SERIES SPOTLIGHT: The Annie Oakley Mysteries by Karen Bovee (and GIVEAWAY)

I’m very glad to welcome the Series Spotlight tour for Karen Bovee’s The Annie Oakley Mysteries today. I jumped at the chance to do my part to promote these books. While I haven’t read them (mostly an issue of time), my mother is a big fan, so I’m pretty much a fan by proxy. You should check out these historical mysteries, and we even have a Giveaway at the bottom of this post to help you do that!

Without further ado…

Series Details:

Book Title:  The Annie Oakley Mystery Series by Kari Bovee
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+), 83 to 332 pages
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release dates:   Shoot Like a Girl (2019); Girl With a Gun (April, 2020); Peccadillo at the Palace (April 2020); Folly at the Fair (June, 2020)
Tour dates: June 22 to July 10, 2020
Content Rating:  R for some swearing, violence, and mature themes.

Book Details:

Book Title: Shoot Like a Girl (A Pre-quel Novella to Girl With A Gun) by Kari Bovee
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 84 pages
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   November 2019
Tour dates: June 22 to July 10, 2020
Content Rating:  R for Mature themes and some violence. No bad language.

Book Description:
Shoot like a Girl depicts the historically fictive tale of a young Annie Oakley’s struggles before she becomes the most famous sharpshooting woman of all time. After the death of her father, Annie is sent to the Drake County poorhouse where she learns to cook, sew, and keep house for other families to help her mother make ends meet. Annie ends up at the McCrimmons, a couple whom she comes to refer to as “the wolves.” Cruel and neglectful, the McCrimmons push Annie to the brink of despair. The only bright spot in her dreary existence is Buck, a beautiful buckskinned horse, and the two form a bond. Despite her resolve to help her family, Annie loses hope of ever seeing them again, as life at the McCrimmons’ becomes more oppressive, and she is cut off from all outside communication. Physically and emotionally weak from illness, hunger, and abuse, Annie resigns herself to a life of servitude to the abusive couple. But, when Mr. McCrimmon’s continued cruelty to Buck finally threatens the horse’s life, Annie takes matters into her own hands and formulates a plan for escape.

Buy the Book:
Amazon
Add to Goodreads
Book Details:

Book Title: Girl with a Gun (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 316 pages
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   April 2020
Tour dates: June 22 to July 10, 2020
Content Rating:  R for one explicit sex scene. There is some swearing, violence, mature themes.


Book Description:
In an exciting new historical mystery series, award-winning author Kari Bovee brings the beloved American icon, Annie Oakley, into the world of mystery and crime as a plucky, amateur sleuth. Fifteen-year-old Annie Oakley is the sole supporter of her widowed mother and two younger siblings. An expert markswoman and independent spirit, she hunts game to sell to the local mercantile to make ends meet instead of accepting a marriage proposal that could solve all her problems, including the impending foreclosure of her family’s farm. After a stunning performance in a shooting contest against famous sharpshooter Frank Butler, Annie is offered a position in the renowned Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Finally, she has a chance to save her family’s farm–and make her dreams come true. But after her catapult to fame, a series of crimes takes place in the Wild West Show, including the death of Annie’s Indian Assistant. The coroner claims the death was due to natural causes, but Annie is unconvinced. Then her prized horse, Buck–a major part of her act–is stolen, and she realizes that someone is out to get her. With the help of a sassy, blue-blooded reporter, Annie sets out to find her horse, solve the crimes, and clear her good name–before everything she’s worked for is destroyed.

Buy the Book:
Amazon
Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Book Title: Peccadillo at the Palace (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 332 pages
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   April 2020
Tour dates: June 22 to July 10, 2020
Content Rating:  R for some swearing, violence, and mature themes.


Book Description:
In this second book in the Annie Oakley historical mystery series, award-winning author Kari Bovee brings back the lovable character, Annie Oakley, as an amateur sleuth. It’s 1887, and Annie and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show are invited to Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration in London, England. But their long journey across the Atlantic takes a turn for the worst when the queen’s royal servant ends up dead and Annie’s husband, Frank Butler, falls suspiciously ill. Annie soon discovers that the two events are connected–and may be precursors to an assassination attempt on the queen. In London, it becomes clear that there is rampant unrest in the queen’s kingdom–the Irish Fenian Brotherhood, as well as embittered English subjects, are teeming in the streets. But amid the chaos, even while she prepares for the show, Annie is determined to find the truth. With the help of a friend and reporter, Emma Wilson, the renowned poet Oscar Wilde, and the famous socialite Lily Langtry, Annie sets out to hunt down the queen’s enemies–and find out why they want to kill England’s most beloved monarch.

