New Releases

October 2020 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.

The Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture by Gail Carriger
Nonfiction
Expected Publication: October 1, 2020

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Tired of the hero’s journey?

Frustrated that funny, romantic, and comforting stories aren’t taken seriously?

Sad that the books and movies you love never seem to be critically acclaimed, even when they sell like crazy?

The heroine’s journey is here to help.

Multiple New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger presents a clear concise analysis of the heroine’s journey, how it differs from the hero’s journey, and how you can use it to improve your writing and your life.

In this book you’ll learn:

  • How to spot the heroine’s journey in popular books, movies, and the world around you.
  • The source myths and basic characters, tropes, and archetypes of this narrative.
  • A step-by-step break down of how to successfully write this journey.

What do Agatha Christie, JK Rowling, and Nora Roberts all have in common?

They all write the heroine’s journey. Read this book to learn all about it.

From Harry Potter to Twilight, from Wonder Woman to Star Wars, you’ll never look at pop culture the same way again.

With over a dozen NYT and USA Today bestsellers, and over a million books in print, popular genre author and former archaeologist Gail Carriger brings her cheeky comedic tone and over a decade of making her living as a fiction author to this fascinating look at one of the most popular yet neglected narratives of our time. The presentation she does on this subject sells for hundreds of dollars.

“I’m not sure how you can just rewire my brain to see the heroine’s journey like this and then expect me to make coherent, thought-out comments about the text when all I want to do is hold it in my twisted little grip while I shove it at people screaming like a madman and pointing at passages.” ~ Author Beta Reader

Gail Carriger uses the heroine’s journey to produce bestselling, critically-acclaimed books that genre blend science fiction, cozy mystery, young adult, urban fantasy, romance, historical fiction, and alternate history. In this non-fiction book she uses her academic background and creative writing skills to bring to life the archetypes, tropes, story beats, themes, and messages inherent in the heroine’s journey. Part treatise on authorship, part feminist literary criticism, part how to write guide, Carriger uses mythology, legend, and Gothic victorian 19th century literature to explore movies, screenwriting, books, and audience desires.

This is an excellent reference guide for genre fiction authors seeking to improve their craft or for readers and pop culture enthusiasts interested in understanding their own taste. It is the perfect counterpoint to The Hero with a Thousand Faces not to mention Save the Cat, Women Who Run With The Wolves, and The Breakout Novelist.


Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts
by Nancy Campbell Allen
(Steampunk Proper Romance #4)
Proper Romance, Steampunk, Fantasy
Expected Publication: October 6, 2020

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My Review

A steampunk retelling of Cinderella.

Emmeline O’Shea is determined to save the world—single-handedly, if necessary. A strong voice for societal reform, she is the natural choice to deliver a key speech at the end of the International Shifter Rights Organization’s week-long Summit in Scotland.

But when a death threat arrives at Emme’s home, she is immediately placed into protective custody, watched over by none other than her personal nemesis, Detective-Inspector Oliver Reed. The two have crossed paths many times, with disastrous results, but now they will have to work together in order to reach the Summit before midnight of the last day in order to ensure legislation is passed to protect the Shifter community.

As unseen enemies close in around Emme and Oliver, they struggle to reach Edinburgh by any means necessary, only to find Emme’s vindictive stepsister, Oliver’s vampire brother, and a dangerous political minefield awaiting them in Scotland.

Even more difficult is their own refusal to admit that the fiery animosity that once burned between them might be turning into the heat of romantic passion. Could a straitlaced policeman determined to uphold the law and an outspoken activist willing to break the rules ever find true love? Or will all their dreams shatter like glass when the clock strikes midnight?


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
by  V.E. Schwab
Adult, Fantasy
Expected Publication: October 6th 2020

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France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.


Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 1
by Ryosuke Takeuchi
(Moriarty the Patriot #1)
Manga, Mystery
Expected Publication: October 6, 2020

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The untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ greatest rival, Moriarty!

Before he was Sherlock’s rival, Moriarty fought against the unfair class caste system in London by making sure corrupt nobility got their comeuppance. But even the best-intentioned plans can spin out of control—will Moriarty’s dream of a more just and equal world turn him into a hero…or a monster?


Darkness Unknown by S.A. Fenech
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Expected Publication: October 12, 2020

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You have been lied to.

