Review♥Guest Post: The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

Be your own hero.

An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns –and the heroines who use them all 

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician’s assistant. The three young women’s lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It’s up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

Review

Thank you so much Razorbill Canada for providing an ARC for review during the tour!  ❤
 
When I first got introduced to the book I was like Charlie’s Angels? And since I rarely read steampunk (even though I love the genre), I decided to give this one a try. Did it work out for me? Let’s find out.

Characters
Cora – cute, but still boy-ish and loves explosions. Haha, really reminded me of some of my friends. 🙂 She grew up on the streets so she was born tough with this flare of sneaky-ness. She kind of reminds me of a cute fox. She can be beautiful, cute, and cunning. She also is confident in a demanding way. It is not in a bad way, it is like in a leader type way: the loud, strong, determine. You can also describe her as the motherly type (the interaction between Lord White and her tells it all…more on this later). I enjoyed reading about her.

Nellie – Gorgeous! Super cute, seems like the romantic type to me. She can be girly, fun, and just adorable.

Michiko – Badass! She was from an established family and ran away…<– Toph much?
I love that she is foreign so she doesn’t understand English well. It is adorable. Her almost cluelessness brings out this charm and cuteness to her. Even though the cover had her in it, I couldn’t help but picture her as Sui Fong,

And Adrienne must have done a good amount of research on Japan, Japanese culture to develop Michiko. I giggled when Michiko said Callum-kun (and yes, my sister glared at me for doing so).
I really enjoyed Michiko’s character; I felt her anger, sadness, and joy. She was my favourite out of the three girls. She was mature but not to the extend of over doing it.

And ohhhhhh Andrew Harris. I was in love with him the instant he spoke. He is my man! I was picturing Eddie Redmayne. Oh sweet baby Jesus! *drools*

I adore the relationship between Lord White and Cora. When Lord White first appeared, I thought of him as some kid-ish guy that Cora have to take care of, kind of reminds me of Ran and Kogoro. The magician Raheem seemed mysterious but also kind. I enjoyed most Nellie and Raheem’s interaction. I didn’t like Callum at all. *insert ugly angry face* He was so mean to Michiko, no! no! no! I do not allow it!

Plot and other stuff
Not sure the world building is the best. Okay, what I mean is that the world wasn’t steampunk as I hope. I actually pictured most of the city in just an olden time not a steampunk-gadgety time. The story didn’t immediately grab my attention. And just as I thought the story was about to pick up (around page 50-ish), the story died down. Lord, I was bored. I mean I know Adrienne have to develop 3 characters in 3 somewhat different settings but it is very boring to read. Adrienne literally took 100+ pages to develop the girls, somewhat the setting and the time frame. Yeah, so basically start at Part Two: The Beginning if you want to see when the girls grouped together. And really, the story really really get interesting for me until I am 1/3 or so in.

I was really wishing for a quicker start and more mystery but this story felt short on that.

So I must give this book a maximum of 3/5.

Ashley’s Random Bits and Pieces
Don’t like how the cover shows the girls’ faces. I like to imagine my characters.

Ms Philips reminds me of Ms Hudson from Sherlock.

Guest Post: Comedy
Why do I like comedy so much, and why do I make it an important element of my writing? For these five reasons:
1. I love to laugh.
2. I love to make other people laugh.
3. The fact that something is funny doesn’t mean it can’t also speak to human truths and have serious moments. In fact, I tend to find comedies can pack even more of an emotional wallop than pure drama. Life, in general, is absurd. And to deny that absurdity is to take something honest and real away from the moment. Yes, there are purely serious moments, and, in fact, I have such moments in all my books. But those are rare. Usually we feel a mix of feelings, life isn’t all black and white. I remember when I was delivering the eulogy at my grandmother’s funeral. I’m an actor as well as an author and I tend to work best when I get audience feedback, be it laughter, applause, etc. Of course at a funeral people aren’t really doing any of those things. They are sitting listening to you. Not really responding that much. So as I was reading my eulogy, and was getting all teary and missing my grandmother so much, I also couldn’t help thinking, “Wow, tough crowd.”
See? Absurd, right?
4. Speaking of absurdity. Douglas Adams has got to be one of my greatest literary influences. It was his absurd humour that taught me I was allowed to play in the telling of a story. My father read to me before bed every night, and we worked our way through the classics (Dickens, Tolkien, etc). But then one day he picked up THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, and my perspective on books and on writing changed in that moment. I don’t think my mind would have been nearly as blown had I not been introduced to the classics first. And I think it is very important to have a solid grounding before you start to hop around like a crazy person. But Adams definitely inspired my love of absurdity, and that tends to be at the core of most of my humour. I think, going back to point 3, what I like best about it is that life is kind of absurd. And building up on that idea to an extreme is still a very honest reflection of how humans live. It is also hilarious.
5. A shared joke that everyone loves brings people together in a wonderful way. It’s an instant moment of connection. Of “Even if we are quite different, we have this in common.” The best evenings out with friends are the ones where everyone is laughing, where everyone is having fun. I really love bonding over comedy. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Review♥Guest Post: The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

Be your own hero.

