With this Curse by Amanda DeWees

downloadWith this Curse

by Amanda DeWees

Book Summary:

Can a curse strike twice in a woman’s life? In 1854, seventeen-year-old chambermaid Clara Crofton was dismissed from Gravesend Hall for having fallen in love with Richard Blackwood, the younger son of the house. Alone in the world, Clara found a tenuous position as a seamstress, but she always blamed the Gravesend curse for the disaster that had befallen her–and for Richard’s death soon after in the Crimean War.

A proposal…
Now, more than eighteen years later, Richard’s twin, Atticus, seeks out Clara with a strange proposal: if she will marry him and live with him as his wife in name only to ease the mind of his dying father, Atticus will then endow her with a comfortable income for the rest of her life. Clara knows that he is not disclosing his true motives, but when she runs out of options for an independent life, she has no choice but to become Atticus’s wife.

A deception…
For Clara, returning to Gravesend as a bride brings some triumph… but also great unease. Not only must she pretend to be a wellborn lady and devoted wife to a man whose face is a constant reminder of the love she lost, but ominous portents whisper that her masquerade brings grave danger. “This house will take from you what you most treasure,” her mother once warned her. But the curse has already taken the man Clara loved. Will it now demand her life?

*I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review*

My Review:

Once again Amanda Dewees has created a story that I just can’t stop reading.  Clara and Atticus are great characters who complement each other completely.

Clara has made her way in the world since being sent away from Gravesend.  She has had a hard life, but is in a place where she feels comfortable.  Then Atticus comes with a proposal.  Be his wife. Not in the true sense, but in name alone.  Let him right the wrong that his family did to her all those years ago.

Atticus is the man every woman dreams about.  He is kind and gentle.  He would do anything to make Clara happy. He is truly in love with her. As you watch there time together unfold there are a lot of really great moments. Moments when Atticus kisses Clara’s hand and takes her breath away.  Moments of gazing into her eyes. The moments when he lets her know he loves her.

There is a lot of foreshadowing in this book.  There were times when I went oh yes of course! And times when I thought, well I didn’t see that coming. The writing and flow of the story are brilliant.  It takes you back to a time and place that you can picture.  The way the ladies talk and the topics of discussion that are deemed inappropriate.  Amanda Dewees captures the time period beautifully.  As far as a good Gothic Romance goes, you won’t find much better then this. temp-4

 

 

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Come back tomorrow and see our Author Interview with Amanda Dewees.

About the Author:

5783151Amanda DeWees is an author and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her PhD in English literature from the University of Georgia and likes to startle people by announcing that her dissertation topic was vampire literature. Besides writing, her passions include theater, classic film, Ioan Gruffudd, costume design, and the preservation of apostrophes in their natural habitat.

 

Snow White and Rose Red: The Curse of the Huntsman

downloadSnow White and Rose Red: The Curse of the Huntsman 

by Lilly Fang

Book Blurb:

Welcome to the Festival of Roses, a world full of magic and romance. Every year during the festival each boy leaves a flower at the door of the girl he believes is the “fairest of them all.” Naturally, Snow White gets dozens of flowers, while her younger sister Rose Red is ignored.

This year, though, things are different. For the first time, Rose Red has a mysterious admirer, and this year she isn’t the only one jealous of her sister’s beauty. But even though it’s a time of celebration, when girls begin disappearing, the festival turns deadly. With mysterious strangers arriving every day, an ominous marriage proposal, and magic and danger everywhere, Snow White and Rose Red will need to work together to survive the festival and solve the mystery.

My Review:

As many of you know I love fairy tales retold or re imagined and this one is not exception.  Rose comes of age and comes into her magic at just the right time in this story.

There is something dark and mysterious in the forest beyond their home.  Something that forbids the people of there little town from going there at night.  With magic surrounding them they should be safe, but they aren’t.

