New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

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: Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

capturing-the-devil
Capturing the Devil
by Kerri Maniscalco
Historical, Young Adult, Mystery

In the shocking finale to the bestselling series that began with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse has them fighting to stay one step ahead of the brilliant serial killer—or see their fateful romance cut short by unspeakable tragedy.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?

Expected publication: September 10, 2019

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Reviews

Review: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

Book Review

The Dark Days Club
The Dark Days Club
by Alison Goodman
Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance
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Synopsis
London, April 1812.

On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

What I thought
I have no idea why when I know I am going to love a book that I “save” it. New Goal read all the books I know I am going to love. This book sat on my shelf for way too long.

This story checked so many of my boxes:

Regency area checkmark
Strong female character checkmark
Some hate to love romance vibes checkmark
Fantasy elements checkmark

So in the story, Lady Helen has lived with her aunt and uncle since her parent’s death when she was younger. Helen has long been told that her mother was a traitor to the crown, but this may not be the case. Helen soon learns that her mother was part of a secret society that fights demons.

I really enjoyed the character Helen and how she was a very strong female character even though this is it any regency time. Of course, Lady Helen’s views cause some problems because she is definitely not a product of her time, she is an educated woman and proud of it. She’s also very opinionated which seems to get her in more trouble than anything else.

I won’t lie I really want horrible things to happen to her uncle, I think he is just scum. Then you have Carlston I really want to see more happen there. And there is just something about the Duke of Selburn that I can’t quite like.  I think he has an ulterior motive and he does not have Helen’s best interest in mind at all. I think he showed interest just because he thinks Carlston has. 

I cannot wait to pick up the next book. I already have it pulled off my bookshelf and on top of a stack of books ready.

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

Blog Tour: Beauty’s Curse by C.S. Johnson

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Don’t you just love a good fairytale retelling? Today I have this gorgeous book to share with you, along with an excerpt to read, and a chance to win a print copy of this stunner!

Beauty's Curse


Beauty’s Curse
by C.S. Johnson
(Once Upon a Princess #1)
Publication Date: January 2016
Genre: Fairytale Retelling/ Historical Fantasy/ Romance

For four years, Princess Aurora of Rhone—Rose to her friends—has searched the world for a way to break the curse placed on her by Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies at war with her kingdom. Under the curse, Rose is doomed to die on her eighteenth birthday after pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. And time is running out.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Rose makes the journey home with her friends—Theo, a priest with a penchant for revenge; Mary, a young and talented fairy; and Ethan and Sophia, siblings with a troubled past–as pressure from her father, King Stefanos, leaves her with two equally unsatisfying options: Abdicate the throne, or get married.

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Excerpt

Rose and Theo discuss their next move in finding Titania, the queen of the fairies, in hopes she will be able to tell them how to break Rose’s curse.

***

She had never been one to waste her time; after all, she had so little of it left. But whether or not the weather cooperated with her was another matter entirely.

Rose looked up at the bleak sky, feeling the hood of her protective cloak sliding down from her face, exposing her nape at the end of her close-cropped hair. The wind tickled her skin, and rather than finding it charming and pleasant as she might have when she was younger, she found it taunting and terrifying.

Her gaze moved down from the crying skies to the sea, the rough and tumbling creature so keen on hogging every inch it could of the world’s edge.

There was nothing to it, she decided. They would have to enter into the cavern during the rain. According to the map Ethan had found, the entrance to Titania’s realm was not far down the cliff, and while it would be easier if the rain would stop and the tide would recede, Rose knew she could never count on life to make things easier for her if it could.

That was how Theo found her; looking down the edge of the cliffs, standing in the rain, and declaring all the world her enemy. No wonder she had insisted leaving the palace when she’d been thirteen, he thought. Even the grand palace would have demolished itself, had she been unable to fight her own way free of it. She was a warrior through and through.

Theo shook his head and pushed back the cover of his cloak. “I know that look,” he muttered, coming up from behind her. “And the answer is no.”

Rose would have normally grinned at the sight of her best friend following her out of the safety of the camp to talk. But ever since she and her group had finally found the location of the home of a powerful Fairy Queen, time seemed to crush into her a little bit more each day, pushing her into possible tomorrows long before her today’s had finished.

She pursed her lips together. “Come on. I’m the princess, remember? I’m the one in command here, Theo.”

He smiled at her. “You only pull rank when you know I’m right.” Crossing his arms, he added, “It’s only been two days, Rosary. We’ll give it at least one more before we go barreling in.”

He was not fooled by the calm look on her face; there would be a battle in getting her to agree.

He had known Rose–officially Princess Aurora Rosemarie Mohanagan of Rhone–for over ten years, ever since he arrived to work in the royal chapel, and he knew well her charms. It was impossible not to notice them, and knowing her well enough, it was impossible for him to fall for them–which, he knew, she both liked and hated on different occasions. Knowing her expressions just as well, Theo knew this time she hated it.

