Tag Archives: Book

Top Ten Tuesday #20

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

April 11, 2017: Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read Some variations: top ten unique sounding books on my TBR, top ten most unique books I’ve read in X genre, etc.

This is a pretty big category to wrap my head around. What makes a book unique? Is it the publisher, the rarity, the binding? Is it some gimmick, some limited edition thing? Is the the plot, the characters, the setting? Any of these things could be the right answer. There are a lot of ways books can be unique, and its one of the reason so many enjoy collecting them.

For this list I’m going to focus on books the look unique. This is mostly inspired by my local used book seller and his Instagram account, browsersbookstore.  I’m going to be using post from them and other Instagram book sellers / #bookstagram to complete this list.

Top Ten Unique Books

Why? Because little books are fun and also because it’s double history, the history of the Emancipation Proclamation in a book that is history itself.

Why? I freely admit to being a James Bond fan girl (As long as we leave Daniel Craig aka WORST BOND EVER, out of it.) I am working my way through the full collection of trade paper back my sister gave me, but there is something special about first editions.

First edition Mickey Mouse reading Gullivers Travels! #arthurrackham #rarebooks #mickeymouse #childrensbooks #illustrations

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Why? The cover is beautiful enough on it’s own, but illustrations of Mickey Mouse reading Gullivers travels? Priceless!

Why? Exquisite! Plus I love all thing Arthurian and Art Nouveau, which this book combines.

Think you have everything Lord of the Rings? #fantasy #MiddleEarth

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Why? I thought I did, but I’ve never heard of this book before. (I even own The Fellowship in Mandarin Chinese, which I picked up while teaching English in China mind you.) We have a whole Tolkien shelf combing the multiple copies and different edition we have of the books. And of course my husband claims to be the ultimate Tolkien fan because he married Arwen. 😊

Some amazing #bindings bound by #Cedricchivers will be on display at the #newyorkantiquarianbookfair, visit our booth E10

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Why? Another beautiful Art Nouveau piece of work. You could just look at these book all day long.

This finely bound Book of Common Prayer is noteworthy because of its stunning bejewelled binding after a design by William Burges, with five brass-mounted semi-precious stones on each board together with two elaborate armorial brass clasps, again set with stones. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀William Burges was one of the pre-eminent figures of the Victorian mediaeval revival. This work was commissioned by Lord and Lady Ripon. Studley Royal and St. Mary's Churches were both built for the Ripons between 1871 and 1878. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Tragically the funds for these builds came from unspent ransom cash from a kidnap that went wrong and which ended in the death of a good friend of the family, Frederick Grantham Vyner. He had been apprehended by Greek bandits during an expedition to Marathon and was shot, along with three friends, in an ensuing gun battle with armed troops. Vyner's mother and her sister Lady Ripon then decided to dedicate the unused ransom money to this memorial project. #beautiful

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Why? The history behind this amazing looking book could be a book itself. The book is in great condition looking almost new.

Why? Because it made me laugh. Chicken scratch… from scratch…KGB Chicken… who comes up with this stuff?

Why? Again it’s a little book and tiny books are cool. And somehow this one has text find inside it in two languages.

Why? In case you didn’t know my day time job is as a freelance content manager and website developer. I’ve been doing a lot of code work lately so this one just stood out, even though it on morse code and not computer code.

Bonus:

These awesome bookends…

Lovely bookends my partner gave me for my birthday a couple of years ago:).

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March 2017 Book Pick Ups

The Deliberate ReaderI am so far behind in my book pick up posts that I couldn’t hope to catch up, so I just decided to start fresh by posting just last months books.

Since our move I kinda settled down on picking up anything but kindle titles and kids books. We just have less space, and I have less time for personal reading right now. Hopefully as we get more settled in and use to our new routine that will change.

For Kindle:

The Daemoniac (Dominion Mysteries Book 1)
Why I got it: Because Kat Ross is an awesome author and I want to read more of her books. Go follow her on twitter and then check out my reviews for her other books Blood of the Prophet and Queen of Chaos.

