Sunday, 10 July 2016

Cover Reveal - "Runners and Riders" (Treasure Chronicles #2.5) by Jordan Elizabeth

Runners & Riders
Companion to the Treasure Chronicles
A young adult novel of gangs and love in a steampunk world.

Thank you, Eugene Teplitsky, for this radiant cover!
Juliet loved growing up at the seaside, although it meant lonely hours chasing after the other beach rats while her mother worked as a seamstress. Juliet never expected her seaman father to inherit a fortune and move the family to New Addison City. Suddenly her mother is a socialite and Juliet is best friends with a strong-willed girl who actually likes her. When Juliet’s new friend welcomes her to the Runners, a gang that has plagued the East Coast for years, Juliet sees it as the opportunity to fit in, learn tricks, and make eyes at one of the hottest members. What the gang does isn’t really wrong…right? She’s used to being a pawn for the Runners, but she starts to question what she sees as harmless fun when the gang uses her to attack a young officer.

Jonathan Montgomery vowed to end the Runners after they murdered his family. He joined the Riders, an elite police force dedicated to stopping the Runners’ crime spree. They have put him in New Addison City, but rookie mistakes follow Jonathan as he struggles to accomplish his goal, until a young woman feeds him inside information to bring down the Runners. 

Between murders and secrets, Juliet will need to find her strength to help Jonathan, before the founder of the Runners crawls up from the sewers amongst her inventions to burn down the city.
RUNNERS & RIDERS will be available August 22 on Amazon from Curiosity Quills Press.
Check out early reviews on GoodReads!

This story takes place after BORN OF TREASURE, featuring new characters in exciting new settings.  TREASURE DARKLY, book 1 of the Treasure Chronicles, is on sale for July 11th and 12th for 99 cents!  Grab your copy now from Amazon.


Jordan Elizabeth became obsessed with steampunk while working at a Victorian Fair.  Since then, she’s read plenty of books and even organized a few steampunk outfits that she wears on a regular basis (unless that’s weird, in which case she only wears them within the sanctuary of her own home – not!). Jordan’s young adult novels include ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW, COGLING, TREASURE DARKLY, BORN OF TREASURE, GOAT CHILDREN, and VICTORIAN.  RUNNERS & RIDERS is her fifth novel with Curiosity Quills Press.  Check out her website for bonus scenes and contests.  

In honor of RUNNERS & RIDERS, enter for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card so that you too can buy amazing steampunk paraphernalia!
Contest runs from July 11 to July 24.
All winners will be notified after verification of entry at the end of this promotion.  Prizes have been supplied by and the responsibility of delivery are solely that of the author and/or their representatives. Blogs are not liable for non-delivery on the part of the author. No purchase necessary.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

"The Diviners" (The Diviners #1) by Libba Bray

Book Blurb (from Goodreads): Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

My Review
I couldn't really get into the story. It was a good book after all, but in my opinion there was nothing that really kept me hooked to the story and made me want to keep on reading.
I believe that this book was set after World War 2 in America. Evie O'Neill is has just been kicked out of her small hometown and sent to New York City after a mysterious party trick she performed went wrong and earned her some enemies. However, Evie isn't any safer in New York. A series of gruesome murders take place and Evie decides to help her Uncle solve the case along with some of her new friends.
It is already made clear from the start of the book that Evie and several other characters have mysterious powers that are best kept hidden. There are quite a lot of different characters in this book, which is part of the reason for the frequent perspective change. However, I found some perspectives more interesting than others. I liked Evie's perspective the most because it was the most interesting and there was more going on, meaning that the plot moved on a lot faster with Evie. Theta and Memphis' perspective bored me on the other hand. I would stop reading when their perspective came up or power through until I finally reached Evie's perspective again.
The main characters became better as the plot progressed. Evie was definitely very annoying and selfish at the beginning. All he wanted to do was partying and she didn't pay attention or listen to her Uncle Will. However, as the murders continued, I noticed that Evie's character changed. She became more serious and mature and handled dangerous situations very well. She was still kind of annoying when she acted childish and cared too much about her image. I also really liked the characters Will and Jericho. Jericho has a very interesting backstory, which is gradually revealed towards the end of the book. The other characters were also alright but didn't really interest me, which is why I didn't connect with them.
All in all, I didn't feel like the writing style captivated me, especially at the beginning. However, the story did progressively become more interesting the further along I got in the book. It took me quite a while to finish this book. I eventually got used to the characters, but they did annoy me at the beginning. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Blogival - "Attack at Dawn" by Ron Cope

