Massive Update

As usual, I ended up on a website updating hiatus. Why do I do this to myself, I always ask. This time, during the update, things are going to change slightly. I’m still going to review the book, but the format will be different, without as much of the background information on the book. A more simplistic format means it will take less time to update my read books, which I am hopeful means that I will regularly let all of you know what I’ve been reading.

The update will NOT necessarily be in the order of which I read books, though I will keep it as close as possible.

*Cover pictures are now links to the amazon page.

Massive Update

As per usual, a time has come where I have read a bunch but didn’t feel like reviewing them at the time. It’s always easier to do it as you read them, yet for some reason this is something I keep doing.

Stay tuned for more than ten books that I’ve read and not written about yet!

Do you prefer when I do a massive update or when I do them gradually as I read them? Let me know in the comments!

Tidings for the New Year

Wow, this past year has been insane! I’ve read more than I recall doing before, surpassing my total of 2016 and 2015 by a large portion. I am quite pleased with the amount of books I have read, though I do wish there had been a bit more quality.

My end of the year total was 102 books!

Of those 102 books, I’m going to recommend the ones who have stuck out most to me, without me having to go back and go through the log of what I have read. Without further adieu, my reading recommendations from 2017 are as follows:

A Court of Thorns and Roses
Starting with the last series I’ve read first, I was enamored with this series from the first book, and that love has only continued as I read the second book, and am entrenched in the third. While this particular book could be considered a retelling of my absolute favourite fairy tale and is by far my favourite fairy tale retelling, this story in no way NEEDS to be considered a retelling to be enjoyable. It completely stands alone, and is a fantastic story and the beginning of a trilogy I’m certain will be beloved for many as it is for me.

Something Strange and Deadly
This book has a bit of everything. It’s in Victorian times, there are steampunk elements, and there are zombies. There’s intrigue and passion and the desire to stay in society’s good graces even when society hasn’t been kind. In essence: it’s wonderful. There’s magic and darkness and the need to keep one’s ambitions and goals always at the forefront of one’s mind. This book is the beginning of a trilogy, and I would recommend it and also recommend you have all three books ready because waiting when you finish one is torture (I know, I had to wait until I bought the third when I had already gotten the first and second).

Slouch Witch
Another first in a series, I absolutely adored the book series Slouch Witch. Not only do we have an unlikely heroine, but we learn that appearances can be deceiving, and that even in the magical world, who you know and are connected to matters. Through a mistake the cab driver Ivy ends up working on solving a mystery with a high ranking magical employee– and it’s quickly realized that just because she’s lazy, doesn’t mean she’s dumb or inept. I absolutely love this book and am so very glad that a good friend recommended it to me.

The Apothecary’s Poison and The Magician’s Diary
Books 3 and 4 in the Glass and Steele series by C. J. Archer. I recommend starting with the first book in the series– The Watchmaker’s Daughter, and going from there. Archer writes well, and the books are mysteries that aren’t so easily figured out, and sometimes not in time.

Vow of Deception
What was supposed to be the 9th and final book in The Ministry of Curiosities series– what can I say other than this is amazing, and you really should read this series starting with the first book, The Last Necromancer. The series follows Charlie, a necromancer, and Lincoln, the head of a mysterious organization.

Honorable Mention in order of most currently read:
Colorless by Rita Stradling
The Four Kingdoms and  Beyond the Four Kingdoms books by Melanie Cellier
Beauty and the Beast and Zarina and the Djinn by Vivienne Savage *These are Fairy Tale Retelling Romance
Fairy Tale Adventures series by A. G. Marshall
Cinder and Ella by Kelly Oram
The Wizard Heir series by Cinda Williams Chima

 

Review of Beauty’s Beasts by L. C. Hibbett

Beauty’s Beast: A Reverse Harem Urban Fantasy
A Poison Courts Fairy Tale Retelling Book 1
By Vivienne Savage

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling/Fantasy/Romance
Number of Pages: 222

Date Started: December 15, 2017
Date Finished: December 16, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Beauty is a beast.

Izzy doesn’t suffer fools and she doesn’t take prisoners, so when one of the local mobs takes her father captive, she’ll stop at nothing to free him–even if it means taking on the mysterious men of Blackwood Forest herself.

