Leaving Everything Most Loved – Review

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Leaving-Everything-Most-Loved-199x300• Paperback: 368 pages
• Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (April 8, 2014)
London, 1933. Two months after Usha Pramal’s body is discovered in the waters of a city canal, her brother, newly arrived in England, turns to Maisie Dobbs for help. Not only has Scotland Yard made no arrests, but evidence indicates they failed to conduct a full investigation. Usha had been staying at an ayah’s hostel, a refuge for Indian women. As Maisie learns, Usha was different from the hostel’s other residents. But with this discovery comes new danger, as a fellow lodger who was close to Usha is found murdered.
As Maisie is pulled deeper into an unfamiliar yet captivating subculture, her investigation becomes clouded by the unfinished business of a previous case, and by a growing desire to see more of the world. At the same time, her lover, James Compton, gives her an ultimatum she cannot ignore. Bringing a crucial chapter in the life and times of Maisie Dobbs to a close, Leaving Everything Most Loved signals a vital turning point in this remarkable series.

Where to Find:  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Indie Bound  |  Kobo  |  Goodreads

 

Genre Rating

 

FourMystery

Mystery! And I’m sorry that my rating picture looks more like lollipops than magnifying glasses. Something to fix for later, me thinks.

There was at least one good red herring that had me fooled though about half way through the author kind of spelled it out. Up to that point, she had me guessing and I wish she gave us more to chew on before pointing the finger. Otherwise I think this would have gotten an easy five.

MyTwo-Bits

To start, I’ve never read a Maisie Dobb’s novel before and it is my understanding that this is the tenth book in the series. Though previous events weren’t difficult to catch up to, at least those that were pertinent to the current storyline remained.

 

What drew me to the book was the historical factor. It’s a female private detective in England during the 1930′s. She is clever and independent, especially for that era. Despite this great list of attributes she fell a wee flat on being a more complex character. I knew the above about her because of her deep contemplations but sometimes she seemed emotionless. She studied the facts and logic in everything, including the big ultimatum from her lover which should, in my mind, have been emotional. My thoughts on this is that there are ten books before this so the author had plenty of time for character development before I stumbled in. Though I’ll point out that all the surrounding characters were very well done and lifelike.

The mystery was amazing for about three quarters of the book where – which as I said above – she basically pointed an X over the target. Leading up to that point, I was thoroughly engaged and had an amazing time tagging along with Maisie and making my own deductions alongside her.

Conclusion

Four-Five Overall

Loaded with plenty of intrigue, “Leaving Everything Most Loved” is a great mystery and if you follow the series, I think it’s a major transition book for the main character. Everything is about to change for Maisie Dobbs and I’m thinking her adventures are only going to get bigger.

About the Author

Jacqueline-WinspearJacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as four other Maisie Dobbs novels. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.
Find out more about Jacqueline at her website, www.jacquelinewinspear.com, and find her on Facebook

Complication: Chronicles of the Uprising + Giveaway!

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Complication Banner TOUR 450 x 169

I’ve included links below to the first book in the Chronicles of the Uprising if you’re interested. 


Complication_2000Complication

Chronicles of the Uprising

Part 2

K.A. Salidas

Release Date: April 14, 2014

Synopsis:

Narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Magistrate, Mira travels west, toward the coast. With three weakened human fugitives accompanying her, she searches for the mythical land of Sanctuary.

After encountering a pack of wolf shifters, headed by the charismatic—and brazen—Stryker, Mira learns that Sanctuary is real after all. Caldera Grove: home of the Otherkin. Hidden in the mouth of a dormant volcano, it has protected its residents from humans since the early days following the great cataclysm. For Mira— a vampire— Caldera Grove is a land of peace; an escape from the relentless persecution of the humans who once enslaved her, and an end to the daily struggle and bloodshed of being a gladiator.

For the humans accompanying her, Caldera Grove means death. Humans, greedy and untrustworthy creatures, are destroyed before they can penetrate its borders.

To plead her case for entry into Caldera, Mira must abandon her companions, albeit temporarily, and follow Stryker into the heart of the city. What she finds within Caldera Grove presents her with an unenviable decision between her own desires for freedom and peace, or honor and the human companions who risked it all for her.

Where to Find: Rising Sign Books <–keep an eye out here.

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Here’s some good ol’ info on the first book Dissension! Also, be sure to check out the ‘about the author‘ section. I freaking loved it. She may as well have been endowed with special powers at the rate she goes.

Synopsis: Dissension_2000

The great cataclysm wiped almost all life from the face of planet Earth, but tiny pockets of survivors crawled from the ashes, with only one thought: survival, at any cost.
But not all survivors were human.

