Ashen: Dive in Review.

Today I bring you my review of the second book in UUPs Cinderella bundle. Ashen by H.L. Burke. Check out my review of Met by Midnight here.

Add these books to your 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

Ashen Dive In Review:

Ashen by H.L. Burke is a very loose take on the Cinderella story. So when you’re reading, and you think you know what’s coming, you are only half right. Make that one sixteenth right.

Ashen goes far beyond it’s fairy-tale roots. You could strip out all of the Cinderella elements and still be left with an original and highly engaging original fantasy. In fact, I suspect that that this story may have been conceived without any thoughts of Cinderella in mind.

Ashen tells the story of Lizbete, an Orphan outcast who no one wants, or trusts, or loves. Except Auntie Katrine, who raised her as her own. Lizbete is constantly blamed for everything that goes wrong by the members of her superstitious community. Her character is so engaging. Lizbete goes through literal hellfire in this story. (Bad author, why are you so evil?) But no matter how far down she is pushed Lizbete rises, from, well the ashes, like a Phoenix.

I am a huge H.L. Burke fan and this addition lives up what I have come to expect from her work. Snarky heroes, original world building, lots of hope and of course, happy endings.

I was given an ARC of this novel for the purpose of early review. I am leaving this review of my own accord and it contains my honest opinion of the provided material.

Stealer of warmth, bringer of death. What if Cinderella had a secret that kept her locked away?

Unable to make her own body heat, foundling Lizbete survives in the tavern kitchen, drawing warmth from the fires, the sun—and sometimes, other living beings. Her days are spent cooking alongside the tavern owner and avoiding the suspicious gazes of the villagers in her small northern town. While she quietly longs for the handsome Brynar, she knows she has no chance with the mayor’s son, even if he invites her to the First Frost festival.

When sudden earthquakes strike Brumehome, blame falls upon Lizbete, and not even her friendship with Brynar can protect her. She finds shelter in the dangerous caverns of nearby Ash Mountain. There she discovers mysterious people with her same ability to draw heat—and a fiery doom in the mountain that slowly awakens with every quake.

Now the festival Lizbete thought to avoid is her only chance to warn the villagers. Yet even with Brynar at her side, can the strange girl dubbed the Ash Lizard hope to save the town that fears her?

A rugged YA Cinderella retelling set in a fantasy world with light steampunk elements.

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic. 

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture. 

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

Social Media Links

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/hlburkewriter/

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hlburkereaders/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hlburkewriter

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

Website: http://www.hlburkeauthor.com/

Order your copy now:

Amazon

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/

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

UUP Dual Cover Reveal, Duel.

One of my favorite publishers Uncommon Universe Press is releasing two Cinderella retellings simultaneously. So what better way to celebrate this than to host a dual cover reveal and have them fight to see which is more interesting.

First up is Ashen by H.L. Burke.

Stealer of warmth, bringer of death. What if Cinderella had a secret that kept her locked away?

Unable to make her own body heat, foundling Lizbete survives in the tavern kitchen, drawing warmth from the fires, the sun—and sometimes, other living beings. Her days are spent cooking alongside the tavern owner and avoiding the suspicious gazes of the villagers in her small northern town. While she quietly longs for the handsome Brynar, she knows she has no chance with the mayor’s son, even if he invites her to the First Frost festival.

When sudden earthquakes strike Brumehome, blame falls upon Lizbete, and not even her friendship with Brynar can protect her. She finds shelter in the dangerous caverns of nearby Ash Mountain. There she discovers mysterious people with her same ability to draw heat—and a fiery doom in the mountain that slowly awakens with every quake.

Now the festival Lizbete thought to avoid is her only chance to warn the villagers. Yet even with Brynar at her side, can the strange girl dubbed the Ash Lizard hope to save the town that fears her?

A rugged YA Cinderella retelling set in a fantasy world with light steampunk elements.

Wow that sounds super interesting and not at all like Cinderella. But can the cover do it justice?