Werewolves, vampires, ghosts … they aren’t what you think.

After the death of her mother, Everly Boderleth has to go back to her spooky hometown, Shroudhaven, and she has a plan to get in and out as quick as possible.

Step one, clear out the family home and antique store.

Step two, watch her childhood sweetheart die violently at the hands of an indescribable, horrific creature.

Wait, what?

That wasn’t part of the plan. But it was just a dream, wasn’t it?

As the evidence mounts that what she saw was real, a broken heart is the least of her problems.

Everly thinks she’s close to the truth, but nothing is as it seems.

What is really lurking in the dark?

Darkness Unknown is the first book in the Beshadowed series by S.A. Fenech. If you’re looking for shifters with a twist, urban fantasy with a touch of horror, and a satisfying mystery, you’ll love Beshadowed.


A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe
Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical
Expected Publication: October 13, 2020

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My Review

In her debut novel A Golden Fury, Samantha Cohoe weaves a story of magic and danger, where the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final page.

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of a revolution looming, Thea is sent to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die. 


The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk
Historical Fantasy, Romance
Expected Publication: October 13, 2020

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Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.

In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.

The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?


The Once and Future Witches
by Alix E. Harrow
Historical Fantasy
Expected Publication: October 13, 2020

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In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.


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

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Reviews

Review: Defy or Defend by Gail Carriger

Book Review

Defy or Defend by Gail Carriger
(Delightfully Deadly #2)
Steampunk, Fantasy, Romance

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Synopsis
A vampire hive descending into madness. A beautiful spy with a sparkly plan. The bodyguard who must keep them from killing each other.

New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Gail Carriger brings you a charming story of love, espionage, and Gothic makeovers set in her popular Parasolverse.

SPY

Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott, code name Honey Bee, is the War Office’s best and most decorative fixer. She’s sweet and chipper, but oddly stealthy, and surprisingly effective given the right incentives.

VERSUS KNIGHT

Sir Crispin Bontwee was knighted for his military service, but instead of retiring, he secretly went to work for the War Office. Mostly he enjoys his job, except when he must safeguard the Honey Bee.

Neither one is a vampire expert, but when the Nottingham Hive goes badly Goth, only Dimity can stop their darkness from turning bloody. And only Crispin can stop an enthusiastic Dimity from death by vampire.

In a battle for survival (and wallpaper), Dimity must learn that not all that sparkles is good, while Cris discovers he likes honey a lot more than he thought.

“This intoxicatingly witty parody will appeal to a wide cross-section of romance, fantasy and steampunk fans.” ~ Publishers Weekly, starred review (Soulless)

Spinning off from the Finishing School series, featuring deadly ladies of quality, this story stands alone, but chronologically follows Poison or Protect before the start of the Parasol Protectorate Series. It’s Cold Comfort Farm meets Queer Eye meets What We Do In The Shadows from the hilarious author of the Parasol Protectorate books, perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Jodi Taylor, or Meljean Brook.

Delicate Sensibilities?

Contains fraternizing vampires and one very curious young lady, who asks about seduction, sometimes in detail but mostly in retrospect. May also involve excessive use of velvet, melodramatic poetry, and the strategic application of interpretive ballet.

What I thought
We finally got a Dimity book!!!

I loved Dimity in the Finishing School books and I always wondered how her story would play out since you could tell that killing was never going to be her thing. I mean she faints at the sight of blood. She was always the fixer putting things back to rights after her friends made a mess of things.

This book had me sucked in from page one. Dimity may have gone in and fixed the hive but when it came to each of the hive members she listened and supported them as they found what made them happy. Which in the end did more for them than new curtains ever could have.

I don’t want to say much more since it is a novella and I don’t want to spoil the whole story for you.

My Rating: /5

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Enforcer Enigma G.L. Carriger

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 Enforcer Enigma G.L. Carriger
(San Andreas Shifters #3)
Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy, Romance
Expected Publication: August 1, 2020

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Charming urban fantasy from New York Times bestselling comedy author Gail Carriger.

ENFORCER

Judd has wandered from pack to pack his whole life, searching for wolves who will accept him for who he is and who he loves. Now he believes that he’s finally found the right pack and the right man.

