New Releases

Book Blitz: The Demon Kiss by Juliana Haygert

The Demon Kiss
Juliana Haygert
(Rite World: Blackthorn Hunters Academy, #1)
Publication date: June 13, 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

A young woman with a secret heritage. A man who made a deal with the devil. And an academy where the students are just as dangerous as the demons …

Erin

I’ve been kept from the truth all my life. Demons walk the earth, and I’m destined to slay them–I only wish I hadn’t lost someone I loved while discovering that truth.

Now the demons are after me. The only way to stay alive is to attend an academy for demon hunters–a school where I’ll learn how to kill supernaturals and slay the underworld’s minions. But I still feel there are secrets I’m not being told …

Rey

I sold my soul to save my family–and lost everything because of it. Now I’m a slave to the underworld, a fake hunter with half-demon blood.

I’ve been sent on a special assassination mission. If I fail, it means my life. But protecting Erin soon becomes more important than any other task, and there’s something about her that tells me her arrival at the academy will change everything …

***

An upper young adult paranormal romance novel set in the universe of the Rite World, this is a dark fantasy you won’t want to miss! Forge your weapons and cast spells in a school where demons are hunted and the hunters themselves become prey.

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Author Bio:

While USA Today Bestselling Author Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in North Carolina and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

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Reviews

Review: Waltz of the Crows by L.G. Rollins

Review

waltz-of-the-crows
Waltz of the Crows
by L.G. Rollins
Steampunk,  Cozy Mystery, Romance
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Synopsis
Leila Hale’s orders are clear: impersonate a nurse, make contact with her fellow spy, and get London the information it needs without being caught or killed; or worse, tripping up so horribly her superiors deem her incompetent.

Samuel Rowley has returned to find his hometown disease-ridden, with many on the brink of madness. Not a man to sit back and merely hope for the best, he determines to explore every resource available until he finds a solution.

Together, Leila and Samuel sort out the relevant from the distractions and tease truth from lies. But as they uncover various secrets, it becomes evident that this insanity isn’t a disease at all, but a meticulously infiltrated poisoning; and the perpetrator has them in their sights.

When all is made known, will Leila and Samuel have enough wit and strength to save themselves, their future, and a town full of innocent victims?

Waltz of the Crows is Book 3 in the Steam and Shadow Series; all books in this series are stand-alone and can be read in any order. Waltz of the Crows is a Victorian Era Steampunk (think Woman in White but with cool gadgets) bundled up with a cozy mystery and sweet romance. Perfect for lovers of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder and Stephanie Garber’s Caraval.

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.

I was contacted by the author and asked if I wanted to read this book. I thought it sounded good so I thought I would give it a try. I won’t lie, guys, I went in with low expectations because I have not had the best luck lately with cool concept but not great delivery (yes more than one instance in a short period of time).  So believe me when I say that I loved this book I only put it down because I was falling asleep and then picked it right back up again as soon as I woke up.  I can’t remember the last time I was this invested in characters that I was holding my breath to see what was going to happen to them.

This was the perfect amount of steampunk, cozy mystery and romance I have found in a long time.  It blends them all together just right and I did not feel as if any one element overpowered the others.

If any of those elements interest you I would suggest you grab a copy of the book!

My Rating: /55 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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Sophril Recommends

Sophril Recommends #1

Good Morning!

Welcome to the first installment of Sophril Recommends. I have been toying with this idea for a while. I wasn’t sure if anyone would really care about books that I think are wonderful. But hey I’m putting this out there anyway and if nothing else we can talk about some really great books.

So for this first book, I am going back to a book that I read in 2005 and absolutely loved.

Memoirs of a Geisha
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
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According to Arthur Golden’s absorbing first novel, the word “geisha” does not mean “prostitute,” as Westerners ignorantly assume–it means “artisan” or “artist.” To capture the geisha experience in the art of fiction, Golden trained as long and hard as any geisha who must master the arts of music, dance, clever conversation, crafty battle with rival beauties, and cunning seduction of wealthy patrons. After earning degrees in Japanese art and history from Harvard and Columbia–and an M.A. in English–he met a man in Tokyo who was the illegitimate offspring of a renowned businessman and a geisha. This meeting inspired Golden to spend 10 years researching every detail of geisha culture, chiefly relying on the geisha Mineko Iwasaki, who spent years charming the very rich and famous.
The result is a novel with the broad social canvas (and love of coincidence) of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen’s intense attention to the nuances of erotic maneuvering. Readers experience the entire life of a geisha, from her origins as an orphaned fishing-village girl in 1929 to her triumphant auction of her mizuage (virginity) for a record price as a teenager to her reminiscent old age as the distinguished mistress of the powerful patron of her dreams. We discover that a geisha is more analogous to a Western “trophy wife” than to a prostitute–and, as in Austen, flat-out prostitution and early death is a woman’s alternative to the repressive, arcane system of courtship. In simple, elegant prose, Golden puts us right in the tearoom with the geisha; we are there as she gracefully fights for her life in a social situation where careers are made or destroyed by a witticism, a too-revealing (or not revealing enough) glimpse of flesh under the kimono, or a vicious rumor spread by a rival “as cruel as a spider.”

