Monday, February 12, 2018

Book Blitz & Giveaway - Curiouser and Curiouser, by Melanie Karsak



Curiouser and Curiouser: Steampunk Alice in Wonderland
Melanie Karsak
(Steampunk Fairy Tales)
Publication date: July 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Retelling, Steampunk

To save the Hatter, Alice must work with the one man she despises so much that she might still love him.
Alice thought she’d turned over a new leaf. No more working for Jabberwocky. No more making deals with the ruthless Queen of Hearts. No more hanging around The Mushroom with tinkers, tarts, scoundrels, and thieves in London’s criminal underbelly. But she’d been bonkers to dream.
Hatter’s reckless behavior leads Alice back to the one person she never wanted to see again, Caterpillar. Pulled into Caterpillar’s mad schemes, Alice must steal a very big diamond from a very royal lady. The heist is no problem for this Bandersnatch. But protecting her heart from the man she once loved? Impossible.
Sometimes love is mad.
 
EXCERPT:

“If you say it again, I’ll stab you,” I said as I struggled to adjust the formal gown. The bulging bustle of fabric on my backside made my lower back itch, and my corset was too tight. A proper lady’s gown indeed, but I wondered how anyone who dressed in proper fashion got anything done. I touched the brim of my tiny top hat. It, along with my parasol, were the only pieces of the outfit I actually liked. Of course, the parasol had a feature that allowed me to slip the White Queen into the shaft to serve as a handle. Leave it to the Countess to think of that.
“All I said was that you look lovely. I hardly think that’s a stabbing offense.”
“Shows what you know,” I replied as I eyed him sidelong. He had changed into a fine suit and wore a black top hat. I both hated and loved being there with him. My conflicting emotions made me cranky.
“Tickets,” said a man standing just outside the door of the Crystal Palace.
“Good morning,” William said politely and handed the man our tickets.
The man stamped the date on the tickets then handed them back. Nodding, he motioned for us to enter.
Taking me gently by the arm, as a gentleman ought to do, William escorted me inside.
While the Crystal Palace’s ornate structure, made of glass and iron, towering several stories high was a sight to behold from the outside, nothing quite prepared me for the marvels inside.
As we entered, a cacophony of sounds reached our ears. The sweet melodies coming from a stand of self-playing harps, the screech of monkeys, the hum of machines, and the sounds of hundreds of voices rolled to our ears all at once.
The structure had been built around the tall ash trees that had stood in the park. They still stood standing tall in the middle of the structure. Fountains lined the center promenade. The crowd gasped and stepped back as a group from Africa passed on their way toward their display, lions on leashes walking in front of them. Not far behind them, a man wearing a straw hat jogged past pulling a rickshaw, two laughing—and elegantly dressed—ladies inside.
I gasped as a man flew overhead on wings made of lightweight material. To my great surprise, he flapped his wings, the metal of the clockwork bones and joints revealed when the sun overhead struck him just right.
William chuckled. “Shall we take it all in?”
Barely able to breathe, I nodded.
“Now, there is my Alice,” he said softly. “Her curious eyes open wide.”
I smiled. “It’s a wonderland.”


Author Bio:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Burnt Earth Series, The Celtic Blood Series and Steampunk Fairy Tales. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.
Newsletter: Join Melanie’s “Once Upon a Time” VIP newsletter and get TWO FREE BOOKS and an EXCLUSIVE Curiouser and Curiouser Adult Coloring Book Download


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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Book Review - Some Quiet Place, by Kelsey Sutton

I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I've grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn't feel emotions... she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They've all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn't succumb to their touch. All, that is, except beautiful Fear, who sometimes torments her and other times plays her compassionate savior. He’s obsessed with finding the answer to one question: What happened to Elizabeth to make her this way?

They both sense that the key to Elizabeth’s condition is somehow connected to the paintings of her dreams, which show visions of death and grief that raise more questions than answers. But as a shadowy menace begins to stalk her, Elizabeth’s very survival depends on discovering the truth about herself. When it matters most, she may not be able to rely on Fear to save her.



