Book Blast: The Protectorate Wars: Born Hero by S.A. Shaffer

Book Blast: The Protectorate Wars: Born Hero by S.A. Shaffer

Title: The Protectorate Wars: Born Hero
Author: S.A. Shaffer
Pub Date: June 5th 2019
Pages: 378
Goodreads|Amazon

Sixty cycles after the Protectorate War all seems well with Alönia and the rest of the Fertile Plains, especially to David, a determined young aide with a keen mind and a caring heart. Pain and turmoil have plagued his life, but he’s worked hard and things should improve at his new job as assistant to a popular politician. He has no idea that during the next few seasons political saboteurs will slander his mentor, murder his colleagues, and threaten everything for which he stands. Only time will tell if David can solve Alönia’s governmental corruption before the rest of the Fertile Plains fall into chaos. 

Take flight in spectacular airships and soar through the clouds. Feel the wind in your hair along daring voyages and narrow escapes. Solve murders, forge friendships and watch an ordinary boy become the hero he was born to be. 

Find out more about S.A. Shaffer and The Protectorate Wars online.

Review: A Kiss like Roses by Eliza Colton

Review: A Kiss like Roses by Eliza Colton

Title: A Kiss like Roses (Fairy Tale Synergy #1)
Author: Eliza Colton
Pub Date: August 27th 2019
Pages: 327
Amazon|Goodreads

A maiden trying to save her dying father. A brutal monster housing a lonely heart. Can the two of them save each other from a tragic fate, or will their differences keep them apart?

When Beatrice’s father falls victim to a deadly illness with one cure, the family weeps in despair. Knowing there is no way to get their hands on the cure, they begin saying good-bye. 

But Beatrice disagrees. 

She’s never cared much for flowers or myth, but others do, and they’ll pay handsomely to have the infamous beast’s enchanted golden roses in their hands. The beast is cruel, monstrous, and fiercely protective of his flowers. To own one is a show of power. 

Beatrice doesn’t care about power. All she wants is to save her father. But many have tried to steal the roses, and all of them have vanished forever. 

Determined nonetheless, she disregards her fears and heads to the beast’s isolated mansion to steal as many roses as she can. She believes the monster can’t be reasoned with—until he catches her red-handed and makes her an offer. 

He will save her father in exchange for Beatrice herself. For the next five years she is to remain in the mansion and keep him company, for beneath his brutish exterior is a cursed and lonely heart. 

With no other choice, Beatrice gives herself up to the monster.

I’m always on the lookout for new sweet & clean fairy tale retellings because I can’t get enough of them. They’re my book candy for bad days. 

A Kiss like Roses is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I’ve read a variety of B&B retellings (and will continue to read more in the future) and I think at the moment this is among the most unique of them concerning the circumstances of the curse. I really liked that aspect. The beast isn’t so much the beast we’re used to and, of course, neither is the beauty. 

The one thing that I wasn’t wholeheartedly loving was Beatrice in particular. She was immature in her decisions/actions (granted, she is young), but frustratingly so sometimes. If you rebuff someone numerous times, would you be upset if they so seemingly moved on? It could have been disastrous had it not worked out well in the end. 

Overall, the writing style is simple, breezy, and charming. I think many readers will enjoy this book. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Wonderland Academy: Book One by Melanie Karsak

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Wonderland Academy: Book One by Melanie Karsak

Wonderland Academy: Book One
Melanie Karsak
Publication date: August 27th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult

Welcome to Wonderland Academy. Don’t lose your head. 

Getting into Wonderland Academy is easy:

You must be a little mad.

You must follow the white rabbit.

You must find the key to enter Wonderland.

You must not be named Alice or risk being beheaded by order of the Queen of Hearts.

We might have an issue with that last one.

My name may be Alice, but Wonderland Academy is everything my real life isn’t. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to ride a jabberwocky, train with a vorpal sword, cast spells using a teacup, or shapeshift into a fairy? As long as no one figures out my real name, I should be fine.

The only problem? Aden, the Queen of Hearts’ son, is quickly becoming my best friend. And then there’s Corbin. Brooding, surly, tattooed, and definitely not my type, I can’t stop thinking about him. But Corbin has secrets of his own, and Wonderland and secrets don’t mix.

How I’m going to pass my classes and protect my secret like my life depends on it is beyond me. But I better find a way. Because in Wonderland, no Alice is safe.

Wonderland Academy re-imagines the fantastical world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland for a fresh, new adventure. Combining whimsy, magic, and a splash of steampunk, New York Times best-selling author Melanie Karsak invites you into this beautifully re-envisioned fairy tale adventure.

* * *

Wonderland Academy is a college-level academy novel. It contains a slow-burn (not rh) romance. The novel is clean aside from mild language. This is Book 1 in a planned trilogy. Book 1 ends on a cliffhanger (Frodo didn’t reach Mount Doom in a day, after all).

Trigger Warning: This novel also includes references to a school shooting.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Setting my bag in a chair by the window, I pulled on my coat. It was pouring. Drops rolled down the windowpane, distorting the view of the sidewalk below. As I pulled my jacket on, however, I noticed someone on the sidewalk below. He was looking up at the window. I couldn’t make him out clearly, but from what I could see, he was wearing some kind of period costume and a top hat. He had long, pale blond hair that almost looked white.

“You all think I’m a lunatic? There’s some guy standing outside in the rain in a Victorian get-up and top hat.”

“What?” Mom asked. “What are you talking about?”

“I don’t know. Just some rando guy standing in the rain,” I said then turned, zipped up my coat, and grabbed the bag.

Nurse Gilman stepped to the window and looked outside. “It’s really coming down,” she said, eyeing the sky. She then strained her neck to the left and right. “Your mystery man must have gone back inside.”

“He was right there,” I said.

A sick feeling rocked my stomach. No, no, no. He was there. Dammit, he really was there. I edged toward the window and looked outside. I was right. The man was standing right there, looking up at the window.

He waved at me.

“Where?” Nurse Gilman asked, looking up and down the sidewalk.

“There,” I said, motioning hesitantly.

“I must have missed him,” Nurse Gilman said with a shrug.

I stared at the man.

He waved again.

Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.

“Yeah,” I said. “Maybe they’re doing a show in the children’s wing or something,” I muttered then turned from the window.

I didn’t want Nurse Gilman to see my face.

Mom, however, caught my eye. Her eyebrows scrunched together as she gave me a hard look.

I dropped her gaze.

I absolutely, positively, did not want to have that conversation on the way home.

“I’m ready,” I told Mom.

“Good. Let’s get you the hell out of here.”

“Be well,” Nurse Gilman said. She motioned to the nurses’ station. The door to the waiting room unlocked with a click. Nurse Gilman motioned to us that we were free to go.

Mom and I headed down the dim hallway of the fifth-floor psych ward. The narrow hall felt like it was a million miles long. It wasn’t until we were safely inside the elevator that I finally exhaled.

“Your phone,” Mom said, handing it to me.

I had a few missing calls, messages from old friends, but there wasn’t anyone I wanted to talk to anyway. I stared at the screensaver, which had a picture of Nicholas and me. The photo had been taken just before homecoming, before everything went to shit. We’d gone for a hike that day. The autumn leaves in the background were bright orange and burnt red. We were both bundled up, our cheeks red, faces pressed together. We’d spent the entire hike planning a future that would never come to pass.

I turned off my phone and stuck it in my pocket.

Mom punched the elevator button for the ground floor.

I kept my eyes on the lights above the door, praying Mom wouldn’t ask anything.

It wasn’t until we’d passed the second floor that Mom whispered, “Lacey, are you seeing—”

“I’m fine. Really. I’m fine.”

She didn’t answer, which told me she knew well-enough I was not fine.

They’d been popping up in my periphery more frequently for the last two weeks. People who were there then not there. Flickers of light. Shadows that whispered. Otherworldy shapes. Their presence wasn’t anything new to me. While I was more prone to see them during times of stress, they’d been there all my life. I knew that if I really looked, I’d see them. It was better to ignore them.

A mermaid had taught me that.

Mom and I headed to the front of the hospital. I couldn’t wait to get away from the terrible hospital smell. A weird mix of the scents of bleach, chrysanthemums, green beans, and Band-Aids perfumed the place. It was enough to make a person gag.

Raining or not, I was relieved when the hospital doors opened. I inhaled the sweet scent of the rain-soaked air. Mom’s rusted-out Mustang sat waiting just outside.

“Okay. Let‘s run for it,” Mom called, and we sprinted to the car.

Holding my plastic bag above my head, I ran, flinging open the door of the vehicle. But just before I climbed inside, I cast a glance down the sidewalk.

The man was still standing there. He pulled something from his pocket and tapped on it. He waved to me, a broad smile on his face.

“Lacey, you’re letting the rain in,” Mom yelled.

I slipped into the car, slamming the door behind me.

Mom revved the engine then drove off, her nineties rock springing to life. I leaned forward and clicked off the music. The last thing I needed was the dulcet tones of Nirvana shouting at me post suicide watch.

Sighing, I leaned back into the seat and closed my eyes.

Why was I seeing them again?

The white-haired man had been pointing at a pocket watch. A pocket watch.

What in the hell did that mean?

I hadn’t meant to kill myself.

Not this time.

It figured. On the morning I’d been discharged from the psych ward, I was beginning to lose my mind.


Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Celtic Blood Series, Steampunk Red Riding Hood, and Steampunk Fairy Tales. The author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Southern New Hampshire University.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram / Bookbub / Newsletter


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Review: Screamcatcher: Web World by Christy J. Breedlove

Review: Screamcatcher: Web World by Christy J. Breedlove

Title: Screamcatcher: Web World
Author: Christy J. Breedlove
Pub Date: April 23rd 2019
Pages: 219
Goodreads | Amazon

When seventeen-year-old Jory Pike cannot shake the hellish nightmares of her parent’s deaths, she turns to an old family heirloom, a dream catcher. Even though she’s half blood Chippewa, Jory thinks old Indian lore is so yesterday, but she’s willing to give it a try. However, the dream catcher has had its fill of nightmares from an ancient and violent past. After a sleepover party, and during one of Jory’s most horrific dream episodes, the dream catcher implodes, sucking Jory and her three friends into its own world of trapped nightmares. They’re in an alternate universe—locked inside of an insane web world. How can they find the center of the web, where all good things are allowed to pass?

Screamcatcher introduces readers to a terrifying concept. Where do bad dreams go once entangled in the web of an ancient dream catcher? And what would happen if it exploded, taking four unsuspecting people into a world made of nightmares? 

The plot of Screamcatcher is a unique one. I cannot imagine surviving the harrowing journey that these characters went through. I kept wondering, “what next?” Weaved throughout the story are interesting, familiar and unfamiliar to me, Native American lore. The main character is a woc (Chippewa/Hawaiian). Her character was the most believable/well-written among the cast. I feel like Lander and Darcy weren’t fleshed out enough to be likable. Let’s be honest, I would’ve left Darcy behind. :^)

There are a few things I feel unsure or nitpicky about but I think it’s more of a me issue. Overall, Screamcatcher is well-written, thoughtful book for fans of fantastical adventures.

Review: Speechless by Madeline Freeman

Review: Speechless by Madeline Freeman

Title: Speechless (Unfortunate Souls #1)
Author: Madeline Freeman
Pub Date: December 2nd 2018
Pages: 348
Amazon|Goodreads

She longs to be part of his world. He desires to be anywhere else.

In a world where uncommon powers are feared by ordinary people, seventeen-year-old Aria must hide who she is or risk being shipped off to a detention facility for people with abilities—for aberrations like her.

Enrique Martinez is tired of having every moment of his life live-streamed to eager viewers. When he learns the cameras will go dark for forty-eight hours, he vows to break the rules and have the adventure of a lifetime—if even for only a day.

When Aria’s ability to breathe underwater is discovered, her life collides with Enrique’s, entangling their fates. Swept up in a global deception, Aria must choose between her safety and her desires, between her family and the life she’s always wanted.

Divergent meets The Little Mermaid but 10000% better than Divergent

Aria is an aberration who can breathe underwater. With special abilities comes special circumstances, and Aria is about to have the adventure of a lifetime. . . just not one she was expecting. Danger, conspiracies, and uncertainties are all around the corner. 

So first off, that cover is so beautiful. It’s what caught my attention when I was scrolling through Kindle Unlimited (covers are sellers). The story? Just as great. 

The story gives us some juicy details on the aberrations and the colony on Mars but of course not too much info. There is a lot left uncovered. I have so many questions. The biggest one being why?

Despite similarities to other dystopian-like books, this one is unique. I like the retelling aspect a lot.

Review: Emmie and the Tudor King by Natalie Murray

Review: Emmie and the Tudor King by Natalie Murray

Title: Emmie and the Tudor King (Hearts and Crowns #1)
Author: Natalie Murray
Pub Date: June 11th 2019
Pages: 323 
Amazon|Goodreads

One moment, Emmie is writing her high school history paper; the next, she’s sitting with a gorgeous 16th century king who vacillates from kissing her to ordering her execution. 

Able to travel back to her own time, but intensely drawn to King Nick and the mysterious death of his sister, Emmie finds herself solving the murder of a young princess and unraveling court secrets while trying to keep her head on her shoulders, literally. 

With everything to lose, Emmie finds herself facing her biggest battle of all: How to cheat the path of history and keep her irresistible king, or lose him–and her heart–forever.


Emmie finds herself in a peculiar predicament when—with the aid of a mysterious ring—she arrives in Tudor England and in the court of a young, handsome king. Indecision, danger, and sweet romance awaits those who read this tale. 

The title alone was enough for me to want to read this book. I love reading about the Tudors, but at the same time I’ve been totally burned out on the typical historical fiction takes. So seeing a historical fantasy/time travel book involving Henry VIII’s grandson named Nickolas the Ironheart…Yes, please. 

Emmie and the Tudor King is a fun, candy-popping kind of story. I think it had a little bit more potential. With Emmie being a modern girl going into that time period and talking/behaving the way she did, more people would have questioned her behavior instead of writing it off as ‘common’ peasant-like qualities. It was a little too brushed over but all things considered it didn’t matter as much since I still like the story and the characters. 

I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. 

I hope there will be a cover change down the line because I feel the current cover doesn’t do the book justice.
Book Blitz + Giveaway: Kingdom of Mirrors & Roses Boxed Set

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Kingdom of Mirrors & Roses Boxed Set

Kingdom of Mirrors & Roses: A Limited Edition of Beauty and the Beast Retellings
Publication date: August 1st 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, New Adult

Beauty and the Beast, but not how you remember it

Deep in the forest, a castle hides. No one knows who lives there, but rumors of a beast keep people away.

Cloaked in shadows, hidden from view, a prince destroyed by a curse shuts himself away from the world, ashamed of the beast he’s become.

And in the village, a beautiful girl with her nose in a book, yearns for something more.

True love is the only thing that can break his curse. True love is the one thing she’s looking for, but how can they find true love when neither knows the other exists?

Find out if love really can defy all odds in this set of thirteen captivating retellings of the classic fairytale, filled with love, hope and the strength of two people willing to do whatever it takes…

One click now for your happily ever after.

Other books in the Kingdom of series…
Kingdom of Glass and Ashes (Cinderella retellings)
Kingdom of Salt and Sirens (Little Mermaid retellings)
Kingdom of Sand and Wishes (Aladdin retellings)
Kingdom of Mirrors and Roses (Beauty and the Beast retellings)
Kingdom of Thorns and Dreams (Sleeping Beauty retellings) coming soon

Goodreads / Amazon

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