An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns –and the heroines who use them all 

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

Review

Thank you so much Razorbill Canada for providing an ARC for review during the tour!  ❤
 
When I first got introduced to the book I was like Charlie's Angels? And since I rarely read steampunk (even though I love the genre), I decided to give this one a try. Did it work out for me? Let's find out.

Characters
Cora – cute, but still boy-ish and loves explosions. Haha, really reminded me of some of my friends. 🙂 She grew up on the streets so she was born tough with this flare of sneaky-ness. She kind of reminds me of a cute fox. She can be beautiful, cute, and cunning. She also is confident in a demanding way. It is not in a bad way, it is like in a leader type way: the loud, strong, determine. You can also describe her as the motherly type (the interaction between Lord White and her tells it all…more on this later). I enjoyed reading about her.
Read more »

10 Things: Reckoning by Molly M. Hall

Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy
Title: Reckoning (Dark Prophecy #1)
Author: Molly M. Hall
Date Published: 10/2/12

 "They say the truth can set you free. I found out it can kill you."

Seventeen-year-old Kat Matheson has never revealed the dark secret that sets her apart from everyone else: She can see and hear the dead. Until now, she has been able to ignore the strange apparitions and whispering voices. But it may not be that simple anymore. Haunted by eerie visions and increasingly frightening nightmares, Kat begins to fear she may be the target of a dark and ominous force from beyond the grave. Complicating matters is the arrival of her new neighbor, a young man she instinctively distrusts but is inexplicably drawn to. Gorgeous and mysterious, he seems to hold a disturbing knowledge of her long-held secrets.

As she desperately tries to maintain control, events take an unexpected and violent turn. Discovering that nothing is what it seems and that her psychic abilities may involve far more than just communing with the dead, Kat may be forced to confront her worst fears and the powerful curse that controls her destiny.

10 Favorite Authors (In No Particular Order)

1. Diana Gabaldon – The absolute best at combining history and fictional storyline. No one draws me into a story as deeply as she does.
2. Jennifer Donnelly – She has an incredible gift for creating multiple storylines and drawing the reader in emotionally.
3. Cassandra Clare – A true master at world-building and creating characters you root for and believe in.
4. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Their ability to subtly infuse the Beautiful Creatures novels with such ambiance, you feel as if you're really there, in Gatlin, South Carolina, even if you've never visited the south.

Read more »

10 Things: Reckoning by Molly M. Hall

Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy
Title: Reckoning (Dark Prophecy #1)
Author: Molly M. Hall
Date Published: 10/2/12

 “They say the truth can set you free. I found out it can kill you.”

Seventeen-year-old Kat Matheson has never revealed the dark secret that sets her apart from everyone else: She can see and hear the dead. Until now, she has been able to ignore the strange apparitions and whispering voices. But it may not be that simple anymore. Haunted by eerie visions and increasingly frightening nightmares, Kat begins to fear she may be the target of a dark and ominous force from beyond the grave. Complicating matters is the arrival of her new neighbor, a young man she instinctively distrusts but is inexplicably drawn to. Gorgeous and mysterious, he seems to hold a disturbing knowledge of her long-held secrets.

As she desperately tries to maintain control, events take an unexpected and violent turn. Discovering that nothing is what it seems and that her psychic abilities may involve far more than just communing with the dead, Kat may be forced to confront her worst fears and the powerful curse that controls her destiny.

10 Favorite Authors (In No Particular Order)

1. Diana Gabaldon – The absolute best at combining history and fictional storyline. No one draws me into a story as deeply as she does.
2. Jennifer Donnelly – She has an incredible gift for creating multiple storylines and drawing the reader in emotionally.
3. Cassandra Clare – A true master at world-building and creating characters you root for and believe in.
4. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Their ability to subtly infuse the Beautiful Creatures novels with such ambiance, you feel as if you’re really there, in Gatlin, South Carolina, even if you’ve never visited the south.

