Monday, March 25, 2019

The Lady Raven by Rebecca Henry

The Lady Raven
A Dark Cinderella Tale
Rebecca Henry

Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retold


Publisher: Austin Macauley


Date of Publication: November 30th 2017
ISBN: 1786935783
ASIN: 978-1786935786
Number of pages:175
Word Count: 48,863
Cover Artist: Austin Macauley
Tagline: For those who have an affinity for magic, witches, dark fairy tales, and the macabre...

In The Lady Raven, Rebecca Henry tells the tale of Zezolla, a little princess abandoned by her father into the hands of her evil stepmother and wicked stepsisters. A familiar fairy tale you may think but all is not as it appears. The reader is soon drawn into a web of witchcraft, lies and deceit, and gradually realizes that this is no typical fairy tale, but a dark and macabre take on one.

Zezolla is treated with the utmost cruelty, neglected and vilified, and left to live in the damp cellars of the castle. The only friends Zezolla has are her beloved raven and her pet wolf. Her only comfort lies in the loyalty of the creatures of the forest, and her mother's hazel tree.

Will Zezolla have the power to escape her torment and ultimately save herself from the unscrupulous clutches of the king? The Lady Raven is a compelling tale, and one that is not for the faint-hearted.
Amazon     BN     Smashwords
Austin Macauley      Amazon UK     Book Depository
Review:
The Lady Raven is not your everyday telling of Cinderella. There are aspects that will indeed come through, however this tale... is more of the darker side of the story.
Zezolla is shown the worst side of most people and this is a story of how can she overcome all the cruelty.
I found this to be an engaging read, having a strong knowledge of several re-tellings, this one completely stands out. The story is very easy to follow while still drawing the reader in.You HAVE to know what is coming next!!
The Lady Raven is a highly suggested read.
~Dowie
Excerpt:
 Zezolla entered the forest, twig in one hand, shattered glass in the other. She moved effortlessly through the night as if she herself had wings which carried her. She came to a clearing, a streak of moonlight shining on the frozen ground. “This is the spot, my love.” The raven flew into the sky circling Zezolla as she dug into the ground. “Remember the order, my princess. Plant the twig and then the glass.”
“I call upon the spirit of my mother. I command you to leave the grave in which my mother’s body rests. Awaken now and bring forth the tree of life!” Zezolla held her hands up to the moon invoking its powers. “I am the daughter of the witch Avelina. I invoke the powers of the night. Come to me, my mother’s spirit. I welcome you!” A silver mist traveled above. The raven flew down to his princess. “She is coming, princess.” Zezolla watched as a tiny branch came forth from the dirt. Slowly it grew, taller and taller. More branches came. Zezolla thought she saw the figure of a woman in the tree. Shards of glass formed together creating glass leaves, dangerous to anyone who touched it - anyone but Zezolla. The princess stood up amazed by the beautiful sight before her. “It is complete, my love. My mother is here and her spirit resides inside the tree.” A remarkable hazel tree stood before her, 15 feet tall with a small opening at the base big enough for Zezolla to fit through. She examined the leaves running her long fingers over the glass. “It cannot cut me my love.” She held out her arm for the raven to perch. “But it will be dangerous to anyone else who tries to touch it.”
The two men made it to the barrier, gasping in horror. “What entrance is this!?” cried out Jack. “This was never here. There has never been an entrance to the forest.” Jack backed away, terrified that Zezolla awakened a spirit inside the forest. “It’s just a narrow passage. It must have been caused by the cold ice.” concluded Edward logically.
Jack shook his head. “No, Hexe did this. She has opened the forest. Who knows what evil lurks inside? These grounds are now cursed.”
“If that is true then I will not venture in.” Edward turned to leave but Jack stopped him. “This might be valuable to me Edward. If Hexe possesses some magical entity inside the forest then I want it.”
Jack grabbed Edward by the collar and moved him through the opening. Edward clung to his knife, jumping at the sounds around them. “There is a light coming from beyond the trees. Could be lightening. Let’s go see what Hexe is up to.” Edward tried to turn back, but Jack had a strong hold on him. “Courage man! You’re no better than a scared boy.” snarled Jack.
Zezolla, unaware of the servants approaching, entered the hazel tree. Edward ducked down behind a bush as he saw Zezolla disappear.
“We must leave now! I told you this would be our death! She is a witch! Did you just see how she entered that glass tree?!”
Jack was too fascinated to leave. He had never witnessed true magic before. “I want to take a closer look.”
“What? Are you mad! If you go near that tree that will be the end of you!”
Jack did not listen to Edward and walked over to the magical tree which was shimmering in the moonlight. “I just want to see it. Stay where you are if you are afraid,” Jack snorted.
“To hell with curiosity. I don’t want to end up without my head like Princess Guinevere. Go on then, you fool! Go see your magical tree.”
The tree seemed to call to Jack, beckoning him forward. “It’s so beautiful. Look at the sparkling leaves.” He reached out to touch one. The branch moved slicing his finger off his hand. Jack screamed in pain, clenching his finger to his chest. He tried to run away, but the tree caught him in her branches.
Edward stayed hidden, watching in horror as Jack cried out for help. “Edward, help me!”
“Stupid fool. I told him not to get closer.” muttered Edward
The tree tightened its grip around Jack, cutting him as it squeezed. “Please! I am sorry! Please let me go!” The tree would not accept Jack’s pleas and brought down another branch lined with razor sharp leaves. “No! No! Please, I will do anything! I will protect the princess from her stepmother. I swear to protect her as long as I live! Please, spare me!” The branch came down, slicing Jack’s throat with a row of deadly leaves.
“She needs no protection. I am with her now.” said the tree.
About the Author:
Rebecca Henry is the author of two novels, The Lady Raven and Louisiana Latte. In addition to writing, she is also an avid vegan, gardener, crafter and practices yoga.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

High Seas by Casey L. Bond - Review

High Seas
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: YA PNR, Dystopian/SciFi
Editor: Stacy Sanford/ The Girl with the Red Pen
Cover Designer: Melissa Stevens/ The Illustrated Author Design Services
Model: Breanna Ellis
Publication Date: March 15th, 2019
Hosted by: 
Lady Amber’s PR
They told her jumping would bring her home. Either they lied, or something is very wrong with Eve. She jumped to save her friend. She jumped to prevent Enoch from becoming the monster she knew from the future. But she didn’t land there. She landed in 1717. In the middle of the ocean, no less. And for a girl who couldn’t swim? That was the worst place in the world.
After being saved by a pirate who calls himself Blackbeard, Eve desperately needed to find Enoch, but when she did, she learned that not making it home was the least of her worries.
Victor did the unthinkable and used her to accomplish his cruel attack, and she isn’t sure if Enoch will ever forgive her – or if he should.
Maybe the monster was never him. Maybe it’s been her all along.
Buy Links:

Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. She likes goats and yoga, but hasn't tried goat yoga because the family goat is so big he might break her back. Seriously, he's the size of a pony. Her favorite books are the ones that contain magical worlds and flawed characters she would want to hang out with. Most days of the week, she writes young adult fantasy and paranormal fiction, letting her imaginary friends spill onto the blank page. And she hopes you love the worlds she creates and all the characters floating around in her head.
Casey is the award-winning author Frenzy series and fairy tale retellings such as Riches to Rags, Savage Beauty, Unlocked and Brutal Curse.

You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links: 
Buy Links
I absolutely love the way Casey’s writing pulls you into the story, you really feel as though you’re there experiencing the world she’s created.
High Seas picks up for Eve, right where Book One left her along with the other Assets. Enoch has spent all this time... hating her.
We get to experience their reunion and how this has changed everyone.
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this series!!! You will not regret reading it!!
~Dowie

