Tag Archive | The Parliament House

Cover Reveal: CLOUDED BY ENVY

This is the cover to my upcoming book, CLOUDED BY ENVY, coming your way February 19th with The Parliament House.

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Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.

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Did you add CLOUDED BY ENVY to your Goodreads?

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Dream Keeper: Review + Author Interview

Title: Dream Keeper

Author: Amber R. Duell

Date of Publication: January 29th, 2019

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The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.

My Review:

Right off the bat, I was extremely intrigued by this book. I’ve read three other stories by Duell, so I knew the writing was going to be flawless and the story would be unique. I was not disappointed!

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First off, I’m going to say I don’t get scared or need a blanket when reading a dark or creepy book. Instead, I’m more like, heck yes that was awesome! And there was a whole bunch of fist pumping with the nightmare descriptions!

The book is told in dual POV, and I already knew Sandman would be my favorite chapters—which they were. But Nora’s were great too—she was a strong character that made choices for heself. Now, let’s get down to swoony business, the Sandman was sweet and can I just keep him in my pocket? Also, I want to go to my own private sand beach like now, have a sand whip, and kapow it against the sand, just because!

So far, this is my favorite book by the author, fab-ab-ab writing and especially the world, which was such a cool concept. Loved it! Give me the next one, now!

 

Author Interview:

What inspired you to write Dream Keeper?

When I lived in Maine, we would drive back home to NY a lot to visit my family. We got in pretty late once, and my oldest was wired at midnight because we just spent 6 hours in the car so I told him if he didn’t try to go to sleep that I would call the Sandman. (It worked, by the way! haha) Then I was sitting on the couch the day after we went back home and it hit me. I wanted to write a Sandman book. Everything stemmed from that moment.

Did you have to do any research when writing Dream Keeper?

Yes! And it was really fun. I read up on the different legends that dealt with dreams or dreaming. (The Sandman isn’t the only one in the Dark Dreamer trilogy!) Also, I researched facts about dreams and REM sleep.

Who’s your favorite character in Dream Keeper, and why?

The Sandman. He’s such a kind, genuine person. Plus cool tattoos, starlit eyes, and magic!

When you write, do you outline or just wing it?

Both. I have a vague outline with things I know need to happen, but I fill in the blanks as I go.

What’s your favorite book ever?

The Winner’s Curse! (Technically, the whole trilogy.)

What inspired you to be a writer?

My mother used to make up stories for us at bedtime and it always seemed like fun.

What’s your least favorite thing about writing?

Can I say writing? lol After the vague outline, I do an incredibly sparse draft (20-30k words) and it’s so bad. I hate everything about it, but it’s necessary since my process involved adding a bunch of layers to that base.

What other future books do you have planned?

There are two new ideas that I’m trying to decide between—a high fantasy and a contemporary fantasy.

What’s your favorite color?

Purple

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Finally back in NY! With any luck, still writing stories to share.

Did you already know from the beginning that Dream Keeper would expand into a series?

It was originally a duology instead of a trilogy, but as I got into planning the second book, I realized it needed another.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t think there was ever a time that I didn’t want to.

What future books do you have planned next?

There are two new ideas that I’m trying to decide between, but first I have to write the 2nd and 3rd Dark Dreamer books.

If you could live in any fantasy world where would it be?

Any that had fairies!

What advice do you have for other writers?

Don’t get discouraged! Keep working at your craft and bringing new stories to life.

 

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Amber R. Duell is a native of Central New York but currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and two sons. She survives on caffeine and baked goods. When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, staying up way too late to research genealogy, and discovering real-life adventures.

Stalk Amber:

Website: http://amberrduell.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmberR_Duell
Instagram: http://instagram.com/amberrduell/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmberRDuellAuthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15857372.Amber_R_Duell

 

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Do you remember your dreams?

 

Author Interview: Kathryn Lee Martin

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Sixteen-year-old Rags is the most feared Rustler in the world, and for good reason. When she’s not raiding the post-Yellowstone Kingdom’s established settlements for supplies to keep her frontier, Rondo, alive another day, she’s fending off witch hunt-happy villagers who want her rare blue eyes in an unmarked grave.

But when the Kingdom strikes back, kills Rags’s best friend, and sends its second-in-command to destroy Rondo in four days, Rags must make a choice: seek revenge, or save her loved ones who are trapped in a town bound for slaughter broadcast Kingdom-wide. With little more than a stolen dream to guide her, and a growing attraction to a sly Kingdom informant, Rags is about to give the Kingdom four days it’ll never forget—if the bounty on her head doesn’t get her killed first.

