Hauls

March 2021 Book Haul

Book Haul

Good Morning.

My book buying this month was not horrible. and some of these books were held up in the mail from last month so all in all it’s not horrible. April is my birthday month so I am really going to try to be good. In the month of March received 1 book from publishers, 4 books as gifts, 1 from subscription boxes, 1 was from preorders, and I purchased 8.

I am very proud of myself for already reading a number of these books. đź“– means I have read it.

Received from Authors/Publishers

đź“– Covet by Tracy Wolff | (Crave #3) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

I may have reached my breaking point. As if trying to graduate from a school for supernaturals isn’t stressful enough, my relationship status has gone from complicated to a straight-up dumpster fire.

Oh, and the Bloodletter has decided to drop a bomb of epic proportions on us all…

Then again, when has anything at Katmere Academy not been intense?

And the hits just keep coming. Jaxon’s turned colder than an Alaskan winter. The Circle is splintered over my upcoming coronation. As if things couldn’t get worse, now there’s an arrest warrant for Hudson’s and my supposed crimes—which apparently means a lifetime prison sentence with a deadly unbreakable curse.

Choices will have to be made…and I fear not everyone will survive.


Gifts

đź“– Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare | (The Last Hours #2) |Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.


The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso | (Rooks and Ruin #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The mage-marked granddaughter of a ruler of Vaskandar, Ryx was destined for power and prestige at the top of Vaskandran society. But her magic is broken; all she can do is uncontrollably drain the life from everything she touches, and Vaskandar has no place for a mage with unusable powers.

Then, one night, two terrible accidents befall her: Ryx accidentally kills a visiting dignitary in self-defense, activating a mysterious magical artifact sealed in an ancient tower in the heart of her family’s castle.

Ryx flees, seeking a solution to her deadly magic. She falls in with a group of unlikely magical experts investigating the disturbance in Vaskandar—and Ryx realizes that her family is in danger and her domain is at stake. She and her new colleagues must return to the family stronghold to take control of the artifact that everyone wants to claim—before it destroys the world. 


The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart | (The Drowning Empire #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.


The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec | Retelling, Fantasy, Mythology | Add to Goodreads

When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology.

Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age. 


Subscription Boxes

đź“– 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. 


Preorders

Requiem Moon by C.T. Rwizi | (Scarlet Odyssey #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Salo must journey into the heart of darkness to find his way back home in the next epic book of C. T. Rwizi’s debut series.

Salo’s queen has finally accepted his desire to be a mystic despite taboos concerning men’s use of magic. But her acceptance is not support; it is strategy.

Under a disguise of the queen’s making, Salo enters Jungle City as a pilgrim to the Red Temple, only to find a magical barrier barring his entrance. Left at the mercy of the warring political factions that run the city, Salo faces a series of obstacles wrought by an unseen hand, knowing he cannot return home without completing his pilgrimage.

But Isa, King of the Saire clan, has her own plans for Salo. She needs his help to extract the Covenant Diamond from the Red Temple’s inner sanctum—an artifact with the power to end her tribe’s divisions, prevent a genocide, and even save herself from her fate. His new task in hand, Salo navigates a cursed maze of invisible authority—and when he encounters shocking revelations about the power residing in the depths of the undercity, he must wield his magic to finally bring the truth about his world’s history to light. 


Purchases

đź“– Kamisama Kiss, Vol. 1 by Julietta Suzuki | (Kamisama Kiss #1) | Manga | Add to Goodreads

A divine comedy!

Nanami Momozono is alone and homeless after her dad skips town to evade his gambling debts and the debt collectors kick her out of her apartment. So when a man she’s just saved from a dog offers her his home, she jumps at the opportunity. But it turns out that his place is a shrine, and Nanami has unwillingly taken over his job as a local deity!

Nanami has all kinds of new responsabilities she doesn’t understand, dangers she’s unaware of, and a cranky ex-familiar who’s… actually pretty hot. What’s a new-fledged godling to do?


đź“– Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 1 by Mizuho Kusanagi | (Yona of the Dawn #1) | Manga | Add to Goodreads

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Soo-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when she witnesses her father’s murder!

Yona reels from the shock of witnessing a loved one’s murder and having to fight for her life. With Hak’s help, she flees the palace and struggles to survive while evading her enemy’s forces. But where will this displaced princess go when all the paths before her are uncertain?


