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Category Archives: Fairytales

Book Review and Release Day Blitz: When Ash Falls by Rachel Van Dyken

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Rachel Van Dyken returns to regency romance with the last and final installment in The London Fairy Tales series…A regency retelling of Snow White and The Seven Dwarves.

Ashton Wolfsbane, Earl of Gyles, has taken a vow of celibacy after blaming himself for his sister in laws death. After a failed suicide attempt, he’s dedicated his life to bring justice to the weak making it his personal vendetta to be the death dealer to the wicked, also known as The Grimm Reaper. He denies himself lusts of the flesh and is known throughout London because of his ability to kill effortlessly and without emotion, that is until he meets Princess Sofia, a woman hell bent on making him forget all his reasons for denying himself the one thing he’s always craved—love.

After rescuing the fair damsel, he thinks his job finished, that is until he discovers he’s to be the Princess’s escort throughout London until she’s safely married. It wouldn’t be such a hardship, except the Princess has made him an offer he can’t refuse. Show her passion, real passion.

Four weeks of giving into the desire he’s suppressed for so long–four weeks of bliss and then they’ll go their separate ways. But things aren’t always what they seem, and when rescuing a damsel, or making a deal with her, one must always be prepared for the consequences.

Seven Royal Guard, a Beast, a kingdom in chaos, and a girl as pure as the driven snow…Will they find their Happily Ever After?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18457525-when-ash-falls

Excerpt

PROLOGUE

Ash didn’t want to remember her this way. Her beautiful face, so often lit with a breathtaking smile, was now cold and dead.
The first time he’d seen her, he had thought she was an angel, and he’d said that very thing under his breath when she had made her debut that season…
“Beautiful,” he murmured as Lucy took a turn about the room, gaining introductions to all the available gentlemen who came her way. Taking an earth-shattering breath, the kind that every man took when he was about to approach a beautiful woman, he made his way over to her.
Music faded into the background with each step. All Ash was aware of was the clicking of his boot against the floor as he progressed toward the beauty. One dance… if only she would give him one dance, he would secure her hand forever. He knew it in his heart, in his soul. She was meant to be his.
Heart beating out of his chest, he could barely contain his excitement as she lifted her eyes and met his gaze. Blue eyes twinkled in his direction, and then she lifted her hand in a wave. A wave? Something was wrong. Ash paused and then glanced self-consciously over his shoulder. There was no one but him, and then he gazed back at her. She crooked her finger, beckoning him forward.
Completely under her spell, he couldn’t deny her any more than he could cease from taking his next breath. Finally, he stood before her, at least a foot taller than she.
“Where have you been, you rogue?” She swatted him on the arm and gave him a coy laugh. “I have been looking everywhere for you!”
“For me?” Ash questioned. “Are you certain we have met?”
“Must you always joke at such serious times?” The girl laughed again, and he was caught at the sight of her dimples as they danced along her cheeks. Carefree. She appeared so carefree, so perfect, un-weighted by the things of this world, by the responsibility and darkness, by disappointment. He tilted his head and then reached out to touch her — perhaps she truly was a dream. And then a voice broke out into the pounding in his ears.
“Ah, sweetheart, you’ve met my brother.” Hunter stepped beside the girl and wrapped his arm around her.
Ash stepped back, his heart sinking down to his feet. She hadn’t been looking for him at all, but his older brother, his twin, the duke. It was such a sad joke, a sad existence really. Would he ever be first in anything?
Months had progressed into a year as he’d watched his brother and Lucy fall into such a deep love all he had been able to do was be happy for them and try to spend as much time away as possible. After all, it was not done to want your brother’s wife, to want to care for her and protect her. It was fate’s final, cruel trick to allow Ash to feel something for another and then have that person ripped away by his brother. Though he loved his brother more than his own life, it seemed Ash was always left with nothing while his brother was given everything.
His name fit.
For he was the ash after the fire of Hunter burned out.
He was nothing but soot, darkness, and sand. One day, his ashes would trickle away into the wind, never to be remembered and never mourned, but forgotten.
“Ash! Do you hear me! I love you! I love you!” Hunter yelled at his brother as he shook his shoulders, and then his eyes widened with desperation as slapped him across the face.
Ash stared at the blood staining his hands. He tried to wipe it off. Tried but failed as it continued to drip down his wrists into his jacket. “I’m so sorry,” he kept repeating over and over again, but it did not matter.
The carriage had come too fast. Lucy had thought Ash was Hunter and had run to him right into the street.
The fault was his.
He knew it, Hunter knew it, and Lucy, beautiful Lucy, his brother’s innocent wife was dead, and it was all because he had lied about who he was, tried to be better than just the second son.
He backed away, slowly at first, and then he ran.
His feet ached, his stomach heaved, and finally he stopped in the middle of the street, hoping, praying that someone or something would hit him. Death, it seemed, was his only option; it was his wish, his choice. For how could he live with himself after what he had done?
Hunter had loved Lucy, but so had Ash. She was his everything, his only relative other than Hunter, and although he had wanted her for himself, he had pushed those emotions so far beneath the surface of his heart that he hadn’t understood how far the love had run until now, until it was too late.
On legs like lead, he walked until he reached the tombstone of his parents. Both taken from him too soon. What would they think of him now? He was the disappointment in the family, the second son by minutes. And now he was a murderer.
Disgusted with himself, he sat down on the cold grass, leaned his head against the stone, and cursed. His brother — his only living relative — and he had ruined his life and ruined his parents’ memory in the process. All he had ever wanted as a boy was to please his father, yet all he’d received was disapproval. One time — just one time — he wanted to make someone proud, make himself proud.
But it was impossible.
He looked down at bloodstained hands.
His future stared right back at him.
Flee! He needed to flee, to get away. No, not just get away. He needed to die. A life for a life. So he set about doing exactly that. It was not fair that he was able to live, to survive, when the one woman who had done nothing but brought happiness to everyone she’d met, lay dead in the street.
“Lucy,” he whispered as salty tears ran down his cheeks and across his lips. “I’m so sorry… but I will see you soon. I will see you soon.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out the pistol. With shaking hands he lifted it to his chin and pulled the trigger.

 

Purchase Links:

AMAZON: http://amzn.com/B00N34H788

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-ash-falls-rachel-van-dyken/1120262957?ean=2940046131758

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/470888

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/lv/book/when-ash-falls/id913423328?mt=11

 

My Review

When Ash Falls is the first Historical Romance that I’ve read and I had no idea what to expect. One thing I did know for sure is that Rachel Van Dyken doesn’t disappoint. This story had it all: humor, romance, a broody swoon worthy male character and a great female lead who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind or go after what she wanted.

What first attracted me to this story was that it said it was a regency re-telling of Snow White. While the general idea of the story was similar, it was in now way the same Snow White. I loved getting lost in Rachel Van Dyken’s writing and in the past.

Overall, I found this book to be really enjoyable. It was a refreshing break from the books that I normally read and I’m looking forward to going back and reading the other books from this series.

*An ARC copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review*

 

About The Author

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at www.rachelvandykenauthor.com

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelVanDyken

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachVD

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4882127.Rachel_Van_Dyken?from_search=true

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Van-Dyken/e/B0054TW5AA/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1407369649&sr=8-2-ent

Book Review – Snow the Vampire Slayer by Rebekah R. Ganiere

Snow 

the Vampire Slayer Tour Banner

Snow the Vampire Slayer

by Rebekah R.

Ganiere

Farielle #2

Publication Date: September 22, 2014

Genres: Fantasy, Romance

Purchase from AmazonPurchase from B&NPurchase from Kobo

Snow Cover

Synopsis:

Lady Snow Gwyn is tired of playing “mother” to her seven Vampire

Slaying brothers. For the past two years, she’s yearned to be out there fighting at their side as they hunt

for bloodsuckers in the black of night. Snow is as good a fighter as any man, but she wasn’t called to be a

Slayer. A mere formality in her book.

Prince Sageren, Son of Lothar has spent the last fifty years in exile,

awaiting the day when he can finally avenge his family and take back his throne. Barely existing, he’s

forced to face his inner demons and the monster he once was, compelling him to vow to never drink

from humans again. A simple enough task–until he crosses paths with a human who makes his fangs

ache to drain her.

That’s why when Snow runs into Prince Sage on a late night trip to the

woods, she’s torn between the urge to kill him and the desire to succumb to the feeling he stirs within

her. And when Snow’s life is threatened by the same evil that murdered his family, Prince Sage must

enlist the aid of Snow’s brothers to not only help him save her life, but to also regain his rightful place as

King of the Vampires.

If Sage can keep the Slayers from killing him first.

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

Rebekah R. Ganiere

Rebekah is an award winning author. Her novel Dead Awakenings, debuted in January 2014. Red

the Were Hunter, the first in her Farielle Series, released in May. The second book

Snow the Vampire Slayer will be releasing in September 22, 2014. And her trilogy The

Society will be released Nov. 17th 2014 by Kensington’s Lyrical Press.

Rebekah is the VP of Communications of the RWA FFP Chapter as well as a member of her local

Los Angeles and Orange County chapters. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her

moderating on SavvyAuthors.com or hanging out with her husband, four children and her English

Bulldog, rabbit, two bearded dragons, and two tortoises. The escaped snake has yet to be found.

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IndieSage PR


REVIEW

Book received from author in return for an honest review

Lady Snow Gwyn is tired of playing “mother” to her seven Vampire Slaying brothers. For the past two years, she’s yearned to be out there fighting at their side as they hunt for bloodsuckers in the black of night. Snow is as good a fighter as any man, but she wasn’t called to be a Slayer. A mere formality in her book.

Prince Sageren, Son of Lothar has spent the last fifty years in exile, awaiting the day when he can finally avenge his family and take back his throne. Barely existing, he’s forced to face his inner demons and the monster he once was, compelling him to vow to never drink from humans again. A simple enough task–until he crosses paths with a human who makes his fangs ache to drain her.

When Snow runs into Prince Sage on a late night trip to the woods, she’s torn between the urge to kill him and the desire to succumb to the feeling he stirs within her. And when Snow’s life is threatened by the same evil that murdered his family, Prince Sage must enlist the aid of Snow’s brothers to not only help him save her life, but to also regain his rightful place as King of the Vampires.

If Sage can keep the Slayers from killing him first.

Yes, this is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but absolutely not as you know it! I love reading re-imagined versions of fairy tales. And the idea behind this one, Vampires, Weres and Slayers, is a great one. This is actually book two in the Fairelle series. I haven’t read book one and this was still a great read as a stand-alone. I didn’t feel lost at any point, also I felt as far as the story went I could leave it there if I wished. But, I can’t leave it there at all! I’m definitely intending on going back and reading the first book now.

Snow is pretty badass for a ‘proper lady’ Yes she definitely has her fair share of naivety about the world but she adapts pretty darn quickly and surprised me more than a few times with her quick thinking bravery. I’m guessing though, when you’re in a houseful of brothers who are slayers, you pick up a tip or two along the way! Her brothers are typical brothers in the way they can’t tidy up after themselves and they give Snow hell, but really that’s where the ‘typical’ ends. They are Vampire Slayers. That is who they are and what they do. Being a Slayer is so much a part of them that there is no way they see vampires in any other light. Slayers kill vampires otherwise the vampires will kill the Slayers.

This of course becomes quite the predicament when Snow bumps into a mysterious stranger, who turns out to be a mysterious vampire stranger. Sage is a Vampire Prince with a price on his head. He needs to focus on taking back his kingdom but he finds himself completely infatuated with Snow instead. Sage is probably one of the most restrained, well mannered vampires I have ever come across. So, it’s from here, from their first meeting in the forest, we watch Sage and Snow battle each other, the Slayers, the Vampires and seemingly the whole world whilst they begin a romance unlike any other.

By the time I was getting towards the end of the book I had literally NO idea how anything was going to get resolved. It all seemed completely hopeless. Of course there is a resolution and at first I really wasn’t sure how I felt about it… But I can honestly say by the end of the book I really do believe that there was no other way the story could’ve gone. In this instance, the ending worked perfectly for the characters and their journey. So yes, we get our HEA, with the added bonus of knowing that there is plenty more to come in this world. Plenty more adventures to be had and plenty more stories to be told.

 photo credit: paul bica via photopin ccphoto credit: juandiegojr via photopin cc

Book Review – Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

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I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still the yellow brick road, though—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas.

I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I’ve been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

I loved the sound of this as soon as I saw the cover and the title. The overall effect was a little bit creepy and a lot intriguing! I knew I had to read it. Then the blurb confirmed that not only did I have to read it, but I had to read it STRAIGHT AWAY.

There’s no place like anywhere but here.

I felt like every two sentences I was stopping to highlight a section of the page. Honestly I probably could’ve highlighted the whole book at the rate I was going! Yes it probably was greedy of me but I had to keep as much of the writing as I could to read back on. It was so enchanting, so descriptive so utterly imaginative. I was very quickly obsessed. I haven’t had so many quotes that I’ve loved from one book in a looooong time.

I reached out my hand and let some flakes fall into it. It didn’t melt. It wasn’t snow, I realized. It was ash. I looked up at Nox in surprise. “Your fire burned up the sky,” he explained. For a second, I was disappointed. Show would have been so pure and beautiful. But ash made so much more sense with who I was.