Ella Dethroned
Why I got it: You know I forgot I had picked this one up, I’m assuming it was from Instafreebie or Book Bub. It’s the prequel to a fantasy series, and has mostly 4 and 5 star reviews. It sounds exciting so I’ll give it a shot.

The Silver Skull Preview
Why I got it: This one is going up to the front of my TBR list because it sounds so intriguing. Add Steampunk, plus spies, plus a dash of fantasy and I’m am in. (I believe this copy is just a sample though, and I will probably end up buying the full book.)

ARC:

Who Counts?: 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons
Why I got it: I got this children’s book through the LibraryThing early readers program. I requested it because it looked like a good childrens book about some of the parables of Jesus. However I had mixed feeling about it. Read my review here.

eARC:

The Waterfall Traveler
Why I got it: I am going to review this book for Xpresso Book Tour in May. It sounds like a good fantasy story, with rouges, fugitives, conspiracies and someone the power to travel through water. Also, the cover is just amazing.

Kids Books:

The Little Grumpy Cat that Wouldn’t (Little Golden Book)
Why I got it: I picked this up from my Goddaughter’s school book fair, partly because she loves Grumpy Cat and partly because this year is Little Golden Books 75th anniversary. And the thought of Grumpy cat in a Little golden Book is hilarious.

Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty
Why I got it: It was .99 cents at St. Vinny’s and I am a big sucker for collecting all the books in a series. Plus this gives me more to read than Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray: The Uproar at the front door, which is her favorite bad kitty book and therefore I have read it about 4,00 times.

Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet
Why I got it: Same reasons as above, but this one we got from the book fair.

Mary Poppins
Why I got it: .99 cent at St. Vinny’s and it a book I’ve always wanted to read. Now that my goddaughter is a little older I’ve started reading chapter books to her, like Winnie-the-Pooh and I think we’ll try Mary Poppins too.

The Shy Little Kitten (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: I remember reading this book as a Little Golden book when I was a kid. The step into reading version is just right for my goddaughter to practice her reading aloud.

Cinderella (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: A cheap thrift store pick up. And like I said before I like to collect books in a series, and we already have a bunch of Disney princess Step Into Reading titles.

The Sweetest Spring (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Ditto what I just said, but even more so because this one is part of a series-within-a-series of Disney princess seasonal books.

Tink’s Treasure Hunt (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Another Thrift store find, and who doesn’t love Tink?

Misc:

National Geographic Inside the Medieval World 2017
Why I got it: This is actually what I’m reading right now. I saw it on a supermarket newsstand and picked it up because I’m intrigued by the Medieval World and a century-by-century guide is a great tool for understand the pieces of history.

 

Review: Who Counts? & A Morning with Grandpa

Because today, March 28th is Children’s Picture Book Day I’m going to share my review of the latest ARC picture books I’ve received. I don’t normally post them to my blog because they are often much shorter than my other reviews. Occasionally I will get a picture book to review and I always save them to read with my 6 year-old goddaughter.

Who Counts? 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons

By Amy-Jill Levine
Pages: 40

Synopsis:

One sheep makes a difference. Without her something is missing. Now my flock is complete.

Oh, no! The man is missing his sheep! The woman is missing her coin! The father is missing his son! Can you help them find what they are looking for?

Who Counts? is a creative retelling of three popular parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. As young readers count to help the characters find what s missing, Who Counts? teaches that every one of us counts in God s eyes and that everyone should feel counted.

The stories are beautifully illustrated with modern-day characters and a diversity of ethnicities so that all children will be able to see themselves in the stories.

Review:

I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s a 3-part retelling of some of the parables of Jesus. Using bright, colorful pictures it tells the story of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. The first two stories are great, the ones about the sheep and the coin. But then on the third story, the lost/prodigal son, it goes kinda sideways. I agree with an earlier reviewer who said they were uncomfortable with the slant it took. In trying to make the third story more like the first two it changes the end of the parable a bit. Story-wise it makes sense, but Biblically it’s not a good interpretation. Otherwise I would be able to rate this book much higher.

Bottom Line:

Skip it. This book has a great idea, that just goes off course enough to make me uneasy with it.

