War of Mist – Blog Tour

War of Mist (2019)

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Synopsis:
War is here.
Toxic mist drives all life to the brink of destruction and the conqueror queen, Ines, has her talons in the kings of the realm.
Bleak, having discovered her true heritage, must now scour the lands for the one thing that might save them all. 
But the search is a treacherous one, one that will push her to the very limits of endurance. 
Amidst secrets, lies and the intricacies of battle, Bleak and her companions learn just how far they’ll go for the ones they love. But will it be enough?
As deadly forces grapple for power across the continents; families, friends and allies unite to take one final stand.
Explosive revelations, heart-wrenching betrayals and breathtaking magic soar in the epic conclusion to Helen Scheuerer’s bestselling trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles.

BOOK INFORMATION
Title: War of Mist
Author: Helen Scheuerer
Publisher: Talem Press
Publication date: 15 July 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

GoodReads Link

 

Excerpt

‘If you want something done right, do it yourself,’ she muttered under her breath. Her fingers toyed with the layered necklace resting against her collarbone, a pretty gift from the infatuated king. She was fond of this piece in particular, adorned with rare jewels from lands long forgotten. It reminded her of something her mother had worn so many years before. A piece she was meant to inherit, before they’d taken her and stripped her of all her rights and belongings. The order of the high priestesses allowed no effects, no personal property, but now … now she had many things to call her own.

Below, the castle maze sprawled across the grounds, and beyond the walls and gatehouse, the whole of Ellest bent to her will. It was all hers. She had taken it easily, as was her destiny. The instinct of the magic in her veins drove her to take and take, but it wasn’t enough. She wanted to add to her kingdom, her collection. The need to do so raged within her, a demand, a drive to fill the gaping hole in her chest.

 

My Review

 

Do you remember the first time you finished a series that just swept you off your feet? For me, there were a couple that comes to mind but not recently. Suddenly though I finished this book and I realized that this was now a favorite trilogy of mine. From the first book, it had me captured. In fact, I hadn’t read any of these until the tour sign up, I read all three in less than a workweek, I could hardly put down the first two and I did put down War of Mist until I’d read it through in one very long sitting. I devoured all three books and could hardly believe that someone could write so descriptively without bogging down the world with words.

Helen has presented a lush world full of varied landscapes, cultures, and a variety of people. There is great diversity in her writing from the characters to the lands and it shows in every sentence.

In fact, to give you an idea to my reaction to this book, I was looking through my notes and the first thing I had written was; ‘Ugh, what is this book doing to me?!’ If that isn’t a sign of greatness, I don’t know what is. There’s also a note that just says ‘*internal sobbing* Beautiful, perfect…’

Not to sound too much like a screeching fangirl but this book was a perfect conclusion to such an emotionally charged trilogy.

Bleak has grown so much from the alcoholic ‘hobo’ in book one to how she ended up. [I would say more, but spoilers!] She showed so much growth in her emotional maturity to her abilities both physically and magically. In fact, I would say I wish I had more of her but considering the balance of characters in War of Mist there was no better way to do it than how Helen did. There’s multiple POVs and I loved them all.

During the whole of all three books, the characters are all amazing and all so well developed by the end, you loved and hated something about each character. Except for Dash, Olena, and Fiore, mostly because they were perfect in each and every single way. Sorry, it’s the truth.

Even the heartbreaking moments in the book were perfect and well called for and I don’t think there’s any other way to end it than how she did. A perfect ending, there were flaws, it had hope and love, and so much more.

Another thing that really struck me is that Helen handles romance perfectly, she doesn’t let it override important plot points that have nothing to do with it, and she creates a perfect balance of it.

Honestly, this review is me trying not to repeat myself on how much I freakin’ loved this book/trilogy and to hold in my pterodactyl screeches.

Bleak was probably my favorite character in the end but there was such a huge variety. A blind princess, a queen who prefers her dogs to people for company [I mean, I feel that way too], a Matriarch torn between love of all sorts and her duty, a long lost sister, and characters both worthy and unworthy of redemption, but all earning an ending befitting them.

The pacing was fantastic, and the imagery the author called forth made it feel like one was watching a movie play out as you took in the words that transported you.

The other two books and this one both received 5 Cups of Coffee from me, this was insanely good from start to finish for me.

**Thank you to Shealea/Caffeine Tours and Helen Scheurer for an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. As part of the tour I have also provided an excerpt -above-, photos, and a creative feature post below.**

 

Photos

[Expect a fancy Bookstagram Post later today]

 

Creative Feature Post: What Ability Would I have? [And Why]

We have seers, mind whisperers, travellers, collectors, and these are just a few of the abilities for those in The Oremere Chronicles.

I have to say, I totally see why Bleak drank to push down her powers, and quite frankly I’d do the same in her case, so I’ll pass on hers.

Being a seer seems too frustrating, so I’ll pass on that too. Sorry to Dash, Swinton, and Eydis.

