Blog Tour [Review]: Weep, Woman, Weep by Maria DeBlassie (eBook/Paperback Giveaway)

Weep Woman Weep Tour

Today we have gothic novella Weep, Woman, Weep by author Maria DeBlassie. I’m not gonna lie. It was the cover that reeled me in. I mean, look at that lovely cover.

Read on to know more about the book. Check out my quick review and enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win an ebook or paperback!

Weep Woman Weep About the book

A compelling gothic fairytale by bruja and award-winning writer Maria DeBlassie.

The women of Sueño, New Mexico don’t know how to live a life without sorrows. That’s La Llorona’s doing. She roams the waterways looking for the next generation of girls to baptize, filling them with more tears than any woman should have to hold. And there’s not much they can do about the Weeping Woman except to avoid walking along the riverbank at night and to try to keep their sadness in check. That’s what attracts her to them: the pain and heartache that gets passed down from one generation of women to the next.

Mercy knows this, probably better than anyone. She lost her best friend to La Llorona and almost found a watery grave herself. But she survived. Only she didn’t come back quite right and she knows La Llorona won’t be satisfied until she drags the one soul that got away back to the bottom of the river.

In a battle for her life, Mercy fights to break the chains of generational trauma and reclaim her soul free from ancestral hauntings by turning to the only things that she knows can save her: plant medicine, pulp books, and the promise of a love so strong not even La Llorona can stop it from happening. What unfolds is a stunning tale of one woman’s journey into magic, healing, and rebirth.

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About Dr. Maria DeBlassie

Maria DeBlassie

Dr. Maria DeBlassie is a native New Mexican mestiza and award-winning writer and educator living in the Land of Enchantment. She writes about everyday magic, ordinary gothic, and all things witchy. When she is not practicing brujeria, she’s teaching classes about bodice rippers, modern mystics, and things that go bump in the night. She is forever looking for magic in her life and somehow always finding more than she thought was there. Find out more about Maria and conjuring everyday magic at www.mariadeblassie.com.

Connect with the author on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Buy your copy of Weep, Woman, Weep on Amazon.

Fascinating and deeper than it seems

This was a fascinating story and, for a novella, it was more layered than I expected. The writing is also beautiful and descriptive, so it was easy to read.

I’m only a little bit familiar with the Lla Llorona tale, but it was interesting to see it being used here as more than just a scary story. In fact, this isn’t really a supernatural ghost story, but more like a story about personal ghosts, trauma passed on from generations, surviving and overcoming demons and growing from it all. There are a lot of themes touched on here and some can feel heavy at times, but the story moves well towards a somewhat open and hopeful ending.

Overall, I enjoyed this novella. If you like a story with some gothic elements, a little bit of magical realism, difficult themes that are anything but fantasy, and resilient characters, you might like this one.

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read an Excerpt

One time, I was feeling mighty fine and thought I’d try something different. I saw this ad in a magazine where a woman was in an obscenely large bathtub and covered up to the neck in bubbles. This was in a room with a marble floor, and there were candles everywhere, and she had her hair up all nice and a face mask on. Well, I got to thinking a nice long soak after a hard day’s work would be nice.

This was a few months after my run-in with Sherry, and I was trying hard to let myself enjoy things more. It occurred to me after seeing her that her fatal flaw was not believing that her future was right in front of her. Or maybe she was too afraid to take it with both hands. I began to wonder if we didn’t hold back and do half the work for La Llorona with all that we ran from life.

So I bought some bubble bath and made more beeswax candles and set about having myself a spa night. I mean, my bathroom was nowhere near as nice as the one in the picture. My tub was only long enough for me to sit upright and was right next to the toilet, but I made do.

It was lovely. I mean, divine! I could see why fancy women liked this. I put on the radio, and the music was soft and sweet, like the candlelight against the fading day. I was so relaxed, that I was about to fall asleep in that tub.

That was when I felt cold hands grip the soles of my feet and pull me under.

I should have seen it coming. Why willingly linger in a body of water? But I didn’t, and that was how I found myself drowning in bubbles and thrashing around in my tub. It’s also how I learned that evil woman could find me anywhere—and I mean anywhere—so I could never let my guard down.

Her grip was strong. Seemed like the harder I fought, the stronger she got. I was flailing about, my arms searching for anything and everything to hold on to, when I knocked one of those beeswax candles into the tub. To this day, I have no idea why that scared her, but it did. She recoiled something quick at the hiss of the flame when the wax hit water.