NERD

Rejected by his family for being gay and geeky, Colin has never fit in with werewolves, yet now he is one. He doesn’t know how to react when Judd starts courting him. He’s even more lost when a famous singer, the selkie mob, and the feds also start chasing him.

Can Judd protect Colin and still prove his love? Can Colin figure out why enemy shifters are invading his favorite cafe? And what’s with all the gold sparkle? Find out in The Enforcer Enigma.

Delicate Sensibilities?

This paranormal romance contains M/M sexy times, horrible puns regarding country music, and men who wear suits without shirts underneath. If you get offended easily, then you probably will. The San Andreas Shifter stories include blue language, dirty deeds, and outright admiration for the San Francisco Bay Area. Not for the faint of heart (or mouth or tongue). 

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Reviews

Review: Reticence by Gail Carriger

Book Review

Reticence
Reticence
by Gail Carriger
(The Custard Protocol #4)
Steampunk, Fantasy, Paranormal, Adult
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Synopsis
Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to NYT bestselling author Gail Carriger’s The Custard Protocol series.

Percival Tunstell loves that his sister and her best friend are building themselves a family of misfits aboard their airship, The Spotted Custard. Of course, he’d never admit that he belongs among them. He’s always been on the outside — dispassionate, aloof, and hatless. But accidental spies, a trip to Japan, and one smart and beautiful doctor may have him renegotiating his whole philosophy on life.

Except hats. He’s done with hats. Thank you very much.

Read-along
Midway through 2018, I decided that I wanted to read the books from Gail Carriger’s Parasolverse in chronological order. This led me to start the journey of the Parasolverse Read-Along in August 2018. If you would like more information about the read-along please visit my post about it here. At the beginning of each month, I will have a brief read-along post go up letting you know what the book for that month is.

What I thought
Since this is the last book, in the third series, in this world I will be as vague as possible so I don’t spoil a lot of what happens just in case you would like to go back to the beginning and start from there.  With that said there are somethings that I spoil because there is no way to put something down without telling you something.

If you have been following my journey with this read-along to this point you know this is a bittersweet ending for me. I love this author’s books and I look forward to all that she has coming in this universe in the future. No matter how I am feeling these books always put a smile on my face and over the last year and a half these books have helped me through some tough times. For that, I will always be glad that I began this journey and I am sad to see it end but be sure I will continue to review anything she puts out in this world.

To date, there are three completed series and multiple novellas all within this world, the Parasolverse. This book is the perfect ending to this series and this Era.  Everything wraps up so well and yet leaves the author room to expand if she wants to in the future.

As much as Competence is about Prim, this story is about Percy. Oh, our Percy has no interest in romance Percy only needs his books and to have his papers recognized within the scientific community to be happy. He tends to not even notice all the attention that he gets from the other sex to their frustration. I did not realize how much I wanted a Percy love story until I read this book.  It was everything that I did not know I needed, and I am so glad that it exists. Percy finds his match in Arsenic, whose mother we know from the Finishing School series. Oh, and guess who we see…Prim and Percy’s Aunt Softy AKA Sophronia!!!! Yes, there are connections through the three different series.  I would love to have the time to sit down and map them all out.  At the beginning of this story, you see all these women sitting at a table talking and I just squealed. Really, I squealed. This book brought everyone together. It just wrapped up everything so well, which seemed right being the story ends at the end of the Victorian Era. So, I am going to assume we may have reached the end of the timeline but that does not mean we aren’t going to get novellas about the characters.

This book starts with a very pregnant Rue and Quesnel getting married, they are holding interviews for a doctor on board the Spotted Custard due to Rue’s condition.  With all the trouble they seem to get themselves in Prim is right in forcing this issue.  Where would Rue be without Prim watching out for her? The last doctor they see that day is Arsenic and is everything they could have hoped for, she passed their “test” without flinching, what they did not expect was that she would steal Percy’s heart as well.  I know that this book ends at the end of the Victorian Era, so I know the likelihood a series about Rue’s and possibly Percy’s children is unlikely but I so want it. The descriptions of the floating city in Japan was so beautifully written the description was just so magical.  I loved the shifters that we see in this book and I feel like if she wanted to the author could expand on those too.  There are so many possibilities for future books and I am here for all of it.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Read Along

Parasolverse Read-Along – December 2019

Good Day, All!

