Friday, June 28, 2013

[Review] I'll Be Damned


Author: Casey Keen

Publish date: March 24, 2013

Series: Anna Wolfe #1

Rating: 3.5/5

Genre: Paranormal romance, fantasy

I think any one who is a fan of True Blood (the early seasons before it just gets too weird) will find I'll De Damned by Casey Keen to be an enjoyable read. 
Our main character here, Anna Wolfe, is a coffee shop owner in southern Savannah, Georgia who has always known she's a little different. As her 30th birthday approaches she starts to experience a number of changes: physical cramps, stalkers and weird interactions.

When her sister, Janie, is kidnapped to get to Anna she discovers that she is a witch from a powerful bloodline. Anna must learn to harness her powers in order to save those she loves and escape being a tool for the devil himself.

As far as characters go, I typically identify the leading lady as my favorite in most books. While I really like Anna because she's a smart, successful (at least I think so) business woman, there was one character I loved more than any other.

Martello is a flamboyantly gay bar owner who is a good friend of Anna. His speech and wardrobe remind me a lot of Latayette off of True Blood. Martello is very "let me tell you like it is, girl". He's definitely the life of the party and I really liked how involved he was for a supporting characters.

I'll Be Damn is well written with some great characters (plus a few love interests for those romance fans) but there were two things that I didn't really like about the book.

1. It's very slow moving in the beginning. The book blurb talks about her sister's kidnapping and her discovery, and typically those things tend to happen earlier in the book. In this case I was almost halfway through the book before anything really happened. That was a little too long for me.

2. Her reaction to her sister's kidnapping made me want to slap her. Now, I have a younger brother who I am really close with. And if anything like this ever happened to him I would be in a murderous frenzy and go on a damn rampage until I got him back. Anna reacts as if it's not that big of a deal.

At first she doesn't react because she's not entirely sure if Janie is missing or just went back to work things out with her husband. This part I can understand.

However, when she gets the confirmation that her sister has indeed been kidnapped she does something completely surprising... she's takes a mother-effing nap! Are you kidding me? How can you possibly get any sleep when your sister's life is in danger?

The next morning she goes to confront her parents over her heritage and they give her a book that will explain everything. So basically she has to study up, learn about her powers and go save her sister. As she heading back home to calls up her best friend (Martello is already with her) who meets up back with them and her house.

So at this point I'm thinking "Okay she's gonna read this book and go kick some ass." Boy was I wrong. Instead she ignores the book as the three of them go out the the porch and have some drinks. No joke, they are freaking having freaking drinks instead of trying to save her sister.

All I can say is that I'm glad I'm not your sister, Anna, because you are a terrible sibling.

Basically, that's what it came down to when it was rating time. In the beginning I really liked Anna but then I found it really hard to relate to her. Maybe I'm just ridiculously protective of my baby brother.

Some good things about the book are that it's well written and the characters are very likeable (even taking the above in to account). And while it reminded me at lot of True Blood, that's only on the surface. I'll Be Damned is a unique take of witches, demons and werewolves, so that I enjoyed very much. 


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Friday, June 21, 2013

[Review & Giveaway] The Wishing Well Curse

The Wishing Well Curse

Author: Lynn Donovan

Publish Date: May 1, 2013 by AltWit Press, 363 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

Genres: Paranormal, mystery

When I first started reading this book it reminded me a lot of The Westing Game, which was one of my favorites growing up. Here, we have our main character, Zeke Clay finds out about an inheritance from a long lost relative after having one of the worst days in history. He lost his job, got a speeding ticket, failed out of school and found out his girlfriend was cheating on him. 

With nothing to hold him back, he travels from Austin, Texas to Pueblo, Colorado to answer a request for him to be at a reading of his great (lots of greats) uncle, Luther.

During the reading (and he's the only one there too) he's told a story of a generational family curse going back more than 100 years. He has one week to stay at the family estate and decide whether he will continue on after that to break the family curse and gain the inheritance. Or will he walk away and leave the curse as it stands?

The curse was started when the Native American's were driven off their land - land that was claimed by Zeke's ancestors.