A Morning with Grandpa


By Sylvia Liu
Pages: 32

Synopsis:

Mei Mei s grandpa is practicing tai chi in the garden, and Mei Mei is eager to join in. As Gong Gong tries to teach her the slow, graceful movements, Mei Mei enthusiastically does them with her own flair. Then Mei Mei takes a turn, trying to teach Gong Gong the yoga she learned in school. Will Gong Gong be able to master the stretchy, bendy poses? Winner of the LEE & LOW New Voices Award, this title celebrates, with lively spirit and humor, the special bond between grandparent and grandchild and the joy of learning new things together. Readers of all ages will want to try out some tai chi and yoga too!

Review:

A wonderful book! Both the pictures and story are just lovely. The book is about a little girl and her Grandfather spending a Sat morning together. The grandfather, Gong Gong, is outside doing Tai Chi, and the little girl, Mei Mei, wants to join. The illustrations flow with the story as they move through the poses, with Mei Mei not quite grasping the idea of Tai Chi movements. Then the story flips with Mei Mei trying to teach Gong Gong yoga moves, which he finds difficult to follow. Eventually they find a form that fits them both. A great story to use to introduce multicultural families to children, or to introduce yoga or Tai Chi to kids. The 6 year old loves this book!

Bottom Line:

Get it, if you’re looking to add more multicultural books to your child’s library. It’s a great book and has lots of potential for rereading or for classroom reading.

That’s it. What new picture books have you read lately? Let me know in the comments. And don’t forget to pick up a picture book today.

Top Ten Tuesday #18

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

Since I’ve started blogging more regularlly I’ve

February 28, 2017: Freebie Top Ten Books With X Setting (top ten books set near the beach, top ten book set in boarding school, top ten books set in England, etc.)

I’m much more of a genre reader than one who thinks much about where a book is set. (I did do an earlier Top Ten Tuesday post on Books Set Outside to USA.) But for today’s picks I’m choosing books with a Scandinavian or Russian setting. Quite frankly, there’s going to be a lot of Elizabeth Boyer in this list.

Top 10 Books Set in A Scandinavian or Russian Setting

In no particular order: (If I have reviewed the book the title will be linked to my Goodreads review, the images are linked to Amazon.)

    1. The Troll’s Grindstone
    2. Troll Fell
    3. Number the Stars
    4. White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors
    5. The Sword and the Satchel 
    6. The Thrall and the Dragon’s Heart
    7. The Crown and the Crucible
    8. The Curse of Slagfid
    9. A Doll’s House
    10. Crime and Punishment

Review: Queen of Chaos

By Kat Ross
Pages: 374
Date Finished: Jan 15, 2017

LoBook Reviews - Loved Itved It

Synopsis:

Persepolae has fallen.

Karnopolis has burned.

As the dark forces of the Undead sweep across what remains of the empire, Nazafareen must obey the summons of a demon queen to save Darius’s father, Victor. Burdened with a power she doesn’t understand and can barely control, Nazafareen embarks on a perilous journey through the shadowlands to the House-Behind-the-Veil. But what awaits her there is worse than she ever imagined…

A thousand leagues away, Tijah leads a group of children on a desperate mission to rescue the prisoners at Gorgon-e Gaz, the stronghold where the oldest daēvas are kept. To get there, they must cross the Great Salt Plain, a parched ruin occupied by the armies of the night. A chance encounter adds a ghost from the past to their number. But will they arrive in time to avert a massacre?

And in the House-Behind-the-Veil, Balthazar and the Prophet Zarathustra discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. But is it enough to redeem the necromancer’s bloodstained soul and thwart his mistress’s plans?

As a final showdown looms with Queen Neblis, the truth of the daēvas’ origins is revealed and three worlds collide in this thrilling conclusion to the Fourth Element series.

Review:

I reviewed the first two books in this series, The Midnight Sea and the Blood of the Prophet last year – read that review here.

