The Bear of Rosethorn Ring: blog tour

You may remember my last blog post was a cover reveal for a new installment in a fairy tale series called Once upon a Twist Tales. You can find that cover reveal by scrolling all the way down and clicking the previous post button.

Title: The Bear of Rosethorn Ring: A Snow White and Rose Red Story (Once Upon a Twist Tales, Book #4)

Tagline: How far would Snow White and Rose Red go to save the man behind the bear?

About the Book:

When their father runs away, Marita and Diamond Kadlec realize how different twins can be. Marita’s ready to forget Lucas entirely, but Diamond wants to give him the second chance she’s never been able to give before. That’s before they discover that Lucas is indebted to the ill-tempered D’vard and his traveling circus, the Rosethorn Ring. The Ring’s entertainment lacks a bear, and Lucas must play the part of the savage creature to regain his freedom.

Lorcan D’vard cares only for three things: tending to his beloved beard, promoting his Rosethorn Ring, and eradicating the assassin out to kill him. With time running out, D’vard agrees to cancel Lucas’s debt and let him go free – if Marita and Diamond can apprehend the assassin before the assassin ends the show.

This is Snow White and Rose Red with a twist like you’ve never seen it before.

The Bear of Rosethorn Ring is available now. You can find it at Goodreads and Amazon below:

o Goodreads | Amazon

About the Series:

Once Upon a Twist Tales are your favorite fairytales retold backwards and upside-down, with a little bit of steampunk thrown in for fun!

Find the other books here:

o Goodreads | Amazon

Other Books in the Series:

Book One ~ The Rose and the Balloon: A Beauty and the Beast Story

Book Two ~ Spindle Dreams: A Sleeping Beauty Story

Book Three ~ Diamond: A Rapunzel Story

My Dive in Review:


The Bear of Rosethorn Ring is a retelling of the fairytale, Snow White and Rose Red. If you are unfamiliar with it, don’t worry, it’s often confused with that other (but unrelated) fairy tale about a girl named Snow White.

This version of the story removes the magic and replaces it with a circus setting. I really liked the circus aesthetic and thought the adaptation was spot on. All the fairy tale’s major plot points are present and easily recognizable.

This is the fourth book in Fichter’s Once Upon a Twist Tales series. I believe the story stands on its own well, but you will enjoy it more if you start at the beginning. At least read book three, as this book directly references those events. Diamond goes through so much that you really need to read about her previous adventures to appreciate how strong her character is.

The best character was indeed Diamond, who spends most of the book blind. Her POV is a prime example of how to tell a descriptive narrative using only sound and scent cues. Not only that, but she is caring and patient. Qualities that more people should learn to emulate.

*Received an advanced copy to review. This review is my own honest opinion and is willingly and honestly given after reading the provided material.*

About the Author:

Kirsten Fichter is a twenty-something Christian writer who loves being the wife to her favorite person ever, mommy to two precious blessings, a piano enthusiast, a dragon buff, a serious bookworm, and an INFP synesthete. Fairytales have always fascinated her, and she has made it her goal to rewrite as many as possible and become known as the “Grimm Dickens” (i.e. mixing Grimm fairytales with a Dickens style). She is present in many online circles under the name “Kiri Liz” if you care about things like that. As you read this, she’ll be somewhere under a maple tree – trying very hard to finish the seventeen and half other stories she unwisely started all at once.

Important Links:

– Author’s Pages

o Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

April 5th

Welcome & Giveaway @ A Synesthete Writer

Author Interview @ Living Outside the Lines

Favorite Fairytales About Siblings (Guest Post) @ Lands Uncharted

Book Review @ Christine Smith

Book Review @ Tower in the Plains

April 6th

Snow White and Rose Red Tag @ A Synesthete Writer

Author Interview & Book Review @ Madi’s Musings

Looking Ahead at the Twist Tales (Guest Post) @ Virtual Paper

Book Review @ E. Kaiser Writes

April 7th

Snow White and Rose Red Mad Libs @ A Synesthete Writer

Inspiration for The Bear of Rosethorn Ring (Guest Post) @ Ink Castles

Favorite Characters from the Twist Tales (Guest Post) @ Living Outside the Lines

Book Review @ Shieldmaidens of Shiloh

Book Review @ Live. Love. Read.