Here's what I liked about the book:
- It was nice to see a male as a main character. Most of what I read has that strong female character, so this was a nice change for me.
- There's no insta-love (which I loath). There's actually almost no love interest at all. Remember, I said almost.
- The writing was fairly well done and flowed nicely.
- I also like that Zeke didn't just accept there was a curse because someone told him so. He's skeptical and searches for the truth.

Here's what I didn't like so much:
- It was a little too religious for me. Now, that's just a personal preference. Zeke sees the face of Jesus in a dream and has a pastor constantly preaching to him about coming back to God. It was all just a little too much for me.
- It starts out a little slow and there are a few parts that I didn't think were necessary to the over all story.
- The dialogue could use a little work. Now, this doesn't mean it's badly done or anything. I think it could just benefit from a little improvement.

I rated this book as a 3.5/5 mostly for the fact that it was too religious for me. So for those readers who don't mind that, this is still a good read. And it's only $2.99 which I think is a good price for a 363 page book.

It's got some great aspects such as ghost, Native American lore and and the mystery of how Zeke is supposed to break the curse.

And you can always enter my giveaway for a chance to get it for free!


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

[Guest Post] Travis Simmons author of Desolation


by Travis Simmons

Being an openly gay male I have been able to shrug off all the discrimination I face from time to time. I say from time to time, because I don’t feel as though I face discrimination in my daily life. I am not really sure why that is to be honest, I guess I just have a presence that tells people that they can’t bully me. I think at times my openness makes people uncomfortable. A guy was delivering something the other day and asked my relationship to my ex and I told him “He’s my ex,” and I could tell the guy wasn’t comfortable with that. But when I said it, I could see the man trying to struggle with what to say that wouldn’t offend me, though he obviously was slightly uncomfortable.
Discrimination against my person is one thing. I can handle that. I am a huge supporter for equal rights. I am a huge proponent for loving and supporting our teens because they are going through a lot of stuff. I can’t think of anything worse than a teenager feeling that who they are isn’t good enough for the adults in their lives. I stress to my friends and my Facebook followers frequently to love the young people in their lives and to let them know you are there for them because you don’t know what they are thinking, and you don’t want to lose them to bullying and suicide.
That was part of what led me to write Asher as a stable gay man. He is in that age that teenagers can relate to, but he is also going through issues adults can relate to. I’ve said it before, DESOLATION was written as so much more than a zombie apocalypse book.
What we have in DESOLATION isn’t a story of a gay man struggling with gay issues. He has already come out to his parents and been accepted. Instead he is struggling with zombies, powers inside of him, loss, and with love (the last all of us face, no matter our orientation).
Here we have a gay person that everyone can relate to, because he isn’t going through something only gay people have to face. I didn’t want Asher to struggle with discrimination, I didn’t want him to struggle with the angst of coming out. I didn’t want Asher to be a sensationalized homosexual that popular media crams down our throat, because, believe it or not, we aren’t all great at decorating, or love shopping (I tend to hate it). I wanted him to be this person that everyone can relate to, that just so happens to love men. Honestly, most gay people are like this, they are just normal people, stereotypes stripped away, that just so happen to love the same gender.
Part of the reason that Asher isn’t facing this discrimination is because I feel we are reaching a point in history where discriminating against someone because of who they love is nearly barbaric. It is a backward way of thinking, and I just didn’t want that subject matter to come up in DESOLATION. I wanted to show that we have a zombie apocalypse, and necromancers, and adults who have more to focus on than who Asher loves.
Did I go overboard with how many potential suitors Asher has? Maybe, but I think it feels good with the way it was written. I mean, we do have straight protagonists who always have straight people hitting on them and very rarely someone of the same sex hitting on them. But again, that wasn’t in my mind when I wrote the book.
I am sure this will lead DESOLATION to be criticized openly. To be honest, it will be the first bit of discrimination that I have had to face in nearly twenty years, and it will be harder because it is Asher who will be facing this discrimination. In a way it is almost like being a parent, and having to watch your child go through the same discrimination.
So in closing, I hope everyone loves this book. I hope the struggling gay youth can find hope in these pages and pixels, finding that they are so much more than the suppression they are feeling, and they can be a strong gay person like Asher (without the zombies and magic). I hope everyday people can love this book too, seeing not just a gay person, but an individual coming to grips with all the loss he has felt. And I hope maybe the parents out there who read this and are worried their kids might be gay can stop worrying, and see that Asher is just a person like every other gay person. He is just a person, a soul, struggling to come to grips with all life throws at him. And with the right love, the right support, and with the fierce defense of adults, the gay teens in your life can live to be the same strong individuals.