In the dark, militant society that has risen in the aftermath, vampires, once thought to be mythical, have been assimilated and enslaved. Used for blood sport their lives are allowed to continue only for the entertainment of the masses. Reviled as savages, they are destined to serve out their immortal lives in the arena, as gladiators.

And there is no greater gladiator than Mira: undefeated, uncompromising…and seemingly unbreakable. When an escape attempt leads Mira into the path of Lucian Stavros, the city’s Regent, her destiny is changed forever.

Lucian, raised in a culture which both reviles and celebrates the savagery and inhumanity of vampires, finds Mira as intriguing as she is brash. An impulsive decision – to become Mira’s patron – changes more than just Lucian’s perception about vampire kind. The course of his life is altered in ways he could never have predicted – a life that is suddenly as expendable as hers.

Can Mira prove to Lucian that all is not as it seems? Can Lucian escape centuries of lies, bloodshed, and propaganda to see the truth? Or will the supreme power of the human overlords destroy them both?

Where to Find:  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  Kobo  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Goodreads

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About the Author

KatieEndowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, I can get the munchkin off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons. I can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, I still find time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). I can do all of this and still have time to write my novels.

Sorry… I can’t even write that with a straight face.

Lies all lies.

Here’s the reality. I’m a sleep-deprived, overworked, mom who just doesn’t know the meaning of the word balance. I try so hard to do it all, (be super mom, wife, & author) and at the end of the day I fall face forward into the couch.

Yes, you read that right, I tend to sleep on the couch. It’s a point of frustration for my hubby and a thing of comedy for my daughter. Imagine waking up to your little child yelling, “Mom slept on the couch again!!!”

Because being supermom (or trying to) means a lot of time devoted to family, writing is often done when said family is peacefully snoozing away. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen asleep with my laptop, on the couch. It just happens. Then, bright and early at 7am either my hubby (on his way to work) or my daughter (getting ready for school) wakes me up.

Writing is my passion. It’s a part of me. More than just a hobby, it’s a compulsion. I have to do it. If I don’t do at least one writing related thing each day I get cranky.

Hopefully, my passion can be your entertainment!

Where to Find:  Official Website  |  Facebook  |  Amazon  |  Twitter

 

GiveawayDetails

Tour Wide Giveaway

  • 1- $5.00 Amazon Gift Card
  • 1 Complication purse charm
  • 1 Dissension purse charm
  • pursecharm

ENTERGIVEAWAY

Both Barrels – Horror Anthology + Giveaway

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RHPresentsMonsterHunter

I’m very pleased to introduce this anthology. A bit of that is my own excitement because one of my stories made it in. Woot!! Though that aside, there are plenty of talented authors featured with mind blowing short stories. I hope other horror/crypto/western lovers will take a peak below for an excerpt as well as a fantastic giveaway to get a copy of your own!

 

omnibusA twig snaps in the mist and you spin to face lantern eyes and slavering jaws. Most would panic, run, and within moments die. But not the monster hunter. Reflexes like coiled springs unleash with fury into the beast and the never-ending struggle between hunter and nightmare begins with blood…

Those were the words that launched the Legends of the Monster Hunter series years ago, and now the first two volumes (Leather, Denim & Silver and The Trigger Reflex) are available in this special edition omnibus, featuring 47 stories of monster hunting and launching the next generation of Legends of the Monster Hunter volumes, Use Enough Gun, Blood Trails and Doomsday.

Divided into four sections beginning with The Werewolf Hunters and following with The Vampire Hunters, The Spirit Hunters and The Monster Hunters, these adventures take us on hunts through misty forests, foggy streets, old west deserts and snow covered peaks and describe almost every monster in the book, some expected, and some not.

Creatures will die. Hunters will die. But no one will go without a fight.

Where to Find:  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  Amazon.co.uk  |  Embry Press

excerpt

Iron Bells by Joshua Reynolds

It was 1922 and the Minister of Transport for the London Underground was at a loss. Sitting in the parlor of a particular house on the Embankment, surrounded by curios from strange shores and books that smelled of unguents and oriental oils, he tried several times to begin. Finally, he simply came out with it.

“Fifteen dead,” the Viscount Peel, the Minister, said as he dabbed his lips with a napkin. He folded the napkin carefully, placed it on his saucer and looked at his host. “We’ve called it a crash and roped off the area, of course.”

“Of course,” Charles St. Cyprian said, sipping his tea. In contrast to Peel’s long, quintessentially English face and aristocratic style, St. Cyprian possessed hard olive features and a Mediterranean exoticism to his dress despite its Savile Row origins.