EVE
I plucked at my suit. “Maybe that’s why my blood tastes weird.”
“What do you mean?” He twisted to his side to face me again. “How does your blood taste? Better yet, how do you know it’s unusual?”
“Enoch and I kissed, and his fang nicked my lip a little. He said my blood tasted strange, or something to that effect.”
Titus’s brows were as high as they could go. “Wow, I didn’t realize the two of you had already gotten to first base. I mean, we’ve only been in this time for around thirty-six hours or so…”
“Shut up, Titus.” My face felt hot and I turned my attention to the sea so he wouldn’t notice and make fun of me. “We haven’t kissed in this time. It was… before.”
He grinned.
“Stop it.”
He raised his hands in surrender. “It’s not surprising, I just didn’t know the juicy details. I wonder if mine tastes different, too.”
I shrugged. “There’s only one way to tell, and I’m not sure you want Terah or Enoch to bite you.”
“Wait,” he paused dramatically. “Does this mean I don’t have a chance with you now?”
I laughed. “You never did.”
“You say that, but deep down, do you really mean i—” His voice cut off abruptly, a strangled sound eeking from his throat. Enoch had lifted him with one hand and was dangling him over the ship railing.
I jumped up. “What are you doing?” I shrieked.
Titus stayed still as the waves rose and fell, brushing over the hull of the ship, over his feet, over his knees. He knew better than to struggle. If he wiggled away, he would be at the mercy of the sea.
“I grow tired of the way he speaks to you, and I’ve warned him repeatedly,” Enoch growled.
“That’s just how we talk in our time. It’s a joke! We joke a lot, Enoch. You can’t take everything so seriously or so literally.”
“Still, he could be more courteous,” Enoch argued.
“Enoch, let him go,” I demanded, staring at him.

Friday, March 15, 2019

High Seas by Casey L. Bond

Title: High Seas
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: YA PNR, Dystopian/SciFi
Editor: Stacy Sanford/ The Girl with the Red Pen
Cover Designer: Melissa Stevens/ The Illustrated Author Design Services
Model: Breanna Ellis
Publication Date: March 15th, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
They told her jumping would bring her home. Either they lied, or something is very wrong with Eve. She jumped to save her friend. She jumped to prevent Enoch from becoming the monster she knew from the future. But she didn’t land there. She landed in 1717. In the middle of the ocean, no less. And for a girl who couldn’t swim? That was the worst place in the world.
After being saved by a pirate who calls himself Blackbeard, Eve desperately needed to find Enoch, but when she did, she learned that not making it home was the least of her worries.
Victor did the unthinkable and used her to accomplish his cruel attack, and she isn’t sure if Enoch will ever forgive her – or if he should.
Maybe the monster was never him. Maybe it’s been her all along.
Buy Links:

Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. She likes goats and yoga, but hasn't tried goat yoga because the family goat is so big he might break her back. Seriously, he's the size of a pony. Her favorite books are the ones that contain magical worlds and flawed characters she would want to hang out with. Most days of the week, she writes young adult fantasy and paranormal fiction, letting her imaginary friends spill onto the blank page. And she hopes you love the worlds she creates and all the characters floating around in her head.
Casey is the award-winning author Frenzy series and fairy tale retellings such as Riches to Rags, Savage Beauty, Unlocked and Brutal Curse.
You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links: 
Buy Links:
  

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Saving Thomas by Cameo Renae - Review

Title: Saving Thomas
Author: Cameo Renae
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance 
Cover Designer: Stefanie Saw
Publication Date: November 30th, 2018 
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

When Thomas is sent on an assignment and goes missing, his friends start to worry. Then, things take a terrifying turn when a package arrives on Alaine’s front porch. Inside, is a piece of a severed, bloody wing, along with a note. The Fallen want Eden—a newly transformed Nephilim with a powerful gift—in exchange for Thomas. They have three days to hand her over or next time, they’ll receive something much worse.
Now, it’s a race against time to find out where they are keeping Thomas, and figure out a way to keep Eden safe.
Buy Links:
Review
Saving Thomas is different from all the other books of the series!
I truly loved getting tomonowndifferent characters this go round, and seeing more about Thomas!
Thomas and Dom get tricked into neignncausght and they have to go the defensive. I loved getting into the story!
I wasn’t able to put the book down! Learning about past characters and new characters, abilities that defy normal thinking!
Still, the tornado in the beginning was my favorite scene!