Henri’s ability is completely amazing, but not quite what I’m looking for. I’d end up just throwing stuff all over the place…I mean not a bad thing for me but maybe for others!

You couldn’t pay me to take on Casimir’s powers haha, and Ines, well, very cool but not for me.

So what does that leave me from our cast of characters…?

I want the Tailor’s powers, I want to be a traveller. I can’t tell you how much fun I would have popping around different places and visiting friends and landmarks without a care in the world!

However, if I could pick any ability and thrust myself into Helen’s world, I would probably take on the power of making things grow.

Hear me out.

Someone comes at you with a stabby thing, you freeze them on the spot by growing ivy to root them in place -like my pun?- or have it wrap around the sword. Effect AND aesthetic. And it would work on most of the continents which is a plus, can’t say I’d be able to thrive much in Eydis’s court!

Brilliant.

I know.

But what about you all? What ability would you want from the book or in general?

 

About the Author

Author (Helen Scheuerer)

Bio:
After writing literary fiction for a number of years, Helen Scheuerer was inspired to return to her childhood love of fantasy thanks to novels like Throne of Glass, The Queen’s Poisoner, and The Queen of the Tearling.
Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit, an online learning platform for emerging writers. In its first year, Writer’s Edit reached thousands of new authors, and soon became its own small press, with Helen overseeing the production and publication of three creative writing anthologies. It’s now one of the largest writing websites in the world.
Helen now lives by the mountains of New Zealand and writes full time. She has many more books planned for the future.

Author Links

Website/Newsletter | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

 

Twitter Chat

Invite (War of Mist)

There’s going to be a Twitter Chat on July 20, 9AM EST/9PM PHT #WarOfMist #CBTTC

I’d love to see you all there because I’m most certainly going to be attending!

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Prize: Audiobook copies of War of Mist and Reign of Mist (one winner only, INTL)

Link to Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Rest of the Tour Schedule

Schedule (War of Mist)

Second Skin – Blog Tour

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Blurb:
The moon was being devoured.

Estranged from birth and raised on tales of the great mountain castle of Idrith-Core, where her distant father serves as Lord Commander and confidante of the King, Aledra Jewel-Wing was now going there to court.

As one of the Drakkoni, a race of powerful shape-shifters and conquerors of a wild land, she joins her stepmother at the festival for all peoples. But when in attempting to save a life, Aledra shifts into her Drakkoni Secondskin – her beautiful second soul: a giant flighted lizard with flaming breath – she breaks an ancient oath, and the tremulous peace between the Drakkoni and Esrans is shattered.

Branded a fugitive, hunted by her father, and aided in escape by the master-mancer who raised her, Aledra begins a journey for survival across a war-torn continent.

Book Information:
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Endeavour Venture (18 July 2019)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Language: English
ASIN: B07SLLJMW4

Where to Buy

Amazon UK

 

My Review

I was really excited to read this. I mean, come on, dragons. Who doesn’t love dragons/fire breathing lizards/fire breathing anything [let’s be real]?

This is also the start of the Bridge of Fire books, so it’s great when you get to start off with a new series.

In this book, Bentley gives us a pretty awesome take on dragons. They’re shapeshifters, their flying fiery forms are called their ‘second skins’ and they have two hearts, essentially they are two souls, their two-legged human-looking forms and their dragon forms. These shapeshifters had to leave their homeland and make a new land home, crossing a land bridge that is now gone, they made it to the lands where human tribes have ruled. These tribes all have their own cultures and leaders and ways of life, but they’re quickly conquered with a peace treaty put in place.

No second-skins will be used not even in a ‘peaceful’ manner in this new land.

This all recalls the invasion of the Americas to me and I loved that she took something like that and gave it a huge fantasy spin, a new land, new world, new people, and all of it steeped in heavy world building.

You all know me, I love world building, this did cause the pacing for Aledra and her story to slump a bit in the middle but I would say that the ending more than made up for it.

That’s another thing, it took me a while to appreciate Aledra after sh leaves the comforts of her people, but, I really enjoyed her as she developed, especially in the last four chapters. I love the choices she makes and how Bentley steers her toward something that allows her room to grow.

Penda was absolutely one of my favorite characters and I can only hope that there’s more of her to come. I mean, I fangirl her, she’s amazing.

Aledra’s father is complex and so layered that it made me happy to get to the parts with him. I really think there’s so much more to him than Aledra sees and I love the complexity of their relationship.

There is love, there is war, there are dragons and tribes, and a girl who wants nothing more than to have the freedom to choose. So pretty much a guaranteed like in my books when I read it.

Jubal is Aledra’s companion during a good chunk of the novel and he was an interesting character but I would say he paled in comparison to Aledra, her Father, and Penda.

Overall a great solid start to an intriguing fantasy series, and you can bet I will be happy to read book two and see where Aledra goes next.

Three cups of coffee!!

Thanks to Anne Cater, Sue Bently, and Endeavour Venture for a chance to read and honestly review this as part of the Random Things Blog Tour!