Golden’s web is finely woven, but his book has a serious flaw: the geisha’s true romance rings hollow–the love of her life is a symbol, not a character. Her villainous geisha nemesis is sharply drawn, but she would be more so if we got a deeper peek into the cause of her motiveless malignity–the plight all geisha share. Still, Golden has won the triple crown of fiction: he has created a plausible female protagonist in a vivid, now-vanished world, and he gloriously captures Japanese culture by expressing his thoughts in authentic Eastern metaphors.

So tell me have you read it or does this book sound good to you?

Talk to me in the comments I would love to know.

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Reviews

Review: Timeless by Gail Carriger

Review

Timeless
Timeless
by Gail Carriger
Parasol Protectorate #5
Steampunk, Historical Romance, Paranormal
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Synopsis
Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire’s second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly.

Until, that is, she receives a summons that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

TIMELESS is the final book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

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

Well, we made it to the end of this series, and it was quite a ride. Alexia is one of a kind and I love her. If this is the first review you are seeing for this series here are the links for the other books in the series: Soulless | Changeless | Blameless | Heartless.

As we head into this book two years have passed by since the end of Heartless and the Macons have settled into their life in London society as much as a werewolf and a Preternatural can. Now I know I always try to leave out spoilers; however its really hard to talk even a little about the fifth book in a series without spoiling something so I will give you one more non-spoilery thought then on to some random spoiler thoughts.  I am making them short so hopefully to not completely spoil the ending of the book.  As this series ended I did not feel like I was left hanging.  Yes, there are things that I want more of but I feel satisfied with the ending Gail gave us.

***SPOILERS***

I am not satisfied with whatever ending Felicity received she is such a selfish, conniving little twit. How dare she do that. (Stomps foot for effect)

Sidheag really needs to learn to control her temper! But man that girls got stamina.

Lyall and Biffy is the cutest couple ever! (I need more of this in my life)

Who would have thought Floote would have been on his own mission?

Ivy in charge of fashion.  Oh, the hats.

And lastly, since reading this book I have had the song “Who Wants to Live Forever” stuck in my head. Poor Matakara.

Now this song makes me want to watch Highlander again.

So tell me your thoughts have you read this series?

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

Review: Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Review

Flame in the Mist.png
Flame in the Mist
by Renée Ahdieh
Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult, Romance
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Synopsis
The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

What I thought

Let’s get down to business to defeat The Huns.

So this is literally what has been playing in my head since I finished this book I’m not complaining because I love Mulan.

This is a loose Mulan retelling that takes place in Japan.

I am really glad that I waited so long to read this book when it first came out there was a lot of hate because people expected a strict Mulan retelling. This story takes place in Japan so the culture is very different than the movie since it takes place in mainland China. I think that this might be why people felt let down by the retelling aspect.

The Mulan essence lives in our main character Mariko. Due to actions out of her control, Mariko has to dress like a boy to survive. Mariko fights for what she feels is right no matter the cost. Also, we have the hate to love trope that we all know I am such a sucker for.

There are some big thing that happens at the end of this book that really has me on the edge of my seat to see what happens. This book is told from a few different perspectives that should all come together in the Smoke in the Sun. Well, at least I really hope they do.

I am going to read the two short stories that came in between books 1 and 2. And just in case you did not know this but they appear to be free on Amazon.

This story is part of the duology so I’m super excited to pick up the second installment.

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

Book Blitz: Clock City by Rebekah Dodson

Clock City by Rebekah Dodson
(Realm of Elestra, #2)
Publication date: May 15, 2019
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Steampunk, Young Adult

Since Mom died and left me with my abusive, drunkard of a father I don’t have much of a life. My only sanctuary’s hidden in the woods. At least until I find a jeweled dagger and it transports me to somewhere called Elestra. I seriously can’t believe this isn’t some crazy dream, with mechanical horses, cat people, demons, and even metal dragons.

I just want to go home, but everything is a disaster in Clock City.

Who’s this mysterious girl who appeared in Elestra? Alayna wears strange clothes and keeps complaining about something called a “cell phone.” She even has a demon with her who’s sworn a life debt, and now I’m bonded to her to help save the kingdom.

I’m just Sebastian, a secret tinkerer. How am I supposed to help her, and the rebellion, save the city? My life has flipped upside down, and I don’t know if I have what it takes.

No matter what happens it’s up to us to show the world what freedom truly looks like.