I didn’t waste a second—I hoisted myself out of the tub and collapsed on the bathroom floor, choking and sputtering and sopping wet. Took me forever to clean up the mess and cough up all those flower-scented bubbles. My feet were cold and sore for days, with claw marks where her bony fingers hooked into my skin.

Whoever said bubble baths were relaxing was a big fat liar.

Giveaway

Maria DeBlassie will be awarding a copy of the book (ebook for International winner/signed paperback for US Only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other blog tour stops for more reviews of the book and comment for more chances of winning! Find the tour schedule here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2022/02/review-tour-weep-woman-weep-by-maria.html

Blog Tour [Review]: The Final Decree by Shami Stovall ($25 Giveaway)

The Final Decree_TourBanner

Today we’re featuring The Final Decree by Shami Stovall, one of my favorite fantasy authors.

Read on to know more about the book, and read an excerpt below. Then enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift code!

The Final Decree coverThe Final Decree

The Kingdom of Luka is controlled by the decrees of God-King Eliezer. Break one and become a twisted monster or serve forever, loyal to the crown. From the author of Frith Chronicles and Star Marque Rising, comes a new fantasy epic.



When God-King Eliezer utters a decree, it’s the law of the land, no matter how subtle or outrageous. Those who break the decrees suffer the god-king’s curse—their bodies twist into nightmarish monsters of devastation and hunger, forever a blight upon humanity.



The magic knows when a decree is violated, the moment it happens.



There are no exceptions. No loopholes. No escape.



Artemisia, a mysterious girl on the run from God-King Eliezer’s Holy Guard, is cursed and doesn’t know why. Fortunately, she has yet to change into a fell beast, but that isn’t a comfort. She could transform at any moment, and the resulting monster would destroy everything she cares for.



Desperate and fearful, Artemisia finds herself captured by a group of monster hunters led by Rylion Nasos, a man of superhuman strength and skill. When Artemisia displays magic of her own—magic that threatens God-King Eliezer’s rule—an agreement is made to confront the crown, despite the horrors it could unleash.



Cursed be the man who disobeys the god-king’s direct command.

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About the Author

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall is a multi-award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction, with several best-selling novels under her belt. Before that, she taught history and criminal law at the college level, and loved every second. When she’s not reading fascinating articles and books about ancient China or the Byzantine Empire, Stovall can be found playing way too many video games, especially RPGs and tactics simulators.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email

Quick Review

I’ve liked everything I’ve read by Shami Stovall so far and this book is no exception. The Final Decree is an enjoyable fantasy with interesting characters, great world-building and exciting magic concepts.

I was intrigued from the get-go, especially by Artemis who is introduced to the reader shrouded in mystery. From the start I just wanted to know more about her story and where it would go.

I also really like the magic concepts, they’re unique and exciting — not really a surprise for me because I absolutely love the magic concepts in the author’s other books (The Frith Chronicles, Company of Monsters). There are so many fascinating things in this that I like — the idea of God-Kings and God-Queens, curses, the forsaken, old gods, people blessed with divine magic.

Overall, this book is worth the read. If you’re a fan of the author or of fantasy in general, you’ll probably like this one.

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read an Excerpt

Once I reached a patch of iced-over shrubs, I eased myself into the detritus beneath them. I would die here. In nature. Away from everything I had grown to hate. It was how my father had died, after all. I supposed I deserved no better.

Before my wish was granted, the clink of metal returned. I closed my eyes, hoping to feign death, and I listened as the soldier easily followed my furrow through the dirt. He pushed the branches of the bushes aside and stepped close to my body. I couldn’t help but shudder.

He knelt again and turned me onto my back, his now bare hands warm and powerful. I opened my eyes, confused by the gentle way he lifted my head. My vision, blurred with hunger, took in a young man with a hard, neutral expression. Calm brown eyes, dark chestnut hair, red maple leaf scarf—or maybe I was looking at a tree, I couldn’t tell through the delirium—and I relaxed a bit, amused by my own skewed perceptions.

Knowing I would die had removed the stress of trying to live.

The soldier placed the lip of a canteen at my mouth and poured. I gulped down the water—warm water, not hot—and the heat coated my insides with comfort. It was only after a second gulp that I realized it was soup. The fragrant herbs and shreds of meat were like distant memories returning to me after having been long forgotten. I had never tasted anything so delicious in my life.

“Everything will be fine,” the soldier said.