đź“– Inuyasha, Volume 02 by Rumiko Takahashi | (Inuyasha VizBIG Omnibus Series #2) | Manga, Fantasy, Historical | Add to Goodreads

In both the past and the present, Kagome and Inuyasha face new enemies while on their search for the shards of the Shikon Jewel. As they grow closer, Kagome learns that Inuyasha harbors a carefully guarded secret that makes him vulnerable with the rising of the new moon. Then an evil ogress plans to resurrect Kikyo. If Kikyo returns, will she seek vengeance against Inuyasha? And will Inuyasha be forced to choose between Kikyo and Kagome?


đź“– Inuyasha, Volume 03 by Rumiko Takahashi | (Inuyasha VizBIG Omnibus Series #3) | Manga, Fantasy, Historical | Add to Goodreads

Sesshomaru returns for another attack, aided by the demon Naraku. Then a terrible ogress brings Kikyo back from the dead, but her soulless state drives her thirst for revenge against Inuyasha. Dealing with the ogress reveals a glimpse into Inuyasha’s true feelings for Kikyo and makes Kagome wonder just how he feels about her. The search for the shards of the Shikon Jewel brings Kagome and Inuyasha into conflict with strange enemies and even stranger friends!


đź“– Inuyasha, Volume 04 by Rumiko Takahashi | (Inuyasha VizBIG Omnibus Series #4) | Manga, Fantasy, Historical | Add to Goodreads (Bought with a Gift Card)

The scheming demon Naraku has turned Sango against Inuyasha, and opening her eyes to the real danger won’t be easy. Meanwhile, Miroku has to wrestle with his past and the curse that is threatening to kill him. Naraku’s insight into his enemies’ personalities gives him an edge that they don’t have. As Naraku pulls the strands of his web of deceit tighter, Inuyasha and his friends find themselves having to avoid his deadly traps while struggling with their own emotions as well!


An Unexpected Earl by Anna Harrington | (Lords of the Armory #2) | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

Twelve years ago, Brandon Pearce, former brigadier and now Earl West, had to give up the girl he loved, Amelia Howard. Now Teddy is a grown woman with a past she desperately needs to keep hidden in order to save her brother Frederick’s reputation. In an effort to avoid blackmail, Frederick needs to place a list of gentlemen into government positions, and for that, he’ll need an ally in Parliament―Pearce.

Pearce has been investigating a criminal group he believes is behind the government appointments. Pearce must pretend that he sides with the blackmailer, even though it means breaking Teddy’s heart. But Pearce is willing to do anything he can for a second chance with her, even when he discovers she’s been keeping secrets of her own. 


Limitless: Core Techniques to Improve Performance, Productivity, and Focus by Jim Kwik | Self-Help | Add to Goodreads ($1.99 – April book club book)

In this book, brain performance expert Jim Kwik will teach readers his core techniques so that they, too, can unleash their inner genius.

For the last 25 years, Jim Kwik has helped everyone from celebrities to CEOs to students improve their memory, increase their decision-making skills, learn to speed-read, and unleash their superbrains.

In Limitless, readers will learn Jim’s revolutionary strategies and shortcuts to supercharging their brains, with simple, actionable tools to sharpen the mind, enhance focus, and fast-track their fullest potential.


The Thinking Engine by James Lovegrove | (Sherlock Holmes) | Sherlockian, Mystery | Add to Goodreads (grabbed this one for $5.95)

March 1895. Hilary Term at Oxford. In the newly built extension to the University Galleries, Professor Quantock has put the finishing touches to a wondrous computational device which, he claims, is capable of analytical thought to rival that of the cleverest men alive. Indeed, his so-called Thinking Engine seems equal to Sherlock Holmes himself in its deductive powers.

To prove his point, Quantock programmes his machine to solve a murder in the Jericho area which has been baffling Oxford police. The Engine identifies a suspect who proves not to have a valid alibi for the night of the crime. The man is duly arrested and arraigned.

Sherlock Holmes cannot ignore this challenge. He and Watson travel to Oxford, where a battle of wits ensues between the great detective and his mechanical counterpart as they compete to see which of them can be first to solve a series of crimes. As man and machine vie for supremacy, it becomes clear that the Thinking Engine has its own agenda. Holmes’s and Watson’s lives are on the line as a ghost from the past catches up with them… 


How many books did you add to your TBR this month?

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Requiem Moon by C.T. Rwizi

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:

Requiem Moon by C.T. Rwizi
(Scarlet Odyssey #2)
Genre: Fantasy
Expected Publication: March 23, 2021

Add to Goodreads

Salo must journey into the heart of darkness to find his way back home in the next epic book of C. T. Rwizi’s debut series.