Book Blurb (from Goodreads): On March 1, 1940, Adolf Hitler ordered the invasion of Norway. Having swept across Europe at a terrifying pace, the Nazi assault on Scandinavia was designed to secure the valuable source of iron ore being delivered by rail from Sweden to the Norwegian port of Narvik. To complete the task, Hitler sent ten large, modern destroyers, with 220 Alpine Troops on each. Five smaller British H Class destroyers were sent up the fjord in retaliation by the Allied forces, with little knowledge of what to expect. On April 10, the first battle of Narvik began. Royal Naval Captain, Bernard Warburton-Lee, led his flotilla at midnight into the fjord. They had to navigate the four hour passage undetected, under darkness and in driving snow storms. The harbour — eerily silent on their arrival — quickly erupted into a torpedo attack. Back into the fjord, the destroyers Hardy, Hunter, Hotspur, Havock and Hostile were confronted by five German destroyers, coming from both the front and rear. This resulted in a ferocious sea battle with the loss of Hardy and Hunter and damage to the enemy ships. Those crew members who managed to abandon ship and swim ashore, under bombardment from the Germans, had to endure a ten mile march and pray for safe passage back to Britain in order to survive. Author Ron Cope delivers a comprehensive and gripping account of the Narvik battle, juxtaposing the myriad strategic difficulties encountered by the British Navy, with the vivid and insightful personal accounts of the brave survivors involved, most of whom were under the age of twenty-three. Including first-hand testimony from Cope's own father Cyril, a then twenty-one year old Torpedoman, and documents shared for the first time by the family of Captain Warburton-Lee, Cope presents an arresting account of this crucial British naval victory, as told by the sailors who were there. "Meticulously researched, Attack at Dawn relates the vivid real-life experiences of the British sailors who took part in the extraordinarily bold attack by five British destroyers against superior German forces at Narvik... and the desperate running battle that ensued as they tried to make their escape". John Warburton-Lee, grandson of Captain Bernard Warburton-Lee. V.C.

1.     Why did you decide to self-publish the book?
My aim was to have the book published by the 75th Anniversary (10th April 2015). I was advised to send my manuscript to the well known military book publisher 'Pen and Sword'. They took six weeks to get back.  The Editing Commissioner was Brigadier Henry Wilson, he was very helpful, his words were, “Ron I hate having to turn down books like this”.  But he went out of his way to offer professional advice.

I was about to send it to my second publisher option but they came back with the same, “We will let you know in six weeks time”. I can quite understand the pressures that are now place on the old publishing firms, with the new technologies like digital books. They are running a business and need to be assured that any book when published must make a reasonable profit. As Henry says, “There is not a lot of money made here”.

I was running out of time so I decided to go down the self publishing route. Initially, I went to possibly the largest and world wide company 'Pearson'. They were obviously a very professional set up, but whilst they made contact quickly and made promises, I was concerned I would be working with a commissioning editor in Philippines. She was extremely nice and knowledgeable but I want somebody nearer home.

In the end 'Authoright' also offered a speedy process. They kept to their word and the book was ready within three months, two weeks before the Anniversary. In fact, what seemed like only days co-founder Hayley suggested a slight change from my previous 'working title' with the present result. Then the excellent 'Design Team' came up with the front cover options, one of which was quickly sanctioned.

2.    How have you found the overall experience of self-publishing?
The simple answer is yes.  I wanted to be some part of the professional team and was willing to do my bit, being at home throughout and ready to go. So the advice is; let the team get on with what they know best and take on board their guidance.

3.    Would you do anything different in hindsight?
 Nothing comes immediately to mind.  I am a newcomer to this industry.                                                   

4.    What do you take from the experience now that 6-years of work is finally complete? 
Once you have finished your book and decided to go down the 'Self Publishing' route, yes, an immense amount of responsibility has been taken away.  It has been hard work keeping focussed and disciplined but it is not yet over, until you have the final product in your hands. However when that occurs it is the one of the best feelings you will ever experience in your life time.

5.    What was your must-have writing companion/habit?
I found I had to keep my brain functioning in top notch and needed to get plenty of exercise and fresh air.  In my case after forty years I was still playing squash two to three days a week and on the other days spend an hour in the gym.  Or as my wife Alison calls it “going round and round the hamster wheel”.

Once I have done my sporting bit I feel much less guilty to partake in my poison, which is a pint or two of a cold lager and lime. During which I am able to put in another couple of hours work in the evening. Then I am able to convince myself I deserve a glass of wine with my meal, maybe followed by a brandy. In the early days I found it difficult to stop treading the keyboard until a piece of work still in my mind was completed. I now discipline myself and stop and leave till the next morning.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Cover Reveal - "Under a Brass Moon" by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, et al.

A Steampunk and Science Fiction Anthology

We are thrilled to present this dazzling cover by Eugene Teplitsky.   

UNDER A BRASS MOON releases on July 28th, but in the meantime, check it out on GoodReads. 
Many of the short stories are continuations from GEARS OF BRASS.  The anthology is now on sale for 99 cents!

Help us celebrate the cover reveal with the chance to win a $30 Amazon gift card.  

