Friday, May 29, 2015

1 Review: Wolf Bride

Title: Wolf Bride
Author: Elizabeth Moss
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published: May 5, 2015
Ebook, ARC
ASIN: B00Q3269J0
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: NetGalley






Summary:

England, 1536

Bound to him against her will...

Lord Wolf, hardened soldier and expert lover, has come to King Henry VIII's court to claim his new bride: a girl who has intrigued him since he first saw her riding across the Yorkshire moors.

Eloise Tyrell, now lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn, has other ideas. She has no desire to submit to a man she barely knows and who - though she is loath to admit it - frightens her not a little.

Then comes that first kiss...

It awakens in both a fierce desire that bares them to the soul. But as the court erupts into scandal around the ill-fated Queen, Eloise sees first-hand what happens when powerful men tire of their wives.

Dare she surrender her body and her heart?

My Thoughts:

I love historical fiction, and especially historical fiction based on the Tudors. Though the Tudors have a colored history that reads better than most fiction. However, I couldn't resist the first book in a new series based around the Tudor court, Wolf Bride

Eloise is a young lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn. In this story, Anne is near the end of her life and is no longer a favorite of Henry VIII. Henry's eye is roaming for his next conquest. Before Henry can ensnare Eloise, her father comes to court to marry her off to someone she has no desire to wed: Lord Wolf. 

From the beginning their 'courtship' is unusual. They meet under awkward circumstances, but from the very first kiss, Eloise is intrigued by her future husband. However, Wolf is kinda a jerk. He's been hurt in the past, so he takes it out on Eloise. Also, he's very insulting to her without even realizing it. Her manners are gentile and hiss are rough. It's a great contrast. In fact this book reminds me a bit of Taming of the Shrew. But you'll have to read the book to figure out which one is the shrew. 

There were times that I really liked the characters and story line, but there were also times that I didn't. The thing I enjoyed most about this book is the historical aspect. The characters, however, were another story. Sometimes the characters seemed inconsistent with what the author was trying to portray. Their motivations seemed inconsistent and it left me confused and irritated. Overall though, it was an enjoyable read. I plan to check out the next book, Rebel Bride, before I make any hard-and-fast decisions on whether or not to continue with the series. 


My rating:


Thursday, May 28, 2015

0 Giveaway: Nova by Margaret Fortune



*36:00:00*

The clock activates so suddenly in my mind, my head involuntarily jerks a bit to the side. The fog vanishes, dissipated in an instant as though it never was. Memories come slotting into place, their edges sharp enough to leave furrows, and suddenly I know. I know exactly who I am.

My name is Lia Johansen, and I was named for a prisoner of war. She lived in the Tiersten Internment Colony for two years, and when they negotiated the return of the prisoners, I was given her memories and sent back in her place.

And I am a genetically engineered human bomb.
Lia Johansen was created for only one purpose: to slip onto the strategically placed New Sol Space Station and explode. But her mission goes to hell when her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown with just two minutes to go. With no Plan B, no memories of her past, and no identity besides a name stolen from a dead POW, Lia has no idea what to do next. Her life gets even more complicated when she meets Michael Sorenson, the real Lia’s childhood best friend.

Drawn to Michael and his family against her better judgment, Lia starts learning what it means to live and love, and to be human. It is only when her countdown clock begins sporadically losing time that she realizes even duds can still blow up. If she wants any chance at a future, she must find a way to unlock the secrets of her past and stop her clock. But as Lia digs into her origins, she begins to suspect there’s far more to her mission and to this war, than meets the eye. With the fate of not just a space station but an entire empire hanging in the balance, Lia races to find the truth before her time—literally—runs out.
ABOUT MARGARET FORTUNE
Margaret Fortune began writing in the first grade. Her story titled "The Numbers' Birthday Party" got the attention of everyone in her elementary school. She began writing seriously after she graduated college in 2003. Fortune has written numerous short stories that have appeared in Nth Degree, Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine, and Space and Time. Her short story Breaking Bread won the Tillie Olsen Women's Studies Award in 2007. She is an avid reader on YA, science fiction, romance, and historical fiction. Nova is her first novel. You can find more information about Margaret at her website, http://margaretfortune.wordpress.com/about/


Giveaway

Thanks to Penguin Random House, I have a copy giveaway to a lucky reader. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. The giveaway is open to US addresses only. Sorry no p.o. boxes. Please read entire giveaway policy before entering.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

0 A Discovery of Witches Re-read



A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.


