Book Review of Abney Kelly and the Yuletide Shenanigans by SamiJo McQuiston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Abney Kelly and the Yuletide Shenanigans

Series: Abney Kelly Series

Author: Samijo McQuiston

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating:5/5

Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Kobo

Back cover:

Abney Kelly seems like your typical thirteen-year-old trying to find her place in the world. She’s shy, awkward, has no friends, and is bullied constantly. However things are not always as they appear, after being pushed into a clover patch, a creature who says he’s her assigned guardian whisks her off to a school in Tìr na nÓg, called Yule.

Turns out she’s a Changeling, and it’s time she learns what that means. Between making new friends, discovering that all the monsters in her nightmares are real, and starting at a new school, Abney didn’t think life could get any harder as she splits her time between the human and Fae realms.

That is until her house matron warns them about Nicholas Kringle. He is stalking his prey throughout realms and collecting the hearts of those on his so-called nice list. At a New Year’s Eve party, Abney and her new gang use an Ouija board and discover that one of their friends is on Kringle’s list.

Determined to stop their friend’s death, Abney and company set off on a chilly adventure, to try to change fate, but only one thing is for certain… This year they’ll end up on the naughty list or die trying.

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*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for my honest review*

This was an amazing novel! I loved how McQuiston spun together Celtic, and other regions, myths together and created a world much like Hogwarts, if not better. I found it to be refreshingly original, yet still have that feel we are used to in magical schools. I really loved her take on the Santa, or St Nicolas, myth and how it played part in this story. 

Abney was a really nice character. It was great having a heroine one could relate to, and wasn’t boy crazy. I don’t mind having lots of love in stories, but having it not be the focus at all was very refreshing. I also loved the lgbtq representation in this book and her take on the two fairy queens. 

All in all, if you love a book with twists and turns, based off of mythology, has the feel of Harry Potter except with a girl MC and lgbt representation, this is definitely the book for you! Read an excerpt below!

~Dani

 

Enter the giveaway!

 

About the author:

SamiJo is a first-class shenanigator, decorated coddiwompler, narrator, and author of, The Abney Kelly series. She lives in Wyoming with her dog, two cats, and four chickens. She participates in tomfoolery frequently and plans to get into waggishness in the future. Vive La Pete! 

Website: https://www.vivelapete.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SJMcQuiston

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.j.mcquiston/?hl=en

 

Excerpt:

Chapter 6 The Story of Nicholas Kringle 

  

    A thick, stew-like fog encircled Oberon House. Th e Pucas were supposed
to be taking them to see the enormous Christmas tree in
the square, but there was no way to go out safely. If you stuck your
hand into the mist, it disappeared before your eyes, and in general, had
a strange-uneasy feel to it. Everyone was very content to stay in and help
decorate the house Christmas tree in the Ocean Room.
   The decorations were colorful and random; Agatha didn’t do
themes for her tree like Abney’s family did, but it was still fun, and everyone
chipped in. Blythe taught them to string popcorn, and Wilbur
and Snozbert were taking colored glass beads and morphing them into
different shapes and figures by request. It was like watching master glassblowers at work, but they never heated the marbles. Th ey were able to

