#BookReview by Lou – Remnants of Magic By Alicia R. Chapin @ChapinAlicia @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Fantasy #Ad #Gifted

Remnants of Magic
By Alicia R. Chapin

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Time to enter Etharum and meet all sorts of characters and explore this new and exciting, richly imagined, fantasy land. Thanks to Love Books Tours for gifting me the book. Discover more about this fantastical adventure that is Book 1 in the blurb and what I thought about it in the review.

RoM-V1-EBOOK (1)

Blurb

The Master Sword Bryan is an elite warrior on the Prince of Shelkite’s council. When Shelkite is threatened by Ret, a wizard-king, the Master Sword is ready to fight. However, his plans are spoiled when he discovers his assignment is as the personal guard to the young half-blood witch sent to their aid—Alexandra.

Alexandra is determined to prove herself to the skeptical Master Sword. Though her powers haven’t fully manifested, she’s ready for anything, as long as she has her faithful mount, Zhan, and her trusty bow. As the quest deepens, she knows she must press on. For whether she does or not, she’s the key—for either good or evil.

Review

RoM-V1-EBOOK (1)Remnants of Magic welcomes readers into Etharum, a place where the Haiprian Mountains rise majestically up and holds an ice palace, and Charad Forest grows below. There are many places inbetween, with Kaltraz split between east and west by a stream and its tributories borne out of the mountains and finishes in the Faded Sea in the east side of the forest. 

Bryan is the first character to stumble upon and is Prince Alkin’s personal guard, who meets Lady Evelyn – ‘The Goddess of Chaos’ each week. Bryan also hangs out with the friendly folk of Fordorn. Pretty pictures of happy folk and a unicorn is painted well in writing. He can’t stay long though as debate of adventure with Keavin Sword ensues and whether a nymph in the Faded Sea of Carthorn can be trusted or not. The pace mounts up and readers learn of other people in this kingdom, including a wizard masquerading as an innkeeper and many more. 

This is a book that is rich and has a good drive in plot to keep readers invested and a whole fantastical world is soon built up, with the assistance of a map at the very beginning and a world full of characters ranging from a wizard, a stallion called Dragon, a unicorn, a prince, half-bloods, a witch, a warrior and more…
There is high adventure and missions and a slow-burn romance in this mystical land that uses its powers to suck you into its mysterious depths, of which there is much to travel through and tread carefully into parts of trepidation and danger.

Readers who enjoy Lord of The Rings and fantastical creatures and grownups are now searching for whole new land to explore, will enjoy this.

About the Author

RoM author pic
I enjoy the outdoors, reading, spending time with my family (that includes pets!), hanging out with horses, and archery. I graduated from Michigan State University in Equine Management and love to incorporate my love of horses into my stories. I’m a huge Star Wars fan (original trilogy), Lord of the Rings fan, Harry Potter fan….and Jane Austen fan. A couple of nerdy facts, I love John Wayne movies and collect the vintage My Little Ponies from the 80s. 

 

 

#Bookreview by Lou – Honeycomb by Joanne M. Harris – Happy Publication Day to Joanne Harris @joannechocolat #CharlesVess @alexxlayt @orionbooks

Honeycomb
By Joanne M. Harris
Illustrated by Charles Vess

Rating: 5 out of 5.

To my absolute amazement and joy, I have been gifted Honeycomb. Readers are in for a treat with this enthralling and enchanting book of 100 short stories by Joanne Harris. They are full of betrayal, gifts, magic, love, beautiful illustrations and much more…
Discover more in the blurb and my review…
I thank Alex Layt at Orion Books and Joanne Harris for gifting me a copy of Honeycomb.

Honeycomb 3

Blurb

An astonishing, richly interwoven story from #1 bestselling author Joanne M. Harris (The Gospel of Loki, Chocolat), beautifully illustrated by the multiple award-winning Charles Vess (Stardust, The Books of Earthsea).

Long ago and far away,
Far away and long ago,
The World was honeycomb, we know,
The Worlds were honeycomb.

The beauty of stories is that you never know where they will take you. Full of dreams an nightmares, Honeycomb is an entrancing mosaic novel of original fairy tales from bestselling author Joanne M. Harris and legendary artist Charles Vess in a collaboration that’s been years in the making. Dark, gripping, and brilliantly imaginative, these magical tales will soon have you in their thrall.