Salo’s queen has finally accepted his desire to be a mystic despite taboos concerning men’s use of magic. But her acceptance is not support; it is strategy.

Under a disguise of the queen’s making, Salo enters Jungle City as a pilgrim to the Red Temple, only to find a magical barrier barring his entrance. Left at the mercy of the warring political factions that run the city, Salo faces a series of obstacles wrought by an unseen hand, knowing he cannot return home without completing his pilgrimage.

But Isa, King of the Saire clan, has her own plans for Salo. She needs his help to extract the Covenant Diamond from the Red Temple’s inner sanctum—an artifact with the power to end her tribe’s divisions, prevent a genocide, and even save herself from her fate. His new task in hand, Salo navigates a cursed maze of invisible authority—and when he encounters shocking revelations about the power residing in the depths of the undercity, he must wield his magic to finally bring the truth about his world’s history to light.

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New Releases

March 2021 Books I’m Excited About

Books I'm Excited About

Hey Everyone!

A new month a new set of releases.  There are 8 books that are coming out this month that I am excited about.

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare
(The Last Hours #2)
Young Adult, Fantasy
Expected Publication: March 2, 2021

Add to Goodreads

Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.


The Queen’s Secret by Melissa de la Cruz
(The Queen’s Secret #2)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Expected Publication: March 2, 2021

Add to Goodreads

Lilac’s birthright makes her the Queen of Renovia, and a forced marriage made her the Queen of Stavin. But being a ruler does not mean making the rules. For Lilac, taking the throne means giving up the opportunity to be with love of her life, the kingdom’s assassin, Caledon Holt.

Worse, Cal is forced to leave the castle when a horrific set of magical attacks threatens Lilac’s sovereignty. Now Cal and Lilac will have to battle dark forces separately, even though being together is the only thing that’s ever saved them.

In the riveting conclusion to Melissa De La Cruz’s fantasy duet, love and magic are at war, and victory rests on a knife’s edge.


The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
Historical Fiction
Expected Publication: March 2, 2021

Add to Goodreads

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. 


Covet by Tracy Wolff
(Crave #3)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Expected Publication: March 2, 2021

Add to Goodreads

I may have reached my breaking point. As if trying to graduate from a school for supernaturals isn’t stressful enough, my relationship status has gone from complicated to a straight-up dumpster fire.

Oh, and the Bloodletter has decided to drop a bomb of epic proportions on us all…

Then again, when has anything at Katmere Academy not been intense?

And the hits just keep coming. Jaxon’s turned colder than an Alaskan winter. The Circle is splintered over my upcoming coronation. As if things couldn’t get worse, now there’s an arrest warrant for Hudson’s and my supposed crimes—which apparently means a lifetime prison sentence with a deadly unbreakable curse.

Choices will have to be made…and I fear not everyone will survive.


A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova
(A Trial of Sorcerers #1)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Expected Publication: March 4, 2021

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.


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

Add to Goodreads

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!


The Three Locks by Bonnie MacBird
(Sherlock Holmes Adventures #4)
Historical, Mystery, Sherlockian
Expected Publication: March 16, 2021

Add to Goodreads

A heatwave melts London as Holmes and Watson are called to action in this new Sherlock Holmes adventure by Bonnie MacBird, author of “one of the best Sherlock Holmes novels of recent memory.”

In the West End, a renowned Italian escape artist dies spectacularly on stage during a performance – immolated in a gleaming copper cauldron of his wife’s design. In Cambridge, the runaway daughter of a famous don is found drowned, her long blonde hair tangled in the Jesus Lock on the River Cam. And in Baker Street, a mysterious locksmith exacts an unusual price to open a small silver box sent to Watson.

From the glow of London’s theatre district to the buzzing Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge where physicists explore the edges of the new science of electricity, Holmes and Watson race between the two cities to solve the murders, encountering prevaricating prestidigitators, philandering physicists and murderous mentalists, all the while unlocking secrets which may be best left undisclosed. And one, in particular, is very close to home.


Requiem Moon by C.T. Rwizi
(Scarlet Odyssey #2)
Fantasy
Expected Publication: March 23, 2021

Add to Goodreads

Salo must journey into the heart of darkness to find his way back home in the next epic book of C. T. Rwizi’s debut series.