 

About the Author

Sue Bentley Author Pic

Sue lives in a house surrounded by a wildlife hedge so she can pretend she lives in the countryside. She enjoys reading, walking, cinema, researching her books, and painting and printmaking, when she’s not writing – which isn’t very often!

Author Links

Website Twitter

 

The Rest of the Tour!

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The Last Word – Blog Tour

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Synopsis:
Set against the smoky, gaslit allure of Victorian London, this sweetly romantic historical debut is full of humor and stars a whip-smart female heroine ahead of her time.

Where one story ends, another begins.

1861. Miss Lucinda Leavitt is shocked when she learns the author of her favorite serialized novel has died before completing the story. Determined to learn how it ends, Lucinda reluctantly enlists the help of her father’s young business partner, Mr. David Randall, to track down the reclusive author’s former whereabouts.
David is a successful young businessman, but is overwhelmed by his workload. He wants to prove himself to his late father, as well as to himself. He doesn’t have the time, nor the interest, for this endeavor, but Lucinda is not the type to take no for an answer.
Their search for the elusive Mrs. Smith and the rightful ending to her novel leads Lucinda and David around the country, but the truths they discover about themselves—and each other—are anything but fictional.
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Last Word by debut author Samantha Hastings is a fun yet intellectual romp through Victorian London—the perfect book for book-lovers.

Book Information:
Title:The
Last Word
By: Samantha Hastings
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 9th 2019
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

Where to Buy

Amazon B&N iBooks Kobo

 

My Review

 

Do you like adorable love stories, mathematically gifted Victorian girls, or swoon-worthy cinnamon roll young men? Great.

Now, go buy The Last Word. I suppose if you want more details I’ll go ahead and tell more reasons why I completely love this book!

In this day and age, I really think it’s important to highlight girls in STEM for YA (and anyone between the ages of like 0-100) and Samantha Hastings gives us a ‘feminine’ girl who is talented in numbers and it makes my heart so happy. Not only that but our MC is a girl who likes to have answers, whether to a numbers ledger or to an unfinished story and I can truly relate to that.

Another thing I truly value is historical accuracy, Hastings has done her research and it’s obvious. Yes, of course, there should always be leeway for the imagination in works of fiction but Lucinda is a woman in Victorian times and as such she is faced with boundaries put in place because of her gender and her class. The fact that Lucinda still manages to weave her way around all of that and in a realistic manner is superb. Not only that but she gives us and Lucinda the ending that is deserved, and manages to make it perfect and within the suspense of disbelief.

This is also not a story without sadness, though it’s full of adventure, fun, and a quest for answers on an unfinished story it also contains loss, heartbreak [and not of the romantic kind], and the will of a young woman who wants to prove her worth, to be just as she is. In Victorian times women rarely got that chance and even now it’s still hard for many.

I continually love the banter between Lucinda and David, I ship them, I will die on their hill. There’s obvious chemistry there without being too mushy for my old cold heart.

Not to mention the deeper we get with Lucinda, the reasoning behind her wanting to find out the end is even more important than simply wanting to know the last word(s). This is a quest for Lucinda, and I’m so glad she goes on this adventure for it.

Honestly, this book was perfection and the only reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 is because I didn’t want it to end. But the pacing is great, the storyline fulfilled, and I was completely satisfied with it. Hastings has given us a true delight in this book and I look forward to reading anything else she ever writes after this.

**Thanks to Xpresso Tours, NetGalley, Swoon Reads, and Samantha Hastings for a chance to read and give an honest review of this.**

 

[PS: LUCINDA AND DAVID FOREVER!!!!]

 

About the Author

 

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Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. The Last Word is her debut novel.

Author Links

Website GoodReads Facebook Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY

To win a print copy of The Last Word [US/CAN only] please click the link below.

THE LAST WORD RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY LINK

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The Stranger’s Guide to Talliston – Blog Tour

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Abandoned and alone, thirteen-year-old Joe’s world is shattered when he enters a deserted council house and becomes trapped within a labyrinth protecting the last magical places on earth. There, Joe discovers a book charting this immense no-man’s land, without time or place, its thirteen doors each leading to a different realm. Hunted by sinister foes, the boy is forced ever deeper into both the maze and the mystery of his missing parents. What will he find at the labyrinth’s centre, and can it reunite him with the family he so desperately needs? 
Crossing through diverse landscapes from Victorian Britain to fifties New Orleans, The Stranger’s Guide to Talliston is inspired by the internationally famous house and gardens dubbed ‘Britain’s Most Extraordinary Home’ by the Sunday Times. It is a classic YA tale of adventure that introduces readers to an otherworld hiding in plain sight, cloaked in magic and steeped in imagined history. Yet beyond its fearsome huntsmen and battling magicians dwells the secret that lies within all of us – the power to live extraordinary lives.

