win Eterna & Omega (US Only)
ends 9.1.2016

August 30, 2016

Match Series: Orange Flags #onlinedating

Despite my snarky attitude, I can be very naive and gullible when it comes to strangers. Not unless you're screaming DANGER in bold, red, glowing letters, I'm more likely to give you a chance and get to know you before I make any "judgment". Red flags are pretty obvious and standard when it comes to people like no psychos or shit like that. Then there are the orange flags or things that are subjective that made me pause and heed.

August 28, 2016

Steampunk Sundays: Breath of Earth by Beth Cato

Series: Breath of Earth 1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Steampunk | Alternate History

After the Earth’s power is suddenly left unprotected, a young geomancer must rely on her unique magical powers to survive in in this fresh fantasy series from the author of acclaimed The Clockwork Dagger.

In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer Wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.

When assassins kill the Wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .

Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.

Here's What...

  • I used to live in North California, close to San Francisco to be exact, so I love that BREATH OF EARTH  is set in my old stomping grounds. I could easily see Ingrid Carmichael and the rest of the Wardens running the city. 

  • I love how diverse BREATH OF EARTH is. The Asian infusion is on point and was done in a very respectful manner. I say respectful because Beth Cato deviated from the stereotypes and instead highlighted traditions and cultural aspects that gave the story a different feel.

  • There's some romance, but it's watered down and wasn't really the focal point of the story (love!)

  • BREATH OF EARTH  is very plot driven yet it told more than it showed. I wanted to see more of how these geomancers wield their power through showmanship via confrontations or fights.

  • Ingrid Carmichael, though an interesting heroine, isn't what I expected her to be. Ingrid is supposed to be a very powerful geomancer and yet her character is very understated in that she's more of a follower than a hero. I also found it a little confusing that Ingrid didn't exercise much of her abilities when she's been pseudo training for years. 

  • There's a lot of politicking involved which is basically the main conflict of BREATH OF EARTH. I love the intrigue, but as I've mentioned, I wish this debut is more action driven. 

  • Style-wise, I am a big fan of BCato's writing style. I love how the scope encompasses the world she created versus painting it just from the hero's POV's. We get a good feel of what the world looks like with geomancers out and about causing  volatility in the world. Earthquakes and natural disasters are imminent depending on which geomancer is in town and what said person is feeling. 

  • The world building is well defined, BCato painted a vivid world said in a very simplistic manner.

BREATH OF EARTH  is a cool debut to an equally cool and interesting series. I admit I wasn't wowed by it the same way as BCato's other steampunk series, Clockwork Dagger, yet I'm curious enough to follow the series and see where Ingrid and the rest of her geomancer posse will lead the tale.

Talk Supe

August 27, 2016

Bought, Borrowed & Bagged [215]: Just For Laughs

BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, on going events and book movie or television news. 

BB&B is an homage Barron's Books & Baubles from Karen Marie Moning's smash hit series, Fever. 

August 25, 2016

Liked It: An Untimely Frost by Penny Richards

Series: Lilly Long 1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Publisher: Kensington
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Historical Mystery

In 1881 Chicago, the idea of a female detective is virtually unheard of. But when famed crime buster Allan Pinkerton opens his agency's doors to a handful of women, one intrepid actress with her own troubled past is driven to defy convention and take on a new and dangerous role...

Since the age of eleven, when her mother was murdered, the life of the theater is all Lilly Long has known. Now twenty-two, she has blossomed into an accomplished Shakespearean actress. But after her innocence--and her savings--are taken from her by a seductive scoundrel, Lilly vows to leave the stage, enter the real world, and save others from a similar fate. Following in the footsteps of the country's first female detective, Lilly persuades Allan Pinkerton to take her on.

Lilly's acting skills are a perfect fit for her real-life role as a Pinkerton operative. But her first case is a baptism by fire as she is sent to the small town of Vandalia to solve the mystery of a pastor who disappeared with his family--and the church's funds. When Lilly arrives, she finds the mere mention of the reverend's name provokes enmity or suspicious silence. Shadowed by a second Pinkerton agent with an agenda of his own, Lilly begins to uncover Vandalia's sordid secrets. But she'll have to deliver the performance of a lifetime to survive the final act of this drama.

AN UNTIMELY FROST by Penny Richards is the first of a new historical sleuthing series set in Chicago during the late 19th century. Lilly Long is an unlikely heroine in that she's an actress by trade, quite naive, and recently scorned no thanks to her handsome but double-dealing husband. Reeling from the demise of her marriage, Lilly applied for the position private investigator with Pinkerton, an established and quite popular detective agency, with the hopes of finding her husband and/or help other women like herself find justice after being taken advantage of by men.