Saturday, August 6, 2016

Review: Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

Revenge and the Wild

Title: Revenge and the Wild
Author: Michelle Modesto
Series: Stand Alone
Published: February 2nd 2016 by Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062366153
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Description: The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.  Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.  But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.


This is probably the fastest I've finished a book in awhile. It kept me up at night, messed with my brain in the form of some crazy dreams, and finished with a bang!

I'm still not sure I'm crazy about Westie. She's a little to head strong for me. But, I have to admire her shear determination to get her revenge on the family that killed hers. And lets all admit, this was no ordinary murder. I don't think I've ever read a book based around cannibalism! And this was not glossed over in an way. That's were it really messed with me. 

The setting was a little bit much for me. It was hard for me to get a real handle on this western world that was full of steampunk, magic, and every mythical creature imaginable. It made for some interesting twists to the story though, because the story would not have been the same without most of these elements!

I really loved the secondary characters. Nigel was the perfect father figure and he tried really hard not to put up with Westie's bullshit. I loved Alistair. I knew exactly were the story was going with him, but I enjoyed the build up immensely. But honestly, my favorite was James. He character literally blew me away.

I highly recommend this if you are looking for something totally different!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

America's First Daughter Feature Tour!

Americas First Daughter - feature tour banner


 It was my haste that made me stumble halfway down the stairs. Only a wild, wrenching grasp at the carved wooden rail saved me from a broken neck. Alas, the heavy fall of my feet echoed up the staircase and drew my father from his rooms.

 “Patsy?” he called, peering over the bannister.

 I froze, breathless, my belly roiling with shock and anger and revulsion. I ought to have pretended that I didn’t hear him say my name. I ought to have hurried on, leaving him with only the sight of my back. I ought never to have looked up at him over my shoulder.

 But I did look up.

 There on the landing my father loomed tall, a tendril of his ginger hair having come loose from its ribbon, his shirt worn without its neck cloth, the stark white linen setting off more vividly the red flush that crept up his throat. Was it shame for his behavior with Sally or . . . ardor?

 On the heels of giving witness to his behavior, the thought was so excruciatingly horrifying that heat swept over me, leaving me to wish I’d burn away to dust.

 “Are you hurt?” Papa asked, hoarsely.

 I couldn’t reply, my mouth too filled with the bitter taste of bile. Finally, I forced a shake of my head.

He glanced back to the door, then back at me, his hand half-covering his mouth. “Were—were you at my door just now?”

“No,” I whispered, as much as I could manage under my suffocating breathlessness. And how dare he ask if I’d been at his door when neither of us could bear the honest answer? Even if Papa didn’t know what I’d seen, he knew what he’d done.

 He ought to have been downstairs with us, reacquainting himself with the little daughter who still didn’t remember him. He ought to have been sipping cider with the young man who fancied me, giving his permission to court. He ought to have been doing a hundred other things. Instead, he was preying upon my dead mother’s enslaved half-sister—and the wrongness of it filled my voice with a defiant rage.

 “No, I wasn’t at your door.” I held his gaze, letting him see what he would.

 My father paused on the precipice, clearing his throat, absently smearing the corner of his lips with one thumb. “Well—well. . .did you need something?” As if my needs were at the forefront of his thoughts.

 My fingers curled into fists as a lie came to me suddenly, and sullenly. “I was coming up to fetch my prayer book.” Surely he knew it was a lie, but I didn’t care. If he challenged me, I’d lie again, without even the decency of dropping my eyes. I’d lie because between a father and a daughter, what I’d witnessed was unspeakable. And I’d learned from the man who responded with silence to my letters about politics or adultery or the liberation of slaves. . . .

 Papa never spoke on any subject he didn’t want to.

 Neither would I.

 “Are you certain you weren’t hurt,” Papa finally murmured, “ . . . on the stairs?”

 Rage burned inside me so hotly I thought it possible that my handprint might be seared upon the railing. I bobbed my head, grasped my skirt, and took two steps down before my father called to me again.


 I couldn’t face him, so I merely stopped, my chest heaving with the effort to restrain myself from taking flight. “What?