Salo’s queen has finally accepted his desire to be a mystic despite taboos concerning men’s use of magic. But her acceptance is not support; it is strategy.

Under a disguise of the queen’s making, Salo enters Jungle City as a pilgrim to the Red Temple, only to find a magical barrier barring his entrance. Left at the mercy of the warring political factions that run the city, Salo faces a series of obstacles wrought by an unseen hand, knowing he cannot return home without completing his pilgrimage.

But Isa, King of the Saire clan, has her own plans for Salo. She needs his help to extract the Covenant Diamond from the Red Temple’s inner sanctum—an artifact with the power to end her tribe’s divisions, prevent a genocide, and even save herself from her fate. His new task in hand, Salo navigates a cursed maze of invisible authority—and when he encounters shocking revelations about the power residing in the depths of the undercity, he must wield his magic to finally bring the truth about his world’s history to light.


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

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Uncategorized

My Favorite books of 2020

Good Day Everyone!!

I had so many issues making the list of my favorite reads of 2020. There were many cases that I really loved multiple books in series but to keep this list from being really long I only included one book from that series.

I decided to put these books in the order that I read them.

Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse | (Mycroft Holmes and Sherlock #1) | Historical Fiction, Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Fresh out of Cambridge University, the young Mycroft Holmes is already making a name ​ ​for himself in government, working for the Secretary of State for War. Yet this most British of civil servants has strong ties to the faraway island of Trinidad, the birthplace of his best friend, Cyrus Douglas, a man of African descent, and where his fiancée Georgiana Sutton was raised.

Mycroft’s comfortable existence is overturned when Douglas receives troubling reports from home. There are rumors of mysterious disappearances, strange footprints in the sand, and spirits enticing children to their deaths, their bodies found drained of blood. Upon hearing the news, Georgiana abruptly departs for Trinidad. Near panic, Mycroft convinces Douglas that they should follow her, drawing the two men into a web of dark secrets that grows more treacherous with each step they take…


Lily for My Enemy by L.G. Rollins | (Lockhart #2) | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

He’s from Lords. She sides with Commons.
Watch out London, sparks will fly.

Felix Lockhart is tired of balls, tired of musicales, and most especially tired of society only seeing him as the heir apparent to a powerful seat in Lords. Then, one evening he meets the witty Jocelyn Hunt—perhaps the only young lady in London who isn’t impressed with him.

Jocelyn Hunt will never hold a seat in the House of Commons herself, but she is no less an ardent supporter. When she meets the brooding Felix Lockhart, she is determined he understand that the House of Lords simply cannot continue to ignore the changing times.

Though they quarrel at first, both Felix and Jocelyn find themselves irresistibly drawn toward the other. But when their roles as heir apparent and daughter of a prominent man in Commons push them apart, can their undeniable connection be enough to bridge two groups determined to hate one another?


A Feast of Phantoms by Kat Ross | (Lingua Magika #1) | Fantasy, Steampunk | Add to Goodreads

THE JOB

It was supposed to be simple.

Help Marshal Sebastian Hardin escort his prisoner one stop on the railway to Charter Oak.

Just one stop.

But when that prisoner is a savant who talks to ghosts, even the simplest plans have a way of falling apart.

THE LAW

Sheriff’s Deputy Ruth Cortez always does the right thing. Lucky Boy is a company town, dependent on the rich and powerful Carnarvon family. Besides which, the charismatic Sebastian Hardin isn’t an easy man to say no to. When his transport derails in the middle of the prairie, Ruth begins a relentless manhunt that leads straight into the dark heart of the Carnarvon empire.

THE FUGITIVE

Lee Merriweather favors sharp suits and fast trains – especially when he’s stealing them. At the ripe old age of 18, he’s managed to become the most wanted criminal in three territories. Lee can’t resist playing cat and mouse with a small-town deputy, but what starts as a game becomes deadly serious.

THE FIXER

Sebastian Hardin is the Carnarvons’ right hand, loyal to the death and willing to keep any secret to protect the family. They want Lee alive, but with the young savant’s disturbing abilities it won’t be an easy proposition. Whoever catches Lee gets the keys to the kingdom and the Carnarvons aren’t the only ones hunting him down. Sebastian has enough problems without falling for Deputy Cortez – but you can’t always choose who you love.

THE PHANTOMS

They terrorized the settlers until Calindra Carnarvon learned to speak their language. Her empire relies on controlling their telekinetic powers, but Lee Merriweather could destroy it all. And not even Lee suspects the shocking truth of the phantoms’ real nature.


Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare | (The Last Hours #1) | Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy, Paranormal | Add to Goodreads

Cordelia Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, a warrior trained since childhood to battle demons. When her father is accused of a terrible crime, she and her brother travel to London in hopes of preventing the family’s ruin. Cordelia’s mother wants to marry her off, but Cordelia is determined to be a hero rather than a bride. Soon Cordelia encounters childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale and is drawn into their world of glittering ballrooms, secret assignations, and supernatural salons, where vampires and warlocks mingle with mermaids and magicians. All the while, she must hide her secret love for James, who is sworn to marry someone else.

But Cordelia’s new life is blown apart when a shocking series of demon attacks devastate London. These monsters are nothing like those Shadowhunters have fought before—these demons walk in daylight, strike down the unwary with incurable poison, and seem impossible to kill. London is immediately quarantined. Trapped in the city, Cordelia and her friends discover that their own connection to a dark legacy has gifted them with incredible powers—and forced a brutal choice that will reveal the true cruel price of being a hero. 


The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron | (The Goddess War #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

When their father is murdered by imperial soldiers, two siblings set out on opposite paths—one will destroy the Empire forever and the other will save it—in this thrilling new Russian inspired epic fantasy from Jon Skovron.

Sonya is training to be a Ranger of Marzanna, an ancient sect of warriors who have protected the land for generations. But the old ways are dying, and the rangers have all been forced into hiding or killed off by the invading Empire.

When her father is murdered by imperial soldiers, she decides to finally take action. Using her skills as a ranger she will travel across the bitter cold tundra and gain the allegiance of the only other force strong enough to take down the invaders.

But nothing about her quest will be easy. Because not everyone is on her side. Her brother, Sebastian, is the most powerful sorcerer the world has ever seen. And he’s fighting for the empire.


Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi | (Scarlet Odyssey #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.

Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.

Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.

On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption.


To Catch an Earl by Kate Bateman | (Bow Street Bachelors #2) | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

A case of secret identities finds reunited lovers on opposite sides of the law in this fun, flirty Regency romance.

There’s only one case Bow Street agent Alex Harland, Earl of Melton, hasn’t cracked: the identity of the mysterious woman who stole a kiss from him before he left for war. He’s neither forgotten–nor forgiven–her for leaving him wanting. When he starts investigating the Nightjar, an elusive London jewel thief, he keeps running into the alluring Emmy Danvers, who stirs feelings he hasn’t felt in years.

Even though Emmy’s loved Alex for years, she can’t risk revealing her heart, or her identity as the Nightjar. With Alex on her case, Emmy knows that her secrets are in danger of being discovered. Their cat and mouse game heats up with every interaction, but when Emmy’s reputation–and life–is at risk, will Alex realize that some rules are made to be broken for love?


The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

It has been twenty years since the end of the war. The dictatorial Augurs – once thought of almost as gods – were overthrown and wiped out during the conflict, their much-feared powers mysteriously failing them. Those who had ruled under them, men and women with a lesser ability known as the Gift, avoided the Augurs’ fate only by submitting themselves to the rebellion’s Four Tenets. A representation of these laws is now written into the flesh of any who use the Gift, forcing those so marked into absolute obedience.

As a student of the Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war fought – and lost – before he was born. Despised by most beyond the school walls, he and those around him are all but prisoners as they attempt to learn control of the Gift. Worse, as Davian struggles with his lessons, he knows that there is further to fall if he cannot pass his final tests.

But when Davian discovers he has the ability to wield the forbidden power of the Augurs, he sets into motion a chain of events that will change everything. To the north, an ancient enemy long thought defeated begins to stir. And to the west, a young man whose fate is intertwined with Davian’s wakes up in the forest, covered in blood and with no memory of who he is…


The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune | Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours. 


The Patience of a Dead Man by Michael Clark | (The Patience of a Dead Man #1) | Horror | Add to Goodreads

He just spent everything on a house in disrepair, but he didn’t know someone was waiting inside. Tim Russell just put his last dollar on a handyman’s dream; a quaint but dilapidated farmhouse in New Hampshire. Newly single after a messy divorce, his plan is to live in the house as he restores it for resale. To his horror, as soon as the papers are signed and his work starts, ghosts begin to appear. A bone-white little boy. A woman covered in flies. Tim can’t afford to leave and lose it all, so he turns to his real estate agent Holly Burns to help him decide whether he has any shot at solving his haunted problem. Can they solve the mystery before he loses his investment…or maybe his life?