All winners will be notified after verification of entry at the end of this promotion.  Prizes have been supplied by and the responsibility of delivery are solely that of the author and/or their representatives. Blogs are not liable for non-delivery on the part of the author. No purchase necessary.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Blogival - "A Father's Betrayal" by Gabriella Gillespie

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):
Muna and her three sisters were happy children, growing up in Newport South Wales with their English mother and Arabic father. But in 1972 her mother disappeared, setting in motion a chain of events which would forever shatter her seemingly loving family.


Here is an interview with Gabriella Gillespie. Enjoy!

1) What inspired you to become an author?
My inspiration for becoming an Author was to highlight the plight of child/forced marriage. I felt it was important for people to know the truth about what really happens to young girls and women when they are sold to men as wife's. Many people believe this was a tradition that happened centuries ago and no longer exists in our time, or at least people didn't believe these things happen to British girls. I also hoped that telling my story would encourage and give hope to other victims and survivors to speak out and seek help.

2) What books impacted your life the most?

Sold by Zana Muhsen was the book that had the biggest impact on me. Maybe it was because I believe I met her or her sister in Yemen but couldn't be sure because of our circumstances. Her life story is very similar to mine so I could relate to everything she went through.
Gabriella Gillespie with her children recently

3) What was the most important thing you have learned from writing this book?

One was that my readers would have liked an epilogue chapter, this was mentioned a lot on my reviews. I've also received hundreds of messages on my social media pages from people who want to know more about how my family are doing now. Another thing I've learnt is that if I write another book I need to be more aware about the editing, this seems to be the only criticism of my book.

4) What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Having to remember some very painful memories that I tried for so long to forget. Especially my eldest sister Ismahan - or Issy as we called her- who was sold alongside me as a child bride in Yemen.For a while, we lived with our paternal grandparents in a village near the city, learning Arabic and to wear the body-covering abaya - a garment neither had donned before. Six months after they arrived in Sana'a, our father announced that Issy would marry a man of 60, who already had a wife and children older than she was. The impact was devastating. Despite her repeated refusals and desperate protests, our father insisted she would marry. On the day of her wedding, rather than marry the grandfather chosen for her, Ismahan killed herself by throwing herself off the roof of her fiance's apartment block. However, as painful as the memories were and still are I needed to tell to see my story through and gain justice for my mother and sisters and even for me not to mention further the cause to raise awareness for the atrocious reality of child brides. The book is in memory of my family and in aid of those women who find themselves in the same situation.

Gabriella Gillespie's children in Yemen
5) What are you working on now? What is your next project? 
I've had so many requests for a second book so I’m really thinking about writing that. In the mean time my charity work keeps me very busy.

But at the moment my priority is my continued work alongside many NGOs in highlighting child/forced marriage by doing public speaking at their events/conferences. I speak with, and on behalf of survivors so that our stories and voices don't go unheard.

I've written for online publications such as "Words in a bucket" and the NGO where I am now on the board of advisors  "Too Young to Wed" .

And I have helped campaign to change the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 which is where I was born and my family lived for much of my life until everything changed which is also why I help organize the annual International Women Day events in Wales.

I was also surprised and humbled to win the Emma Humphreys memorial prize 2015 for my campaigning through writing

My Review:

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review***

Angelina: This was  a truly hooking book and I loved every single page of it. The author pulls the reader into an emotionally-laden story.
This book is actually a true story, narrated from the author as a little girl, Muna, when she was ripped away from her family by her own father and kidnapped along with her sisters to the Yemen. There she was sold as a child bride and we, the reader, follow her on her journey as she fights for her life and the lives of her children.
It was a harrowing tale, written with a beautiful writing style. I started this book knowing that it was a true story and harsh treatment of the sisters was to be expected from the book blurb. However, I wasn't ready for what I ended up reading. Everything that could have gone wrong for the girls, happened and the saddest part, was that all of them actually happened. I found it amazing, that the author was able to convey so much feeling, making the reader feel sad. The descriptions were also short but very efficient in describing thee scene to the reader. Even though I don't know what its actually like, I felt like I could imagine how the places described in the book looked like.
I couldn't put the book down. It was captivating to read. I was just sitting there, going onto the next page and then the next, I had to continue reading. When I finished it, I kept on thinking about what Muna had to struggle through and how the book ended.
I also wanted to conclude this review, by saying that I greatly admire the author. It takes immense strength to survive and endure through all of the hardships she had to suffer. She managed to endure through all of the abuse and came out with an unbroken spirit and the will to help spread the word to save others from the same fate. So many people would have given up only a couple of months after the abuse started. It is also admirable, that she dug through all of her memories, including painful ones, to tell her story and spread the truth about child brides.
This book was unique and beautifully written. I couldn't put it down and always wanted to keep on reading. I was hooked from the very first page. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!