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: Alphas and Airships by Melanie Karsak

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

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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New Releases

Book Blitz: The Witch’s Tower by Tamara Grantham

The Witch’s Tower
Tamara Grantham
(Twisted Ever After #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 11th, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Gothel is a witch. Punished for the actions of her mother, her choice is simple: either she stands guard over Princess Rapunzel—or she dies. But just because a choice is easy doesn’t mean it’s pleasant. Protecting Rapunzel means watching as the princess lays trapped in a tower, bedridden by hair that is so long and heavy it’s slowly driving her insane. Gothel’s life has become one of imprisonment and solitude as well—until a prince and his handsome squire appear at the tower.

Only one object can cut Rapunzel’s hair and end the curse: a pair of magical shears. But the shears are guarded by the most terrifying witches in the land, who also happen to be Gothel’s aunts. As Gothel and the prince’s squire, Raj Talmund, work to form a plan, she finds herself more and more drawn to the mysterious young man from the Outerlands. Unfortunately, his destiny is far more dangerous than she wants to admit: to save a princess, he must kill the witch who’s been forced to guard her.

THE WITCH’S TOWER is the first in an inspired new series of fairy-tale retellings from award-winning fantasy author Tamara Grantham.

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EXCERPT:

Moonlight illuminated the tower as Raj and I crossed into the meadow. The handcart’s wheels squeaked as I pulled it to a stop at the base of the tower. Raj had been true to his word and purchased all the supplies we needed for winter. I couldn’t complain—I was grateful he’d done it. I only hoped he didn’t expect a miracle in return.

Now I had the chore of transporting everything into the tower. Luckily, I’d brought my largest knapsack. As I loaded vessels of lentils, bags of flour, and a few jars of syrup into my bag, Raj stood over me.

“You’re bringing all that up there?” he asked.

“It’s better than leaving it down here.”

“You really live up there all the time?”

“Yes, I only ever come out to gather edibles, or when we’re desperate for supplies.”

“But how do you get water?”

“We have a well inside the tower. Can you help me?” I tossed him an empty burlap sack. If he was so insistent on being here, he might as well help me.

“It seems like a lonely existence.”

I eyed him. Lonely? What did he know of loneliness? I didn’t feel like admitting to this stranger how desperately lonely the past five years had been, how I lay awake at night wishing I had someone to talk to, feeling as if the silence would drive me to insanity. No, he didn’t need to know any of that.

“It’s not that bad. Rapunzel isn’t one for talking, but we have a cat. His name is Jester. He keeps me company most of the time.”

“A cat?”

“Yes. He’s mostly feral. But he’s friendly enough, and he comes and goes as he pleases. He’s even learned to climb the vines to get in and out of the tower. He’s quite clever.” I adjusted the pack’s straps on my shoulders. “Now, let’s get up there before Rapunzel…” I stopped myself. “Let’s get up there.”

With the pack strapped to my back, I turned to the tower. Wind rushed past, battering my hair against my cheeks, as I prepared to speak the spell.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!” My words carried on the wind, echoing through the forest.

I waited, nervousness making my hands grow clammy as I held to the pack’s straps, but why did I feel so uneasy? Was it because Raj was with me?

I turned to him. He stood with haunting dark eyes as he watched a coil of ropy, matted hair drop from the tower’s only window high above us. I stepped to the length of hair and grabbed it, holding my breath against the scent of unwashed scalp. I never got used to that smell.

“Should I follow you?” Raj asked.

“Yes. But let me enter first.” Gripping the hair tightly, I started the climb. I made my way toward the window at the top of the tower. Halfway up, my muscles burned, and I focused on breathing to make it the rest of the way. This part was always the hardest, and the sack of supplies weighing me down wasn’t helping. Why did Varlocke have to put his daughter into such an impossibly tall tower?

When I reached the window, I grabbed the ledge. The worn stones felt smooth under my palms as I climbed over, then landed inside. As I straightened, I pulled off the pack and left it on the floor, then focused on the room. Moonlight illuminated the bare stones walls, the well sitting at the room’s center, the wooden chairs, roughly-hewn tables, huge bookcases cluttered with dusty spell journals and vials, and the bed where Rapunzel lay.

I stepped over the matted coils of hair. Pieces of rat and bird bones lay trapped in the knotted strands, seeming to glow white against the dark hair. The sound of gnawing stopped me.

She wasn’t.

“Rapunzel,” I said quietly. “What are you doing?”

The gnawing continued. I approached her on quiet feet, afraid of what I might find. Behind me, Raj scrambled inside the room.

Please don’t let it be the prince.

When I reached her side, her pale, skeleton-white skin glowed in the moonlight. She held a rat.

I exhaled, grateful it was only a rodent and not something—someone—else. A crust of bread and a handful of wild beets sat on the bedside table, but they were untouched.

Raj’s footsteps echoed, and I turned to face him. His tall, lean frame looked so out of place. Only the high sorcerer ever visited, and to have an Outlander squire inside my home unnerved me.

“Is she eating something?” he asked. “What is that?”

“Sorry. It’s the cat’s fault. He catches them and leaves them on her lap. He thinks he’s giving her a prize or something. Rapunzel does that with them sometimes—with the rats—eats them, I mean.” I stumbled over my words, feeling immeasurably mortified that Raj had to see it. But it could’ve been worse.