Buy the Book:
Amazon
Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Book Title: Folly at the Fair (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 322 pages
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   June 2020
Tour dates: June 22 to July 10, 2020
Content Rating:  R for some swearing, violence, and mature themes.


Book Description:

She never misses a target. But unless she can solve this murder, she’ll become one… Chicago World’s Fair, 1893. “Little Sure Shot” Annie Oakley is exhausted from her work with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. But when a fellow performer scuffles with a man who threatens her harm, she has to keep her eyes peeled. And when the heckler is found dead under the Ferris Wheel, Annie won’t rest until she proves her defender is innocent. Before she can rustle up any clues, an old friend asks Annie to protect her young daughter. And as more bodies turn up around the grounds, she’s going to need all her sharpshooting skills just to stay alive. Can Annie live up to her reputation and put a bullseye on the killer? Folly at the Fair is the third book in the Annie Oakley Mystery historical fiction series. If you like strong heroines, Wild West adventures, and suspenseful twists and turns, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s fast-paced whodunit.

Buy the Book:
Amazon
Add to Goodreads
Meet the Author:

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels. Empowered women in history, horses, unconventional characters, and real-life historical events fill the pages of Kari Bovée’s articles and historical mystery musings and manuscripts. An award-winning author, Bovée was honored with the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for Southwestern Fiction for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards, as well as the Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings is a Finalist for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards. Her novel Peccadillo at the Palace is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the 2019 International Goethe Awards, as well as a Finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category. Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant. She and her husband, Kevin, spend their time between their horse property in the beautiful Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, and their condo on the sunny shores of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Connect with the author:  Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram
~ Pinterest

Enter the Giveaway:

    

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Anna by Laura Guthrie

Today I’m pleased to welcome the Book Tour for the Anna by Laura Guthrie. A few weeks ago, I was pleased to take part in the cover reveal for the book, and now it’s time to talk about the book! Following this spotlight post, I’ll be giving my take on the novel here in a bit. But let’s start by learning a little about this here book, okay?


Book Details:

Book Title: Anna by Laura Guthrie
Release date: June 25, 2020
Format: Ebook/Paperback
Publisher: Gob Stopper
Length: 180 pages

Book Blurb:

Every cloud has a silver lining. Doesn’t it?

Anna is thirteen years old, lives in London with her father, and has Asperger’s syndrome.  When her father dies she travels up to the Scottish Central Belt to live with her estranged, reclusive mother.  With little support to help her fit in, she must use everything her father taught her – especially her ‘Happy Game’ – to integrate into her new  community, connect with her mother, discover her past, and cope with the challenges along the way.

Anna is on the Scottish Book Trust’s ’30 novels to look out for in 2020’ and Books from Scotland’s ‘Who we’re watching in 2020’.

‘Guthrie has an unerring instinct for the darkness that can daunt lives and for the robust spirit of optimism that time and again saves us.  Narrated with simplicity and sincerity, the reader will be swept up in the adventures and misadventures of Anna.’

 

About the Author:

Laura GuthrieLaura Guthrie grew up in the rural Scottish Highlands (“I come from where the planes don’t fly”). Her creative influences include Nessie and the elusive ‘Caiplich Beast’, as well as some choice authors and their works.

She has an honours degree in biological sciences from the University of Edinburgh, and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Glasgow.

My thanks to Love Books Group for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials (including the novel) they provided..

Love Books Group

Crossing in Time (Audiobook) by D. L. Orton. Narrated by Noah Michael Levine, Erin deWard: This Romance/SF is a Wild Ride!


Crossing in Time

Crossing in Time

by D. L. Orton, Noah Michael Levine (Narrator), Erin deWard (Narrator)
Series: Between Two Evils, Book 1

Unabridged Audiobook, 10 hrs., 17 min.
Rocky Mountain Press, 2015

Read: June 4-5, 2020
Grab a copy from your local indie bookstore!