Snow and Rose’s mom goes for help but when she doesn’t return the girls must take matters into their own hands and find out once and for all what they are capable of.  Curse of the huntsman takes us on a few twists and turns until we reach our ultimate conclusion.

Snow White and Rose Red are strong female characters that though afraid know what has to be done and take care of business. I recommend this quick read and look forward to the next one in the Snow and Rose adventure.  Jessica

 

PicsArt_1375992730999PG – magic and action

 

 

 

 

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The Frog Prince   Cinderella is Evil  195877767

 

Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of DeceptionKiss of Deception

by Mary E. Pearson

Book Blurb:

In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

My Review:

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and fair review.

What an amazing start to this new series! Mary E. Pearson does an amazing job of creating a character who is not only strong but courageous.  In a world where the first daughter has the sight and a princess is part of her father’s army to join to kingdoms and take on a third Lia decides to take control of her own destiny.

Lia goes from Princess to Bar Maid where she meets Kaden and Rafe.  One is the Prince she was suppose to marry and the other is the assassin sent to kill her to make sure that the marriage never takes place.  As the story proceeds it is told from each of there points, but never revealing which of the men is which.  At first I found this infuriating, I wanted to know.  Now that I am finished I found it to be a brilliant way to tell this tale.

One of these men you will fall in love with and the other will take a little getting used to but both will surprise you.  Through Lia’s journey she will discover more of herself and what she is capable of, and maybe even get a glimpse of what she is to become.

I highly recommend this new series and wish the second book was all ready out.  2015 is way to long to wait!Jessica

 

 

PicsArt_1375992730999PG – A little war, a little bit of love, but nothing over the top.

 

Remembrance by Michelle Madow

downloadRemembrance

By Michelle Madow

Book Burb:

Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England … but she doesn’t know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie’s high school, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can’t stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can’t she get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn’t going to be easy.

My Review: 

Imaging coming back to fix the wrong that done.  This is what happens in Remembrance.  In a past life things didn’t go the way they were supposed to, so now Drew, Liz, Chelsea and Jeremy are back to do it again. Hopefully this time they can get it right.

It was a riveting ride from present to past as the past unfolded.  I didn’t like Drew at first and couldn’t figure out why he would be so mean to someone, but as the story went on, questions got answered.  As a best friend Chelsea is selfish and self centered.  I probably would have kicked her to the curb a long time ago.  And as for Jeremy, I don’t know what he was like before, but where the book picks up in their relationship he is not a nice person.  The flash backs to the past are done very nicely and it doesn’t draw you away from or confuse the story.

I absolutely love that Lizzie can draw out what she sees and the masquerade scene is one of my favorites with the dress and the mask.

I enjoyed this book and will be picking up the next ones in the series.

Jessica

 

 

 

 

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About the Author:

5028484Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in The Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” music video. Michelle’s latest YA novel, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner, was published in March 2014. It is the first in an upcoming trilogy. The second part, Diamonds in the Rough, will be coming out in November 2014.

Michelle lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, sunshine, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and spends way too much time on Facebook (/MichelleMadow) and Twitter (@MichelleMadow).

 

 

Flotsam & Jetsam by Carrie Ryan

18896633Flotsam and Jetsam

by Carrie Ryan

Book Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ryan returns to the terrifying world of the Forest of Hands and Teeth with the short story, “Flotsam & Jetsam.” When the zombie outbreak erupts on their ship during their senior cruise, two friends escape in a life raft only to find themselves adrift in an endless ocean with no rescue in sight. What’s worse: one of them is infected. 

Note: this 5,000 word short story was originally published in the anthology The Living Dead 2 edited by John Joseph Adams.

