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Archive for November 14th, 2017

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Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer

Victorian London is a place of fluid social roles, vibrant arts culture, fin-de-siècle wonders . . . and dangerous underground diabolic cults. Fencer Evadne Gray cares for none of the former and knows nothing of the latter when she’s sent to London to chaperone her younger sister, aspiring art critic Dorina.

At loose ends after Dorina becomes enamored with their uncle’s friend, Lady Henrietta “Henry” Wotton, a local aristocrat and aesthete, Evadne enrolls in a fencing school. There, she meets George Cantrell, an experienced fencing master like she’s always dreamed of studying under. But soon, George shows her something more than fancy footwork—he reveals to Evadne a secret, hidden world of devilish demons and their obedient servants. George has dedicated himself to eradicating demons and diabolists alike, and now he needs Evadne’s help. But as she learns more, Evadne begins to believe that Lady Henry might actually be a diabolist . . . and even worse, she suspects Dorina might have become one too.

Combining swordplay, the supernatural, and Victorian high society, Creatures of Will and Temper reveals a familiar but strange London in a riff on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray that readers won’t soon forget.

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 Praise for Creatures of Will and Temper

“A delightful, dark, and entertaining romp . . . Molly Tanzer is at the top of her form in this beautifully constructed novel.”

—Jeff VanderMeer, best-selling author of the Southern Reach trilogy

 

“An artful, witty, Oscar Wilde pastiche with the heart of a paranormal thriller.”

—Diana Gabaldon, best-selling author of Outlander

Author’s Bio

Molly Tanzer is the British Fantasy and Wonderland Book Award-nominated author of two collections: A Pretty Mouth (Lazy Fascist, 2012) and Rumbullion and Other Liminal Libations (Egaeus, 2013). Her debut novel, Vermilion (Word Horde) was an NPR Best Book of 2015. Her second novel, The Pleasure Merchant, is now available, and her next, Creatures of Will and Temper, will be available in late 2017. She is also the editrix of Congress Magazine, Swords v. Cthulhu (with Jesse Bullington), and the forthcoming Mixed Up (with Nick Mamatas).

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My Review

4 stars

Evadne Grey has just been dumped by her fiancé. She then catches her sister Dorinia with another girl and tells their mother hoping to disrupt Dorinia’s trip to London. Instead Evadne is sent with Dorinia. Once in London, both girls meet Lady Henrietta, or Henry as she prefers to go by. Henry has a fencing school and connections. Although Evadne is put off by Henry dressing like a man she is enjoying the fencing lessons.

Dorinia is taken with Henry and talks her into letting her attend a club with a secret dinner where she is going to be in for more than she expected. At the same time, Evadne attends another clubs dinner with the head of the fencing school and learns that there is a paranormal connection between the two clubs. Evadne is going to be recruited to fight demons but it seems her sister may have become a part of this club.

Evadne and Dorinia are typical sisters. They care for each other but at the same time have a hard time getting along and tend to do things that will upset the other. But when they get to London they go in their own directions and find themselves on different sides in a battle.

I have to say that the story slowly progressed in the first part. Yes, there was a Victorian world to develop and I have to say that I wasn’t as interested in that as I was for the demons and fighting. I did like the fencing training and the battle at the end. Yes, I was completely thrown off guard with the twist at the end.

Over all I liked this book and will keep Molly Tanzer in mind for future book.

I received Creatures of Will and Temper from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion for it.

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Beautiful Scars: A Life Redefined by Kilee Brookbank

The updated edition of the 2016 Benjamin Franklin Award winner for Best Inspirational Book!

Kilee Brookbank was a typical sixteen-year-old, but her last ordinary day erupted in an explosion that consumed her house, burning forty-five percent of her body and sending her to the brink of death.

After thirty-eight days of surgeries, skin grafts, physical therapy, and excruciating pain, Kilee had to discover how to live again.

She faced her journey with determination, strength, and a positive attitude that inspired not only her community, but people around the world.

Now a thriving college student, Kilee has become an author, advocate, and philanthropist focused on helping other young burn survivors and their families. Her charity, the Kilee Gives Back Foundation, has raised more than $100,000 for Shriners Hospitals for Children-Cincinnati in just two years, and Kilee has partnered with Shriners Hospitals to promote its national Be Burn Aware campaign.

Told together by Kilee and her mom, Lori, Beautiful Scars: A Life Redefined is a story of recovery, healing, and hope, reminding us all that we’re never powerless, never alone, and that each challenge we face helps make us the people we are meant to be.

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 Author’s Bios

Kilee Brookbank is a college student, soccer player, shoe fanatic, animal lover – and burn survivor. Severely injured when a gas leak caused her house to explode in November 2014, Kilee was hospitalized for thirty-eight days before returning home to a life of new challenges and a new “normal.” Kilee, who attends Xavier University, is preparing for her future with strength and determination that inspire everyone she meets. She and her family created the Kilee Gives Back Foundation in 2015 to support other families through times of crisis, and Kilee is devoted to paying forward the generosity and kindness she received from her community and from around the world.

Lori Highlander is, first and foremost, proud mom to daughter Kilee and son Cameron. Lori has spent 20 years as an executive in the alcohol and drug addiction field and has witnessed first-hand the impact of information and inspiration on the healing process. In 2014, Lori’s daughter, Kilee Brookbank, was severely burned in a house explosion. Kilee’s resilience and Cameron’s strength compelled Lori to launch KiCam Projects, creating an avenue to bring light to powerful stories of survival with the goal of supporting charitable endeavors and organizations. Additionally, Lori and her family formed the Kilee Gives Back Foundation, a nonprofit inspired by the family’s personal experience. Lori lives in Georgetown, Ohio, with Kilee and Cameron; her husband, Wade; and her stepsons, Collin and Houstin.

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My Review

5 stars

Kilee Brookbank was 16 years old when her life drastically changed. A gas leak in her house caused an explosion that burned 45% of her body and almost kill her. What follows is her journal through treatments, surgeries, and simply learning to live again.

I first received Beautiful Scars last year in late 2016. This is a horrible and beautiful story at the same time. Kilee is such a strong young lady. She went through hell and yet did not let it destroy her wonderful personality and attitude. I admit that it is heart breaking to read this story at times. But it goes to show you how having the right attitude can take you so far.

Beautiful Scars: A Life Redefined continues her story. She is not a college student and has started a charity to help others. I loved to see that she helps the Shriners Hospital for Children. I love seeing how she is helping those that helped her.

If you want an amazing story to read, look no further. Kilee and her mother Lori are wonderful women. They both have a great message for everyone. This is one book that has to be an addition to everyone’s shelves.

I received Beautiful Scars: A Life Redefined from KiCam Projects and Beautiful Scars from PR by the Book for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of both of these books.

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