Pre-order on Amazon

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It’s the one place no rustler ever wants to end up.

Having survived Rondo’s destruction, sixteen-year-old Rags has been taken captive by the Kingdom and sentenced to ‘rehabilitation’ at the Kingdom’s Threshing Floor, a notorious prison camp for hardened criminals. Those who refuse to serve the Kingdom go in…no one comes out.

Faced with this nightmarish reality, Rags is forced to use everything she knows as a rustler to survive against starvation, a cruel ward master, and torture at the hands of the Kingdom’s ruler, Hyperion. Given only two options—death, or conformation to the Kingdom’s ways—she’s forced to play the Kingdom’s twisted game.

With the help of the Kingdom’s second-in-command, Henrick Oreson, and its charismatic luresman, Colton Caelan Fieldson, Rags must find a way to play a convincingly false role she was never meant to play and show the Kingdom she can be ‘rehabilitated’ to its standards. But with the deciding evaluation rigged in the Kingdom’s favor, failure is imminent…unless she can find a way to turn lies into truth and achieve the impossible: actually, escape the Threshing Floor.

Pre-order on Amazon

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Author Interview:

What gave you the idea to write The Bone Roses?

I’ve always been a fan of futuristic “what if” stories which led to my love of wanting to write one of my own. I tend to favor underdogs and rebels in most of my works and wanted to put myself in the shoes of a young outlaw who might be struggling in a grim future where the law has gotten out of hand to the point where every day is a test of survival. I also have a love affair with the Yellowstone supervolcano, which lead me to base the story on the “what if” aftermath of such an eruption should one ever take place. I grew up with fantasy stories and in a small town and have always loved westerns so I decided to combine elements of them to create a dark world reflective of that. What I ended up with was The Bone Roses.

Who is your favorite character in The Bone Roses?

Even though I adore writing the stories from Rags’s perspective and I have so many favorites in the story, if I have to pick one, it would have to be Henny. Henny is such a versatile character to write and he’s got a lot of secrets to explore. He has two sides to him, the soldier capable of commanding the Kingdom Corps, and a much softer, rarely seen human side to him. He has a lot of personality for a young man who plays a mostly villain role in The Bone Roses, but as the series unfolds, you see a different side to his motives for being the way he is. He’s also just fun to write, especially his interactions with Rags and Colton.

Did you always know The Bone Roses would be a series?

No. Originally The Bone Roses was supposed to be a stand-alone story with a very different ending than the one it currently has. As I sat down to actually write it though, things just sort of got out of hand and the characters wouldn’t cooperate so it sort of took on a life of its own and became a series. In a way I’m glad that it worked out that way as I adore these characters, but it was unexpected at the time.

Do you outline before you write or just go for it?

A little bit of both actually. I’ll start with a reasonably long, fairly detailed outline, but that usually ends up getting away from me because of my characters doing what they want to do in the story. I do keep an outline of the entire series overview to stick to as much as possible so I know where I am at any given point and how to get to the next arc in the story, giving it some structure, but when it comes to each individual book, it’s anyone’s guess what’s going to happen since some parts I just go for and they work.

Garden of Ashes, the sequel to The Bone Roses is about to release, do you have a favorite between the two?

Between the two of them, I prefer Garden of Ashes. Not that The Bone Roses isn’t a good book, because it is in its own right, but when it comes to character development, a few key characters take the spotlight in Garden of Ashes and we get a more in-depth view into their personal lives. Henny and Colton are good examples of this and the stakes are considerably higher in Garden of Ashes than they were in The Bone Roses. It changes the perspective of how Rags views them from how they were portrayed in The Bone Roses. We also see Rags mature quite a bit in Garden of Ashes.

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

I have a few. I tend a small hobby farm with a goat, donkey, border collie, and four cats. I also enjoy gardening, especially with my rose bushes. When I’m not doing that, on my limited free time, I can be found playing video games.

What’s your favorite color?

I have quite a few favorite colors (lavender purple, sage green, cyan blue, and silver) but if I have to pick one, I love the color cyan blue. It’s just one of those cool colors that I’ve always liked.

What other upcoming books do you have planned?

There are two more books in the Snow Spark Saga planned. They are Stars Over Zephyr and Count the Rain. I also have another super-secret, special project I’m ultra-excited about and have been working on called Phirestag. It’s a higher level of steampunk fantasy and the first in a series known as the TimeFeather Chronicles that I’m hoping to share with the world relatively soon. Beyond that, there are a few other projects in the works, but right now my focus is on the Snow Spark Saga and TimeFeather Chronicles.

