Frosted Roses Release Two: As Long As We Live

The Six Frosted Roses collection

Today is the second day of the Frosted Rose Releases. Here’s the post for day one.

Today’s Release is As Long as we Live by Cortney Manning. I’m just spotlighting her book here because it’s an Epic fantasy at 100k words. I did not have time to read it before this post went up. I will say that it does sound interesting and I eagerly await the time to read it. Also, the cover is gorgeous.

As Long as We Live 

Book Description: 

Three human sisters live in a Fae realm where every prince is blessed or cursed by a gift of magic, and royal rivalry threatens the future of the land. 
 
Ivy Durran, the oldest sister, is a resilient young woman who clings to her sunny resolve even in the darkest situation. When a terrible blizzard strikes the land, she feels responsible for protecting her sisters: adventurous Rose and vivacious Poppy. However, the storm drives an unexpected visitor to their doorstep, one who could bring hope or danger with his arrival. 
 
Meanwhile, Pierre, the newly crowned ruler of Concoria, strives to bring order to his frozen land and tranquility to his troubled brothers. Nevertheless, the deep magic of Concoria is not easy to tame. While Pierre would love nothing more than to escape into a simple life close to Ivy, the human lass he met years before, he instead shoulders his burdens and seeks healing for his kingdom and family. 
 
Dark magic, frigid storms, and deadly predators must be overcome if Ivy and Pierre have any hope of saving their families and their homeland. 
 

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B098LX4ZHV/   

Add Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58480113-as-long-as-we-live  

Author Bio: 

Cortney Manning resides in Florida but has always loved traveling the world. She holds a master’s degree in Victorian Literature from the University of Glasgow and has a not-so-secret love of fantasy as well. Her writing can be found on her website, on https://gohavok.com/, and in the Rooglewood Press anthology, Five Poisoned Apples. In her free time, Cortney enjoys walking, drawing, and afternoon tea. 
 
Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram || Amazon 

Click here to see the entire Frosted Roses blog tour including all the blogs featuring more about Cortney’s book.

There’s also a link to the spotlight kit. Feel free to share about any of the books that interest you. Kendra is hosting a giveaway for people who share about the releases.

Castle Contended Dive-in Review

Hello readers, today is release day for a new book. The book is A Castle Contended. This is the second book in the Castle in the Wilde series. Click here to read my review of the first book, A Castle Awakened. And then come back so you can scroll down and read my review of the second book.

A Castle Contended by Sharon Rose

Novel 2 in the Castle in the Wilde series

She loves her kingdom…and the foreign usurper they hate. How can she choose between them?

Beth finally understands. The despised foreigners are not what she believed. Nor is her noble role just a burdensome restraint. It also carries authority—and the obligation to use it wisely. Which might be more of a restraint than the proposed marriage she is evading. Now all she needs to do is convince an entire kingdom to respect the people they hate.

Before she can even try, unraveling deceptions rock her land. A duchess mysteriously dies. Atrocities in Tower Woods come to light. The governing assembly is being manipulated. The cry of Beth’s heart is the last thing anyone cares about. As for loving a despicable foreigner—intolerable!

Tristan would do anything to help Beth, but his foreign hands are tied. The only thing he can do, must do, is kill the enormous vixicats that terrorize the Wilde—beasts that have proven invincible for over a century. If he conquers them, he invites a siege to his castle. What is worse? Starving or becoming a vixicat’s meal?

How can Beth forge her newfound scrap of authority into a tool that is both subtle and powerful enough to return justice to her land? Especially when succeeding could turn the foreigner she loves into an enemy.

My Dive-in Review

A Castle Contended is the second book in the Castle in the Wilde series. It does feel very much like a part two, and I do recommend starting with book one, A Castle Awakened. There is a lot of character development in that first book that you need, to fully appreciate the character arcs that are completed in this novel.

My lest favorite character from the first book, Beth, became my favorite in this one. In the first book princess Ellabeth was very immature and acted like an entitled brat, but in this book we see how the attitudes of those around her very much fueled her ideas and actions. It took someone finally seeing her for the adult she was, for her to truly grow up.

This novel is Beth’s story but don’t worry the, dashing Lord Petram is still a central character, as he continues to hunt the dangerous vixicats that roam the Wilde. Much of his arc is just him waiting around for Lavaycia to sort out their inner kingdom politics, but he still finds plently to do to fill the time.