This story follows Amy Gumm, high school student from (yep, you guessed it) Kansas. Trailer park raised by a mother with many issues. Smart-assed, scrappy, angry and lonely. Amy is by no means shiny and perfect that’s for sure, but considering the last seemingly perfect person to land in Oz had turned into its worst nightmare I feel it was fitting that Amy was a little rough around the edges. Sometimes with characters like this, especially in the YA genre I get frustrated with their lack of growth, but by the end of this book she really had developed. She still has a way to go but there was definitely change happening. Thanks to that, not to mention her general kick-butt amazingness I was totally team Amy by the end of the book!

“That girl has more cracks in her than the road of yellow brick”

I loved the liberties the author took with the very well known characters from the very well known tale of Oz. If you’re going to take such well known characters and such an iconic story and absolutely turn it on its head then you really need to commit and go full-throttle. Make an impression and prove to us readers why we should believe in this version of events. Absolutely this happened here. I 100% believed the story that was being told here. The familiar twisted with the dark. Dorothy, The Lion, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, Glinda – all horrifying now in their own way. It’s safe to say I LOVED what was done with these characters.

“Good. Like that means anything around here. I hate to break it to you, but just because someone has pretty hair and good skin tone and a crown instead of a pointy hat doesn’t mean she’s not the baddest bitch this side of the Emerald City.”

“Down is up, up is down. Good is Wicked, Wicked is Good. The times are changing. This is what Oz has come to.”

I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, I loved following this book through having no idea where it was going, no idea who was good and who was wicked, so I won’t ruin that possibility for you. All I will say is if you want to read something a little bit different, with a bit of an edge and a lot of weird then you should definitely give this a go. I do read the Fantasy type genre, but I can’t say I’m a big YA fan, however in this instance I loved it. There are more books to come in this series and I will absolutely be reading on, I seriously can’t wait to see what’s in-store for Oz next.

Dorothy Must Die

By Danielle Paige

 photo credit: Lori Joan via photopin cc

Book Review – Pooka in My Pantry (Monster Haven #2) By R.L. Narquin

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Ok I know I know… I just reviewed the first book in this series last week. You can read all about it HERE. But I did warn you that I had these next 2 instalments lined up to read… And sometimes you want to be reassured that the subsequent books are worth your commitment to the series. So we’re back with Zoey after she’s dealt with her Incubus issues and the fact that the ‘hidden’ have decided she can help them all. This time there may or may not be a sea serpent giving birth in her pool… and fairies laughing…a lot….

You might think fairy laughter would be light and bubbly and tinkling, like tiny bells. In truth, what greeted me on my lawn were raucous snorts, high pitched squealing and a smattering of applause from hands so small it sounded like someone popping bubble wrap two rooms away. Apparently, my purple, green and gold glitter-fairy costume was freakin’ hilarious.

This book was totally enjoyable, almost as good as the first! The style kept to the light and fun formula that made me a fan first time round. Nothing too heavy or too complicated, which is certainly the charm of this series. It’s reading for pure enjoyments sake and I’m definitely not above that! We get to see our favourite closet monster, Maurice again and I love how Zoeys relationship with him is deepening. We also see the other usual suspects; Riley is back as current love interest/Reaper and it’s actually his involvement with Zoey that is what drives most of the storyline in this book. (Insert a gripe, they seriously need to go hide somewhere just so they can pash in peace for a second! Sheesh) Throw in some new very outlandish characters such as the Pooka (had to Google that one!) and some Leprechauns and you’ve got a very interesting array of beings entertaining you.

It does delve a bit deeper into the disappearance of Zoey’s mother. I really enjoyed how the author put the time into fleshing out the past bits, because they obviously impact a lot on the current day predicaments that Zoey is facing. Nothing worse in a story than a vague reference to something in the past that then is never fully explained! So in this book we start to build up a picture on what her mum was doing and we meet some new characters that were involved and knew her. Pages well spent in my opinion. There has been effort put in to weave some long term storylines into this series and that starts to become evident in this book, this instalment ends with a bigger cliff-hanger than the last, with many more unanswered questions. It was a good attempt at layering the story with depth, because I suspect as the series progresses even though the charm of this book is it’s light and easy fairytale like quality, you still really do need something to grip onto otherwise it could start to lose pace.

All and all it was a good Easter Sunday read. It hasn’t changed my world, but I didn’t need it to. I just needed to be entertained, and Zoey, Maurice and the rest of their clique were exactly what I needed to go with my Creme Eggs.

Book Review – Monster in My Closet (Monster Haven #1) By R.L. Naquin

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Wow! So I’m back in my Fantasy headspace. I ‘accidentally’ bought a few too many books on the weekend in this genre to prove it. This book was in that bunch of purchases, I’m not even 100% sure how I stumbled across this series, but I am SO glad I did! For me this was a match made in heaven. Most of the UF I’ve been reading lately have been serious business, intense and sometimes a bit scary (I’m a big fraidy cat!) So what a welcome change it was to read one that was exactly what I’d imagine fairy tales for adults would be like.