5. Charles Todd – Historical mystery/detective writing doesn’t get much better. The characters are multi-layered and endlessly intriguing, while the history interweaves and connects as the series evolves.
6. – Brian Selznick – I don’t know which is better – the writing or the illustrations. The fact that he does both so well, and that one can’t exist without the other, is a little sickening.
7. Alan Bradley – Kudos to Mr. Bradley for creating one of the most original and lovable detectives in recent memory. His Flavia de Luce novels are a tour de force in the traditional British mystery genre. Absolutely brilliant!
8. Anna Godbersen – A writer who brings out the subtle nuances and underlying emotions and motivations of even the most heinous characters. She does this so well, you find yourself empathizing with the “bad guy”.  At the same time, she crafts a cliffhanger ending that leaves you gnashing your teeth, begging for more.
9. Lauren Willig – History. Modern-day romance. Intrigue. Humor. Suspense. All skillfully interwoven in a remarkable series. What’s not to like?
10. Kate Morton – I can’t think of anyone who crafts such powerful novels that connects the past with the present. Outstanding character development with a mystery that builds and builds until the emotional turn of the last page.

10 Things Readers Would Be Surprised To Know About Me

1. I don’t drink coffee. It literally makes me sick.
2. I like snakes and reptiles. They’re fascinating.
3. I like to visit cemeteries. It’s a phenomenal lesson in history and humility.
4. I lived for several months at an elevation of 10,152 feet. It was cold.
5. I can read upside down. And that doesn’t mean standing on my head.
6. I own close to 2,000 books. I stopped counting after 1,000.
7. I can move my ears without touching them. Really.
8. I’ve lived in Colorado most of my life, but have never gone skiing or snowboarding. A fan of snow? Not so much.
9. I play classical piano and flute. The flute’s a little rusty.
10. I have two tattoos. But I’m not going to tell you where.


Molly Hall
Author Bio:
I’ve spent most of my life in Colorado and currently live just outside of Denver. I write my books on a laptop perched atop a rather creaky desk, surrounded by two crazy and loving cats. I love to travel and have visited 27 of the 50 states, as well as Canada, Ireland and England. And there are still a lot of places I want to go.
I spent entirely too many years in the gray dullness of the corporate world, imagining something more exciting as I punched numbers on a keyboard. During that time, I worked on a degree in English Literature, but never quite managed to complete it. Mostly because I was too busy reading and creating fantasy worlds in my head. It’s actually my love of reading and imagining that led me to take up writing full time. I thought I should finally give all the characters in my head a voice.
Music is a huge part of my life and plays a big role in the creation of my books. Although I listen to everything from Johann Sebastian Bach and Dvorak, to Glen Miller and Bobby Darin, to Rihanna and Nox Arcana, as well as movie and video game soundtracks, there are two bands whose music is practically my lifeblood: Daughtry and Linkin Park. I will listen to or see them live anytime, anywhere.
I’m a fan of British television, Doctor Who (favorite doctor? David Tennant. Let the debate begin!), The Vampire Diaries, Japanese animé, Ghost Hunters, MI-5 and Eureka. And anything featuring James McAvoy. And I probably would never be able to unwind without That 70′s Show.
When I’m not reading and writing, you’ll probably find me listening to music, practicing yoga, working on my very inadequate French, playing piano, enjoying a lovely glass of red wine or champagne, or looking for inspiring landscapes to photograph.

Contact Links
Website | Twitter – @mollymhallbooks | Facebook | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

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Guest Post♥Giveaway: Derailed by Alyssa Rose Ivy

When you're lost, sometimes the only place you can go is home.

Broken over the death of her fiancé, Molly leaves law school to return to her childhood home in North Carolina. Expecting to lay low until she can figure out what else to do with her life, she finds herself in the arms of her high school sweetheart, the boy who represents everything from the past she tried to leave behind.

Looking for an escape, she instead finds a way back to the girl she almost forgot existed and a future she never dreamed possible.



The Story Behind Derailed
By: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Although completely fictional, Derailed developed out of some unresolved feelings from the death of a close friend. I think in some ways, it was my way of writing her a happier ending.
Like all of my books, the characters came first. I knew Derailed was the story of a broken girl who needed to find a way to move on after the death of someone she loved. I also knew there was a boy from her past who might be exactly what she needed. What I didn’t expect was for the setting to take on a life of its own. I’ve always loved small towns even though I grew up in suburbia. I also love the water and was lucky enough to grow up with beaches everywhere. I put the two together and Clayton Falls was born.
Even though it started with a very sad premise, I like to think of Derailed as a story of hope, and above all else, love.

Read more »

Guest Post♥Giveaway: Derailed by Alyssa Rose Ivy

When you’re lost, sometimes the only place you can go is home.

Broken over the death of her fiancé, Molly leaves law school to return to her childhood home in North Carolina. Expecting to lay low until she can figure out what else to do with her life, she finds herself in the arms of her high school sweetheart, the boy who represents everything from the past she tried to leave behind.

Looking for an escape, she instead finds a way back to the girl she almost forgot existed and a future she never dreamed possible.



The Story Behind Derailed
By: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Although completely fictional, Derailed developed out of some unresolved feelings from the death of a close friend. I think in some ways, it was my way of writing her a happier ending.
Like all of my books, the characters came first. I knew Derailed was the story of a broken girl who needed to find a way to move on after the death of someone she loved. I also knew there was a boy from her past who might be exactly what she needed. What I didn’t expect was for the setting to take on a life of its own. I’ve always loved small towns even though I grew up in suburbia. I also love the water and was lucky enough to grow up with beaches everywhere. I put the two together and Clayton Falls was born.
Even though it started with a very sad premise, I like to think of Derailed as a story of hope, and above all else, love.



Alyssa Rose Ivy is a Young Adult and New Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

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Guest Post♥Giveaway: ALLEGIANCE by K.A. Tucker

Allegiance

Evangeline finally got what she longed for—the cursed pendant off her neck and Caden in her arms—only it came at a steep price. An unknown poison now courses through her body, slowly morphing her into something no one but the Fates can foresee.She has her suspicions, though…and if she is right, it will spell certain ruin for her and Caden. But she won’t last long enough to realize that, if Viggo and Mortimer uncover the treasonous secrets she keeps from them– that Veronique, no longer entombed, is now in the torturous clutches of the witches and the People’s Sentinel, or that she is protecting a Sentinel within their very midst.


Always the naive human caught in the vampires’ web of deceit, Evangeline is now weaving her own dangerous web so she can keep her friend alive, rescue Veronique, and stop a seemingly inevitable war from erupting. But can her honor handle the depths of duplicity to which she must descend, in order to be in league with the vampires?


Dark and gripping, riddled with angst, Allegiance will have readers anxiously turning pages to find out if Evangeline can survive, or if she’ll spiral into disaster.


Guest Post

Thank you to FireStar Books for hosting me today! For this post, I get to gush over other peoples’ work instead of my own. I think that’s cool. I love to read (clearly). I’m an addictive reader, meaning I don’t start a book unless I can carve out enough time to get through it in a short period of time. Reading a chapter here or there doesn’t work for me. My favorite vacations have been those where I can rest on a beach with a drink and a good book
So what are my favorite books? This is a tough question. I could easily list fifty books below but I won’t. I’ll stick to five that left me reeling when I finished them.
Song of Ice and Fires Series by George R.R. Martin:
See? Already cheating. There are five books in this series but I’m counting them as one). No one is better than Martin at character development and world-building. Yes, you could kill someone by dropping one of these books on their head because they’re so big but, man, does he bring a character to life. I think reading this series should be a prerequisite for all writers, even if they’re not fans of the genre.
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett:
This is another high fantasy book that I read about nine years ago, during a big high fantasy kick. I remember when my husband told me about it. He said it was about building cathedrals. I laughed at him. Then I finally took his word for it and read the book. So glad I did.
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver:
Just so you don’t think that all I read is high fantasy, here is a Y.A. Dystopian novel. The premise – that love is a disease that must be cured – is so far-fetched and yet the author portrays the reality beautifully. I couldn’t help but fall into it.
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:
I loved this series. It’s the book that got me into first person present. Before the Hunger Games, I couldn’t get into a first person present book. Now I’m about to publish one (I’ve come a long way…). The concept is so brutal and harsh and outlandish but, again, the writer brings it to live in a beautiful, riveting way.
Bared to You – Sylvia Day:
You said what? Yeah, that’s right. I read this book in the summer and I LOVED it. It’s intense and the steamy scenes are borderline scalding but I REALLY enjoyed the story and the writing. It’s a fun read and everyone needs some of those.

So, there are five of my favs! (Well, technically 11 if you count all the books in the series). But they don’t end there, trust me. I’ve read some fantastic books this year alone – On Dublin Street by Samantha Young, The Wild Ones by M. Leighton, Wishing For Someday Soon by Tiffany King, the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Easy by Tammara Weber, Slammed by Colleen Hoover, While It Lasts by Abbi Glines, Seduction and Snacks by Tara Sivec I could easily have included any and all of these in the list above
Thanks for having me here today to talk about SOME of MYfavorite books!

K.A.Tucker

About the Author!

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

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