So we reach the central conflict of A Castle Contended. Politics and to a lesser extent genealogy.
For some reason this book struck me as more of a commentary on the practice of European royalty to marry within their own families. (Bringing up, both deformities from birth defects and with hereditary mental illness within the nobility.)

I didn’t find this change of focus as interesting. I really enjoyed the world building and exploration of A Castle Awakened. If the first book was a romantic adventure then this sequel was a political courtroom drama.

It featured a lot of debate and rhetoric, but very little action. (Unless you count the great Vixicat hunt, that scene had a ton of action.) Though, I did really like the part where the Duke of Maerton got put in his place. It was a good way to show that bullies don’t always get what they want.

Though it could be argued that the amount of justice served to people who actually deserve it, is the least realistic thing about this story.

On that note, the ending was almost too perfectly tied up for what I know to be a planned trilogy. I am very interested in what the author has in store for these characters next.

A Castle Contended is the second novel in the Castle in the Wilde trilogy. If you enjoy a story where wit and hope confront lies and hate, come and explore this fantastical world with medieval undertones and conflicted cultures.

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 Contended – novel 2 releases June 24, 2021.

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08R11LYLG

Other Amazon markets: https://books2read.com/u/bOXwQ9

For a printed book from your local bookstore or library, request ISBN 978-1-948160-23-0

A Castle Awakened – novel 1

The ebook version of A Castle Awakened is currently on sale for $2.99, so it’s a great time to grab it and start the series from the beginning.

Amazon.com: 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.

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.

Follow Sharon Rose Online:

SharonRoseAuthor.com

Follow me on BookBub

Amazon

Goodreads

Facebook

Amok a Dive-In Review

This is a bit early, a few weeks back I help with a cover reveal for a book titled Amok. I said in the reveal that the release date was June 24th, but that date was moved up to June 1st. So I decided to move my review up accordingly Good news tough, the pre-order pricing stays in effect until the 24th. So grab it now before the price goes up.

Surprise lockdown launch!

In light of Malaysia’s not-so-surprising Total Lockdown, Teaspoon Publishing has pushed up the release date of Amok for a surprise lockdown launch! 

Yes, Amok ebooks drop on 1 June* as Malaysians hunker down at home—and you get to benefit! We’ll still honour our launch prices, so our ebook preorder prices of USD2.99 will remain until the 23rd of June and will rise to USD4.99 on 24 June. 

We’re currently in the process of approving paperback editions via Amazon’s POD and IngramSpark, so you’ll be able to get that once the book goes live at totally random times during the month! (You can tell we’re just winging it right now, can’t you?)

And while we’re at it, send a screenshot of your Amok purchase receipt (whether ebook or paperback) to admin@teaspoonpublishing.com.my by 24 June to claim a free ebook copy of The Painted Hall Collection

Happy reading!

Ebook Order Links:

Amazon: http://getbook.at/Amok

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=BAIvEAAAQBAJ 

Other retailers: https://books2read.com/amok 

Teaspoon Publishing: https://teaspoonpublishing.com.my/shop/amok-ebook 

Ebook sale price (until 23 June): USD2.99  

Full price (24 June): USD4.99 

Amok

What is faith, except hope in desperation?

All Putera Mikal wants is to gain the Amok Strength, the supernatural power granted by Kudus to the Mahan royal family. No matter how religiously Mikal keeps his vows, Kudus still denies him the Strength—whilst his father, Sultan Simson, flaunts the Strength despite his blatant defiance of the Temple and the priests’ visions of coming doom.

Then the prophecies come true.

Taken captive, Mikal must find a way to liberate his people and restore his throne in Maha—and the key to this is the Amok Strength. But what does it take to gain Kudus’ favour?

Dive-In Review of Amok

Amok by Anna Tan is a fantasy reimagining of the story of Sampson from the Bible. But this isn’t a straight retelling, Sampson is more of a frame work to tell the story of Mikal the son of the Sampson stand-in.

The story has a wonderful message about what it means to have faith. Mikal has none of his fathers amazing strength, leading him to question time and again what Kudos (God) wants from him. Why is his faith not enough? A question that I’m sure many people of faith struggle with. (I know I do.)