“It wasn’t. A crash, I mean,” Peel added unnecessarily.

“Of course,” St. Cyprian repeated. He put his cup down. “What does the Tunnel Authority say?”

“They assure me that the-ah-the seals are undisturbed,” Peel said, looking distinctly uncomfortable. “Is that the correct word? Seals?”

“Seals, sigils, symbols, if you will. Runes, even, if you prefer,” St. Cyprian said. He spoke with a certainty that one would expect of a man occupying the post of Royal Occultist. Formed during the reign of Elizabeth the First, the office of Royal Occultist (or the Queen’s Conjurer, as it had been known) had started with the diligent amateur Dr. John Dee, and passed through a succession of hands since. The list was a long one, weaving in and out of the margins of British history, and culminating, for the moment, in one Charles St. Cyprian. “Care for more tea, Viscount?” he continued, making an offhand gesture with the teapot.

“No. Thank you, Mr. St. Cyprian. The-ah-the Authority recommended that I contact you. A Mr. Morris, in the Ministry, spoke quite highly of you and you’re particular…talents.”

“Is that what Morris called them?” St. Cyprian said. “Talents?”

“Highly? Us?” said the third person sitting in the study. Ebe Gallowglass was, for lack of a better description, St. Cyprian’s assistant. Cinnamon-skinned and wielding a startlingly white smile, she would have been referred to as an apprentice in earlier centuries. In 1922, she was simply an annoyance of the most vocal kind where men like Peel were concerned, dressed flamboyantly in men’s clothes and bearing a revolver with the smug self-assurance of a merchant seaman. “That’s a laugh and half,” she continued, scrubbing a thumb across the spatter of freckles that occupied the bridge of her nose.

Peel frowned. “Unfortunately, he was slightly more vulgar. Still, I have high hopes you can deal with our little matter.”

“Fifteen people are a little matter?” Gallowglass broke a biscuit between two fingers and nibbled it insouciantly as she met the Viscount’s glare with a bland gaze. “Bloody hate to see a big one.”

“I apologize,” St. Cyprian said, smiling slightly. “Ms. Gallowglass is afflicted with terminal impudence.”

“Impudence is fatal now?” she interjected.

St. Cyprian glanced at her. “For you? Quite possibly.” He turned back to Peel. “Do go on Viscount.”

“Hmp. Yes, well.” Peel looked at St. Cyprian. “Morris said that you would need the area left as is. The Tunnel Authority have seen to sealing it off for you. One of them—Stanhook, I believe his name is—will be waiting on you. Solid fellow. Bit queer, but then all those Tunnel fellows are a bit, you know, eh?” Peel made a shaky gesture and shook his head.

“Considering what they have to deal with, I do believe they’re allowed a bit of oddity.” St. Cyprian snapped a biscuit in half and swallowed the larger piece almost without chewing. “Worm that gnaws, wot?”

“Er, yes, rather,” Peel said hesitantly. From the unhealthy sheen of his face, St. Cyprian figured that the Viscount had only recently been filled in on certain pertinent details regarding London’s Underground. It was a strange world down there, in many ways a funhouse mirror version of the city above. Right down to the inhabitants.

“Have a biscuit, Viscount,” St. Cyprian said kindly, pushing the plate towards Peel in order to hide his shudder. “We’ll have it sorted, never fear. The Office of the Royal Occultist has long had a working relationship with the honorable gentlemen of the London Tunnel Authority.”

After the biscuits were gone and the tea had been reduced to dregs, St. Cyprian and Gallowglass found themselves trooping down the stairs into the maw of the Embankment Underground Station. Two uniformed police constables had been stationed above to turn back the hoi-polloi, but they stepped aside for the duo, nodding respectfully. One tapped the brim of his helmet.

“So,” Gallowglass said as they stepped onto the platform. Colorful posters lined the curving brick walls, boasting the merits of the zoo or Hampton Court.

“So?” St. Cyprian said, stepping to the edge of the platform and peering into the tunnel, his hands in his pockets.

“What’s so scary about the Underground then?” Gallowglass said, joining him. She lit a cigarette and handed him the lighter. St. Cyprian popped open his silver cigarette case, selected one and lit it. The brand was unique; hand-rolled by a Moro woman in Limehouse and delivered to her customers by armed courier.

“Depends who you ask,” he said, blowing smoke through his nostrils. The platform was empty, thanks to the Metropolitan’s finest above, and eerily quiet. Their voices echoed strangely, fleeing into the tunnels and cascading away into unseen depths.