Giveaway

Shami Stovall will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment on the other hosts’ blog posts; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.

Blog Tour [Review]: The Fallen In Soura Heights by Amanda Jaeger

The Fallen in Soura Heights header

This week we’re featuring a thriller, The Fallen In Soura Heights by author Amanda Jaeger.

Read more about the book below and don’t forget to follow the blog tour as well. Enjoy!

The Fallen In Soura HeightsThe Fallen in Soura Heights

Author: Amanda Jaeger
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: 15 March 2021
Age group: Adult
Genres: Thriller

Synopsis:

Fey Anderson has dreamt about Soura Heights and how picture-perfect it appears to be. What she never expected was for her husband’s body to be found in the forest. Determined to find out the truth behind his death, she moves there and finds herself weaving into the fabric of the small town.

But things aren’t always as they seem. As she learns more about Bruce’s “accident,” she unravels secrets about the town and its people she wishes she never learned. It’s all about survival in Soura Heights. Will Fey uncover what happened and bring justice for her husband, or will she be the next to fall?

Trigger and Content Warnings: Mild language, mild violence, insinuated animal cruelty

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About the Author

Amanda Jaeger has always had an interest in true crime, suspense, and mystery. As a long form copywriter, she has always had a hand in writing creatively for businesses to boost their income.

She’s the wife of her college sweetheart and the mother of two spit-fire girls, but she’s also been a sign language interpreter, transcriptionist, and a book slinger. Working with words isn’t her job, it’s her career.

Now, she uses her knowledge and experience in engaging an audience and applies it into her author career, crafting suspense and mystery to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Residing in Virginia, you can bet on Amanda listening to true crime podcasts, watching cold case documentaries, and playing with her kids. (Not simultaneously.)

Connect with the author on her website, Goodreads, Instagram and Twitter.

Mystery and suspense in a small town

This is an interesting read! The book kicks off with a pretty dramatic prologue that straight away lets you know that this is going to be some sort of whodunnit.

The story is told in an interesting way – alternating between the past and present. I have to admit it was slow going for me at first and I couldn’t get into it right away, but as the story slowly unraveled, it became more intriguing and made me want to keep on reading to find out what happens in the end. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) for me, this is not a long book and I was rewarded with the ending soon enough.

Fey is an interesting character. She comes off as weak and helpless, but she’s really just someone dealing with a lot of grief and pain. She’s also very determined to find out what happened to her husband and she eventually comes to recognize and accept her own strength.

The town, Soura Heights, itself is a fascinating character. It’s a seemingly nice and happy little town with friendly people and cozy shops that have punny names, but you also get the feeling that there’s more to it and that there’s something dark hiding behind the surface. I would’ve loved to know more about each character and the place, especially the forest.

As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t a long book but it’s an easy and interesting read. If you like mystery and suspense, you might enjoy this one.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Caffeine Book Tours as part of my participation in their tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

The Fallen in Soura Heights
Follow the tour and check out the other stops! You can find the blog tour schedule here: Caffeine Book Tours

Blog Tour [Review]: Never Say Chai by Kirsten Weiss ($10 Giveaway)

Never Say Chai Tour Banner

Today we’re featuring a cozy mystery, Never Say Chai by Kirsten Weiss. Have to admit, it was the “Tea & Tarot” bit that got me interested in joining this blog tour. Plus the story seemed fun, so I dove in. I’m glad I did!

Read on to know more about the book. Don’t forget to enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a a $10 Amazon or B/N GC!

Never Say ChaiNever Say Chai cover

It’s Halloween season in small town San Borromeo, and Abigail and Hyperion are determined to make Beanblossom’s Tea & Tarot spooktacular. But when Hyperion’s boyfriend, Detective Tony Chase, is arrested at Beanblossom’s for murder, the duo is certain someone’s playing a nasty trick. And when the official investigation turns into a witch hunt, the stakes to unearth the truth are raised…

But a clever killer has plans to squash their investigation… and the two amateur detectives. If they don’t solve this puzzle—and fast—it will be out of the cauldron and into the fire for them both.

Never Say Chai is the fourth book in the Tea and Tarot cozy mystery series. A fast-paced and funny cozy mystery, packed with quirky characters, pets, and murder! Perfect for fans of Jana DeLeon, Janet Evanovich, and Donna Andrews. Buy the book and start this hilarious caper!

Tearoom recipes in the back of the book!