Very nice, I love how the cover is so cold until you get to the bottom and see that fire burning inside her. I think it perfectly embodies the description.

Now Met by Midnight, by Janeen Ippolito

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.

I’m starting to think that, people who go to balls, is the only thing you need for a Cinderella retelling. But let’s check out the cover.

Very, very nice. This cover is very elegant and low key. I love the vines sprouting out of the title. I think it does a good job of making the reader want to open the book while still maintaining the mysteries promised in the blurb.

Amazon Kindle

Though Sunday 7/19/2020: preorder the ebooks for only 99 cents.

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 Special

UUP has placed the paper back versions of both books on sale for this weekend. Get a discount on one.

Ashen – 10.99

Met By Midnight – 7.99


Or save heavily on both.

Bundled Special (both books) – 17.99
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

About the authors

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic. Her obsessions include dragons and tales about inner beauty and character overcoming extreme circumstances. Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.  

Media Links:

Website: https://www.hlburkeauthor.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hlburkewriter 
Email Newsletter: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/f6o2i8  
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/hlburkewriter/ 
Instagram: @burkesdragons

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

Okay so I love them both and I actually don’t know how to make books, or their covers, fight a duel.

Should I just admit it was click bait and leave or should I poll you?

Leave a comment answering the following questions.

So what do you think?

Which cover is better?

Is people going to a ball the only thing you need for a Cinderella retelling?

Does that make Romeo and Juliet a Cinderella retelling?

The Luck Child a dive in review.

A few weeks ago I participated in a cover reveal for a new book from Uncommon Universes Press the release date for that book is tomorrow so I am back to give you my honest review. Usually I would start with the official back cover copy but I notice I tend to summerize the story in my reviews, so I’m going to put all that stuff the review and as the name implies — dive right in.

Dive in review of The Luck Child:

The Luck Child, by Rebekah Shafer, is a new take on the fairy child story.

In this world you can be born Fairy or you can be born Human. Poor Orphaned Cabernet (Pronounced: Cab-er-nay it’s french I think,) seems to have been born both. He is drawn to the fairy kind, he gets along with the fairies and they seem to like him. But he’s obviously human. He can’t do magic without tools, and he craves human company. The only problem is that human beings don’t remember who he is once he leaves their sight. You can’t call yourself lonely until you’ve been forgotten by even the most casual of acquaintances.

The narrative bounces back and forth between the present (where Cabernet is asked to find his majesties missing ships) and the past (where a young boy searches for a family, or at least some companions who won’t forget him).

I found myself equally captivated both by the predicament of adult Cabernet and the heart breaking loneliness of young Cabernet. I feel like each portion could have been expanded into two separate stories but once I reached the climax I really appreciated the way it all came back around and made a circular plot. Each half needs the other to make a whole story.

The world building and fairy lore were great, but I was most blown away by the character development. I felt such empathy for Cabernet that I actually felt lonely while reading. (Of course I do my best reading alone so that may have been a contributing factor.) In addition to Cabernet there is a whole cast of fairy creatures as well as a handful of humans, each well developed in their own right and all of them like real people. (mostly because people are awful and would totally forget about a poor boy looking for shelter and food and company.)

Maybe the best thing you can take away from this novel is that everyone should have a Cat. Cat’s will never forget you.

I found a copy of this manuscript in the bottom of an old email, it bore a note from the publisher saying that it was an advanced reader copy. I have taken it upon myself to read this manuscript and report to you my own honest opinion of it’s contents. So that if you should happen upon your own copy of this manuscript you will be informed and shall not fear it.

About the author:

Rebekah Shafer is a thirty-something-year-old living in Georgia, USA, who got tired of spending an awful lot of time and energy trying to Be an Adult the Right Way.

Now she writes stories in a small house painted green on the inside, with plenty of jazz vinyl albums, a problematic front lawn, and two grey cats who look just enough alike to confuse house guests.

Website: https://www.lanternleafpress.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorshafer/

Instagram: @rebekahnovella

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rebekahnovella

From the back of the book:

Cabernet would give almost anything to be remembered–except his freedom. 