My Review: 

I really enjoyed the Forrest of Hands and Teeth, so when I saw this short story for free I had to grab it. I was not disappointed.  What would you do if you were stuck on a life raft indefinitely with someone who could kill you.  Would you save yourself or would you seek companionship in there company. Until your really in this type of situation, can you even answer that question? This short story takes us onto the life raft with Jeremy and our narrator. Jeremy has been bitten and our narrator must decide what to do.  As you read he progresses from a typical teenage boy into a very scared child.  His only companion, Jeremy, has night terrors and could become a zombie at any minute.  Jeremy also wants to go back to the boat.  The boat where they watched all there friends turn into zombies.  Should he keep him on the life raft or kick him overboard.   You will have to read to find out.  This is an excellent short story and worth the hour or two it will take you to read it.Jessica

 

PicsArt_1375992730999PG- It’s a zombie story, nothing over the top

 

 

About the Author:

1443712Carrie Ryan is the New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Dead-Tossed Waves, The Dark and Hollow Places, and the original ebook Hare Moon. She is also the editor of Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction and the author of Divide and Conquer, the second book in Scholastic’s multi-author/multi-platform Infinity Ring series.

She has contributed to multiple story collectons, including, most recently, Zombies vs. Unicorns, Kiss Me Deadly, and Enthralled. Her work has been translated into over eighteen languages and her first novel is in production as a major motion picture. Born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, Carrie is a graduate of Williams College and Duke University School of Law. A former litigator, she now writes full time and lives in Charlotte, NC

Turned at Dark by C.C. Hunter

tnTurnedAtDarkTurned at Dark

by C.C. Hunter

Book Blub:

Independent and strong-willed Della Tsang hadn’t believed in ghosts until she saw her dead cousin darting into the shadows of an alley. She hadn’t believed in vampires until in the dark of that same night she is turned into one. Introduced to a strange world of supernaturals, she struggles to accept this new reality. Unfortunately, the boy she loves senses something different about her and can’t accept her. Should she follow her vampire cousin’s lead-walk away from everything she’s knows and loves-and fake her own death? Or should she set her pride aside and ask for help from the camp leader of Shadow Falls-a camp where supernaturals go to learn how to cope with their powers. Either way, her life as she knows it, will never be the same.

My Review:

This is a quick read (about an hour) but it is well written and gives us a wonderful glimpse at Della’s previous life. It is a prequel novella to Born at Midnight.  It was sad, a little funny and a perfect start to this series.  It’s always nice to see how someone became what you know them as.  Della is a strong female character that knows what she wants and as it turns out isn’t afraid to go after it. She doesn’t go the comfortable route and takes the one she believes is right.  I recommend this quick read.Jessica

 

 

 

 

About the Author: 

cchunter_hatC.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she’s still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.

C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central. www.christie-craig.com

C.C. would love to hear from you. Because of deadlines, it may take her a day or so to get back with you, but she will reply. cc@cchunterbooks.com

The Shadow Prince by Stacey O’Neale

The Shadow Prince (2)The Shadow Prince

by Stacey O’Neal

Book Blurb:

Every sacrifice has consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission:

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he’s capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?

My Review: 

This is a prequel Novella to Stacey O’Neale’s first novel Mortal in the Mortal Enchantment series.  I think it was a good start.  While I had some issues with it I won’t be to critical.  Roman’s character is a little cocky, a little sarcastic.  I’m guessing a product of growing up in the human world rather than in Avalon. His best friend is a Gabriel Hound, the servants of his people.  Admittedly this part confuses me.  If the Gabriel Hounds are the servants of his people and he grew up on earth how did they become best friends and how did his mother (who is a cruel woman) allow this.

Roman is sent to kill Kailin the daughter of the King of the Air court.  A girl no one has ever met because she has also grown up in the human world with her mother. His mother believes she is the next akasha (someone who controls all four elements) so she must die.  Roman knows it is wrong, but in order to save his people from his mother’s cruel reign he agrees.

We don’t know a lot about Kailin at this point.  She is living on earth with her Mother until her 16th birthday when she will then return to Avalon and assume her position by her Father’s side. I am guessing, based on the novella there will be a love interest her between her and Roman. But for right now she is just the King’s daughter.

