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.

Cover Reveal: Thorn by Intisar Khanani (plus a $25 Giveaway!)

Thorn_Cover_reveal

Today we’re celebrating the new cover of Thorn, a fairy tale retelling by one of my favorite fantasy authors, Intisar Khanani! Yayyy.

Intisar Khanani self-published Thorn back in 2012 and I even had the chance to review it. I loved it and I have been a fan of Intisar’s work since then. The novel is being re-released under HarperTeen and I’m excited for everyone else to discover this book.

Check out the new cover below! Then read an excerpt and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a Thorn-inspired prize pack and a $25 gift card (for one US winner) or a $25 gift card (for one non-US winner). Enjoy!

About the Book

Thorn_Intisar KhananiTitle: Thorn
Series: A standalone in the “Dauntless Path” world
Author: Intisar Khanani
Cover Designer: Jenny Zemanek
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Publisher: HarperTeen
Price: US $18.99 (Hardcover), US $9.99 (e-book)

Synopsis:

A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own.

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.

Advance Praise for Thorn

“Thorn is a lovely atmospheric fairytale fantasy about a girl and her found family. I loved it!” – Gail Carriger, New York Times-bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate series

“Intisar Khanani is in my top five favorite authors writing today. A stunningly talented storyteller whose lyrical writing just blows my socks off every time I read her.” – Grace Draven, USA Today bestselling author Eidolon

Book Links

Universal Book Link (All Stores): http://books2read.com/thorn

The following links will direct readers directly to their “local” store for their territory:

About the Author

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020).

Connect with the author: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Read an Excerpt

“Princess Alyrra,” the king says. I rise and lift my eyes to his. He studies me as if I were a prize goat, his gaze sliding over me before returning to my face, as cold and calculating as a butcher.

“We have heard tell of you before.”

“My lord?” My voice is steady and calm, as I’ve learned to make it when I’m only half frightened. For all my prayers, there’s no sign of softer traits in the man before me.

“It is said you are honest. An unusual trait, it would seem.”

Dread curls tight in my belly. I force some semblance of a smile to my lips. There is no other answer I can give that my family will not despise me for. My brother has gone rigid, his hands pressed flat against his thighs.

“You are most kind,” my mother says, stepping forward.

The king watches me a moment longer, leaving my mother waiting. Just when I thought I might finally escape my history, how my family sees me, I find I am mistaken. There is no better future to hope for now. The king has come for me, knowing full well I am nothing to my family.

Giveaway

In celebration of the cover reveal, the author will be giving away a THORN-inspired prize pack including a great snowy owl enamel pin, a gorgeous “quill” style calligraphy pen set, a hand-painted watercolor feather on a page from Thorn, and a “fairy dust” candle. The prize pack plus a $25 Gift Card will be awarded to one US winner. She is also offering a $25 Gift Card to one non-US winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall (and a $25 Giveaway!)

TourBanner Knightmare Arcanist

Ohai! I’m here again with my review of Knightmare Arcanist by author Shami Stovall. It’s my second book by the author and this one’s a young adult fantasy. Not gonna lie, even though this is YA (I’m not usually a fan), I jumped at the chance to join this blog tour because I really enjoyed the last book of hers that I read (see my review).

The story of Knightmare Arcanist centers on a young outcast fighting for his dream of becoming more than what the world thinks he is. It doesn’t sound too different from most YA fantasies, right? But, hey, this was pretty fun and I enjoyed it!

Read more about the book below, check out my review, and check out the interesting excerpt. And of course, enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win goodies. Yayyy..

Cover_Knightmare ArcanistAbout the Book

Magic. Sailing. A murderer among heroes.

Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.

So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.

In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.

A fast-paced flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

Add on Goodreads. Buy on Amazon or B&N.

Good story, interesting characters, cool magic concept, promising start to a series

This book was fun and I enjoyed it.

Volke, apprentice to the gravekeeper, belongs to the lowest of the lows in his island and is doomed to remain so for the rest of his life. He longs to rise above that and become an arcanist, a wielder of magic like his idol, master Gregory Ruma, but to become one he has to bond with a mythical creature. He ends up bonding with a knightmare, a rare creature of shadows. But there is something wicked happening to magic everywhere and the knightmare’s suspicions point to the great Ruma. To protect all that he holds dear and to protect magic itself, Volke has to not only master his new powers, but also find out the truth about Gregory Ruma before it’s too late.