Cursed to be eternally forgotten, Cabernet grew up walking a dangerous, lonely line between the world of mankind and the world of fairy. Now known only by a faceless reputation as a rogue and fairy aficionado, he wanders ceaselessly with the cat Maugrim as company. 

Then the king dares order him to eliminate a magical foe in northern waters, and threatens to attack fairy lands if Cabernet refuses. As an increased annoyance, he is saddled with a stiff naval officer, the king’s elderly personal advisor, and the advisor’s nurse, a charming young woman named Rosemary who can inexplicably remember him. 

Cabernet wants to complete this mission quickly without actually facing the enemy, a dangerous enchantress who nearly killed him before. But sea perils and fearsome monsters blindside his every trick and turn. Moreover, he is somehow growing fiercely attached to the human tag-a-longs.

As the enchantress’s deadly net tightens around them, Cabernet must face the terrors of his past in order to save his new-found family–and future.

Enjoy this standalone YA fantasy that combines dark whimsy with fairy tale magic, plus a side of Oliver Twist and an enchanting romantic subplot.

To pre-order or to not pre-order?

The book comes out tomorrow! How is this even a question? What are you waiting for! Order it now!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0881GRKJV/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-luck-child-rebekah-shafer/1136965986

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-luck-child

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1511459537

Autographed paperback pre-order: https://uncommonuniverses.com/?product=the-luck-child-autographed-paperback-pre-order

The Luck Child: Cover Reveal

I love and follow certain publishers almost the same way I follow authors. One of those publishers is Uncommon Universe Press, or UUP for short.

UUP logo

 

Uncommon Universes Press is a traditional publishing house creating books that celebrate wonder, adventure, and sacrifice. Formed out of friendship, UUP believes stories can provide thrilling, soulful escapism while also shining light into struggles and difficulties. A UUP book takes you on a fresh, authentic journey while challenging you to reclaim your hope, no matter what. Be uncommon!

 

UUP Social Media

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/uncommonuniverses/
Instagram: @uncommonuniversespress
Twitter: @uncommonunivs
Website: uncommonuniverses.com

 

I think I’ve read just about every book that UUP has published. Today they showing off the cover for their newest book, The Luck Child.

 

Created with GIMP

 

About the book

Cabernet would give almost anything to be remembered–except his freedom. 

 Cursed to be eternally forgotten, Cabernet grew up walking a dangerous, lonely line between the world of mankind and the world of fairy. Now known only by a faceless reputation as a rogue and fairy aficionado, he wanders ceaselessly with the cat Maugrim as company. 

 Then the king dares order him to eliminate a magical foe in northern waters, and threatens to attack fairy lands if Cabernet refuses. As an increased annoyance, he is saddled with a stiff naval officer, the king’s elderly personal advisor, and the advisor’s nurse, a charming young woman named Rosemary who can inexplicably remember him. 

 Cabernet wants to complete this mission quickly without actually facing the enemy, a dangerous enchantress who nearly killed him before. But sea perils and fearsome monsters blindside his every trick and turn. Moreover, he is somehow growing fiercely attached to the human tag-a-longs.

 As the enchantress’s deadly net tightens around them, Cabernet must face the terrors of his past in order to save his new-found family–and future.

Enjoy this standalone YA fantasy that combines dark whimsy with fairy tale magic, plus a side of Oliver Twist and an enchanting romantic subplot.

The Luck Child releases June 9th.

You can Pre-order it at the following links:

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0881GRKJV/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-luck-child-rebekah-shafer/1136965986

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-luck-child

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1511459537

Autographed paperback pre-order: https://uncommonuniverses.com/?product=the-luck-child-autographed-paperback-pre-order

Author Bio

Author Rebekah Shafer HeadshotRebekah Shafer is a thirty-something-year-old living in Georgia, USA, who got tired of spending an awful lot of time and energy trying to Be an Adult the Right Way.

