April 9, 2018

REVIEW: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Parasol Protectorate #1
Gail Carriger
Pub date: 10/1/09

Synopsis from Goodreads
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.

First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire--and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

My Review
This was my first foray into the world of steampunk, and I'm completely in love. I didn't think I liked historical-ish books, so I passed over Soulless so many times. Perhaps I don't like straight up historicals, but I sure do love them with vampires, werewolves, and all sorts of steampunk inventions. 

I want to be best friends with Alexia. She is so smart, and not afraid to show it, in a time where that was perceived as unattractive. She had me laughing constantly, and now I need to get myself a parasol like hers. Alexia is the shining star of this book.

It took me a while to get used to the writing and vocabulary, but once I did, I was flying through the pages. Exciting and entertaining the whole way through. 5 Stars!

April 2, 2018

Shadow Walker Box Set by Tiffany Shand *Review*

Shadow Walker Trilogy
Tiffany Shand
Print Length: 342 pages
Publication Date: April 2, 2018

Genres: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Purchase from Amazon

Add to Your Shelf on Goodreads

Follow the Tour to Read Reviews, Exclusive Excerpts, and Spotlights:

About the Shadow Walker Box Set

After her enforcer teammates are killed in a bust gone wrong, Denai witch Charlie McCray struggles to carry on working the job without them. Using her gift of communicating with the dead, she's determined to get justice and find those responsible no matter what. But her only clue to go on is a mysterious orb with a deadly reputation that everyone wants to get their hands on.

The only one who may be able to help her figure out their deaths, and the connection to the orb is the dark and sexy demon from her past. Convinced she's his life mate, to her denial, Charlie isn't happy to see him again. Can they really work together as partners to track down the truth whilst ignoring the ever-growing attraction between them?

My Review:
This series is a thrilling paranormal adventure. I couldn't stop reading once I started.

The characters are so interesting. While you might think a witch is a witch, Charlie is no ordinary witch. I loved the new take on familiar paranormals. If paranormal romance is your thing, these books are for you.

The first book left off on a huge cliffhanger. The best part about reading a box set, is not having to wait to figure out what happens. You can read my review of book 1 here: http://atomegnome.blogspot.com/2018/01/shadow-walker-by-tiffany-shand-tour.html

I don't want to tell too much about books 2 and 3 because spoilers! Just go grab the box set and read it immediately. You will be glad you did!

Meet the Author
Tiffany Shand is a writing mentor, professionally trained copy editor and copy writer who has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Born in East Anglia, Tiffany still lives in the area, constantly guarding her work space from the two cats which she shares her home with.

She began using her pets as a writing inspiration when she was a child, before moving on to write her first novel after successful completion of a creative writing course. Nowadays, Tiffany writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, as well as nonfiction books for other writers, all available through Amazon and on her own website.

Tiffany’s favourite quote is ‘writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go’ and it is armed with this that she hopes to be able to help, inspire and mentor many more aspiring authors.

When she has time to unwind, Tiffany enjoys photography, reading and watching endless box sets. She also loves to get out and visit the vast number of castles and historic houses that England has to offer.

You can contact Tiffany Shand, or just see what she is writing about at

March 21, 2018

REVIEW: Sealed With a Curse by Cecy Robson

Sealed With a Curse
Weird Girls #1
Cecy Robson
Pub date: 12/31/12

Synopsis from Goodreads
Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twenty-something girls—with one tiny exception: They're the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that make them, well, a little weird…

The Wird sisters are content to avoid the local vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region—until one of them blows up a vampire in self-defense. Everyone knows vampires aren't aggressive, and killing one is punishable by death. But soon more bloodlust-fueled attacks occur, and the community wonders if the vampires of Tahoe are plague-ridden.

Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha's family to keep the area safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and—oh, yeah—not lose her heart to the wrong guy or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, he's coming for her and her sisters.

This Wird girl has never had it so tough.

My Review
This book had me rolling with laughter the entire time. The first few chapters especially. The scene with the were raccoon made me laugh so hard!

I loved Celia's sense of humor. All four sisters are totally badass, and I want to be friends with them all. Even though each one has a unique power, their strengths compliment each other. I never felt like one didn't belong in the family.

The men in this book were equally interesting. I especially enjoyed the interaction between Celia's sisters and the werewolves. I'm iffy about Aric. I want him to let Celia be the badass she is! He keeps on saying how he wants to protect her, but I am confident the girls can protect themselves. That's like my only critique with the whole book.

The plot was fast and engaging. There were twists I didn't see coming, and I love when that happens. I can't wait to read the next one! 5 stars.

March 16, 2018

Esme's Wish by Elizabeth Foster *Tour & Giveaway*

Esme’s Wish
by Elizabeth Foster
Genre: YA Fantasy
248 pages

A warm-hearted, whimsical fantasy tale, with lashings of mystery, magic, and mythology, and prose that 'flows like water.' Prepare to fall in love with Esperance!