April 8th

The First Chapter @ A Synesthete Writer

Awesome and Obscure Fairytales (Guest Post) @ Madi’s Musings

SWRR Elements in The Bear of Rosethorn Ring (Guest Post) @ Abigail Falanga

Book Review @ Blooming with Books

Book Review @ C.O. Bonham

April 9th

Winner & Wrap-Up @ A Synesthete Writer

Author Interview & Book Review @ Virtual Paper

Retelling an Unknown Fairytale (Guest Post) @ Live. Love. Read

Book Review @ Living Outside the Lines

Book Review @ Ink Castles

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.

Audio Review: The Realms of Elestra Prequels.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Okay I’m back again because surly you didn’t think I would let a week go by without dropping an audiobook for you?

To make up for Monday not being about an audio book, I’m dropping two audios today.

Once again these are codes I request through Story Origins. If you would like to get into the audio or E-book reviewing game check them out here.

The first book:

Saved from the streets by the mysterious George Whipple, Parker and Lydia grew up in the Whipplehouse Orphanage. After being fitted with a magical monocle, Parker finds he has the ability to stop time. With his new power, he spends his days tinkering and inventing intricate doodads. Life is grand until the night Elias comes to town.

Parker’s life is turned upside down when tragedy stikes on the night of the winter solstice of his 18th year. He risks losing the one thing he loves most: Lydia. But will his newfound power be able to find her? And what about the perplexing machine in the cellar workshop?

My Review:

I feel like Timekeeper is one of those prequel novellas that really needs to be read after the main book in a series for it to matter.

The story starts off interesting with Parker and Lydia as a sort of brother sister item. They get taken in by two older men who have magic and things get more interesting, then when things are the most interesting the story just ends and we get a summary of what Parker has been doing for the last two decades. It is a let down to be sure. Not even a proper cliff hanger. I suspect that summary is probably where the actual first book takes place. I fully intend to read more of this series so it wasn’t a total disappointment just anti climatic.

Parker and Lydia are good characters. You root for them because they are orphans, you ship them because they care about each other so much. And you don’t understand the ending at all because . . . we’ll I won’t spoil it for you.

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

The steampunk aesthetic was light but there, with cogs and tesla coils and Victorian clothing galore.

The narrator Andrew McDermott has an incredible Irish accent that I absolutely enjoyed listening to. But since the story takes place in Missouri and not Ireland, I was also a little unsure of why literally everyone has an Irish accent.

In conclusion Timekeeper is a prequel to what I’m sure will be an amazing steampunk series. The audiobook is short and easy to follow. So check it out if you need something to get you through a long lunch hour. Or if you just can’t get enough Irish accents.

The Second book:

Ripped away from Whipplehouse and the only family she had ever known, Lydia ekes out a living in the barren wasteland of Oregon as a prisoner of a family who never loved her. When Parker finds her at the county fair, Lydia can hardly believe her luck as she agrees to travel through time with the boy she once loved. They finally settle in the mysterious land of Elestra, a world like their own with magical powers, steam-powered devices, and even dragons.

Abruptly left to her own devices on the shores of Sea City, Lydia embarks on a dangerous adventure with fast cars, accompanied by the infamous and quite exiled pirate-turned-mechanic Matthias Cross. When the tables turn and she begins to see Parker for who he really is, how can she escape the darkness buried in his heart? What will become of Lydia now that she knows there are more worlds than these?

My Review:

Lydia is an odd little prequel novella. it comes before a book titled Clock city, but after another novella titled Timekeeper.

Do read Timekeeper first. This novella explains the bizarre epilogue of Timekeeper, basically the timeline is not linear and it’s all messed up with time travel and nothing takes place when you thought it did.

Lydia is an orphan sent out west on the orphan train. Her new family treats her like a slave, so when her childhood friend shows up to whisk her away she jumps at the chance.

what follows is a montage of literary references that will make book nerds smile.

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

As a story this book is very disconnected, It just doesn’t stand on it’s own very well. You need to read Timekeeper first. But I also feel like I need to read Clock City first too. Interestingly enough, this book is not listed on the amazon series page for Elestra. Only Time Keeper and Clock City.

The character of Lydia is a scared girl who keeps getting shuttled from one scary situation and abusive relationship to another. As a result I feel like she never really gets a chance to grow up. She follows the trail of many classic heroines of constantly settling for the “Safe” relationship instead of the “right” relationship.

As a prequel this book certainly made me eager to read Clock City. I am curious about how this all ties together.