Typically, when I post about an Audiobook, I close with a discussion about the narrator(s). But I’m going to start with it this time because Levine and deWard did such a great job, they’re the highlight of the experience for me.*

* This is not a slight against the novel. They were just that good.

In my experience, when there is a male narrator and a female narrator—the female will read all the narration and dialogue in the female character POV chapters, and the male will read all the narration and dialogue in the male character POV chapters. But here, deWard reads all the female dialogue, no matter the narrator (and vice versa). That’s a nice touch, and once I got used to it, I really appreciated it. Particularly, it helped the conversations between characters feel like conversations—there was a little bit of talking over each other, and so on. And when the two laughed together? That was either fantastic work by the narrators or by the editor (or both).

Levine, particularly when he was narrating the main male protagonist, sounded like a guy recounting a story from his past to a friend—and I could’ve listened to him all day. deWard was almost as good (the main female protagonist character was never as relaxed, so it would be out of character to sound that way—so it may be unfair to compare like that). They both made all the characters come alive (even the few I’d rather hadn’t)—and made the experience richer.

This is a Romance/Science Fiction story. It’s heavy on the romance (too heavy for my taste) and the SF is a wild, multi-dimensional/time travel story with the fate of the human race (throughout the multiverse) hanging in the balance. Orton typically balances the focused story on the central romance and the wider, all-humankind story really well—but she has a tendency to over-focus on the love story. That’s going to delight many readers/listeners, but it was a stumbling block for me. Both are told with heart and humor (not getting in the way of drama), that will suck you in and not let you go.

I don’t really know how to summarize the setup of the book in a paragraph or two—and the Book Blurb gives away a bit too much (but really is an entertaining blurb), so I’m not going to get into it more than I did in that last paragraph. Just trust me on this—if you like the feel of what I’m describing, give this a shot.*

* Or, fine, read the Spotlight where I’ve copied the Blurb.

The characters—from minor to major—are wonderfully drawn and fully-developed. There are a couple of characters that are technically allies to the protagonists (and humanity in general, but function largely as antagonists. And man, I really didn’t like them at all—just as I wasn’t supposed to. But those that you were supposed to like? I just wanted to spend more time with them all—the point-of-view characters in particular.

There are some wonderful dogs throughout the book, and I fully expect that they’ll be pretty important before the trilogy ends. For those of you who prefer felines, there’s one of them, too—and the inclusion of the inferior pet doesn’t hurt things at all.*

* Man, I hope that comes across as tongue-in-cheek.

As I said, this is the beginning of a trilogy and ends in a way that practically demands moving on to the next volume as soon as possible (which is easy as the entire trilogy is published)—while not really a cliff-hanger, it sure works like one.

This was a fun novel—even if it’s not really my cup of tea. I’d probably give it a 3-3 1/2 Stars, a fun read that I’d recommend…but that narration knocks it up to 4 (maybe I should give it a 4 1/2), a strong recommendation from me.

There’s a little too much romance in this Romance/Science Fiction for my taste—but it’s a compelling and entertaining read full of wonderfully drawn characters. I strongly recommend the audiobook, but if that’s not your thing, I expect the print edition will almost be as good.


4 Stars

This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase from it, I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. As always, opinions are my own.
My thanks to The Write Reads for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials they provided.

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Crossing in Time (Audiobook) by D. L. Orton. Narrated by Noah Michael Levine, Erin deWard

I’m very pleased today to welcome The Ultimate Blog Tour for Crossing in Time by D. L. Orton. Narrated by Noah Michael Levine, Erin deWard. This Tour Stop consists in this little spotlight post and then my take on the audiobook coming along in a bit. Let’s start by learning a little about this novel, okay?

Book Details:

Book Title: Crossing in Time by D. L. Orton. Narrated by Noah Michael Levine, Erin deWard
Publisher: Rocky Mountain Press
Release date: April 30, 2019
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Audiobook
Length: 559 pages/ 10 hrs and 17 mins

Book Blurb:

When offered a one-way trip to the past, Iz sacrifices everything for a chance to change her dystopian future—and see her murdered lover one last time.

After a perilous journey through a black hole, she wakes up on a tropical beach, buck naked and mortally wounded—but twenty years younger! With only hours to live, she must convince an enraptured but skeptical twenty-something guy to fix their future relationship and thereby save the planet (no one is quite sure why.)

