Reviews

Review: Peppermint and Pentacles by Melanie Karsak 

Review

peppermint-and-pentacles
Peppermint and Pentacles

by Melanie Karsak
Steampunk Red Riding Hood #3
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Synopsis
Up on the housetop werewolves howl Out jumps good old Agent Louvel Down through the chimney chasing monsters quick Feeling far less jolly than Old Saint Nick Red Cape Society Agent Clemeny Louvel is used to chasing werewolves across London. But when she’s reassigned to a special case just days before Christmas, she learns that she’ll need more than a silver bullet to keep everyone on the nice list. Peppermint and Pentacles is a retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale set in Melanie Karsak’s bestselling steampunk universe.

What I thought
This is the third book in the Red Riding Hood Series. I love this steampunk retelling of Little Red Riding Hood! And I really love how you get them novella size pieces. I would not have thought I would but I like being able to pick one up and not have to put it down until I am done with it.

This story takes place on the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Clemeny who is used to taking down Werewolves is really out of her comfort zone in this one when she has to take down a creature she has never faced before.  Who is Clemeny’s partner in this one… none other than Agent Hunter.

I mean even though these books are really short this has been such a slow burn romance and I am living for every minute of it.

We get some of Agent Hunters back story, which ends up adding a whole new level of complicated in Clemeny’s mind regarding any possible relationship. Clemeny is all too aware of where she stands in the ranks of society, but Agent Hunter doesn’t seem to care about any of it.

All in all, I love watching Clemeny grow as a character. Also, I think this world is amazing if you didn’t know all of the author’s steampunk books live in this world.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Rumpel’s Redemption by Tamara Grantham

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: Rumpel’s Redemption by Tamara Grantham

rumpels-redemption
Rumpel’s Redemption

by Tamara Grantham
Fantasy, Retelling

Dark elf, Kardiya Von Fiddlestrum, wants an adventure. When she gets kidnapped by Rumpel Stiltskin and taken to a foreign magical realm, she’s sure it wasn’t the kind of adventure she was looking for. Rumpel Stiltskin wants revenge on Kardiya’s grandmother for cursing him to become a goblin. When he’s freed from the curse and returns to his true form—that of a handsome young prince—Rumpel searches out Kardiya, knowing she’s the only person who can help him. But revenge isn’t Rumpel’s only motivation. The reason he bargained with Kardiya’s grandmother in the first place was to find the child of the dark elves who wears a magical pendant. Only she can save his home which has been infiltrated by the Sa’hadov. Kardiya is the one mentioned in prophecy, but she refuses to cooperate. Until she learns the truth.

If she fails to stop the Sa’hadov, their taint will spread to all lands and poison not only Rumpel’s home, but hers as well. Agreeing to help her kidnapper wasn’t her first choice—but neither was falling in love with him.

Expected publication: July 22, 2019

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Wrap Up

June 2019 Wrap-up

Good Morning Everyone,

In June I was able to finish 10 books.

Books Read: 10
Books DNF’d: 0
Total Pages Read: 1,528
Total Audio Hours: 21:56

Now to break that down  a little more

Backlist Books: 1
Added to my TBR in 2019: 8
Borrowed: 1

2019 Goals (only this months numbers)
Finish or catch up on 3 Series: 0
10 Books I want to read in 2019: 0
Read 3 Tomes0
Read more backlist books: No

Year-end 2019 Goals
Finish or catch up on 3 Series: 2/3
10 Books I want to read in 20192/10
Read 3 Tomes3/3 
Read more backlist books: 26/54

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis | 5 Stars | Add to Goodreads
The Birth of Gemini by C.S. Johnson | 4 Stars | Add to Goodreads
Waltz of the Crows by L.G. Rollins | 5 Stars | Add to Goodreads
The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey | 5 Stars | Add to Goodreads

Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger | 5 Stars | Add to Goodreads
Vortex Visions by Elise Kova | 5 Stars | Add to Goodreads
Peppermint and Pentacles by Melanie Karsak | 5 Stars | Add to Goodreads

This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin  | 5 Stars | Add to Goodreads
Bitches and Brawlers by Melanie Karsak | 5 Stars | Add to Goodreads
Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok | 5 Stars | Add to Goodreads

How was your reading month?

