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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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan by Sherry Thomas

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: The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan by Sherry Thomas

the-magnolia-sword
The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan

by Sherry Thomas
Retelling, Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

CHINA, 484 A.D.

A Warrior in Disguise
All her life, Mulan has trained for one purpose: to win the duel that every generation in her family must fight. If she prevails, she can reunite a pair of priceless heirloom swords separated decades earlier, and avenge her father, who was paralyzed in his own duel.

Then a messenger from the Emperor arrives, demanding that all families send one soldier to fight the Rouran invaders in the north. Mulan’s father cannot go. Her brother is just a child. So she ties up her hair, takes up her sword, and joins the army as a man.

A War for a Dynasty
Thanks to her martial arts skills, Mulan is chosen for an elite team under the command of the princeling–the royal duke’s son, who is also the handsomest man she’s ever seen. But the princeling has secrets of his own, which explode into Mulan’s life and shake up everything she knows. As they cross the Great Wall to face the enemy beyond, Mulan and the princeling must find a way to unwind their past, unmask a traitor, and uncover the plans for the Rouran invasion . . . before it’s too late.

Inspired by wuxia martial-arts dramas as well as the centuries-old ballad of Mulan, The Magnolia Sword is perfect for fans of Renee Ahdieh, Marie Lu, or Kristin Cashore–a thrilling, romantic, and sharp-edged novel that lives up to its beloved heroine.

Expected publication: September 10, 2019

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Reviews

Review: Baron Weaver’s Game of Bezique by Elle Beaumont

Book Review

Baron Weaver's Game of Bezique
Baron Weaver’s Game of Bezique
by Elle Beaumont
Young Adult, Paranormal, Steampunk, Fantasy
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Synopsis
At eighteen, Etienne Mercier shouldn’t have to worry about being hunted in the streets of Paris. To survive, he cons people with games of chance, hoping no one will discover the truth his grown-out hair hides—he is Fae. Baron Weaver knows, though, and when Etienne tries to con the man, he’s the one who gets surprised.

Etienne flees to escape the Baron, but soon realizes he’s not being chased for the reason he thinks. The Baron offers him a once-in-a-lifetime chance—the opportunity to work in Cirque de la Tempete as an aerialist.

Jumping at the chance to earn an honest living, Etienne never expects to find what he lacked all along—a purpose and a family—especially when he meets Lili. But Lili has plans of her own, and together, Etienne finds himself taking his biggest–and deadliest—risk yet.

Care for a game of chance? Step right up!

What I thought
I was kindly given a copy of this book by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Baron Weaver’s Game of Bezique is a short story ser in Paris in what feels like the 1800s. the story focuses around Etienne who is part Fae. This story ticked so many of my boxes. Now I understand that this was a short story but I wanted so much more this had a really nice buildup but the ending felt very rushed. Don’t get me wrong I really liked it. My only issue was how fast the end happened.

At the end of the story, the author states that she has much more in store for Cirque de la Tempete and that we would be seeing him again. So to me what makes the most sense is that this may be a prequel to a series.  I know I am just trying to justify my feelings and it all comes down to me wanting more because the author did a good job and got me attached to her characters.

So now the important thing would I suggest this book to anyone else? YES

My Rating: /5

4 Stars

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New Releases

Blog Tour: Magic Heist by Mary Karlik

Magic Heist by Mary Karlik
(Fairy Trafficking #2)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: July 9th, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Layla rescued fairies that had been kidnapped and brought the human world. But now they can’t find their way back to the magic realm and time is running out.

Layla is a powerful fairy with magical ability that stretches beyond throwing spells. But with all that power, she still doesn’t know how to get over one-hundred fairies back to the magic realm. With their magic gone, the rescued fairies have no immunity to protect them from the toxins of the human world, and they’re slowly dying.

To find the path home, Layla knows she must team up with the one man who can make her insides quiver with an accidental brush of his fingertips. The same man who’s alter ego dragon is the natural predator of fairies. The man she knows will give his life to keep the fairies safe—Scotland’s finest Specialist Crime Division leader, Ian Cameron.

Ian has only been a dragon shifter for a few days. He struggles to control the dragon spirit locked inside his human form, doesn’t know what magical powers he may or may not have, and has never been to a magical world. But none of those things frighten him as much as the little spark that ignites in his soul when the half – human fairy is around.

But this little fairy is no Tinkerbell. She is brave, powerful, and can wield a sword like a medieval knight.

With growing feelings toward Layla, he couldn’t refuse to help her get the fairies back to the magic realm if he wanted to. The problem is the dragon who lives inside him would like nothing more than to feed his appetite with all of those little fairies—especially the half human one who killed its leader.