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Q&A with Rebekah Dobson:

Name/Pen Name: Rebekah Dodson

Where do you get your ideas? Mostly from my muse, a close friend of mine, and watching people. And maybe a little from my students, lol

What is your writing process like? I get up at 4am most days and write 2500 words. My day starts at 6am, then I teach college classes from 9am-5pm five days a week. Some days it’s hard to get up at 4am, so I have to double up on weekends. Usually I get in about 10,000-15,000 words on a Saturday.

What is your writing Kryptonite? Quick burn romances. I can’t do it. My character talks and talk and fall in love SO slowly. It’s annoying sometimes.

How do you deal with writers block? I travel! Seriously. I take the train often, talk to people, go to big cities. I get tons of ideas!

Do you write under different pen names? Not yet!

When did you write and publish your first book? What was the name of your book? I wrote my frist book, Postcards from Paris, in December of 2013. I was in grad school at the time, and going through some rough things. I really poured my heart and some personal experiences into that book. A fellow students of mine started a publishing company and offered to publish it, and put a TON of faith into my work. Postcards was published on March 6, 2014! I’ve written a book a month ever since!

Who is your favorite author and Why? I love Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrument series, but I’m also a huge fan of Stephen King, RA Salvatore, Terry Goodkind, David Gemmel, Nora Roberts, and Charlaine Harris. For India authors I adore Brooklyn Knight, Candace Osmond, and RA Steffan. Their books will ALWAYS be a one-click for me.

How many unpublished or half written books do you have? Probably at least 20. 30?

What kind of research do you do and how long before writing your book? I usually research as I write, to be honest. I rarely know what my characters are going to pull/do. The current series I’m working on it

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex? Not much, actually. My bestselling series, The Curse of Lanval, is from my male main character’s perspective, Guillaume Lanval. Most of my romances are from both male and female first person perspectives. I really enjoy writing from the male perspective, actually.

How long do you try to write daily? An hour or two. Some days I can only voice text a few sentences, but I get them in.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good and bad reviews? All the time. The harsest one was when a reader gave me 3-stars before she “couldn’t remember the book.” That made me cry. I never advertise that book anymore, but I read it every few months and determine to be more interesting than that book. For good reviews I sometimes share them with the world, but primarily I have the same reaction. Every time someone leave me a review, good or bad, I just enjoy the fact someone read it!

What’s your favorite genre to read? Urban fantasy and high fantasy mostly, but I also love historical romances.

Do you hide secrets that only a few people will find or easter eggs in your books? OH yes. Most of my characters are related, and their worlds are fundamentally changed by Gill’s time traveling. I’m just hoping someone figures it out someday.

What was your hardest scene to write? In Postcards from Moscow, my ballerina, Jacqueline, was a pill addict, and I had to write a scene where Vasily, the man who loves her, finds her not breathing on a bathroom floor. He revives her, but then he walks away. It was so hard to write that scene because I wanted them to be together SO bad, but it wasn’t going to happen, not until Jaqui got her stuff together. A close second is the moment that Guillaume loses someone he loves in the my time travel fantasy, Merlin. When I had to kill that character I felt his anguish and I cried all the way through it with him.

Do you write with music in the background or does it have to be silent? I need music!! If it’s a fight scene for a fantasy novel, I’ve got to have some wacky Voltaire or Mary Cromwell or Shyfer James in the the background, maybe a little Cog is Dead or Steampunk Giraffe. I also love my 90’s romance songs (Savage Garden, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears) for romances. Sometimes you’ll even heard a little Five Finger Death Punch in there!

Do you have a favorite thing to snack on while you write? Gummy bears. It’s really an addiction at this point…

How much do your readers’ interests influence your writing? SO much. I actually have some fans that suggest directions and I almost always use them. My biggest fan is actually my beta reader now and I love her!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything…What would it be? PLEASE write that damn book and publish it, even though you don’t think you are good enough! I published my first book when I was 30, and I wish I hadn’t waited.

Any advice to other writers? Always get your product as polished as possible. Hire an editor, pay a lot for a cover. Find your tribe of other authors to support you and ask them for advice, often! Don’t pay for anything until people agree that it’s a good venture, otherwise you’ll waste a lot of money and time on poor quality professionals. Also, find your readers, and reward the crap out of them. Don’t lose those precious readers at any cost.

 

Rebekah Dodson is a prolific author of over 30 romance, fantasy, and science fiction novels. Her works include the series Postcards from Paris, #1 bestselling Curse of Lanval series, Life After Us series, and several stand alone novels and short stories. She has been writing her whole life, with her first published work of historical fiction with 4H Clubs of America at the age of 12, and poetry at the age of 16 with the National Poetry Society. With an extensive academic background including education, history, psychology and English, she currently works as a college professor by day and a writer by night.

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Reviews

Review: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

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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