Now she writes stories in a small house painted green on the inside, with plenty of jazz vinyl albums, a problematic front lawn, and two grey cats who look just enough alike to confuse house guests.

Find Her Online

Website: https://www.lanternleafpress.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorshafer/

Instagram: @rebekahnovella

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rebekahnovella

Heart of the Curiosity Blog-tour

I am so excited for this amazing book that’s releasing soon, It’s steampunk goodness with a theater of wonder and magic sisters, snails and so much good stuff. Check out theses early reviews:

62244055_10157896918626002_5136207520766885888_o

The release date for The Heart of the Curiosity is swiftly approaching. So I invited Author H. L. Burke over to tell you a bit about the amazing magic system she created for her novel.

—————————————————————————————-

You’ve Got a Knack for That.

Have you ever known someone who had an unusual small talent? Or who seemed eerily good at their job, however mundane? Maybe they were super snappy at letter opening. Maybe the espresso machine at the coffee shop which was finicky for everyone else operated perfectly for them. Maybe they can always get pickle jars open even when their Marine husband screws them on ridiculously tight to the point where no human ever could get them open, no matter how many tricks she tries like banging on them with a butter knife or running them under warm water or … sorry, flashbacks. Much trauma.

Anyway, pickle jar woes aside, in the world of Heart of the Curiosity, these abilities have 64784056_10157933783166002_8334785011739787264_oreached a point that defies scientific explanation. They’ve crossed that ever so wobbly line between talent and magic. They are “knacks,” little day-to-day magical gifts that help people improve their lives in small ways … for the most part. Not everyone has the knack they would choose.

Knacks tend to fall into two major categories, professional and personal.

The first, professional, help people with their work. As people are born with knacks (though they sometimes don’t manifest until later in childhood), there’s a sense of “fate” as to what profession they end up in, and as knacks tend to run in families, you might have generation after generation of accountants with a knack that makes them able to add up long lines of figures at a glance. Some professional knacks (which you may find within the pages of Heart of the Curiosity) are a librarian who can mend ripped pages at a touch, a dancer with a levitation knack that makes her literally light on her feet, or a mechanic who can see how things are broken at a glance.

Personal knacks can be less obvious in their intended use. They can range from a person who can see if you are keeping secrets to the ability to detect the emotions of others and finally, the knack that Leo, the heroine of Heart of the Curiosity has and despises, the ability to manipulate the emotions of others.

62351511_10157896887816002_7910744780391317504_nMost of the time, knacks are a gift, something that helps a person find their place in the world and aids them in their day-to-day life. Other times knacks can be a source of turmoil as the knack leads a person towards a life they might not want or if a person who feels they should have their family’s knack ends up with a different knack that makes them feel like an outsider.

Finding (and accepting) your place in the world is hard enough without a big flashing neon sign saying, “Go there and do this whether you want to or not!” over your head. At the same time, the idea of having a small, individualized magic that helps me through the day to day really appeals to me as a lover of small wonders.

What sort of knack would you like to have? Someone in my book might actually have it. Find out in Heart of the Curiosity.

Heidi Lyn Burke

———————————————————————————————

heidi-107Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

Social Media Links:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/hlburkewriter/

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hlburkereaders/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hlburkewriter

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

Website: http://www.hlburkeauthor.com/

———————————————————————————-

The secret lies with the Heart.

HoC CoverBorn with a magical knack for manipulating emotions, Leodora’s only dream is to ensure her talented little sister dances on the biggest, brightest stage in the Republic: The Curiosity, a grand old theater of tradition and innovation. After escaping a cruel carnival, Leo secures her sister a place in the Curiosity’s chorus line, and herself a job as a professional audience member, swaying the crowd’s mood with her magic. The girls have a home for the first time in their lives.

Then a tragic accident darkens the theater. A greedy businessman begins blackmailing Leo, and financial woes threaten to close the show forever. The Curiosity’s sole hope lies in a mythical power source hidden beneath the maze-like passages and trapdoors of the theater—the Heart. And Leo’s only friend Paxton, nephew of the theater’s stagemistress, is the key to finding it.