Once again Andrew McDermott narrates with his soothing Irish accent. he does a fair job of distinguishing one character from another, and he does a great job of reading description, making it engaging and active.

Disclaimer:

*I was given Audible codes for these books and the above reviews are my own honest evaluation of the provided audio and stories.*

About Rebekah Dodson

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

Connect with Rebekah:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/realrebekahdodson
Twitter: @AuthorRDodson (This interface is not liking twitter links, I don’t know why, So please just search for her if you are interested in giving her a follow.)
Website: www.rebekahdodson.com

Purchase links:

This time it’s cheaper to buy the audio books for $6.08, than the e-book and narration together. But if you really want to go the cheap route the e-books are only 99 cents each.

Buy Timekeeper here: https://www.amazon.com/Timekeeper-Rebekah-Dodson-audiobook/dp/B07SZ9L2R7/

Buy Lydia here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081ZH98PD?plink=jdecFSEweTaz86tH&ref=adblp13npsbx_0_0_im

Book three? Book One? I’m not sure how this prequel stuff works really. Anyway if you are interested in continuing the story you can find Clock City here: https://www.amazon.com/Clock-City-Realm-Elestra-Book-ebook/dp/B07QPRP2Z3/

It’s sadly not in audio yet.

Audiobook Review: King’s Warrior

Today I bring you another audiobook in my November Audiobook reviews. Today’s post also corresponds with a blog tour for the fantasy novel, King’s Warrior by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt.

King’s Warrior is now an audio book!

An exciting adventure, now available in audio format!

Note from the author:

Enter the realm of Aom-igh, embark on an adventure with Princess Kamarie to save her kingdom. Battle dragons alongside the young squire, Oraeyn and the mysterious warrior, Brant. And experience the adventure in the way it was always meant to be experienced: out loud.

As many of my dear readers already know, when I wrote King’s Warrior, it was intended as a story that my dad could read out loud to my siblings each night. I always dreamed of getting it turned into an audio book, and now I am pleased to announce that this dream has come true.

Many readers have told me that they feel this is a story that “reads aloud” well. And that is no surprise to me, since I wrote it expressly for that purpose. So I am excited for the opportunity for more people to get the chance to have this story read out loud to them by a master at his craft, Benjamin Fife. It was a true pleasure to work with someone who was even more excited about this project than I was (if that were possible!) Not only that, but Benjamin truly “gets” the heart of this story, and he does ALL the voices.

-Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

About the story

The hope of their world rests on the steel at his side….

Threat of invasion looms. Oraeyn dreams of glory on the battlefield. Instead, he must engage in a battle of wills with a headstrong princess while ushering her to safety (and boredom) in a small village. But they must put aside their differences to save their homeland and complete the second part of their mission: seek out the legendary King’s Warrior to persuade him to take up arms once more. 

When their journey leads them to the lost realm of the dragons they get more adventure than either of them bargained for!

Sound like something you might enjoy? Listen to a sample:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Kings-Warrior-Minstrels-Song-Book/dp/B08KTYTZ25/

Audible:
https://www.audible.com/pd/Kings-Warrior-Audiobook/B08KTYGNYR

My Dive in Review:


*Review of Audiobook Edition*

King’s Warrior begins as most fantasies do, with a threat and a quest. The dark country is going to invade and only one man can stop it. Sounds familiar right.

Well it’s not, because for every hackneyed trope, Schmidt adds a twist. The ending is not what you expect and everyone ends up where they are needed most. Wait a minute, ending up where you are needed most is a hackneyed fantasy trope. I guess not all tropes can be subverted.

I really enjoyed the group dynamic of their questing party, the girl who would be a knight, the boy would would not be king, the innocent child who is more then he knows, the man who has lost everything, and the enchantress who is supremely unhelpful.

The character work in this novel is where is shines the most. Not just the characters as individuals but how they interact with one another and how they work together.

You have noticed that this is a five book series and are worried about getting into anything too big. I want to assure you that the ending of this book is complete, no cliff hangers or set ups. continuing on with the series is entirely optional and up to you. But I for one will.

This audiobook is narrated by Benjamin Fife. He always does a fantastic job with voice work. But did you know he can sing? This is the first time I’ve heard him sing and he did a great job on that too.

*I was given an code to redeem for a review copy of this book, All opinions are my own and are provided honestly.*

About the Narrator:

Benjamin Fife has always had a passion for learning. With a mind that remembers all sorts of numbers and useless trivia, he regularly wins local radio shows and enjoys confusing people with sci-fi quotes. Fife grew up in Southeast Idaho. He attended college at Idaho State University, where he met his future wife in their music theory class. They have been married nearly 20 years and now have six children and a whole menagerie of animals.