You can read my first review from Octover 1, 2012 here. Has it really been three years? I was lucky to obtain a finished copy of each book of the All Souls Trilogy from Penguin earlier this month in anticipation and celebration of The Book of Life being released in paperback. And since I'm such a big fan of the series I couldn't wait to re-read it. 

I loved re-reading my initial thoughts on A Discovery of Witches. It's one of the many reasons why I blog. Because sometimes I forget certain details of why I loved or didn't love a particular book. Also it's hard for me to believe there was a time that I didn't fall madly in love with Diana and Matthew.

I love re-reading novels that I've really enjoyed. It's not often that I get to do so, and I wish I could do it more often. One of the thrilling parts of re-reading a book is that not only do you get to experience it all again, but new things stand out as well. Being in Mathew and Diana's world is great. I still love everything about this novel. My only problem was that I kept wanting to skip ahead to my absolute favorite parts, but I persevered and read every page. Which was no hardship. I also found myself wanting to neglect my daily tasks (i.e. work, housework, cooking) to read this book. It's still addicting the second time around. 

Also I do want to mention the audio book is great too. It's narrated by Jennifer Ikeda, who has quite an extensive resume for narration. She narrates the entire trilogy. I am and still remain a huge fan of this series. Now I'm ready for Shadow of Night



0 The Scoundrel and the Debutante Excerpt and Giveaway



THE SCOUNDREL AND THE DEBUTANTE
by Julia London
Harlequin; May 1, 2015
352 pages; $7.99 US/$8.99 CAN
ISBN-978-0-373-77951-2


“Julia London writes vibrant, emotional stories and sexy, richly-drawn characters.” – New York Times

 “Exceptionally entertaining…sinfully sexy.” – Booklist

 “London’s story is satisfying as it builds on the excellent chemistry of the leads, gracefully unfolding with the perfect amount of tension.” –Publishers Weekly

 “This phenomenal story is written to perfection. The characters are endearing, smart, funny and full of emotion.” –RT Book Reviews

 “As always Ms. London has created characters so real that you think you could call them up and have a conversation with them.” –Harlequin Junkie

 “London weaves her usual magic with a deft touch and a sense of fun.”  –Romance at Random


Excerpt




Blackwood Hall, 1816

It was an unspoken truth that when a woman reached her twenty-second year without a single gentleman even pondering the possibility of marriage to her, she was destined for spinsterhood. Spinsterhood, in turn, es- sentially sentenced her to the tedium of acting as com- panion to doddering dowagers as they dawdled about the countryside.

A woman without prospects in her twenty-second year was viewed suspiciously by the haut ton. There must be something quite off about her. It was impossi- ble to think otherwise, for why would a woman, prop- erly presented at court and to society, with means of dowry, with acceptably acknowledged connections, have failed to attract a suitor? There were only three possible explanations.


She was unforgivably plain. She was horribly diseased.

Or, her older sisters’ scandalous antics four years past had ruined her. Utterly, completely, ruined her.

The third hypothesis was presented by Miss Pru- dence Cabot days after her twenty-second birthday. Her hypothesis was roundly rejected by her scandalous older sisters, Mrs. Honor Easton and Grace, Lady Merryton.

In fact, when her older sisters were not rolling their eyes or refusing to engage at all, they argued quite vocifer- ously against her theory, their duet of voices rising up so sharply that Mercy, the youngest of the four Cabot sisters, whistled at them as if they were the rowdy pup- pies that fought over Lord Merryton’s boot.