About Travis Simmons

I have been writing since I was 14. I began writing a book called "The Calling of the Two" and while writing that on and off I started uncovering another idea.

"Yes, this is all well and good, but what about before? What happened in the world before these characters came into it?" I always knew there was a "before" and as I started wondering about it I got ideas. At first they were little ideas but as I discovered the names for my characters a whole story about them emerged.

I started working on The Revenant Wyrd Saga several years back and I am very happy I did because hearing and documenting Jovian and Angelica's story has been one wild ride.

I live in a remote part of upstate New York and honestly just hoofing around my neck of the woods gives me a ton of inspiration for my novels. I love research, and I love speculating on different ideas and theories.

Author Links


Genre: Zombie, horror

Published: June 11, 2013 by Wyrding Ways Press

With his family and lover lain to rest by his own hand, he has nothing left to lose and gives everything he has to reach the safe haven. But questions arise when he reaches The Refuge, mainly, how has he been able to sustain multiple zombie bites and not change? He thinks he has found safety in the military compound turned quarantine, but he was wrong. Even now there is a necromancer trying to make The Refuge their kingdom of the dead.

Asher St Paul thought it was just a typical zombie apocalypse like in the movies, until the necromancers crawled out of the woodwork.

Since the undead have chased the living into hiding, the necromancers are able to roam freely in a new America of their making. Asher is seeking safe harbor. The need for safety is what drove him from his home in Philadelphia Pennsylvania before it was shelled. He has searched from quarantine to quarantine, always finding them overrun with zombies until he hears of The Refuge, a military compound in Binghamton New York. 


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

[Excerpt] Suddenly You

Suddenly You by Cecilia Gray

Series: The Jane Austen Academy #4

Date Published: May 7, 2013

Published By: Gray Life, LLC J

Genre: young-adult, contemporary

Book Synopsis

Fanny doesn't want to be at The Jane Austen Academy. She intends to lay low until graduation when she can try out for the Olympic track team. She doesn't need friends or love. She only needs her running.

But The Academy is in danger. In an effort to save it, Fanny joins forces with the friends she never knew she wanted. Suddenly, Fanny finds herself center stage in the middle of the Academy's biggest love triangle as the lead in the school play...only this track star can't afford to break a leg.

* * *

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it’s about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…

The Jane Austen Academy series are modern retellings of Jane Austen classics set at a beachside California boarding school.

Book Links:

About Celilia Gray

Cecilia Gray lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case.

Cecilia has been praised for “instilling a warmth and weight into her characters”  (Romancing The Book Reviews) and her books have been praised for being “well-written, original, realistic and witty” (Quills & Zebras Reviews).

Her latest series of young-adult contemporary Jane Austen retellings was named a What’s Hot pick (RT Book Reviews magazine) and is a Best of 2012 pick (Kirkus Reviews) where it was praised for being a “unique twist on a classic” and offering “a compelling mix of action, drama and love.”

She’s rather enamored of being contacted by readers and hopes you’ll oblige at or any of the following sites:

Author Links:

Scene 2

An interrogation spotlight might not have been blinding her, but Emma’s keen, emerald-green glare came a close second.

"How did he say it?" Emma demanded. She hovered over Fanny’s chair, a terrier with a bone she had no intention of letting go. The Jane Austen Academy’s own blond inquisition was a sight to behold. Emma barely cleared five feet in her black ankle boots, and her bright yellow cardigan and flared suede skirt seemed more at home in a fashion catalog than at a cross-examination. Still, she terrified Fanny, so much that Fanny forgot the question.