“Funny. I thought I was asking you,” Gallowglass said, snatching the lighter back and bouncing it on her palm. “I’ve never heard of the London Tunnel Authority.”

“Really? Old firm, that lot.”

“How old?”

“Their charter goes back before the Great Fire, I should think.” St. Cyprian glanced at her. “Before you ask, it was the first Great Fire, when our fair city was Londinium.”

Gallowglass whistled. “Old firm too right. So who are they?”

“Canaries in a coal-mine,” St. Cyprian said, smiling bitterly. “Only slightly more expendable.”

“That clears everything up, thank you,” she said sourly.

“Glad to be of service, assistant mine.” St. Cyprian tossed his cigarette onto the platform and crushed it under his heel. “Speaking of assistance…I do believe our ride is here.”

The low little shape scooted up the line towards the platform with a loud clackety- clack, the large spotlights mounted on the front, sides and back railing blazing away despite the relatively well-lit condition of the platform. It paused in a shower of sparks and a metal gangplank extended, connecting the platform with what was revealed as a heavy- duty hand-car with a chugging, chuffling gasoline engine mounted on the rear. Three men rode the car, dressed all alike in boiler suits and hard-hats with lamps mounted on the brims. Two had Thompson sub-machine guns clutched in their gloved hands, with extra ammo drums clipped to the harnesses they wore. The third man had a Mauser pistol holstered on his hip and a Webley revolver in his hand.

It was the latter who opened the side gate on the hand-car railing and beckoned St. Cyprian and Gallowglass forward. “Mr. St. Cyprian? Ian Stanhook, night-manager for the Thames Section. Glad to see you sir. Damn glad. Care to come aboard?”

“After you, Ms. Gallowglass,” St. Cyprian said. They boarded quickly and the hand-car set off with a squeal even before Stanhook had gotten the gate shut.

“Glad you could come out sir!” Stanhook shouted over the growl of the engine as they whipped through the tunnels.

“How bad is it?” St. Cyprian shouted back.

“Not as bad as Tunnel 18, but worse than Charing Cross!” Stanhook said, holstering his Webley. “Don’t know what it’s all about really though!”

“How are the seals holding?”

“Bit of leakage sir, but that’s natural!” Stanhook said grinning. “We can handle the odd vagrant, no worries!”

“You don’t think this is one of their lot then?” St. Cyprian said, ignoring Gallowglass’ inquiring look. “You’re sure?”

“Sure as we can be where they’re concerned!” Stanhook said. He gestured to the rail. “Hold tight, we’re heading to the sub-platform now!” Abruptly the hand-car took a sharp turn and then it was hurtling down a slope. Gallowglass repressed a squeal of fright. A moment later she glared at St. Cyprian who was grinning openly at her.

The hand-car slowed in a burst of sparks and the engine’s roar died to a grumble. Ahead of them, a solitary underground carriage sat on the track. More boiler-suit men occupied the platform, most carrying weapons. Once the plank was extended, Stanhook led St. Cyprian and Gallowglass up onto the platform. Another man took his place on the hand-car and it reversed course with a shriek, hurtling back up the tunnel.

“We’ve still got a few checks to run this evening,” Stanhook said by way of explanation. “We can’t let anything deter us from our appointed rounds, can we?” He took off his helmet and ran a hand through his sweaty mop of hair. He was a short man and built spare, with a wilting grin and a long face.

“So what exactly is it that you do down here?” Gallowglass said.

Stanhook looked at St. Cyprian, who shrugged. “Well, we see to the integrity of the Underground,” Stanhook said. “Keep the tunnels free of vermin and such.” He lit a foul- smelling cheroot with a match and sucked in a lungful of smoke. “We also see to certain sewer lines and cellars and such.”

“Vermin,” Gallowglass said.

“Mostly vermin,” Stanhook said, nodding.

“Not rats,” Gallowglass said, looking at St. Cyprian.

“Sometimes rats,” he replied.

“Of unusual size,” Stanhook said, spreading his hands. He dropped his hands and nodded to the carriage. “This wasn’t rats of any description though, I’m afraid.”

“No, it wouldn’t be,” St. Cyprian said, striding towards the carriage with his hands in his pockets. Gallowglass and Stanhook hurried to catch up. The doors were open and the smell of carnage was heavy on the recycled air.