If you could re-read one book forever, which one would it be?

Quite honestly, this was a tough one because I haven’t really found that one special book yet that I’d want to re-read forever. One of these days I’ll find it but for now, I’m just enjoying the wide variety of amazing works that many amazing writers are putting out there into the world.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Practice your craft as much as you can and don’t let the bad parts about it discourage you from writing. It’s tough out there in the publishing world and not everyone is going to like your work, accept it, want to read it, etc. Many people will love it of course, so don’t think it’s all doom and gloom because it isn’t but writing is not for the faint of heart. You will have days where you feel like giving up, aren’t good enough, and so on. Just remember during those times that you’re writing, you’re creating something amazing, and it’s all being done by you. Enjoy the journey. Learn to dance with the words you’re writing. Embrace your craft and realize that no matter what, you’re a writer and one way or another, you’re going to make it. You have something only you can write to share with the world and that makes it all the more special.

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Author Bio:

Kathryn Lee Martin, known as ‘Ryn’ by friends and colleagues, spends her days saddling up the literary horse and hitting the “what if” trails on a quest to tell the outlaws’ and underdogs’ stories. Not one to shy away from the darker side of stories for the older young adult audience, her works often explore impossible odds and dire futures, falling into a fusion of post-apocalyptic science fiction meets the gritty lawlessness of the old west with a dash of fantasy and steampunk. Putting her unfortunate characters in situations where faith and fighting often go hand in hand, she’s not afraid to make things difficult for them and when she’s not corrupting society on paper, she’s usually leading the rebellion to save it.

Connect with Kathryn:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RynSageQuill

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rynsagequill/

Website: https://www.rynleewrites.com/

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What kind of world would you want the future to have?

Nine While Nine: Review + Author Interview

Title: Nine While Nine

Author: Stasia Morineaux

Date of Publication: July 24th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Isabeau Finne’s perfect world utterly unravels when she meets Death’s right-hand man one fateful night, spiraling her life into a world of chaos and the impossible.

Suddenly, she is no longer Isabeau and becomes part of the most secretive inner-workings of Death itself, as well as an otherworldly dominion of ancient magic.

Now beings—which we were taught as children were merely fictional creations of wildly whimsical minds—are edging their way into her world as well.

Buggans and Kobolds and Vargs…oh my!

She yearns for the simplicity of her old life—this one is full of dangers, unanswered questions, and cryptic dreams.

After one particularly anomalous dream in which she learns of the Nine While Nine Legacy, things become truly precarious.

Now, someone sees her as a risk…a threat…and wants to eliminate her.

Fortunately, she falls under the protection of Gideon—unless she leaves his territory—which is the one thing she wants the most…and wants the least.

My Review:

Ever since I saw this lovely cover, which by the way is one of my favorites of the year, I have been anxiously waiting to read it!

First what I loved is the girl is like 30 or shall I say woman! It’s so hard for me to find Adult or NA books that interest me because most of the time they are just contemporary AB-stomach books or a bunch of descriptions that I don’t care about! Thank goodness for this book! Finally, an adult story that held my interest with great writing! And can I just mention the name Gideon!

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So James McAvoy probably isn’t who the author had in mind for what she imagined Gideon to look like, but he’s always who I think about when reading the romantic interest in books! I loved Gideon because there’s so much to him and I wanted to discover who he is!

Isabeau was a great character, too! And thankfully, not annoying! She grows through the book and the dream sequences were awesome! Honestly, I’ve never read a book that dealt with this type of magic—it felt incredibly unique!

Also, there are some words you may not know how to pronounce, but fear not, there’s a glossary in the back! FYI, there is a cliffhanger, and yes I need the next book. Now!

Author Interview:

Tell us what made you decide to write Nine While Nine.

Dreams! I was having a continuing series of dreams about the people, places, and situations that take place in the books. At the very beginning, there was a night I woke in a state of half-consciousness and heard words whispering in my head. I wrote down what was to become the Legacy of the Nine at about 3:00 am on a scrap of paper I found on my nightstand. I couldn’t shake it and it just snowballed from there. I absolutely fell in love with the realm of Tiarnas and the beings I was meeting in the dreams. I had to write it all down, so I wouldn’t lose any of it. What I found most exciting was that their world was spilling over into ours. That the Fae were returning. The dreams that Isabeau has in the books are based on the dreams I experienced.

Who is your favorite character in Nine While Nine and why?

