Book Review: The Mist-Torn Witches by Barb Hendee

UnknownThe Mist-Torn Witches is one of the best books that I have read this year. I read quite a lot, so it takes a special book to keep me enthralled and turning the pages long into the night. This book did just that.

From Amazon:

In a small village in the nation of Droevinka, orphaned sisters Céline and Amelie Fawe scrape out a living selling herbal medicines in their apothecary shop. Céline earns additional money by posing as a seer and pretending to read people’s futures.

But they exist in a land of great noble houses, all vying for power, and when the sisters refuse the orders of a warlord prince, they must flee and are forced to depend on the warlord prince’s brother, Anton, for a temporary haven.

A series of bizarre deaths of pretty young girls is plaguing the village surrounding Prince Anton’s castle. He offers Céline and Amelie permanent protection if they can use their “skills” to find the killer.

With little choice, the sisters enter a world unknown to them—of fine gowns and banquets and advances from powerful men. Their survival depends on catching a murderer who appears to walk through walls and vanish without a trace—and the danger grows with each passing night.

The Mist-Torn Witches is the first in a new series by Barb Hendee. The first two books are currently available for purchase, and the third comes out in May 2015.

When I started reading the book, I was hooked very quickly. I wanted to know what would happen to the characters, more about the world Hendee had created, and what a mist-torn witch was.

The action of the story moves quickly, and it left me guessing for quite a long time about the “bad guy” in the story. The characters were well developed and felt real. My favorites were Jaromir and Amelie. Their interactions and scenes were some of my favorites in the book. Well, I liked Helga a good bit too.

I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

UnknownESSENTIAL INFO:

Title: The Mist-Torn Witches

Author: Barb Hendee

Publisher: Roc

Length: 335 pages

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Amazon Link: Buy it HERE

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Cover Reveal: Unexpecting by Cynthia St. Aubin

Title: Unexpecting
Author: Cynthia St. Aubin
Series:  Book 7 – The Case Files of Dr. Matilda Schmidt
Paranormal Psychologist
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Comedy
Release Date: December 19th, 2014
 
When who’s your daddy is a multiple choice question…
Paranormal Psychologist Matilda Schmidt is one client away from fa-la-la-la-losing it. Holiday cheer is in the air, gun-toting fruitcakes are in her office, and she’s spinning through mood swings fast enough to make her toss her cookies–even without the morning sickness.
When Ol’ Kris Kringle goes AWOL after a nervous breakdown, his disgruntled elf is convinced that only Matilda can get him back on his sleigh in time to keep humans from tearing each other apart quicker than couponeers at a Black Friday sale.
But their efforts hit the skids when the men in Matilda’s life show up and demand to know which of them is responsible for the bun in her oven: the hot hit man who’s likely to stuff her stocking with ammunition, or the delicious demigod who’s made Santa’s naughty list a couple centuries running.
I like gravy.
This has nothing to do with the rest of my bio, but I thought you ought to know.
About the writing thing…
I wrote my first play when I was six and made my brothers perform it for my parents. I charged gum wrappers for admission (a steal, in my opinion, considering I had handed out the gum wrappers ahead of time). While I seriously doubt you’ll be seeing any of my formative work on Broadway anytime soon, I can credit these early experiments with the first of many important lessons I learned about writing: no matter how brilliant your manuscript is, some kid can go streaking butt-ass nekkid across the living room, and totally undermine your vision.
Everyone watches the naked kid because running across the living room with your cheeks flapping in the breeze is friggin’ hilarious.
Cue the lightbulb moment. People like funny stuff!
I never quite gave up on the writing thing, even as I tried my hand at being a dusty academic turned Executive Assistant (they paid me to nag! How cool is that?), but in those quiet moments when expense reports had been filed and to-do items checked off, the funny people in my head kept talking to me.
Yes, I know they have medication for that. It’s called vodka.
Since they discourage drinking at work, I started writing instead. What came out was an amalgamation (vocabulary!) of all the things I love: funny stuff, art, psychology, food, people, and paranormal critters!
Et voila! The Case Files of Dr. Matilda Schmidt, Paranormal Psychologist were born.
When I’m not sitting in my office watching cat videos and pretending to write, I like cooking, knitting (badly), and reading anything that makes me laugh (like my bank statements).
I live in Colorado with my brilliant husband and three surly cats.
 
 
 
Catch up on the rest of the series!
Reading Order:
Unlovable only $.99! – http://amzn.to/1xoo9mg
Unbearable – http://amzn.to/11lEhXV
Unassailable – http://amzn.to/1vw749C

Book Review: A Plunder of Souls by DB Jackson

About the book, from DB Jackson’s website:

Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay, July 13, 1769

New England is in the throes of a sweltering summer. The distant rumble of thunder offers the promise of rain, but the air remains still, oppressive, rank. And an outbreak of small pox has thrown the town of Boston into panic. The distemper is spreading through the streets; people are dying.