"What was that?" she asked.

"How did he say it?" Emma repeated impatiently.

"Um…with his mouth?" Fanny shrugged. "I don’t know what you mean."

Emma let out a dramatic cry and set the back of her hand to her forehead. "Why am I surrounded by amateurs?"

Coming to Emma for help had seemed like a great idea a few minutes ago. After spending all of Monday night and all of Tuesday morning and afternoon reconstructing her conversation with Tran and breaking it down in a million ways, she knew she needed help. Who better to turn to than Emma, who had her finger on the pulse of every guy’s intentions?

Emma would know whether Tran meant to ask her to prom.

Emma would know whether she’d screwed it up.

It would be worth it, assuming she survived Emma’s questions.

"I know." Emma clapped her hands together. "Let’s do a re-enactment."

Emma stomped across the room and pulled the chair out from beneath her roommate, Ellie, who was doing math homework at her desk. To Ellie’s credit, she just slid to the floor without a grunt of protest and sat cross-legged in her board shorts with her notebook across her lap. She continued working on the calculus equation without missing a beat.

Emma sat in the chair and scooted up next to Fanny. In an impressive imitation of Tran, she slid forward, parted her legs as much as she could in the suede skirt, and slouched.

"Is this about how close you were?" Emma asked.

"Um, a little closer." Close enough that his forearm had touched hers.

Emma squealed and wheeled in. "This close?"

"At first. I asked him not to sit so close."

The blonde fashionista narrowed her eyes. "Why would you say such a stupid thing? You’re messing with me, right? Never mind. Let’s pretend you just told me a dirty lie. How were your bodies positioned? Were you facing each other?"

"He was turned toward me, but I was facing forward."

Emma rolled her head forward and buried her face in her hands with a sob. "You didn’t even bother to face him?"

"Give Fanny a break," Ellie said kindly from the floor. "We aren’t all born with Emma’s Guide to Guys in our head. It’s not even like she’s always had a thing for Tran."

"I didn’t say I had a thing for Tran!"

Emma’s head lolled back up with a deadpan look. "If we’re talking about it, then it’s a thingOtherwise it’s just a waste of time. Now tell me how he said it. Did he say ‘speaking of prom’ so his voice went up at the end? Did it inflect down? What did his eyes say?"

Fanny squeezed her eyes shut with a groan and tried to remember, but all she could remember was the dumb way she’d rattled on afterward. "I don’t know. It’s all a blur and then Lucy dropped by and ruined everything."

"Lucy is a master at that." Emma nodded agreeably.

Ellie, predictably, interrupted them with, "Guys, be nice to Lucy. She’s been through a lot."

"Exactly my point." Emma stood and paced the room, as she preferred to do when making a point. "Lucy quit school to follow her boyfriend across the country to the Academy. Faster than you can say psycho stalker girlfriend, her boyfriend was stolen from her."

"Hey!" Ellie flicked a pencil at Emma’s legs.

"Sorry, sorry, " Emma corrected. "Her boyfriend wasn’t stolen. He fell in love with someone incredibly more awesome and suited to him who happens to be the best roommate in the entire world."

Ellie blew Emma a kiss.

"Which means Lucy, the victim of another woman, should know better than to take up home-wrecking Fanny and Tran."

This time Ellie threw her flip-flop at Emma, who sidestepped—impressive, given the unwieldiness of her boots.

"Tran and I aren’t even together," Fanny said. "I hardly think Lucy counts as a homewrecker. I don’t even know if he’s interested in me."

"Puh-leeze." Emma counted off points on her fingers. "All Tran cares about is video games, electronic engineering, and the cafeteria lunch menu. He doesn’t care about Asians or Americans or Culture or Society. Why else would he join your club except for you?"
Fanny pressed her hands to her warm cheeks. "Do you really think so?"

"I never think." Emma glanced out the window, unconsciously striking a hero’s pose with her fists on her hips. "I only know. We need to set up another situation where he can finish asking you to prom. This time, you will zip your lips until he finishes."

"Who are you going to prom with, Emma?" Fanny asked as she realized she hadn’t heard any rumors about the lucky date.