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? July 8, 2019

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.

Last Weeks Books
the-near-witch

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
5 Stars
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All-new deluxe edition of an out-of-print gem, containing in-universe short story “The Ash-Born Boy” and a never-before-seen introduction from V.E. Schwab.

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

There are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Fools gold
Fools’ Gold
by Philippa Gregory
Order of Darkness #3
4 Stars
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Tasked to expose a coin counterfeiting scheme, Luca and Isolde travel to Venice just in time for Carnival. Amid the masks, parties, and excitement, the romantic attraction between the two reaches a new intensity that neither can deny.

Their romance is interrupted by the arrival of the alchemist, who may be the con artist they’ve been looking for. But as Luca starts to investigate the original charge, the alchemist reveals his true goal—he plans to create the Philosopher’s Stone, a mystical substance said to be capable of turning base metals into gold and producing the elixir of life.

With pounds of undocumented gold coins and an assistant who claims to be decades older than she appears, all evidence points to the possibility that the alchemist has succeeded in his task. But as Luca and Isolde get closer to the truth, they discover that reality may be more sinister than they ever could have imagined.

Current Reads:
Shadow of The Fox

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
Shadow of the Fox #1
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One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

The Priory of the Orange Tree
The Priory of the Orange Tree 
by Samantha Shannon
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A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door. Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic. Across the dark sea, Tane has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel. Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

once26future
Once & Future
by Amy Rose Capetta, Cori McCarthy
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I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure.

What are your reading plans this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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Reviews

Review: The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey

Review

The Hummingbird Dagger
The Hummingbird Dagger
 by Cindy Anstey
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Synopsis
1833. After young Lord James Ellerby witnesses a near-fatal carriage accident on the outskirts of his estate, he doesn’t think twice about bringing the young woman injured in the wreck to his family’s manor to recuperate. But then she finally regains consciousness only to find that she has no memory of who she is or where she belongs.

Beth, as she takes to calling herself, is an enigma even to herself. She has the rough hands of a servant, but the bearing and apparent education of a lady. Her only clue to her identity is a gruesome recurring nightmare about a hummingbird dripping blood from its steel beak.

With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth slowly begins to unravel the mystery behind her identity and the sinister circumstances that brought her to their door. But the dangerous secrets they discover in doing so could have deadly ramifications reaching the highest tiers of London society.

What I thought
This story is a YA Regency mystery/romance. It is a clean YA story. The writing style reflects that of Jane Austen.  I could not wait for this book to come out. I pre-ordered it as a Birthday gift for myself.  The cover gave me Sherlock vibes; however, I know that the author does not write mystery that way. So I went into this book understanding that it was not going to be action packed and the romance would be clean and slow burning. Knowing all that I was not disappointed by this book at all. It was exactly what I was looking for at the time and I loved it.

I can’t imagine waking up and not having any memory of who I am or my past. Then every night having horrifying nightmares of a hummingbird dagger dripping my blood, and not knowing what any of it means. I loved the character Caroline and how she seemed to hold everything together.

Oh My God as I am writing this I just realized that James reminds me of Bingly. I’m not sure what it is exactly about his character that makes me think that but I’m okay with it.

I loved Walter and watching how much he grew in this story and the fact that it was realistic. He went from being a little wild to being responsible and it all stemmed from the fact that he felt responsible for Beth’s condition. Which is true since he caused the accident.

So if you are looking for a slow-burn clean romance and some mystery written in Austen esque style then this is your book.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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New Releases

July 2019 Books I’m Excited About

Hey Everyone!

A new month a new set of releases.  There are four books that are coming out this month that I am excited about.

the-storm-crow
The Storm Crow
by Kalyn Josephson
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In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

Expected publication: July 9, 2019

spin-the-dawn
Spin the Dawn
by Elizabeth Lim
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Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Expected publication: July 9, 2019

rumpels-redemption
Rumpel’s Redemption
by Tamara Grantham
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Dark elf, Kardiya Von Fiddlestrum, wants an adventure. When she gets kidnapped by Rumpel Stiltskin and taken to a foreign magical realm, she’s sure it wasn’t the kind of adventure she was looking for. Rumpel Stiltskin wants revenge on Kardiya’s grandmother for cursing him to become a goblin. When he’s freed from the curse and returns to his true form—that of a handsome young prince—Rumpel searches out Kardiya, knowing she’s the only person who can help him. But revenge isn’t Rumpel’s only motivation. The reason he bargained with Kardiya’s grandmother in the first place was to find the child of the dark elves who wears a magical pendant. Only she can save his home which has been infiltrated by the Sa’hadov. Kardiya is the one mentioned in prophecy, but she refuses to cooperate. Until she learns the truth.