manipulate them with their bare hands.
   “I love Christmas trees,” Abney said as she looked transfixed at the
glowing masterpiece.
   “It’s a Yule tree,” Feo said as she came in with a tray of sweet orange
tea and began pouring cups.
   “Is there a difference?” Abney asked curiously.
   “Oh, most definitely. Christmas trees are a pagan tradition you know,
taught to Fleetlings by the Fae,” Feo said carefully. “Anyway, the most important
difference is that a Yule tree is always a live tree. Fleetlings use
fake trees and all sorts of nonsense these days. They’ve forgotten the traditions
of old, but a Yule tree must be alive.”
   “I think it’s time for a story,” Agatha said from her armchair by the
fire. She took a deep drag from her hookah pipe through the black hole
in her neck. “Come closer, sugars, closer,” she bid them, and they all sat
on the floor near her feet. “You are all aware of the legend of The Santa
Claus?”
   “Everyone knows that one,” Zoey replied.
   “Ya, ya,” Domino agreed. “The dude who knows if you’re naughty or
nice. We all know how it goes.” Abney wasn’t sure why but she suddenly
felt edgy, and goosebumps rose on her arms.
   “That’s the one, honey,” Agatha agreed. “I suppose you know him as
a fat, jolly, man who passes out gifts?”
   “Every December the 25th,” Domino smiled.
   “That’s the version known to most Fleetlings,” Agatha continued.
   “But I’m going to tell you the real story. Heed my words. They are much
more paramount now than they have been in many years.” The teenagers
and Pucas moved closer to the fire, unconsciously wanting to chase away
the dark and its accompanying shadows.
   “This story starts out as all good tales do. Once upon a time, in a
faraway land, there lived a lonely king. Not just any king though, The
Winter King, Jack Frost, himself. Blythe, a little help please?” Agatha
breathed out. Blythe whispered a few words and blew them into
Agatha’s smoke. A sad man appeared in the escaping vapor, and the
story took to life as Agatha started to speak again, “He longed for a child
to love and fill his days with joy, but no maid could carry the child of the
frozen monarch. Frustrated and grief-stricken, he sought out the great
witch, Baba Yaga.
   “‘Grandmother,’ he begged. ‘I am alone and childless. Is there anything
you can do to help me? Is there a way for me to have a child?’ Baba
Yaga thought for a moment, looked deep into his heart, and knew he
was sincere. She decided to help The Winter King, but he must bring
her three things: Snow, from the coldest peak, coal from the deepest
mine, and a feather from the brightest Phoenix.
   “So The Winter King scoured the Earth until he had everything the
witch had asked for. First, Baba Yaga took the snow and patted it into
the shape of a girl, then she picked up the coal and wrapped the phoenix
feather around it, the coal ignited melting the feather into it. Finally, she
forced the coal into the snow girl where her heart would have been. The
winds picked up and whirled violently around them, but The Winter
King and Baba Yaga stood fast, and when the snow settled again, a small
pale girl stood before them. Her skin was blue, like a frozen glacier, and
her hair white as snow, with a hint of the Northern Lights about it. The
King loved her instantly, but as he reached for her, Baba Yaga stepped
between them.
   “‘Nothing is free, Winter King,’ she said. ‘A time will come when I
will ask you for a favor, and you must agree to do as I ask.’ The King,
being so close to his heart’s desire could do nothing but agree. Baba Yaga
released the girl to him with a warning.
   “‘She is snow and ice, but her heart is fire. She must never lose control
of her emotions. You must teach her to remain calm in even the
worst of storms. If she loses control, your daughter will melt and return
to the water from whence she came.’

Book Review of The Swordsman’s Lament by G.M. White

The Swordsmans Lament ebook 2

Title: The Swordsman’s Lament

Author: G.M. White

Genre: Fantasy

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 4/5

IndieBound/Amazon/Barnes&Noble

When a prince is murdered, a legendary swordsman stands accused.

The King wants blood . . .

and loyalty counts for nothing.

Belasko thought he was beyond intrigues and machinations. But when the grief-stricken King demands vengeance, Belasko discovers he is expendable. His options are clear… find the real killer or satisfy the royal bloodlust.

With the forces of the palace mobilised against him he is thrust into the city’s bleak underbelly and must fight to discover the truth. With betrayal around every corner he must form unlikely alliances. Can the veteran warrior survive long enough to protect his friends and prove his innocence?

Join Belasko on a fast-paced fantasy adventure as he hunts the real killer, from courtly intrigue to the depths of the city’s criminal underworld, and learns the true meaning of The Swordsman’s Lament.

*I received this book for an honest review*

From the first page, I was hooked! I really liked the main character Belasko. He was someone you could root for during the entire book—cunning, resourceful, and a warrior. The fight scenes were terrific and it made me want to join HEMA right now (although I was already going to join once it’s safe for us to go out again). Swords, of all kinds, has always been a passion of mine so I was really glad when I was offered to review this book.

My favorite character, and one I hope we learn more of in future books, is the Water King. I think if I were in this world, I would probably be working for him if we were honest. I loved how there were myths about him and we got to learn some of the truth. I look forward in learning more about him and the world White created.