When his oldest daughter was three or four years old they started reading aloud from novels every night at bedtime, and have continued the tradition ever since. The family loves exploring various worlds and topics through Fife’s wonderful reading skills, which get better every year. They all have his Christmas Carol voices memorized (and the older kids are known to quote along with portions), since he has read it to them every December. 

Benny enjoys all kinds of sci-fi and fantasy – both books and shows, is an extreme eclectic music lover, and prefers his chocolate to be of the 90% cocoa variety. Above all, he loves to be with his family. He loves recording audio books, and is delighted to tell people, “I’ve finally found what I want to be when I grow up!”

WEBSITE

LISTEN TO A SAMPLE OF KING’S WARRIOR

About the Author

Jenelle first fell in love with stories through her father’s voice reading books aloud each night. A relentless opener-of-doors in hopes of someday finding a passage to Narnia, it was only natural that she soon began making up fantastical realms of her own. Jenelle currently resides in the wintry tundra of Wisconsin —which she maintains is almost as good as Narnia — with her knight-in-shining armor and their four hobbits. When she is not writing, she homeschools said hobbits and helps them along on their daily adventures… which she says makes her a wizard.

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

Drop back in mid week, Wednesday or Thursday. when I’ll have another audio review up for you.

Audio Review: The Chronicles of the Macca

I know this isn’t on a Monday, but I’ve posted on odd days before, and I was preoccupied. No, not with the election. I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo, that’s National Novel Writing Month for the un initiated. So for I’ve been hitting my goals so I feel good about winning this year. But then being unemployed helps a lot with finding the time.

Anyway since I’ve been sacrificing my reading time to increase my writing time, I’ve tried to up my audiobook time. So this month expect all audiobook reviews as I try to juggle being both a reviewer and a writer.

Today’s audio review is a twin pack as they are the first two books in a series. I specifically requested these audiobooks from a reviewer service called Story Origins because I’ve always loved the weird western genre. It’s where you take a traditional western but then throw in: aliens, time travel, centaurs or whatever you want. It makes the old west so much more interesting.

I’ll summarize the books in my reviews for the sake of brevity.

Let’s dive in:

Earthbound follows the adventures of a young man who is stranded on Earth. He tries his best to blend in and integrate into the culture of the American west. If they think he’s a bit strange, well he does have an Irish accent.

Zeb as he’s called, is an interesting character, but he isn’t the only one. The story also follows frontier wife Anna and her children after a native American raid separates them.

Over all the story was interesting, but I found the sci-fi elements to be over shadowed by the Western story and characters. It’s a hard genre to peg as Western readers may enjoy it more than sci-fi lovers.

The narrator, Benjamin Fife, was good. He kept the pace going and read long sections with no dialogue engagingly. But Dialogue is where this man shines. Especially with accents. And this story gave him plenty of accents to play with. Irish, German, Spanish, and even some southern gentleman.

On content: there is a good bit of violence, surprisingly little cursing, but I do need to mention the the sexual content.

Like most Westerns there is mention of sex and brothels but this is still pretty clean. It comes no where near being erotic, and the most description we get is from a married couple on their wedding night, which is still pretty tame.

Gather the Children, like the first book in this series, (Earthbound) is a science fiction western about the MacDonald family. Almost all of which are some form of Alien hybrid.

This is such an odd series. There are very small references to anything sci-f. For the most part it’s just a western. The story follows the various family and friends of the main character Mac, as they live life. They get married and conduct business, worship and fight for their lives in the unforgiving and lawless Texas frontier.

This is a very character based story and I loved getting to know all the characters as they struggled to build lives for themselves.

I hate that I feel like I need to give a content warning since this is not erotica, but the author is not shy about the facts of life. It may not be descriptive but it was enough to make me feel uncomfortable. Also there is language.

This is the third book in a row I’ve heard that was narrated by Benjamin Fife. Man this guy is prolific. As always he does a great job reading and this story gives him plenty of opportunities to play with accents which he is incredibly good at.

* I received audible codes to review both of these books. My reviews are my honest opinion of the provided material and are given willingly.*

Purchase book one here: https://www.amazon.com/Earthbound-Science-Fiction-West-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00THSCXOC

And book two here: https://www.amazon.com/Gather-Children-Chronicles-Maca-Book-ebook/dp/B015IZZ5T2

Right now the ebooks are $2.99 and you can add audio for $7.49.

