And now for the review!

Blog_tour_banner_DARKHAVEN_AFE_Smith

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s posts as much as I have (don’t forget to check out the deets for the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post).  I’ve been a fan of A.F.E.’s since our Authonomy days, and I am beyond thrilled to see Darkhaven in print.  It’s a wonderful book, full of all the things that make a story great: fencing, fighting, chases, escapes, true love, steampunky goodness…The list goes on.

And the writing!  The writing is so beautiful.  For example:

“…the scents of a summer night caressed her with their familiarity…”

Scavenger_day06“She hesitated, her skin crawling with tiny spiders of unease.” -If that’s not evocative, I don’t know what is!

“As the sun rose higher in the sky, prying into the shade of her hood with bright inquisitive fingers, she had slipped into the narrow gap between a dueling room and a weaponry.”

“The books were mainly vast tomes with leather bindings, bearing such enticing titles as Upon the Principles and Ordinance of Government and An Assessment of Trade Relationships Between Mirrorvale and its Neighbors.”

That last line actually made me…

Review time!

atrToday I’m reviewing After the Ruin by Harriet Goodchild.  If you missed the interview she was kind enough to submit to back in March, you can check it out here.  If you haven’t heard of After the Ruin before now, here’s the blurb:

What is the price of a man’s life? An apple? A sword? A kingdom? There are many ways to leave a life in ruins. But ruined lives go on, and so, after the ruin, there is love, sweet as roses on a summer’s evening. But love is such a little thing, no stronger than a candleflame at noontime. For, after the ruin, Averla, fire made flesh, is hiding in the light. She will use lover against lover, sister against brother, father against son, to build again her kingdom of everlasting fire. Love is not enough to set against her fierce desire. As well seek to turn back the tide with a wall of sand.

This book…This book!  I’m still thinking about it.  It’s a dense read, but a fantastic one, and I couldn’t get enough of it.  The writing reminded me of some of the classics that I’ve loved; no one specific novel, just classic works in general.  It has a timeless feel to it, and the prose is like reading music.  It was poetry, plain and simple and magical.  The worldbuilding was rock solid and the character development was amazing.

And the end…I still can’t believe the end.

This is a book you definitely don’t want to miss, and one I highly recommend.  You can pick up your copy at Amazon, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Review time!

sotmOver the weekend, I read the latest from Mark R. Hunter, Slightly Off the Mark: The Unpublished Columns.  With columns on everything from politics to the weather (one of my own favorite topics), this book was chock full o’ laughs.  I was crying with laughter within minutes of opening this book, and I elicited strange looks from my family as I continued reading.

At 190 pages, it was a quick read, and I finished it within a day.  I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, and this was just what I needed to cheer me up.  So if you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend it.

Go on.  You know you want to. 🙂

Mark R. Hunter is an author, firefighter, humorist, dad, and self-proclaimed home maintenance failure from northeast Indiana. His weekly humor column “Slightly off the Mark” appeared in three newspapers for over twenty years, which is coincidentally the age of his first grey hair, before being unceremoniously cut short in 2014. This volume collects his previously unpublished and “leftover”columns.

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

A ripple of noise

TS2 War 2-2The firing had become more general, and without warning the mortars started up.  They were pulverizing the wood, raining down so fast that the scream of one merged into the scream of the next, each explosion merely part of a ripple of noise.  -War 2.2

I’ve just finished reading War 2.2 by Jim Webster, and…wow.  It’s been a while since I’ve had a book hangover like this.  I’ve been spending my evenings in various parts of Tsarina for a good month now, and I’m a little sad to have finished my time there, to be honest.

I started with Justice 4.1.  It was an excellent book, with plenty of twists and turns, and a fair bit of action as well.  By the time I finished the book, I was thirsty for more.

justiceWar 2.2 definitely delivered on that front.  Of course, with a war going on, I’d expect nothing less.  I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more connection between the two books, but they were both very well done (and now I’m hoping for a third book).  If I didn’t have a reading list constantly clamoring for attention, I’d be tempted to start War 2.2 over again right away. 🙂

You can pick up your own copies of Justice 4.1 and War 2.2 on Amazon and Amazon UK.  I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did. 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Time for another review!

Earlier this fall, I signed up to participate in a blog tour for Glass House Press.  I volunteered to read and review a novella by Mary Fan called Tell Me My Name.  But there were a couple of glitches, because computers rock, and I didn’t get the file until the day my post was supposed to go live.