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About the Author

Amazon bestselling author Kirsten Weiss writes laugh-out-loud, page-turning mysteries. Her heroines aren’t perfect, but they’re smart, they struggle, and they succeed. Kirsten writes in a house high on a hill in the Colorado woods and occasionally ventures out for wine and chocolate. Or for a visit to the local pie shop. Kirsten is best known for her Wits’ End, Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, and Tea & Tarot cozy mystery books. So if you like funny, action-packed mysteries with complicated heroines, just turn the page…

Connect with Kirsten Weiss: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Bookbub | Email

Fun and fast-paced mystery

I liked it. This was a fun read. Light, humorous and fast-paced with interesting characters.

Abigail and Hyperion seem like such a fun duo and I enjoyed their banter and dynamics. This is the fourth book in the series but it can stand on its own. Sometimes though I did feel like I missed out a lot on how their friendship and partnership became what it is, but that didn’t really take away from the story. It just made me curious about what happened in the previous books.

The story is not really deeply complicated, but it’s intriguing enough to make you keep reading. The book manages to keep you guessing til the end.

Overall, this book was an easy and enjoyable read. I liked the little tarot bits sprinkled in there. If you like cozy mysteries or want something light that you can breeze through, you might enjoy this one.

Note: I received a review copy of this book from the author and Goddess Fish Promotions as part of my participation in the blog tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read An Excerpt

There are some things that should go without saying. For example, don’t leave a coffin in your business partner’s driveway. It’s just not done.

But there was a coffin in my driveway. And it had wheels. I looked from the black coffin to the yellow bungalow. Yep, it was my house. Just above the peaked roofline, fog blurred a watery sun.

“Do you have any idea why there’s a coffin in my driveway?” Because there was really only one person who would put one there. I tore my gaze from the wooden coffin to Hyperion. “And why is it on wheels?”

He shifted his weight. “Didn’t I mention the coffin race?”

“No.”

“Why’d you think I had a t-shirt cannon?”

“I still have no idea why you’ve got one.”

“For the coffin race.” He patted the coffin’s hood.

I waited.

“I entered Beanblossom’s in the race,” he said patiently. “We’re going as the Death card. I’ve got a scythe and everything.”

“A scythe at high speeds. What could go wrong?”

“It’ll be like in one of those Italian medieval morality parades. Did you know those parades most likely spawned the Tarot’s major arcana cards?”

“Oh, boy.”

“Or was it the Renaissance?” He shook his head. “They were in Italy. I know that much.”

Giveaway

Kirsten Weiss will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other tour stops for more chances of winning: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2021/07/book-blast-never-say-chai-by-kirsten.html

Blog Tour [Review]: Planet Dead by Sylvester Barzey

Planet Dead header

Today we have horror fantasy Planet Dead by author Sylvester Barzey. I don’t read a lot of zombie novels and though I’ve watched a few movies, I never really considered myself a fan of zombies. I liked the look of Planet Dead though and wanted in on this tour.

Well, I’m glad I joined because this book was pretty good! Read on to know more and check out my review!

Planet Dead (2021) coverPlanet Dead

Genre: adult, horror, fantasy/paranormal

Diversity tags: author of color (black author); poc representation (black female lead; bipoc characters; lgbtq+ characters)

Publication date: 06 August 2017

Publisher: Self-published

Cover design: Ravenborn Covers

Synopsis:

When the world goes to hell in a zombie handbasket, you find out that true evil hides among the living!

Catherine Briggs is having a messed up year. Her car got stolen. Her family thinks she’s dead. There’s an unwelcome late night visitor at her door.

Oh yeah! And the world’s become infested with zombies!

Catherine is on a mission to find her family, no matter the cost. Yet, fate seems to have other plans. Flesh eating zombies, Killer Clowns, and a number of other batshit problems await her in… Planet Dead: Bloodthirsty

Content/Trigger Warnings:  Mature language, blood & gore, sexual violence, violence

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About the Author

Sylvester Barzey is a best selling horror and fantasy author who grew up in Bronx, NY and was later transplanted to Lawrence, GA. A military veteran with an addiction to all things horror, Sylvester’s goal is to shine a spotlight on BIPOC characters within the horror/fantasy genre.

Connect with the author on Website, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and Facebook.

Fast-paced and exciting with a really kickass protagonist

Wow, this was a wild ride. Very fast-paced, has a lot of exciting and terrifying things happening, super action-packed to say the least, and with a very badass protagonist, Catherine Briggs, who we meet right off the bat.