Book Information:
PRICE: £14.99
ISBN: 978-1-78352-724-3
FORMAT: Hardback
BINDING: Royal HB
EXTENT: 384 pages
SIZE: 240 × 159 mm
CATEGORY BIC: FM

 

My Review

Starting this novel, I wasn’t sure what I was in for, and I’m glad of that. This book had so much to offer and I was really pleased with Tarrow’s take on this YA fantasy.

In Joe we find a young boy who is alone and struggling to follow the rules his parents made to keep him safe. With his parents not around and the hiding place no longer safe, Joe finds himself starting an adventure that he never imagined could even exist as he tries to locate his parents and get ‘home.’ Wherever home is.

There’s so much depth and research put into this and the creativity was fun to watch unravel if not a bit anxiety fueled as I kept wondering what’s in store, when is it, and where in the labyrinth is he in regards to Joe and his journey.

This is a classic Fantasy in a lot of ways, we have a child who has had greatness thrust upon him in a sense. Joe must travel through Talliston to get home, but as he ventures to each new room and time, there’s the sinking realization of just how much is at stake. There’s betrayal, young love [though not too much and it’s not the focus], kinship, family found, family lost, and magic, and of course the battle between those both good and evil [and in between]. It’s a recipe for a tale that will stay with you long after you’ve closed the book.

The guardians of Talliston’s rooms that Joe encounters are some of my favorite parts of the book not to mention getting to go through so many different times, future, current, and past! You can go from 1950s New Orleans to futuristic Japan!

Where Joe starts off afraid and just wanting to go home, he has great character growth thanks to the people he meets along the way both good and bad, he becomes stronger and realizes that he must make his own decisions in regards to Talliston. The question at the end of the day for him isn’t how can get he get home, but, how can I help -where Talliston is concerned- and he finds his answer. Joe also learns that though rules are in place to protect, some rules, are meant to restrict and are made to be broken.

I adored every side character both good and bad and Tarrow does a great job fleshing them out and I think the way Joe progressed through the story was one my favorite aspects to the book.

I actually look forward to my daughter reading this in a couple of years when her reading level is more advanced. I good 4/5 cups of coffee read for me.

It also doesn’t hurt that this book is absolutely drop dead gorgeous/stunning. Honestly, it’s like holding a magical tome in your hands.

A few other neat notes:

The house and gardens featured in the story are real. The author spent twenty-five years transforming an ordinary house in an ordinary street into what the Sunday Times called ‘Britain’s Most Extraordinary Home’. The project is internationally famous. 
Talliston House is featured in the Netflix-commissioned programme Amazing Interiors, which will reach an audience close to 100 million in 120 countries. 
The ‘Stranger’s Guide’ journal mentioned in the novel is a real entity; a leather-bound, hand- calligraphed volume that could appear as a companion publication (like The Spiderwick Field Guide).

Thanks to Anne Cater for having me on the tour and thank you to John Tarrow and Unbound for sending me a copy and allowing me to honestly review this!

 

About the Author

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John Tarrow is a novelist, poet, storyteller and award-winning writer. His fascination with folk and faerie tales has taken him around the world, gathering threads of story and legend to weave into his own mythologies: his extensive studies in Lakota Sioux and Druidic traditions offer readers stories resonant with magic, folklore and the wonders of the natural world. He spent twenty-five years transforming a three-bedroom, semi-detached, ex- council house in Essex into the world-famous Talliston House and Gardens. 

Author Links

Website [Includes Purchase Links]

 

The Rest of the Tour Schedule

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JSS Bach- Blog Tour

JSS Bach Cover Image
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Blurb:

J

SS Bach is the story of three generations of women from either side of Germany’s 20th Century horror story – one side, a Jewish family from Vienna, the other linked to a ranking Nazi official at Dachau concentration camp – who suffer the consequences of what men do. Fast forward to 1990s California, and two survivors from the families meet. Rosa is a young Australian musicologist; Otto is a world-famous composer and cellist. Music and history link them. A novel of music, the Holocaust, love, and a dog. The author’s writing is a wonderland, captivating and drawing the reader in to the presented world. Time becomes no object as a literary universe unfolds and carries the reader through eighty years, where emotions are real and raw and beautifully given.

Book Information:
Hardcover: 200 pages
Publisher: Wrecking Ball Press; Hardcover edition (4 Mar. 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1903110629
ISBN-13: 978-1903110621

Where to Buy

Amazon UK

 

My Review

 

Where do I start? This holds all the horrors and beauty of mankind. The fact that even when someone isn’t good they can still do good. It’s a book that shows how the past echoes on in the future, how it really affects people rather than the imprint it just leaves in history books.

Goodman immediately drops you into the story, he doesn’t waste time on flowery prose and shows you the heart of the matter, the journey he wants to take you on. It’s one that’s not for the faint hearted. He also is brilliant at describing history in such a modern and stark way. He shows how ugly things were, how brutal it was, and yet his words are elegant, poignant, guiding you through brutal honesty and lyricism of music.