Queen of Chaos picks up right where Blood of the Prophet left off (These books are so fast paced and each picks up where the previous left off and I recommend reading them all back-to-back.) Our hero’s are scattered after the fall of Xeros’ empire to Alexander. Tijan and a group of daēvas children travel across a barren landscape ravaged by the hordes of undead from Bactria. Nazafareen and Darius travel into the dominion searching after Victor, and eventually they get separated too. The tight group of former Water Dogs is no more, and each must find there own way in a world in chaos.

You really need to read the first two books to be invested enough in this world to understand all the thread and currents in The Queen of Chaos. The story is complicated without being convoluted, and I think that’s really an accomplishment. Too many modern fantasy stories think they have to be so expansive, with so many characters, and so much  going on that the reader can easily loose some of the threads or become disinterested. (I’m reading another series right now and the final book it giving me this exact problem, there is so much going on I can hardly keep it all straight and it spends a lot of time on story lines that don’t seem to be moving the plot forward.) Ross keeps this the book balanced while moving the action forward.

There are several character development twist that came to me a quite a pleasant surprise. Without giving away any spoilers, the way things work out between Nazafareen and Neblis really caught my interest. It could have easily fallen into a fantasy troupe, but not only did it get turned on it’s head, the whole way things worked out for the bad guys was atypical, and I enjoyed that.

Of course, there are new monsters, big battles, and plenty of action in the book too.

Bottom Line:

Wow! Kat Ross knows how to write an epic.

The twists and turns the books takes as it leads up to the final conflicts swept me along. The world of the Forth Element yielded up some more of it’s secrets, but not all. It left me wanting more. Wanting to dig deeper and spend more time in the fantasy version of Persia that Ross built up. (In fact, over on my Tumblr I am doing an Owl-A-Day doodle and dedicated one day to owls inspired by ancient Persian art.)

I highly recommend this series. And right now the first book, The Midnight Sea is free for Kindle.

Purchase:
Amazon

 

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Review: The Last Treasure of Ancient England

The Last Treasure of Ancient England by MJ Colewood
Pages: 412
Date Finished: Dec 8, 2016

LoBook Reviews - Loved Itved It

  • I received this book free from the author

Synopsis:

It is 1066 and in the aftermath of the Battle of Hastings the lifeless corpse of King Harold has been looted. The disappearance of a particular item enrages Duke William, and only one of his knights knows its whereabouts. In his remaining years this knight has to make a decision: will he ever share his secret, or take the greatest enigma in English history to the grave? Centuries later, when Chester Bentley arrives at his new Devonshire boarding school, he is unprepared for the mystery it conceals. The discovery of an age-old riddle lures him and his new friends into a quest to uncover the secrets safeguarded by the stately manor house. Hidden somewhere in the county is an extraordinary treasure and the school holds the puzzling key to its surprising location. But something is lurking in the dark, shadowing them each time they venture out from their dormitory at night, and a ghostly legend puts fear into the bravest of pupils. In their last year at the remote school time is running out; so can they succeed where others have failed, and even died, in a chilling hunt to reveal the last treasure of ancient England?

Review:

You’ve probably heard a book claim to be the next so-and-so. You know the next Narnia, or new Lord of the Rings, or next Nancy Drew. Well I often dismiss those claims. Especially since I’ve been let down so many times because the comparision didn’t live up. However, I will dare to make a comparission here… This Chester Bentley Mystery is the closest I’ve come to reading something that captures, as an adult, the feelings I had when reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys as a child.

There is a real sense of wonder, mystery and discovery as you read this book. I felt like I was going on the adventure with Bentely, Montague, Iona, Zara and Q. The pace is much slower than a traditional mystery, yet there is a palpable sense of urgency building through out the book.

The book has three separate story lines that all take part in different times. I was really impressed with the one following the Norman invasion of 1066. I have read multiple books about this time period and never had a Norman character that was as compelling as Richard. Usually the Normans are all cast as bad guys with a serious case of blood lust, and there are those characters too, but Richard is not like them. It was nice to see a character that was three dimensional, and thoughtful.

The only problem I had with the book is what I call the “Harry Potter Effect,” where the book basically praises and reward children for breaking the rules. In fact, if they didn’t repeatedly break the rules the mystery would never have been solved. Add to that, the fact that some of the adults are bumbling and clueless and others are out to get the children, and you have a bad mix. This is just one of my pet peeves. I want to see books set a better example and for writers to find more creative ways to move the plot ahead.

Bottom Line:

A really good book that mixes a historical fiction of the Norman invasion with a mystery at a boarding school. The mystery had plenty of surprises (in fact I had not guessed which “particular item” it was that disappeared,) the characters were warm and likable, and the pace well thought out. I hope to read more of Bentley’s adventures in the future.

Purchase:
Amazon

October – November 2016 Book Pick-Ups

Oct/ Nov Book Pick Ups
The Deliberate ReaderWhat a crazy couple of months… Beside our move out to the farm being ongoing, my grandfather passed away on October 21st.

It was also a banner time for picking up books; from the Sci-fi and Fantasy Giveaway Party, to my birthday, to some thrift store finds, to discovering a site for free books. In fact, the book picks ups will continue when little bug’s school book fair begins on Monday, but I’m going to leave those books for the next pick up blog.

For Kindle:

Venom and Vanilla
Why I got it: It was my Kindle First selection in October. Normally I don’t like urban fantasy, but this one was tongue in cheek enough and mixed in Greek mythology so I went for it.
Everything, Everything
Why I got it: Pretty much every single book blogger I follow has raved about this book, so when it went on sale for $1.99 I picked it up.
Bitterwood (Dragon Age series Book 1)
Why I got it: BookBub, it’s dangerous… I try not to look over every email they send, but well I just can’t bring myself to unsubscribe. Also this book is about a world where human’s are enslaved to dragons, sounds right up my fantasy alley.
A Pirate’s Charm (Lore Book 1)
Why I got it: Ravenswood Publishers is having a holiday sale and all their e-books are $.99. Since they’ve been so good to me I decided to return the favor and buy a book from them. #TreatYourShelf.
So Wide the Sky (The Women’s West, Book 1)
Why I got it: I found out about Instafreebie when I did the Sci-fi and Fantasy party, and found a few other gems through it.
The Call of Agon (The Children of Telm, Book 1)
Why I got it: The cover got me, and the description is about dead gods, and their offspring with mortal women and seems full of mythological themes. #Instafreebie
The Forgotten Wizard
Why I got it: Another #Instafreebie that sounds like a good fantasy adventure story.

eARCs:

The Breedling and the City in the Garden See my review
Why I got it: It sounded like a good fantasy story, ended up being more historical fiction with a sprinkle of fantasy, but I enjoyed it.
The Last Treasure of Ancient England – Review coming Dec 7th
Why I got it: The author contacted me through my blog’s comment feature and asked me to review their novel. This is the first time anyone’s done that!

Sci-fi and Fantasy Party:

Why I got them: I participated in the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway. One of the ways to enter the giveaway was to sign up for a bunch of author’s email lists. As thank-you’s many of the authors sent out free copies of their books.

Immurement: The Undergrounders Series Book One
Feral – Many Lives Book 1
Rose Boy
Coal: Book of the Everleaf Series
Courtlight Series Boxed Set (Books 1, 2 & 3)
Gates of Heaven

Coloring Books:

A finished coloring page.
A finished page from Everything Beautiful.

Life in a Medieval Castle and Village Coloring Book (Dover History Coloring Book)
Why I got it: It was a birthday present from my husband.
Everything Beautiful: A Coloring Book for Reflection and Inspiration
Why I got it: It was a birthday present from my mother-in-law.
The Chronicles of Narnia Official Coloring Book
Why I got it: It was a birthday present from my mom… see any trend here. 😀

Misc:

The Puppet MastersThe door into summerDouble Star6 x H: Six Shocking Penetrations into the Unknown – Robert A Heinlein
Why I got it: $.99 Early Heinlien books. A pretty good thrift store haul.
Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes & Lullabies
Why I got it: Every Wee Sing book I find at a thrift store becomes mine. Multiple copies are okay, because then when you have a sing-a-long each person can have a copy. At least that’s my personal fantasy.
A Fairy Tale (Disney Fairies, Step Into Reading)
Why I got it: We have read the Great Fairy Race about 200 times, so another Step Into Reading book about the Pixie Hollow fairies sounds about right.
A Tale of Two Sisters (Disney Frozen) (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Who has a six year old girl that doesn’t love Frozen? Since we have one at our house and this book was $.50 at the thrift store it made sense to buy it.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle)
Why I got it: It’s been on my wishlist forever, so I used some of my birthday cash to purchase it.