Elantris by Brandon Sanderson | (Elantris #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.


To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini | Science Fiction, Space Opera | Add to Goodreads

Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds. Now she’s awakened a nightmare. During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.

While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope… 


One Flew Through the Dragon Heart by C.S. Johnson | (Favan & Flew #1) | Steampunk, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

A Chinese Legend.

A British Secret.

Star-Crossed Lovers with Incompatible Magic. 

Brixton Flew works as a professor of wielder instruction at Rembrandt Academy, hoping to erase the regrets of his youth along with the resulting debt. But when he comes face to face with his biggest regret—the woman who broke his heart, Adelaide Favan—Brixton soon realizes his troubles have only begun.

Unable to control her magic, Adelaide knew leaving Brixton was the only way to protect him when they were younger. Now she discovers he is the key to recovering the Dragon Eyes, a legendary treasure connected to her magic and her family’s disgraced legacy—and she knows the risk is great, to both his life and her heart.

With others seeking the power of the Dragon Eyes, Brixton and Adelaide must outwit their foes and face down their families to save London from an ancient legend that sleeps beneath the magic portal in their city.

But the renewed passion growing between them may prove to be the greater peril …


The Princess Knight by G.A. Aiken | (The Scarred Earth Saga #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN

Gemma Smythe dedicated her life to the glory of battle. With her fellow War Monks, she worshipped the war gods, rained destruction on her enemies, and raised the dead when the fancy took her. Until her sister Keeley became the prophesied Blacksmith Queen, and Gemma broke faith with her order to journey to the Amichai Mountain and fight by Keeley’s side.

The Amichai warriors are an unruly, never-to-be-tamed lot, especially their leader-in-waiting, Quinn. But when the War Monks declare support for Gemma’s ruthless younger sister Beatrix, the immaturity of her key ally is the least of Gemma’s problems. She has to get to the grand masters, dispel their grudge against her, and persuade them to fight for Keeley and justice. If her conviction can’t sway them, perhaps Quinn’s irritating, irreverent, clearly unhinged, ferocity will win the day . . . 


Oath of Destruction by Jennifer Anne Davis | (Reign of Secrets #5) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Allyssa was raised as royalty. Savenek had been trained as a spy. Alyssa grew up doted on by her parents. Savenek’s adoptive father had often shown his love through strict training and discipline. Allyssa died too soon, loved and mourned by her kingdom. Savenek is supposed to take her place, but struggles to win the hearts of the people and parents who don’t know him.

When Savenek finally settles in to life at court, Alyssa shows up alive, in time for their seventeenth birthday celebration. Everything in Savenek’s life feels like it’s exploding again. While Alyssa has managed to stop the war with Russek and form a powerful alliance, Savenek knows there is a greater danger surrounding them.

As Emperion teeters on the brink of war, a much more personal battle plays out between twin siblings. If Allyssa and Savenek want to save their kingdom from being destroyed, they must learn to work together, trust one another, and rely on each other. When duty, loyalty, and family clash, can there be room for two royal heirs? Especially when one is being a royal pain?


Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan | (Powder Mage #1) | Epic Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

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 greedy scrambling 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.

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… 


Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa | (Shadow of the Fox #3) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has given up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers in order to save everyone she loves from imminent death. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild sea cliffs of Iwagoto in a desperate last-chance effort to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into destruction and darkness.

Shadow clan assassin Kage Tatsumi has regained control of his body and agreed to a true deal with the devil — the demon inside him, Hakaimono. They will share his body and work with Yumeko and their companions to stop a madman and separate Hakaimono from Tatsumi and the cursed sword that had trapped the demon for nearly a millennium.

But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed… until now. 


Sherlock Holmes & the Christmas Demon by James Lovegrove | Historical, Mystery, Christmas | Add to Goodreads

The new Sherlock Holmes novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Age of Odin and Firefly – Big Damn Hero.

It is 1890, and in the days before Christmas Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are visited at Baker Street by a new client. Eve Allerthorpe – eldest daughter of a grand but somewhat eccentric Yorkshire-based dynasty – is greatly distressed, as she believes she is being haunted by a demonic Christmas spirit.