We are heading into the seventeenth month of the Parasolverse Read-Along.  The book for December is Reticence book four of The Custard Protocol Series.

Reticence
Reticence
Pages
: 352
Start Date: December 1, 2019
Post Review: December 26, 2019
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Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to NYT bestselling author Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series.

Percival Tunstell loves that his sister and her best friend are building themselves a family of misfits aboard their airship, the Spotted Custard. Of course, he’d never admit that he belongs among them. He’s always been on the outside – dispassionate, aloof, and hatless. But accidental spies, a trip to Japan, and one smart and beautiful doctor may have him renegotiating his whole philosophy on life.

Except hats. He’s done with hats. Thank you very much.

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Reviews

Review: How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger

Book Review

How to Marry A Werewolf
How To Marry A Werewolf
by Gail Carriger
(Claw & Courtship #1)
Steampunk, Fantasy, Romance, Historical
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Synopsis
Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

WEREWOLVES

The monsters left Faith ruined in the eyes of society, so now they’re her only option. Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge.

But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.

AMERICANS

Backward heathens with no culture, Major Channing has never had time for any of them. But there’s something special about Faith. Channing finds himself fighting to prove himself and defend his species. But this werewolf has good reason not to trust human women.

Even if they learn to love, can either of them forgive?

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate series comes a stand alone romance set in the same universe. Look out for appearances from favorite characters and the serious consequences of unwarranted geology.

A Note On Chronology
The Claw & Courtship novellas can be read in any order. This book can be enjoyed without having read any of Gail’s other works. Set in the spring of 1895 this story occurs after events chronicled in Romancing the Werewolf.

More?
This story is contemporaneous with events at the beginning of Reticence (final Custard Protocol book). Channing is first introduced to readers in the second Parasol Protectorate book, Changeless. He also appears briefly in Romancing the Inventor

What I thought
This is the first book in the Claw & Courtship Novella series. In chronological order, this one falls during the same time as Reticence the final Custard Protocol book. This book can be read as a standalone! I have to say that Gail has really upped her game with this one. I didn’t realize how much I truly liked Channing until this book, or how much I wanted him to be happy. From the time he has been introduced he has been moody and you never knew that led him to be that way. In this book, you learn some of Channing’s back story before he became a werewolf and why he is generally untrusting and why he seems to hate vampires so much. I know it seems like a lot of information for such a small book but I am here to tell you that it is so beautifully written that you feel as if you are getting a full novel. When we first meet Channing is when he goes toe to toe with Alexia but she was an Alpha so the last thing that he expects is a little American girl going toe to toe with him at the docks in London.

As much as this is a story for Channing it is also the story of Faith, who has been sent to London to make a match with a werewolf. To London society, this is not shocking but for an American it is. In America, Werewolves are not excepted in society and they then to be more savage. So why would her mother send her to make this match?

Watching this story play out I felt a whole range of emotions. I was angry, sad and so very happy. Since this book can be read as a standalone I highly suggest picking it up. No after writing this I want to go back and give it another read.

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Read Along

Parasolverse Read-Along – November 2019

Good Day, All!

We are heading into the sixteenth month of the Parasolverse Read-Along.  The book for November is How To Marry A Werewolf book one of Claw & Courtship Novellas.

How to Marry A Werewolf
How To Marry A Werewolf
Pages
: 198
Start Date: November 1, 2019
Post Review: November 29, 2019
Add to Goodreads

Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

WEREWOLVES

The monsters left Faith ruined in the eyes of society, so now they’re her only option. Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge.

But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.

AMERICANS

Backward heathens with no culture, Major Channing has never had time for any of them. But there’s something special about Faith. Channing finds himself fighting to prove himself and defend his species. But this werewolf has good reason not to trust human women.

Even if they learn to love, can either of them forgive?

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate series comes a stand alone romance set in the same universe. Look out for appearances from favorite characters and the serious consequences of unwarranted geology.

A Note On Chronology

The Claw & Courtship novellas can be read in any order. This book can be enjoyed without having read any of Gail’s other works. Set in the spring of 1895 this story occurs after events chronicled in Romancing the Werewolf.

More?
This story is contemporaneous with events at the beginning of Reticence (final Custard Protocol book). Channing is first introduced to readers in the second Parasol Protectorate book, Changeless. He also appears briefly in Romancing the Inventor.

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