But it’s easier said than done, as success means losing him to a brainy, smart-mouthed bombshell (her younger self), and that’s a heartbreaker, save the world or not.

Across the infinite expanse of space and time, love endures…

(Unfortunately, it’s not going to be enough.)

 

About the Author:

D. L. OrtonDL ORTON, THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the BETWEEN TWO EVILS series, lives in the foothills of the Rockies where she and her husband are raising three boys, a golden retriever, two Siberian cats, and an extremely long-lived Triops.♂

In her spare time, she’s building a time machine so that someone can go back and do the laundry.

Website: http://www.DLOrton.com.

My thanks to The Write Reads for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials they provided.

BOOK BLITZ: A Thin Porridge by Benjamin Gohs

I’m pleased to host a Book Blitz for Benjamin Gohs’s A Thin Porridge today—it’s Publication Day and we’re celebrating with a little Blitz to get some eyeballs on it.

Book Details:

Book Title: A Thin Porridge by Benjamin Gohs
Release date: June 15, 2020
Format: Ebook/Paperback
Length: 367 pages
Purchase Link:Amazon UK / Amazon US

Book Blurb:

When 19-year-old Abeona Browne’s renowned abolitionist father Jon Browne dies in summer of 1860, devastating family secrets are revealed, and her life of privilege and naiveté in Southern Michigan becomes a frantic transatlantic search for answers—and someone she didn’t even know existed.

Still in mourning, Abeona sneaks aboard the ship carrying her father’s attorney Terrence Swifte and his assistant Djimon—a young man with his own secrets—on a quest to Africa to fulfill a dying wish.

Along the journey, Abeona learns of her father’s tragic and terrible past through a collection of letters intended for someone he lost long ago.

Passage to the Dark Continent is fraught with wild beasts, raging storms, illness, and the bounty hunters who know Jon Browne’s diaries are filled with damning secrets which threaten the very anti-slavery movement he helped to build.

Can Abeona overcome antebellum attitudes and triumph over her own fears to right the wrongs in her famous family’s sordid past?

So named for an African proverb, A Thin Porridge is a Homeric tale of second chances, forgiveness, and adventure that whisks readers from the filth of tweendecks, to the treachery of Cameroons Town, across the beauty of Table Bay, and deep into the heart of the fynbos—where Boer miners continue the outlawed scourge of slavery.

About the Author:

Benjamin J. Gohs is a longtime award-winning news editor whose investigative journalism has included stories of murder, sex-crime, historical discovery, corruption, and clerical misconduct. Benjamin now divides his time between writing literary thrillers and managing the community newspaper he co-founded in 2009.

My thanks to Love Books Group for the invitation to participate in this tour.

Love Books Group

BOOK BLITZ: One Fatal Night by Hélene Fermont

I’m pleased to host a Book Blitz for Hélene Fermont’s One Fatal Night today—it looks to be spooky and atmospheric with one of the coolest looking covers I’ve seen this year. More than that, it’s currently discounted! Spooky, atmospheric and cheap—hard to beat that.

Book Details:

Book Title: One Fatal Night by Hélene Fermont
Publisher: West Harbour Books
Release date: May 19, 2020
Format: Ebook/Paperback
Length: 133 pages
Purchase Link:
Amazon UK: Kindle/Paperback
Amazon US: Kindle/Paperback

Book Blurb:

One woman’s quest for revenge unearths a fatal secret from her past.

Astrid Jensen holds one man responsible for her mother’s suicide, and she’ll do whatever’s necessary to get close to Daniel Holst and destroy his life – even if it means sleeping with him to gain his trust. Astrid knows he’s not who he pretends to be. But before she can reveal his dark secret, people from her mother’s past start turning up dead, and it looks like she and Daniel are next. In order to survive, she might have to put her trust in the man she has hated for so long.

Daniel Holst has worked hard to climb into Norway’s most elite and glamorous circles, and he’s not about to let any woman bring him down. But when a psychopathic killer starts murdering people from his shadowy past, he discovers that the only person who might be able to save him is the woman who wants to destroy him.

As Astrid digs deeper into her past, she uncovers secrets long buried and realizes everything she once believed is based on lies. What began as a quest to avenge her mother’s death becomes a desperate struggle for survival and leads to the truth about what happened one fatal night ten years ago—and the surprising mastermind behind the most recent murders.

About the Author:

Hélene FermontHélene is an Anglo-Swedish fiction author currently residing in her home town of Malmo, Sweden, after relocating back from London after 20 years.

Her thrilling character-driven psychological fiction novels are known for their explosive, pacy narrative and storylines.

Hélene is the proud author of four novels – One Fatal Night, Because of You, We Never Said Goodbye and His Guilty Secret.

My thanks to Love Books Group for the invitation to participate in this tour.

Love Books Group

Venators: Promises Forged (Audiobook) by Devri Walls, Daniel Thomas May: Out of the Frying Pan and into the . . . Clutches of a Life Siphoning Fae?

Promises Forged

Venators: Promises Forged

by Devri Walls, Daniel Thomas May (Narrator)
Series: Venators, #2

Unabridged Audiobook, 12 hrs., 14 min.
Tantor Audio, 2020

Read: May 22-27, 2020
Grab a copy from your local indie bookstore!


Like the Ultimate Blog Tour for the first Venators novel, Venators: Magic Unleashed, back in March, I’m going to take what I posted last year when the novel was initially released and then add on some new thoughts, with a focus on the recently published audiobook.

So the ending of the previous book (Venators: Magic Unleashed) focused on a dragon being unleashed by the series’ (apparent) Big Bad, the sorceress Zio. Not surprisingly, the series central characters survived the encounter. This book starts with a quick recap of that survival from the point of view of Zio—which is a great way to get the reader back into the moment and build on their understanding of what happened and Zio.

We quickly return to our Earthlings, Grey and Rune and the aftermath of their unauthorized excursion to rescue humans from a werewolf pack, which culminated in the aforementioned dragon attack. Rune’s proving to be a quick study of Council politics and was able to turn things to their advantage and buy them some leniency from the Council. The ways the two humans respond to and interact with Council members is pretty interesting and I suspect will be one of the more interesting developments from this point forward in the series. I suspect the Venator abilities that make these two the warriors they are in this world are in play with Rune’s politicking—no one mentions mental acuity when talking about Venator abilities, but maybe they should. Watching Rune play the games (both successfully and less-so) that the various Council members throw her way is probably my favorite part of the character.

And she has to do a lot of politicking and game playing here because her co-Venator and friend Grey has found himself in quite the pickle. After their ordeal with the werewolves, the two Earthlings’ need for training was even more apparent. They get just a little of it (a good, promising start) before getting momentarily side-tracked. Before they get a chance to build on that, Grey is lured into the one place the two have been told they absolutely cannot go. Because forbidding people from going somewhere always works out (how many Hogwarts students stayed out of the forest? How long did Belle stay out of the West Wing? Even the Federation had to know that forbidding landing on Talos IV wouldn’t work for long).

Grey has found himself in the clutches of a powerful Fae, Feena. Feena will spend days/weeks/years sucking the life out of her prisoners to feed her own magics. Given that Grey is more powerful than your typical Eonian, you know she’ll drag it out as long as possible. It’s a torturous experience for Grey, but he does what he can to resist and fight back. On the one hand, watching him stupidly and blindly put himself in this situation was maddening. But after that, watching Grey endure what he has to and struggle in response is pretty cool. As much as I appreciate Rune’s playing politics, I enjoy watching Grey in action.

So the book boils down to this—can Rune get permission to run a rescue mission—or at the very least, find a window in which she can pull off another unauthorized mission? Can Grey survive long enough for the cavalry to arrive? Assuming they do, how can Grey be rescued and the Venators get back to their training without causing a diplomatic incident that will shake up everything?

The actions of the Venators’ guides, teachers, allies confuse me. They’ve got these two kids in a world they clearly don’t understand, with abilities they don’t understand and then expect them to react appropriately in new situations. Even worse, all of them are keeping things from Grey and Rune—telling them half-truths, deflecting legitimate questions, and delaying explanations. It’s maddening. It’s bad enough that the Council, who are clearly only using these two for their own ends do that, but the people who supposedly are looking to them to change the world? A little honesty, being a little forthcoming, helping them to avoid the minefields they keep running into rather than saying “oh, you shouldn’t have done that”—it would make it a lot easier for this reader to stomach them.

The Council? I need to see more of them. I have little patience for them as individuals or as an entity at the moment, but as individuals and as an entity there’s great potential for something interesting to happen. Feena’s a good villain—she’s not worth several books, but for one novel? She’s a good opponent. The Fae? It’s simple—any universe, any world, any author—when it comes to Fae politics, Fae dealings with other Fae, Fae dealings with non-Fae? It’s complicated, tricky, and messy. It’s good to know you can count on something.

So much is happening in a very short period of time, it’s hard to know what kind of impact the events are having on anyone—it’s been less than two weeks since these two jumped into this world, leaving St. Louis behind. It’s hard for them—or a reader—to really take it all in. We do know that already both Venators are changing because of their abilities (as well as the experiences in this new world)—both are self-aware enough to see how it’s happening (at least in part) and are both resisting and embracing the changes. Both are, naturally, deluded about how easy it will be to resist this kind of thing—denial’s not just a river on Earth.

I’m enjoying these books—I do hope that under the new publisher, they’re able to come out pretty regularly, it’ll help sustain my interest (and, I’m guessing, the reading public’s). I know that Walls has several more books planned, so it makes it okay that I’m still on the fence about the series as a whole—there’s a lot of potential to the series and these characters and she has time to help them reach their potential. There are aspects of the books (the prospective—and lingering—romantic entanglements, for example) that I’m withholding an opinion on until more happens. And I’m not sure if I should appreciate how little we’re getting with Zio and Rune’s brother, or if it should annoy me. Is Walls building suspense, or is she simply being obfuscatory? I’m hoping that after Book 3, I’ll be more settled with my expectations about these books—I know I’m enjoying them, I’m just not sure if I should wait on them getting better.

May’s narration is as strong as it was last time. He captures the emotion and characters and tone with both skill and art. He’s doing the narration for another series due to be released in a couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles that.

This time through, two characters really stood out to me: Ryker and Tashara (a succubus who sits on the Council). I’m not sure if Walls is setting Ryker up for a major redemptive arc or if she’s going to cause an irreparable rift between the twins (or both). I guess this ties into what I said above about him and Zio. As far as Tashara, she’s a complex character—May does a great job of depicting that—and I’m intrigued by both her and her relationship to Grey (her incubus counterpart, on the other hand, just annoys me).

One last thing. This is just a personal hangup, I’m sure, but I hate Arwin’s name. Last year, when I got to ask Walls some questions, I talked about how much it reminded me of a certain Lady of Rivendell. This year, when I listened to the books, it kept making me think of Lloyd Alexander’s Arawn Death-Lord. He’s hands-down my favorite Council member (I’m waiting for Walls to pull the rug out from under me and reveal he’s a turncoat or more Machiavellian than the rest), but his name trips me up in print or audio.

Again, I find myself rating this a tad higher in audio than in print. I’m not sure where that comes from, also not sure if it matters. Walls and May are a great combination. An interesting world, great characters (even if they frustrate me), good action—and a fast-moving plot. This YA fantasy is a crowd-pleaser, I’m sure of that—you should join the crowd.


4 Stars

This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase from it, I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. As always, opinions are my own.

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Venators: Promises Forged by Devri Walls

I’m very pleased today to welcome The Ultimate Blog Tour for Venators: Promises Forged by Devri Walls. This Tour Stop consists in this little spotlight post and then my take on the audiobook coming along in a bit. Let’s start by learning a little about this novel, okay?

Book Details:

Book Title: Venators: Promises Forged by Devri Walls
Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group
Release date: April 30, 2019
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Audiobook
Length: 428 pages

Book Blurb:

It has been mere days in the world of Eon, where Rune Jenkins, her twin brother Ryker, and their friend Grey have been trapped, fighting for their lives. After discovering the truth of their ancestry, the three are far from home, and far from anything resembling their mundane lives of the past.

While Ryker is still held captive by the eerily beautiful Zio and her goblins, Grey falls into the clutches of Feena, the Fae queen. She begins to drain his soul bit by bit to feed her dark underground garden, and Grey has no hope of escaping on his own.

It is now up to Rune to save Grey, as his precious time slips away inexorably. But the Council has denied her permission to embark on a rescue mission, until she can harness her Venator gifts and prove herself capable of venturing into the Fae queen’s territory. As Rune discovers that promises in Eon are forged with life-or-death consequences, she realizes that she must act quickly, or else be swallowed—and Grey along with her—by the dangers of Eon.