I really like Catherine Briggs. Physically and mentally strong, no-nonsense and very determined to find her family. She’s smart and knows how to fight. She really, truly is a badass, but she also has a vulnerable side to her and that was pretty cool, too. She’s hardened by everything that has happened to her, but she still has a lot of good in her.

There’s some hard core violence in this and some events that are truly horrifying and none of them have anything to do with zombies. It’s actually part of what I love/hate about zombie books, movies and shows – it’s the evil that people do to each other that gets me. That’s the real horror of it all and Planet Dead doesn’t shy away from it. I thought it was done well.

Overall, this was a gripping read for me. The twists were really something. I kind of saw one of them coming (ugh, that “Mrs. Briggs”), but I enjoyed how it all played out. I’m excited to read the rest of the series.

If you like zombie stories, you’ll probably enjoy this one! If you want to start or try reading about zombie stories, this is a good place to start.

Note: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher and Caffeine Book Tours as part of my participation in their tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Follow the #PlanetDeadTour and check out more reviews of the book! You can find the tour schedule here: https://caffeinebooktours.wordpress.com/2021/05/31/planet-dead-tour

Blog Tour: Bolder Guilt-Edged by Janice Tremayne (plus an ebook giveaway)

Bolder Guilt-Edged_TourBanner

Today we have Bolder Guilt-Edged, the third instalment in the Zack Bolder supernatural suspense series by author Janice Tremayne. I reviewed book one, Bolder Blindsided, back in January and it was not a bad read.

Read on to know more about the book, check out my short review and read an excerpt. Enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy!

Bolder Guilt-Edged coverBolder Guilt-Edged (Zack Bolder #3)

A demon hell-bent on playing psychological games to torment its victims. A guilt-edged past comes to the fore to be relived again. Can Bolder overcome his mental suffering and destroy the voracious demon?



In the Australian ghost town of Ravenswood in North Queensland, a gruesome suicide occurs after the famous annual Halloween ball. Bolder is called in by Detective Wellock to help track the evil incarnate responsible.



However, has Zack Bolder met his match? Can a trained parapsychologist by the Church withstand the guilt-edged torments of the demon? This poltergeist dangles psychology as its weapon by tempering that frail part of the mind to those that get in its way. Bolder is taken back to relive dark secrets—ridden and guilt-edged.



Can Bolder overcome this tempest of the mind and save the town before more people take their lives?

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About the Author

Janice Tremayne Bolder Blindside

Janice Tremayne is an Amazon bestselling and award-winning ghost and supernatural writer. Janice is a finalist in the Readers’ Favorite 2020 International Book Awards in fiction-supernatural and was awarded the distinguished favorite prize for paranormal horror at the New York City Big Book Awards 2020.

She is an emerging Australian author who lives with her family in Melbourne. Her recent publications, Haunting in Hartley and Bolder Blindsided, reached number one in the Amazon kindle ranking for Occult Supernatural, Ghosts and Haunted Houses categories hot new releases and bestseller. Janice is well-versed in her cultural superstitions and how they influence daily life and customs. She has developed a passion and style for writing ghost and supernatural novels for new adult readers.

Connect with the author on her website, via email or on Facebook.

Review: a fast-paced and easy read

Bolder Guilt-Edged is another interesting supernatural mystery. It feels very similar to the first book – same type of setting, a few scenes that felt the same, similar plot – and maybe that’s just because the books are part of a series that basically tackles the same thing: eerie and supernatural mysteries in small towns known for ghost stories.

One thing different from the first book though is that we get to find out more about Bolder’s back story and the reason why he does what he does. Actually, the book kicks off with that so that was really interesting to read and elements of it are interspersed in the whole book.

We also get to read more of Bolder and Wellock’s dynamic, which is quite fun and amusing though I wish Wellock did more “sleuthing.” Sometimes he just felt like Bolder’s bodyguard or assistant with a gun. I’d like to read more about him uncovering clues and what not instead of just going with what Bolder says. Although I can’t blame him about that since Bolder’s the one who’s tuned in on the paranormal. I don’t know how Wellock can do more when it comes to their cases, but I’d love to see more of him being a detective. (Sidebar: I love procedural TV shows, so maybe that’s why I want to see Wellock shine. LOL.)

Anyway, this wasn’t a bad read. The ghost encounters are gripping and there was a scene (or two) that’s the stuff of nightmares. It has quite a closing scene, too. I mean, yikes!