I approached her. She looked up, as if only seeing me now, and she hissed. With her red-rimmed eyes, it looked as if she hadn’t been sleeping, and her collarbones seemed to be protruding more than I remembered. Her white gown hung off her meatless frame, but at least it was the clean one I’d left for her. She’d managed to change clothes—at least there was that.

“Where is the prince?” Raj asked.

“I don’t know.” I scanned the room. With the large piles of hair covering the floor, he could’ve been hidden, but we should’ve seen some clue he was here—his feet or a hand poking out. Something. “You’re certain he came up here?”

“Yes, positive.”

I studied the tower more thoroughly but didn’t see anything that resembled the prince. Odd. Where was he?

“Rapunzel,” I said, turning to her, “we’re looking for a prince. Have you seen him?”

She shook her head, clutching the rat, her fingers digging into the carcass.

“Please,” Raj said. “I need to find him. His father is the king. He’ll be very sad if he loses his only son. Can’t you tell us where he is?”

Rapunzel focused on the man, but she remained silent. Outside, the sky lightened. Pink streaked through the gray as dawn approached. As the sun rose, sunlight streamed into the room, giving light to the dark places. Something thudded inside the well, and Raj followed me as I maneuvered around the coiled hair toward the raised ring of stones surrounding the deep drop that went straight through the bottom of the tower.

“Is there something in the well?” Raj asked.

“Someone probably.”

I pried open the lid. Sitting atop the wide-mouthed bucket was the prince, who stared up at us with a vacant expression. Hair coiled around him as blue bands of magic wrapped his wrists and ankles. I grabbed his tunic with both hands and attempted to lug him out. He was heavier than he looked.

“How’d he get in there?” Raj asked.

“Rapunzel. She tried to throw him down, I assume.”

“She can do that?”

“With her hair, yes. She’s clever when she’s motivated.”

“He was looking at me!” Rapunzel yelled. Well, at least she was finally speaking.

 

Author Bio:

Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in INDIEFAB’S Book of the Year Awards, a RONE award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon with over 200 five-star reviews.

Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Lamar University. She has been a featured speaker at multiple writing conferences, and she has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.

Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks–which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds–and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made. You can find her online at http://www.TamaraGrantham.com.

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New Releases · Reviews

Review: The Witch’s Tower by Tamara Grantham

Review

witches tower
The Witch’s Tower

by Tamara Grantham
Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy
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Synopsis
Gothel is a witch. Punished for the actions of her mother, her choice is simple: either she stands guard over Princess Rapunzel — or she dies. But just because a choice is easy doesn’t mean it’s pleasant. Protecting Rapunzel means watching as the princess lays trapped in a tower, bedridden by hair that is so long and heavy it’s slowly driving her insane. Gothel’s life has become one of imprisonment and solitude as well — until a prince and his handsome squire appear at the tower.

Only one object can cut Rapunzel’s hair and end the curse: a pair of magical shears. But the shears are guarded by the most terrifying witches in the land, who also happen to be Gothel’s aunts. As Gothel and the prince’s squire, Raj Talmund, work to form a plan, she finds herself more and more drawn to the mysterious young man from the Outerlands. Unfortunately, his destiny is far more dangerous than she wants to admit: to save a princess, he must kill the witch who’s been forced to guard her.

What I thought
I was gifted a copy of this book by the author for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tamara Grantham does it again! It’s no secret that I am a fan of her Fairy World MD series. So when she reached out about this book I couldn’t say no.

Now let’s be honest here I surprisingly love re-tellings. I say this because a year ago I didn’t think they were something I would ever enjoy. Also, to be completely honest going into this I knew nothing of Rapunzel except she has long hair. I mean I still haven’t even seen Tangled before picking up this book.

I really like how this story is focused on Gothel, who is living out a punishment due to her mother’s actions. In this story you see her grow so much. One of my favorite things is how she gains self-respect and self-worth throughout the story. I also love the fact this book points out that you shouldn’t stereotype people. Yes, Gothel is a witch but Raj refuses to judge her based on that.  Long story short I adored Gothel and Raj and I really loved how this story ended. The story as a whole wrapped up all of the loose ends wonderfully and I felt satisfied with this being only one book (and that does not happen often).

If you like retellings you really should pick this one up!!

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

Cover Reveal: Kingdom of Sand & Wishes

Kingdom of Sand & Wishes: A Limited Edition Collection of Aladdin Retellings
Publication date: May 24th, 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Aladdin, but not as you remember it….

On the dusty streets, around the bustling bazaars, being overlooked by a Sultan’s Palace was a land. A land of magic, secrets and treasures buried deep beneath the desert.

Through Arabian nights, dark forces are at work. Dark forces that can threaten the peace of everyone in the Kingdom. Watch our authors as they answer the question, can three wishes save the day?

Join our award winning and USA Today best selling authors for nine action packed fantasy and contemporary retellings with Sultans, sorcerers, romance and more magic than a genie’s lamp can hold.

One click now for your happily ever after….

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Memes · New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

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: Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

once26future
Once & Future

by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult

I’ve been chased my whole life. As an illegal immigrant in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

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

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

No pressure.

Expected publication: March 26th, 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
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