Her late mother told her terrifying tales of the sinister Black Thurrick, and Eve is sure that she has seen the creature from her bedroom window. What is more, she has begun to receive mysterious parcels of birch twigs, the Black Thurrick’s calling card…

Eve stands to inherit a fortune if she is sound in mind, but it seems that something – or someone – is threatening her sanity. Holmes and Watson travel to the Allerthorpe family seat at Fellscar Keep to investigate, but soon discover that there is more to the case than at first appeared. There is another spirit haunting the family, and when a member of the household is found dead, the companions realise that no one is beyond suspicion.


Did you read any of these books this year? If so what did you think about them?

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Reviews

Review: Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi

Book Review

Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi
(Scarlet Odyssey #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: 47North

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis
Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.

Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.

Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.

On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption. 

What I thought
I was sent a copy of this book from Megan Beatie Communications and 47North for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is a character-driven fantasy novel which is my favorite to read, and it’s inspired by another culture so when I was asked if I was interested in reading it I jumped at the chance and I was not disappointed. It is really hard to believe that this is a debut novel. 

This book has multiple perspectives however this story keeps moving in one direction.  I love it when I can follow a story and not have to jump around and keep track of everyone.  

From the first chapter, I was pulled into this world.  This story takes place in an African inspired fantasy world. You follow multiple perspectives throughout the story but the heart of the story focuses on Salo. In Salo’s world, Men become warriors and Women become Mystics.  But Salo doesn’t quite fit into that framework. Through events, Salo becomes a Mystic and in consequence, is sent on a journey for his Queen. 

In this journey, Salo picks up two companions that also do not fit into where society wants to place them, which added to my enjoyment of the story. 

I can’t wait to see all of these perspectives come together in the next book.  

If you enjoy character-driven fantasy novels you really should pick this one up.

Also, If you have read this book and want to talk about it please let me know.  There was so much I wanted to say but I didn’t want to spoil anyone.

My Rating: /5

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? June 29, 2020

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

Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi | (Scarlet Odyssey #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.

Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.

Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.

On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption. 


The Familiars by Stacey Halls | Historical Fiction, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft.

Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Rich and compelling, set against the frenzy of the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials, this novel explores the rights of 17th-century women and raises the question: Was witch-hunting really women-hunting? Fleetwood Shuttleworth, Alice Grey and the other characters are actual historical figures. King James I was obsessed with asserting power over the lawless countryside (even woodland creatures, or “familiars,” were suspected of dark magic) by capturing “witches”—in reality mostly poor and illiterate women.


The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu | (The Eldest Curses #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation.

A lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who, against all odds, is finally his boyfriend. It doesn’t seem like too much for the centuries-old High Warlock to ask for. But no sooner have they settled in Paris than an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.


Wrath of the Bloodeye by Joseph Delaney | (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles #5) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror | Add to Goodreads

‘The moment of danger is close. Very soon our enemies will be here.’

As danger increases, the Spook sends his apprentice, Tom, to be trained by another spook whose methods are harsh and tough.

But faced with a powerful water witch, Tom’s new master makes a fatal mistake, leaving Tom to face his enemies alone.

Can the Spook get there in time to save Tom?

Together can they beat such terrible dark power?

And will the Spook’s own mistakes give final victory to the dark?


To Catch an Earl by Kate Bateman | (Bow Street Bachelors #2) | Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads

A case of secret identities finds reunited lovers on opposite sides of the law in this fun, flirty Regency romance.

There’s only one case Bow Street agent Alex Harland, Earl of Melton, hasn’t cracked: the identity of the mysterious woman who stole a kiss from him before he left for war. He’s neither forgotten–nor forgiven–her for leaving him wanting. When he starts investigating the Nightjar, an elusive London jewel thief, he keeps running into the alluring Emmy Danvers, who stirs feelings he hasn’t felt in years.

Even though Emmy’s loved Alex for years, she can’t risk revealing her heart, or her identity as the Nightjar. With Alex on her case, Emmy knows that her secrets are in danger of being discovered. Their cat and mouse game heats up with every interaction, but when Emmy’s reputation–and life–is at risk, will Alex realize that some rules are made to be broken for love?


Currently Reading

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café by Jodi Thomas | (Honey Creek #1) | Mystery, Romance | Add to Goodreads

Piper Jane Mckenzie, mayor of Honey Creek, won’t let a major scandal rip her quirky hometown apart, or jeopardize her dream of one day running for higher office. So she’s willing to welcome undercover detective Colby McBride, hired to help solve the mystery behind her wannabe fiancĂ©’s disappearance. Colby’s cover? That he is an old boyfriend now begging Piper for a second chance–always when there are plenty of townsfolk around to witness his shenanigans.