About the author:
Mari Collier was born on a farm in Iowa. Since then she’s lived in Arizona, Northwest Washington (on the banks of a river), and moved to Southern California after retiring from Nintendo of America. She is the curator for the Accessions Committee at the local Historical Society and writes two columns for the Old Schoolhouse Museum. She also volunteers as a docent at the Old Schoolhouse Museum.

Come back on Monday for another audiobook review.

Interested in Story Origins? Check it out here: https://storyoriginapp.com/

Do you enjoy audio books?

How about science fiction westerns?

Let me know.

The Alchemyst’s Mirror: Tea shop sip and review

The Alchemyst’s Mirror blog tour.

Today I don’t just have a review for you, I have a recipe. So go steep a cuppa tea and come back for a tasty book review and a must read recipe.

Wait, no, reverse that.

Okay good.

About the book:

Petra and Maisie Everturn just want to run their family’s tea shop, but when their explorer brother Jiordan goes missing while looking for an alchemycal artifact, none of them are safe.

The sisters must enlist the help of another explorer in order to find Jiordan or the artifact—before the mysterious alchemyst society finds them first.

However, when one of the sisters stumbles into the clutches of the most dangerous alchemyst in the city, the race to unravel the clues becomes desperate. And when they discover the truth about the artifact, their quest to infiltrate the alchemyst’s secret society becomes a matter of life and death.

Preorder the book here: https://amzn.to/2YdQRJj

Available in both ebook and hardback.

The release date is tomorrow!

About the author:

Liz Delton writes and lives in New England, with her husband and son. She studied Theater Management at the University of the Arts in Philly, always having enjoyed the backstage life of storytelling.

She reads and writes fantasy, especially the kind with alternate worlds. Liz is the author of the dystopian Arcera Trilogy, and the fantasy Realm of Camellia series, and the new steampunk novel, The Alchemyst’s Mirror. World-building is her favorite part of writing, and she is always dreaming up new fantastic places.

She loves drinking tea and traveling. When she’s not writing you can find her hands full with one of her many craft projects.

Visit her website at lizdelton.com

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: www.LizDelton.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lizdelton
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lizdelton
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizdeltonwrites/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Liz-Delton/e/B00RHANRH4

Strawberry chocolate scone and cup of tea. Photo provided by Liz Delton.

So you got that cup of tea with you? Good have a sip while I tell you why you will really want to read this book. Then I’ll share the recipe for the delicious scone pictured above.

Dive in Review: The Alchemysts Mirror.

The Alchemyst’s Mirror, by Liz Delton, is an exciting, non-stop action, page turner.

Two sisters, Petra and Maisie run their parents tea shop in the industrialized city of Harrowdell. Their brother, an explorer, is missing, presumed dead, and all they want is to find out what happened to him. Their search leads them to the dark underworld of secret societies and unethical alchemysts. It’s a well paced thrill ride, never knowing what will happen or who they can trust.

I really love the steampunk aesthetic, the world building felt well thought out with plenty of room to expand in future books. The main characters were everything you want in a female lead; strong, independent, resourceful, intelligent and above all feminine.

But the best part was really just the story. Every time I thought I knew where the story was going, it took a turn on me. The outcome was impossible to predict. But at the same time it didn’t feel cobbled together either.

I feel like this is mostly a standalone book. While there is plenty of potential for a sequel, I wasn’t left with any burning questions or any cliffhangers.

*I was given an ARC of this novel with no obligations attached. My review is provided honestly and willingly.*

Image: a cute recipe card you can print and keep. The Text of the card is shared below for easy reading by screen readers.

Maisie’s Strawberry Chocolate Scones

Flour – 2 1/2 cups Sugar – 4 tbsp

Baking Powder – 1 tbsp

Butter (Cold!) – 1/2 cup

Strawberries (cut into pieces) – 1 CUp

Chocolate Pieces – 3/4 cup

Buttermilk -2/3 cup”

Egg – 1

Vanilla – 1 tsp

Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder. Work in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork. Add in the strawberries and chocolate. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk with the egg and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir until just combined. Scrape the mix onto a floured surface and knead/shape into a disc. Cut into 8 wedges. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Chill for 20 minutes. Brush the tops of the scones with leftover buttermilk before baking at 400F for 20 minutes,

*If no buttermilk on hand, make some by adding 1 tbsp white vinegar to 1 cup milk.

