Dive in Review: A Castle Awakened

Welcome back I hope every one enjoyed their holiday yesterday. Today I’m dropping in with a new release that you can spend your new amazon gift cards on. It’s a thought provoking read and a slow building romance, which is the healthiest kind of romance.

A Castle Awakened by Sharon Rose

Novel 1 in the Castle in the Wilde series

A foreign usurper. A lady who longs for freedom. Vicious beasts who want to rip them all to shreds. Who wins?

Never one to shy from a challenge, Lord Tristan Petram took possession of a forsaken castle. His search uncovered no hint of who built it or why they abandoned such a gem. What treachery would strike the founding family from history? Still, it seems a small matter, since the generations have passed. If he and his followers can forge a life here—and hold out against ravenous vixicats—the castle and this land will be theirs. As for the nearest kingdom, they never venture beyond their border or the mysterious forest of tower trees. Except…

Beth dons a disguise and takes a forbidden ride in Tower Woods—a last fling before she bows to the dictates of her noble birth. Her fun adventure turns into a nightmare of kidnap and rescue—of sorts. Now she’s trapped in a nameless castle held by a foreign usurper who calls himself Lord Petram. Who could he be, and what will he do with her if he finds out who she really is?

Thus, Lord Petram finds himself the unwilling guardian of an injured lady who won’t give her full name. A crime he didn’t commit may bring retribution from an unknown kingdom. Do they have a claim to this castle that he now calls home? If he survives the vixicats, will an army slaughter him and his followers?

A Castle Awakened is the first novel in the Castle in the Wilde trilogy. If you like fantasy with mystery, intrigue, and romance, come and explore this secondary world with medieval undertones and the turmoil of clashing cultures.

Author bio:

I started writing when I was seven years old. Okay, My Life as a Flying Squirrel may have had a couple spelling errors, but my classmates loved it.

Plenty of life has happened since that first story, and I’ve come to realize the things that fascinate me. People. Communication. Culture. Personality. Viewpoints. Beliefs. Anything that makes each of us beautifully unique. Small wonder that my art spills out in story form.

It was only a matter of time before I just had to share my stories. I publish fantasy and science fiction because they allow vast spaces to explore. My stories weave cultures and characters, who are more than they seem to be, into adventures with mystery, romance, and hope.

When I’m not writing or reading, I may be traveling, enjoying gardens, or searching for unique coffee shops with my husband. We live in Minnesota, USA, famed for its mosquitoes—uh, I mean 10,000 lakes and vibrant seasons.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Review:

A Castle Awakened is the first Fantasy novel from Sharon Rose. Up to now she has been known for her thought provoking science fiction. This book shows that she can also write thought provoking fantasy.

Much like her sci-fi offerings, A Castle Awakened deals with humans and their inability to communicate with each other.

When Lord Tristian’s men rescue an unknown girl from bandits he is at a loss for what to do with her. Because no matter how nicely he asks, she refuses to tell him anything about herself. Is it just stubbornness born of fear, memory loss, or possible a subterfuge? He is occupying an abandon castle, in a land that is not his own.

This story has so much going for it, mysterious girl, mysterious monsters in the woods mysterious abandoned castle that no one knows where the last residents went. It’s all so mysterious.

If there was one thing I didn’t like in this story it was Beth. She spends so much of this novel being distrusting and, while not confrontational, frustrated. The worst part is that most of her frustration is her own fault. She refuses to give any information at all to Lord Tristian and expects him to just treat her like an equal. In this age of the strong independent heroine, I am pleased to see someone finally learn that equality is just as much what you give as what you get.

This story is very much a romance. Far more romance than any of Rose’s space operas were. But it’s a well written slow building romance where two people learn mutual respect and how to communicate. Not the romance most people want, but the one they need if society expects couples to actually build healthy relationships.

The fantastical elements were nicely done. There are no wizards or magic use in this world, at least none that’s appeared yet, but there are healing waters, an ageless healer and mysterious beasts known as Vixicats. They sound kind of like foxes but they are much larger and more fearsome.

The novel ends on a good note. Not a cliff hanger but certainly with plenty more story needing to be told.

*I was given a free copy of the book by the author for the purpose of advance review. The opinions included herein, are my own and are willingly and honestly given.* 

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

The Castle in the Wilde books are available from Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. The print versions can also be ordered from local bookstores and libraries.

A Castle Awakened Available now.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GL7QXB2

Other Amazon markets: https://books2read.com/u/3LY9qJ

For a printed book from your local bookstore or library, request ISBN 978-1-948160-21-6.

A Castle Sealed – a prequel novella – will release Jan 19, 2021.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GKZMCFZ

Other Amazon markets: https://books2read.com/u/bPXJdl

For a printed book from your local bookstore or library, request ISBN 978-1-948160-19-3.

A Castle Contended – look for novel 2 in June, 2021.

Mark of the Raven: Dive in review.

Hello, I’m posting a dive in review today for Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse. Mostly because this Friday I’ll be posting a review  for book two, Flight of the Raven, as part of the blog tour. I thought you might want to hear about the first book first so you can either read it in a three days or avoid spoilers for this book by not coming back to hear about book two.

Mark of the RavenLady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy–a legacy that supports her people–or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

 

58383678_10156297355360208_3797897425025236992_oMorgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the FOLLOWER OF THE WORD series and the steampunk series THE SOUL CHRONICLES. She is a Christy and INSPY Award finalist and recently won the Carol Award for best in Christian speculative fiction. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel. Visit her online at http://www.morganlbusse.com.

Mark of the Raven: Dive in Review.

Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse, is a gripping fantasy tale, with detailed characters and deep world building.

The main setting of Castle Rook has a very Gothic feel to it, even though the setting is meant to be medieval I think. It has secret passages and grand halls, and hidden secrets. It’s as though the entire building is shrouded in shadows and haunted by mystery, completely consumed by the hate leeched off of its past inhabitants.

The world building is astounding, seven great houses rule seven nation states. To help the seven houses each was given a gift. Water, Fire, Wisdom , healing, light , Courage, and Dreams. (I still think courage stands out as not being very useful, but they have dragons so that makes up for it.) I have a soft spot in my heart for story worlds featuring hereditary elemental gifts.

I can not say enough good things about this book. I loved the build up as Selene learned to use her gifts and the mystery as more of the inter house politics came to light. But most of all I loved the Characters.

The third Person POV characters are Lady Selene from House Ravenwood (the dreamers), and Lord Damien from House Maris (the water benders). The former is a conflicted young woman who has just learned that she comes from a family of assassins. The later is a young man who, because of great tragedy, has found himself as the leader and protector of an entire nation. They are both well written characters who are both flawed, but yet seek to do the right thing.

The thing I loved most was the romantic aspect. Selene and Damien are not a love at first site couple. In fact they seem convinced that they could never feel anything for the other because heirs do not marry other heirs. It’s a slow build up, more curiosity than anything. They are so different from each other.

Another thing I loved was the way religion was handled. In this world there are two forces. The Light and The Dark Lady. The light is more powerful than the dark and the light shines brightly inside the souls of it’s followers. The Dark Lady seeks only her own power.

It is Selene’s doubt’s about the Dark Lady and her curiosity about the light that shines in a young man’s soul that truly sets this book apart.

This is book one of a saga, so be forewarned that l you will be left wanting more, but rest easy knowing there will be more to come.

*I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher for review and promotional purposes. A favorable review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own*

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