12 March 2019

The Witch's Tower by Tamara Grantham

(Twisted Ever After #1) Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 11th 2019 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Gothel is a witch. Punished for the actions of her mother, her choice is simple: either she stands guard over Princess Rapunzel—or she dies. But just because a choice is easy doesn’t mean it’s pleasant. Protecting Rapunzel means watching as the princess lays trapped in a tower, bedridden by hair that is so long and heavy it’s slowly driving her insane. Gothel’s life has become one of imprisonment and solitude as well—until a prince and his handsome squire appear at the tower.
Only one object can cut Rapunzel’s hair and end the curse: a pair of magical shears. But the shears are guarded by the most terrifying witches in the land, who also happen to be Gothel’s aunts. As Gothel and the prince’s squire, Raj Talmund, work to form a plan, she finds herself more and more drawn to the mysterious young man from the Outerlands. Unfortunately, his destiny is far more dangerous than she wants to admit: to save a princess, he must kill the witch who’s been forced to guard her.
THE WITCH’S TOWER is the first in an inspired new series of fairy-tale retellings from award-winning fantasy author Tamara Grantham.

11 March 2019

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? #20

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by The Book Date
This meme lets you show fellow readers what you have read, what you are reading, and what you will be reading.

09 March 2019

Review || The Beast of Nightfall Lodge: The Institute for Singular Antiquities Book II

A mysterious explorer hires a team of adventurers to join him in a hunt for a monstrous beast, in this rip-roaring sequel to Fury From the Tomb. 

When Egyptologist Rom Hardy receives a strange letter from his old friend, the bounty-hunting sniper Rex McTroy, he finds himself drawn into a chilling mystery. In the mountains of New Mexico, a bloodthirsty creature is on the loose, leaving a trail of bodies in its wake. Now, a wealthy big game hunter has offered a staggering reward for its capture, and Rom's patron - the headstrong and brilliant Evangeline Waterston - has signed the team up for the challenge. Awaiting them are blizzards, cold-blooded trappers, remorseless hunters, a mad doctor, wild animals and a monster so fearsome and terrifying, it must be a legend come to life.

05 March 2019

Storm of the Gods by Amy Braun Tour and Giveaway

Thirty years ago, the gods of Greek legend returned to the world. Their return restored their powers, which had been spent in a cataclysmic battle with the Titans. With the ancient deities imprisoned in Tartarus, the Olympians now reside in Néo Vasíleio, formerly known as California.

Twenty-four-year-old Derek Aerios is a war scion, a descendant of Ares, the God of War. He and his brother, eighteen-year-old Liam, capture mythological creatures and rogue scions as part of Ares's elite military force. As he struggles to cope with his violent powers and the scars of a traumatic childhood, Derek tries to keep the two vows he has made: protect his brother, and never kill a human again.

But when Ares forces him to hunt and kill four rogue scions under Athena's control—by threatening Liam's life—Derek chooses to go after the scions in order to save his brother and keep his promise to himself.

Yet the closer Derek gets to the scions, the more he realizes that his orders are part of a deeper conspiracy that put him at odds with his mission and his conscience. Athena may not be the enemy, a traitor could be in their midst, and the Titans could be closer to freedom than ever before.

02 March 2019

Review || Second Lives by P.D. Cacek


When four patients spontaneously regain consciousness after being declared dead, their loved ones are ecstatic and words like "miracle" and "miraculous" begin to float around the hospital. But the jubilation is short-lived when the patients neither recognize their families nor answer to their names. 

Each one vehemently claims to be someone else, someone who lived, and died, in the past. When it's suggested that all four are suffering from fugue states, one of the doctors says that he recognizes a name and verifies he not only knew the girl but was there when she died in 1992. 

It soon becomes obvious that the bodies of the four patients are now inhabited by the souls of people long dead.  

At first glance, Second Lives may be considered a horror story but it is so much more. Four people from differing walks of life die. Yet, they are somehow miraculously brought back from the brink of death, long after such a thing should have been possible. Are they really though, as each person claiming to be someone else, with no memory of the person whose body they now inhabit? The more you read, the story transmutes into one of kindness, compassion, and understanding. 

The story begins in the past, following four people's lives...and deaths: Elisabeth Wyman, died in 1914 attending a woman's suffragette protest, Timothy O'Neal, in a hit and run accident in 1956, Aryeh Rosenberg, murdered in his watch shop in 1922, and Christine Moore, accidentally falling off her high school balcony in 1992. Then we jump to August 24th. These travelers, as they will be later deemed, wake in new bodies: Elisabeth in the body of Sara Cortland, comatose and pregnant but kept alive until her baby reaches term; Timothy in the body of Henry Rollins, a dementia patient whose body is failing him; Aryeh in the body of James Cooper, a paraplegic gay man who decides he can no longer deal with the demands of life and commits suicide; and Helen Harmon, who chose cardiac surgery so that she can get on with her life. While at first, it was challenging to follow so many different characters and timelines, they eventually blend into something totally unusual.

I was completely unprepared for the intensity of Second Lives. Reincarnation certainly isn't a new concept in literature, but Second Lives is unique. These people's lives ended and they immediately stepped into the modern world, in bodies that don't belong to them, waking to relationships and families that have already been established. We aren't talking being reborn as a baby to live a shiny new life full of possibilities. We are talking about shutting one door and immediately opening another. Not only do the travelers have to cope with waking someone else, in another time, but those who lost a loved one have to deal with grief, skepticism, and finally acceptance. How they each choose to do so varies in emotion and strength. 

I was most touched by Henry's story, both before his death and after Timmy's subsequent rebirth. Second Lives turned out to be a very engaging read and one that surprisingly tugged a bit on the ol' heartstrings. While not solidly horror (though technically a body count of 9 IS impressive), it has aspects that science fiction and contemporary fantasy readers would enjoy. P.D. Cacek is definitely an author that I will pick up again!