The only problem I had was with the princess. She was an important part but I feel we didn’t get to read enough of her to really understand who she was. Without spoiling, I felt the ending didn’t quite line up with the rest of the story for how she acted. It wasn’t a bad ending at all, and it worked, but I just needed to understand her thought process more.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. If you love knights, swords, or medieval stories, this is definitely one for you!

~Dani

About the author:

G.M. White

G.M. White has always been an avid reader, a love of the written word instilled in him by his parents at an early age. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that he was a very talkative child and the only time he was quiet was when he had his head in a book. Anyway, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one. A lifelong storyteller he finally decided to put his imagination to good use and set pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard) and started to write down the worlds that he carried with him in his head. The Swordsman’s Lament is his first novel, published September 2019.

TSL Blog Blitz

Comic Review of Teen Titans: Beast Boy

 

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Series: Teen Titans: Beast Boy

Written by: Kami Garcia

Illustrated by: Gabriel Picolo

Rating: 5/5

Grab at your local comic book store, or preorder here

Description:

Author Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures) and artist Gabriel Picolo, the creative duo behind the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller Teen Titans: Raven, take you on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance, while reminding us the value of true friendship–especially when life gets wild.

Garfield Logan has spent his entire life being overlooked. Even in a small town like Eden, Georgia, the seventeen-year-old with green streaks in his hair can’t find a way to stand out–and the clock is ticking. Senior year is almost over. If Gar doesn’t find a way to impress the social elite at Bull Creek High School, he will never know what it’s like to matter. Gar’s best friends, Stella and Tank, can’t understand why he cares what other people think, and they miss their funny, pizza-loving, video game-obsessed best friend.

Then Gar accepts a wild dare out of the blue. It impresses the popular kids, and his social status soars. But other things are changing, too. Gar grows six inches overnight. His voice drops, and suddenly, he’s stronger and faster. He’s finally getting everything he wanted, but his newfound popularity comes at a price. Gar has to work harder to impress his new friends. The dares keep getting bigger, and the stakes keep getting higher.

When Gar realizes the extent of his physical changes, he has to dig deep and face the truth about himself–and the people who truly matter–before his life spirals out of control.

*I received a copy of Teen Titans: Beast Boy from DC Comics for my honest opinion*

This was a great graphic novel! I have been a fan of Picolo’s art for a while and it warms my heart that he was able to have his dreams come true and become an artist for DC! The art in this comic is amazing and I can’t wait for my physical copy to come so I can gush over it some more. I also loved Teen Titans: Raven when it came out and have been waiting anxiously for the second book in this series, and I was not disappointed.

The story was quite interesting, as it was Beast Boy’s origin story. The most I know about Teen Titans is from the show in the 2000s and a few comics here and there, but I know that it is a little different than the original canon, but DC and Marvel like having a lot of different universes and back stories for their characters, so I don’t mind that in these books. I liked how it is more modern so teens of this era can identify with the characters and whatever they are going through.

The writing was done really well. Garcia is a great author and I felt that the characters and plot made sense. I really like the best friends and how she was able to tackle a few modern issues using them, as that was the original point of comics when they started becoming big in the day. I cannot wait for the next book in the series and am glad we don’t have to wait as long!

If you are a fan of Garcia’s, Picolo’s, or a fan of Teen Titans, I highly suggest checking this series out!

~Dani

 

Check out the preview of a few different pages below!

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Book Review of Birthspell by Miriam Khan

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Title: Birthspell

Series: A Lebrus Stone Series

Author: Miriam Khan

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 4/5

Amazon

Back cover:

He’s bad news.

Full of himself, brutally honest and arrogant.

Under that gorgeous mask is something dark and twisted, and he’s claimed me as his victim.

When orphan Crystal visits a great aunt she’s just met in Blacksville, West Virginia, she sets some rules for herself:

#1 – Don’t get too close to anyone.

#2 – Don’t expect too much.

#3 – Don’t fall for the town’s bad boy like everyone else.