Purchase links: Amazon/Book Depository/Kobo



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21807998-dragon-s-lair?from_search=true

 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Longest Books on TBR still Unread!



 
Good morning and welcome to my Top Ten Tuesday post, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. 

This week's topic is about the longest books on your To Be Read list. Oh boy, what a loaded topic for this blogger/reader. 

First of all, I had to find a challenge this year around this issue. When I calculated how many years I would need to finish my current list without any other books being added... well... let's just say, I was quite stunned. And I have to be frank with myself... I have a little toddler, and new babe to come soon, and I need to be realistic... I will NOT be reading at my previous pace, back a lifetime ago, when there were no kiddies needing my attention.

So... I have done a little bit of clean up of the TBR list already and my Top Ten longest books on my TBR are truly ten that I want to read! All of the below titles have one thing in common. They were all added in January 2012 on the same day, when I first signed up to Goodreads, and went NUTS with the recommendations.
 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Book Review - The Liar's Gospel, by Naomi Alderman


An award-winning writer re-imagines the life of Jesus, from the points of view of four people closest to him before his death.
 
This is the story of Yehoshuah, who wandered Roman-occupied Judea giving sermons and healing the sick. Now, a year after his death, four people tell their stories. His mother grieves, his friend Iehuda loses his faith, the High Priest of the Temple tries to keep the peace, and a rebel named Bar-Avo strives to bring that peace tumbling down.

It was a time of political power-play and brutal tyranny. Men and women took to the streets to protest. Dictators put them down with iron force. In the midst of it all, one inconsequential preacher died. And either something miraculous happened, or someone lied.

Viscerally powerful in its depictions of the period - massacres and riots, animal sacrifice and human betrayal - The Liars' Gospel makes the oldest story entirely new.



Purchase links: Amazon/Book Depository/Kobo



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21807998-dragon-s-lair?from_search=true

 

The Liar’s Gospel was an interesting novel. It was written from different characters’ POV about Jesus, and the current Roman rule in Jerusalem and surrounding areas after his cruxifiction. From his mother’s eyes, to a High Priest, Judas and a few others, you really get a different picture of Jesus himself, and the conflict of those times.

Again, though this is not my intention, as with previous novels of this era and about Jesus that I have read recently, Jesus is depicted as a madman. Incredibly compassionate and sensitive, he was also described as very eccentric and prone to fits of anger, and it is a wonder how he captivated so many people and gathered such a following. But considering the turbulent times, people were really looking for someone to voice their rebellious thoughts and express their chaotic feelings.

As much as this book was about Jesus, it was also not. There was a lot of focus on the rebellion of the people against Rome and its forced Rule. Even though Rome was a tyrant in trying to cower the people, at the expense of so many lives, the people always seemed to rise up to rebel against it, no matter the cost. It was truly humbling and formidable to read about the strength of their faith in their fight for freedom.

It was an enjoyable read in that it kept me captivated, for it was a brutal, bloody story. There are not a lot of happy, fussy feelings in these pages, but it was incredibly interesting.
 
 
Happy Reading!
 
*    *    *

Many thanks to Netgalley, Authors and Publishers for making copies available for review. No compensation was accepted and my opinions are 100% my own.



 
Author Bio:

Naomi Alderman (born 1974 in London) is a British author and novelist.

Alderman was educated at South Hampstead High School and Lincoln College, Oxford where she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. She then went on to study creative writing at the University of East Anglia before becoming a novelist.

She was the lead writer for Perplex City, an Alternate reality game, at Mind Candy from 2004 through June, 2007.[1]
Her literary debut came in 2006 with Disobedience, a well-received (if controversial) novel about a rabbi's daughter from North London who becomes a lesbian, which won her the 2006 Orange Award for New Writers.

Since its publication in the United Kingdom, it has been issued in the USA, Germany, Israel, Holland, Poland and France and is due to be published in Italy, Hungary and Croatia.

Author Links: Goodreads
 

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