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NOTE: Joshua Reynolds has many novels and anthologies of interest! He also expands on his Royal Occultists stories through some fascinating-looking novels. He can be found: Embry Press  |  Amazon Author Page  |  Goodreads  |  Webpage

About the publisher

Emby Press specializes in the publication of monster fiction. Founded in 2013 by Miles Boothe for the purpose of publishing the long-overdue third volume in the Legends of the Monster Hunter anthology series, Emby then expanded its titles by opening new anthologies and offering novels. The Legends of the Monster Hunter anthology series continues, as do other anthologies featuring ghost stories, occult detectives and tales inspired by horror movies. Emby’s novels range from historical and mythology based adventures to modern day action and though all of Emby’s works vary greatly in subject and style, every one shares the common thread of featuring monsters. New offerings in the form of novella collections and the Emby Kids imprint will soon be available, but the focus will remain the same: if it’s published by Emby, it’ll have a monster in it.

Where to Find:  Embry Press  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

 

GiveawayDetails

  • International Giveaway which includes: 5 Ebook copies of “Monster Hunter Legends: Both Barrels” compliments of the publisher!
  • ENTERGIVEAWAY

Moonflower – Review + Giveaway!

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I’ll be reviewing this next month so I’m super excited to spread the word on the new Angela J. Townsend novel, “Moonflower”!

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Title:  Moonflower

Author:  Angela J. Townsend

Published:  March 31st, 2014 by Clean Teen Publishing

Page Count:  238

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance Horror

Content Warning:  Graphic violence

Recommended Age:  17+

Synopsis:
Natasha remembers little from her Russian childhood, other than the lingering nightmares of her mother’s tragic death. So when someone close to her hands her a one-way ticket to Russia, along with the deed to her family farm, and then is brutally murdered, she has little confidence about what awaits her in that distant land.
With doubt and uncertainty, Natasha has no choice but to leave her life in America for an unknown future. Once overseas, the terrifying facts as to why she was really summoned home come to light.
Fact one: Monsters do exist.
Fact two: The only thing keeping those monsters out of the world is an ancient mural hidden below her family’s farm.
Fact three: The mural that keeps the evil out of the world is falling apart.
The final fact: It’s up to Natasha to restore it and save the world from a horror unlike anything seen before.
Luckily, Natasha isn’t alone in her mission. Three Russian Knights are tasked with protecting her from the demons as she restores the mural. And leading the Knights is the handsome and strong Anatoly, who seems to be everything Natasha could hope for in a man. Unfortunately, there is one huge problem. Her Knights are forbidden from having relationships with the artists they protect, and Anatoly is a hardcore rule follower. But rules cannot stop the way she feels.
When a horrifying demon breaches the barrier and pulls Anatoly inside the mural, Natasha can’t help but charge, once again, into the unknown—this time to save the man she secretly loves. Now on the demons’ turf, she risks her own life to free the very one who is supposed to be protecting her. Little does she realize that if she should fail, it could mean the destruction of the very last barrier shielding mankind. Will Anatoly refuse Natasha’s help? Or will he finally realize, when love is at stake, the rules will be broken. 
Where to Find:  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  Goodreads
Genre Rating
paranormal4
  So I usually do a genre rating, but here’s the thing: Did you see that list?! It’s considered a YA Paranormal Romance Horror. So I made some deductions. I’m a horror fan, I read a lot of it so here’s my conclusion. There were horrific moments but nothing that made my heart seize or actually horrify me. I was more fascinated, to be honest. Soooo: Horror. YA I’ve never counted as a genre, it’s more of an outline leading to genres. So, YA.
Romance and Paranormal seem to like to hold hands and this isn’t a 100% romance though there’s still a good helping for you romance fans. Romance. There’s quite a bit of intrigue and ghost-like phenomenons.  So Paranormal it is! That was long winded, eh?
MyTwo-Bits
I’ve been seeing Angela J. Townsend everywhere lately. There’s been interviews, guest posts and I’ve seen at least three books milling about the internet. The woman’s a machine! So I had to sample one. Here’s my impression:
Natasha, is a strong independent character who unfortunately relies a lot upon Anatoly to save her from falling. She is a horrible klutz, haha. I really liked that we were exported into another country, Russia. Say it with a rolling R and it has more flare, no?
Alright, back to the story. Natasha dwells on her heritage, much like most of us have when we were teenagers. She is a foster child in a rather unfortunate situation though that doesn’t seem to bother her. She makes the best of what she has and rarely strives beyond that as I’m sure she believes she isn’t worthy of it. Though she’s a rather quiet character you can certainly relate to her thinking.
The story moves from America to Russia, a very distinct culture shift but one that Natasha seems comfortable with. Russia was home for her.
An interesting part was her role in returning home and how everything came together for her.
My only problem would be the occasional lack of trust toward the reader. There was a lot of repetition when it came to certain characters when making her point about them.
Shoving that aside, I have to say that the book delivered on imagination, the love-interest, and the mystery surrounding Natasha’s heritage.
ConclusionFour-Five Overall
I enjoyed the Russian lore and some of the culture that was injected into the story. We were transported to a place most of us haven’t been. The imagery were fantastic, I was seeing the monsters clearly in my mind. Also, I really liked how Natasha’s paint brush would be her sword and the theme surrounded that idea: Our passions in life could be our salvation. :)
Angela-TownsendAngela Townsend was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. As a child, Angela grew up listening to stories told by her grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places. Influenced by her Irish and Scottish heritage, Angela became an avid research historian, specializing in Celtic mythology. Her gift for storytelling finally led her to a full time career in historical research and writing. A writer in local community circulations, Angela is also a published genealogical and historical resource writer who has taught numerous research seminars. Currently, Angela divides her time between writing, playing Celtic music on her fiddle, and Irish dancing.
Angela’s first novel, Amarok, was published through Spencer Hill Press in 2012. She later went on to sign with Clean Teen Publishing in 2013 and currently has two novels published through them: Angus MacBain and the Island of Sleeping Kings and River of Bones. Her third novel, Moonflower is scheduled for release in March 2014.
Angela resides on a ranch, in rural Northwestern Montana, with her two children Levi and Grant.
Where to Find:  Amazon Author Page  | Facebook  | Twitter  | GoodReads  | Blog
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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
GiveawayDetails
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
    • GRAND PRIZE:  Reader’s choice of Clean Teen Publishing eBook, bookmark swag pack, and $15 Amazon Gift Card.
    • Giveaway is International