USA Today Bestselling author, Cameo Renae, was born in San Francisco, raised in Maui, Hawaii, and now resides with her husband and children in Alaska.
She's a daydreamer, caffeine and peppermint addict, who loves to laugh, and loves to read to escape reality.
One of her greatest joys is creating fantasy worlds filled with adventure and romance and sharing it with others. It is the love of her family and amazing support of her fans that keeps her going.
One day she hopes to find her own magic wardrobe and ride away on her magical unicorn. Until then...she'll keep writing!
Happy Reading! Xoxo
Author Links:
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/23HGKIy
Buy Links:

Monday, November 5, 2018

Brutal Curse by Casey L. Bond

Title: Brutal Curse
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
Editor: Stacy Sanford/ The Girl with the Red Pen
Cover Designer: Melissa Stevens/ The Illustrated Author Design Services
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Prince Carden of Tierney lost his home, family, and claim to the throne in one fell swoop when he rebelled against his father for a cause he knew was right. Instead of wallowing in despair, he embarks on a new journey, starting a new life on the Southern Isle. When he finds himself caught in a web woven by the famously ruthless fae queen, Coeur, he insults her and she vows to teach him the most difficult and heart-breaking lesson he will ever learn: that humans are incapable of love, and that hearts are beastly things.
Arabella wasn’t really living, she was existing and surviving as best she could.  A chance encounter with Carden changes everything for her, but the deadly game he’s dragged her into might cost her life.
Still, she agrees to play. The rules the fae queen gives them are vague, and it’s obvious there are things Queen Coeur isn’t telling them. She’s sure of it. But what she does know is that together, she and Carden must pass a series of tests and trials. If they fail, game over. But if they succeed, she just might be able to restore her family and carve out the life she’s always envisioned.
Buy Link:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PAokuf

REVIEW


As a faithful reader of all things Casey L. Bond, I can attest that each and every book I read draws me in even more than the last!
Each word and phrase is a new glimpse into her talent, with Brutal Curse seriously adding some emotion to the line up. All of Ms. Bond’s fairy tales are amazing, but she’s really outdone herself with Brutal Curse.
Right away we are hit with an emotional prelude of just what happened to the Queen, and it does not stop for one page! As the book progresses, we are allowed glimpses into multiple character viewpoints and it adds so much to the building of the world.
I absolutely suggest you read all of The authors work, you will have no regrets!
~Dowie

Award-winning author Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction. You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links: 
Buy Link:

Discovering April by Sheena Hutchinson

Title: Discovering April 
Author: Sheena Hutchinson
Genre: New Adult Romance

Cover Designer: Pink Ink Designs
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

Blurb: April Landau thinks she has everything she’s ever wanted. Her high school sweetheart, a house she can’t afford, her bipolar tabby cat, and she’s all set to begin her Junior year of college. Just when she least expects it, her life gets thrown for a loop. When things between her and her long time boyfriend unravel, she becomes stuck in a downward spiral of emotion. Finally, opening her eyes to the fact that she may have given up more than she ever could have imagined in this relationship. She finds herself struggling to keep her head above water.
Enter April’s next door neighbor— Jared Hoffman. He’s her complete opposite. A high school drop out who was forced to take over his parent’s business after their untimely death. It’s no surprise this tragedy affected him greatly, causing him to recede almost completely from society.
But he has one secret. A secret he’s been carrying around for years.
What happens when their worlds collide? Can an old friendship be the one thing that brings these two back to life?
A new adult love story filled with drama, sex, death, and the complications of all of the above. 

Sheena is a born and raised New Yorker, who followed her happily ever after to a much 
more rural town in Maine. When she’s not driving an hour to find a Starbucks or running from bugs that are way too big for her taste, she’s focusing on writing stories that empower and inspire. 
Sheena always roots for the underdog, believes in love at first sight, and that everyone should have their happily ever after. For more on Sheena and her books visit her website: www.SheenaHutchinson.com.
Buy Links: Discovering April: http://amzn.to/2oUXUlm
Uncovering Officer Smith: http://amzn.to/1Tb8Ffv
  
