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 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?

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