If you like supernatural mysteries, you might like this one!

Note: I received an ebook copy of this book as part of my participation in this blog tour. All opinions expressed are my own.

Read an Excerpt

Bolder handed him the book of prayers and marked out the section containing the love of worship. “We plan to compel the negative energy to leave her body and direct it to another place—to cross over to the other side. We are lightworkers, remember? Not exorcists.”

“I can at least bless her with holy ointment … can’t I?”

Bolder nodded and said, “Well, why don’t you start with that first?”

Father Brennan walked toward Kelly as the old rustic timber floors creaked underneath. He opened his small container with holy ointment and brushed his index finger across it. Then he gently marked her forehead with the sign of the cross.

“In the name of the father, and the son, and the holy spirit … amen.”

Kelly jolted as though something had bitten her and her body trembled for a few seconds. She was still sleeping but aware of what was going on around her.

“What was that?” said Bolder.

“What was what?”

“You mean you didn’t see it? The dark shadow that was standing beside her.”

“I didn’t see it … but I felt something gripping my hand.” Father Brennan was perplexed.

An ominous image of a woman in a faint white dress glided across the bed—motionless and stoic but holding her stomach with both hands in hurtful prose. Within seconds it was gone with barely enough time for Bolder to capture a glimpse of it.

“I sense something else in the room,” Bolder said.

A pulsating wave of energy screeched from within, penetrating the bodies of Father Brennan and Bolder. They shook from the sensation—there was no movement or breeze, and the windows to Kelly’s room shut. But it still required they hold their balance as the snappy spiritedness vibrated their eardrums with a ringing noise.

“Whatever is in here is not going to give up with prayers of love,” said Father Brennan. He was ready to launch into a full-blown exorcism.

Giveaway

Janice Tremayne will be awarding 5 digital copies of the book during the tour! Enter via the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other tour stops for more chances of winning! Find the tour schedule here:
https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2021/03/vbt-bolder-guilt-edged-by-janice.html

Blog Tour [Review]: In The Jaded Grove by Anela Deen

In The Jaded Grove header

Today we have In The Jaded Grove by author Anela Deen! This is a good one, folks! Not gonna lie, it was the cover that first caught my attention, then I read the synopsis and was even more intrigued. Anyway, I’m really glad to be in this tour and I can’t wait for you all to read this book!

Read more about In The Jaded Grove and check out my review below! :)

In The Jaded Grove coverIn The Jaded Grove (by Anela Deen)

Author: Anela Deen

Genre: new adult, portal fantasy

Diversity tags: author of color (biracial); poc representation (filipino main character); lgbtqiap+ representation (queer secondary characters)

Publication date: 15 April 2021

Publisher: Fine Fables Press

Cover artist: Jenny Zemanek

Synopsis:

Simith of Drifthorn is tired of war. After years of conflict between the Thistle court and the troll kingdom, even a pixie knight known for his bloodlust longs for peace. Hoping to secure a ceasefire, Simith arranges a meeting with the troll king—and is ambushed instead. Escape lies in the Jaded Grove, but the trees of the ancient Fae woodland aren’t what they seem, and in place of sanctuary, Simith tumbles through a doorway to another world.

Cutting through her neighbor’s sunflower farm in Skylark, Michigan, Jessa runs into a battle between creatures straight out of a fantasy novel. Only the blood is very real. When a lone fighter falls to his attackers, Jessa intervenes. She’s known too much death to stand idly by, but an act of kindness leads to consequences even a poet like her couldn’t imagine.

With their fates bound by magic, Simith and Jessa must keep the strife of his world from spilling into hers—except the war isn’t what it appears and neither are their enemies. Countless lives depend on whether they can face the truths of their pasts and untangle the web of lies around them. But grief casts long shadows, and even their deepening bond may not be enough to save them from its reach.

On-page Representation:  Filipino (main character), secondary sapphic characters

Trigger and Content Warnings:  Violence, trauma, grief, death of a loved one (in the past – not on page)

Add this on Goodreads.

About the Author

In The Jaded Grove author

A child of two cultures, this hapa haole Hawaiian girl is currently landlocked in the Midwest. After exploring the world for a chunk of years, she hunkered down in Minnesota and now fills her days with family, fiction, and the occasional snowstorm. With a house full of lovable toddlers, a three-legged cat, and one handsome Dutchman, she prowls the keyboard late at night while the minions sleep. Coffee? Nah, she prefers tea with a generous spoonful of sarcasm.