Lizzie was obviously going with Dante. Why date the most popular boy in school if he wasn’t going to be your arm candy?

Ellie was going with Edward. Why suffer through the most torturous school love triangle if not to be triumphant in the end?

Kat had Henry. They were destined to be the future Pitt and Jolie.

It seemed unreal that Emma, the social butterfly of the Academy, was sans date, just like her. Emma, most likely to walk into the dance with three men on each arm, didn’t even have one name tied to her.

"I haven’t selected the lucky guy yet," Emma said with a sigh as she turned from the window. "I have to pick my dress first. Boys, like accessories, come second. I do wish I knew who I was going to marry. So much easier to plan the wedding that way."

Fanny laughed, but felt an itch of guilt. How could she be having fun and obsessing over prom when she should be focusing on the Academy’s imminent demolition?

"Oooh." Emma’s eyes lit up. "I know how we can solve all our problems."


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Sunday, June 16, 2013

[Book Blitz] The Rylee Adamson series

A quick note to all my readers out there: I read the first book in this series a long time ago. And even thought paranormal romances aren't my preferred genre this was one I definitely enjoyed. I recommended getting your own copy and checking it out. 

The Rylee Adamson series

Author: Shannon Mayer

Genre: Paranormal urban fantasy romance

Book 1: Priceless

Publish Date: Feb. 1, 2013

Book Cover Design: Damon Za

Purchase Links: e-book, paperback


“My name is Rylee and I am a Tracker.” 

When children go missing, and the Humans have no leads, I’m the one they call. I am their last hope in bringing home the lost ones. I salvage what they cannot.

I’m on the FBI’s wanted list. 

I have a werewolf for a pet, a Witch of a best friend, and have no need for anyone else in my life. 

But when a salvage starts to spin out of control, help comes from a most unexpected direction. 

One that is dangerously dark, brooding, and doesn’t know a thing about the supernatural. 

One whose kisses set me on fire.

Book 2: Immune

Release Date: March 4, 2013


Book Cover Design: Damon Za

Purchase Links: e-book, paperback


“My name is Rylee, and I am a Tracker.”

When children go missing, and the Humans have no leads, I’m the one they call. I am their last hope in bringing home the lost ones. I salvage what they cannot.

Underestimating demons is a bad idea, and it’s a mistake that may cost me not only my own life, but the life of a missing child. 

If I can swallow my pride, and allow Agent O’Shea to help me find a way to deal with the demon, we might be able to save the child.

With this salvage, it’s a race against time, a test of trust, and a temptation that I'm doing my damnedest to ignore.

If only swallowing my pride was that easy.

Book 3: Raising Innocence

Release Date: May 15, 2013


Book Cover Design: Damon Za

Purchase Links: e-book, paperback


“My name is Rylee, and I am a Tracker.”

When children go missing, and the Humans have no leads, I’m the one they call. I am their last hope in bringing home the lost ones. I salvage what they cannot.

The FBI wants me on their team. Bad enough that they are dangling bait they KNOW I can’t resist. 

The catch? It’s on the other side of the ocean.

And if I want what they’re offering, I have to help them with a salvage gone terribly, terribly wrong. 

But this time, I have no back up. I have no Plan B. 

And I have no O’Shea. 

About the Shannon Mayer

Shannon Mayer lives in the southwestern tip of Canada with her husband, dog, cats, horse, and cows. When not writing she spends her time staring at immense amounts of rain, herding old people (similar to herding cats) and attempting to stay out of trouble. Especially that last is difficult for her.

She is the author of the The Nevermore Trilogy, The Rylee Adamson Novels and the Celtic Legacy series. Her first New Adult Romance, High Risk Love, is scheduled for release July 1, 2013.

Author social media links:

Character Interview: Rylee Adamson 

My name is Rylee. I don’t like it when people use my last name, it reminds me of where I’m from and the people who turned on me. I was adopted as a baby into a family where they couldn’t have children naturally. But when I was ten, my parents got a surprise. A miracle baby, a little girl with golden hair and bright blue eyes. 

