Reviews

Review: Wolves and Daggers by Melanie Karsak

Review

Wolves and Daggers
Wolves and Daggers

by Melanie Karsak
Fantasy, Retelling, Steampunk
Add to Goodreads

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:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

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.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


99¢ on release week only!

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.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

 

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
Add to Goodreads

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:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

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….

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

 

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
Add to Goodreads

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

New Releases

The Witch’s Tower by Tamara Grantham is up for Preorder

witches tower banner

Hey Everyone!

I don’t know if you are aware of this but Tamara Grantham has a new book coming out in March. Tamara is t4he author of the Fairy World MD series which I absolutely loved. This new book is a Fairy Tale retelling about Gothel from Rapunzel.

witches tower
The Witch’s Tower

by Tamara Grantham
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Expected publication: March 11th, 2019
Add to Goodreads

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.

Guess what the e-book is only 99 Cents right now if you preorder!

Preorder on Amazon  | Preorder on Book Depository

tamara grantham
Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series, the Shine novellas, and the upcoming Twisted Ever After trilogy. 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. She has been a featured speaker at numerous writing conferences and 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 and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made.

Favorite Books: Childhood faves: The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis and The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. As I got older, I enjoyed books by Terry Brooks and Terry Goodkind (the first few.) I also fell in love with Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. Today, some of my favorite reads are The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher and The Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews. Oh–and Harry Potter. But who doesn’t love Harry Potter, right?

Favorite Movies: All the Star Wars movies, Star Trek everything, A&E’s Pride and Prejudice,  and the new Thor movies.

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

Reviews

Review: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

(Steampunk Proper Romance #1)
by Nancy Campbell Allen
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis
Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast. 

When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man-beast and all?

What I thought

I first saw this book as a suggestion on book depository but I really weary about it.  It’s not that I thought the idea sounded bad but the complete opposite.  This books takes two things that I absolutely love and combined them into one book.  Beauty and the Beast was always my favorite fairy tale since I was little and then the idea of adding steampunk elements I got so excited. So I had to take a step back because I just really hyped this book up and I realized that there was a bigger chance that I was going to be disappointed than not. So instead of buying the book I decided to check with my local library surprisingly they only had the audio version. So I added it to my wish list and waited about a month and went into this with really low expectations. A recent reading of a pride and prejudice retelling kind of solidified the thought of how much I may not like it.

I am very happy to say that I was surprised by how much I liked it.  I loved the characters and thought that Miles made a wonderful Beast.  He was not cruel, but had a good heart and that made me love the story that much more. I really loved the mystery element of this story.  This retelling has paranormal and steampunk elements and I felt that they were done very well. I loved how independent that Lucy is and how not once did have to rely on a man to save her, even though with this time period women are not seen as they can take care of themselves.   I love books that have strong women in them.

I would suggest this book to anyone that loves Beauty and the Beast and Steampunk.

My Rating: /5

4 Stars

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook