(BookR)A Crown of Wishes

 (buy a copy of your own by clicking the link above)

**I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes**

Pages: 382

Cover: ★★★★1/2

Book: ★★★★

Publishing Date: March 28th 2017

My review:

This book is about an Indian Princess named Gauri and the Prince of the neighboring kingdom, Vikram,  and their search for what their kingdoms need most: a fair and just ruler. They must travel to a magical city and enter into a magical tournament to be able to fulfill their quest. I thought that while the book started off slow it picked up in the second chapter, and was overall a very good book. I find that when reading Roshani Chokski’s work I am drawn into a world of exquisite color and light, leaving me with a sense of bedazzlement at the end. My favorite scene is when Gauri goes into a crystal garden, where the author’s attention to detail just took my breath away.  The descriptions of Gauri’s scheming older brother also had me nodding in sympathy with just how awful they can be sometimes. This book is a perfect complement to The Star Touched Queen and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Disclaimer: I have had a soft spot for Indian mythology since I read Shiva’s fire.

Description

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 10.43.12 PM

Find out more about her at:  http://www.roshanichokshi.com

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(BookR) The Turn

(Buy Your copy at amazon by clicking on the picture above)

Pages: 448

Cover: ★★★★ of 5

Rating: 7 OUT OF 10

Publishing Date: February 7th 2017

Publisher: Gallery Books

My review:

Kim Harrison bring characters to life like no other. I was so excited to finally learn about Quen ( since he was mentioned in the first couple of pages and having long been a fan of the mysterious elf), only to have my heart broken just a few chapters later, with the discovery that he only had minor a minor role once again.

Now that I’ve gotten my sole disappointment out of the way I can move on to the good stuff. I loved how she expanded on the tomato causing mass extinction factoid dropped in earlier hollows books. I always found it to be interesting and am excited to finally have a story to go with it.

It was definitely different to get to see characters I am used to seeing fully grown in their younger iterations… Quen, Trent, Takata etc. and know the havoc they would later cause. Overall, I kind of felt bad for Trents character… Harrison has made me hate him, love him and now with the release of the prequel… back to psuedo hating him again. He truly has been an evil, conniving bastard.

If you are a fan of her books this is a book you don’t want to miss. If you haven’t read her books before… This is the perfect place to start.

Description:

Can science save us when all else fails?

Trisk and her hated rival, Kal, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.

But death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government’s new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague rises, giving the paranormal species the choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.

Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague-torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved, and Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.

SPOILER-ALERT
OMG… AFTER READING THIS BOOK I AM LEFT WITH A QUESTION THAT IS DRIVING ME NUTS! What happens to Trisk and Kalamacks baby that Trent is later forced into his relationship with Ellasbeth? ANY THEORIES?

(BookR) Risuko By David Kudler

>Get It Here<<

Can one girl win a war?

My name is Kano Murasaki, but most people call me Risuko. Squirrel.
I am from Serenity Province, though I was not born there.
My nation has been at war for a hundred years, Serenity is under attack, my family is in disgrace, but some people think that I can bring victory.
That I can be a very special kind of woman.
All I want to do is climb.
My name is Kano Murasaki, but everyone calls me Squirrel.

Cover: ★★★★

Book: ★★★★¾

**I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for my review**

My Review:

Samurai. Intrigue. Attempted Murder. A fast paced story about a girl just trying to make it in the world and with any luck redeem her family honor. I had to force myself to slow down; so as not to devour it all at once. That being said, Risuko is another book set at an unusual school determined to help her find her way out of her inauspicious circumstances, and it is her very ability to climb that ends up getting her into trouble and saving her life at the same time.

** This was the very first book review I ever wrote, and looking back now I see how short and to the point it really is, and I hope that my readers will forgive me for my slow start.**

 

Other Reviews:

 HISTORICAL/SUSPENSE THRILLER:  “Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale” is set in Japan in the sixteenth century with female warriors, one of whom is called Risuko. Along with two other apprentices, Emi and Toumi, Risuko arrives to their new home, which is filled with lots of secrets. Risuko is a nickname meaning squirrel – and she has an uncanny ability to climb just about anything!
Not a lot of authors write about Japan and Japanese culture, although it’s very interesting. David Kudler does an admirable job of describing sixteenth-century Japan, with tons of details to make the setting come alive. The characters are easy to relate to, especially Risuko. The women were portrayed as strong and independent, especially unique if one thinks this was set in the sixteenth century. The story was filled with action, suspense, and a unique, well-crafted storyline.
[…]
It is easy to invest in the characters, and once the reader starts this book, it’s almost impossible to put it down. Risuko goes through a lot of character growth throughout the book. An entertaining story with excellent writing and haunting descriptions, a relatable heroine, and fast-paced writing.  — Majanka Verstraete, InD’tale Magazine

In this YA historical novel set in Japan s Sengoku period, a girl who adores climbing attends an unusual school. Your mother sold you to me this morning. With this, young Kano Murasaki, called Risuko (Squirrel) for her love of climbing, learns she s to accompany imperious old Lady Chiyome s palanquin. Risuko s father was a samurai, a prestigious occupation in war-torn 16th-century Japan. After being disgraced, he had to find work as a scribe; he taught Risuko to read and write, but with him dead now, the family is near starving and Risuko s best option is to comply. The traveling party undergoes a cold and dangerous journey as it tries to dodge the fighting between rival warlords. Along the way, Risuko displays some of her abilities not just climbing, but calligraphy, bird calls, and presence of mind when attacked. When they finally reach the Mochizuki compound, Risuko becomes a novice, believing that she s being trained as a shrine attendant. There s talk of initiates becoming kunoichi, which no one will explain: you ll just have to find out on your own. At first, the novices perform only menial tasks, especially kitchen work, but they eventually receive lessons in music, singing, and dancing. But suspicion and intrigue (both political and romantic), plus attempted thievery and worse, tear apart the Mochizuki community, leading to a dramatic confrontation with the truth. Kudler (How Raven Brought Back the Light, 2014, etc.) draws on one of the most fascinating elements of Japan s feudal period the kunoichi, or female ninja. (Mochizuki Chiyome is a historical figure who trained young women as spies and assassins, using cover identities such as shrine attendants, servants, and prostitutes.) Also intriguing are the cultural details that Kudler weaves into his story, such as the Retreat, a small building where Mochizuki s women stay during their periods. The characters are nicely varied and all the pieces fit into place deftly, such as how Risuko s dance movements and kitchen skills can be used in fighting. A tight, exciting, and thoughtful first volume in what promises to be a fine series about a female ninja. –Kirkus Reviews

 

About the Author:

David Kudler is a writer and editor living just north of the Golden Gate Bridge with his wife, actress, teacher, and author Maura Vaughn, their author-to-be daughters, and their apparently non-literary cats.

A published author, he is currently working on Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale, a young-adult historical adventure novel set in sixteenth century Japan.

He serves as publisher for Stillpoint Digital Press. Since 1999, he has overseen the publications program of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, for which he has edited three posthumous volumes of Campbell’s previously unpublished work (Pathways to Bliss, Myths of Light and Sake & Satori) and managed the publication of over fifty print, ebook, print, audio, and video titles, including the third edition of the seminal The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Currently, David serves as vice-president of the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association.

(BookR) Eidolon by Grace Draven

>>Buy It Here<<

Pages:239

Cover: ★★★ out of 5

Book: ★★★★ out of 5

Publishing Date: April 18, 2016

Description

**Sequel to RADIANCE and Book #2 in the Wraith Kings series**

In a bid for more power, the Shadow Queen of Haradis unleashes a malignant force into the world. Her son Brishen, younger prince of the Kai royal house, suddenly finds himself ruler of a kingdom blighted by a diseased darkness. His human wife Ildiko must decide if she will give up the man she loves in order to save his throne.

Three kingdoms on the verge of war must unite to save each other, and a one-eyed, reluctant king will raise an army of the dead to challenge an army of the damned.

A tale of alliance and sacrifice.

My review:

*#*#Spoiler Alert#*#*

As stated in my previous review, I am a bit of a fan girl when it comes to Grace Draven and her books.

(I literally stayed up all night last night reading this book, see 1 hour of sleep and a raging migraine ALL day)

So… I’m going to start off with what I didn’t like, and then we can focus on the amazing stuff.

At the beginning of the story, you pick up where you left off, with Queen Secmis having just released a Galla Horde into the world in her quest for supremacy. You then skip to Kirgrippa, former maid of Ildiko now promoted to nurse of the newest heir to the Bast Haradis Kingdom, a princess, tucked away in a remote part of the castle, which is good for her because its the only  reason she makes it out alive. Anyway, with the help of the guards they manage to make it out JUST in time. This is probably my least favorite part of the whole book because it sets you up for the ending, and I think I would have been a little more entertained had I not known that there was a spare heir floating around the country. Thats not to say I wasn’t on the edge of my seat… and she did throw me for a loop. The whole first chapter I was praying to god that she didn’t suddenly switch to someone else’s point of view. Then I kept secretly rooting for them to come up with a magical way to let Ildiko and Brishen make babies, just in case princess regnant got lost…. because I don’t see Ildiko just stepping aside and letting ANYONE take her man. The most entertaining character for me has always been Secmis though. I grew up with my very own Secmis and was sooooo happy to see her finally meet her end.

Plenty of romance and hot steamy encounters.

Definitely worth the $3.99 if you liked Radiance, which I definitely recommend you read first and the best part is its also currently $3.99 on amazon. Just don’t blame it on me if you end up spending more money on the other books she’s released.

So now we wait…for the next book in the wraith kings series. Come on 2017!

 

(BookR) Radiance by Grace Draven

>>Buy it here<<

Pages: 297

Cover: ★★★

Book: ★★★★

Publishing date: January 11th, 2015

My Review:

If you are a fan of beauty and the beast you will love this book. Ildiko is a noble of relative unimportance in the land that she comes from, so she is married off to the spare prince of the neighboring race, the Kai. The Kai are the opposite of human in all ways, born with gray skin, claws, and a mouthful of fangs they thrive at night. Can she leave all that she knows and loves for the good of the kingdom?

I am an unashamed fan girl of Grace Draven, I have read all of her books and just started re-reading this one in preperation for the newest book in this particular series Eidelon.

Description:

~THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE~ Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined. ~THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE~ Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light. Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

 

About the author:

Grace Draven

Looking for any excuse to delay in doing the laundry, Grace Draven turned to the much more entertaining task of telling stories about fantasy worlds, magic, antiheroes, and the women who love them.

She currently lives in Texas with her husband, kids, and a big doofus dog. Laundry has now been assigned to the kids.

(BookR) 29 By Nancy Pennick

 29

>>Read an excerpt or buy it here($2.99 for the kindle version)<<

Pages: 334

Cover: ★★★

Book:★★★★

Publishing Date: October 9th, 2015

**A FREE copy of this book was provided by the Author in exchange for this review**

My Review: 

The cover of this book made me think of the movie 28 days later so I was expecting it to be another zombie book. It’s not. It does however, have a unique story line, that draws you in and makes you feel like you have to know what happens on the next page. The main character is a girl named Allie, in her Junior year at high school. I personally found that the teenager in me identified with her on so many different levels:

*She has an older brother she barely gets along with and who does whatever he feels he needs to accomplish his own agenda

*She’s from a small town and longs to get away.