When I was sixteen, I was accused of killing her; our parents believed the police. But I don’t really want to talk about that it was over ten years ago. I’m trying to let it go.

I’m a Tracker, a supernatural who can trace anyone’s life threads finding them regardless of whether they’re dead or alive. I prefer alive, dead is messy, but so often that is the case. I’m also an Immune, magic slides off me as if I don’t exist. That is handy. 

Gods, I’m sweating here trying not to swear. Are you sure I can’t use at least one four letter word? No, of course not.

I never Track adults. They can bloody well take care of themselves. I only ever Track kids. Probably I’m trying to make up for not saving my sister. But I’ll leave that up to the psychologists out there to decipher my motives.

Alex is my buddy, a werewolf trapped between forms; half man, half wolf. Submissive, goofy and loyal to the bone he is the one spot of bright light in my life. I think you’d like him the best of the two of us. I know I can be a hard ass, I can’t seem to help it. But Alex has never met someone he couldn’t win over with a floppy wave of his oversized paws. He might not be the best back-up, but he makes me smile and in my world, that is enough.

Someone once asked me what it was like to Track kids for parents who had no one else to turn to, for parents who’d lost hope that their child would ever be returned to them. 

This was my answer: It’s a weight and a responsibility that sits on me, I took an oath that I would never stop Tracking lost children. That I would put my life on the line for those who can’t save themselves, and that I would fight to my last breath to keep a child alive.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Friday, June 14, 2013

[Review] Untimed

Author: Andy Gavin

Publish Date: Dec. 17, 2012 by Mascherato, 325 pages

Rating: 4.5/5

Genre: Fantasy, YA, steampunk

Untimed by Andy Gavin is another great read for those who love steampunk. (And if you don't know what steampunk is exactly, just scroll down to the guest post by Pauline Creeden).

Meet Charlie, our main character, who is the kind of kid that gets forgotten. Even by his own mother. Life can be rough when no one remembers you, and it's especially hard on your love life.

Soon Charlie finds himself in a whirlwind of adventure when a strange clockwork man tries to kill him. One second he's in modern day Philadelphia and the next he finds himself transported back to 1725 London.

There he meets a girl who he might actually have a shot at - even if she does come with a lot of baggage - and the famous Ben Franklin at age 19.

Charlie and Yvaine have to work together to save the future and Charlie learns all about being a time traveler.

This book was a great read for me because it had a fantastic mashup of things I enjoy. I've only delved into a little steampunk here and there but so far I've really enjoyed the genre. Untimed is also a little bit fantasy and part sci-fi with a dash of mystery thrown in. All of which are things that make for a great read. It's also classified as YA but I think this is one of those books that's really for any age.

As far as the writing goes, I knew this was going to be something I like based solely on the blurb. It's well written but in a fun way. You can tell Mr. Gavin has put a lot of work and elbow grease into polishing this book.

I really enjoyed all the characters and well as the time travel aspect. I'm a bit of a history buff so I love when I get that 1700s setting that ties in with major historical characters.
Over all Untimed gets 4.5 stars and a pat on the back from me. I will definitely be looking for more from this author.

About Andy Gavin

Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. 

There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and  histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes.



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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

[Guest Post & Giveaway] Presenting Pauline Creeden author of Armored Hearts

Just a quick thanks to Pauline Creeden, author of Armoured Hearts, for guest posting today
and for letting everyone get in on a giveaway of an e-copy of her book. 


What is steampunk?

By Pauline Creeden

The short answer:  Steampunk is retrofuturistic technofantasy, parallel to our planet's many histories.

That clears up a lot doesn’t it? No, not really.

The long answer: Steampunk is science fiction which takes place in the past. An alternate history where inventions, gadgets, and personal conveniences do not belong, and yet, are there. Often these inventions are powered by steam, hydraulics, clockwork, gyroscopic action, or pretty much anything but gasoline.

The punk appears in the creative attitudes of the characters. Often they are forward minded for the time period. A touch of feminism, a smattering of individuality, and a pinch of political dissention. Similar to dystopian, the world is bleak, but the characters within rise up and change that world.