Her sisters’ protests to the contrary notwithstand- ing, Prudence was convinced she was right. Since her stepfather had died four years ago, her sisters had en- gaged in wretched behavior. Honor had publicly pro- posed marriage to a known rake and bastard son of a duke in a gaming hell. While Prudence adored George, it did not alter the scandal that had followed or the taint it had put on the Cabots.

Not to be outdone, Grace had endeavored to entrap a rich man into marriage in order to save them all from ruin, and somehow managed to trap the wrong man. It was the talk in London for months, and while Grace’s husband, Lord Merryton, was not as aloof as Prudence had always heard, his entry into the family had not im- proved Prudence’s prospects in the least.

Nor did it help in any way that her younger sister, Mercy, had a countenance so feisty and irreverent that serious thought had been given to packing her off to a young ladies’ school to tame the beast in her.

That left Prudence in the middle, sandwiched tightly between scandals and improper behavior. She was squarely in the tedious, underappreciated, put-upon, practically invisible middle where she’d lived all her life. This, Prudence told herself, was what good manners had gotten her. She had endeavored to be the practical one in an impractical gaggle of sisters.


THE SCOUNDREL AND THE DEBUTANTE

by New York Times bestselling authorJulia London

The dust of the Cabot sisters' shocking plans to rescue their family from certain ruin may have settled, but Prudence Cabot is left standing in the rubble of scandal. Now regarded as an unsuitable bride, she's tainted among the ton. Yet this unwilling wallflower is ripe for her own adventure. And when an irresistibly sexy American stranger on a desperate mission enlists her help, she simply can't deny the temptation. 
The fate of Roan Matheson's family depends on how quickly he can find his runaway sister and persuade her to return to her betrothed. Scouring the rustic English countryside with the sensually wicked Prudence at his side—and in his bed—he's out of his element. But once Roan has a taste of the sizzling passion that can lead to forever, he must choose between his heart's obligations and its forbidden desires.



Julia London_author photoJulia London is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of more than thirty romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Cabot Sisters historical series, including The Trouble with HonorThe Devil Takes a Bride, and The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming RanchReturn to Homecoming Ranch and The Perfect Homecoming.
Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. She lives in Austin, Texas.



Giveaway

Thanks to Media Muscle, I have one copy to giveaway to a lucky reader. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Giveaway is open to US addresses only. Please read our entire giveaway policy before entering. 


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

0 Giveaway: The Centurions and The Histories

THE CENTURIONS
By Jean Lartéguy
Foreword by Robert D. Kaplan
Translated by Xan Fielding


The subject of counterinsurgency is as relevant today as it was when Jean Lartéguy first published THE CENTURIONS (Penguin Classics; On-sale May 19, 2015; $18.00; ; transl. Xan Fielding) in 1960, hugely successful in his native France and still a military cult classic. As military and foreign policy expert Robert D. Kaplan writes in his foreword, this story about French paratroopers in Vietnam and Algeria in the 1950s has been used within the military to exemplify small-unit leadership principles, and is credited by David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal, and the Green Berets. Penguin Classics is thrilled to put this book back in print.

Over the course of the 20th century, conventional modern warfare—that precise theatrical art cultivated by Napoleon—was supplanted by irregular fighting, guerrilla tactics, and counterinsurgency. No fictional account better depicts this historical shift and the ethical dilemmas it entailed than Lartéguy’s searing military classic THE CENTURIONS. The novel, informed by Lartéguy’s own experiences as a soldier and journalist, follows a band of French paratroopers taken prisoners of war in Vietnam, who then return home only to find themselves alienated from the citizens they were fighting a strange and perilous war to protect. 