But!  I’ve finally managed to find enough spare moments to sit down and read this fantastic novella, and now I’ve got the scoop on what it’s all about.  The blurb:

In Mary Fan’s second novella for Glass House Press, a girl wakes up in an icy cell, alone and frightened. She has no memory of who she is or how she came to be there.

She does know that she must get out, at all costs. And that escape must start with remembering…

An American Faerie Tale

thestolenOver the summer, I was lucky enough to snag a review copy of Bishop O’Connell’s book, The Stolen.  I was excited about it from the moment I saw that it was set partly in Tír na nÓg.

Of course, life happened, and I didn’t get around to reading it right away.  But when I did?  I couldn’t get it out of my head.

I was thrown off a bit by the beginning, as the story opens with a bit of back story about Brendan, who’s on his way to meet Áine, the girl he loves.  The blurb, though, focuses on Caitlin and the main plot of the book:

Tonight, for the first time in over a century, a mortal child will be kidnapped by faeries…

How did I spend my weekend?

Why, engrossed in the latest Banned Underground novel to hit my phone, naturally.  Suffering, as I was, from a complete lack of motivation and a nasty headache to boot, I settled down yesterday afternoon and read the whole of Have Frog, Will Travel in the space of an afternoon.

What’s it about?  Glad you asked!  From Goodreads:

Go Fridge-diving at Grizelda’s in Have Frog, Will Travel

A traditional witch’s cottage is a wondrous, if sometimes impractical, thing. But not in the eyes of the County Council Building Regulations Inspectorate. And when the Council Inspector condemns her home after a chance encounter with the Fridge, Grizelda (off-white witch and leading proponent of the people/frog spell) is forced into a quest for a competent builder to make the necessary alterations.

But such things are not always easy to find, and as for a suitable plumber, well, you could throw money down the drain. Or the frog pond, as it might be… Just who is going to turn out to be Another Brick In The Wall?

And because Amazon’s blurb differs slightly, here’s that one:

I got a review!

tdproofI don’t talk much about my little poetry book, Tuesday Daydreams: A Journal in Verse.  You may not have even known it existed till now, though there’s a link to it in my blog’s header.  I haven’t done a lot of promotion for it, but it’s sold a few copies, which is pretty awesome for something that started out as a Christmas gift for a friend.

So when I got my very first review of it on Tuesday, I was pretty excited.  Pretty darn excited, actually.  So if you like poetry, maybe check it out?  And if you do, leave a review!  Reviews can really make someone’s day. 🙂

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

We’re in the homestretch!

Holy time warp, Batman – how is it week eleven already?  Well, regardless, it’s my pleasure to introduce my very good friend, Sophie Tallis.  I hope you’ll enjoy reading her recommendations as much as I did! 🙂

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Eleven
Sophie Tallis

I’m beginning to wonder where all the time has gone, I mean eleven weeks have already slipped by in this Summer Reads Blog Tour. Where has the summer gone?
I sure hope you’ve been enjoying the Summer Reads Blog as much as I have with meeting all these new faces and new reads. We’ve just got two more weeks left and I’ve saved the best for last. Let’s welcome Sophie Tallis and her books along with her recommended reads.
A Bristol born gal, I grew up in a sleepy village, dreaming of dragons and wild adventures. I haven’t grown up much and sincerely hope I never do. I live in the Cotswolds with my family, two enormous white wolves, two even bigger Alaskan Malamutes and a load of wild ducks who basically run the place! I was a full-time teacher, dulling young minds…ahem…I mean inspiring young children for the past 16 years and am now a librarian, a dream job being surrounded by books all day!

Although I primarily write epic fantasy…

More great reads for the dog days of summer!

How can it be August already?  It seems like we just started this amazing blog tour, and suddenly it’s Week 10!  If someone would be kind enough to explain to me what happened to the last ten weeks, I’d love you forever.  I mean, it’s still only June, right?  Right?

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Ten
A.F.E. Smith

Drum roll please as we’re already into week ten of our Summer Reads Blog Tour, and welcome A.F.E. Smith!

My name is A.F.E. Smith and I can usually be found online in the form of a robin. But I’ve been categorically told that I have to include a picture of my real face for this blog tour, so here it is …

In human form, I work as an editor and also as a parent, and squeeze writing in around the edges. (My son is two and I have a daughter on the way, so the edges are pretty squeezed.) Things I like include snacks, books, complex maths problems, snacks, animated films and snacks.

My debut novel, DARKHAVEN, is coming soon as an ebook from Harper Voyager. It’s a fast-paced fantasy whodunnit featuring love, murder and obsession, carriage chases, duels to the death and a very angry Wyvern, set in a unique city in the throes of industrial revolution. Here’s a little bit more about it…