Review of The Magician’s Diary by C. J. Archer

The Magician’s Diary
Glass and Steele Book 4
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Gaslamp Fantasy
Number of Pages: 338

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
India and Matt thought all their problems would come to an end once they found Chronos. But the watch magician brings with him as many questions as answers, and a load of trouble. To fix Matt’s magic watch, they must find an old diary that once belonged to a doctor magician murdered decades ago. The hunt drags them into a sordid mystery involving two of London’s craft guilds. With old and new enemies determined to stop them, and long-held secrets unearthed, Matt and India must work together better than ever.

But as the reason for India’s strangely strong magic is revealed, she wants to draw other magicians into the open, while Matt wants to hide magic to keep her safe.

Her plan backfires. His plan shatters. And danger comes to their door.

Finally, the search is over, and Chronos is discovered, throwing everyone for a lop. While Matt and India end up working continually in close proximity, it becomes harder and harder for them to deny there may be something between them. Seeing Matt and India go through so much together, with interviews, and dealing with friends and family, it is almost silly how uncertain she seems of his intentions. Nevertheless, there is surely going to be more turmoil to face in the future. His family is becoming more easily to hate with every book, and it is my hope that their stupidity doesn’t cause his eternal unhappiness.

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

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Review of A Witch’s Rite by N. E. Conneely

A Witch’s Rite
Book 5 in A Witch’s Path series
By N. E. Conneely

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fantasy
Number of Pages: 278
Season Read: Fall
Synopsis:(From Amazon)
Michelle is getting used to her new life, one with clans, parents, a loving grandmother, and a boyfriend. But her old responsibilities are still around. The police still need her help, and balancing all her obligations is becoming more difficult, but police cases won’t wait for anyone, and when the police call, she has to answer.It starts out like any other case. Suspicious magic has been reported, and the police need Michelle to help them check it out. When it turns out that the magic is deep in the Cohutta Wilderness Area, Michelle asks Elron to accompany her. It isn’t long before she’s learning just how much she doesn’t know about the woods.When that small problem turns into a really big problem, spells are flying, danger is everywhere, and only one question remains. Will they escape alive?

This story, slightly longer than the last, was absolutely brilliant. There were many points where the reader would be left uncertain of what may happen, which is always the best type of book to read. As Michelle and Elron continue to grow their relationship they are forced to realize that while together they are strong, they each have their own advantages and need to work together when obstacles arise. There wasn’t an overabundance of unnecessary descriptions, and everything flowed quite well.

Of course, at the end, all you can want is… more!

61P034pMUPL._UX250_Author Bio: (From Amazon)
I live in North Georgia with my dog and a mountain of books. We sweat through the summer and freeze through the winter. Life as we know it comes to an end when so much as a single snowflake falls out of the sky.

For fun, I play with my dog, read, knit, crochet, paint, tie-dye, and do origami. I make a great pizza. I’m negotiating with my roommate over sea monkeys and working on a vegetable garden.

Black tea and water are my favorite beverages. I’m a huge fan of the Big Bang Theory, Castle, and Arrow.  A few of my favorite authors are Ann Bishop, Mercedes Lackey, Patricia Briggs, Tamora Pierce, Raymond E. Feist, and Christine Feehan.

Also check out N. E. Conneely’s Amazon page.

Review of Twisted: Flipped Fairy Tales

Twisted: Flipped Fairy Tales
By Various Authors

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retellings

Synopsis: A compilation of fairy tales that end differently than we’re used to.

Turns out this book is no longer available on Amazon. I debated whether or not that means I should leave as detailed a review, but decided that I should at least give every story in the compilation some sort of mention, as originally intended.

Little Red- May Sage
This was a rather hard story to get into. The landscape was constantly changing between the fairy tale type world we know and modern day. There were carriages, yet cell phones. While there was definitely sex appeal, the story bared little resemblance to the original it was based upon. The “red” tie in was nice, and I didn’t necessarily mind the ending. Overall I’d say this ranked 3/5.

Rumpelstiltskin- Vivenne Savage
I love this book. I’ve been finding more and more that while my love for Beauty and the Beast has always shone bright, my love for Rumpelstiltskin (well, retellings, anyway) is a close second. This story has everything: retribution, love, sacrifice, and learning to be a better person. I definitely recommend seeking this story out, as I think it’s work buying and reading on its own.  5/5, easily.

It seems this one is going to be out for individual purchase December first, under a different title. You can get to it by the link here.

Stepbrother- Erin Bedford
This one confused me. It took me quite a while into the story to figure out which fairy tale this was supposed to represent. The connection is minuscule at best between this story and a fairy tale. While the world was decent, and the connection between the main characters was spot on, I think it would be better marketed as its own story, instead of claiming fairy tale retelling status. I did like the ending, but overall the world and what was going on in it seemed quite different than anything fairytale-esque. If you’re looking for vampires, here’s one you might like. 3/5.

Of Bones and Ashes- Nicole Zoltack
A story from a villain’s point of view. This story… was quite different from anything I’ve ever read about the fairy tale it takes place in. I wasn’t sure I would like it, because at the beginning it seems so certain that the narrator is actually the one in the wrong, though we quickly learn how untrue that may be. A back story unlike any other, if you like things a bit dark and peculiar, this is definitely one for you. 4/5.

Hunger in the Woods- Carma Haley Shoemaker
This was a brilliant take on the fairy tale it borrows from. A very different story than the original, and brought into the modern world seamlessly. Part horror story mixed with learning not to treat people who are differently poorly (they may be your only salvation), this was a story I really wasn’t sure how it would end. Definitely recommend. 4/5

Rumpelstiltskin- May Sage
This story was quite different from that which we are used to.  While I quite enjoyed it, it was so very different from the original that it may have done better to be slapped with a different character altogether, so that it could stand on its own merit. I did enjoy the ending, and the banter between the main characters was entertaining. 3.5/5