“Mary Karlik, is truly a hidden gem of a writer.”I Am the Bookworm

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Excerpt

Layla nodded and jogged up the trail. She thought about fairy-shifting. But the wind had picked up, making it unsafe to fly. Instead, she ignored the tourists’ stares and used her wings to help propel her up the path.

“Layla, go back.”

She had been sure Ian was ahead of them, but his voice came from behind. She stopped and turned. Ian ran to her. “Go back. It’s not safe.”

“What’s not safe? What are you not telling me?”

He opened his mouth to speak, and a black forked tongue darted out. He pulled it back in and clamped his lips shut. Every muscle in his face tensed, and his neck bulged as if he were swallowing the thing down. “Please. Stay. Away.” The words came out choppy as if he’d pushed them from his gut, past the dragon, and forced them between his lips.

“Let me help you.” Her heart pounded, and fear flowed up her spine. Was he turning dragon from the inside out? Would he shed his human skin like Miranda had? No. She wouldn’t let him lose this battle.

Dark clouds covered the sun. He raised his eyes to the sky. “It’s too late.” He ran toward the summit of the crag.

Layla sprinted after him. His back twitched, and she was sure his scales were glowing. If the dragon-spirit forced a shift, then Ian wouldn’t have control. It wouldn’t be just the fairies who were at risk. They were all in danger.

She had to help him. She had to stop him.

Her heart pounded as she ran up the steep incline, and her chest burned. She tried to gulp deep breaths, but lung-seizing, throat-tightening fear refused to allow air in. She was reduced to a stumbling, gasping walk as she made her way to the crest of the crag.

“The dragon does not control you!” she screamed at his back. But the wind scattered her words, and she wasn’t sure he’d heard her.

He turned to face her in a rigid, unnatural movement. “Back away.” His pupils had elongated into slits, and his muscles twitched.

Layla ran to him and took his face in her hands. “Think about the painting.”

He jerked away from her and looked up at the sky. “It’s coming.”

She raised her gaze, too, and the fear that had a hold on her system turned into terror.

Dark clouds swirled above the crest of Arthur’s Seat, and an eerie silence permeated the air. Energy crackled across her skin, but it wasn’t her magic. This was something different, dark, and dangerous.

“Layla, get out of here.” The tone in Ian’s voice went from tense to frantic and dragged her pulse along with it.

Lightning cracked. And from the center of the swirling black clouds, fire shot across the sky.

Behind the fire was a red dragon.

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Author Bio

Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna’s home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn’t find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore.

You can find her Texas roots in her YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as “100% solid storytelling,” and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a “lovely story about growing up.”

She digs deep into her Scottish roots – there is magic there, she just knows it – for the forthcoming YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series, beginning with Magic Harvest.

She makes her home in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she is a certified professional ski instructor, but she also loves visiting Scotland where she is currently studying Scottish Gaelic at the University of Highlands and Islands in Skye. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse.

Mary currently serves as the President of the Young Adult Chapter of Romance Writers of America and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA’s national convention.

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Blog Tour

July 8th
Smada’s Book Smack >> Excerpt
cupcakesandbookshelves >> Excerpt
The Not So Public Library >> Excerpt
Set a Spell >> Interview

July 9th
Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author >> Excerpt
Cover2CoverBlog >> Excerpt
J.L. Hendricks Blog >> Top 10 List
Character Madness and Musings >> Interview

July 10th
Read with Me >> Review
The Moon Who Listens >> Guest post
Don’t Judge, Read >> Review
Adventures Thru Wonderland >>Excerpt
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm >> Excerpt

July 11th
T’s Stuff >> Excerpt
Movies, Shows, & Books >> Excerpt
Adventures in Writing >> Excerpt
Angel Leya >> Top 10 List

July 12th
Sophril Reads >> Excerpt
A L’ouest >> Review
Urban Fantasy Investigations  >> Top 10 List
Bookish Looks >> Excerpt

July 15th
Wishful Endings >> Top 10 List
Ilovebooksandstuffblog >> Excerpt
The Avid Reader >> Interview
The Magic of Wor(l)ds  >> Guest post

July 16th
Rockin’ Book Reviews >> Review
❧Defining Ways❧ >> Guest post
Jrsbookreviews >> Review
LenniLand >> Review

July 17th
Julius Thompson Writer  >> Excerpt
bookishnerdygirl >> Review
ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ >> Excerpt
Two Ends of the Pen >> Interview

July 18th
4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ >> Guest post
Treestand Book Reviews >> Review
My Books-My World >> Excerpt
Jazzy Book Reviews >> Review

July 19th
My Life Loves and Passion >> Review
I’m Into Books >> Excerpt
Abooktropolis >> Review

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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: Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Book 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.

Goodreads / Amazon

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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