 A heavy silence descended. One filled with pregnant emotion. I feared he might be so unwise as to attempt to explain himself, to justify or confess his villainous lapse in judgment, but when he finally spoke, it was only to ask, “What of your prayer book?”

 Swallowing hard, I forced words out despite the pain. “I’ve reconsidered my need of it. I’m not as apt as some people to forget what it says.”


Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie’s AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER Blog Tour Schedule:

February 29th
What Is That Book About – Guest Post
Only One More Page – Review
A Fortress of Books – Excerpt

March 1st
Talking Books Blog – Excerpt
Smexy & Fabulous – Excerpt

March 2nd
Roxy's Reviews – Excerpt
Brooke Blogs – Excerpt

March 3rd
Small Review – Guest Post

March 4th – Review
Creative Madness Mama – Excerpt

March 5th
A Dream Within A Dream – Guest Post
Chick with Books – Review
Vagabonda Reads – Review

March 6th
Movies, Shows & Books – Excerpt
I Read Indie – Excerpt

March 7th
No BS Book Reviews – Interview
My fictional escape – Review
Words with Sarah – Review

March 8th
The Maiden's Court – Review
Unabridged Chick – Review
The Book Cellar – Interview
Becky on Books – Review

March 9th
Sofia Loves Books – Review
One Book At A Time – Review

March 10th
A Bookish Affair - Interview
Curled Up and Cozy – Review
Margie's Must Reads – Review

March 11th
Book Talk – Review
JB's Book Obsession – Excerpt
Genre Queen – Review

In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.
From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.
It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.
Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father's reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.
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About Stephanie Dray: 

STEPHANIE DRAY is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW's Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women's fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation's capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.


About Laura Kamoie:
Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books, Laura Kaye. Her debut historical novel, America's First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter | AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER Website

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Review: Maid of Wonder (Maids of Honor #3) by Jennifer McGowan

Maid of Wonder (Maids of Honor #3)Title: Maid of Wonder
Author: Jennifer McGowan
Series: Maids of Honor (Maid of Secrets, Maid of Deception)
Pages: 336
Published: September 15, 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781481418263
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Description: Sophia Dee, the most unusual spy of Queen Elizabeth’s Maids of Honor, has run out of time for her psychic skills to fully manifest. A terrible new prophecy haunts Windsor Castle, and the Queen demands answers before the next doomed soul dies. Thrust into a dangerous and horrifying competition to solve the deadly prediction, Sophia finds herself pitted against the most celebrated mystics of Europe: John Dee, her devious uncle and the Queen’s personal astrologer, and Nostradamus, the renowned prophet-seer of France. In a court where whispers of witchcraft, poisonous plots, and grim assassins threaten her at every turn, Sophia needs answers fast. But does she dare trust Marcus Quinn, her uncle’s striking and overambitious assistant? Or, instead, should she turn to the tortured dark angel of the spirit realm, who whispers to her only of sorrow and death? As new dangers surface and the dire prophecy sweeps toward its final victim, the five Maids of Honor prepare to do battle. Only then will the girl who so often sees the future finally discover if she can save the Crown—and herself. 


I've really enjoyed this series to date.  So their was no doubt that I would read this book when it became available.  I admit that Sophia is not my favorite maiden, but I was intrigued to learn her story.

Sophia's gift is interesting to me.  I wonder how it would be viewed in today's world that she conversed with angels?  It was definitely hearsay in that time.  I wonder if that fear was partially why she seemed to have so little control and understanding of it.  Until it came down to an ultimatum, it didn't even seem like she was trying to make complete use of it.

I did find her voice annoying at times. You can tell she is a little bit more sheltered and naive compared to the rest of the maids.   She doesn't seem to have any responsibility like the others.   While her gift is no easy, she needed to be pushed to do it.  I think Elizabeth did it in her typical fashion.  She wanted to make a spectacle of it for her own amusement.  I loved the inclusion on Nostradamus,  although I admit that I don't know much about him besides his name.  I was on the fence when it came to Marcus Quinn.  I felt it was kind of creepy how he could see Sophia in her dreams and seemed to be there every time she turned around.  But, he also seemed very invested in her well being.  

Overall, an adequate addition to the series.  You can't really have it without a story about Sophia, so I'm happy to have it.  I sincerely hope this series continues.   


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