While she finds the last one frustrating, Crystal has no intention of giving into any weaknesses. That is until she’s told there’s a curse that’s been running through her family for generations, and it seems the one she needs to avoid is the key to bringing it to an end.
Now all bets are off. Only a single line separates her from the side of magical beings, and she’s crossing it.

But she learns rules are in place for a reason. The hidden world in the seemingly small and innocent town goes far beyond the one she knows and understands.

It’s a world where humans once visited and have been warned not to return.


Ever.

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for my honest review*

The premise of this book was really interesting and I enjoyed the world-building and mystery of it all. It gave off The Covenant vibes, if anyone remembers that movies, mixed with Sabrina. I really enjoyed the build-up and am interested in learning more of what happens to Crystal and this town.

The only problem I had with the book was that it was sort of your typical, he’s a bad-boy and treats me like dirt, but I love him anyway type story. While I agree that does happen, so I’m not saying it’s realistic, I felt it was a little forced on the character and didn’t quite make sense with everything she had been through.

All in all, if you like mystery, YA, supernatural, and paranormal fantasy, I definitely recommend this book. I read it all in one sitting as I kept wanting to learn more!

~Dani

Book Review of The Sparks by Kyle Prue

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Title: The Sparks

Author: Kyle Prue

Genre: YA Fantasy

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

Purchase Links
The Sparks (FREE through the 20th):

The Flames (On sale for $0.99 through the 20th):

The Ashes ($2.99 this week!):

 

One teen assassin-in-training must unite three warring supernatural dynasties before death comes to them all…

Find out why USA Today calls The Sparks “a crackling read” that “builds a vivid world (both) otherworldly and relatable.”

Neil Vapros just wants to make his father proud. The sixteen-year-old aspires to serve his family as an assassin, but he nearly dies in the process. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Neil’s family, as well as two rival dynasties, have abandoned an ancient promise to protect their city. An unknown evil has begun hunting all three houses from the shadows…

As Neil’s relatives fall one-by-one, he attempts to unite the three supernatural families against a common enemy. But earning trust after years of assassination attempts could prove impossible. Neil’s fight may involve more than a bloodthirsty empire, as betrayal rears its ugly head…

The Sparks is the first book in the award-winning Epic Feud trilogy of young adult fantasy novels. If you like captivating characters, inventive world building, and supernatural battles, then you’ll love Kyle Prue’s action-packed coming-of-age tale.

Buy The Sparks today to ignite your thirst for adventure!

“Slid the knife between the third and fourth rib” was the first line of this book, and I knew it was going to be a blast. It has to be one of my favorite opening lines. This book is jam-packed with action, adventure, fantasy, and mystery. It is a great tale about three families who have different powers that help the city, and after an attack, they have to work together to figure it out.

Lots of family drama ensues.

They are led to believe they are better than the others, which makes it difficult to solve the mystery of the attack. This is a gripping tale that will leave you reading until you find yourself done with the novel. It is now a complete trilogy that is on sale this week! Be sure to check it out! I recommend it to anyone who loves YA Fantasy and the Avatar: The Last Airbender, or Korra.

 

Enter the giveaway below~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Ashes TOUR banner NEW

The Ashes (The Feud Trilogy #3)
by Kyle Prue
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: August 18th 2020
Cartwright Publishing

Summary:
His fate has been foretold. Unless he can accept his destiny, the nation will fall to its doom.
Teenage warrior Neil Vapros has been captured. Imprisoned at the hands of the Empire, he’s forced to stage a daring breakout to return to his loved ones. But as he smashes the chains, he uncovers a shocking truth…
On the run and desperate to escape his fate, every attempt to resist the prophecy leads to more death and chaos.
And now Neil understands that the only way anyone will live is if he embraces his own demise.
Will Neil pay the ultimate price to ensure freedom for all?
The Ashes is the thrilling conclusion to the award-winning Epic Feud Trilogy. If you like edge-of-your-seat action, gripping suspense, and explosive battles, then you’ll love Kyle Prue’s riveting finale.