ENTERGIVEAWAY

The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend – Review

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TTBebookcoverPrint Length: 250 pages

Publisher: Dev Love Press (February 2, 2014)

Claudia’s geeky boyfriend Adam has just invented a time machine.

No, really—he has.  She doesn’t believe it either until Adam provides her with definitive proof that he does, in fact, have a functioning time travel device sitting in the living room of his Manhattan brownstone.

But instead of getting ready to accept the Nobel Prize, Adam has very different plans for his groundbreaking invention.  He wants Claudia to use the machine to travel back in time and stop the accident that landed him in a wheelchair over a decade ago, and prevent the trajectory of events that he believes ruined his life.

When Claudia reluctantly agrees to become the first human time traveler, she knows she’s making a big gamble.  If she succeeds, she could have the happy ending with commitment-phobic Adam that she’s always dreamed of.  But if she fails, it could mean the end of the universe as she knows it.

“Costa’s wild imagination and keen writing style will keep readers on their toes as they breeze through this book which is quite an emotional roller-coaster ride and guaranteed to produce giggles and possibly a tear.” -Jaime A. Geraldi, The Romantic Times

Read the first chapter HERE.

Where to Find:  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Goodreads

MyTwo-Bits

This is not the type of book I’d normally pick up but I want to expand my reading material. I wanted to explore new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where…yeah, they did time travel too. That was relevant to this review, right? Weeeelllllll…

We are introduced to Claudia, our main character, who has a tendency to ramble about her relationship and how she really wants to marry her noncommittal boyfriend. There were a few moments I was ready to snap on this woman. She had a way of presenting herself to be the pretty ditz. She is a school teacher who seems to like her children, unless they read slow. Then she mentally ridicules them, which kind of outlines her sometimes (not always) shallow personality.

But when she goes back in time on her own, her aggravating attributes begin to lift. Once in the past, she meets her younger self and becomes…annoyed. Whoohoo! I’m not the only one who sees it! Though in all honesty if I met my younger self I guarantee we wouldn’t be best buds either. At this point, I found myself rooting for Claudia. I actually wanted her to achieve her goals.

Claudia tries to correct a bitter past and with ample determination, which I admired, and a lot of heart. I almost hate to give this comparison, but here goes: Imagine if Penny and Leonard from “Big Bang Theory” met ten years later than they did. You may have something similar (with a few differences) to Claudia and Adam.

Conclusion

Three-Five Overall

I admit, I enjoyed how everything came full circle and the author didn’t dive too deep into the paradoxes that can often come with time travel. This book was a fun trip into a “what if” universe rather than a scientific theory or having too much butterfly effect. I’d recommend this to women looking for an easy, enjoyable read.

About the Author

anniefixedAnnabelle Costa is a teacher who writes in her free time.  She enjoys the wounded hero genre, involving male love interests with physical disabilities, who don’t follow the typical Hollywood perception of sexy.

Arms of Anu (YA) + Giveaway!