These men developed a loyal fraternity which only intensified the psychological divide between their own warrior class and civilians, and even the rest of the military bureaucracy. Finding themselves newly discomforted by a civilian life, they return to the fray—this time to a turbulent Algeria. Once there, they become embroiled in a dirty war that blurs the lines of civil and military life, struggling with the moral ambiguity and anguish of how to fight when “the age of heroics is over.”

THE CENTURIONS is a gripping military adventure, an extended symposium on waging war in a new global order, and an essential investigation of the ethics of counterinsurgency. Featuring a foreword by renowned military expert Robert D. Kaplan, this important wartime novel will again spark debate about controversial tactics in hot spots around the world.

About the Author:
Jean Lartéguy (1920-2011) is the penname of Jean Pierre Lucien Osty, who served as a soldier in Korea and North Africa before becoming a distinguished journalist and novelist.

Alexander (Xan) Wallace Fielding (1918-1991) served as a Special Operations Executive in the British Army in Crete, France, and Egypt. The author of several books, he also translated French works, including Pierre Boulle’s The Bridge over the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes.

Robert D. Kaplan is the author of many acclaimed books on the military, foreign affairs, and travel, including Balkan GhostsThe Revenge of Geography, and Imperial Grunts.



THE CENTURIONS
Jean Lartéguy ▪ Penguin Classics ▪ $18.00
On-sale: May 19, 2015 ▪ ISBN: 978-0-143-10744-6
ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN EBOOK










One of Western history’s greatest books springs to life in Tom Holland’s acclaimed translation,
now in a Penguin Classics Deluxe paperback edition
THE HISTORIES
Herodotus
A New Translation by
Tom Holland
with an introduction by Paul Cartledge

Praise for THE HISTORIES

“Unquestionably the best English translation of Herodotus to have appeared in the past half-century…I am in awe of Tom Holland’s achievement, and have no doubt it will bear rich fruit in bringing Herodotus to public attention.”
Edith Hall, Times Literary Supplement

“Holland’s book is a performance of its own, full of gusto and flair, and in that way it beats its predecessors: this is Herodotus the pubman, taking your elbow to tell you stories about the dastardly yet fascinating tyrants of the Near East and the miraculous fables attending them.”
Quarterly Conversation

Tom Holland’s translation of THE HISTORIES is fluent, readable, nicely paced, and lively.
Joseph Epstein, The Weekly Standard


Much of what we understand about the ancient world is due to one man—Herodotus of Halicarnassus. His iconic work, THE HISTORIES, effectively marks the invention of nonfiction as a genre. THE HISTORIES (Penguin Classics; on-sale May 19, 2015; 9780143107545; $23.00) finds new life in a wonderfully modern translation by the award-winning writer and historian Tom Holland.

Herodotus, hailed by Cicero as “the Father of History,” composed his histories around 440 BC.  Inspired by the Homeric oral tradition, Herodotus combined a thrilling mixture of elements to tell the epic narrative account of the war between the Persian Empire and the Greek city-states in the fifth century BC. Larger-than-life personages like Cyrus, Xerxes, Darius, and Leonidas stand tall through landmark events that ensured the development of Western culture and still capture our modern imagination, including the odds-defying victory at Marathon, the heroic stand at Thermoplyae, and the naval triumph at Salamis. Through factual evidence, traditional stories and legends, and fantastical elements, Herodotus pioneered a new way to document the past and present of the world around him.

Holland deftly preserves the beauty of Herodotus’s use of language even as he brings a modern sensibility to an ancient work. Hailed by The Economist as “lively” and “engaging,” Holland’s translation highlights how curious,
quirky, and funny Herodotus was. Beautifully packaged with a comprehensive array of tools to guide first-time readers and experts alike, this translation of THE HISTORIES makes Herodotus accessible to a whole new generation of twenty-first century readers.

Penguin Classics’ edition includes thirteen maps, a glossary of significant persons and places, and a supplementary index to deepen the reading experience. Professor Paul Cartledge provides a brilliant introduction and notes on the text. THE HISTORIES is a fascinating sourcebook for the ancient world that remains vividly contemporary in its appreciation of cultural difference and its explorations of power, tyranny, fate, love, revenge, and the transience of the human condition.