While Leo and Paxton hunt for the Heart, the blackmailer’s threats loom larger. Mysterious figures, cryptic clues, and deadly traps hinder the search at every turn. If the friends cannot recover the Heart in time, Leo and her sister will be cast out of the only home they’ve ever known, and the final curtain will fall on The Curiosity.

Enter a world reminiscent of The Greatest Showman, with a puzzle worthy of Sherlock Holmes and National Treasure, in this new Steampunk Fantasy from H. L. Burke.

Pre-Order links:

The release date is June 27th so take advantage of the pre-order deals before they’re gone.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Curiosity-H-L-Burke-ebook/dp/B07S58N3P5/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-of-the-curiosity-h-l-burke/1131668257

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1464838020

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/heart-of-the-curiosity

Autographed paperback: https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/heart-of-the-curiosity-autographed-paperback-pre-order/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45944020-heart-of-the-curiosity

Here’s one more quote graphic to get you excited:

65384960_10157933677421002_7067276330886234112_n

 

The Heart of the cover reveal

A book that I have been anticipating for some time finally has a proper cover. So of course I jumped at the chance to show it off to the world.

The Heart of the Curiosity by H. L. Burke is a new Uncommon Universe Press Title.

The secret lies with the Heart.

cover reveal graphicBorn with a magical knack for manipulating emotions, Leodora’s only dream is to ensure her talented little sister dances on the biggest, brightest stage in the Republic: The Curiosity, a grand old theater of tradition and innovation. After escaping a cruel carnival, Leo secures her sister a place in the Curiosity’s chorus line, and herself a job as a professional audience member, swaying the crowd’s mood with her magic. The girls have a home for the first time in their lives.

Then a tragic accident darkens the theater. A greedy businessman begins blackmailing Leo, and financial woes threaten to close the show forever. The Curiosity’s sole hope lies in a mythical power source hidden beneath the maze-like passages and trapdoors of the theater—the Heart. And Leo’s only friend Paxton, nephew of the theater’s stagemistress, is the key to finding it.

While Leo and Paxton hunt for the Heart, the blackmailer’s threats loom larger. Mysterious figures, cryptic clues, and deadly traps hinder the search at every turn. If the friends cannot recover the Heart in time, Leo and her sister will be cast out of the only home they’ve ever known, and the final curtain will fall on The Curiosity.

Enter a world reminiscent of The Greatest Showman, with a puzzle worthy of Sherlock Holmes and National Treasure, in this new Steampunk Fantasy from H. L. Burke.

Pre-Order links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Curiosity-H-L-Burke-ebook/dp/B07S58N3P5/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-of-the-curiosity-h-l-burke/1131668257

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1464838020

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/heart-of-the-curiosity

Autographed paperback: https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/heart-of-the-curiosity-autographed-paperback-pre-order/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45944020-heart-of-the-curiosity

Author Bio:

heidi-107Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

 Social Media Links:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/hlburkewriter/

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hlburkereaders/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hlburkewriter

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

Website: http://www.hlburkeauthor.com/

 

Alright It’s cover time, and I’m so excited I won’t even tease you by putting in a break.

HoC Cover

Oh my goodness it’s perfect. I love the simplicity of the design while at the same time it contains lots of small details to discover. All the steampunk gears! The little snails everywhere! Those are going to be important I’m sure. I love the curtain opening on the stage. It shows right off that this takes place in a theater. Oh I can’t wait to read this!

When can you read it too? The release date is June 27th.  Hooray for a short wait!

HOC Social Media Graphic

A Kind of . . . Cover Reveal

So by now most of you have figured out that I really love books by a publisher called Uncommon Universe Press. UUP is a small press that specializes in spec-fic, and they have a knack for finding the most amazing stories.

Now UUP is bringing their story game to new levels by releasing their first short story anthology.

Coming in October 2019…

Uncommon Universes Press presents a dark, profound, and occasionally humorous anthology—filled with fantastical tales and poems that explore love, loss, and the power of transformation.