That’s it! What have you picked up recently?

Review: The Breedling and The City in the Garden

the-breedling-and-the-city-in-the-gardenby Kimberlee Ann Bastian
Pages:  280
Date Finished: Oct 31, 2016
Book Reviews - Liked ItLiked It

Synopsis:

Absolute obedience, servitude, neutrality.

These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.

He chose defiance.

Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.

Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.

Review:

Not so much a fantasy story as a tour of 1930’s Chicago with a little bit of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” type mythology mixed in.

The Breedling and The City in the Garden, has a really warm narrative that slowly unfolds the mystery surrounding the character of Bartholomew as it takes you on a tour of depression era Chicago. The depth of the depression history draws you in and makes the unraveling bits of mythology that much more believable.

The characters and their discoveries and struggles are really what makes the story. Charlie the street smart orphan who has lost everything and is struggling to still be the man his mother wanted him to be. Bartholomew/Buck the otherwordly Breedling, who is trying to overcome centuries of grief and guilt and to finish his mission. The Devil, who Buck can’t shake and who has a too keen interest in Charlie. The mysterious and benevolent Father Van Lewen, and the brief glimpses we get of the characters from the world of Buck’s origin and the hints they give us of the true puzzle being unraveled.

Inter-playing ideas of destiny, free will, servitude and muniplation this story asked some big questions but leave them unanswered for the next story.

Bottom Line:

I’m unsure what to think of this book. I enjoyed reading it, but it wasn’t at all what I expected from the book description. This isn’t really a book for fantasy lovers, and those who regularly read heavily supernatural themed books (Like my Kindle First pick of this month Venom and Vanilla.) This is much more a book for fans of historical/period fiction who want to dip their toes into fantasy.

Purchase:
Amazon

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Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Party! (The Source of Magic: Excerpt)

I’m participating in the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway! They are having a party and have something really exciting things going on. First, some great Science Fiction and Fantasy books are on sale at bargain prices, and after that, a chance to enter our $1200 Gift Card Giveaway! (Plus bonus giveaway on the Facebook Event Page.) Read on for more information, but first, check out the books from our sponsors at the link below!

VIEW BOOKS FROM THE SPONSORS HERE!

The Source of Magic: A Fantasy Romance

by Cate Rowan (Excerpt)

the-source-of-magic-200x300For a moment there was quiet, and peace. Jilian couldn’t hear or move, but she could see Alvarr’s eyes, gray and deep. Then, with a tremendous roar and a jolt through every nerve, the world reappeared.

Cries of struggle buffeted her ears. She twisted toward them and Alvarr set her down, but kept her corralled in his arms, her back to his chest.

They stood in a round room of mortared stone and blazing torches, and they weren’t alone. Two men and a woman in sapphire-blue cloaks battled soldiers in black tunics slashed with red belts. Three soldiers attacked each person in blue. The blues fought awkwardly, as if unused to combat.

Jilian jerked back, knocking her spine against Alvarr’s solid form. Where am I?
The heat of his broad chest seeped through her nightgown. He leaned down to be heard above the clamor, his lips brushing her ear. “Please, send me your kyrra!”

Kyrra? Her brain scrambled for a meaning.

His left hand gripped her ribcage and he reached for her right hand.

“What are you DOING?” No, this is only a bad dream. And I’ll end it. Just as she was preparing to ram her elbow into Alvarr’s ribs and wake up in her study, a soldier hurtled toward them swinging a wooden quarterstaff.

She recoiled, slamming against Alvarr.

“Takerran!” Alvarr shouted. Green fire streaked from his raised palm to his opponent’s chest. The soldier sank in a heap and his staff clattered to the ground.