About the Authors
Few facts are known about the life of HERODOTUS. He was born around 490 BC in Halicarnassus, on the south-west coast of Asia Minor. He seems to have traveled widely throughout the Mediterranean world, including Egypt and Africa, and throughout many Greek city-states. He probably died at some time between 415 and 410 BC. His reputation has varied greatly over the centuries, but few would deny him the title awarded him by Cicero:  “the Father of History.”

Tom Holland is the author of Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic, which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Persian Fire, a history of the Greco-Persian wars, won the Anglo-Hellenic League’s Runciman Award in 2006. His most recent book, In the Shadow of the Sword, describes the collapse of Roman and Persian power in the Near East and the emergence of Islam.

Paul Cartledge is A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge. His numerous books include Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 bc and The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others. He is an Honorary Citizen of Sparta and holds the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour conferred by the president of the Hellenic Republic.



THE HISTORIES
Herodotus
A New Translation by Tom Holland
Paperback | Penguin Classics | ISBN 9780143107545| On sale May 19, 2015 | $23.00

Please visit the author online at http://www.tom-holland.org/


Giveaway is open to US addresses only. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Please read entire giveaway policy before entering.


Monday, May 25, 2015

1 Cover Reveal: Wild Blue Yonder


Synopsis:


IN A WARPED HEAVEN, SHE MUST CHOOSE HER FATE: OBEDIENCE OR REBELLION

When Scarlett Blake chose life-after-death as a Cerulean, she expected to grieve for all she left behind: her boyfriend, her best friend, her mother, her home. But at least Cerulea, her heaven, would be… well, heavenly. Right?

Wrong.

The world in which Scarlett awakens is very far from her idea of a utopia. Picturesque, sure, and serene. But there can be no paradise within the unforgiving walls of a prison, be they of cold, hard stone or beautifully blue water.

Now Scarlett faces her hardest decision yet: be a good, dutiful Cerulean, or be true to herself and fight for freedom.

And if she can find a way to escape, what then? Can she finally reunite with her lost sister? Can she save Sienna from the murderous Fallen? Can she evade her destiny with the Ceruleans?

Can Scarlett Blake ever reclaim her life-before-death… or must she let go of all she loves?


Author Bio:


Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. 'Write, Megan,' her grandmother advised. So that's what she did. Thirty-odd years later, Megan writes the kinds of books she loves to read: young-adult paranormal romance fiction. Young adult, because it's the time of life that most embodies freedom and discovery and first love. Paranormal, because she's always believed that there are more things in heaven and on earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. And romance, because she's a misty-eyed dreamer who lives for those 'life is so breathtakingly beautiful' moments. Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in Robin Hood's county, Nottingham. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a paleontologist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she's not writing, you'll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.
http://megantayte.com/

0 Review: The Clockwork Crown

Title: The Clockwork Crown
Author: Beth Cato
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Published: June 9, 2015
Ebook, ARC
ISBN13: 9780062313997
Genre: Science Fiction/Steampunk
Source: Edelweiss






Summary:

Rich in atmosphere, imagination, and fun, the action-packed, magic-filled sequel to The Clockwork Dagger is an enchanting steampunk fantasy, evocative of the works of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.

Narrowly surviving assassination and capture, Octavia Leander, a powerful magical healer, is on the run with handsome Alonzo Garrett, the Clockwork Dagger who forfeited his career with the Queen’s secret society of spies and killers—and possibly his life—to save her. Now, they are on a dangerous quest to find safety and answers: Why is Octavia so powerful? Why does she seem to be undergoing a transformation unlike any witnessed for hundreds of years?