Review

HoneycombFairytales aren’t just for children, infact they were originally written for adults. Joanne Harris has done exactly this, created fairytales that are gorgeously illustrated and with all the hallmarks of a fairytale, with adult themes. Split beautifully into 2 books in 1 where land meets sea.
Imagine a honeycomb, with its hexagonal shapes, creating little pockets. Now imagine going into each one and finding stories that create the honeycomb, some are loosley interconnecting, others overarching, each one, unique and can be read as standalone, but together paint a bigger, wider picture. This in turn makes it a fabulous book to both read all at once (because it is pretty hard to resist) and to leisurely dip in and out of. People who follow Joanne Harris on Twitter will have familarised themselves with some of the short stories form of how they start with the bees, which are beautifully depicted on the front cover.

It’s clearly carefully planned and I love that the book starts with a short story about Nectar, which sets the scene of the Honeycomb Queen and other bees and ends with Honeycomb, just as bees do, as they go about their business. The writing is rich and not only full of descriptions, placing readers exactly where she wants them to be, they tell of something deeper. It’s like eavesdropping on the bees, who have something important to say and they deliberately want you to listen in as you are guided into where the Lacewing King and be transported into different worlds, which are entrancing and involving.

The writing is lyrical as fairytales are and magically captures the attention very quickly and draws you into many different places to meet many different creatures etc, that in turn become relatable to humans and the world we live in, with its abundance of societies. Each tale, intelligently has the insect world colliding with and criss-crossing with the human world. Meet Royalty, a Chancellor, a Teacher, the Slightless Folk and the Silken Folk, Death and more in this beautifully illustrated book that has many highly accomplished stories to easily lose yourself in. Some have trepidation, some allude to politics, some have warnings, and morals with each story carrying a message for readers to find within these expertly crafted tales you can easily lose yourself in.

#Review by Lou – Journey to New Salem by Mark Rosendorf @markrosendorf #YA #Fantasy #Witches #Friendships #Magic …

Journey to New Salem
By Mark Rosendorf

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The second book in this series whisks readers off to New Salem, where there are some familiar and new characters. Witches, Magic, Vampires, Romance, Friendship, Teamwork, Portals, Trepedation and Teen Spirit… This book is packed full with it all in a quest to save one of the characters in this compelling, page-turning fantasy/realism book that I feel is sure to grab young-adults/teenagers attention. It is worth a read. How far too, would you go for a friend?
The first book was a very good read and encompass themes relevant for Young Adults and written very well, so I am delighted to be asked to review again by the author – Mark Rosendorf.
Find out more below in the blurb and the rest of my review and also discover buy links and a link to Book 1 after that….. The book is available in paperback and e-book formats.

About the Author

MarkMark Rosendorf is a High School Guidance Counselor for students in the New York City Department of Education’s special education district. He is also a former professional magician. Mark shares his knowledge of magic with his students as part of the school’s Performing Arts program.

Mark is also credited with published novels in various genres including The Rasner Effect series. He eventually decided on an early retirement from writing. When asked why, Mark’s usual answer was because he lost his favorite pen.

Then, one night, at two a.m., a new and unique story shot into his brain like a lightning bolt, screaming for him to write it.  Suddenly, despite the decision to never write again, Mark found himself spending several nights taking notes on the characters and their stories. That is how The Witches of Vegas, Mark’s first young adult story, was born.

 

New Salem cover

Blurb

A year has passed since The Witches of Vegas saved the city from the evil Wiccan vampire, Valeria. Since then, the show has hit an all-time high. So has the romance between teen witch Isis Rivera and teenage magician, Zack Galloway. Things couldn’t be any better for them until Isis develops seizures that cause her power to spiral out of control. Fires and earthquakes are just the beginning of the chaos caused by the misfired witchcraft. Unable to find a cure, Isis’ family journeys to New Salem, a fabled village of witches which may or may not even exist. Meanwhile, Zack ends up face to face with the only being who may have a cure…Valeria. But does he dare pay her price?

Review

Jasper has premonitions in some of his dreams/nightmares and a night spent with his other-half, Tia saw some more….
The book then moves to the first chapter and onto The Witches of Vegas – a unique magic show as the witches are real and have Wiccan powers. Isis Quinn-Santell, fomerly Isis Flores Rivera is one of them, who readers can follow in her life in the book.