But when Izzy enters the lair of the beasts, she discovers saving her father isn’t as simple as it seemed, and saving herself from Alexander Blackwood and his pack is going to be even harder…

Review:
This book tries very hard to be two things: a unique fairytale retelling, and a romance. It succeeds at one of these things. I thought it quite ingenious the way in which the supernatural was intervened with the age old story so many know and love. What wasn’t really that enthralling was the romantic aspects of it. There were cute, fuzzy moments, but the only real steam in the novel came from the scene with Izzy and Faye in the shower. If you’re here for a fairytale retelling and not the romance, then you may enjoy it.

What got me was the amount of grammatical errors. I lost count after five. Random missing words made sentences awkward and made sections quite tedious to read as you had to think for a moment what the missing word probably was.

Story was unique, and you can’t beat the free kindle unlimited price, but even so, I don’t intend to continue with the series after this novel.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
L.C. Hibbett is an author from Ireland who is obsessed with reading, writing, romance, mystery, and magic. Since she began publishing, L.C.’s husband has begun to find it difficult to differentiate between her pajamas and her outside clothes and her children have decided to forgo clothes entirely. Except for underwear–L.C. is steadfast in her insistence that everyone wear knickers on the trampoline. I think that tells you everything you need to know…

If you would like sneak peeks of L.C.’s upcoming books and notifications of her super-secret release day sales for her loyal readers, head to lchibbett.com and sign-up to receive her Newsletter updates. 🙂

Why I’ve Been So Silent/Catch Up

I went rather silent over the summer, and in part, it was because I was busy. Through my literary adventures, I was inspired to take up a few hobbies. I began playing the electric guitar, thanks in part to the book Confessions of a Serial Kisser (review here). I also got rather addicted to the television series Heartland, based on the books by Lauren Brooke.

That being said, meet Magic. Magic is an amazing black Percheron gelding that I’m leasing from a lovely lady, and I’ve been spending a lot of time with him. Magic is very clumsy and lazy, but he’s a sweetheart.

As wonderful as Magic is, I have continued to read, and have caught up with the books that I missed reviewing in the meantime. As for my personal writing… I’m sure you’ll see more from me in the future!

End of the Year Tidings

My grand total of books read this year is 44, and of them, several were quite long. It’s a bit shorter than the 55 I read last year, but all in all, I read a lot of quality pieces that I quite enjoyed. As always, what’s important is that one always keeps reading.

2016 heralded a lot of change for me. My husband and I bought a house, and my debut novel Pas de Deux came out in November.

Of course, Pas de Deux didn’t come out all at once… that is to say, there was an e-book, then the paperback became available and now the hardcover is available for sale on Amazon!

Review of A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz

A Conspiracy of Alchemists
The Chronicles of Light and Shadow Book 1
By Liesel Schwarz

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fantasy/Steampunk
Number of Pages: 432

Date Started: November 3, 2016
Date Finished: November 7, 2016

Synopsis: (From Amazon)15849472
LEAVE IT TO CHANCE. Eleanor “Elle” Chance, that is—the intrepid heroine of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold.

In a Golden Age where spark reactors power the airways, and creatures of Light and Shadow walk openly among us, a deadly game of Alchemists and Warlocks has begun.

When an unusual cargo drags airship-pilot Elle Chance into the affairs of the mysterious Mr. Marsh, she must confront her destiny and do everything in her power to stop the Alchemists from unleashing a magical apocalypse.

Review:
You’ll never believe how I happened upon this book.  I found this, in hardcover, for sale in the dollar store.  Not your usual dollar store find.  Looked interesting, so of course I’m going to purchase it!  I certainly got more than a dollar’s worth of entertainment from it.

From the beginning Elle was interesting, but she didn’t have a strong personality, and was far too wishy-washy for my personal tastes.  She was quick to anger, but far too easy to apease.  I wish that Elle’s thoughts and feelings were gathered organically instead of being very stark and sudden in most cases.

The source of power was interesting, and the bits of added in Roman/Greek mythology were quite intriguing, though I, like Elle, found how the power transferred slowly and the three stages were kind of odd.  I found Marsh a far deeper and empathetic character in most situations.  Although I wish there had been more time spent on rounding out Elle’s character, instead of making her seem like a hotheaded spoiled brat, Marsh’s characterization almost made up for it.

If not for the age of the characters, I would likely place this book within the young adult genre.  There were several times that I was uncertain why Schwarz decided to use higher language than the rest of the novel seemed to be written in, though it did not personally hurt my reading, it may hurt others.  All in all, I did enjoy this book, and intend to read the rest in the series

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
There is nothing about Liesel on Amazon, therefore, there will not be anything here, either.