I knew those hands. I clutched the toilet brush against myself as if it had the power to ward off nightmares. In the flash of a forgotten memory, I could see those hands grabbing at my doorframe, reaching to snatch out my eyes. My skin was clammy with terror ripened by over twenty years of repression and denial. I was five again, and monsters were real.

Erm… sounds a bit ominous doesn’t it? Real monsters! Trust me, this doesn’t turn out how you’d expect at all. Turns out that yes monsters are real, in this case the monster is a closet monster named Maurice… But don’t worry the whole thing about ‘snatching out eyes’ was a misunderstanding because actually Maurice is a big sweetheart. And a kickass chef. Which has pretty much made me certain that I in-fact NEED a closet monster in my house. Especially if he can cook like this:

The flavours mixed together on my tongue as if the muffin was made from a magical fruit that grew on an orangeberry tree situated in a vanilla-scented orchard shaded by double rainbows and watered exclusively with unicorn tears.

Uh…also there’s this…

“Did you mop the floor? It’s all…clean.” – Zoey to Maurice

So yes, I’m obsessed with Maurice. I actually need to recruit a closet monster. I cannot live another day without being able to eat such delicious sounding muffins…. and clean floors are always a bonus in life! Of course there is much more to this story than Maurice and his amazing cooking/cleaning skills! SO…. The story is based around Zoey, She’s a wedding planner who lives quite happily alone and unaware of anything even vaguely supernatural, until Maurice shows up and soon after more weird and wonderful creatures as well, all needing safe haven and help. From here life gets very very interesting!

In this book you’ll encounter everything from a demon incubus to reapers, dragons, brownies and a few things in-between. The beauty being, that all of these creatures have an almost quirky whimsical fairy tale feel to them. There are definitely good guys and bad guys, definitely serious situations and threats and death. The story is by no means one dimensional. There are poignant moments and there is sadness. But overall it’s fun. Amongst even the most serious or sad parts it’s still upbeat. It doesn’t dwell on the horrific. Even the bad guys resolution is quick and to the point so we can get back to enjoying Zoey and her strange assortment of creatures. And I LOVED this about it. Sometimes you just want to enjoy the make-believe. Like the most fictional make-believe you can lay your hands on. Nothing that could ever occur in everyday life but sometimes you wish it could. This book was like a recaptured childhood imagination.

My BBH and I have a few female lead characters who we LOVE. For me, Zoey is definitely on her way to having a spot up in my most loved lead characters. For reasons that include the following (But are certainly not limited to):

Why is it, the more you brush a Barbie’s hair, the grosser it ends up getting? – Zoey’s musings

I tried to take a swallow from my wine glass to cover my silly smile, but it didn’t work. He was making me laugh. If I took a sip now it would likely spew out my nose. Aside from the extreme embarrassment involved, it would probably hurt like crazy. Not to mention, a waste of good wine. – Zoey on a date

A woman after my own heart…

This book really was an awesome read, In fact, I’ve already got the next 2 installments ready to go on my Kindle. I was going to try and spread them out…but I’ve decided I just can’t since I saw that book #4 is out April 21st…

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The Marked Ones: Book #1 in The Fairytail Saga by S. K Munt is FREE on Amazon at the moment!!

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Woohoo! I have just discovered that the first book in The Fairytail Saga is free at the moment on Amazon! I loved this series! It’s an adult fairytale set in modern day Australia and it’s about mermaids! – come on!! Who wouldn’t love it?! I have to admit that I wasn’t sure about the whole mermaid thing before I read it but I beyond loved this whole series. I had to wait for each book, which was agony, but the full series is out now, so if you do get into it there’s no waiting! Yay. Well worth checking out and the best part is (have I mentioned this already?) the first book is FREE RIGHT NOW. Get it! It’s actually ranked #1 in Fairytales on Amazon at the moment too, so I’m not the only one that thinks this is gold (in case you aren’t sure about my judgement hah!)

Here’s a quick run down – 

Mermaids have three rules to abide by: To breed, to protect the environment, and to keep their existence a secret, at any cost. Princess Ivyanne has been saving herself for an arranged marriage that’s never eventuated since she came of age, to best culminate her unique bloodline. And when the time time comes for her to choose a new mate, the mer and human worlds collide as the race for her hart begins. 

There’s lots of good stuff going on in this book and for ONCE in my life I was on the right “team”. Even though, obviously, you don’t find out who the winner of Ivyannes heart is until the third and final book. So mosey on over to Amazon and check it out.