Three generations of women from the same family have been entangled in Otto’s life, whether they know it or not. Katja is the origins of it all and her character is not an easy one to appreciate, but, Goodman does a good job showing you enough about her to at least have some understanding on certain parts of her workings. I can appreciate the struggles she went through though they are justified in many ways.

Her daughter Uwe broke my heart, if there was ever a character that I wanted to reach out and cherish, it’s her. The child of two Nazis, and yet just an innocent life herself. She bears the burden of the shame brought on to her by her parents, hated by others for simply being born to them. It’s a hard life to live, and really it was a heartbreaking read overall but especially for her, Otto, and Greta. In fact the reason I rated this 4.5 instead of 5 is simply because I wish there would have been more to Uwe’s story, and the women in general but this story in reality is about Otto more than anyone else in my opinion.

Otto himself is a character full of turmoil, tragedy, and isolation. Goodman breathes him to life, there’s not one moment where his actions are believable, the way he lives his life, the choices he’s made. The only thing I struggled to believe was a certain moment that occurs in the book once it’s back to 1994, but I won’t say it and spoil it, it was quite a small issue, and one though I don’t agree with, it makes sense why Goodman put it in. In fact the rest of the story is pretty flawless, I just wanted more because I think it needed more about the women but it’s hard to argue with the choices Goodman has made. Otto though, he is the true main character in my humble opinion, and your heart will be gripped by him.

Rosa is Katja’s Granddaughter and Uwe’s daughter, raised by Katja, she’s grown up in a world knowing the stark truth about her grandparents but never knowing her own past entirely, told that her father had died, and not at all knowing who he was. She is tugged by the past onto a path that will eventually lead her to Otto.

And at the heart of everything, the main reason I wanted to read this, is music.

Otto is a brilliant cellist and composer, Katja was a musician until she went deaf (not a spoiler as you find out within the first few pages she is indeed unable to hear), and Rosa is a musicologist. Fun fact, My postgrad is in Musicology, so I was a bit critical of the musical aspects of this, and Goodman certainly did his research, I was pretty impressed and he didn’t overreach, it was a perfect balance. Music connects Otto to his family and to Katja, to Rosa later on, and it draws people in and strips them down to the bare bones of their pain and joy, its something that can’t be quantified or explained but I loved the way Goodman wrote about it, the sensations it brings in emotions and to our bodies.

As I stated earlier, this book is not for the faint hearted. This shows the brutality and violence of WWII, there are Nazis before and after the war, there are people who are cruel, but it’s never needless cruelty or violence in Goodman’s writing, it all adds purposefully to the story.

4.5/5 Cups of coffee and I tip my hat to Goodman. This was a brilliant novel that broke my heart in the best ways. Thanks to Anne for letting me be part of this tour and thanks to Goodman for the copy of his book. [I don’t typically write this in blog tours but of course my honest opinion was given in exchange]

 

About the Author

Martin Goodman Author Picture

Martin Goodman was born in Leicester, and has lived and worked in China, Qatar, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and France. Travel forms a large part of his writing: both for strictly travel-related books and also for novels and biographies. His first novel ON BENDED KNEES was shortlisted for the Whitbread prize, and his most recent biography SUFFER AND SURVIVE won 1st Prize, Basis of Medicine in the BMA Book Awards 2008. He is the Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Hull. He lives in Hull, London and the French Pyrenees. ‘Such narrow, narrow confines we live in. Every so often, one of us primates escapes these dimensions, as Martin Goodman did. All we can do is rattle the bars and look after him as he runs into the hills. We wait for his letters home.’
– The Los Angeles Times

Author Links

Website Twitter

 

The Rest of the Tour

JSS Bach Blog Tour Poster

 

 

A Bad Breed- Blog Tour

BadBreed

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Synopsis:

Pricolici.
A creature out of folklore. And nightmare.
January 1889. When a Romanian village suffers a series of brutal attacks, occult investigator Anne Lawrence is dispatched to the forests of the Old Country to hunt the killer – only to vanish without a trace.
The trail leads her mentor Vivienne Cumberland deep into the Carpathians to a remote monastery. As a blizzard rages outside, trapping them all with the pricolici, Vivienne risks sharing the fate of the woman she came to find. But is the culprit truly a werewolf … or something even more dangerous?
A man bent on revenge. And a love that was never meant to be.
Imprisoned in a decaying castle, Anne finds herself ensnared in a web of dark enchantment, at the mercy of a mysterious captor with a beast inside – and a memory as old as the ancient legends.
As the weeks pass, Anne learns his real identity, and slowly uncovers a complex and deeply passionate man. But is she willing to pay the price for falling under his spell?
Note: This darkly magical reimagining of Beauty and the Beast is the third book in the Gaslamp Gothic series, but can be read as a standalone with no need to start with Book #1, The Daemoniac.