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Sequel to the award-winning “Arrow of the Mist” is the latest by Christina Mercer: “Arms of Anu”

arms-of-anuArms of Anu by Christina Mercer
(Arrow of the Mist #2)
Publication date: March 13th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

 

Synopsis:
Folows Award-Winning Preteen/Teen Fantasy ARROW OF THE MIST

 

Blood of body, blood of soul,
Entwined for life, then unfolds;
If blood still runs when magic binds,
Soul is never too far to find.

 

In ARMS OF ANU, Lia and Kelven battle through a land of tyrants, war and magic.
Can Lia escape the foes who ensnare her?
Will Kelven’s love withstand the darkness taking root inside Lia?
Is freedom too high a crown to reach, or will they forever remain in the hollows?

Where to Find:  Goodreads  |  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  Barnes & Noble

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For those interested, here’s a little about the first book, “Arrows of the Mist”:

 

51uCMTKfSUL._SL500_Terror strikes the Celtic inspired kingdom of Nemetona when barbed roots breach the veil of a forbidden land and poison woodsmen, including 15-year-old Lia’s beloved father. Lia and three others embark on a quest to the forbidden land of Brume to gather ingredients for the cure. But after her elder kinsman is attacked and poisoned, she and her cousin, Wynn, are forced to finish the quest on their own.

 

Lia relies on her powerful herbal wisdom and the memorized pages of her late grandmother’s Grimoire for guidance through a land of soul-hungry shades, trickster creatures, and uncovered truths about the origin of Brume and her family’s unexpected ties to it. The deeper they trek into the land, the stronger Lia’s untapped gift as a tree mage unfolds. When she discovers the enchanted root’s maker, it forces her to question everything about who she is and what is her destiny. Ultimately she must make a terrible choice: keep fighting to save her father and the people of the lands or join with the power behind the deadly roots to help nature start anew.

Where to Find:  Goodreads  |  Amazon.ca  |  Amazon.com  |  Barnes & Noble

excerpt

 

From ARMS OF ANU by CHRISTINA MERCER

LIA~

Lia Griene folded birch-white arms against her chest. Wynn stood beside her with his wrists and ankles shackled in chains. Lia winced at the fresh blood seeping from her cousin’s wounds. She might have just enough knitbone sewn in the hem of her cloak to set a poultice on them after they returned to the cart.

If we return.

Royal Sage Conall eyed them, his mouth dripping with jellied pork and wine. “I see your tempers have calmed since leaving Rockberg this morning. Amazing how rebels quiet under lock and key.”

Lia tried to calm the loathing that brewed like bitter nightshade within her. She’d rather fight bog goblins for a thousand years than spend another minute before Nemetona’s nobility. But she held her composure. They still had a fortnight of travel to the royal city of Anu and she’d prefer to face the king with her tongue attached. She met the sage’s glare with silence.

He responded with a snort and continued to stuff his face with greasy meat. His brother, Royal Sage Lorne, cleared his throat and spat in a wrinkled cloth he kept gripped in his hand. He resembled Conall in crimson attire alone. Where Sage Conall was fat like the swine he feasted upon, Sage Lorne was akin to rotting leather over bone. He peered at Lia and Wynn from black hollows set too deep for the candlelight to reach.

KELVEN~

Kelven jabbed at the red embers of the cook fire, their glow barely cutting through the hazy night. The stench of Anu pressed against him like a decaying hide. He and several of his Northern comrades had woven themselves through the city that day, searching for a way across the bridge and inside the castle walls. Somewhere inside, Lia and Wynn awaited their fate.

“Lia.” Her name slipped through his lips. She was spirited like a wild filly, recklessly loyal to her family, and impossibly skilled in herb crafts. And she had fascinated him from the moment he met her several years ago at Wynn’s.
He gazed up at the castle, the cold towers shrouded in darkness and fog. His insides tugged with the same guilt he’d struggled with ever since the royal sages had arrived in Rockberg. Lia’s father, Dylan, and Wynn’s father, Finn, had reassured him he’d done the right thing by fleeing to the hills with the Grimoire, Wynn’s enchanted shield, and the remaining bottles of Brume’s elixir. Kelven knew that hiding the precious items served a vital purpose, but an unshakable shame lingered in his heart for leaving his friends to face the royal sages without him. He should have been there, standing alongside them, offering whatever support he could.

About the Author

ChristinaChristina Mercer is an award-winning author of fiction for children and young adults. She placed in the Semi-Finals of the Amazon Breakout Novel Award Contest, won an Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards, and took Writer’s Best in Show at the SCBWI CA North/Central Regional Conference. She resides in Northern California enjoying life with her husband, two sons, four dogs and about 100,000 honeybees. For more about her and her writing visit her Web Site.