I was in a pretty okay mood when I started this book and I finished it in a day. The book is an easy read, well-paced. I didn’t get bored at all. There’s a lot of action and good scenes with different characters. The plot is also interesting and well drawn out. It’s a great start to a series that still felt like a complete story.

The characters are interesting and well developed. Each character is distinct and complex in his or her own way. Even the non-human characters. I like their interactions because you can see how different and “real” they are. I actually like all of the teens in this book and that’s a good thing for me because I have a tendency to get annoyed with young characters.

I also like the magic concept. It’s unique and refreshing. I like the idea that magical creatures can choose the person they can grow in magic with. And that they develop a trust and dependence as both the creature and their chosen person grow stronger, more powerful – or even the opposite – together. It’s pretty cool.

The book is basically about young folks coming into their own and into their magic and doing great things. I would love to read the next in the series.

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.

About the Author

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Read an Excerpt

I outlined a fresh grave for the cemetery as bells rang from the isle’s tower, signifying the start of the celebrations. The soil reeked of ammonia and rot, but the crisp morning breeze washed the scent away, dispersing it over the ocean. I removed my shirt, allowing the wind to cool me while I worked.

Every ten years, the people on the Isle of Ruma gathered to watch the fledgling phoenixes bond with a few chosen mortals. Lamplighters did their duty despite the glorious sunshine, each lamp’s fire representing the flames of phoenixes. Merchants cleared their horses and carts from the main road in anticipation of the crowds.

This was my second Day of Phoenixes. A decade ago, on my fifth birthday, I missed the bonding ceremony to attend my father’s trial. He was convicted of murder, but because he hadn’t been born on the island, he was taken to the mainland for final judgement. That was the last time I saw him.

Although the last Day of Phoenixes had been inauspicious, I intended to change that. Once I had finished digging a shallow grave, I would make my way into town.

I slammed the shovel’s head into the dirt and scooped deep. The cemetery sat near the edge of the island, far from those gathering to observe the hopeful students trying to win the favor of the phoenixes.

Tradition stated that anyone who handled sewage, waste, and dead bodies wasn’t allowed to attend the bonding ceremony, which was just my luck. After my father was sent away, I could’ve been given to any profession for apprenticeship. I could’ve gone to the carpenter and learned the craft of woodworking, or I could’ve gone to the silversmith and learned the art of fine metal work, but misfortune hounded me like a shadow. I was given to the gravekeeper, slated to dig corpse-holes until the end of time, forever exiled from the festivities.

I still intended to go. Even if it meant ignoring the traditions of the isle—something unheard of on our tiny spit of land—no one could stop me from proving myself to a phoenix. No one.

Giveaway

The author will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Enter away using the Rafflecopter below!

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.

Spotlight and Giveaway: How to Catch a Magical by Samuel Thews

Today we’re featuring a fantasy book How to Catch a Magical by Samuel Thews. Yay! After reading the blurb and the snippets from readers’ reviews, I got the feeling that this book is pretty fun and interesting, so I really hope to read it one of these days.

Read on to know more about the book, read an excerpt and check out the blog tour giveaway! Enjoy!

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Of synchronicity and reading goals

sylvia_plath_collected_poems

Do you believe in synchronicity?

Last Friday I went to the bookstore to see if they had anything by Sylvia Plath because I thought it was time for me to get acquainted with her work. Yeah, I’ve never read Plath, can you believe it??

So I went inside and immediately saw the sale tables. Of course, I headed there because, you know, BOOKS ON SALE, and I browsed for a few minutes. Then at the last table, I absentmindedly grabbed a thick book that was lying on its cover and it turned out to be a sale copy of Sylvia Plath’s The Collected Poems! How awesome, right? That was a really nice surprise from the universe, I swear. Anyway, I’ve decided that this book is going to be my first for the year.

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Spotlight and Giveaway: Monsterland by Michael Okon

monsterland blog tour

Hullo! Today I have for you a pretty interesting horror book! Check out Monsterland by author Michael Okon. This book really seemed like something I can get into but I still haven’t gotten over my reading slump so I just decided to put this on my wishlist for now. It involves vampires, zombies, werewolves in a theme park! Scary fun, right?

Read more about it below, enjoy a short excerpt and enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a gift card and other cool stuff!

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Spotlight and Giveaway: Mad Magic by Nicole Conway

Yay, I have a book spotlight today! I really wish I had the time and strength to just read and read and read. I’ve been too lazy for a while now even though I come across books that look like pretty interesting reads. Like this one, Mad Magic by Nicole Conway.

Check out the book below and enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win goodies!

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