Excerpt: 
My head is still pounding when my eyes flutter open the next day. My brain is throbbing inside my skull and I punch the pillow underneath me, scaring Jinx out of his slumber. He meows in protest before hopping off the bed. Looking around, I’m in my bed. How did I get here? I groan in pain as I prop my pillows up and lean my head back against them. It’s then that I feel the eyes on me. Tilting my head straight again, I glance out my window. My eyes lock with those big brown eyes of Jared’s across the way. He looks down to his phone and back up again. My phone chimes with an incoming text. 
“UGHHH!” I moan, blindly reaching for it. It slips a few times before I grasp it between my fingers and look down to read.
How are you feeling?
Closing one eye, I text back, Like someone ran over me with a truck, then backed up and ran me over again. 
Lowering my phone, I watch as he smiles from my text and disappears from view. I’m trying to piece last night back together; it’s like a fragmented mirror that has shattered all over the corners of my mind. I remember laughing with Ro about her sexual conquests and then I remember red and blue lights and… Jared. Starting to feel hot, I throw the covers off of me and lay like a starfish, trying to get my mind to focus. Glancing down, I notice I’m wearing my pajamas. Before I can process any further, the door to my room creaks open. Jared walks in with a cup of water and a closed fist. 
“How did you get in?!” I yelp, trying to sit up in bed, and pulling the covers back over my braless tank top. 
“I left the back door open when I left last night,” he informs me as he opens his fist to show me he brought a hand full of Advil. 
“You brought me home last night?” I rub my head before reaching for the pills and water. 
“Yup, after you called me to pick you up from the police station.” 
“I WAS WHERE?!” I scream as water comes spraying out of my mouth. 
“Police station. Apparently, you popped a guy in the face.” He smirks. 
I squint my eyes, vaguely remembering the heavyset guy that tried grabbing my ass in front of the bar.
“Whoa!” I have to lean my head back against my pillows when the information begins to become too much for me. “If you took me home, how did I get into pajamas?!” 
The smile that crosses Jared’s face is a mixture of a blush and a sly smirk that makes my insides twist with anticipation and excitement. “Jared…” 
“That… you did on your own. I had nothing to do with that!” He holds his hands up in surrender. 
“What? I just stripped in front of you!” 
“Well, once you got your shirt off, there was really no stopping you…” he teases and my eyes widen in embarrassment.
“Oh my God!” I slump down, pulling the covers back up to my face. “Did we… ya know…” I mutter, completely mortified now. 
“Uh, that would be a no.”
“Oh, thank God!” I sigh.
“Thanks a lot!” He comes to his feet now, turning to look out the window. 
“Not like that, it’s just … I don’t like to do things I’m not conscious for.” 
“Yea, completely plastered girls that get arrested and throw up in bushes are really sexy!” His voice drips with sarcasm. 
“I threw up?!” This just gets better and better. 
“Twice.” 
“Twice?” I’m mortified, staring at his amused face. 
“Well, after the first time I thought maybe you needed something to eat.” 
“Oh no…” 
“Yeah… I’ve never seen someone eat a Big Mac that fast before…” He stares at the wall as if remembering my weak moment. 
“Oh my God!” I groan, throwing the covers over my entire body. I curl up in a fetal position, planning to never come out again. The room grows silent. It’s starting to get hard to breathe under the sheets when I feel the mattress by my feet cave slightly. 
“Come on, it’s not that bad. We all have our moments.” He pats my feet through the sheets.  
“Just when I think I’ve reached rock bottom, things just seem to drops out from under me and I’m at an all new low!” I roll over, trying to pull the covers with me, but Jared’s weight prevents it. My head comes peeking out as I roll over, facing away from him. 
“April, I think I just determined your major.” 
“What?” I curiously twist to look at him again.
“Drama. You’re such an actress. Now, put your big girl panties on and get up!” 
I stare at him for a second; did he just say what I think he said? He waits about two seconds before getting up and opening a drawer to my dresser. “Are they in here? Nope!” He closes it and opens another.
“STOP!” I scream, stumbling out of bed, horrified. 
“How ‘bout this one?” 
“Okay! Okay! I’m up!” I slam the drawer closed just in time to save myself further embarrassment when Jared eyes my plain old undergarments. I sigh when the pounding in my head launches my stomach into action and I collapse onto the corner of the bed. 
“You okay?”
“I refuse to puke again!” I respond, taking another deep breath. “Jared…” 
“Yea…” 
“I could use some donuts.” 
“Okay.” He pauses for a few seconds, looking down at his feet before adding, “I’ll be outside then.” 
And he leaves me in my room, alone.

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