Buy The Ashes to join the revolution today!
Add to Goodreads

The Sparks (The Feud Trilogy #1) on Goodreads
The Flames (The Feud Trilogy #2) on Goodreads

About the Author
Kyle Prue is an award winning author, actor and comedian. Kyle wrote The Sparks: Book One of the Feud Trilogy when he was just 16 years old. Kyle spent a gap year before college on a national book tour visiting over 100 middle and high schools and meeting over 80,000 students. Kyle is now a student at the University of Michigan, studying acting and creative writing. He still visits schools and is a keynote speaker for conferences.
Kyle is the founder of Sparking Literacy, a non-profit dedicated to lowering the high school dropout rate by inspiring teens to read, write and follow their dreams. An actor and comedian, Kyle trained at Second City Comedy Club in Chicago, where a number of SNL actors have gotten their start.

The Sparks has won numerous national awards including Best Book and Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015. The Sparks was runner up for Best Young Adult Fiction at the Florida Book Festival and won Honorable Mentions at the New England Book Festival, Midwest Book Festival, Southern California Book Festival, the International London Book Festival and won a prestigious Indie Fab award. Kyle also won an International Moonbeam Award for Best Young Author. The Flames won the FAPA Presidentiial Gold Medais for Best Fiction and Best Fantasy 2017.

Learn more at http://www.kyleprue.com and http://www.sparkingliteracy.org.

Follow Kyle:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KylePrue
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@KylePrue
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/KylePrue

YA Bound Blog Tour

Book Review of Roaring by Lindsey Duga

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Title: Roaring

Author: Lindsey Duga

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

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Buy on Amazon!

 

Back cover:

Colt Clemmons is an agent in a specialized division within the Bureau of Investigation—one that hunts down not just mobsters, but also monsters.

For reasons that are kept top secret, Colt is the only person who can resist a siren’s voice. But he’s never had a chance to test this ability. The last siren left in the world mysteriously disappeared years ago.

Then one night, with a single word, she reveals herself. It seems too good to be true.

And it is. Because nothing about this siren—her past, her powers, or her purpose—is what it seems…

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for an honest review*

I could not put this book down! This is a great historical fantasy that is set in the 1930s with flappers, speakeasies, and monsters! What more could you want? It felt like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them mixed with Percy Jackson. There were a lot of twists and turns and I found it to be paced perfectly and had the right amount of information that kept me interested.

The main character, a siren, is on the radar of more than one agency. The government wants her, the people who have been hiding her don’t want anyone to know what she is, and her original creator wants her back. Little does she know that her gifts are actually supernatural powers that have been forced upon her at a young age.

That is, until Colt comes in. He throws her life for a loop as he wants to take her back to the US government headquarters. Never did he realize what other mysteries were surrounding her and the other monsters in the dark. A great spin on the genre that kept me wanting more. I hope there are more books in this series, as I want to know what else is in store for them.

I highly recommend for fans of the 1930s and fantasy!

~Dani

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

Excerpt:

Still with Madame Maldu’s gaze at my back, I slipped around the bar and headed for the young man sitting by himself, his fedora pulled low over his eyes. His sleeves had been rolled up to his elbows, showing off pale, but muscular, hands, wrists, and arms. It was a warm autumn for Boston, so his lack of coat wasn’t odd, but it stood out. In fact, he was the kind of fella who seemed like he could do whatever he wanted. If his goal was to blend in and not be seen, he could throw on his coat and sit with a drink and not talk to anyone, becoming one with the furniture. If he preferred to stand out, he could tip his hat back, and lift his face and smile, but if he wanted just the right kind of attention, all he needed to do was roll up his sleeves.

I shook my head. How could I have gotten all that from his exposed forearms?

Walking up to his table, I pulled out my waitressing tools and poised my pencil on my pad of paper, awaiting his order.

It was then that he looked up and I got a peak at the face below the hat.

His eyes were dark. It was the first thing I noticed. Eyes where you could barely tell if there were pupils at all.

It was clear he was attractive, but not in a pretty, hotsy-totsy sort of way. His face was geometric. Perfect, square jaw, a straight plane nose, triangular, high cheekbones, and a rectangle forehead. His light brown hair, practically blond, was swept to the side under his hat. But, like Madame Maldu, he was not handsome solely because of his looks, it was his air. His…competence.