Ethan Kaille, thieftaker and conjurer, does his best to keep himself and those he loves safe from the disease while scratching out a living. But with British soldiers still occupying the city, and his beautiful and dangerous rival in thieftaking, Sephira Pryce, dogging his every move, a bit of coin comes hard. Still, when Ethan is asked by the congregation of King’s Chapel to investigate a series of grave desecrations, he refuses payment. The souls of the dead are being disturbed for ill purpose, and Ethan will not profit from it.

Before long, Ethan realizes that the grave robberies have not been committed by ghoulish thieves. Rather, they are the work of a powerful conjurer, one who is mutilating corpses, gathering an army of wraiths, and, through his foul trespass, directing his spells and his scheming at Ethan himself.

Worse, this conjurer is known to Ethan: a vengeful, twisted enemy from his past, who has found a way to enhance his own conjuring abilities while denying other conjurers access to their spellmaking powers. More in need of his conjuring talents than ever before, Ethan finds himself unable to cast, unable to fight, unable to defend himself.

The Enchanted Alley’s Review

Since reading Thieftaker, I have developed extremely high expectations of DB Jackson’s work. I expect a compelling story, character development and depth, magic with consequences, and puzzle to solve. So far, I have never been disappointed.

A Plunder of Souls is the third novel in the series, and I highly recommend reading them in order to fully understand the impact of the events of the novel and the relationships between the characters, particularly as those relationships shift and evolve..Throughout the story, readers get to know some characters much better than they had before, and the characters also come to understand one another in a different way as well.

A Plunder of Souls is the darkest, most violent, and most treacherous novel in the series yet. Ethan Kaille faces an opponent that readers have met before, but the opponent now may be unstoppable. He has done the unimaginable, and Ethan has to try to fix it.

This is a book that you do not want to miss.

The next book, titled Dead Man’s Reach, comes out Summer 2015. I can’t wait.

18490652ESSENTIAL INFO:

Title:  A Plunder of Souls

Author: DB Jackson

Publisher: Tor

Length: 336 pages

Release Date: July 8, 2014

Amazon Link: Buy it HERE

Book Review: On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing is a two part book: part story, part instruction (kick in the ass) for writers.

From Amazon:

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

The book begins with a very inspiring story of King’s path to becoming the megastar writer that he is today. He goes through his childhood, young adulthood, struggles with poverty, drug and alcohol addiction, and major life change after being hit by a van. Through it all, he maintained one commonality: writing. He never stopped writing, even when he knew it wasn’t good enough or when he knew it wasn’t good at all.

The latter part of the book is a good swift kick in the pants for writers. It offers suggestions such as blowing up the TV, reading during dinnertime, and killing all your darlings. The overall message is that to be a writer, you have to read voraciously, write constantly, learn the craft, and never give up.

On Writing is a “must read” for anyone who is an aspiring author or just likes Stephen King.

king-on-writingESSENTIAL INFO:

Title:  On Writing

Author: Stephen King

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Length: 320 pages

Price: $9.76 Kindle

Release Date: October 3, 2000

Amazon Link: Buy it HERE

Book Review: Howl by John Hartness

How many words are there to refer to Bigfoot’s penis? Find out in “Howl,” a Bubba the Monster Hunter short story.

From Amazon:

Bubba and the gang take on the aftermath of Final Countdown in this raucous adventure! When a Sasquatch comes knockin’ on Skeeter’s door, Bubba knows business is about to pick up! Follow the gang through ambushes, twists, turns, fights and funerals as they move closer to confronting Bubba’s crazy brother!

I read “Howl” in two sittings. I had to put it down to go to sleep the first night, but I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next! The story opens with Bubba getting a call about a buck-naked Bigfoot on Skeeter’s front porch. From there, Bubba and the crew go on a rollicking adventure to into were-foot (?) territory!

The story is laugh-out-loud funny, especially when Bubba bests Clag’tin in a wonky and risky battle.

I have to admit that the story has a little bit of a sad ending, but that’s life, in a way. Not all stories have to have a fairytale ending where Bubba and Bigfoot ride off into the sunset.

Overall, the story is quite funny, fast-paced, and just a fun read overall.

41TkuLSM+lL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Essential Info:

Title:  “Howl”

Author: John Hartness

Length: 46 pages

Price: $0.99 Kindle

Amazon Link: Buy it HERE