Gideon! Why? He’s a tough nut to crack. He comes across all surly and stern, but we get to catch glimpses of his hidden, softer demeanor throughout the book, interlaced with all that power he exudes. He’s a great caregiver and guardian, his number one goal is to protect his charges, and carry out his duties, at any cost. And…well…he’s just a hotty.

What made you decide to want to be an author?

I began my writing journey at about seven when I wrote a story for my mom and dad about a family of bears. I was always the little kid with an entourage of imaginary friends and I’d spend countless afternoons writing short stories about them. Over the years I would become distracted with other interests and obligations, but again and again I would return to creating worlds and lives and adventures. Those imaginary friends just wouldn’t shut up! I began to take it seriously after being inspired by Anne Rice when I met her back in the late-90s while in New Orleans; she told me, “Write. What makes a writer is writing…Write the book of your dreams. Write what you want to be known for.” She went on—not verbatim here—to say that the most important thing is to not give up, to follow my dreams…to believe in my words and imaginings and never give up. AND most importantly, stop procrastinating and just do it. Stop waiting, and stop asking for advice, and just write.

I’ve tried several times to not be a writer…and I just can’t do it!

Is there a certain genre you like to write in?

No matter how the idea spawns, it always seems to turn to the supernatural and dark urban fantasy. It can begin as the most mundane, ordinary-life kind of thing, but then always—always—it veers to the paranormal and extraordinary situations…and magic! I find that working in fantasy gives me the most freedom to really exercise my imagination and explore possibilities. But I do prefer keeping my stories anchored in a blend of reality and modern times. Well, except for this one time-travel piece I’m working on…
And I’m absolutely incapable of steering clear of at least a touch of romance!

Did you have to do any research while writing Nine While Nine?

Absolutely…it’s endless and ongoing! I love love love research! I researched Celtic, Nordic, Irish, and Scottish myths…well, just pretty much everything I could get my hands on that spanned a wide assortment of European mythologies. I also studied Irish and Scottish Gaelic language, and an assortment of others, while devising the language, Sióg Orð. My explorations also included a variety of books on “witchy ways” and occult practices.

How many books do you have planned for the series?

At least three, but it might stretch into four…plus some spin-offs!

What other hobbies do you do besides writing?

I currently live in Asheville, NC, so there is no shortage of hiking and waterfalls here. I try to get out t least once a week with the family for a nice hike. I also go every week to the Biltmore Estate to play with their baby goats! I love reading and swimming, and I often combine the two with lazy days by the pool while reading in a nice shady spot. In the winter, I can often be found hidden behind a snow fort, lobbing—quite badly—snowball-ammo at my family. And then there are the squirrels in my woods. There’s a rumor going around that I’m planning to open a squirrel circus. The truth is, I just like to toss them peanuts, pecans, and walnuts. I can’t help it if they sit up in a cute little row below my balcony and beg for them now!

What’s your favorite color?

This has always been one of the most difficult questions for me. Overall, I think it’s purple.

BUT…it all depends on the context of the question. Are we talking clothing, furniture, wall color…?

Clothes, I prefer black and grey. It’s just easy. Unless we’re getting into historical garb, and then it’s creams, pale pinks and blues—think Marie Antoinette and the Rococo era.

If we’re discussing home décor, then currently I’m leaning towards washed out and stormy colors, like you’d find in a beach house. Distressed blues and greys with touches of sunset shades. But that can change at any moment and go back to rich hues of dark pumpkin, brick red, and cobalt blue.

See, just not an easy question! Depends on the day I guess! Lol!

What upcoming books do you have planned next?

Once I complete The Nine While Nine Legacy series—if it ever truly ends—I’ve had a YA New Orleans ghost story on the back burner for a few years that I’m just itching to flesh out! And a vampire novel—of course. I began that one back in 1995 after my first trip of many to New Orleans. I’ve picked it up and worked on it again and again over the years, but it’s particularly grueling as much of my personal life of that period is contained in it. It’s messy and painful, but I’m determined to finish it and get it released. It deserves to finally be completed and out there to be known.

Any advice for writers?

The best advice I can give is to pass along the words that Anne Rice gave me. “Just write”. The blank page is daunting, no doubt, but if you just set pencil to paper and go, the words will come.

Also, study up on the current avenues of marketing and PR. The publishing world has changed radically, and the author needs to be neck deep in their own branding and marketing, not just of their work but of themselves. Get out there and meet the readers!

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Biography:

Stasia Morineaux grew up in Southern California, pursuing faeries in the garden and seeking spirits in the local graveyard with her cat Bartleby; they also spent countless nights hunting down things that went bump!

She now resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her hubster and kidlet, as well as with a bevy of creatures…both real and “imaginary”.

Mysterious dreams, copious hours of awesome music, and obscene amounts of coffee fuel her writing sessions of paranormal, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, the supernatural…and sometimes even a sprinkling of chick lit!

In her spare time she likes to relax on her balcony, feet kicked up, listening to the squirrels arguing with the crows in her woods.

Please drop by her website for News, Photos, Excerpts, Videos, the Writing Soundtracks, and much more!

 

Release Day Giveaway: http://stasiamorineaux.wixsite.com/stasiamorineaux/events

Website: http://stasiamorineaux.wixsite.com/stasiamorineaux

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stasia.morineaux/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stasia.Morineaux.Author

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/StasiaMorineaux/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00O9P61HI?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9795003.Stasia_Morineaux

Blog: http://stasiamorineaux.wixsite.com/stasiamorineaux/musings

Indiegogo Media Blitz Campaign: http://bit.ly/9W9MediaBlitzFund

Amazon Pre-Order: http://bit.ly/9W9PreOrder

 

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How does this book sound to you?

 

Review: Wildwood

Title: Wildwood

Author: Jadie Jones

Date of Publication: September 26th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

Tanzy Hightower is not crazy. At least, that’s what she tells herself. Crazy looks more like her mother, who studies each sunrise with the same fascination other women give tabloid magazines in the grocery store checkout line. Crazy sounds like the woman on the radio claiming there’s a whole separate world existing parallel to our own. Still, Tanzy can’t deny the tingle of recognition she feels each time she sees her mother standing at the kitchen window, or hears the panic in the woman’s voice coming through the speakers of her father’s truck.

Tanzy intends to follow her father’s footsteps into the professional horse world. But the moment she watches him die on the back of a horse in an accident she feels responsible for, everything changes.

On the first anniversary of his death, a fight with her mother drives her back to her father’s farm in the middle of a stormy night. Neither Tanzy nor life as she knows it escapes unchanged when she is struck by lightning and introduced to a world… unseen, and receives proof her father’s death was no accident.

Two strangers seem too willing to help her navigate her new reality: Vanessa Andrews, a psychiatrist who believes lightning chooses who it strikes, and Lucas, a quiet, scarred stable hand with timing that borders on either perfect or suspect. But Tanzy has secrets of her own. Desperate for answers and revenge, Tanzy must put her faith in their hands as her past comes calling, and her father’s killer closes in.

My Review:

Love the cover and love the name Tanzy! If I had another kid, I might’ve actually named her that! Also, she loves horses! Who doesn’t love horses? They are mystical and magical and awesome!

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I really liked the writing in this one! It wasn’t over the top or not enough—it was the perfect blend of what needed to be said. After Tanzy’s father is killed in an accident, things pick up right away. Tanzy has questions along the way and you kind of guess along with her as she isn’t sure about a lot of things.

I’m already ready for the next book and to learn more about the worlds and get more of Tansy!

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How does this book sound to you?

Review: The Bone Roses

Title: The Bone Roses

Author: Kathryn Lee Martin

Date of Publication: May 8th, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Rags is the most feared Rustler in the world, and for good reason. When she’s not raiding the post-Yellowstone Kingdom’s established settlements for supplies to keep her frontier, Rondo, alive another day, she’s fending off witch hunt-happy villagers who want her rare blue eyes in an unmarked grave.

But when the Kingdom strikes back, kills Rags’s best friend, and sends its second-in-command to destroy Rondo in four days, Rags must make a choice: seek revenge, or save her loved ones who are trapped in a town bound for slaughter broadcast Kingdom-wide. With little more than a stolen dream to guide her, and a growing attraction to a sly Kingdom informant, Rags is about to give the Kingdom four days it’ll never forget—if the bounty on her head doesn’t get her killed first.

My Review:

I haven’t read too many YA western inspired books, okay only one, and it was earlier this year. And that particular book didn’t live up to its cover or blurb since western stuff was barely in it! However, this book lived up to the magnificent cover and blurb! I loved the main character Rags!

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Early on in the book, I was already left emotional by a particular  incident! I was like noooooooo! I’m not usually affected so soon by characters, but here I was—wounded. Rags was a great character! I’m not going to lie, when a book is in first person for the entire book, I tend to get annoyed with the character in parts, but not here. Rags was easy to relate to and all around bad A.

For you romance lovers, there is a sweet one that brews but for you romance haters, don’t worry, it doesn’t overshadow the plot. There’s plenty of great world building, writing, likable characters, action, and awesomeness! Definitely recommend and can’t wait for book 2!

How does this book sound to you?