: prone to climbing trees, fashioning cloaks from tablecloths, and making unauthorized doorstep purchases whenever the fancy took her. But a decade’s proper education had wrought wonders, and now Cecilia walked the hall quite calmly, her French heels tapping against the polished marble floor, her intentions aimed in no way ­toward the taking of a subscription. She opened the door.

“Yes?” she asked.

“Good afternoon,” said the man on the step. “May I interest you in a brochure on the plight of the endangered North Atlantic auk?”

Cecilia blinked from his pleasant smile to the brochure he was holding out in a black-­gloved hand. She noticed at once the scandalous lack of hat upon his blond hair and the embroidery trimming his black frock coat. He wore neither sideburns nor mustache, his boots were tall and buckled, and a silver hoop hung from one ear. She looked again at his smile, which quirked in response.

“No,” she said, and closed the door.

And bolted it.

Ned remained for a moment longer with the brochure extended as his brain waited for his body to catch up with events. He considered what he had seen of the woman who had stood so briefly in the shadows of the doorway, but he could not recall the exact color of the sash that waisted her soft white dress, nor whether it had been pearls or stars in her hair, nor even how deeply winter dreamed in her lovely eyes. He held only a general impression of “beauty so rare and face so fair”—­and implacability so terrifying in such a young woman.

And then his body made pace, and he grinned.

Miss Dar­ling­ton was pouring herself another cup of tea when Cecilia returned to the parlor. “Who was it?” she asked without looking up.

“A pirate, I believe,” Cecilia said as she sat and, taking the little book of poetry, began sliding a finger down a page to relocate the line at which she’d been interrupted.

Miss Dar­ling­ton set the teapot down. With a delicate pair of tongs fashioned like a sea monster, she began loading sugar cubes into her cup. “What made you think that?”

Cecilia was quiet a moment as she recollected the man. He had been handsome in a rather dangerous way, despite the ridiculous coat. A light in his eyes had suggested he’d known his brochure would not fool her, but he’d entertained himself with the pose anyway. She predicted his hair would fall over his brow if a breeze went through it, and that the slight bulge in his trousers had been in case she was not happy to see him—­a dagger, or perhaps a gun.

“Well?” her aunt prompted, and Cecilia blinked herself back into focus.

“He had a tattoo of an anchor on his wrist,” she said. “Part of it was visible from beneath his sleeve. But he did not offer me a secret handshake, nor invite himself in for tea, as anyone of decent piratic society would have done, so I took him for a rogue and shut him out.”

“A rogue pirate! At our door!” Miss Dar­ling­ton made a small, disapproving noise behind pursed lips. “How reprehensible. Think of the germs he might have had. I wonder what he was after.”

Cecilia shrugged. Had Hiawatha confronted the magician yet? She could not remember. Her finger, three-­quarters of the way down the page, moved up again. “The Scope diamond, perhaps,” she said. “Or Lady Askew’s necklace.”

Miss Dar­ling­ton clanked a teaspoon around her cup in a manner that made Cecilia wince. “Imagine if you had been out as you planned, Cecilia dear. What would I have done, had he broken in?”

“Shot him?” Cecilia suggested.

Miss Dar­ling­ton arched two vehemently plucked eyebrows ­toward the ringlets on her brow. “Good heavens, child, what do you take me for, a maniac? Think of the damage a ricocheting bullet would do in this room.”

“Stabbed him, then?”

“And get blood all over the rug? It’s a sixteenth-­century Persian antique, you know, part of the royal collection. It took a great deal of effort to acquire.”

“Steal,” Cecilia murmured.

“Obtain by private means.”

“Well,” Cecilia said, abandoning a losing battle in favor of the original topic of conversation. “It was indeed fortunate I was here. ‘The level moon stared at him—­’ ”

“The moon? Is it up already?” Miss Dar­ling­ton glared at the wall as if she might see through its swarm of framed pictures, its wallpaper and wood, to the celestial orb beyond, and therefore convey her disgust at its diurnal shenanigans.

“No, it stared at Hiawatha,” Cecilia explained. “In the poem.”