Book Information:
A Bad Breed (Gaslamp Gothic, #3) by Kat Ross
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: May 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retelling
GoodReads Link

Where To Buy

Amazon B&N iBooks Kobo Google Play

 

My Review

Let’s see if I can articulate words for how much I loved this. I’ll be honest I thought I was looking at a 3, maybe 4, cups of coffee read, it sounded entertaining and I knew I would like it, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. I love Victorian era books, whether they’re written in modern times or in Victorian times, they’re some of my favorite books but this also means I can be picky about them as I want something that really feels Victorian if they’re modern books.

This nailed it. Or rather, Ross nailed it. This instantly transported you to a feel of Victorian that felt as if you had leapt back in time. Her writing style though isn’t dry as some people might find Victorian books, she keeps you completely engaged from page one. This doesn’t just stay in London either, we get to travel around, and there’s so much beauty and darkness. ‘Gaslamp Gothic’ stays true, think of Penny Dreadfuls and all the dark things we love about Victorian era gothic and Ross obliges by giving us those things. There’s the occult, secret societies, necromancer, ancient magic, and the hint of supernatural in a small Romanian village. Not to mention she makes everything she writes her own, this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast without making you feel that its sole purpose is just to retell a beloved tale.

Anne has vanished and Vivienne goes after her ward and friend, she needs to know what has happened. This is its own part of the book and it is the first we encounter when picking up Bad Breed. I found myself so engrossed in Vivienne’s part in the book I forgot that we had yet to skim the surface of Anne and her own going-ons in the book. This is the third book in the series but it can absolutely be read as a stand alone. [Though, I’m ready to read the other two this month in preparation of book four coming out this summer.]

We switch from Vivienne to Anne and occasionally to Anne’s brother, who is also Vivienne’s bonded partner. This has to do with what and who they are which is fabulous and magical and if you want to know then go read it yourself. 😉

Mostly though once we hit its stride, we’re reading this tale of Anne and her monster…or is she the beast in comparison? There’s such a complex twist to how these two feed off each other, that while you know who the beast is, it’s not always clear that, that should mean that the other is completely human/civil in tandem to the beast. [I mean this is one suave beast if I do say so myself, and I ship them, and love their chemistry]

This however does not have the same ending as your typical Beauty and the Beast tale and I LOVE that. I actually thought the ending was brilliant, I’d say more, but I don’t want to give it away.

Beautiful landscapes, beasts with more to them than meets the eye, women who fight the darkness, and men seeking redemption. This book was amazing, and I’m gushing, I know, but I really hope to share just how much I loved this with you all. Please check it out if you are intrigued and get the chance.

A 5 cups of coffee read for me and a definite favorite.

 

About the Author

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Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterestpage for the people, places and things that inspire her books.

Author Links

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Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for letting me take part in this blog tour!

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Mini Review Day


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On April 5th, 1948, Gold met Kennig…

Inspired by the true story of a WWII marine and the love of his life, Christopher M. Struck has crafted a haunting tale of love, devotion, sacrifice…and betrayal.

Daniel Kennig only has one ambition: to be the greatest singer to have ever lived. While headlining at a mid-tier nightclub in Manhattan he meets Cynthia Gold. Smitten with the golden-haired heiress, the young couple begin a romantic rendezvous at the possible expense of his career.

My Review

**Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the eARC copy, my honest review has been given in exchange below.**

This book was a sweet concept but it fell a little flat for me. I think it was actually Kennig who just didn’t seem fleshed out enough for my personal preference but Gold was very intriguing and I did love that Kennig was a male singer and model at one point, something a little different! The book is done in sweet flashbacks and moments in the present. The writing style is easy to read and I really enjoyed reading about their travels and the tour. A nice heartfelt read for those it can appeal to.

To me it just felt on the verge of going deeper but never daring to, and I think that’s what slightly disappointed me. Not to mention the part that seemed ‘flattest’ to me was Gold himself, and I was unsure how to take the advice he gave our Journalist friend who acts as the go between, between present time and the past through the letters he reads.

That is one thing I did enjoy, that it was the Journalist reading letters to reveal the past and Gold himself filling in the necessary blanks when needed.

This does have a bit of a religious undertone just as a warning for those who may not enjoy that, it wasn’t the theme of the book nor was it overriding the plot, just part of the story.

 


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“Vivid, gripping and actually riveting as the Red Danger takes a whole new meaning here. Loved it.” —The Book Smugglers

It is the waning days of the Russian monarchy. A reckless man rules the land and his dragons rule the sky. Though the Tsar aims his dragons at his enemies—Jews and Bolsheviks—his entire country is catching fire. Conspiracies suffuse the royal court: bureaucrats jostle one another for power, the mad monk Rasputin schemes for the Tsar’s ear, and the desperate queen takes drastic measures to protect her family.

Revolution is in the air—and the Red Army is hatching its own weapons.

Discover Russia’s October Revolution, reimagined in flight by the acclaimed mother-and-son writing team of the Locus Award-winning novel, Pay the Piper, and the Seelie Wars series.