About the Author:

Devri WallsDevri Walls is an international best selling author. She lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband, two children and one adorable little mutt. Writing in all things fantasy, she would do just about anything for a working magic wand.

Mostly because she’s a walking disaster and a wand would be of enormous help…although she’d probably trip and break it. So, there’s that.

She graduated with a degree in theater and has studied vocal performance most of her life. She now teaches voice lessons when she’s not writing novels, cooking dinner, playing taxi, spending time with her amazingly supportive husband or trying to read.

Social Media:

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Youtube ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest ~ Bookbub ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads

My thanks to The Write Reads for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials they provided.

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: The Tempus Project by Antony Johnston

Today I’m pleased to welcome the Book Tour for the Cyber Thriller The Tempus Project by Antony Johnston. Following this spotlight post, I’ll be giving my take on the novel here in a bit. But let’s start by learning a little about this here book, okay?


Book Details:

Book Title: The Tempus Project by Antony Johnston
Release date: May 25, 2020
Publisher: Lightning Books
Format: Paperback/Ebook
Length: 353 pages

Book Blurb:

In The Exphoria Code, MI6 officer and elite hacker Brigitte Sharp foiled a terror attack on London that used stolen military drone software to deliver a ‘dirty bomb’.

Now Bridge is back, battling a series of hacks and ransom-ware attacks, masterminded by a hacker known only as ‘Tempus’, who is targeting politicians and government officials with impunity.

Discovering that this campaign is linked to a cyber-attack on the London G20 summit, she is drawn into the dark-web world of crypto-currencies, Russian hackers and an African rebel militia.

In another compelling cyber-thriller from the creator of Atomic Blonde, Bridge races against time to prevent a disaster that could alter the balance of global power forever.

About Antony Johnston:

Antony JohnstonAntony Johnston is a New York Times bestselling writer. The Charlize Theron movie Atomic Blonde is based on his graphic novel; his Brigitte Sharp thriller novels are critically acclaimed; and his first videogame, Dead Space, redefined its genre.

Antony’s books, graphic novels, and videogames include The Exphoria CodeThe Tempus ProjectThe FuseDaredevilShang-ChiShadow of Mordor, the Alex Rider graphic novels and the adaptation of Alan Moore‘s ‘lost screenplay’ Fashion Beast.

He also hosts the podcast Writing And Breathing. Find him online at twitter.com/AntonyJohnston and antonyjohnston.com.

He lives in Lancashire.

Social Networks:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Instagram

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Waterstones ~ Foyles ~ Google Books ~ Kobo

My thanks to damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials (including a copy of the novel) they provided.

BOOK BLITZ: The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce by Tom Gillespie

I’m pleased to host a Book Blitz for Tom Gillespie’s The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce today, a book that defies a snappy one-sentence synopsis.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce by Tom Gillespie
Publisher: Vine Leaves Press
Release date: July 21, 2020
Format: Ebook/Paperback
Length: 298 pages
Purchase Link: Amazon UK/Amazon US

Book Blurb:

A spiralling obsession. A missing wife. A terrifying secret. Will he find her before it’s too late?

When Dr Jacob Boyce’s wife goes missing, the police put it down to a simple marital dispute. Jacob, however, fears something darker. Following her trail to Spain, he becomes convinced that Ella’s disappearance is tied to a mysterious painting whose hidden geometric and numerical riddles he’s been obsessively trying to solve for months. Obscure, hallucinogenic clues, and bizarre, larger-than-life characters, guide an increasingly unhinged Jacob through a nightmarish Spanish landscape to an art forger’s studio in Madrid, where he comes face-to-face with a centuries-old horror, and the terrifying, mind-bending, truth about his wife.

About the Author:

Tom Gillespie grew up in a small town just outside Glasgow. After completing a Masters in English at Glasgow University, he spent the next ten years pursuing a musical career as a singer/songwriter, playing, recording and touring the UK and Europe with his band. He now lives in Bath with his wife, daughter and hyper-neurotic cat, where he works at the university as an English lecturer. Tom writes long and short stories. His stories have appeared in many magazines, journals and e-zines. He is co-author of Glass Work Humans-an anthology of stories and poems, published by Valley Press. Visit Tom at tom-gillespie.com.

My thanks to Love Books Group for the invitation to participate in this tour.

Love Books Group