A strange way to describe a stranger, perhaps, but it seemed to me that this was a fella who knew his place in life. His past. His present. Maybe even his future.

It wasn’t until he cleared his throat that I realized I was staring. Redirecting my gaze to the pad of paper, I waited for his order, heat creeping up my neck and into my cheeks, and a small shiver going down my spine.

He said nothing.

Glancing up from my pad, I caught him staring as well.

Oh. He’s waiting for me. Now even my ears growing hot, I tapped my pad with my pencil, and gestured it toward him, showing him what I couldn’t say in words.

His brow furrowed, and for a worrisome moment, I wondered if he didn’t talk either.

After a few long, silent, and awkward seconds, he asked, “You want to take my order?”

Relieved, I nodded vigorously.

His rectangular brow dented deeper, more into a right angle. “Do you not speak?”

I couldn’t help but admire the quality of his voice. It was a low timbre, a combination of the strings of a cello, the pluck of a bass, and the lingering bottom note of a sax.

Again, I nodded.

The stranger’s brow now seemed to be a straight V, as if this angered or frustrated him somehow. An aura of hostility exuded from him.

Tentatively, I took a step back.

At my retreat, his face cleared and he gave me an easy smile, completely changing the lines of his face into something real handsome.

I’d been right. This man was a chameleon. He wore a rugged grin that would make most gals swoon. Maybe me included, if I hadn’t felt that anger coming off him like heat from a radiator in the dead of winter.

“Not a chatter, eh? That’s all right. I can talk enough for the two of us.” He leaned forward, folding his arms and resting his elbows on the table as his grin widened. I noticed his feet shift, hooking his ankles around the legs of the spindle chair. “If you don’t speak, I guess you can’t tell me your name,” the stranger said, his head cocking in a way that made him look contemplative. “Which is a pity. Lovely dame like you, I bet you’ve got a name to match. Do you mind if I take a few guesses?”

He wanted to guess my name? I merely stared at him. Not sure how to handle this one. Maybe I should back away and let Stanley take his order.

But I had to admit, the stranger intrigued me. It was a scary, thrilling sort of intrigue. Like hearing a scary story. Nerves heightened, bated breath, terrified and yet captivated, thrilled and yet wary.

He was the kind of thrilling a person would want to be brave for.

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About the Author

Lindsey Duga developed a deep love for courageous heroes, dastardly villains, and enchanting worlds from the cartoon shows, books, and graphic novels she read as a kid. Drawing inspiration from these fantastical works of fiction, she wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University. By day, Lindsey is an account manager at a digital marketing agency based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. By night, and the wee hours of the morning, she writes both middle grade and young adult. She has a weakness for magic, anything classical, all kinds of mythology, and falls in love with tragic heroes. Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show, practicing yoga, and listening (and belting) to her favorite music artists and show tunes. KISS OF THE ROYAL is her YA debut novel.

Author Links:

Website: https://lindseyduga.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindseyduga
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/linzduga/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lduga
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15853318.Lindsey_Duga
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lindsey-Duga/e/B07BJNMRHX/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1524077289&sr=1-1

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YA Bound Book Tours

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Book Review of The Veiled Threat and The Veiled Descendants by Sophia Menesini

 

Title: The Veiled Threat (Book 1)

Series: The Veiled Duchess

Author: Sophia Menesini

Genre: NA High Fantasy/Adventure Romance/LGBTQ

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

The Veiled Threat (The Veiled Duchess #1) on Goodreads

Buy Here

Back cover:

Love is a Dangerous Heist for a Pirate. Captain Shea Lara is the leader of The Veiled Duchess, the most feared pirate ship in all of Nereid. And now, after completing her former mentor’s final score, she’s retiring. Everything she’s known seems to be coming to an end. Until a night in her favorite tavern, when a mysterious stranger drags her back into the fold with an offer for a score, she can’t refuse. All she has to do is kidnap the crowned princess of the northern Queendom, Joana of Arethusa. The prize is just within reach. But sparks fly as the two women collide. And a veiled threat that could upturn Shea’s entire world storms on the horizon. Join the crew of Captain Shea Lara as they battle their way through dangerous court intrigue, rebellion against slavery, an unlikely romance, and ultimately face villains whose masks conceal them till the very end. Something’s brewing on the horizon and the Veiled Threat is just the beginning.

