Weekly Wrap Up: October 27th through November 9th 2019

Books I’ve Read:

Awakening

Agent Jack

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae

Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories

This Earl of Mine

Let It Be Me


Books with Pending Reviews:

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Review coming November 4th


Books with Published Reviews:

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Review Here

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore—Review Here

The Brutal Time—Review Here

Fever—Review Here

This Earl of Mine—Review Here

Let It Be Me—Review Here


NetGalley Requests:

All the Best Lies—St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

A Highlander in a Pickup—St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Wild, Wild Rake—St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Queen of the Unwanted—Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

The Other People—Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

No Mercy—Saint Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books

The Vanishing Season—Saint Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books


Author/Publisher Requests:

Been There, Married That—St. Martin’s Press


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

Aces High—Book Blitz

Dark One’s Bride—Book Blitz

Forged by Fire—Book Blitz

My Path to You—Book Blitz

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Blog Tour

The Event—Book Blitz

The Brutal Time—Blog Tour

Angel Blue: Season One—Book Blitz

Death Among Us—Blog Tour

Dorothy in the Land of Monsters—Book Blitz

Princes of the Lower East Side—Book Blitz

On His Bended Knee—Book Blitz

Shopping for a Baby’s First Christmas—Book Blitz

All of Him Anthology-–Cover Reveal

This Earl of Mine—Blog Tour

Panic—Book Blitz

Disenchanted—Cover Reveal

Under His Skin—Book Blitz

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae—Excerpt

The Traveler—Book Blitz

The Assassin and The Soldier—Book Blitz


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

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Cover Reveal: Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski

Centuries ago, the flames of a terrible war engulfed the sprawling wildwood of Brittany, displacing hoards of monsters in its wake. These beasts fled to the remaining patches of forest, the largest known as Brocèliande—home to the elusive Fae, and within unsettling proximity to the mortal kingdom.

***

A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents’ castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst… Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever.

Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the gregarious stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.

This is the story of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.


Disenchanted 
by Brianna Sugalski 
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: March 10th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Goodreads


With an education in Mass Communication—and an engrossment in all that is curios, conundrum, and bewitching—Brianna Sugalski is a writer and blogger for The Parliament House Press. Previously, she was a contributor for Lifestyle & Fashion online magazine, Sarah Scoop, and also served as Copy Editor and Editor-In-Chief at her school publications. All this time spent writing paid off; her New Adult/ Dark Fantasy novel, DISENCHANTED, was recently acquired for publication, and is slated for release in Spring of 2020.

Brianna was born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, but now travels every few years with her husband and two children. As the first writer in a family whose majority works in the medical field, she also feels an important calling to heal others as an artist—though she is content doing so through the often underestimated power of communication. She admires many luminaries of the Victorian Era; the romanticism of period literature has inspired her to paint vibrant settings of nature and narratives that readers will hopefully enjoy.
 
Ultimately, she aspires to make readers laugh, to challenge their perspectives and to help them discover the magical meaning of their own powers within.

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Disenchanted: Not Your Typical Fairy Tale Romance by Susan Carroll

Disenchanted: Not Your Typical Fairy Tale Romance

Title: Disenchanted

Author: Susan Carroll

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: March 7th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 303

POV: 1st person

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis: Goodreads:

An alluring love triangle and a daring caper unfold in this imaginative retelling of Cinderella, featuring an indomitable damsel who’s not so easily swept off her glass slippers.

At the tender age of seventeen, Ella Upton lost her innocence to a traveling minstrel, a youth with flaxen hair and a golden voice whose deep blue eyes concealed his true intentions—until it was too late. Seven years later, Ella’s stepsisters chatter about winning the affections of the dreamy Prince Florian at the royal ball, but Ella has no such illusions. Instead, her dashing best friend, Malcolm Hawkridge, persuades her with his reckless charm and wicked smile to use the occasion to steal back a magic orb from the corrupt king.