If you’ve made it this far, then congratulations You’re invited to a launch party! Join author Liz Delton on Facebook November 10th at 8pm, for Steampunk fun and giveaways. https://www.facebook.com/events/362617744857118/

The Lost Review of Sir Larpsalot.

Today I’m bringing you a brand new book. Because it’s release day for this fun fantasy adventure book. I have a review of the adventure for you, but first here’s what it’s about:

About the book

WIZARDS & WANNABES

As the first day of high school creeps closer, five friends agree to one last LARP* before splitting the party and ending their geeky game forever.

But the real adventure is just beginning…

Mistaking the teens’ costumed characters for actual warriors, a sorceress summons Sir Larpsalot, Elvish Presley, Brutus the Bullheaded, Master Prospero, and Tom Foolery to her world to complete an impossible quest. To succeed, they must become the heroes they only ever pretended to be.

And if they can’t find a way to win, it’s GAME OVER for real!

* Live action role-playing game

You can add this book to your Goodreads list here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55532698-the-lost-tale-of-sir-larpsalot

Click here to purchase:  https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Tale-Sir-Larpsalot-ebook/dp/B08KHWSBGZ

Sir Larpsalot: Dive in Review

The Lost Tale of Sir Larpsalot, is a humorous and exciting look onto the world of Live Action Role Playing. More importantly it answers the question, can LARPers stay in character when they get transported to a real fantasy world, with real villain’s, real magic, and real danger?

What I really loved about this was the realism. Most stories when kids get transported to another world, they end up being the chosen ones, or having special powers, or make fantastic friends with the natives. But the members of Good (enough) Company, have a hockey stick. They don’t get magic or transform into their personas. Instead they bumble around in a world they know nothing about. You know like teenagers.

The best part of the story for me was all of the gaming references. Each chapter is named after a common gaming convention, followed by a short summery of what it means. These openings are so fun and make you immediately start the next chapter.

Screen Shot of Chapter Two of The Lost Tale of Sir Larpsalot.

There’s a typical quest story line that they follow but they keep trying to relate their experience back to the games they’ve played. Instead of adapting to the current situation they treat it like it has game rules. When you figure out the rules to real life let me know. The whole novel was just hilarious from a situational perspective. Think Galaxy Quest, but without the alien hero worship.

If you like Gaming, Fantasy, or just seeing teenagers stumble through life, then I think you will enjoy this book.

*I was given an early copy of this novel for review, all opinions expressed here are my own and are given willingly and honestly.*

About the Author

David Michael Williams has suffered from a storytelling addiction for as long as he can remember. With a background in journalism, public relations, and marketing, he also flaunts his love affair with the written word as an author of speculative fiction.

His books include the sword-and-sorcery trilogy The Renegade Chronicles and The Soul Sleep Cycle, a genre-bending series that explores life, death, and the dreamscape.

David lives in Wisconsin with the best wife on this or any other planet and their two amazing children. He joined the Allied Authors of Wisconsin, one of the state’s oldest writing collectives, in 2005.

UUP Cinderella Blog Tour: Met by Midnight review.

Do you remember back when I did a double cover reveal for two Cinderella retellings from Uncommon universes press? If you don’t check it out here.

Well release day for these books is close at hand so I’m here to dive right in with my review of the first of these awesome books.

Met By Midnight dive in Review:

Met By Midnight is advertised as a Cinderella retelling, but it’s so much better than one.

Let’s face it Cinderella always had a choice. She could have left.

Renna is a mender, a slave, locked in a secure sanctuary and forced to heal the ailments of others. She has no choice. She has no step mother, no sisters, only her gift that makes her property and a tool to be used by others. This is not the story of a nice girl getting her hearts desire.

This is a story of defiance. A story of a girl who will not be used any longer. This is not a sweet romance, this is Hunger Games level wrong. Be prepared to be disturbed and outraged on behalf of a population.

I was blown away by the originality in this story. Not only the circumstances that Renna experiences but also the way the Prince is treated. Jaric thinks he is cursed because mender’s powers are useless on him, and in a family that values perfection, every scar is literally a mark against him. To marry the girl of his dreams he will need more than a slipper, he’ll have to upset the system. A system that’s already staked against him.

This is sounding more like a commercial than a review, but it was so good. I just want everyone to read it.