Connect with the author on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and on her Website.

Incredibly fast-paced, exciting and well-written fantasy

I don’t read a lot of fantasies with pixies, fairies and fae, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, but I’m glad now that I decided to give this book a go. I really enjoyed it!

In The Jaded Grove is incredibly fast-paced, which I really liked. There’s always something interesting on every page. The writing flows well, so I found it pretty easy to read.

I like the characters – complex enough, likeable and even relatable. Jessa and Simith both carry a lot of pain in their hearts and it was beautiful to read about them working with it and through it. The secondary characters, Jessa’s friends, are also great and I would actually love to read more about them. Also, I love that the main character Jessa is Filipino. I enjoyed the bits about the culture thrown in.

The book has amazing world building (another thing I absolutely love in fantasies). I like the author’s take on fairies, pixies, fae and trolls. It’s something I didn’t really expect so that was interesting to read.

There are very real and serious themes running through this book – grief and trauma, war and oppression – and they’re handled well and not overwhelming, for me at least.

I’m not entirely sold on the ending, but the whole book was so engrossing that I didn’t mind so much. If you like portal fantasies with complex characters and lots of action (lots of fighting scenes in this one), you might enjoy this one!

Note: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher and Caffeine Book Tours as part of my participation in their tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Also, please bear with how this review is written – present and past tenses all jumbled in! I can’t get it right at the moment, but I hope you get what I’m saying. LOL. Read this book! Thats all. :P

Favorite Quotes

Okay, these aren’t exactly actual quotes but the lines that struck me most in the book were the snippets from existing poems by well-known authors.

And into the forest I go,
to lose my mind and find my soul.
- John Muir

Beautiful words.

Yet if hope has flown away,
 In a night, or in a day,
 In a vision, or in non,
 Is it therefore the less gone?
 All that we see or seem
 Is but a dream within a dream. 
 - Edgar Allan Poe

I commend the author for choosing these because they were just so apt and beautiful. I also appreciated the reading recommendations the author gave at the end of the book.

Follow the Kindred Realms Tour! Check out Caffeine Book Tours on IG for more tour stops and reviews of the book.

Book Blast [Review]: Realm Of Dragons, Fight For The Crown by L.C. Conn

Realm of Dragons_TourBanner

Today we have Realm of Dragons: Fight For The Crown by author L.C. Conn! I like fantasy and I like dragons, and I just felt like joining this blog tour.

Read on to know more about the book and read an excerpt! Then enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a $25 gift card. Woot!

Realm_of_Dragons_coverAbout this book

The Realm of Dragons is in peril from hidden plots and conspirators, which threaten not only the crown, but the dragons that are at the very heart of it.

Teagan Loinsigh, long ago banished from her magical home of dragons now lives on Earth. Her dreams and memories of the great creatures are put down to fantasies and an overactive imagination, until one day she comes across a creature so unlike any other in the land she lives in. A baby dragon.

Muniath Magaoidh, a Dragon Warden fallen so low by a failed mission, must be brought back from his despair to retrieve what is lost.

Scetis Mordha, alone in the world since he was a child. Finds himself in the middle of intrigue and conspiracy against The Realm of Dragons.

Tying them all together is a dragon. Not just a dragon but The King of Dragons.

Can these four save The Realm of Dragons?

Add this book on Goodreads.

About the Author

L.C. Conn grew up on the outskirts of Upper Hutt, New Zealand. Her backyard encompassed the surrounding farmland, river, hills and mountains which she wandered with her brothers and fed her imagination. After discovering a love for writing in English class at the age of eight, she continued to write in secret. It was not until much later in life that L.C. turned what she thought was a hobby and something fun to do, into her first completed novel. Now married, L.C. moved from New Zealand to Perth, Western Australia, and became a stay at home mum. While caring for her family and after battling breast cancer, a story was born from the kernel of a dream. The first book of The One True Child Series was begun, and just kept blooming into seven completed stories, which have garnered great reviews. She continues her career with more stories waiting in the wings to be released.

Connect with the author via email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads or on her website.

Interesting fantasy about dragons!

This was a good read. I don’t know what I was expecting or if I was just in the right mood for this story, but I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. It turned out to be quite interesting and when I had to take breaks from reading (because, you know, life) I found myself thinking about it and getting impatient to get back to the story.