Piper hardly knows whether to laugh or cry, especially when she finds herself drawn to the handsome rascal. He’s not the only newcomer she has to deal with. There’s a new interim preacher in town, Sam Cassidy. Drifting from one assignment to another since his one love died, Sam isn’t sure he’s the right fit for Honey Creek. But as Piper knows, this is a place chock-full of surprises. And if she can keep her town–and her heart–from going completely off the rails, there may be a sweet, unexpected future in store. . . 


Champagne Charlie and the Amazing Gladys by B.G. Hilton | Steampunk, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Hungover aristocrat Edward “Charlie” Decharles awakens in the back of a steam-cab, only to discover that the driver has been murdered. Unused to feeling responsible for anything, he feels compelled to find the killer. As he investigates, he meets “The Amazing” Gladys Dunchurch, a stage magician’s assistant whose employer has disappeared – and not in a good way. They form an alliance – Charlie will help Gladys with his considerable resources and Gladys will help Charlie with her even more considerable brains.

Soon they discover that their respective mysteries are not only connected to each other, but related to other seemingly unrelated strangeness transpiring in London – the murder of an astronomer, an attack on a patent medicine factory, a mysterious cult in an idyllic town, and reports of deadly creatures in the London sewers.

Charlie and Gladys find themselves pitted against dead-eyed assassins, murderous pirates, wingless flying machines, and perhaps even creatures from beyond this Earth. And lurking behind it all lies a sinister cabal that knows the secret origin of the steam-powered society that powers their world. Can our heroes save the day, or will the fallout from that secret destroy two worlds?

Champagne Charlie and the Amazing Gladys is a fun, witty Steampunk adventure yarn, featuring a cast of eccentric characters.


What are you hoping to read this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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New Releases

New Author Spotlight: C. T. Rwizi

C. T. Rwizi was born in Zimbabwe, grew up in Swaziland, finished high school in Costa Rica and got a BA in government at Dartmouth College in the United States. He currently lives in South Africa with his family, and enjoys playing video games, taking long runs and spending way too much time lurking on Reddit. He is a self-professed lover of synthwave. Scarlet Odyssey is his debut novel. 

Follow him on Twitter: @c.t.rwizi

Why I Wrote SCARLETT ODYSSEY by C.T. Rwizi

I’ve always enjoyed reading books in the genre, and I’d find myself dreaming up my own stories in my free time, wishing I had an outlet to bring them out of my head.  For the longest time it never occurred to me that I could simply write these stories on paper and attempt to publish them like every other writer.

I didn’t even think being a writer was an option for me.  Writing isn’t a profession many people pursue where I live—I’d say the same is true for many African societies—and I carried that same mentality with me.  I knew several doctors and engineers and managers, but I knew no one who’d written fiction, let alone fantasy or science fiction, and gotten published.

It wasn’t until I’d graduated college and I was back in South Africa, sitting at home after a day at work, that I—for some reason I can’t explain or remember—settled in front of a computer screen and started writing.  The first story I wrote wasn’t Scarlet Odyssey.  It was a fantasy starring a white-ish guy in a pseudo-medieval European-ish setting.  It wasn’t very good, and I wasn’t enamored of it, but I wrote it because I believed it was what fantasy was supposed to look like and what readers wanted to read.  There was a formula, and I was trying to fit my story and characters into it.

Then I saw her.  She was a bride dressed in traditional Xhosa attire on the TV screen at my uncle’s house where I was visiting.  Every Sunday, my uncle’s wife watches this wedding program that features weddings from all over South Africa.  There are usually two ceremonies—one with the suits and the white dress and the priest, and a more traditional African affair the next day.  I saw her just as she stepped out of a car on her second day to the sound of music and cheers, and I remember thinking: wow, I wish I could write a story with her as a character.

And I remember thinking: But who said I can’t?

I immediately reached for my journal and wrote down a description of her, how she made me feel, how stunning she looked in her attire, how proud of her heritage she was—she and everyone around her—and rightly so.  I later used that description for the Yerezi queen when she makes her first appearance in my novel.

That was the initial spark, the inspiration that unshackled me from the formula, unleashed my creativity and led me to the story of Scarlet Odyssey

Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi
(Scarlet Odyssey #1) 
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: 47North
Expected Publication: July 1, 2020

Add to Goodreads

Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.

Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.

Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.

On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption. 

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