If she fails to stop the Sa’hadov, their taint will spread to all lands and poison not only Rumpel’s home, but hers as well. Agreeing to help her kidnapper wasn’t her first choice—but neither was falling in love with him.

Expected publication: July 22, 2019

grave-expectations-1
Grave Expectations
by Heather Redmond
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In this clever reimagining of Charles Dickens’s life, he and fiance Kate Hogarth must solve the murder of a spinster wearing a wedding gown…

London, June 1835: In the interest of being a good neighbor, Charles checks in on Miss Haverstock, the elderly spinster who resides in the flat above his. But as the young journalist and his fiance Kate ascend the stairs, they are assaulted by the unmistakable smell of death. Upon entering the woman’s quarters, they find her decomposing corpse propped up, adorned in a faded gown that looks like it could have been her wedding dress, had she been married. A murderer has set the stage. But to what purpose?

As news of an escaped convict from Coldbath Fields reaches the couple, Charles reasonably expects the prisoner, Ned Blood, may be responsible. But Kate suspects more personal motives, given the time and effort in dressing the victim. When a local blacksmith is found with cut manacles in his shop and arrested, his distraught wife begs Charles and Kate to help. At the inquest, they are surprised to meet Miss Haverstock’s cold and haughty foster daughter, shadowed by her miserably besotted companion. Secrets shrouded by the old woman’s past may hold the answers to this web of mystery. But Charles and Kate will have to risk their lives to unveil the truth . . .

Expected publication:  July 30, 2019

Are there any books that you are looking forward to this month?

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New Releases

Book Blitz: Fractured Sleep

Fractured Sleep
(Fairy Tale Ink, #4)
Publication date: June 28, 2019
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales, Fantasy

Fairy Tale Ink is proud to present these four retold stories of the classic, Sleeping Beauty. A story for every reader from best-selling and award-winning authors!

Aurora’s Fight, by Angela Brimhall Five years ago, Aurora was forced to live at Thornhurst Manor, the city insane asylum. Every night she dreads sunset when sleep becomes a wicked game of survival. When Aurora is kidnapped and imprisoned in The Briar, a vision reveals the desperate man in the next cell is her only hope in stopping the plague of her nightmares. Will she find a way to rescue this mysterious man before The Dragon’s death countdown reaches zero?

The Lonely Princess, by Jo Schneider: Everything changed in the 500 years Aurora slept. Now teenagers go to the Academy, where humans and fey live side-by-side and everyone pretends to get along. In her attempts to find her place in this new world, she meets Saru—a mysterious boy who delights in irritating her. Their attraction is instant, but his forgotten past might be their undoing.

Dragon’s Curse, by Adrienne Monson: When her nana is in a near-fatal car accident, Dawn is forced to reconcile her beliefs about magic. Her long-buried powers could save Nana’s life, but at a high price. Accepting magic means that the man Dawn dreamt about her whole life is real and that she’s the only one who can save him from a cursed sleep. To do that, she’ll have to face the terrifying dragon who put him there.

Restless, by Quinn Coleridge: Rory Kingston doesn’t want much. Just a good night’s sleep and a normal life free of magic. Yet Rory’s own royal pedigree keeps getting in the way of achieving these goals, not to mention her preoccupation with a new neighbor. Where the darkly handsome history professor goes, danger and mayhem follow. Has Phillip come to drag Rory back to the magical kingdom she left behind years ago or are his motives even more nefarious?

Goodreads / Amazon

SNEAK PEEKS:

At the Edge of Dreams by Angela Brimhall
(Steampunk)

Aurora pressed her back against the clock tower wall, clutching the stolen scroll to her chest. The whine of clicking machinery from the surrounding buildings tapped like a metronome in her head, beating out the rhythmic heartbeat of The Briar. She squeezed her eyes shut listening for the signal she’d been detected. But nothing came. Aurora’s chest fluttered when she peeked around the corner to Main Street.