The truth may rest with the source of her mysterious healing power—the Lady’s Tree. But the tree lies somewhere in a rough, inhospitable territory known as the Waste. Eons ago, this land was made barren and uninhabitable by an evil spell, until a few hardy souls dared to return over the last century. For years, the Waste has waged a bloody battle against the royal court to win its independence—and they need Octavia’s powers to succeed.

Joined by unlikely allies, including a menagerie of gremlin companions, she must evade killers and Clockwork Daggers on a dangerous journey through a world on the brink of deadly civil war.


My Thoughts:

I wasn't completely blown away by the first book, The Clockwork Dagger, but I enjoyed it enough to want to read this next book in the series. It picks up almost exactly where the last book ended. Octavia and Alonzo are on the run. Octavia is trying to find out more about the Lady and her origins. After what happened in the first book, Octavia is questioning her beliefs and needs to know if she is doing the right thing. The attraction between Octavia and Alonso is growing along with the danger. In fact, danger lurks around every corner in this book.

The first half of this book went along the same path as the first book. I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. But it wasn't until about halfway through that I really started to enjoy this book. So much so that it became unputdownable. I try my best to avoid spoilers, so I won't go into much detail. It's the last half of the book that saved this series for me. There's a lot of adventure and a little romance. Overall, I like this series. I don't think it will be a re-read for me, but I am glad that I read it.


My rating:
2.5


Friday, May 22, 2015

0 Review: Aoléon The Martian Girl: The Great Pyramid of Cydonia

Book Title: Aoléon The Martian Girl: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Saga - Part 5: The Great Pyramid of Cydonia, written and illustrated by Brent LeVasseur

Category:  Middle-Grade, 130 pages
Genre: Science-fiction and Fantasy
Publisher: Aoléon Press
Release date: February 1, 2015
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Aoléon, Gilbert, Bizwat, Helios, and Zoot make it to their final destination - Cydonia where Aoléon’s parents are being held captive. They infiltrate a secret underground base and are confronted by a small army of sentrybots.

Bizwat lends Aoléon and Gilbert some of his advanced combat skills via a psionic brain dump. However, this may not be enough to save them from overwhelming hostile forces that will do anything to stop them.

They finally meet Pax - the Martian who originally set them out on the mission to discover the truth about the Luminon and his plans to invade Earth. However Pax is not who he seems to be, and through a turn of events, they uncover the true power behind all that has been happening on Mars.

Will they be able to rescue Aoléon’s parents and save Earth from invasion?
Read part 5 to find out!



My thoughts:
Our intrepid heroes have finally made it to their final destination, or so they think. They are at the Great Pyramid of Cydonia. The action is fast and furious in this last installment of Aoleon the Martian Girl. Can they rescue Aoleon’s parents; can they stop the Luminon before the Earth and Mars are destroyed? You’ll have to read to find out, but let me tell you it’s worth every minute.

LeVasseur continues to amaze with a brilliantly told story. Even with the non-stop action, you continue to learn about and grow to love these characters. Gilbert continues to grow in his courage and his abilities. Aoleon’s compassion for all of her companions, especially Gilbert, deepens and is displayed beautifully. I really loved this story and found the episodic format enjoyable. Breaking it into smaller almost novellas makes it easy to stick with and makes you want to come back to it for more. I think its intended audience of middle schoolers will like it as well. This was one of the most fun books I’ve read in a while. I would love to see more from this author and from Aoleon and Gilbert.






Buy the Book:
 ​



Buy The Martian Girl Song!

Another World - Single

Featuring Élan Noelle



Meet the Author:

Mr. LeVasseur enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.

Connect with Brent:   Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Aoléon: The Martian Girl 



Thursday, May 21, 2015

0 Feature: SPELLED by Betsy Schow


Spelled by Betsy Schow

Sourcebooks Fire

June 2, 2015

Advance Praise for Spelled

cute adventure with romance set in a world full of fairy-tale mash-ups. Readers will love Dorthea’s evolution from spoiled princess to strong, confident heroine… For Oz fans, this work is a great clean-read alternative to Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die.” -School Library Journal

“This wickedly funnyfast-paced adventure has it all: brains, courage, and heart. (Plus a kickin’ pair of heels.) .” --Jen Calonita, author of The Secrets of My Hollywood Lifeand Fairy Tale Reform School series

“Fairy tale survival rule #1, do NOT read this book late at night. You will wake up your entire family with loud laughter. Fairy tale survival rule #2, if you love the Wizard of Oz, clever fairy tale mash-ups, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing what will happen until the very end, you MUST read Spelled.” --J Scott Savage, award winning author of FarworldCase File 13, and the Mysteries of Cove series.

A hilarious and snarky reimagining of the world of Oz, along with many other fairy tales injected throughout, "Spelled" is one fabulous read…Kick off those silver slippers and tuck in with this wonderful tale!” —Senator Sipes, Lil Book Bug (Palmdale, CA)

Book Info:
Talk about unhappily ever after. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the not-so-charming prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving Dorthea with hair made up of emerald flames and the kingdom in chaos. Her parents and everyone she loves are stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed-off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

Amazon | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | Kindle |  Nook

Betsy Schow:
Betsy Schow is the author of the memoir Finished Being Fat, and has been featured on The Today Show and in The Wall Street Journal. She lives in Utah, but travels the country with Color Me Rad 5k, and partners with nonprofits to teach kids creative thinking and how to reach their goals.


Excerpt from Spelled:



Most of the crowd had dispersed. The final few stragglers looked at me with the all­too-common look of fear mixed with trepidation. Pix ’em. They were just servants. It wasn’t like their opinion mattered.
Only one remained, watching me with open curiosity. He looked to be in his late teens or was magically enhanced to appear so. He could have been a hundred for all I knew. I’d never seen him before in my life. He was handsome enough, for a commoner, even in his worn leather pants and cracked work boots. A foreigner, his hair was unruly and dark auburn, which complemented his tanned but dirt-smudged complexion, though the tall, dark stranger vibe was ruined by his piercing pale blue eyes.
Well, I’d had enough of being a sideshow for the day. “If you’re the new gardener, the hedges are overgrown and in need of a trim.” I pointed in the direction of my father. “While you’re there, you can help the king with the wisps.”
The young man’s expression clouded over, but he didn’t move.
I stamped my foot and pointed more forcefully. “Off with you. Courtyard’s that way. Be sure to clean those awful boots before coming back in.”
“Someone told me I’d find a princess of great worth here. One with the strength to be the hero this realm needs.” He stared at me with those unsettling blue eyes. They were cold, like ice water—made me shiver from head to toe. Then his gaze seemed to search even deeper. Finally, he looked through me, like I was nothing.
In brisk steps, he strode across the marble to the courtyard. But before crossing the threshold, he turned back to glare at me with his lip curled ever so slightly. “It seems she was mistaken.”
Just like that, I had been sifted, weighed, and found wanting.
I felt my own lip curl in response. How rude! Who the Grimm was this peasant to judge me? I was wearing a Glenda original. Original! Not some fairy-godmother knockoff worn by those servant girls turned royal. I was a crown princess, for the love of fairy, and no one dismissed me.
Before I could put the boy in his place—down in the dirt, where he belonged—a clatter came from behind, making me nearly jump out of my shoes. I checked and was relieved that Sterling had simply dropped his sword. By the time I looked back, the gardener was gone.
After stowing his blade, Sterling held up his shield, not in defense of the entrance but so he could look at his reflection. “Clearly he’s blind and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
I didn’t ask for Sterling’s opinion, but it made me feel better.
Until he opened his mouth again.
“Worth, pffft. I mean, look around at all the jewels. Your palace has everything you could ever want. Honestly, I don’t know what you’re fussing about. Why would anyone want to leave?”
Because a cage is still a cage, no matter how big or glittering the bars are.
And I would find a way free, no matter the cost.


 

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