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for an honest review*

This is a great, creative story that is a mix of Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, and LGBTQ. It takes place in a fantasy world with humans, elves, and Greek gods. I loved how the author mixed these elements, and made the main character a pirate. I am always game for a pirate story, and this one did not disappoint!

The other part of this story I enjoyed was the representation of LGBTQ characters. It felt believable, the romance wasn’t forced, and it went with the story well. The main character, Shea, is an awesome, strong, female character that is an elf. I loved her development through the story and her voice. There is also great world-building for the queendom and how it worked.

I definitely recommend this story to anyone who loves fantasy and pirates, and the representation of LGBTQ characters!

Check out below past the book 2 review for the giveaway and who the author sees as the cast of this series!


Title: The Veiled Descendants (Book 2)

Series: The Veiled Duchess

Author: Sophia Menesini

Genre: NA High Fantasy/Adventure Romance/LGBTQ

Review by: Dani Hoots

Rating: 5/5

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Back Cover:

Captain Shea Lara and the crew are back in this thrilling sequel to The Veiled Threat, The Veiled Descendants. It’s been a year since she struck the deal — a year since she promised to marry her princess, a year of adventure, darkness, and change. Her fiancé has chased Shea across the Nereidan seas, but now it’s time for her to come back to Arethusa. The storm has arrived, and none of them are prepared for what’s coming. An elven Fae with a blood connection to Shea, who plans to take Nereid back from the humans, shatters the life of a young Oceanan prince, and now it’s up to Beck of Oceanus, Captain Shea, and Queen Joana to save their world from the powerful threat.

But they can’t do it alone. With the help of Shea’s father, Poseidon, God of the Sea, and her former lover: the goddess of love, she will set out on a quest to find the one being who can help prevent Perses from destroying everything she holds dear. A god, who just so happens to be Shea’s immortal brother, Triton.
Shea chose the family she has now, but the tides are changing, and what she wants may no longer matter. She’ll need to rely on the magic in her blood for the battle ahead. Perses is coming, with the help of vicious creatures, an evil empress, and the Lycon army, and he plans to drag her down to depths with him.

*I received this book from YA Bound Tours for an honest review*

Do not read the following if you haven’t read book 1 as there are spoilers!

Book 2 of this series is as good as the first book! We learn that Shea’s lineage is not just elf, but she is actually a daughter of Poseidon! Now there is an entire new land to fight for and our characters have to battle gods and Demigods. More history of the characters and world is explored and I think the author did a great job with world-building.

Not everything is easy for Shea in this book, and the author does a good job of making consequences for the MC’s actions. A lot of books make it so if the MC messes up, that everything is fine, so we don’t feel the actual threat. In this books, there is some loss and you really feel for the character.

I can’t wait for the next book! Check out below for the giveaway and who the author sees as the cast of this series!

~Dani

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

About the Author

The Storyteller with Salt Water in Her Veins

Sophia Menesini lives in Martinez, CA with her husband, and their two small Chihuahuas, Ziggy and Zeppelin. The Veiled Threat is her first novel. Sophia is an avid tea connoisseur and lover of Scotland with an unconventional memory for obscure Disney and Broadway song lyrics.

Author Links:

Website: https://www.sophiamenesini.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MenesiniSophia

Tumblr: https://theveiledduchessseries.tumblr.com/

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theveiledthreatnovel/?hl=en

Dream Cast For The Veiled Duchess Series

Blog Tour Organized By:

YA Bound Book Tours

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Manga Review of Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku Vol 1-3

Series: Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku Vol 1 – 3

US Publisher: VIZ Media

Mangaka: Yuji Kaku

Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror

Rating: Volume 1: 5/5; Volume 2: 4/5; Volume 3: 4/5

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Description:

Gabimaru the Hollow is one of the most vicious assassins ever to come out of the ninja village of Iwagakure. He’s ruthlessly efficient, but a betrayal results in him being handed a death sentence. He has only one hope—in order to earn his freedom, he must travel to a long-hidden island and recover an elixir that will make the shogun immortal. Failure is not an option. On this island, heaven and hell are just a hair’s breadth away.