There is a lot of action for a novella and the plot is thick. I am not sure it drew me in enough to run out and buy the novel when it comes out, but if you like elements, and hell hounds you might want to check it out.

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PG – It’s a YA novel and other then some death and dismemberment which isn’t to graphic it is pretty clean.

 

 

 

Stacey O’Neale started her career in publishing as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. She loves to write stories with swoony paranormal heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.StaceyOneale

When she’s not writing, she loves blogging and fangirling about books on twitter. Occasionally, she leaves her computer to go outside.

An April Bride by Lenora Worth

an-april-bride_lenora-worthAn April Bride

by Lenora Worth

Book Blurb:

War changes everything . . . even their love.
Bride-to-be Stella Carson can’t wait to marry her longtime sweetheart Marshall Henderson. But Marshall has been away serving his country and after suffering a head wound and being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome, he has distanced himself from Stella by asking her not to visit him in a Washington, D.C. hospital.

Marshall returns to Louisiana just four weeks before the wedding, but as the big day draws near, Stella wonders if the man she’s loved for most of her life still wants to marry her.

My Review: 

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

An April Bride was a well written story, but despite that I have some issues with the story line itself. First off Marshall comes home only four weeks before the wedding, he was injured three months prior to coming home (one month in a German Hospital and two stateside) and in that time no one bothered to tell Stella that he has no idea who she is.  Now I understand his parents were honoring his wishes not to tell her but as a woman I would be pretty pissed.  I mean this is a huge deal!! Then on top of finding out this information they decide to just keep on going with the wedding plans like Marshall isn’t going through enough right now with his PTSD, which I feel is also underplayed in the story.  Marshall is trying to do what he feels is the right thing.  He made a promise to this woman and he is a good person so he is trying to honor that promise.  As with the theme of the book he is sure that god will see him through. However, someone needs to be the voice of reason and say hey I think you should slow down and worry about you right now.

Then there is Stella herself.  I mean she is whiny and a little self centered. The man you love just came home from war.  He suffered a major injury and all her thoughts are what should she do and how this is affecting her and well me, me, me.  When she finally does, what I feel is the right thing, and says we need to postpone the wedding and you need to get better it’s so close to the wedding that there are literally people on standby to call the people who are getting ready to travel. I’m not trying to take away that fact that yes this is very hard for her too but it just would have been nice to hear some thought from her like “what can I do for Marshall” instead of it being all about her.

The ending was all sappy and happy like any good romance should be I just wish the story line leading up to that part didn’t feel so repetitive. temp (4)

PicsArt_1375992631838PG – There is no hanky panky here the families are very religious and it’s purely about the events that lead up to the wedding.

 

 

 

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About the Author:

lenoraworthLenora Worth has written over 45 books for three different publishers. Her first Love Inspired “The Wedding Quilt” won Affaire de Coeur’s Best Inspirational for 1997, and “Logan’s Child” won RT’s Best Love Inspired for 1998. Her suspense “Code of Honor” finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award and her “Body of Evidence” made the New York Times Bestseller list in Mass Market Paperbacks. With millions of books in print, Lenora continues to write for Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense and she recently sold three books to Harlequin’s SuperRomance, still writing as Lenora Worth. Lenora also wrote a weekly opinion column for the Shreveport Times and worked freelance for SB magazine. She has now turned to full-time fiction writing and enjoying adventures with her retired husband, Don. Married for 36 years, they have two grown children—Kaleb and Carly. Lenora enjoys writing, reading and shopping … especially shoe shopping.

Coralina by Anita Valle

CoralinaCoralina (The Nine Princesses Novella)

By Anita Valle

Summary:

Coralina Corissa, known as “Coco” to her eight sisters, is the prettiest princess of a hundred kingdoms. And she knows it. Her beauty has always given her anything she wanted… and any MAN she wanted.