But before the clock strikes midnight, Ella finds herself pursued by more than one prince—not to mention Commander Horatio Crushington, who captures her with his piercing gaze from across the crowded ballroom. Dancing through the sudden swirl of suitors, Ella feels her cheeks burning—and not solely because of the orb hidden in her gown. Has the strapping Horatio awakened long-dormant desires or is Ella finally coming to grips with her feelings for Malcolm? Only the girl who thought she’d given up on love can decide.

My review:

Disenchanted is a fun twist on Cinderella. Take everything you know about Cinderella and forget it because Disenchanted doesn’t follow the fairy tale. What you get, instead, is a totally original story that incorporates parts of the fairy tale into the plot line.

I will admit, I laughed my butt off while reading this book. Ella was pure snark and I loved it. The way she dealt with her sister’s suitors, her stepsisters, her stepmother, her next-door neighbor, Mal, and even Prince Florian had me giggling. Even the situations she found herself in and her reactions to them made me laugh.

But, at the same time, I did feel bad for her. She had her heart-broken at 17 by a traveling bard named Harper. That same week, her father died and then she became the glue that held her family together. She made sure that they went without anything even if it meant sacrificing things that she might have wanted to do or have. Ella also had a great relationship with her stepmother and her two younger stepsisters…even though they drove her nuts.

Her friendship with Mal did kinda confuse me at times. It confused me because at the beginning, they were strictly friends and he was a shady apothecary. But, after the King announces the ball, he suddenly became interested in her in a romantic way? I actually reread the chapters that had him in to make sure I didn’t miss anything and reconfirmed the out of left field romantic angle. Which I didn’t. It didn’t bother me as much as it confused me.

What I did like about Ella’s friendship with Mal was that it was real and it was lasting. Which is why I think both Ella and myself were surprised when Mal asked her to steal the orb the night of the ball. When he told her that she wasn’t going because she couldn’t afford it, he got tickets for her, her stepmother and two stepsisters to go. Which kinda forced her into going and doing what he wanted.

I loved the romance between Ella and Horatio. There was no Instalove. Horatio and Ella got to know each other from seeing each other around the village. It was when he asked to come calling on her and continued to go after her even when she was rude, that the romance started. It was sweet to watch it unfold. I felt horrible for him when he admitted to Ella that he overheard her stepsister and stepmother commenting on him being a “foundling”. But, I do think that there is something else about his parentage that he doesn’t know about (read the book!!!)

Prince Charming (aka Prince Florian) in this book was not so charming. Well at least to Ella, he wasn’t. She didn’t like him and the more I read about him, I didn’t like him either. He came off as one of those extremely cocky jock types that think they are God’s gift to women. Plus, there is something off about him. How his brother reacted to him was not normal. And what is going on with the King? I thought it was very weird that he knew Ella’s mother and when he found out that she had her father’s eyes, he got all pissy and walked off.

I also loved the references to the original fairytale. Mal as the fairy godfather, the quip about the field mice hurting their paws if they were to sew a dress, the pumpkin carriages that are hazards and the best thing of all…..Ella refusing to wear the glass shoes because they hurt her feet. Loved it!!

The end of the book was perfect but it left me with more questions than anything. What was up with Ella’s father? Who was S? What about the young king, his wife and newborn son (before the present king took over) who were killed? The baby’s body was never found…so where is he? Why does the King create laws and fines about everything (the fainting one did crack me up, though)? Was he in love with Ella’s mother too? and so much more. Oh, so many questions that need to be answered. I do hope that there is a book 2!!

How many stars will I give Disenchanted: 4

Why: This was a very original and imaginative retelling of Cinderella. Normally I don’t like it when fairy tales are retold, something is always left out. Not here. This was a totally engrossing tale with characters that are unbelievably snarky and lovable at the same time. The references to the original fairy tale were woven into the story in such a way that you had to laugh.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Young Teen

Why: Some mild violence. Some kissing. Other than that, a very clean book.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**