"A fresh new fantasy, of an enchanting world." - Wendy Orr, author of Nim's Island and Dragonfly Song

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father's wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme's mother, Ariane - so why can't she?

But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother's disappearance - that 'lost at sea' is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.

After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother's steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane's double life. But the more Esme discovers about Ariane, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.

This fresh, inventive tale is ideal for readers fifteen and under, including pre-teens keen to step up to YA. A wholly unique take on the genre, perfect for fans of Cornelia Funke or Rick Riordan.

Elizabeth Foster read avidly as a child, but only discovered the joys of writing some years ago, when reading to her own kids gave her the urge to create a story of her own. Once she started writing, she never looked back. She’s at her happiest when immersed in stories, plotting new conflicts and adventures for her characters. Elizabeth lives in Sydney, Australia, and Esme's Wish is her first novel. 

For more information, please visit her website: www.elizabethfoster.com.au. Sign up to her mailing list (on the first page of the website) to hear news about her writing journey and upcoming books.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

March 14, 2018

REVIEW: Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge

Deadly Sweet
The Spell Syndicate #1
Lola Dodge
Pub date: 1/16/18

Synopsis from Goodreads
Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spellbooks in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad no one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.

Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’s not supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.

The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.

If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.

Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?

My Review
I laughed out loud so many times while reading Deadly Sweet. Lola Dodge has a way of breaking up life threatening disasters with quirky humor, and I love it so much. 

I love all of the characters, except Steff Oats, she can go kick rocks! I'm mostly intrigued by Wynn. I NEED to know more about him, and I hope to get that in the next book. I loved Agatha's no nonsense personality, and the evolution of her relationship with Anise. I'm also super curious about the magical veterinary practice. That sounds like my kind of workplace.

All of the baked goods had my mouth watering. I'm in desperate need of cake. Isn't the cake on the cover gorgeous?

I was entertained the entire book, and I finished it in under 24 hours. It was that good. To be honest I've never picked up a bad book from Ink Monster. Their books always grab my eyeballs, and don't let go until the end. I'm looking forward to the next installation. 5 stars!

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop

I am giving away a cozy mystery to one lucky winner. The four books the winner will get to choose from are: Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton, Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson, Mayhem at the Orient Express by Kylie Logan, or Engaged in Death by Stephanie Blackmoore. 

A runner up will win a pack of signed bookmarks from various authors and genres.

Giveaway rules: Open to US residents only, all entries will be verified, and entrants must be 18 or older to enter. Twitter, Blogger, and Rafflecopter are in no way responsible for this giveaway. I am not responsible for lost or damaged prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to visit the rest of the stop along the way!

March 8, 2018

Unquiet Dead by Chris Pavesic *Tour & Excerpt*

Unquiet Dead
Chiaroscuro Chronicles
Chris Pavesic
Steampunk, Mystery, Dark Fantasy

In Chiaroscuro it’s important to keep the faith.

When the Temples north of Chiaroscuro are burned and followers of the Sun Goddess are murdered, Catherine, a bard of the Ealdoth Temple, sets out to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. With only the help of a traveling group of minstrels and a retired fae investigator, Catherine must solve the mystery before more people are killed.

So saddle up your clockwork mount, buckle on your electro-dagger, and join Catherine as she finds herself pitted against members of her own Temple, rogues members of the Seelie Court, and a seemingly unstoppable army of undead.

Follow the virtual tour and visit tours hosts sharing spotlights, excerpts, and reviews. Link to tour schedule: https://saphsbookpromotions.blogspot.com/2018/03/virtual-book-tour-schedule-unquiet-dead.html

Read an Excerpt:

Merci quickened her pace, making her way from the south side of the plaza to the steps that lead down to the docks. It was empty at this time of day. There, halfway down, she stopped and pressed against the wall. A small door opened where a door had not been.

She entered and the door closed silently, depriving her of light. The coarse stone walls of the tunnel were damp. This dark passage through the lower city had not been improved by fae magic. The mechanicals did not normally travel its depths, so the walls had never been treated with the illuminating chemicals. They still needed access, though, in case of blockage or damage to the sewer system, so the door remained.

She switched on her torch. The glow of the crystals first revealed the hand that held it, and then reached to the walls. The floor sparkled with moisture and a deep trench of sludgy liquid ran down the center. On through branching corridors Merci traveled. She was awash in the sweet rottenness of tiny things living and dying out of the light of the sun. And floating through everything, permeating and complicating it all, was the sour smell of sewage.

I must burn these shoes when I get back. The robes too. Feh—what an odor.

Within the space of a few hundred heartbeats she left the main corridor and came upon a leveled widened floor that ended in a wall of craggy granite. A symbol was carved into the stone. She pulled a carved wooden amulet from her robes and pressed it against the symbol.

Cracks appeared in the granite. There was a sense of great weight wheeling on an unseen pivot. A drawer slid out, revealing a large green crystal that glowed in the light of her torch.

Meet the Author:

Chris Pavesic lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Find Chris Pavesic Online:

Twitter Handle @chrispavesic