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Book Blitz: Wonderland Academy by Melanie Karsak

Wonderland Academy: Book One by Melanie Karsak
Publication date: August 27, 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult

Welcome to Wonderland Academy. Don’t lose your head.

Getting into Wonderland Academy is easy:

You must be a little mad.

You must follow the white rabbit.

You must find the key to enter Wonderland.

You must not be named Alice or risk being beheaded by order of the Queen of Hearts.

We might have an issue with that last one.

My name may be Alice, but Wonderland Academy is everything my real life isn’t. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to ride a jabberwocky, train with a vorpal sword, cast spells using a teacup, or shapeshift into a fairy? As long as no one figures out my real name, I should be fine.

The only problem? Aden, the Queen of Hearts’ son, is quickly becoming my best friend. And then there’s Corbin. Brooding, surly, tattooed, and definitely not my type, I can’t stop thinking about him. But Corbin has secrets of his own, and Wonderland and secrets don’t mix.

How I’m going to pass my classes and protect my secret like my life depends on it is beyond me. But I better find a way. Because in Wonderland, no Alice is safe.

Wonderland Academy re-imagines the fantastical world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland for a fresh, new adventure. Combining whimsy, magic, and a splash of steampunk, New York Times best-selling author Melanie Karsak invites you into this beautifully re-envisioned fairy tale adventure.

* * *

Wonderland Academy is a college-level academy novel. It contains a slow-burn (not rh) romance. The novel is clean aside from mild language. This is Book 1 in a planned trilogy. Book 1 ends on a cliffhanger (Frodo didn’t reach Mount Doom in a day, after all).

Trigger Warning: This novel also includes references to a school shooting.

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Excerpt

Setting my bag in a chair by the window, I pulled on my coat. It was pouring. Drops rolled down the windowpane, distorting the view of the sidewalk below. As I pulled my jacket on, however, I noticed someone on the sidewalk below. He was looking up at the window. I couldn’t make him out clearly, but from what I could see, he was wearing some kind of period costume and a top hat. He had long, pale blond hair that almost looked white.

“You all think I’m a lunatic? There’s some guy standing outside in the rain in a Victorian get-up and top hat.”

“What?” Mom asked. “What are you talking about?”

“I don’t know. Just some rando guy standing in the rain,” I said then turned, zipped up my coat, and grabbed the bag.

Nurse Gilman stepped to the window and looked outside. “It’s really coming down,” she said, eyeing the sky. She then strained her neck to the left and right. “Your mystery man must have gone back inside.”

“He was right there,” I said.

A sick feeling rocked my stomach. No, no, no. He was there. Dammit, he really was there. I edged toward the window and looked outside. I was right. The man was standing right there, looking up at the window.

He waved at me.

“Where?” Nurse Gilman asked, looking up and down the sidewalk.

“There,” I said, motioning hesitantly.

“I must have missed him,” Nurse Gilman said with a shrug.

I stared at the man.

He waved again.

Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.

“Yeah,” I said. “Maybe they’re doing a show in the children’s wing or something,” I muttered then turned from the window.

I didn’t want Nurse Gilman to see my face.

Mom, however, caught my eye. Her eyebrows scrunched together as she gave me a hard look.

I dropped her gaze.

I absolutely, positively, did not want to have that conversation on the way home.

“I’m ready,” I told Mom.

“Good. Let’s get you the hell out of here.”

“Be well,” Nurse Gilman said. She motioned to the nurses’ station. The door to the waiting room unlocked with a click. Nurse Gilman motioned to us that we were free to go.

Mom and I headed down the dim hallway of the fifth-floor psych ward. The narrow hall felt like it was a million miles long. It wasn’t until we were safely inside the elevator that I finally exhaled.

“Your phone,” Mom said, handing it to me.

I had a few missing calls, messages from old friends, but there wasn’t anyone I wanted to talk to anyway. I stared at the screensaver, which had a picture of Nicholas and me. The photo had been taken just before homecoming, before everything went to shit. We’d gone for a hike that day. The autumn leaves in the background were bright orange and burnt red. We were both bundled up, our cheeks red, faces pressed together. We’d spent the entire hike planning a future that would never come to pass.

I turned off my phone and stuck it in my pocket.

Mom punched the elevator button for the ground floor.

I kept my eyes on the lights above the door, praying Mom wouldn’t ask anything.

It wasn’t until we’d passed the second floor that Mom whispered, “Lacey, are you seeing—”

“I’m fine. Really. I’m fine.”

She didn’t answer, which told me she knew well-enough I was not fine.

They’d been popping up in my periphery more frequently for the last two weeks. People who were there then not there. Flickers of light. Shadows that whispered. Otherworldy shapes. Their presence wasn’t anything new to me. While I was more prone to see them during times of stress, they’d been there all my life. I knew that if I really looked, I’d see them. It was better to ignore them.

A mermaid had taught me that.

Mom and I headed to the front of the hospital. I couldn’t wait to get away from the terrible hospital smell. A weird mix of the scents of bleach, chrysanthemums, green beans, and Band-Aids perfumed the place. It was enough to make a person gag.

Raining or not, I was relieved when the hospital doors opened. I inhaled the sweet scent of the rain-soaked air. Mom’s rusted-out Mustang sat waiting just outside.

“Okay. Let‘s run for it,” Mom called, and we sprinted to the car.

Holding my plastic bag above my head, I ran, flinging open the door of the vehicle. But just before I climbed inside, I cast a glance down the sidewalk.

The man was still standing there. He pulled something from his pocket and tapped on it. He waved to me, a broad smile on his face.

“Lacey, you’re letting the rain in,” Mom yelled.

I slipped into the car, slamming the door behind me.

Mom revved the engine then drove off, her nineties rock springing to life. I leaned forward and clicked off the music. The last thing I needed was the dulcet tones of Nirvana shouting at me post suicide watch.

Sighing, I leaned back into the seat and closed my eyes.

Why was I seeing them again?

The white-haired man had been pointing at a pocket watch. A pocket watch.

What in the hell did that mean?

I hadn’t meant to kill myself.

Not this time.

It figured. On the morning I’d been discharged from the psych ward, I was beginning to lose my mind.

Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Celtic Blood Series, Steampunk Red Riding Hood, and Steampunk Fairy Tales. The author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Southern New Hampshire University.

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Reviews

Review: Bitches and Brawlers by Melanie Karsak

Book Review

bitches-and-brawlers
Bitches and Brawlers 
by Melanie Karsak
Steampunk Red Riding Hood #4
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Synopsis
Just when things start going well for Agent Clemeny Louvel, a bitch has to make trouble. Since Cyril’s death, an uneasy peace has existed between Alodie and Lionheart. Her brothel closed, her rank in the werewolf pecking order obliterated, and shunned by the Templars, Alodie has been living on the fringes of the dark district. Determined to get vengeance on Lionheart and Clemeny, Alodie hatches a monstrous plan. Just in time to ruin Clemeny and Edwin’s first outing as a couple. Alodie will do anything to see a new alpha rise. Unless Clemeny can stop her first.

Badassery and steampunk unite in New York Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak’s retelling of the classic Red Riding Hood fairy tale set in gaslamp London. Bitches and Brawlers is book 4 in the Steampunk Red Riding Hood series.

What I thought

Life is going pretty good for Clemeny, she still does not have a partner yet but she has at least made a few steps forward with Edwin. Finally. So all is looking up until Alodie begins seeking revenge. Clemeny introduces Edwin to Quinn, which is a big step for her!

This is book 4 of this series and I am loving how it is progressing,  I love that these are novellas because when I start reading them I never want to put them down. The author is wonderful at building this world and I love all the books that are within it.  If you have Kindle Unlimited go and grab these books you will not regret it. Wolves and Daggers is FREE right now on Amazon so you have nothing to lose.

If you have read this book…What is up with that ending? What is Lionheart thinking? What is his motive? What does he know?

I really need to read the next book!

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: Peppermint and Pentacles by Melanie Karsak 

Book Review

peppermint-and-pentacles
Peppermint and Pentacles

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: Alphas and Airships by Melanie Karsak

Book Review

Alphas and Airships

Alphas and Airships by Melanie Karsak
Fantasy, Retelling, Steampunk
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Synopsis
With Lionheart as the new alpha, the streets of London are quiet. But above the realm, mischief is brewing. While airship pirates are a common plague upon the kingdom, the airship Fenrir proves particularly troublesome, especially on a full moon. Clemeny must take to the skies before these shape-shifting Vikings kick off a new Ragnarok. Easier said than done now that she’s down one good eye, a partner, and not to mention the fact that she gets motion sick. On top of that, the new scar across her face makes Clemeny feel like she’ll have better luck intimidating her foes than finding a beau. But Agent Edwin Hunter, recently assigned as head of Clemeny’s division, is proving to be an interesting prospect. Despite her apprehensions, it’s up to Agent Louvel to chase Fenrir across the heavens. Alphas and Airships is a retelling of the Red Riding Hood fairy tale set in Melanie Karsak’s bestselling steampunk universe.

Alphas and Airships is Book 2 in the Steampunk Red Riding Hood series.

What I thought

I reviewed book 1 Wolves and Daggers if you are interested in reading it please click here.

As Clemeny emerges back into the field she is given a new partner Agent Harper a new recruit into their department. There appears to be some unrest with a wolf pack in Scottland…okay I am just going to say it they are Airship Vikings Pirates! So in this book, you get a little Norse Mythology mixed in.

I am really loving this series and not just because a character I love from another series has a cameo. I like the character Clemeny and her determination. There are somethings that happened in this book that I really want to see what caused them to happen.

I only had one big drawback to this story Clemeny is obsessed with finding love. I get it that it is a product of the time period but it still annoyed me. I felt that it was a little over the top because she is such an independent character it just didn’t seem to fit with her personality.

If you have read the book and want to talk more leave me a comment below.

My Rating: /54.5 starsFollow me on other platforms:
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Reviews

Review: Wolves and Daggers by Melanie Karsak

Book Review

Wolves and Daggers
Wolves and Daggers

by Melanie Karsak
Fantasy, Retelling, Steampunk
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Synopsis
Who’s afraid of the big, bad werewolf?

When London’s brightest tinkers and alchemists come up missing, Red Cape Society Agent Clemeny Louvel is on the case.

To help her get the problem in hand, Queen Victoria assigns her a temporary partner—a werewolf with a knightly history and a tendency to be far too flirtatious for either of their good. Can she trust him to help her chase down the monsters they’re hunting?

Wolves and Daggers is a retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale set in Melanie Karsak’s bestselling steampunk universe.

What I thought
Okay, so, a few years ago I picked up my very first steampunk book. I had no idea what steampunk was but it sounded cool so I gave it a shot. From there I fell in love, the book I picked up was Melanie Karsak’s first book in her Airship chronicles series. Now, why does this matter, you might be asking since this is clearly not apart of that series. Well, it’s in the same world!

So now with what drew me to this series I now can begin to tell you that I loved it. This is a novella series so all of the books are short which is really nice. However, that is also why I knocked off one star even though I know this London and how things are supposed to go someone just picking it up may not feel as connected to it since there is not a lot of world building. Don’t get me wrong things are laid out well and this twist on red riding hood is amazing. Hey, I’m biased because I love the world and want more of it. Due to the length of this book (122 pages), I do not feel that I can really go into it too much without spoiling something. I can say that I ordered the next two books as soon as I was done with this one.

So if you like retellings at all I say pick up this first book. You will love it!

My Rating: /54 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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