The world thinned and condensed into the soldier’s murderous sneer, frozen at the moment of the fire’s impact. The glare in his eyes iced her gut.

A dream! Wake up!

But his cruel gaze was too real—as were the frantic shouts, the acrid burn of torch-lit air, and the strong hand on her hip.

A familiar ring of light encircled their feet, and from it Alvarr yanked up a crackling wall of jade fire. It surrounded them and he twisted to his right, hauling her with him. “Rokad, look out!” he yelled to one of the cloaked men.

Jilian shoved against Alvarr’s grip, unable to budge even one powerful finger. She saw the dark-haired Rokad vault to the side, panic flooding his face. A glinting spear whistled through the air but caught only the edge of his cloak. He spun and lobbed a green fireball at his attacker, who crumpled to the ground. But he didn’t escape the second soldier, or the rope in the enemy’s hands that cut off his breath.

“Rokad!” Alvarr started toward him, dragging Jilian with him once more. The wall of fire flickered erratically.

“No, the FireRing—keep her safe!” Rokad gasped, clawing at the rope around his throat.
Jilian flinched as the butt of a sword crashed into Rokad’s temple.

Alvarr grabbed her hands. “The kyrra—hurry, send me your power!”

WHAT power? A scream pounded on her tongue, but the consequences it might bring clamped her teeth.

Within moments, the soldiers knocked out the three figures in cloaks and the sapphire mantles pooled on the stone floor. A brawny man with a red circular badge stepped forward, pulling a clear cylinder from a pouch at his waist.

A scarlet glow flared within the cylinder and the officer aimed it at Rokad. Rokad’s body paled. Even the sapphire of his cloak faded to a dull slate gray. Alvarr’s furious breath rushed across Jilian’s cheek.

Through the wall of fire, she stared in horror at Rokad’s ashen face.

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GIVEAWAY!

Entering is easy! Directions are on the Rafflecopter, but as an overview:

  1. Subscribe to genreCRAVE and confirm your subscription when you receive the confirmation. You must confirm via the confirmation email to get entry for the $1200!
  2. Select what other newsletters you would like to join. Each newsletter = 1 entry. Enter your email to confirm. This email must match the email you used for confirmation in step 1!
  3. You may unsubscribe at any time, but reporting as Spam will get you disqualified from all future giveaways.
  4. Winner will be announced at our Facebook Party and contacted via Email. We will have other prizes at the Facebook Party as well!

NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS FOR SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY FANS ONLY. IF YOU ARE NOT AN AVID READER OF THOSE GENRES, YOUR ENTRY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Please do not try to find a way around this. There will be other giveaways, Enter this one if you love SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY! Thank you!

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Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Party!

I’m participating in the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway! They are having a party and have something really exciting things going on. First, some great Science Fiction and Fantasy books are on sale at bargain prices, and after that, a chance to enter our $1200 Gift Card Giveaway! (Plus bonus giveaway on the Facebook Event Page.) Read on for more information, but first, check out the books from our sponsors at the link below!

VIEW BOOKS FROM THE SPONSORS HERE!

Here are a couple of sneak peeks! (Click on a cover to read an excerpt)

rebels-honor-188x300   lord-of-the-black-land-200x300   shadows-for-princess-194x300

GIVEAWAY!

Entering is easy! Directions are on the Rafflecopter, but as an overview:

  1. Subscribe to genreCRAVE and confirm your subscription when you receive the confirmation. You must confirm via the confirmation email to get entry for the $1200!
  2. Select what other newsletters you would like to join. Each newsletter = 1 entry. Enter your email to confirm. This email must match the email you used for confirmation in step 1!
  3. You may unsubscribe at any time, but reporting as Spam will get you disqualified from all future giveaways.
  4. Winner will be announced at our Facebook Party and contacted via Email. We will have other prizes at the Facebook Party as well!

NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS FOR SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY FANS ONLY. IF YOU ARE NOT AN AVID READER OF THOSE GENRES, YOUR ENTRY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Please do not try to find a way around this. There will be other giveaways, Enter this one if you love SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY! Thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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