Where steampunk has hit mainstream is in the fashion world, where it’s become popular to mix the past with the present in creative and clever ways.

Personally, I’ve loved steampunk before I ever knew what it was. Some of the modern examples of steampunk in movies would be: Wild Wild West with Will Smith, Stardust with Claire Danes, or the animated film, Howl’s Moving Castle. Or pretty much anything by the Japenese animator, Hayao Miyazaki. And I am a huge Miyazaki fan.

So, just like any other subgenre of science fiction/fantasy, there are those who concentrate on the science, those who concentrate on the rebellion, or those like Melissa and I, who used the retrofuturistic world as a backdrop for our character focused fairy fantasy story, Armored Hearts. Which, we believe has just the right amount of steampunk to introduce a new set of readers to the genre.



When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother’s side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fairy tales. Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park, left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair. Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.


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Friday, June 7, 2013

[Review and Giveaway] The Underground Witch

The Underground Witch by Debbie Dee

Author: Debbie Dee

Publish Date: May 2, 2013 by Dolce Books, 293 pages

Rating: 4/5

Series: Incenaga Trilogy #2

Genre: Fantasy, YA paranormal romance

The Underground Witch is the second book in the Incenaga series, so be warned there are a few spoilers regarding the first book but I will try to keep it to a minimum.

Starting a few weeks after The Last Witch ended, our main character, Emmeline is about to get married to the Crown Prince Raymond. Emmeline is the last surviving Incenaga, or fire witch. With any type of flame around she's as dangerous as can be, especially when she's not in control.

An Incenaga can be controlled by another when they are forced to shine their eyes. However, only a few people know the method to make it work.

On the day of her wedding Emmeline is threatened by a foreign stranger before being kidnapped and taken to Griet. Here she endures many tortures, makes new friends and learns more about herself than ever before all while trying to fend off the King of Griet from controlling her power.

The author of this series, Debbie Dee, definitely won me over with the back blurb summaries on these books and I was not disappointed. The story is well written and flows very nicely.

I really love Emmeline's character. She's one touch chick but at the same time she's young a vulnerable. Dee did a great job making her character realistic and relatable. One thing I really like about the second book is the switching point of view. It's not in the first book and it's very slight in the second book, but I really like being able to see the story from another POV as it unfolds.

At some points the story does move a little slowly. The whole thing takes place over a matter of months and sometimes I just really wanted the action to hurry up and take place. In the end, all the waiting was worth it once the final face off comes in to play.

Overall, I enjoyed this book enough to give it four stars and put the third book on my TBR pile.

It's got magic, great characters and a far off land (forgot to mention that the world building is fantastic in these books as well). What more could a girl ask for? 

About Debbie Dee

Debbie Dee recently moved to southern Idaho with her husband and three children where she is learning how to be a country girl in her favorite pair of blue heels. She adores fairy tales and happy endings, but secretly crushes on the bad guy now and then. 

As a dedicated musician who practices way too much, she never expected writing would sweep her off her feet until she jotted down a scene from a daydream, which turned into two scenes, which turned into a messy house and her first novel. Since then she hasn’t been able to let a day go by without writing. 
In addition to writing, she plays the piano, harp, violin, and gets in frequent fights with her cello. She loves to read and play board games - when she is winning. 
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Debbie is giving away 5 e-copies of the first book in the series, The Last Witch. For those who haven't read it here's a little info: 


For generations the Incenaga Witches have been forced to use their power to fulfill the wishes of others until they are drained of their magic and left to die. Desperate to protect his infant daughter - the last surviving witch - Emmeline’s father escapes with her to the forests where he vows to keep her hidden from the world and from the truth.
Sixteen years later, Emmeline is discovered and finds herself in the grip of a traitor who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if it means abusing her power until she dies. She is taken to a distant country and told she must marry the Crown Prince or her own country will be overtaken, its people slaughtered. But what sort of prince would marry a witch? And why would she be the difference between war and peace?

As she fights to regain her freedom, she is faced with a choice between a prince who offers a lifetime of security and a common gamekeeper who has no idea of her power, but offers his heart.

But who do you trust when your power can be used against you?

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