The book has themes which are perfect for the young-adult/teen market. There’s fantasy (magic and teleportation) mixed through the real world, romance, life, all manner of emotions and growing-up.
The romance between Isis and Zack is beautifully written. There is great humour within this relationship, surrounding a small issue of fire…

The time-travelling to the 1990’s is a bit of fun and is a great addition for letting the younger generations gain some knowledge of this decade. It shows books, even fantasy books can be vital in, as well as providing an enjoyable story, they also provide and add to knowledge and increasing a well-rounded education, vital for quizzes and for knowing and understanding the world. 

There’s trepidation as Isis isn’t feeling her usual self and Zack needs to summon Selena and Sebastian to help with their Wiccan powers. As she lies in hospital things become complicated for Isis and how to hide her true witchy identity and the others need to help, but run into problems here and there with teleporting as other forces may also be at play. The author does this well and builds some mild tension up.

Politics in some form also come to play as Isis meets Tia – the president in New Salem, nothing heavy, which is a good call, so it doesn’t jar the story. There’s also some interesting theories about vampires and readers can find out about Valeria as the quest to get Isis back to health continues, where the tension ramps up another gear as the Witches of Vegas are characters that are easy to want to do well and succeed.

This is a book that young adults can easily escape into. It’s compelling to the end!

Links

Amazon          Waterstones     Review of Book 1 – Witches of Vegas

#CoverReveal of Allied by Sarah Biglow and Molly Zenk @SBiglowWrites @UnsinkableMoZe @CayellePub @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Fantasy

 Allied
By Sarah Biglow and Molly Zenk

Allied CR poster

Today I have a cover reveal of Allied. I invite you to check out the richness of the cover and then the blurb of this new fantasy book. Also discover buy links below.
Thanks to LoveBooksTours for inviting me to participate in this blog tour. 

Allied eBook Cover

Blurb 

The sequel to Hunted is upon us…

Six weeks after Edith and her vampire family were exiled from their clan, Darren waits at the rendezvous, poised for a reunion that might never come. With every passing day, his hope of ever seeing the vampire who showed him what it means to be human again dwindles.

On the run from Hunters and her own clan alike, Edith strives to protect those in her care, all the while fighting to get back to Darren and the family she’d long dreamed of. But even when their paths do cross again, reunion comes at a cost.

When Mr. Heartsong brazenly declares war on all humanity, allegiances will be tested. Will Edith side with the man she’s come to believe may be her destiny or the creator who gave her a second chance at life?

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Authors Sarah Biglow and Molly Zenk are the authors of the Captivity series and the Celestial Academy series. Independently, they write across multi genres including: YA, urban fantasy, historical, and cozy mystery. Sarah lives in Boston with her husband and son. Molly lives in Denver with her husband and three daughters. 

Follow them on Facebook: @SarahBiglowAuthor @AuthorMollyZenk

Buy Link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Allied-Hunted-Book-Sarah-Biglow-ebook/dp/B08XY53JYY/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Hunted+molly+zenk&qid=1615293804&s=books&sr=1-1

Amazon –  https://amzn.to/3t7XjOZ

#CoverReveal of #Poetry – Medusa Retold by Sarah Wallis – Discover the cover and more @wordweave @fly_press #MedusaRetold

Medusa Retold
Poetry by Sarah Wallis
Cover Reveal

Today I am pleased to be closing the blog tour for Medusa Retold with a Cover Reveal, where you can discover the cover and what this new poetry book is about in the blurb. You can also find out a bit more about the poet. It’s got a feminist and modern vibe about it from poet Sarah Wallis, who is based in Scotland.
Thanks to Amber Rollinson from publisher – Fly on the Wall Press for inviting me.

medusa 3d cover

 Blurb

 A feminist retelling of the Medusa myth, set in a run-down, modern seaside town, Medusa Retold is filled with the magic and fury of the original tale. In this telling, loner Nuala is difficult and introverted, fascinated by creatures of the sea. Athena becomes her best friend and first crush, and together they form a duo which is ripped apart by circumstance, leaving Nuala unprotected, unable to save herself. A long-form poem of poignant motifs which recur throughout, the poem is a mythic puzzle, an epic for ordinary girls, and a love letter to the sea.

What people are saying:

“Sarah Wallis is a very fine poet and storyteller. She deftly re-inhabits the Medusa myth, losing none of the magic and mystery and yet giving it a contemporary and affecting resonance. She salutes the ancient gods, particularly Athena but also deals with 21st century questions of identity and gender. A miniature epic full of wonderful writing.”
James Nash, poet, recent collections, “Some Things Matter: 63 Sonnets “(2012); “A Bench for Billie Holiday” (2018), both from Valley Press.
“A wild and writhing reimagination of the Medusa myth for the modern age. Mesmerising. Compelling.”

Medusa cover

 Sarah Wallis Bio

Sarah Wallis is a poet and playwright based in Scotland. She has an MA in Creative Writing from UEA and an MPhil in Playwrighting from Birmingham University. Theatrical residencies include Leeds Playhouse and Harrogate Theatre. Recent publications include The Yorkshire Poetry Anthology and Watermarks: for Lido Lovers and Wild Swimmers and Best New British & Irish Poets 2018.

You can connect with her via Twitter @wordweave and her website sarahwallis.net

Medusa blog tour poster

#BookReview by Lou of Tree Magic By Harriet SpringBett @HarriSpringbett @impress_books @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Tree Magic
By Harriet SpringBett
Rated: 3 1/2 stars

Take a journey of nature and life intertwining, with a few magic powers that will sure to pique the interest of any young adult.

Thanks to Impress Publishing and Love Books Tours for inviting me to review.

About the Author

Tree Magic Harriet-SpringbettHarriet Springbett’s childhood on a small farm in West Dorset gave her an early exposure to nature, which continues to inspire her writing.

She qualified as an engineer but, during a Raleigh International expedition in Chile, she realised she preferred words to numbers. She abandoned her profession, moved to France, studied French and then worked as a project manager, feature writer, translator and TEFL teacher. She now lives in Poitou-Charentes with her French partner and their teenage children.

Since her first literary success, aged 10, her short stories and poetry have been published in literary journals and placed in writing competitions, including a shortlisting in the 2017 Bath Short Story Award.

Harriet leads writing workshops, has judged the Segora international short story competition and blogs at https://harrietspringbett.wordpress.com

Synopsis

Thirteen-year-old Rainbow discovers she can communicate with trees.

But that’s just the beginning. Her magic hands can shape trees at her will, but her gift is dangerous and has fatal consequences. An accident that leaves Rainbow unconscious leads her mother to make a confession that will change Rainbow’s life forever. Are her abilities a gift or a curse? Can Rainbow really trust her mother? From England to France, through secrets, fears and parallel worlds, Rainbow’s journey to understand her powers takes her beyond everything she’s ever known.

To find the truth, she must also find herself.

Tree Magic ebook cover (1)

Review

Think of all the components of a tree and you have the parts of the book. Rainbow Linnet and Amrita get this story off with a bang!

Set in Dorset, trees and humans mix in the most extraordinary ways. The components of the trees bring a meaning and new thoughts to Rainbow’s life in a way that all their glorious parts that make up a complete tree, may mean you see them differently and you may look at the people around you differently too.

Rainbow, Bob and Fraser are also into mixing music and making dens in a big way. Then Rainbow discovers her hands are different when she is around trees, like there’s some sort of magic within them. There’s also a perhaps, haunted house, called The Drunken House.

Tree Magic is enchanting and enthralling with a lovely plot. With the enchantment comes a certain comfort as lives and nature bind together in a magnificent way. It seems to be a book that is in-tune with nature, trees in-particular. It’s this that holds the interest most and is the strongest and most beautiful elements of it, rather than the relationships, although some do form a catalyst for propelling the story forward. There are, however some that feel more important than others, that develop more as the story goes on and threads through. The fact that it is set in parallel worlds, which are formed fairly decently, creates a different dimension to the book too.

Rainbow, later, tries to move away to France, which she finds out, could be easier said than done because she needs a job, which, with her magic, makes it even more challenging. There’s also some romance in the air and her admirer takes quite a chance to capture her in his grasp as she works out this stage of her life. The feel of the book changes in this part, as though life is definitely moving onwards. It’s done well, although some of the cosyness that cuts through the consequences of having such powers, is lost a bit, perhaps because I was so enraptured by the entangling of trees and life, in a different way. In France, however there are some lovely moments and some parts when Rainbow is striving to get a job, that I think teens/young-adults will relate to (not with the powers of course). This does work and I like that she had to set her sights just a little lower because it brought a refreshing realism to the book, and yet gives that element of hope and positivity for teens/young adults.
It is a book that I do think Young Adults will find enjoyment out of and will gain something good from it in the end.

The story continues…

Tree Slayer (book 2) and Tree Sacrifice (book 3) are the next installments readers can look out for.