“Mary can protect us with a weather spell,” she argued.

He had to admit, halfway begrudgingly, he admired her tenacity as she refused to back down. “Mary is still tired from our battle with the Eastern Warlords. We’re all still tired, even you. The rest will be good for us. We have time enough for rest.”

“No, I don’t have time, Theo. My birthday is coming up.” Frustration and fear crept into the pattern of her speech.

“And you can spare a day now, and we’ll make up for it later.”

“What if we don’t?”

“You still have a whole year afterwards, Rosary.” Patience melted away into concern at her words. He knew she was upset and afraid, and there was little he could do about it.

That was why he had come, though, wasn’t it? The thought hit him with a disgruntled air. There were few reasons besides counsel and comfort that would cause one to bring a priest across continents and into battle. He was fortunate to have found a friend in the doomed princess of Rhone.

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C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

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Blog Tour Schedule

May 13th
Reads & Reels (Excerpt) http://readsandreels.com
Triquetra Reviews (Excerpt) http://www.triquetrareviews.blogspot.com
I Love Books and Stuff (Excerpt) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com
Pages and Paw Prints (Review) http://pagesandpawprints.com/
Jessica Belmont (Review) http://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com
Speedy Reader (Review) https://speedyreadercom.wordpress.com/

May 14th
I Smell Sheep (Excerpt) http://www.ismellsheep.com/
Daily Waffle (Excerpt) http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk
Sophril Reads (Excerpt) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
Love Books Group (Review) https://lovebooksgroup.com/

May 15th
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
The Cozy Pages (Excerpt) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/
Stacy is Reading (Review) https://stacyisreading.blogspot.com/?m=0
Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com

May 16th
Reading Nook (Excerpt) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com
An Ocean a Glimmer (Review) http://anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com
The Bookworm Drinketh (Excerpt) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/
Tsarina Press (Excerpt) https://www.tsarinapress.com

May 17th
B is for Book Review (Review) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
Darque Dreamer Reads (Review) https://darquedreamerreads.wordpress.com/
Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com
The Must Reads (Review) http://themustreads.com/
Eclectic Review (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

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Reviews

Review: The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore

Book Review

The Radium Girls
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women

by Kate Moore
Nonfiction, Historical
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Synopsis
The incredible true story of the women who fought America’s Undark danger

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives…

What I thought
I waited a few days before I begin thinking about writing this review and I still do not know where to start. So bear with me and we will start at the beginning of this journey. I had never heard about the Radium Girls, they were not talked about when I was in school. I found a podcast called The Morbid Curiosity Podcast, now anyone that actually knows me will not be surprised that I jumped on this as soon as I saw the name.  So since I found it around the end of last year I have been working through the backlog of episodes that they have and one of them was on the Radium Girls.  I was so amazed by the story that I began looking into them and that led me to find this book.

While reading this book I was constantly surprised at the new lows that these women went through.  I know this should not have surprised me but their story was so tragic and a lot of things could have been prevented. My heart truly went out to these girls they suffered so much and were treated so horribly. I know I am not doing any justice for this book I just can not put the words together that I want to.  I was so moved and truly inspired by the spirit of these women.

***SPOILER*** 

I usually try not to do this but…

I can’t even imagine living through what they did, having bones and limbs removed just to slow down the radium poisoning.  Then to have the person that put you in that position, who knew that you were being poisoned, to just stand back and say prove it.  The exams they made them go through just to humiliate these women and try to dismiss them like they were worth nothing just makes me want to scream. They knew the dangers hell they protected the other Male staff in the labs with lead aprons and then told these women to lip point their brushes again and again. Then knowing they were going to die, they tried to delay the trial so that they wouldn’t survive long enough to be able to finish the case. I know I shouldn’t be surprised but I had more faith in people.

***SPOILER END*** 

Sorry, I guess I needed to just vent all those thoughts since they are the first things that come to mind when I think of this story.  I guess there is no way to really not spoil the story.

I really wish that their story was at least touched on in school it is such an important part of our short history.

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

Book Blitz: Tudor Rose by W.H. Doyle

Tudor Rose
W.H. Doyle
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: April 9, 2019
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

In 16th-century England, two teenage best friends find themselves on an exciting journey from the country to the Queen’s court in the hope of being named ladies-in-waiting. But Sybille and Rose soon discover they aren’t the only girls who have their sights set on attending Her Majesty. The girls must compete against worldly and cunning opponents, among them mean-girl Avis and her entourage of back-stabbing co-horts, tipping the balance in their already-tenuous friendship.

Soon, the grand hall is more like the hallway of a prestigious finishing school, with girls fighting for the attention of a dashing, young earl, amid parties fueled by drinking and indiscriminate relations. As the tension between Sybille and Avis heats up, the focus on Rose wanes, allowing her to turn her attention to more important matters – like getting close enough to the Queen to learn her secrets.

But being close to the Queen is not without its challenges. And when rumors of Rose’s influence make their way around the castle, no one, not even the Queen, will be safe.

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SNEAK PEEK:

They were gorgeous, even as they sneered and giggled and pointed at Rose and Sybille. Unblemished faces, perfectly coiffed hair, and the most fashionable clothes. The men had trimmed goatees, starched linen ruffs, and wide shoulders that tapered sexily to narrow hips. The women’s painted eyes and lips were framed by long hair banded by strips of jewels. Their gowns—so different than the old-fashioned ones of Gordonsrod—had low, square-cut necklines and a framework that pushed out the dress around the buttocks, emphasizing their figures.

It was everything that Sybille had always wanted. But not like this. Humiliation drove into her like a punch as the stuff of her dreams reconfigured into her worst nightmare.

Excerpt:

   Sybille nodded, not really listening. She wasn’t feeling well herself. The trip, the cold, the wine—everything was catching up to her. Avis must have noticed it and tutted sympathetically. “We’ll get you right into your beds.”

“Thank you, dear,” Sybille said, mimicking Avis’s clipped aristocratic accent. “I just don’t want your sister—or your brother Valentyne, most especially—to see me like this.”

“Of course, child.”

They reached a closed door at the end of the passage. Avis stepped back politely, opened the door, and pushed Sybille and Rose gently forward. “Just through here.”

Sybille blinked as they stumbled ahead several feet. There was sudden blinding candlelight. And music. “What … ?” Sybille stammered.

The music came to a halt, replaced by shocked gasps. And then laughter.

“Oh goodness,” Avis announced in a flat, stage voice. “I guess I made a wrong turn.”

Sybille’s eyes were adjusting to the light from hundreds of candles and three blazing fires—the flames reflected off thousands of mirrored surfaces. She could see they were at one end of a great hall. By far the largest room she’d ever been in—it was forty-feet wide and stretched for a hundred feet.

Leaving Sybille and Rose on their own, Avis swept off her scarlet cloak, tossed it to a maid, and strode over to a crowd of fifty or so young people who stood waiting in a semi-circle.

They were gorgeous, even as they sneered and giggled and pointed at Rose and Sybille. Unblemished faces, perfectly coiffed hair, and the most fashionable clothes. The men had trimmed goatees, starched linen ruffs, and wide shoulders that tapered sexily to narrow hips. The women’s painted eyes and lips were framed by long hair banded by strips of jewels. Their gowns—so different than the old-fashioned ones of Gordonsrod—had low, square-cut necklines and a framework that pushed out the dress around the buttocks, emphasizing their figures.

It was everything that Sybille had always wanted. But not like this. Humiliation drove into her like a punch as the stuff of her dreams reconfigured into her worst nightmare.

Author Bill Doyle was born in Michigan, and wrote his first mystery at the age of eight. He has gone on to write critically acclaimed and bestselling children’s books, including stories of real-life war heroes in “Behind Enemy Lines: True Stories of Amazing Courage”; the pick-your-own-adventure “Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Everest”; the historical fiction mystery series Crime Through Time; the Henry & Keats series including “Attack of the Shark-Headed Zombie”; the Scream Team series about Bad News Bears-type monsters playing sports; and soon-to-be released series “The Prizewinners of Piedmont Place.”

Additionally, Bill has served as editor at Sesame Workshop, TIME for Kids and SI Kids. He’s written for LeapFrog, Weekly Reader, Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, National Geographic Kids, and the American Museum of Natural History. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the film school at New York University where he was taught by the likes of Arthur Miller and David Mamet.

Bill lives with two dachshund-headed canines in New York City, and you can visit him online at http://www.BillDoyleBooks.com.

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Book Blitz: The Winnowing by Jo Schaffer

The Winnowing
Jo Schaffer
(Stanley & Hazel, #2)
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: February 26th, 2019
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Darkness descends over St. Louis, a city already rocked by the Great Depression. More and more people are disappearing, and some have turned up dead. A sinister secret society is putting forward their plan known as “The Winnowing,” designed to wipe out those they consider “undesirable.”

After Stanley and Hazel foil the diabolical plans of Charles Chouteau, they become instant celebrities. Hazel is thrust into the role of debutante, and risks loses herself in it. Meanwhile, Stanley must deal with the horrific tragedy of his best friend’s death while being threatened by the unseen forces of the Veiled Prophet.

With things spiraling out of control, Stanley and Hazel’s relationship is tested, possibly beyond repair. As bodies pile up, people become more desperate. The divide between wealthy and poor grows ever wider, threatening to tear their worlds apart. Now, the two must find a way to work together if there is any hope at all of saving their relationship and their futures.

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EXCERPT:

“Where do you go, Hazel Malloy?” Gabriel said in her ear.

“What?”

“I can feel you thinking hard.” He chuckled.

Hazel smiled. “I like this song,” she said, embarrassed as though he could actually tell that he’d caught her thinking about him.

“I do too.” He pressed his cheek to hers, and she let him.

As the song ended, there was a slight disturbance from the far end of the room. Hazel glanced up, and her heart paused.

Bananas.

Stanley stood in the entrance of the conservatory, tall and suited up, a hard look on his face, one eye almost swollen shut. He was flanked by some of his Knights, looking rough and out of place in suits, smirks on their faces as they scanned the room. It was like Eliot Ness and his Untouchables about to raid.

The “good people” of St. Louis stared uneasily and made way as the boys stalked into the room. Hazel sometimes forgot what they must look like to everyone else. They were a tough looking lot, battle scarred, and imposing.

The song ended and in the pause before the next one began, Stanley took long strides across the room, toward where Hazel and Gabriel stood, still holding hands.

Stanley’s eye twitched. “Heya, Haze.” He tilted his head toward Gabriel. “If it isn’t soft slugger trying to get to first base.” His jaw flexed, and he breathed in through his nose, and Hazel knew he was counting to ten.

Gabriel released Hazel’s hand and calmly replied, “Good to see you, Fields. You clean up nice.”


Author Bio:

Jo Schaffer was born and raised in the California Bay Area in a huge, creative family. She is a YA novelist, speaker, writer at Patheos.com, works in film production and is a Taekwondo black belt.

She’s a founding member of Writers Cubed and co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the largest conferences in the nation for youth ages 13-19. She and a crew of local and international bestselling authors present writing workshops to hundreds of attendees at the Utah-based conference as well as hundreds of others worldwide who view the conference online.

Jo loves being involved in anything that promotes literacy and family. She is passionate about community, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. Her brain is always spinning new ideas for books and sometimes she even gets around to blogging.

Jo is mom to three strapping sons and lives in the beautiful mountains of Utah.

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Reviews

Review: European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss

Book Review

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman


European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman

by Theodora Goss
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Synopsis
In the sequel to the critically acclaimed The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Mary Jekyll and the rest of the daughters of literature’s mad scientists embark on a madcap adventure across Europe to rescue another monstrous girl and stop the Alchemical Society’s nefarious plans once and for all.

Mary Jekyll’s life has been peaceful since she helped Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solve the Whitechapel Murders. Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, Justine Frankenstein, and Mary’s sister Diana Hyde have settled into the Jekyll household in London, and although they sometimes quarrel, the members of the Athena Club get along as well as any five young women with very different personalities. At least they can always rely on Mrs. Poole.

But when Mary receives a telegram that Lucinda Van Helsing has been kidnapped, the Athena Club must travel to the Austro-Hungarian Empire to rescue yet another young woman who has been subjected to horrific experimentation. Where is Lucinda, and what has Professor Van Helsing been doing to his daughter? Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, and Justine reach her in time?

Racing against the clock to save Lucinda from certain doom, the Athena Club embarks on a madcap journey across Europe. From Paris to Vienna to Budapest, Mary and her friends must make new allies, face old enemies, and finally confront the fearsome, secretive Alchemical Society. It’s time for these monstrous gentlewomen to overcome the past and create their own destinies.

What I thought
This is the second book in The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club the first book being The Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter (see my thoughts here). Let me start by saying that this book is very long and it took me much longer to read than I thought it would. Now with that said I really enjoyed the ride that this book gave me. I love the friendship between these characters. It feels like a real friend group. They talk about how they do get on one anothers nerves, and how that also makes them all fit together.  Everyone brings there own uniqueness to the group and life is not rainbows and butterflies.

In this installment, they are traveling across Europe to rescue Lucinda Van Helsing. So I am going to say that you should know that last name and that it means vampires. I really like how this author can continue to add new characters to this series and it does not get overwhelming for the reader. I really like how the characters stay themselves, they do have growth however they are never magically changed to where you no longer recognize them.

If you have read the first one you know that there is a going commentary between the characters in the story on the manuscript.  I am always surprised by how much I enjoy this. It feels like you are seeing the characters not just how they are portrayed but how they think and feel about what is being said about them.  To me this makes them feel more real and I love it.

Could this book have been trimmed down some and not been over 700 pages and still been good? I think so and I have noticed that this is an ongoing complaint from a lot of the readers.  So here is to hoping that the next installment will be a little shorter.

My Rating: /55 Stars

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