“Oh. Carry on, then.”

“ ‘In his face stared pale and haggard—­’ ”

“Repetitive fellow, isn’t he?”

“Poets do tend to—­”

Miss Dar­ling­ton waved a hand irritably. “I don’t mean the poet, girl. The pirate. Look, he’s now trying to climb in the window.”

India Holton is the author of The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels, a fantastical romcom set in an alternate Victorian era. She lives in coastal New Zealand, where she grew up running barefoot around islands, following ghosts through forests, and messing around in boats. She spent several years teaching and now writes about plucky girls, unconventional women, and the men who love them. India’s writing is fuelled by tea, buttered scones, and thunderstorms.

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Tours

Blog Tour: Men and Country Collection – Riley by Emmanuelle Snow @SnowEmmanuelle and @Shalini_G26

Men and Country Collection – Riley by Emmanuelle Snow
Men and Country
Romance

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Amazon USA | Amazon UK


Three men. Three stories.

A country music superstar. His manager. And the guy who doesn’t believe in love.

Riley Burns is the manager of the biggest country music star in the world, Carter Hills.

He discovered him at eighteen and brought him to stardom. Yeah, Riley’s career is what everyone in the business aspires to.

Except, nothing in his personal life is worth fighting for. Until he meets her one night and falls under her charm.

The chemistry is there.

But soon she vanishes into the dark night, leaving no trace behind, not even her full name.

What if love at first sight really exists, but only hits someone once?

Riley makes it his mission to find the woman who stole his heart, no matter how hard it might be.

But what if she doesn’t want to be found?

Our eyes met. Something passed between us. Fascination? Lust? Magnetism? Maybe a mix of all three. And much more. I brought my tumbler to my lips, relishing the burning sensation of whiskey as it slid down my throat.

My Adam’s apple bounced.

My heart did one of its moves. The ones where it got all bothered and excited.

I fastened my grip around the glass in my hand.

With a straight back, I moved forward, my steps light and focused.

The woman pushed her long curled blonde hair over her shoulder, giving me a perfect view of her lickable long neck. Was that even a word? I pushed the thought away. I was a man on a mission.

The vampiric side of me, the one I didn’t know existed until now, emerged in full strength.

I blinked.

The temptation to bite the soft flesh of her neck grew bigger by the second.

The woman smiled, and all my restraints broke loose. They caught fire and burned to ashes in the dark night.

Smart, Sexy, and Sassy Love Stories

Emmanuelle Snow is a contemporary author of mature YA and New Adult love stories, who likes to give life to strong characters who’ll fight with all they have to reach their life goals and find their own happiness.

Emmanuelle is in love with love. Especially those complicated, deep, and passionate feelings that make a relationship extraordinary and complex, all at the same time.

In her spare time, when she’s not writing or reading, Emmanuelle likes to go on road trips—with her four kids and her own soulmate—watch movies, paint, or do some DIY, always with a cup of green tea in her hand and listening to country music.

She splits her time between beautiful Canada and the small US towns she adores.  

This Event Was Organized By:
Digital Reads Blog Tours

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? June 14, 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

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.


The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman | (Blacktongue #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which The includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.

But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.

Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants.

Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva’s. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford. 


The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri | (Burning Kingdoms #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Author of Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne, beginning a new trilogy set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, in which a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess’s traitor brother.

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.

But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.


Shadow Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis | (Knights of the Realm #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

As a member of the Knights of the Realm, Reid swore an oath to protect her king only to discover he harbors a traitorous agenda.

Being a woman raised in a man’s world, Reid thought becoming a Knight would give her purpose and strength. So far, it has done nothing but give her trouble. The king ordered her to spy on the Axian royal family while she prepares for her marriage—a marriage neither she nor Price Dexter wants. Once in Axian, Reid realizes she’s being used as a pawn in a decades-old political match. With the king and Knights seemingly at odds, Reid’s allegiances are torn, especially when she finds friendship in the unlikeliest of places.

As the kingdom of Marsden teeters on the brink of civil war, Reid must decide whose side she’s on—even if that means betraying her king in order to save the kingdom.