Vol 1:

Volume 1 does a great job of introducing Gabimaru and his job as an assassin and how he keeps using his powers to evade death. After being interviewed by Sagari of the Yamada clan, it is determined that he will be given a pardon and can live his live with his wife in safety. It seems like a good deal, but there is definitely more than meets the eye on this deal.

Gabimaru and Sagari are very interesting characters that we learn about through the first volume. It is definitely rated mature and has a lot of violence and nudity throughout the book. The art is very detailed and well done. I found the story for the first book to be quite interesting and am looking forward in learning more.

Vol 2:

In this volume we learn more about the main characters Gabimaru and Sagari and what they have been through to become the killers that they are. After we are introduced to the other murderers and guards that will be going to the island, I started to lose track of who was who and what exactly was going on. While I liked the idea of the paradise plants and bugs taking over bodies and the mystery of what is going on, I was losing track of who’s backstory we were seeing flashbacks for and who was alive or dead.

Vol 3:

*received an ARC from VIZ via Netgalley for an honest review*

In the third volume, we learn more about the paradise and what is going on with the plants and insects. Like volume 2, I was confused who’s backstory we were learning about. We do learn more about Sagari and her strengths and weaknesses. I feel she is a believable character in the world this mangaka has created. If you like horror, I definitely recommend as the art is quite spectacular and the characters are interesting. Although it is a little confusing, it is still really interesting and I am curious as to what will happen next.

~Dani

Comic Review of Plume

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Series: Plume

Written and Illustrated by: K. Lynn Smith

Rating: 5/5

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Description:

Plume is a story set in the Old West about a girl named Vesper Grey and her supernatural companion, Corrick. On their quest to recover her father’s life work, they encounter new friends and new foes, and learn that the Wild West is anything but tame.

K. Lynn Smith is one of my favorite artist, so I had to splurge and get the omnibus for her series PLUME and it did not disappoint. This was a great mix of fantasy, adventure, and mystery that is set in the past during the Wild West. Who could want more than that?

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I really enjoyed the story and characters Smith created. They all felt believable and one could understand their motives for what they did. There were a lot of twists and turns and I was surprised much of the time. If you enjoy Indiana Jones or Trigun, you will definitely enjoy this series!

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K. Lynn Smith has a Patreon so if you want to follow her work and support her, please check it out by clicking here! I am excited for her new series and will give my review of the first graphic novel collection soon.

~Dani

Comic Review of Fangs

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Series: Fangs

Written and Illustrated by: Sarah Andersen

 

Rating: 5/5

Read on Tapas

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Description:

A love story between a vampire and a werewolf by the creator of the enormously popular Sarah’s Scribbles comics.

Vamp is three hundred years old but in all that time, she has never met her match. This all changes one night in a bar when she meets a charming werewolf. FANGS chronicles the humor, sweetness, and awkwardness of meeting someone perfectly suited to you but also vastly different.

*I received an ARC through Netgalley for my honest opinion*

I have been a big fan of FANGS since it first came out on Tapas. I love vampires, and sometimes werewolves, and this lighthearted comic did not disappoint. It is about a vampire and werewolf who fall in love and have to deal with situations that they might not be accustomed to. It is funny and sweet and I can’t get enough of it.

Some of the conversations these two have are perfect. It is totally something that would happen if a gothic vampire girl and a down-to-earth werewolf. I really like how the werewolf is more of a nature-loving dude instead of a buff, alpha-male type. I felt it would be more real, if werewolves did exist.

I also love how the vampire is portrayed as well. I love vampire and feel this could be me if I was indeed undead (lol). She is consistent in how she acts and follows a lot of the general vampire rules (no sunlight, garlic, etc.).

The hardcover version is definitely something I am going to preorder. The ARC had more panels than tapas and some of them were quite funny and I want to support this clever and amazing artist. I definitely recommend her work and hope you check it out and enjoy!

~Dani