So in conclusion:

This story was so good, it stirred up all the feels, all righteous anger. This has many things that Cinderella does, a girl who wants to change her lot in life, a royal ball, even a lost slipper. But do not go in thinking this is a sweet fairy-tale. This is not Cinderella.

This is DEFIANCE.

*I was given an ARC by the publisher so that I may leave an honest review of the provided book. The above review was given willingly and contains my honest opinion.*

An outcast prince. A captive healer. A single night that changes their destinies.

She lives a nightmare.

As a Mender, Renna is held captive to an endless cycle of receiving and recovering from the physical ailments of others—a cycle that led her mother to an early grave. When her father becomes deathly ill, Renna is desperate to save her only remaining family. Even if it means allying with criminals and taking an illegal mission into the royal palace on the night of their greatest ball.

He’s haunted by dreams.

Unable to be Mended, Prince Jaric’s existence is a curse to his family’s façade of health and security. Marrying him off at the ball and sending him to a distant dukedom is the royal solution—but Jaric has his own plans. For years he’s dreamed of a young woman, a strong-hearted Mender he would give everything for. When she arrives the night of his betrothal, he’s determined to discover her true identity.

Met by midnight, their fates are entwined.

While escape seems the only answer, powerful forces conspire to keep Renna and Jaric within their cages. Forces that undermine the foundations of the kingdom itself—and threaten any hope of a future together.

This YA romance features Cinderella in an original fantasy world with a dystopian twist.

Janeen Ippolito believes in Jesus, true love, and the power of your unique words. She’s a bestselling author of speculative fiction, writing resources, and poetry. She’s also an editor, author coach, marketing strategist, and the president of Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not immersed in the geektastic world of words, she’s helping her husband with his youth swordfighting ministry, exploring a slew of random hobbies, and posting up cute animal videos on social media. This extroverted writer loves to connect, so find her on Facebook, Instagram, and her website janeenippolito.com

Media Links:

Website: https://janeenippolito.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JaneenIppolito
Email Newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/creativenewsletter
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/janeenippolitounique/
Instagram: @janeen_ippolito

Order your copy today.

You can still pre-order Met by Midnight and/or Ashen. Hurry it releases the 22nd.

Amazon Kindle

Ashen – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CZZFKKX/

Met By Midnight – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CZYXJLW/

Other Online Retailers

Ashen – https://books2read.com/u/b5ZW7A

Met By Midnight – https://books2read.com/u/3Gdpea

Autographed Paperback

UUP offers autographed copies of all their books when you buy direct. Order separately,

Ashen

Met By Midnight

Or save heavily on both.

Bundled Special (both books)
https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/ashen-and-met-by-midnight-autographed-paperback-bundle/

Add to Goodreads Want-To-Read List

Ashen – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54343688-ashen

Met By Midnight – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54343721-met-by-midnight

Tattered slippers blog tour: The Dancing Princess

Tattered Slippers Release Tour:

What are the Tattered Slippers?

The Tattered Slippers are six retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses by six different authors, each one fantastic and magical. You don’t want to miss any of them!

To view the complete tour schedual please click here: https://kendrasgiraffecrafts.blogspot.com/p/tattered-slippers-blog-tour.html

Today is release day for the first Tattered Slippers book, The Dancing Princess. I was honored to read an advanced copy of this short novella so that I could provide you with an honest review today.

The Dancing princess is the fifth and final story in the Twist of Adventure fairytale retelling series. Even though it’s last, each story is 100% stand alone and they can be read in any order.

A Twist of Adventure #5: Plagued by nightmares for the last few years, Katrine only wanted answers. Instead, she finds herself trapped in a tangled web of melody as she tries to free a cursed king and his brothers. No one deserves existence such as theirs, but dare she risk her very life?

Purchace Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08B8Z6CLW/

Add Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50512612-the-dancing-princess?fbclid=IwAR2guIU0BhK3Pd3G2puVNhxbFnabQHGXNp1f_rl90gg_f5E9LJjuhDe7nKk

Author Bio:

Kendra E. Ardnek is the self-proclaimed Arista of Fairy Tales. She lives in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her dragon babies and massive herd of mini-giraffes, and she is still waiting for one of of her fifty nutcrackers to come to life and marry her. When not writing, you can usually find her sitting in a random box, and she’s frequently known to act before she thinks.

Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || YouTube || Newsletter || Instagram || TikTok || Amazon

If you are participating in the Tattered Slippers # challenge on instagram, don’t forget to post your Musical book pick for today’s entry.

Dive in Review, The Dancing Princess:

I really enjoyed this short re-imagining of the twelve dancing princesses. This time around it’s one princess trying to save 12 princes. But like the rest of her “Twist of” series, this is not a straight gender swap. This story draws in Russian folk tale Baba Yaga, and includes a Beauty and the Beast vibe as well.

This short story also features an original magic system that I found interesting and compelling. I would be interested to see what this song master and her song warriors can do if given a full length novel.

Katrine was a great protagonist. She took everything in stride and even at the end she was prepared to make the hard choice. Oddly enough it only seemed to be hard for her, I would have done it with no reservations.

I was given an ARC of this story as part of the Tattered slippers tour so that I may provide an honest review. The above review is my own honest opinion and is honestly and willingly given.

One Bad Apple Dive in Review.

Hello, it’s been a while. Well that’s not for lack of things to read. Since I last shared, I’ve attended a virtual writers conference, and I’ve become an isolated agoraphobe who refuses to leave the house, (but who hasn’t, am I right?).

But now it’s is my great pleasure to tell you about a book that I thoroughly enjoyed recently. In fact it releases tomorrow.

As a reader of this blog it shouldn’t surprise you that I enjoy fairy tale retellings. Well this next book is Fairy tales with a major setting shift. So much so that they are better called re-imaginaings instead of re-tellings.

The once upon a Western series, by Rachel Kovaciny, takes beloved fairy tales and reworks them into the real life setting of the historical American West. Her newest and third installment is based on Snow White.

About the book:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs… reimagined.

When a wagon train of Black pioneers rescues the seven orphaned Dalton cousins from the side of the trail, it seems like an answer to their prayers. As they roll west toward Kansas, fourteen-year-old Levi Dalton is dazzled by the beautiful Mrs. Mallone. She’s a healer, and her knowledge of medicines and herbs inspires Levi to want to become a doctor. Maybe then he can stop people from dying of fevers and illnesses like his folks did.

But Mrs. Mallone’s stepdaughter, Hopeful, warns Levi not to become too attached to the healer. Levi dismisses her warnings and his own misgivings until the day he sees something dreadful.

Levi knows he needs to tell someone what he’s seen before it’s too late. But will anyone believe the story of a fourteen-year-old orphan? Will anyone stand up to evil, no matter how beautifully it’s packaged?

About the author:

Born only a few miles from where Jesse James robbed his first train, Rachel Kovaciny has loved the Old West all her life. She now lives in Virginia with her husband and their three homeschooled children. In her free time, Rachel writes for the magazines “Femnista” and “Prairie Times,” reads, bakes, blogs, watches movies, and daydreams.

Her book “Cloaked” was a 2018 Peacemaker Awards finalist for Best Western YA/Children’s Fiction. 

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

My Dive in Review:

One Bad Apple by Rachel Kovaciny is the third book in her Once upon a western series. I have not read the first two books in this series so believe me when I say that this episode stands on it’s own 100%. You do not have to read the first two books to enjoy this one.

I was so enthralled by this story. I was like constantly guessing how the Snow White story was going to intertwine with the real world non magical setting. But let’s ignore the fairytale aspect and look at the historical part of it for a bit.

I could tell that a lot of research went into this novel. Nothing sounds modern or out of place for a post civil war wagon train. The wagon train itself is well described and the people feel real, or at least they feel like people you would see on a western. I did think it was weird that a caravan would leave behind so many children to fend for themselves. Yes the parents were sick, but having that many young children to worry over and care for, certainly wasn’t going to get them any better. That’s my only, nitpick. It did, however, give the story a boxcar children vibe which is a book I loved and think fondly of.

The fairy tale aspect was also well done. The tale of Snow White was adapted to fit the western theme rather than being stripped of it’s wonder and shoehorned into a new setting. Everything was a fresh take. Not, Snow White and the seven orphans. Rather the seven Orphans and the preacher’s daughter. It worked as a retelling, but it also works as it’s own thing and is all the better for it.

*I was given an e-ARC of this novel for review purposes. I was not obligated to reed or review this book, but I did because that’s just good manners. My opinion is my own honest one.*

You can pre-order the ebook for $2.99 and get it auto delivered to you device tomorrow. Or the paperback edition is already live so for all you page lovers you can add that to your cart now.

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