In Solitude’s Shadow by David Green | Empire of Ruin | Dark Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

An army is at the gates of Haltveldt, a nation built on war, and nothing is as it seems.

Calene Alpenwood, a powerful warrior-mage gifted with the Spark, makes a shocking discovery that sets into motion events that put her at odds with the very masters she serves. Reuniting with her mother Zanna, a woman banished after a terrible crime, they team up with unlikely allies as they attempt to save the fortress of Solitude from destruction.

One thing’s for certain; ruin approaches if Solitude falls and life will never be the same when The Banished return.


Currently Reading

Hidden Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis | (Knights of the Realm #2) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

With Prince Henrick dead, a foreign army in league with the king, and the palace taken, Reid must find a way to right the wrongs for the people of Marsden.

Reid never expected to find love, friendship, or her mother in the kingdom of Axian. She also never expected to become a leader for her people. With the king threatening to overthrow the dukes and take complete control of the kingdom, Reid realizes she may be the only one in a position to stop him. With the ring her father gave her, the commanders of the army at her side, and a master schemer in league with her, Reid just might be able to pull off the greatest upset in Marsden history—all she has to do in step into the role she was born for.

To protect her kingdom, Reid must outsmart them all. Luckily, she’s spent the last eighteen year learning the art of manipulation, and she isn’t above putting those skills to the test. 


The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson | Mistborn Saga – The Wax & Wayne Series #1 | Steampunk, Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

hree hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metal minds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.


The Determined Miss Rachel by Laura Rollins | (Daughters of Courage #2) | Regency Romance, Clean Romance | Add to Goodreads

She wants nothing more than to leave.
He wants nothing more than for her to stay.

Change may be the only constant in life, but for Rachel Chant change has only ever meant loss. First her father passed, then she was forced to leave her mother, and now she has even lost her home. Enough is enough and Rachel determines to find a way to be with her mother once again. She is no longer a little girl, dependent on those charged with her care, and she won’t stand by while her mother slips beyond reputable society and further into poverty.

Christopher Dunn has always lived among the comforts of high society, but never as a true member. The son of a musician and now a tutor, he has long since given up on having a home or family. Change and disruption are a way of life for him. He’s a man without roots, and he’s fine with that. That is, until he meets Rachel.

Steady in the face of uncertainty and with a love of music that runs as deep as his own, Rachel first captures Christopher’s interest and soon afterward his heart. However, Rachel’s determination to return home won’t let her rest. But to return home would be to leave Christopher. Life, it seems, is not yet done taking away those she loves, and this time it just might be more than either of them can endure.

As the second stand-alone novel in a new series by author Laura Rollins, The Determined Miss Rachel continues the Daughters of Courage series. This charming story is a light-hearted, clean and wholesome romance set in the Regency era (think: a clean Bridgerton). All books in this series have their own Happily-Ever-After and can be read apart or enjoyed in proper order.


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Reviews

Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Book Review

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
Fantasy, Mythology, Retelling

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Synopsis
As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

Ariadne gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths, and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this is an exceptional debut novel.

What I thought
Thank you Macmillan Audio and Netgalley for giving me an ARC copy of this book for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings expressed are my own.

I have always enjoyed mythology, but I have to say I love that we are getting retellings that focus on the mostly forgotten women of the original myths.  They were briefly mentioned and usually, the context around them was not good.   I took a mythology class in high school (no one needs to know how long ago that was) and we studied the Greek myths.  So when the only thing I could remember about Ariadne was that she liked to dance I knew I was in for a treat.  The original story focused on Theseus and the Minotaur and little was said about the Minotaur’s sisters.  Also, the original story used the mother as a lesson to be learned.  So I really enjoy that this story dives into the fact that the mother is used by the gods to punish her husband and it shows her trama.  In many ways, this story gives back to all the women that were just brushed over.   And it does help that some of the men do get what is coming to them.  

I found the writing to be lovely and I was pulled into the story from the beginning.  This is a wonderful book for anyone that loves retellings or is a fan of Madeline Miller’s Circe.  

My Rating: /5

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