Uncommon Universes Press Logo

Uncommon Universes Press is a traditional publishing company featuring fresh indie stories with unique world building, potent plots, and uncommon heroes. Check out the links below to learn more!

 Website: https://uncommonuniverses.com/

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/uncommonunivers

I am sorry to say that submissions are closed and they appear to still be combing through the stacks, as no story list is available. But there is a cover.  It is a pretty one.

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It’s titled: A Kind of Death.

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Tales of loss, love, and transformation.

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aKoDCover

I know what you’re thinking. October is so far away. How will I remember to look for this book? There isn’t even an exact date to put on my calendar.

I will make sure to remind you about this anthology closer to the release so you don’t forget about it.

Be Our Guest Post: C.W. Briar

Whispers-Blog-Tour

It’s time for another blog tour. This time it’s for author C.W. Briar’s debut novel. Whispers from the Depth.

About the book:

Whispers from the Depths Cover.jpgJoyful and blessed are Voice-bearers, for the Heavens have set them apart.

 As Whisperers gifted with the Voice, Betka and her people are enslaved. Only they can control the dangerous spirits that haunt the waters, but they are forced to serve under cruel taskmasters. Betka has little hope of freedom from her service or her own bitterness.

 They toil for the goodness of others. 

 A powerful water spirit terrorizes the castle where Betka’s sister is serving. Betka is assigned to the crew sailing to face the foe, and she fears for the only family she has left.

 Rage is found nowhere in them.

 In the beleaguered, flooded castle, a new threat awaits—a magic more powerful and horrifying than anything they have ever seen. Loyalties will be tested, and enemies will become desperate allies.

 Betka is their only hope of escape—if she can subdue the wrath that endangers them all.

She who wields the waters for revenge drowns herself tenfold.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40800052-whispers-from-the-depths

Be Our Guest Post with C.W. Briar:

Thanks for having me. Can I start off by saying how surreal it is to be doing my first blog tour? It’s like arriving at the Academy Awards, except my ritzy gift bag looks more like a paper plate with Oreos from my own cupboard.

They’re delicious, by the way.

For those who don’t know me: Hello. I’m C.W. Briar, I write books, and I have cute dogs. That’s all the important bits about me. Those of you who already know me (sorry) have probably gleaned two other facts: I like creepy stories, and I joke around online. That might seem contradictory, but it’s because serious me is long-winded, and writing a dark fantasy novel lets me be super long-winded.

In addition to suspense, action, and humor, Whispers From The Depths is an exploration of questions I’d been contemplating. We’re all familiar with the phrase “love conquers all,” but how, exactly, does it conquer? How does love win against a foe that’s content with being violent and cruel? What does it look like to interrupt the downward spiral of grudges and vengeance?

As much as anything, it’s the immersion into those questions that pushes Whispers into dark fantasy territory. I threw the two main characters, Betka and Asi, to the wolves. They have immense power as Whisperers with water magic, but none to protect themselves. The limitation to their ability is that it can’t be used to harm others. The Whisperers are desperate for an escape or way to fight back against a kingdom that has turned against them.

Betka’s life is a nightmare, and that’s before she gets news that her sister’s village has been attacked by a dangerous spirit.

That was the heartbeat of the story, the lifeblood flowing through every chapter. The old Whisperer dictates about love feel oppressive in that situation. Betka wrestles with them, just as I wrestled with them. The great thing about fiction is that we can let characters explore difficult questions while we have fun as readers.

And the book is meant to be fun, not just moral ruminations. Readers will have form their own opinions, but I think the spirit Ylvalas creates an interesting conflict. In this world, spirits inhabit the waters and can manifest in various forms. I took rather morbid delight in creating ways for water to be used as a weapon, then pitting the characters against those threats.

That’s the situation Betka finds herself in, trapped between a murderous spirit and cruel oppressors, fighting to rescue herself and her sister. It’s Betka’s story, and I loved her honesty and resolve through it all. I loved the strength of Asi’s tender heart and the courage in Kuros’s humor. Now I get to find out if readers also love the characters and their diverse responses to the horrors.