My Review

**I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.**

An interesting take on history and use of metaphors, I did believe though that there was more research needed on the historical and linguistic aspects of the novel. Overall I thought it was creative and intriguing, but of course as a novella there is only so much that can be revealed in such a short time frame. I would say that if you’re interested in Russian revolutionary history and don’t mind a large reach of creative license, then it is worth the quick read.

I do love that the other dragons were red, thought that was quite clever and got a chuckle out of me.

The novel is allegorical and I enjoyed that part, I would have loved to give this a higher rating but I couldn’t knowing that there was quite a bit wrong with the linguistics, and though it is fiction, the note at the back like another review mentioned, forgets to add that one of the daughters of Tsar is entirely fictional in this book and not at all a real person. Most of history reads of the nonfiction variety are Russian Revolution books so I’m a bit of a stickler for this.

The fact that the dragons show the same power just different colors is an important message the authors did deliver pretty well in my opinion. It wasn’t a bad read, just that I hoped for more. I think though that this had some really great ideas and I enjoyed Rasputin’s chapters the most.

 


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A young man struggling to forge his own path… A priestess forced to conceive an heir… A forbidden love…

Captured in a sweep of beings from Earth to aid planet Remeon’s dying society, Jack is plagued by deep ceded deception and mind control from those on the planet who seek to dictate the end of life choices of their citizens.

Sides are chosen as ancient magical powers thought to be long dead align to intervene in the fate of the two young lovers forcing a chain of events in motion that cannot be undone.

Truths will be destroyed. Myths will find life. Whose ultimate power will reign?

My Review

Thank you so much the publisher for letting me read this for free via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Garrett has some really interesting ideas, and I love that the time period for our hero was in the time of the building of the Hoover Dam. I felt her writing was strongest during the historical side, and though I loved the ideas she had, I think there maybe too many. A lot of times it felt like a whole jumble of ideas on spin cycle and you weren’t sure which one was supposed to be the main one or which was important at all. I think though that there’s a lot of promise in Garrett’s writing style and the story had some very tender moments which I appreciated. The style of the sci-fi writing was pretty ‘classic’ and it reminded me a little of ‘Dune’ in style and ideas but there wasn’t the same strength behind it. The ending was done well and it left it open ended enough that you hope she writes another but if she doesn’t, you’re still left hoping haha.

Unfortunately the love didn’t feel tangible to me between the two characters romantically and that was a struggle to read through. It was insta-love and it was badly done insta-love, I could not find it in me to believe they had a relationship at all and it went amazingly fast in terms of pacing. Maybe it’s because I’m a slow mover but I was slightly panicked for them! Also they were like 16 year olds deciding to have a child together while practicing magic and one is human and one is not. It’s just a lot to take in.

Slightly disappointed the alien’s only difference physically was that she had silver hair.

The friendship between Harry and Jack also feels very fabricated though the friendship between Jack and Sam is very genuine and the best part of the story, hands down.

The things i did like were Garrett’s time period choice, the basic premise, I mean it’s classic, alien abduction, I loved it, and the fact that she went with old school sci-fi. The problems with old school sci-fi though are pretty deep, and Garrett’s seemed to be slightly tinged with one its problems, sexism.

 


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Assassin’s Creed meets Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in this gripping, epic fantasy romance trilogy.
My heart wasn’t part of the deal when I bargained for my life,
But assassins so rarely keep their word.
Exiled Charmer Leena Edenfrell is running out of time. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts-an offense punishable by death-and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes Noc an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.
Plagued by a curse that kills everyone he loves, Noc agrees to Leena’s terms in hopes of finding a cure. Never mind that the dark magic binding the assassin’s oath will eventually force him to choose between Leena’s continued survival…and his own.
In a game of trust and half-lies, only one thing can be certain: traps capture more than beasts and ensnared hearts are impossible to untangle.

My Review

**I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my HONEST opinion.**

This book was such an unexpected joy to read. Though labeled as sci-fi it did remind me more of steampunk fantasy, and you’ll hear no complaints out of me because that’s the aspect I loved best! Honestly, the beasts were so interesting and I love the way Martineau describes them, she’s got a talent for descriptive writing without overwhelming with details. Leena is a great character and the whole cast is except and somewhat diverse in LGBTQ rep which was really nice. It’s not often we get a bisexual male main character like Noc, another great character that is a delighted balance to Leena. The side characters are fleshed out well and I might have enjoyed them more than even Leena and Noc! And don’t get me started on the plot, it was great and I cannot wait to see what happens in book 2.

It is a slow burn romance and never loses sight of the plot and really it made it such a great read for me, the pacing was wonderful both in action and romance and the world is lush and creative. Martineau has impressed me and I wish I would have read this sooner! If you like romance of the slow burning variety and fantasy, join me  in loving this book lol. Please.

My only qualms was that it as slightly predictable but that’s also why I enjoyed it if that makes sense, there’s no major twists or surprises but the joy was in the journey and the beasts.