Steam hissed from arterial pipes and veiny downspouts protruding from faceless citadels. Aurora searched through shadows for yellow-orange eyes. Mist clouded the alleyways wedged between the buildings, cloaking any Huntsman hiding from view, but she couldn’t see any patrolling the street.

Aurora didn’t hesitate. She bounded away from behind the wall and ran, not looking back. Alarms blared as she passed the city limits and met the lip of Spindlewood Forest.

They know.

Her thighs burned. Puffs of strained breath came in uncontrolled spurts, but the dissonant sound drove Aurora harder. She crashed through the threshold of trees and fought her way up the steep hill into the woodland’s heart.

Aurora pulled herself over the summit and crawled to the nearest bush, wheezing through pursed lips, clutching the stitch in her side. A twig snapped. The sound rode on a whisper of dank smoky air from the grove of trees two feet away.

Something was close.

The hair on Aurora’s neck rose, and she narrowed her eyes, peeking around the shrub. She gripped her piecemeal knife in one shaking hand, the scroll in the other, waiting for the metal minion to show himself.

Where are you?

Several cracks echoed in different directions around her. Blood rushed from Aurora’s face into her stomach. She whipped around, her head darting every which way, ears perked. Aurora crouched, knife out, ready to jab anything that came close.

I’m surrounded.

A skeletal metal face peered at Aurora from behind a large tree trunk five feet in front of her. It’s lifeless eyes twisted and whirred, yellow pupils fixating on her location. Aurora froze. The Huntsman stepped out from behind the tree and brandished a long bronze pistol.

Dragon’s Curse by Adrienne Monson
(Paranormal Romance)

I was going to explode. A restless energy had been building inside me for months now. There were times when it felt like my skin was the only thing keeping me from flying apart. There was no good reason for it. Frustration continued to grow and everything I’d done to ignore it and tamp it down seemed to only feed the impotent ire simmering beneath the surface.

When my coworker, Ben, had asked me out for the third time tonight, I’d lost it. I mean, yelled and came pretty close to slapping him. While he may have been annoying, he hadn’t deserved my freak out.

My phone played Sound of Silence to let me know it was ringing. All I wanted was to take a shower and wash the smell of coffee and baked goods off, but when I saw it was Nana, I answered. “Hey.” I put the speaker on so I could grab some water while I spoke. I tossed my keys on the counter and placed my phone next to them.

“What’s wrong?” Her confident voice flitted through my tiny apartment as if she were in the room.

My shoulders tensed and my defenses kicked in. “Why does something have to be wrong?”

“It’s in your tone. I can tell. What are you so mad about?”

That was the question I’d been asking myself for weeks. I glared at the phone as I drank. The cold water felt nice on my throat, but it was not enough to calm me.

“Dawn?” Nana called, her voice louder. “Don’t you give me that look.”

Rolling my eyes, I huffed. “You can’t see my face. You have no idea what look I may or may not be giving you.”

“I know you. You’re glaring a hot laser at the phone right now.”

It was all too easy to imagine her grey eyes meeting mine in challenge, never backing down. I’d bet anything she was folding her arms across her chest and that her lips were pulled into a stubborn line. “It’s a boy, isn’t it?” she asked.

Grinding my teeth, I picked the phone up from the counter and headed to the bathroom. “I don’t date, Nana. Why would you think it’s a boy?”

“What happened?” Her tone had softened and the concern I heard broke through the barrier I’d had up all evening.

My shoulders slumped and I put the phone down again to pull my long, blonde hair out of its ponytail. Nana didn’t say anything. She always knew when to wait. “Ben asked me out again,” I finally admitted.

“Why do you say that like it’s a horrible thing?”

I was positive that her brows were drawn together and that her thin lips were pulled down into a frown that showcased little wrinkles. It’s how she always looked when we approached this topic.

An image of a man with brown hair and brown skin entered my mind. He wasn’t real – just a man from my dreams that no one knew about. I couldn’t tell Nana he was the reason.

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