Author Nancy Holzner wrote one of the novel’s blurbs. She said it “entertains on every page and leaves the reader thinking long after the last word.” Honestly, that’s everything I hoped for from the book.

Author Bio

CW Briar - Author Photo.jpgC.W. Briar writes fantasy that’s dark but hopeful, filled with wonder and humor along with the suspense and creepiness. His favorite stories are the ones that make him both smile and perch on the edge of his seat. By day, he works as a systems engineer, testing or even riding on trains, airplanes, and helicopters. At night, when not writing, he prepares fancy dinners and shows off his awesome corgis. He’s a graduate of Binghamton University and lives in Upstate NY with his wife, three kids, and secret stashes of chocolate.

 

Sign up for newsletter exclusives through his website: http://www.cwbriar.com

 Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/CWBriar

https://twitter.com/CW_Briar

https://www.instagram.com/cw_briar/

Whispers from the Depth releases February 19th in both Ebook and print.

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 UUP website (Rumor says these are autographed!): https://uncommonuniverses.com/books/whispers-from-the-depths/

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Whispers-Depths-C-W-Briar-ebook/dp/B07LC2VTLM/

 Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whispers-from-the-depths-c-w-briar/1130009932

 Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1446792349

 Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/whispers-from-the-depths-1

Cover Reveal: A Dream Within a Dream

Last year I reviewed a book from Author Kristina Mahr called All that We See or Seem. 

It may have ended on a cliffhanger. So I am super excited to be helping with the cover reveal for her sequel, A Dream Within a Dream.

About the book:

cover reveal graphic(Dreamworld Duology book 2):

Invisible to the man she loves, Reeve Lennox fights to reclaim him from a dark world.

As her wedding day nears in Acarsaid, her betrothed Arden offers only his wayward soul and saucy tongue. At night she desperately tries to reach Bran, the young soldier of nightmarish Tenebris who holds her heart. However, her king insists that the realms of Tenebris and Acarsaid must remain separate, lest the evil wizard Rancore brutally conquer all.

But the dark magic of Tenebris defies mere distance. A war is coming, one only Reeve may be able to prevent, if she can reunite her family on opposing sides.

With two kingdoms at stake, Reeve must discover her strength and her family’s legacy before all is lost. Yet righting the wrongs of the past may require the sacrifice of her truest love.

Add it toGoodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43636717-a-dream-within-a-dream

About the author:
Kristina Mahr head shotKristina Mahr devotes her days to numbers and her nights to words. She works full-time as an accountant in the suburbs of Chicago, where she lives with her two dogs and two cats, but her true passion is writing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and waking up at the crack of dawn every weekend to watch the Premier League.

Website: https://kristinamahr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kristina_Mahr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristina.mahr/

Okay I’m sure you’re ready for the lovley cover now.

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adwad cover

It’s so amazing! Now that you’ve seen it you must be itching to preorder it. If you read the first book already, I know you were looking forward these links more than the cover.

A Dream Within a Dream pre-order links
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MYR8QFJ/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-dream-within-a-dream-kristina-mahr/1130335449

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1450130562

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-dream-within-a-dream-5

Autographed paperback: https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/a-dream-within-a-dreampaperback-pre-order/

Autographed hardback: https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/a-dream-within-a-dreamautographed-hardback-pre-order/

No let’s see those covers together:

cover reveal graphic - atwsos + adwad

The release date is March 26th 2019,

Need to catch up?

Get the first book here:

All That We See Or SeemAll That We See or Seem buy links
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/That-Seem-Dreamworld-Duology-Book-ebook/dp/B07BJH8L7J/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-that-we-see-or-seem-kristinamahr/1128233212
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/all-that-we-see-or-seem-2
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1360731363
Autographed paperback: https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/all-that-we-see-or-seem/
Autographed hardback: https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/all-that-we-see-or-seemautographed-hardback/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39341536-all-that-we-see-or-seem

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