The beasts were also really nicely hashed out, I actually had a really strong urge to go play Pokemon Go after reading this. Going to different locations to capture beasts….I mean…can you blame me? I didn’t get as much an ‘Assassin’s Creed’ vibe though, and that’s okay, I was just happy enough there were assassins!

Also, the Charmers have the coolest place ever, I want to go visit…and battle like a trainer. Half Jk.

Again. Now to just wait for book 2. Bah, humbug.

 

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Forrest Gump meets Woody Allen in this endearing story about a sea turtle seeking to be reunited with the love of his life.

When Akela is separated from his migrant soulmate, Kalea, he will do anything to be reunited with her. Journey with this charming and neurotic sea turtle as he crosses paths with celebrities, politicians, and other moments in history with unbreakable determination to be reunited with his love.

My Review

**I received this book from the Publishers via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.**

If you love introspective fiction and/or sea turtles, this will definitely be something you’ll want to pick up.

That’s it. That’s my review. (jk jk)

On amore serious not, this is a great novel and it’s all about Akela’s journey to find those he thinks are part of his purpose, in the beginning it’s his mother, later on it’s his mate, and along the way he meets a variety of people and animals who help/hinder him on his journey. He learns there is more to life than being afraid of the open water and that in order to get what you want, there will work and possibly sacrifice along the way. Most importantly though was Akela’s realization of who he was along this journey, what was important to him and what he discovered about himself at the end. I would say the ending really was lovely and the book did make my heart break a little at times but I also smiled and laughed as Uytdewilligen incorporates famous people with Akela who becomes a bit infamous to the humans, he spends time as being accused as part of grand Soviet schemes all the way to becoming the poster child for ocean pollution but I won’t give away more than that, you’ll have to read it to see how Akela ends up in these situations.

Seriously, Akela meets presidents, that’s right, plural. The book played out like a movie in my mind, Uytdewilligen did a great job being descriptive and keeping the pacing pretty decent. There were a couple of slumps but I felt that overall the drive of the story was never lost and sometimes I just wanted to shake Akela and say ‘get to it, your woman is out there!’ The cast of characters Akela encounters in the way of animals are all brilliant, and I enjoyed them so much more than the fascinating human encounters.

Overall I found this to be a very thoughtful read, it causes a lot of self reflection if you enjoy it and I certainly fell in love with Akela himself. The ending was beautiful and absolutely perfect for this book.

 


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The massive labyrinth was built to protect Zadie Kalvers’ isolated desert town. Unfortunately, living in the maze’s shadow makes her feel anything but safe. Even without its enchanted deathtraps and illusions, a notorious killer named Dex lurks in its corridors, terrorizing anyone in his path.

But when Zadie’s best friend vanishes into the labyrinth-and everyone mysteriously forgets he exists- completing the maze becomes her only hope of saving him. In desperation, Zadie bribes the only person who knows the safe path through-Dex-into forming a tenuous alliance.

Navigating a deadly garden, a lethal blood-filled hourglass, and other traps-with an untrustworthy murderer for her guide-Zadie’s one wrong step from certain death. But with time running out before her friend (and secret crush) is lost forever, Zadie must reach the exit and find him. If Dex and the labyrinth don’t kill her first.

My Review

**I received this book from the Publishers via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.**

I’m dystopia trash with absolutely no regrets about it. Saying that, I really felt this was a four cups of coffee read. Tate does a great job to blend in fantasy with sci-fi/dystopia.

Their town is the only one left as their leader tells them. Everything else has died, they are the only ones lucky enough to take part in having protection from the leader and getting the water he provides. However he is one that likes to keep his distance anyone who wants to see him has to go through the Labyrinth. And it doesn’t enjoy visitors.

The Labyrinth rests on territory that is still infused with magic and not even the residents of Zadie’s town who all have amazing skills, except for Zadie and the others known as ‘Blanks,’ stand a chance. But more than that, in the labyrinth lives Dex, the monster that everyone knows of, he kidnaps people into the labyrinth and when they come back, they’re never the same.

So why does Zadie as a blank venture forth? Her best friend (and secret crush, as stated) is missing and she dares to brave the maze to get him back and help her family because something isn’t quite right, the Skilled aren’t acting normal and communication to their leader has been cut off.

Tate gives us a story where the one without the skills is rare, and weak. There’s no doubt that Zadie knows she’s no match for a person with skills, whether it’s just one skill or more. But this is kind of a nice approach, she’s not special in the sense that she’s overpowered, but in that she isn’t. So her strength will have to come from somewhere else and it will have to show up along the way or she’ll never survive the maze.

The maze itself was so incredibly fun to read about, a bit of Hunger Games meets Alice in Wonderland for how it works and the rest of the world is just as intriguing. All the information that Tate gives us is used well and I have to say I sincerely hope there’s another book for this, if not, the ending does satisfy enough, but holy cow the possibilities for what could happen next are endless!

I love Dex, you all can take him from my cold dead fingers.

 

There we have it, my mini reviews for the day!