Where to Find:  Official Website  |  Pinterest  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

 

GiveawayDetailsInternational Giveaway!

  • -25$ Amazon gift card
  • -eBook copy of Arms of Anu
  • -Swag

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Reflection of the Gods + Giveaway

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YEA! Canadian content! Also, I’m a sucker for urban fantasies. The title offers a real mystery. I hope you check out the synopsis, book trailer and excerpt below!

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Title: Reflection of the Gods

Author: Lisa Llamrei

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Newly divorced Das MacDermott longs for a fresh start. As he packs up and prepares to move out of the city, he spots a young woman being held at gunpoint by three men. Despite being outnumbered and unarmed, Das does his best to intervene. Once liberated, the victim seems oddly ungrateful, but on an apparent whim decides to join Das in his new life in rural Ontario. Aislinn, as she is called, returns the favour; with her encouragement and support, his start-up photography business takes off, and more importantly, Das is saved from loneliness and self-doubt.

Das, however, is never quite able to fully dismiss the contrary aspects of Aislinn’s nature, and is strictly forbidden from asking about Aislinn’s past. All seems too good to be true, and indeed it is. Aislinn’s unusual talents and odd behaviour, unbeknownst to Das, come from her demigod status. Aislinn is half-Sidhe, daughter of Fionvarra, Ireland’s fairy king, and a human woman. Sidhe wars have so disrupted the mortal world that Aislinn has joined with other immortals in an effort to permanently separate it from Tir N’a Nog, the fairy realm.

Born in ancient Ireland, Aislinn spends millennia as the plaything of the cruel and narcissistic gods. The pain of being neither human nor Sidhe is offset by her relationship to the Fir Bolg, another race of fair folk who take pity on her lonely state; and the refuge she takes in being Das’s lover and protector. As Das comes to accept the possibility that Aislinn belongs to a supernatural world, he discovers that the two worlds are set to collide in a way that may mean the destruction of all humanity.

Where to Find:  Alchera Press  |  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.ca  |  Kobo  |  Goodreads

Book Trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TjGeqv4e5A

(Usually the Book Trailer doesn’t have to be a link and just shows up but for some reason, after 30 minutes of fiddling, I gave up and I apologize. I have seen it though and it’s REALLY good! I hope you take a peak after you’ve read the excerpt below. Or you can just come back after. I can wait. :) )

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Excerpt:

The hands shook me again. I opened my eyes and looked straight into those of the young girl. She wore a long, white dress, her black hair falling in tousled waves past her shoulders to her hips. She seemed to radiate light. My first thought was that we were both dead and I’d made it to heaven after all. Maybe you get points for stupidity in the service of others.

Seeing her up close, it was clear I had underestimated her age by several years. Though small, she was clearly a young woman—closer to eighteen than fourteen, possibly even older. Her dress was sheer, showing every curve of her body. My immediate visceral reaction was not something I expected to feel in heaven. Then the throbbing in my head returned, equally unexpected. As my senses cleared, I noted the scent of garbage mixed with car exhaust. I heard horns honking in the distance and shouts from the street. So, not dead, then. When I tried to sit up, pain in my head forced me back down.

With uncanny strength, the girl pulled me to a sitting position and looked me square in the eye. She squatted on her heels. Any glow I thought I had seen disappeared. Her face muscles tensed, her mouth drew tight. I couldn’t quite read the emotion, but I didn’t get the impression she was concerned for my well-being.

You’re alive.” My voice sounded thin. “I heard a shot. I thought …”

He missed,” she said. “And you ought not to have interfered.”

Ought not … who talks like that? “Those guys were going to kill you.”

She folded her arms across her chest. “I was in no danger. I was fully in control until you happened by. Do your police officers not tell you never to antagonize an armed intruder?” She sighed. “If it had been anyone other than me, you would be dead right now. You really ought to take more care.” She stood and turned to leave.

I stood up as well, stretching my arms and legs to test my muscles. “At least I know enough to be grateful when someone helps me out.”

She turned back to look at me. “Grateful? You expect gratitude for what you have done?” She shook her head and threw her hands up in the air. “In-credible,” she said as she walked away down the alley.

About the Author

Lisa LlamreiLisa Llamrei was born and raised in the Toronto area. She studied languages at York University. At various times, she has been an actor, professional belly dancer, holistic nutritionist, and entrepreneur. She currently lives north of Toronto with her family. Reflection of the Gods is her first novel.

Where to Find:  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter  |  Official Website

 

GiveawayDetails

  • 5 Signed copies of “Reflection of the Gods” is up for grabs.

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