Runa Realm is facing a new threat. Strange bandits, disguised as nobles, are attacking beautiful women to steal their hair. Coralina isn’t concerned. Until Prince Luxley, her favorite (but not only) lover, gets clobbered by a peasant called Gord, who mistakenly assumed the prince was a bandit.

Outraged, Coralina plans to punish the peasant by deliberately breaking his heart. But Gord is nearly blind. For the first time ever, Coralina must rely on more than her looks to ensnare a man. But the harder she flirts, the more Gord seems to hate her. And the more her own heart (and hair) becomes endangered.

The Nine Princesses Novellas is a series that chronicles the adventures of an unconventional family of princesses, the struggles they face in a kingdom often hostile to their humble origins, and the day-to-day dramas of nine young women whose personalities often clash like swords. Fans of Gale Carson Levine and Shannon Hale would enjoy this young-adult series. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

My Review:

As soon as I finished the first one I picked up this one.  I was interested in seeing how some of the open plot points were worked in.  While all our questions still are not answered I am more confident that eventually they will be.

Again this is another cute story.  I will admit Coralina is probably going to be my least favorite princess.  I always had a diversion to girls who know they are pretty and flaunt it to get what they want. But at the same time I feel like what Gord did to her was a little harsh.  I won’t get into details because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else.

Coraline is very used to getting what she wants and playing any gentleman to get it.  So when Gord comes along, a man that is almost completely blind, she doesn’t know what to do.  Only problem is her reputation has preceded her, so her flirting is getting her nowhere. She devises a scheme after he accidently sends her into the lake to try and get back at him.  But can she really pull it off or will she finally learn what it feels like to be used.

Mixed into the flirting is a band of bandits that are cutting off women’s hair to sell to the highest bidder for the newest fashion crazy.  I have to admit I didn’t see where that was going to lead.

I felt a little cheated at the end am wondering how and if this will play out in later books.temp (4)

PicsArt_1375992687897   PG – Great for girls of any age.

 

 

 

 

See our review of Maelyn the first in the nine princesses Novellas.

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Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

QOH-The-Crown-JPEG-not-finalQueen of Hearts: Volume One The Crown

by Colleen Oakes

Summary:

Blossoming Love. A Father’s Betrayal. A Kingdom with a Black Secret.

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinah’s furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath. Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

But be warned…not every fairytale has a happy ending.

This is the story of a princess who became a villain.

My Review:

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Let me tell you how much I loved this book! Wonderland from what we would consider the villains point of view, but why was she the villain.  Dinah is a teenage girl craving her fathers love, a man who is abusive to her both mentally and physically.  Her Mother has died and her brother, the Mad Hatter, doesn’t always remember who she is.

I was drawn into this wonderland world.  I felt for Dinah so much. She has a big heart and her character was wonderfully written.  She knows love and hope and at this tender age feels so much.  Who is truly with her and who is against her I think may surprise us.

Your imagination can run wild as you are reading.  Colleen Oakes has done an amazing job of taking characters that we all know and love and transforming them in the perfect way.  If you want to know who the white rabbit is or the Cheshire cat is in this wonderful tale then you can not miss this book!

This is the first book in a new series by Colleen Oakes and I can not wait for the next installment.

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PG-13 As the Queen of Hearts says “Off with there Heads!”

 

 

 

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About the Author:

Colleen Oakes

Colleen Oakes is the author of the Elly in Bloom Series and the YA fantasy Queen of Hearts Saga, both published via Sparkpress. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son. When not writing, Colleen enjoys swimming, traveling, and immersing herself in nerdy pop culture. She is currently at work on the last Elly novel and another YA fantasy series called Wendy Darling.

You can visit her webpage at: www.colleenoakes.net or at her very lengthy and sometimes embarrassingly personal blog, The Ranunculus Adventures:
http://ranunculusadventure.blogspot.com/