I really loved Mikal’s character. He has great motivation and his story, is compelling. He goes from being a prince to a slave, and I just couldn’t help feeling for him. He goes on such an inner journey throughout this story that Mikal really does feel like a different character by the end.

The secondary character of Yoshua was just as compelling. He goes from being Mikal’s servant to his new master. He is not the POV character so his arc feels more static, but even second hand you can still see how the plot shapes who he becomes.

Seeing their relationship flipped on its head gives the story a nice sense of symmetry.

The world building is a stand out feature of this book. Set in an Asian inspired fantasy world, the kingdoms of Maha and Bayangan are really fleshed out and I feel like I could crack open a history book and learn about them.

The part of this book that stands out the most is that it has no romance at all. It was super refreshing to read a story without a will they won’t they subplot. The character’s in this story literally had much bigger problems.

If you’re looking for something different from the typical medieval European fantasy then I highly recommend checking out Amok.

*Many thanks to the author who let me read an advanced copy of this book. This review is my own honest evaluation of the material.*

About the Author:

Anna Tan grew up in Malaysia, the country that is not Singapore. She is interested in Malay/Nusantara and Chinese legends and folklore in exploring the intersection of language, culture, and faith.
Anna has an MA in Creative Writing: The Novel under a Chevening scholarship and is the President of the Malaysian Writers Society. She can be found tweeting as @natzers and forgetting to update annatsp.com.

Dive-in Review: Traitor

It’s time for another book release from L2L2, they publish amazing YA fantasy books, and today’s book is a sequel to one of their previous releases. Click here to check out my review of Common, the first book in the tales to the Mystic’s series.

About Traitor:

Princess Penelope has finally found a way to redeem her past mistakes—if only it didn’t require betraying her new fiancé. Princess Penelope has been the object of gossip and ridicule ever since she returned home in disgrace following her failed engagement to the Crown Prince of Imperia. When her father offers a new start in a country far across the sea, she has no choice but to accept.

Even if it means another betrothal, this time to a total stranger.

Penelope arrives in Delunia determined to avoid bringing further shame upon her family. But her devoted, caring fiancé makes it harder to guard her heart than she anticipated, and rumors of dark magic haunt her with memories she’d rather keep buried far beneath her pristine exterior.

When a poverty-stricken village outside the palace gates looks to her as their hope for a brighter future, Penelope embraces the opportunity to make amends for her transgressions. But in order to help, she must manipulate her new fiancé, putting her reputation on the line once more. And her heart.

Can Penelope rise above the failures of her past, or will she forever be branded a traitor?

Ready to order?

All of the purchase links can be found here (L2L2 website), as well a link to Common.
https://www.love2readlove2writepublishing.com/books/traitor/

My Dive-in Review:

Traitor, by Lauri Lucking, is the sequel to her debut novel, Common.

Having previously read and enjoyed Common made me both excited and hesitant to dive into Traitor. Traitor is about Princess Penelope, the antagonist of Common.

I really struggled to get into the story, at first. This girl was really unlikable in the first book, and I was not ready to forgive her.

But surprise, forgiveness is the whole theme of the novel. This story was an excellent example of forgiveness, how we can never do enough good on our own to earn it, it is a gift, and how sometimes the person we most need forgiveness from is ourselves.

Once you spend a couple chapters with Penelope, you will like her, I promise. She knows she did wrong, and she has to live with the consequences. But she also works really hard to redeem herself by learning from her mistakes.

What I most liked about this book was the country of Delunia. It has a very exotic / Asian feeling compared to the very European feel of the previous book’s Imperia.

One thing that struck me as odd about Common was how magic was not mentioned until suddenly it was. Traitor mentions magic from the beginning and naturally builds to its climatic moment.

Lucking also does a fantastic job of building in the twist ending. I kind of suspected that it might go that way, but I wasn’t really sure until it did. Those are the best kind of twists. Obvious, but surprising.

*I received an advanced copy of this book. A review wasn’t required, but I left one anyway, because that’s how I do things.*

About the author:

Laurie Lucking loves hoarding books, singing at the top of her lungs, playing games that
don’t involve too much strategy, and spending time with her husband and three energetic
kids. A recovering attorney, she now spends her days as a stay-at-home mom and has
discovered writing young adult romantic fantasy is way more fun than drafting contracts.
Her fairy tale–inspired stories combine the excitement of discovering new worlds with the timeless enchantment of falling in love. Find out more about Laurie and her writing
adventures at http://www.LaurieLucking.com

Social Media Links:
Website: www.laurielucking.com
Blog: www.landsuncharted.com
Amazon Author: www.amazon.com/Laurie-Lucking/e/B0796DGHX8
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/laurielucking
Instagram: www.instagram.com/laurielucking
Twitter: www.twitter.com/LaurieLucking
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/luckinglaurie
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurieLucking
FB Reader’s Group: www.facebook.com/groups/faithandfairytales

Dear Henchman: author interview

I hope hearing about H.L. Burke’s new book on Sunday got you hyped for superheroes. Today’s feature is another Superhero genre offering.

I corresponded with the authors of the book Dear hero, and their upcoming release Dear Henchman. Continue reading to learn all about their new book and a little about their writing process.

Every Hero needs a sidekick.
Dear Henchman.
Every Villain needs a Henchman

Interview with Hope and Alyssa:

What Is Dear Henchman About?

Henchmen and sidekicks aren’t supposed to fall in love. Or save the world. They’re supposed to brew coffee, take pics of their hero/villain for social media, and stay in the background.

That was sidekick-slash-frat boy Kevin and henchwoman-slash-tech genius Himari’s plan, until a taxidermy-collecting villain robs Kevin’s hero of his powers and leaves Himari’s villain wounded. Now it’s up to the sidekicks and henchies to save the world.

Without powers, they’ll go up against the Shadow Assassins (a deadly organization that can’t work a PowerPoint to save their lives), road trips-slash-kidnappings, and strange initiation rituals that may or may not involve singing campfire songs.

Himari and Kevin will battle the odds, their insecurities, and their weird affinity for Mexican food as they discover if they have just what it takes to save the world from a nuclear disaster.

Do You Have a Favorite Character?

Hope: Definitely. Hands down for this book, it goes to Liam. He’s probably crazy, collects taxidermy, and makes sure that his captees are well-hydrated and get to eat french toast. He’s the weirdest person I’ve ever written, and I want to marry him.

Alyssa: Hate to be a copycat, but Liam. Hope did a brilliant job, and I laughed the entire time we were writing.

What Was the Best Part about Writing Dear Henchman?

Hope: I couldn’t stop laughing. I don’t think my diaphragm has ever hurt this much. I still can’t go through the galleys or ARCs without cracking up and sending Alyssa some of my favorite lines.

Alyssa: There’s usually a point when writing a book where you just want to chuck your laptop across the room. That didn’t happen for Henchman. We just had the time of our lives, and I loved getting surprised by every new wacky thing the characters did.

What Was the Hardest Part about Writing Dear Henchman?

Hope: Well SOMEONE *glares at Alyssa* decided she wanted to beat our record from the last book. In our last book, Dear Hero, we wrote the first draft in 9 days. So SOMEONE decided, “Let’s do it in 8.” We did. And we had a ton of fun. But man, oh man, the one day where we wrote 10,000 words straight without meal breaks … that one was a lot.

Alyssa: Whaaaaat, who could that be? Writing wise, I think the hardest part for me was the romance thread. The adventure is so wild and fast-paced, making time for love to blossom was important.

Was It Harder to Write a Sequel?

Hope: Yes and no. I think, because we had a familiarity with the world, that we didn’t have to start from scratch. With that said, the more books you have, the more potential you have for plot gaps or errors. We had to check ourselves a lot to make sure we didn’t run into any contradictions.

Alyssa: I absolutely loved getting to write more with some of our favorite characters. It felt like writing fan-fic sometimes, but of our own work! We did have a lot more of a high-concept plot this time, though, so there was a lot more effort that went into world building.

What Are You Hoping Readers Take Away from This?

Hope: Besides laughs, we wanted to show a bit of burnout and social media fatigue. There’s so much pressure on Gen Z to have their lives figured out by the time they leave high school, and we wanted to show what that looks like for young superheroes. About how they feel the pressure to be super influencers instead of actually saving people. But we really didn’t set out to write some great moral message, or whatever. We just want readers to have fun, laugh a lot, and fall in love with the characters.

Alyssa: I’ve written books with more serious tones and messages (including some coming out in the next few years with Hope), but for this series, it’s really all about having fun. As an adult, sometimes I feel burnt out by the grittiness of YA and New Adult, and I just want to read something funny. Why should middle grade have all the fun? Of course, there’s plenty of action, angst, and heart-to-hearts, but I’m hoping people just have a good time reading.

What Do You Do When You’re Not Writing?

Hope: HAHAHA you mean besides crying and having existential crises? I like to do some runway modeling, go on hikes, dress up in public for no reason, and do theater. Oh and playing handbells. They’re the hottest instrument since the lyre.

Alyssa: Try to entertain my insane cat, Kookoo, who thinks he belongs on the keyboard and has made it his life mission to drink my coffee when I leave it unattended for two seconds. I’ve decided to attribute any and all typos to his mad dashes across my desk. Other than that, when I’m not writing, I’m working full time in the publishing industry as an agent, editor, freelancer, and publicist, reading for fun, playing party games and D&D over Zoom, and re-organizing my bookshelves for the ten thousandth time.

The Release date for Dear Henchman is May 4th, and should be available for preorder right now at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Henchman-Hero-Book-ebook/dp/B09224CXZ8/

Or buy the ebook, directly from the publisher (right now, no waiting) here: https://intensepublications.com/shop/ols/products/dear-henchmen-ebook

Add it to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57688955-dear-henchman

Every Hero needs a villain.
Dear Hero.
Every Villain needs a hero.

Find book one, Dear Hero at the following links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54691019-dear-hero

https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Hero-Hope-Bolinger-ebook/dp/B08G55SWLX/ (As of this writing the paper back was on sale for almost the same price as the ebook.)

Also available from the publisher: https://intensepublications.com/shop/ols/products/dear-hero-ebook

About the authors:

Hope Bolinger is an editor at Crosswalk.com, literary agent at C.Y.L.E., and a graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. More than 1,000 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her modern-day Daniel trilogy released its first two installments with IlluminateYA, and the final one, Vision, releases in August of 2021. She is also the co-author of the Dear Hero duology, which was published by INtense Publications. And her inspirational adult romance Picture Imperfect releases in October of 2021. Find out more about her at her website.

Hope author links:

Website: https://www.hopebolinger.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hopebolinger/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HopeBolinger

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hopebolinger/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hopebolinger/

Alyssa Roat has worked in a wide variety of roles within the publishing industry as an agent, editor, writer, and marketer. She is the publicity manager at Mountain Brook Ink, an associate literary agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, an editor with Sherpa Editing Services, and a freelance writer with 200+ bylines in local, national, and international publications.

Alyssa is the co-author with Hope Bolinger of the YA superhero chat fiction romance Dear Hero and the sequel, Dear Henchman. Her solo debut, the YA contemporary fantasy Wraithwood, releases July 2021. Her name is a pun, which means you can learn more about her at alyssawrote.com or on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as @alyssawrote.

Alyssa author links:

Website: https://alyssawrote.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alyssawrote

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alyssawrote

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alyssawrote/

Newsletter: https://alyssawrote.com/newsletter/

Release day for: Embers, Dreams, and Dustfire

Janeen Ippolito is a prolific author of fantasy novels, but she is also a poet and today she is releasing her second poetry collection titled Embers, Dreams, and Dustfire.

If you would like to read about her first collection, A Storm Grows, then check out this post here.

outlasting the fire around me

I breathe out the fire

within me

and stand

and soar


A poetry anthology of hope, joy, and endurance through all obstacles.

When you feel like you cannot go one step further,
there is rest, strength, and hope for the future.

Always.

I think the cover is beautiful. So shiny with the word shadows rising like smoke.

After the nightmare of 2020, I think we can all agree that hope for the future sounds like something we all need.

If this anthology sounds like something you need, then I have good news for you. When you order an autographed paperback copy from the Author, she is going to include swag with your purchase.

You can find all the order links, including those autographed copies at this web page: https://www.janeenippolito.com/books/embers-dreams-and-dustfire-a-poetry-anthology/

Janeen Ippolito believes you should own your unique words—and make them awesome! She’s a multi-published author of bestselling fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She’s also an experienced book editor and marketing strategist, plus the CEO of Uncommon Universes Press, a publishing company with award-winning books. She hosts the podcast Own Your Unique Words, which helps gutsy fiction authors grow their businesses without burning out. In her spare time, she helps her missionary husband with his youth swordfighting ministry, indulges her foodie ambitions, reads whatever books she feels like, and explores a slew of random hobbies. Her life goals include traveling to Antarctica and riding a camel while wearing a party hat. This extrovert loves to connect, so join her on social media or at janeenippolito.com

Social media links:

Website: https://janeenippolito.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janeenippolitounique/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JaneenIppolito 

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/janeen_ippolito_creations

https://www.instagram.com/janeen_ippolito

Cut to the Heart Dive in Review.

A few weeks ago I helped do a cover reveal for Cut to the Heart by Janeen Ippolito. Now it’s release day and I back to tell you exactly why I liked it and why you should buy it. But first a refresher about the book:

All Josie Framer wants is a man with fire magic—and to find the truth-knife that’s rightfully hers.

However, neither of these quests is going well.

After her latest date-turned-disaster, she’s almost ready to give up—when she happens along the blade on the way home. Unfortunately, reclaiming her property makes her target of the Arcane Market, a nefarious underground trafficking ring for magical artifacts and magical beings.

To make things worse, she keeps running into Oliver Salamandras, a dangerously attractive fire elemental who’s on the run from his own hunters. Getting involved with him means more trouble. Plus he has enough baggage for an aircraft carrier.

If only he wasn’t just what she’s looking for–right at the worst possible moment.

Faced with deadly foes and an irresistible stranger, a woman might just do something crazy.
Drastic.
Life-changing.

Buy now and enjoy a humorous paranormal romance with a side of twisty plot. Features a sensible firebird shifter with a feisty side, a rascally fire elemental with a tragic side, and a completely adorable wolf pup. Clean PG-13 – there’s heat, danger, and fighting, but nothing graphic.

The Arcane Market Adventures is a two-book companion duology to The Steel City Genie urban fantasy series. Best read alongside that series and great as a springboard.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08TX8D7X7/

Goodreads – Add to want-to-read list
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56851000-cut-to-the-heart

My Dive in Review:

Cut to the Heart is the first book in the newest addition to Janeen Ippolito’s Multi series interconnected universe, The Arcane Market Adventures

The Arcane Market Adventures joins, the Steel City Genie series along with the My Alien Romance books, and features characters from all of these. I love these kind of interconnected, well thought out story universes.

This book centers on Josie Framer, Allis’s mild mannered secretary from the Steel City Genie books. Josie is much more than she appeared in those books. She is not only a very powerful shifter, she is also being hunted by some black market traffickers. She is also dealing with a rouge fire elemental who just showed up in her life, and he is very hot. Literally, he’s a fire elemental. But he also makes her feel things.

Being around Oliver brings out feelings she never expected to have for anyone. More passionate feeling than she ever had for her ex fiancée. Who is not hot by the way. He’s an ice dragon.

I was expecting this story to be a back and forth between the two romantic options. But Ippolito is really good at subverting expectations. Turns out Josie settles on one guy pretty easily. (I won’t tell you who.)

I loved watching as Josie’s relationship grows deeper over the course of the book, that even though the decision wasn’t a hard one to make it also wasn’t a hurried one.

If I have one complaint it’s that this book messes with the timeline I’ve already set in my head. Cut to the Heart takes place in between Steel City Genie books one and two and in between My Alien Romance book one and two. So instead of reading one series and then hopping to the next you need to read the first books of two different series and then this book and then go read the next book in each of the other series.

Did you follow that? I’m not sure I did either. Let’s just accept that you are probably not going to read these in chronological order. It’s probably better that way, because most of the fun of this book was catching all the references to the other two series.

Littered with Ippolito’s unique humor, her impeccable world building and her deep characters, Cut to the heart is a worthy addition to the ever expanding Ippolito verse.

*I was given an early review copy of this book for review. The above opinions are my own and are provided willingly and honestly.* 

About the Author:

Janeen Ippolito believes you should own your unique words—and make them awesome! She’s a multi-published author of bestselling fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She’s also an experienced book editor, marketing strategist, and businesswoman, plus the CEO of Uncommon Universes Press. When not writing, she can be found exploring random hobbies or posting cute animal memes. Join her on social media or at janeenippolito.com

Website: https://janeenippolito.com/  
Email Newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/getmyfictionchapters
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/janeenippolitounique/

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/168444147251310/
Instagram: @janeen_ippolito

A shadow sealed: cover reveal and new release double post.

I know I’ve been pretty quiet since the start of this year. I’ve been taking it easy and getting ready for some more great reads for this year. So in preparation of a year of great books I’ve doubled up the posting today. One is a book you can read right now and the other is a cover reveal for one that I am looking forward to reading later this year.

The first book I’m going to mention is A Castle sealed by Sharon Rose.

A Castle Sealed by Sharon Rose
Prequel Novella in the Castle in the Wilde series

Mysterious tales surround an abandoned castle. Are they summoning Tristan to adventure, or warning him of death? 

Lord Tristan is a hero. Driving invaders from his kingdom has earned him undying gratitude—but no estate in his own homeland. Nor has his boundless energy found purpose through his travels abroad…until he hears of a hidden castle, abandoned and filled with untold treasure. Why has no one claimed this prize? The townsfolk warn of ferocious beasts. Especially the night-prowling vixicats, so vicious that no one lives to tell what they really are. Who started these absurd tales? What are they trying to hide? And what of that isolationist kingdom beyond the castle?

Beth knows her duty…knows all the constraints imposed on a proper lady. They have trammeled her childhood and will now stifle the rest of her life. Granted, her marriage must maintain the strength and purity of the noble families. Yet she loathes the man she is destined to wed, and wonders at the dirty secrets that haunt his clan. At least her own family’s honor is intact. Or is it? Why are the northern lands of the kingdom forbidden?

A Castle Sealed is the prequel novella to the Castle in the Wilde series. If you like fantasy with mystery, intrigue, and romance, come and explore this secondary world with medieval undertones and the turmoil of changing cultures.

What I thought of it:

This prequal novella is very interesting. It’s also short. Basically it’s the story of how Tristian discovered the castle that he is occupying in A Castle Awakened. It’s a fun adventure with a group of adventurous men exploring an abandoned castle. It has very little meat to it (which is honestly odd for a Sharon Rose book).

But the fact that it’s a prequel and not book one already implies that it’s more for fun than for thought. I feel this novella would be great as a jumping on point to the series. But if you already devoured book one then this will expand on the world building and give you more time with characters you’ve already come to enjoy.

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, book one, is now available. Get it today at 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.

To read my review of a Castle Awakened check out this blog post: https://cobonham.com/2020/12/26/dive-in-review-a-castle-awakened/

A Castle Sealed – a prequel novella – will release Jan 19, 2021. Today!
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.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08R11LYLG
Other Amazon markets: https://books2read.com/u/3LY5v0

Sharon Rose writes fantasy and science fiction because they allow the imaginative space to explore reality. Her stories weave cultures and characters, who are more than they seem to be, into adventures with mystery, romance, and hope.

Shadow Cover reveal

For my second post I’m excited to join in the cover reveal for Shadow by Kara Swanson releasing July 2021 from @enclavepublishing in limited-edition hardcover! Shadow is the second book in the Heirs of Neverland duology which is a Peter Pan retelling/sequel. 

Check out my blog post wear I interview author Kara Swanson to get caught up on book one. https://cobonham.com/2020/06/23/dust-tour-stop-29-fantastic-interview-with-kara-swanson/

Isn’t the cover perfect? Look at how it complements the cover for Dust. How the pirate ship and Skull Island paint a different picture from the London cityscape.

Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.
Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.
Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.
To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.

#peterpanretelling #heirsofneverland #shadow #karaswanson #preorder #coverlove #coverreveal #enclavepublishing #july2021 #EnclaveEscape #yafantasy #shadowheirsofneverland #yaretelling

I am so excited for this book. Dust really strung me along and now I want answers. This is my number one most anticipated book of 2021. I will drop whatever I am reading to devour this book as soon as I can.

If you feel the same way you can preorder your copy now. Current release date is July 13th 2021. http://bit.ly/ShadowHeirsofNeverland

I’m going to start posting more regularly again including even more audiobook recommendations.

Which of the two books I shared about are you most excited to read?

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.

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.

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