I thought the writing flowed well and the pace was steady. I like that it was basically three stories (Teagan’s, Muniath’s and Scetis’s) that eventually came together. I like the characters, the main ones and most of the supporting ones. I thought they were hashed out well enough, though sometimes maybe a bit too good to be true, but I didn’t care. I liked the whole story and the dragon lore. There were some pretty good twists in there, too! If you like fantasies and dragons (like I do), you might enjoy this one.

Note: I received a copy of this book as part of my participation in this book blast. All opinions expressed are my own.

Read an Excerpt

“I don’t understand, what do you want to do?” she asked, collapsing to the hot rock.

“Stand before the fiery pit. Face your fear and grow into who you were meant to be.” His voice boomed not only in her mind but echoed off the circular cavern.

“I’ll die,” she whimpered.

“No, you will not. Now stand,” he commanded.

Slowly she got to her feet. Sweat dripped from her body in rivulets, stinging her eyes as she wiped her face on her sleeve to clear it. As she did, Gremlin moved and the full heat from the lava hit her. She stumbled back, but he supported her with his neck, holding her up. The fiery liquid turned her skin first red, then it started to blister. Teagan screamed at the pain and with fumbling fingers began to tear at the remaining clothes she had on. Now standing nude, her body shook as the outer skin burned away. It melted from her body, slipping, and exposing raw flesh underneath. A scream she so desperately wanted to release caught in her throat.

“Into the lake.” Gremlin commanded.

Each step she took was laboured. She tried to stop herself but found her body would not respond. Her mind screamed at the thought of the agony and death that she was sure awaited if she obeyed the Dragon King. But she went. Standing on the precipice, in a gap of the wall, the scream at last escaped her lips as she stepped down into the rock from the centre of the world.

Giveaway

L.C. Conn will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Get your entries in via the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other tour stops for more chances of winning! You can find the schedule here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2021/03/book-blast-realm-of-dragons-fight-for.html

Review: World Serpent Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #5) by Shami Stovall

Today I’m reposting my review of World Serpent Arcanist, the fifth book in the Frith Chronicles by author Shami Stovall. Yayyy.

Okay, I read this book in December last year but I realized a few days ago that I don’t have the review on this blog. It’s on Goodreads, but since I have my reviews of the first four books here, I thought I should also have it here, too.

Anyway, read on for more about this fantastic continuation to the series!

World Serpent ArcanistWorld Serpent Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #5)

Death. Destiny. The rise of god-arcanists.

Volke Savan has reunited with the Frith Guild just in time to help fight the Second Ascension, a group of power-hungry dastards bent on controlling the newly created god creatures. The world serpent is the first on their list, and if the Second Ascension manages to harness its power, the world will forever be changed for the worse.

But the Frith Guild has another plan. They intend to beat the Second Ascension to the world serpent and have it bond with someone trustworthy—a mysterious man who Guildmaster Eventide believes will usher the world into an era of peace.

As Volke struggles to improve his magic, and also become a mentor for a new knightmare arcanist, he realizes that this may be one adventure the guild never makes it back from…

Continue the Frith Chronicles with the fifth book, World Serpent Arcanist!

Add this book on Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

About the Author

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall is a multi-award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction, with several best-selling novels under her belt. Before that, she taught history and criminal law at the college level, and loved every second. When she’s not reading fascinating articles and books about ancient China or the Byzantine Empire, Stovall can be found playing way too many video games, especially RPGs and tactics simulators.

If you would like to find a full list of her novels and audiobooks, you can do so on here.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email

Does not disappoint. Another fantastic ride!

Great continuation to the series!

Volke is great as always, growing nicely into a skilled arcanist and into an even more genuinely good guy. I’m not a big fan of his, er, romantic links, but I do like the potential of one possible pairing.

The book is mostly about Volke since he’s the main character after all, but I would have liked to read more about the other characters, his pals from book 4 mostly – Fain and Adelgis. I mean, all Volke’s friends are in this, I just wanted to see more of them also growing into their magic.

Speaking of magic, this book is full of it and more. We get the usual stuff I’ve come to expect from this series – interesting magic concepts, fascinating creatures and lands, exciting fights, awesome twists. The twists at the end are pretty cool. I mean, I’m sure everyone who has read the series was probably thinking about this thing in some way or other, but what actually happens is just wild. It was nicely done, methinks. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

If you’ve been enjoying the other books, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

If you like fantasy and are looking for a new series to binge, I say pick up this one!

Note: I purchased my own copy of this book. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read my reviews of the previous books: