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Archive for November 14th, 2018

The Iron Flower

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The Iron Flower (The Black Witch Chronicles – 2) by Laurie Forest

Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs, but their actions have propelled them straight into the ranks of the realm-wide Resistance against Gardnerian encroachment. As the Resistance struggles against the harsh rulings of High Priest Marcus Vogel and the Mage Council, Elloren begins to realize that none of the people she cares about will be safe if Gardneria seizes control of the Western Realm.

With tensions heating up in Verpacia, more and more Gardnerian soldiers continue to descend upon the university…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the newly rebuilt Fourth Division base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to wandfast to her, convinced that she has inherited her grandmother’s magic—the prophesied power of the Black Witch. As his very nearness seems to awaken a darkness inside her, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.

Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas Grey, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.

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Laurie Forest

About the Author

Laurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. The Black Witch (Book 1.0, The Black Witch Chronicles – OUT NOW) & Wandfasted (Book 0.5, The Black Witch Chronicles Prequel) are her first published novels. Coming in 2018 are Light Mage (Book 1.5, The Black Witch Chronicles) & The Iron Flower (Book 2.0, The Black Witch Chronicles). She is currently ensconced in the woods, hard at work on The Shadow Dryad (Book 3.0, The Black Witch Chronicles).

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My Review

3 stars

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last Black Witch but has no powers of her own. She has also lived a semi sheltered life and is unaware of a lot of the various races except for her small village teachings. She has learned the hard way that the Gardnerian’s have abuse and exploited these races over the years especially with the help of her grandmother. Now the various races are ready to fight back to gain their freedom.

Elloren has been verbally and physically abused since she looks just like her grandmother and that she is a Gardnerian. But she has had enough of how the other races have been treated and joins the resistance to help fight with them. But she also has her own challenges to face. The mage counsel has deemed it that anyone not wand fasted by 16 years of age will be fasted to whom they deem fit, Aunt Vyvian is going to get her wish one way or another.

I would have had no problem with this book if that is the main content. But I have to say the whole love triangle with Yvan got to be so irritating. I’m not a fan of love triangles anyway but this one just bogged the story down. I almost just put the book down then. But I persisted and the story did get better.

I will say that there were some unexpected moments that kept things interesting and the ending was a surprise. That was a good twist although I kinda had that one pegged. Overall it continued the story on from The Black Witch and expanded the world a little. I don’t know if I want to continue this series, I’m going to have to think about it for a little bit.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Publisher for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Fountain Dead

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Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun

Expected Publication: November 20th, 2018

Genre: Mature YA Horror/ Paranormal

Publisher: Unnerving Press

Mark is uprooted from his home and high school in the Twin Cities and forced to move with his family into a Victorian in Nowhere-ville. Busy with the relocation and fitting in, Mark’s parents don’t see what’s unfolding around them—the way rooms and left behind objects seem alive with a haunted past.

Of course, Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house’s dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history. As romantic entanglements intensify, the paranormal activity escalates. Past and present come together. Everything is connected—from the bricks in the walls to the hearts beating in their chests, all the secrets of Fountain Dead are finally unearthed.

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Excerpt

Emma sensed the shockwaves of the earthquake before it struck. The air fizzled with rage.          

If Sasha hadn’t run off to get married while Emma was away, the maidservant might’ve proven a heroic buffer to what was to come. Emma missed working alongside her assistant. Now even more than ever. 

Emma’s underarms dampened, despite the chill seeping in through the windows. Her trembling hands fiddled with the tray of bandages, ointments, and miscellaneous implements as she mimicked organizing them. When would she get Jonathan alone to update him on her trip? She wondered if having already spoken to him would’ve done any good at the moment. 

The door thwacked open. 

Riley stormed into the room and menaced beside her. 

She straightened her spine to avoid cowering. 

His gravelly voice indicated a control of his anger. “Remember what I told you?” 

As he neared, Emma’s knees locked, her eyes closed. Where was Jonathan? The entire house had fallen eerily still. God, where was Hugh? Was he ever returning home? 

“You’re coming with me.” 

His directive left no room for resistance. 

“This is as good a time as any to tell you your precious brother’s dead. So you can get it out of your head that he’ll come rescue you. He ain’t ever coming back. And, Pa, well—”

Emma still hadn’t turned to acknowledge him. Even if she did, he’d merely be a haze of color through her tears. The need to know what happened to Hugh attacked her like a swarm of bees. A desperate sadness was the brutal sting. Could the news be accurate? Or was it the cruelest invention meant to debilitate her? She shamefully wished Riley had been the one to die. Tempted to rectify that, she lamented her pistol lay back in her bedroom.   

When she didn’t move, he seized her by the arm. 

Noticing her attention on the dark object in his other hand, Riley raised it to her face and twirled it between his fingers. 

It was Jonathan’s pipe. Had he not taken it with him that next morning? Did Riley discover it in her room? Is that what this was about? 

When her brother jerked Emma away, the tray of medical supplies crashed to the floor. Her feet stumbled along through the dining room, into the kitchen, and then down the stairs into the basement. The Mason jars of blood, fluids, and organs stared at her from the shelves, in commiseration, or condemnation. She couldn’t fathom either.   

The metal door to the safe gaped wide like a broken jaw. 

Her arms and fingers numbed.

Riley shoved her sidelong through the open maw, into the remnant of daylight within. 

Praying he’d have a last minute change of heart, Emma faced him, her eyes pleading. 

“You better not be carrying that red-devil’s spawn—or I’ll do you like I did that squaw. Don’t think I won’t.”

What was he talking about? One of his war atrocities? Could she be pregnant—the thought hadn’t occurred to her.

“Please,” she begged as the door banged shut, the light snuffing out.

“Think about what you’ve done, you whore.” 

He spun the combination lock. The clatter and clicks equaled the lit fuse on a stick of dynamite.  

Emma battered the door. “Let me out.”

Riley’s stifled yelling thundered on the other side.

“Please.” Her cheek smashed against the frigid iron.

The tramping of his boots overwhelmed her sobs.

 

About the Author

Hmmm. What’s this? Looks like Ms. Braun left her computer on and her Goodreads bio open.

This should be fun.

What can we say about Theresa? I mean other than the fact that she’s weirdly obsessed with smiley faces :-). Like, seriously obsessed >:-*. It’s kinda scary :-O.

I think she thinks she’s from Renaissance England or Venice or something. I never could figure out which one it was. (She’s really bad at doing accents.)

She likes romance novels and crime TV, which are pretty much the same thing when you think about it. Ha! Am I right?

She has a hell of a singing voice. Seriously. It’s, like, seventh circle of hell bad.

She likes editing. A lot. Just wait till she get’s a load a this.

Cats. Shoes. Chips and salsa. In that order.

Yeah, that last part didn’t make sense to me either.

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My Review

5 Stars

Mark’s parents have decided to move to an amazing Victorian in the middle of nowhere. Of course it has torn Mark away from the love of his life and turned everything on its head. But Mark discovers things are off in this house and the hauntings are more than just stories.

At the same time we learn about Emma, whose family built the house, in 1862. She has been taken from the love of her life and her father has decided that she is to marry whom they chose. Emma would rather teach than marry. But then things go wrong for her family and we learn how she and a bunch of ghosts are tied to the house.

I loved this story. Mark is a typical kid from 1988 and heartbroken. Yet I loved Emma too. She is such a strong girl for the time. What happens to her is horrible yet made me even more invested in the story hoping Mark could help her. This is the first book I have read of Theresa Braun’s but it will not be the last one.

If you are looking for a paranormal story, look no further. Fountain Dead is a great read and one I recommend.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

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I would like to thank R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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