*She has a best friend who is a girl but is always a little closer to her male best friend

*Her ex Josh always seems to be around no matter what she does

Mrs. Pennick, being a former High School teacher herself, has plenty of anecdotes and knows all of the little details of the high school experience to bring the high school experience back to life and make you feel like you never left. If you read the description and it appeals to you, I really think you should give it a try!

 

 Description:

Allie Sanders thinks life in a small town can’t get any more dull and boring. She plans to escape after graduation. After a bad break-up, she wants to sail through junior year without distraction. Then the mysterious loner sits down in front of her in AP English. He’s the guy she noticed last year desperately trying to stay invisible. She wants to know his secrets.Suddenly her much older military brother, Doug, makes a rare appearance. He takes a special interest in her life. Suspicious of his motives Allie holds back, never really trusting him. Doug wants what she wants—the boy she has come to love. No way would she let that happen. She’d go against family and friends to protect him—and his secrets—even if it ends up breaking her heart.

About the Author:

Nancy Pennick

Nancy Pennick grew up and still lives in Northeast Ohio. After a career in teaching, she began writing young adult books. The Waiting for Dusk series includes a historical fiction prequel, Broken Dreams. The fantasy romance series has three books-Waiting for Dusk, Call of the Canyon and Stealing Time. The Swedish influences in the series come from her mother whose parents emigrated from Sweden.
Her new series-Twenty Nine-has slowly developed over time. Last Leap Year, an idea came to her and she created the characters and story based on that special day, February 29.
Nancy is married and has one son who helps her with all things technical. He created the video trailers for Waiting for Dusk.

(BookR) The Daughters of Palatine Hill by Phyllis T. Smith

>Buy it here<<

Pre-order now for 46-27% OFF

Pages: 412

Cover: ★★★

Book: ★★★★¾

Publishing Date: 02/16/16

 

Before I begin my review I have to admit to a fascination with this period in history from the time I was a small child. This started with this book:

cleopatra

 

My Review:

I found myself absolutely in the thrall of this book from the moment I opened it up. The character descriptions were unbelievably vivid. The description is a tiny bit misleading where it talks about Cleopatra Selene being a companion to Julia (Augustus Caesar’s Daughter), while they do live in the same household they didn’t really seem to be what I would call companions either. This is one of those books that jumps from one characters point of view to another characters point of view. This is usually a book killer for me, because I will pick a character I like and only read their parts. I didn’t have that problem with this book since I formed an emotional attachment to all of the characters. My emotional attachment evolved as the characters moved from childhood to adulthood and as they interacted with each other, which I think is a hallmark of a truly talented writer. Overall, I loved this book and I think I will be adding I am Livia to my list of books to read in the future.

 

Description:

Two years after Emperor Augustus’s bloody defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, he triumphantly returns to Rome. To his only child, Julia, he brings an unlikely companion—Selene, the daughter of the conquered Egyptian queen and her lover.

Under the watchful eye of Augustus’s wife, Livia, Selene struggles to accept her new home among her parents’ enemies. Bound together by kinship and spilled blood, these three women—Livia, Selene, and Julia—navigate the dangerous world of Rome’s ruling elite, their every move a political strategy, their most intimate decisions in the emperor’s hands.

Always suppressing their own desires for the good of Rome, each must fulfill her role. For astute Livia, this means unwavering fidelity to her all-powerful husband; for sensual Julia, surrender to an arranged marriage and denial of her craving for love and the pleasures of the flesh; for orphaned Selene, choosing between loyalty to her family’s killers and her wish for revenge.

Can they survive Rome’s deadly intrigues, or will they be swept away by the perilous currents of the world’s most powerful empire?

About the Author

Phyllis T. Smith was born and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and a master’s degree from New York University, Phyllis pursued a practical career in computer applications training, yet she found herself drawn to writing fiction and to the history, literature, and art of the ancient world. Her first novel, I Am Livia, was a #1 Kindle and Digital Book World bestseller. She plans to write more novels set in ancient Rome.
**I was provided with an Advance Readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes**