Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Blog Tour: Secrets of Isoria by Cristina Macari


Ya'll, I'm excited to participate in my very first creative blog tour! This tour is for Secrets of Isoria by Cristina Macari, and is hosted by MTMC Tours. Set in an elite academy for sorcerers filled with magic, romance, betrayals and some serious twists and turns. Secrets of Isoria is the first installment in the YA Contemporary Fantasy series published on December 13th 2021.

About the book:

Title: Secrets of Isoria
Author: Cristina Macari

Series: Secrets of Isoria #1
Publication Date: December 13th, 2021
Genres: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Format: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover
Purchase a copy: Amazon | Book Depository |
Barnes &Noble | Indiebound | Blackwell's

Add on Goodreads!


Sixteen-year-old Orion Candor has always felt like an outsider. Concealing her weird, unexplained abilities hasn't been easy, and a near-death experience turns her world upside down. She learns she has elemental powers and must train at an elite academy in Isoria, a hidden country for sorcerers. But dark forces begin to test Orion in ways she couldn’t have imagined.

Fear and treachery haunt Isoria's streets as the country’s most malicious sorcerer, Cyril Obsidian, craves domination. But Orion discovers her late grandmother hid clues leading to a relic that can turn the tide of evil. Determined to solve the mysteries of her past, Orion finds herself on the run from Cyril and entangled in a spy ring with questionable motives—the same spy ring her grandmother once belonged to.

In a world that thrives on deception, Orion must choose her allies carefully. One wrong move and she could lose Isoria’s last chance at freedom—along with her life.


I really enjoyed this book you guys. If you enjoy fantasy, magic school type books definitely check this out. The world building was gradual, as the MC was basically as much in the dark as you are when we start this story. We learn as she does what Isoria is and her place in it. It's a little bit of who dunnit, a little bit of who's actually the bad guy, and the good guy that will just kind of keep you guessing. 

This definitely feels like a YA book, as Orion is just sixteen. She is coping with so much for being such a young main character. Her closest allies are Rae, Julian and Alec...along with Banden who took her in while her mother had to be away.  She deals with lots of trust issues as EVERYONE seems to know things she doesn't, and even her mother kept her in the dark about her having powers.

We have a spy ring, a heist, political intrigue, a mystery all wrapped up in one book. 


For my part of this creative blog tour, I pushed my graphics skills a bit and worked on a book mark for you guys! It has one of my favorite quotes in this story. I had so much fun making it while learning a new thing. Click on the image to download the free PDF, be sure to print it out on cardstock paper! Let me know what you think! 

INTL Tour-wide Instagram Giveaway!

Head over to my Instagram account to enter the tour giveaway where three lucky readers will win a physical copy of Secrets of Isoria!

Ends on December 24th, 2022. Winner will be announced on @mtmctours’ Instagram account.


Tour Schedule:

December 12

@paperfury - Bookstagram; Book Blog

@dreaminginpages - Bookstagram

December 13

@bookspired - Bookstagram; BookTok

@monikasbookblog - Bookstagram

December 14

@thereaderandthechef - Bookstagram; Book Blog

@itbeganwiththestars - Bookstagram; BookTok

December 15

@gwendalyn_books_ - Bookstagram; Book Blog

@bookishqueenreads - Bookstagram

December 16

@amordeluna0 - Bookstagram; BookTok - Bookstagram

December 17

@afaerytalee - Bookstagram; BookTok

@myrelationshipwith - Bookstagram

December 18

@dovireads - Bookstagram; BookTok

@purely_bookish - Bookstagram

December 19

@pavlinamich - Bookstagram; Book Blog

@mels_booksandhooks - Bookstagram

December 20

@rozanne_visagie - Bookstagram; BookTok

@dbookishprincess - Bookstagram

December 21

@heathen_booker - Bookstagram; Book Blog

@mulberryreads - Bookstagram

About Cristina Macari:

Cristina Macari is the author of the young adult contemporary fantasy series, Secrets of Isoria. She grew up in New Jersey and is the proud child of Italian immigrants. She holds a B.S. in History and double minored in Creative Writing and INternational Business at the Ramapo College of New Jersey. She has always loved the idea of magic hiding in our modern world and gets lost in creating in-depth worlds filled with secrets and danger. She hopes that she can help readers escape the everyday with her writing while entertaining and finding themselves and those they care about in her books. Just like her character, she hopes readers will discover they too have a place in this world. When she’s not writing or reading, she can be found horseback riding, spending time in nature, gaming, weightlifting, doing yoga, or playing piano.

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The Forbidden Realms by H.C. Newell


An immersive continuation of the Fallen Light Series

If you haven't read the first book, stop and hop over to the review for Curse of the Fallen.


Nerana is a sorceress. An exile. The Child of Skye.
And she isn't alone.

After a vicious attack against the Order of Saro, Nerana finds herself lost in the wastelands of Aragoth. Forbidden of humans or evae, the desert is a land teeming with fire and vengeance, and Nerana's only hope for survival lies in the trust of another.

AĆ©lla, a powerful evaesh sorceress, travels the desert on a pilgrimage of sacrifice and strength. Determined to enter the Realms of elements and see her quest completed, she must survive the hardened warriors of the desert, the vaxros, who banished her kind for their land centuries ago.

But the vaxros aren't the only threat, and the weight of such imbalance could shift the fate of the world.


I had a bit of a book hangover after reading this one.  In the best of ways. I love the world, and how immersive and complex it is. The characters and their development are also deeply complex, but don't let this intimidate you. Just dive in. 

We are still following Neer's story, and we have some new characters that were talked about in book 1 but we never met. Like I had hoped, we get to hear more about Avelloch's sister in this book.

Neer teams up with Aella, and we meet some new characters Y'ven, Dru, and Thallon.  These are all such unique, multidementional characters, and I love how they all come together to form this group. HC Newell writes her characters like real people with a history, triggers, and their own coping mechanisms. I think this is why I get so pulled in. There's so much thought in this entire series. I'm here for it.

 If you enjoyed GoT, LOTR, ACOTAR you will love this series. 

The Forbidden Realms is available on Amazon and is also on KU!

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Monday, December 12, 2022

The Killings Begin by Bradley Pay

  Please enjoy this debut contributor post by Lissa, and be sure to check out their instagram page  to follow this amazing aspiring author and reviewer!

Immerse yourself in a complex romance and suspenseful serial-killer psychology that break all expectations. The Spectrum Series is one of the most creative takes on storytelling in the last century, weaving toegether innovative plots and completely unforgettable characters!


When Gia escapes her arranged marriage, she enteres into a contract with three complicated men in Madrid. She'll pretend to be their "no strings" wife, whether they want to display her in public or lead her to the bedroom. They are bound to secrecy, and no one is allowed to fall in love.

Tracey is destine to tear Gia's life to shreds. As he tries to cope with his abandonment trauma, he loses control. Now a serieal killer, he flees to Europe, hoping a change of venue will quell his murderous desires. Can he heal his past, or will his anger and pain enslave him forever?


The Killings Begin is a dual plotline novel. One plotline follows Gia as she flees an arranged marriage and enters into an unconventional relationship with three men in Madrid, Spain. The other follows Tracey, a respected judge in Raleigh, as he struggles to keep his serial killer lifestyle separate from his “normal” lifestyle. Gia and Tracey’s worlds collide when they meet on a Spectrum cruise. What happens on that cruise will forever shape Gia and Tracey’s life.
I liked Gia. She had a great outlook on life, and she cherished her friendships. My only issue is that she didn’t end her contract with Sal sooner. I understood why she didn’t do it (loving an addict is hard), but in the end, she was forced to. I also loved how supportive she was of her friends. Overall, she was a lovely person. 

I thought Tracey was a fascinating character and wished the authors dedicated more book time to him. I was fascinated by how he turned into a serial killer and his reasons. That scene with his mother explained everything. He was remorseful and horrified at what he was doing, and escaping to Europe was supposed to be a reset for him. I knew that it wouldn’t be and was eager to see when he would get triggered into killing. What I wasn’t expecting was who it was.

The thriller angle of the book was well written. The authors did a good job keeping me guessing at what was going to happen next with both Gia and Tracey.

The Killings Begin is available on Amazon and Book Shop.

Contirbuting Reviewer:

My name is Lissa I am a wife, mom aspiring author and new Florida transplant who loves all things books and coffee! Self proclaimed nerd who refuses to stop believing in Fairytales! If you want to follow along on my book review journey you can follow me on Instagram at @reviewsonwheels.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Rise of a Dark Throne by Ligia N. Cushman

A Dark Fantasy, Enemies to Lovers with lots of Spice


When Sole awakens from the darkness, a terrifying plague that killed her family, she is left with the one thing she never wanted, Magick. She soon discovers that this rare power, thought to be long lost, has the ability to save her world. The tyrant King of Sundom summons her to serve his own purpose, setting her on an incredibly perilous journey. Sole soon finds herself navigating a dark web of politics, alluring power, desire, and great evil.

Rivian Alacor had his life all planned out. As the high-born second prince of Sundom, he could never be heir to the throne. Instead, he would lead the Sundom Guards, and when his brother became King, he would be part of his high council. Rivian would secure alliances by being mated to Selah Grado, the fairest and fiercest woman in Sundom. But, when his cruel father becomes infected with the Darkness, Rivian is sent on a journey to retrieve the first mage in generations. Meeting Sole changed everything.

Will they be the future of Transea, or will they burn it all down?


What a whirlwind! This was a unique story, with a immersive world. The world building was done in a semi-gradual way with only minor info dumping.  I love love love the world discriptions, the beautiful sea, the otherwordly surroundings...I want to live there.

Sole was tough, and she met difficulties with an impossible strength.  She was often unyeilding...and I was here for it. Except for when she wasn't and then I was confused. She had such a tough spine while on the ship, but then when she was in front of the king she seemed to cave a bit. She was purposefully slighted, and I thought she was going to kill them all...but then she didn't. 

The romance was also hit or miss for me. Other then being physically attracted to each other and having to share close quarteres (on a ship), I didn't see how they really connected other than them both being second children of their parents. I also would have liked to hear more about the differences in the cultures, and I'm hoping book two further develops both the romance and the setting.  Overall I enjoyed the book, and I'm looking forward to book two. 

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford

Outsiders are always given a choice: the Forest or the lake.

 Either way, they’re never heard from again.


Leelo has spent her entire life on Endla, coexisting with the bloodthirsty Forest and respecting the poisonous lake that protects her island from outsiders who seek to destroy it. But as much as Leelo cares for her community, she struggles to accept that her younger brother will be exiled by his next birthday, unless he gains the magic of enchanted song so vital to Endla.

When Leelo sees a young outsider on the verge of drowning in the lake, she knows exactly what she’s supposed to do. But in a moment that will change everything, Leelo betrays her family, her best friend, and Endla by making an unthinkable choice.

Discovery could lead to devastating consequences for both Leelo and the outsider, Jaren, but as they grow closer, Leelo realizes that not all danger comes from beyond the lake—and they can only survive if Leelo is willing to question the very fabric of her society, her people, and herself.



Things that grab my attention...when the antagonist is an ancient forest that requires blood to survive. This book was not what I expected.

The atmosphere of Endla is almost like religious zealotry when it comes to their thoughts and feelings of the Wandering Forest. Protect the forest, and the forest will protect them is what they believe. For some, the sacrifices they make to live the life they are used to becomes too much.  Leelo's emotional struggle was so raw when her brother is sent across the poisonous lake to the mainland because he doesn't have magic. Then followed by moral decision when she finds an outsider on the island shortly after.  Does she do what she's been taught to do, and kill him, or does she listen to her heart and help him survive? What I don't think she expects, is the very sweet, and slow way both her and Jaren fall for each other. 

If you're looking for a sweet, emotional fantasy read with a clean slow burn romance be sure to add this one to your list! 

The Poison Season is available on Amazon and Bookshop beginning December 6th!

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Flip the Script by Callie Crown


  Please enjoy this guest post by Callie Crown, and be sure to check out her personal links to follow this amazing aspiring author!

Flip the Script by Callie Crown

Do you have a book or series you just adore? Perhaps, you enjoy the author’s style of writing. Perhaps, it's the way they tell a story. Perhaps, it’s the stories they tell. Do you think you’d notice if one day that author’s style started to change? 

I want to be completely honest with you dear reader. I love to read series, I typically can’t put them down. A few years ago I was gifted The Secret Circle by L.J Smith, and I finally got around to reading it. The book follows a young teenager, Cassie Blake, through her adventures of moving to a new town and finding out she was a witch. The series is made up of a total of six books. Three of these books were written in 1992 by L.J. Smith, and three were written in 2012 under the name L.J. Smith using a ghostwriter. 

You may be looking at the author’s name wondering, “where else do I know her from?” L.J. Smith wrote the now-famous, Vampire Diaries series. Well, she started the series at least. L.J. Smith has been vocal about her contract with her publisher noting that she was young and naive so she didn’t realize she was selling the rights to her stories and her pen name. This leads me to ghostwriting, unsolicited by the author. 

I have never read the Vampire Diaries but as I stated before, I am reading The Secret Circle. I loved the first three books, they were an easy read with a reader-pleasing storyline. It made sense that the books ended where they did, left for open-ended interpretation. However, I was horrified when I picked up the fourth book in the series. The characters felt toyed with. They weren’t important to this new author, nor was the prior storyline. The ghostwriter got simple details wrong (possibly on purpose). The previous novels talked about how powerful witches Cassie and her friends were only to make them quiver in fear in the next three novels at problems they had already faced fearlessly.

So, I want to pose a question to you, how would you feel if another author took over your favorite book series without input from the current author? In this case, I believe it was not worth the continuation of the series. It felt as though the new author was writing fan fiction, and not the good kind. I was very bummed reading these books since I felt they frankly took a big dump on the originals. Spoiler Alert, the ghostwriter quite literally killed the old characters just to replace them with her own. I understand some characters may be killed off in a series, but this just felt cruel since there was a clear lack of respect for the 1992 story. I will say this isn’t always the case with ghostwriters, but I feel the original author should have some input with their beloved characters. 

Callie Crown is an aspiring author who is looking to have her first book published by the end of 2023. You can find out more about her and her upcoming book as well as other publications on her website, You can follow Callie’s writing journey on her instagram @calliecrown_author where she provides tips to other aspiring novelists.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Where Oceans Burn by Casey Bond



With these three virtues, we shall rise. With these three, we shall conquer.

Truth. Honor. Blood.

To my people, the sky-reigning Empyreans, Intention Day is sacred…

To me, it’s the day my carefully crafted lie crumbles and my truth gives way to my ruin. The intense power surging through my veins is revealed, immediately coveted by those eager to exploit me for what they deem a greater good. If they have their way, the future I long for will be ripped away. But I am a warrior born to fly. To fight. Not to be caged and controlled.

The great scale of the goddess Neera has tipped out of my favor. The pans teeter between weighty punishment and deadly opportunity. My choices? Capture my most formidable enemy before next Intention Day, or forfeit my wings.

But life’s loftiest plans are often a breath away from disaster, and tragedy strikes as unpredictably as a bolt of lightning. When I find myself at the mercy of my greatest enemy, the terror known as the Shark of the Sea, the monster who killed the person I loved most, I accept my fate. My death. But the Shark does not lash out in revenge for all I’ve done. He tells me his true name is Crest. And while he calls me a Scourge, he honors his orders to guard me.

Forced together, Crest reveals that the truth only exists in the place between our perspectives and shares his hope to garner peace before the land is further soaked with the blood of sky and sea. The longer I am among his kind, the more I wonder if he might be right. Could an alliance be the salvation of both our peoples?

I am Elira, great Scourge of the Sky.
He is Crest, cunning Shark of the Sea.
Together… we could be unstoppable.


This was my first Casey Bond experience, and it won't be my last.  She joins my very short list of authors who are on my now insta-buy list.  First of all, I read this as an e-book and it might possibly be the most beautiful e-book I've ever read. I can't wait to see how gorgeous the physical book is.

The world building is deep and immersive with out feeling like an info dump. Things are gently laid out as we go, and we learn how complicated Elira's world is, with political games, and intrigues that mean life and death to those within the city. Those with power want to keep it, and no one wants to join the ranks of the clipped.

I loved Elira. I cried with her EVERY. TIME. I shared her grief, her frustration, and her successes.  I don't know how Casey Bond did it, but her enemies were my enemies, friends were my friends, and I couldn't set this book down until I finished it. Such a contrast in cultures between the Elyreans and Kehlani's add to the depth of the vivid storytelling. 

The romance in this story was the slowest of slow burns.  Usually I'm not a fan of enemies to lovers, but this was done so well that now I'm wondering if I have a new favorite.  Crest and Elira have much to overcome, and their cultural differences make the development of their relationship difficult. Even what it means to be someone's partner is completely different in each culture. They have a lot to learn about each other, and each other's cultures to make that connection and to hopefully bring peace to their two warring societies.

If you like fantasy romances, with slow burn, enemies to lovers tropes then you would really enjoy this book. Prepare yourself for the book hangover. It's all well worth it.

Where the Ocean Burns is available on Amazon and Bookshop.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book on my own, and freely wrote this review.  There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Monday, November 14, 2022

Beyond the Filigree Wall by Melissa Wright


A clean, slow burn, enemies to lovers YA Romantasy


Antonetta Ostwind is about to get everything she’s ever wanted. If all goes to plan, she’ll end the fae, steal back what was stolen, and win the post she’s dreamed of since she was a girl.

There’s just one problem. His name is Gideon Alexander.

Gideon holds the key to her coveted post. He’s fantastic with a sword, looks amazing in uniform, and commands even the adoration of his great, beastly dog. He’s living the life Etta needs.

Gideon doesn’t believe Etta should have any of it. In fact, he’s planning to make sure she never does. And that’s a real problem, because if Etta can’t take her post as marshal, how can she have her vengeance and save the kingdom from the prince of the fae?

Slip into clean, slow-burn romance with a properly stabby heroine and the low commitment of a standalone series in this light regency fantasy romp for fans of Enchantment of Ravens and Little Thieves.


So much I didn't see coming in this book.  Including how I was suddenly almost finished with it with out realizing it. It's not often I inhale a book in a day. The storytelling was immersive and vibrant, and I was able to picture what was going on easily. I really loved Etta, and felt like I could relate to her. She was independent, and rash, but she also grew in the story. Gideon I didn't like at the beginning.  He was stuffy, a stickler to rules, but as the story was laid out it made sense he was the way he was, and I loved how he softened towards Etta. Going to be honest, I'm not usually a fan of enemies to lovers, mostly because many are written in a toxic way...and this one refreshingly was done beautifully.

When Etta returned from being a way, I wondered if she was acting like the spoiled child of a monarch. Her father had sent her away for training to become marshal, learning sword fighting and other tools that would make her a good leader of the kingdom's law enforcement. There may have been a bit of spoiledness to her, dispite the hardships she had in life, but the fae prince's curse and having to learn how to overcome that pushed her to become even more resourceful.

If you're looking for a great coming of age fantasy story, with a very light side of clean romance be sure to add this to your shopping list.  

Beyond the Filigree Wall will be available on Amazon beginning December 6th.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Lost Long by Rochelle Wilcox



The Norse God of Love Freyr doesn't want to drag Lia into the strange world of Gods and giants hidden in humanity’s midst. But after Lia witnesses the impossible in the sky above her on a dark Los Angeles morning, he has no choice. Hoping to save her life from members of his family determined to end it, Freyr takes Lia to the other side of the world, into the realm of dragons and monsters far below, and finally to the mythical land of Asgard. Along the way, as Freyr discovers a love he couldn't have anticipated and didn't want, he must decide how far he will go to protect Lia from the fight that his brothers started, and he will end.


Two things that really made me want to read this book.  First was that GORGEOUS cover, and secondly I'm such a geek for Norse mythology. I really enjoyed how the author tied in lots of details from these old stories, bringing in characters that many might not of heard of, like Hnossa, Magni, and many more.

The world building is gentle, and we slowly learn why Freyr and Freya have had a falling out with the Aesir. There is an exciting journey to get to Asgard to seek an audience with Odin.  This could have easily become a TV show, with all the trouble this group managed to get into. The book does leave you on a bit of a cliffhanger, but no two and three are already available.

If you're looking for an exciting, action packed read, with just a touch of romance you should get this book.

Lost Long is available on Amazon!

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Raven Unveiled by Grace Draven


Congratulations to Grace Draven on the release of Raven Unveiled! 

I can't wait to dig into this book! Here's a snippet. 

Gharek held a small lamp aloft to illuminate the path ahead. He didn't worry that the fragile light might be seen in the distance and alert someone. His mount's hooves crushing sticks and brittle deadfall would accomplish the task long before the light did.

The music of insects and bird calls had been loud just before he crossed the tree line, a cacophony of whistles, rustles, and chirps. Those sounds died away the closer he rode to the ruins of the dead city until the silence itself held its breath and only the gloom shrouding the trees breathed. His amiable mare stopped suddenly then pranced backward, tossing her head and snorting. Gharek tapped his heels against her sides to coax her forward. She'd have none of it, fighting the bit in her mouth as she pivoted on her hooves to trot back the way they'd come.

Gharek reined her to a halt, considering whether it was wise to continue his scouting in another direction or make camp nearby and wait until morning to resume his hunt. He'd lose time with camping but trying to find anyone in this darkness while riding a spooked horse was an exercise in futility. Besides, he could make up the time in daylight. Siora was on foot, he on horseback.

He'd cover far more ground in less time than she would, and the chance she'd outrun him if he spotted her was nonexistent. He guided the mare to retrace her steps, and this time she readily obeyed the command, eager to put distance between them and the city that squatted like a pustule on the landscape. But she'd taken no more than a pair of steps when something wrapped icy fingers around Gharek's spine and wrenched him backward. He flew off the saddle as if lassoed from behind and landed on his back. The ground beneath him vibrated from the beat of his mare's hooves as she bolted past him into the labyrinth of trees.

He lay there for a moment, stunned and winded. The ice shard wedged against his backbone remained, though whatever had ripped him from horseback didn't press him into the dirt. A few more breaths and he lurched to his feet, unsettled by his unusual clumsiness, alarmed by the violence of an invisible force that had so thoroughly unhorsed him. There'd been no trip rope to clothesline him, nor had he been riding fast when he fell. The lamp he held had fallen when he did, lost somewhere in the underbrush when its flickering light had guttered. Darkness hungthick enough to scoop with a spoon.

His muttered curses sounded loud to his ears as he peered into the sepulchral black, hoping he might spot the mare standing nearby or at least find a partially cleared path that led back to open pasture. He took a step only to suffer a hard clamp on his backbone, as if the icicle there had suddenly transformed into a shackle locked around his middle. Invisible tethers seized his arms and legs and he was jerked to one side and then the other as if by a drunken puppeteer with their hands on the strings.

Gharek staggered, struggling to keep his feet, struggling to free himself from the bonds that held him in an unbreakable grip that both dragged and yanked him in the direction of Midrigar's walls. He careened through the dark, along a jagged path that propelled him into tree trunks before spinning him away to tear through the underbrush. He tried planting his feet in the dirt to no avail, his boots carving skid marks as he was pulled along like a cur on a leash. His palms left bloody smears on the bark of those trees he tried to grip for purchase and was wrenched away with little effort.

The iciness slithering down his spine spread in creeper tendrils throughout his body, wrapping around his lungs and heart, his liver, even his tongue so that his curses and snarls slowly ebbed away and his struggles waned. Speaking was an impossibility, breathing a challenge, and he was reduced to nothing more than a grunting, shambling mute driven inexorably toward an ancient city of the damned and a fate he could not know but feared with every part of his soul.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Raven Unveiled!!

You can purchase Raven Unveiled on Amazon and Bookshop.

Excerpted from Raven Unveiled by Grace Draven Copyright © 2022 by Grace Draven.

Excerpted by permission of Ace. All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

The Dark of Letum by Julianne Kelsch

Book one of the Countess of Letum series.



Her world has fallen to the Master of darkness, the souls of men consumed by death. Now, death wants her.

It began with rumors whispered in secret and carried on the wind. The whispers spread, gaining power, until they became desolate houses with dark, wide-eyed windows and doors hanging agape, bewildered at their sudden emptiness.

The rumors grew. The villages bled. The darkness spread.
Then, it was too late.

The night she realized her life was over was the night her mother died at the hands of a monster. One look at him and Kyra knew: this was the demon that fueled nightmares.

Years later she’s trained, she’s skilled, and she’s ready to fight.
She finds other refugees like herself. She forms partnerships and joins alliances. Some will betray her. Others, defend her. All of them have their own goal – to bring about the world they desire.

But the darkness has its own agenda, and humanity has already fallen.

Death secures the bait and sets the trap. When Kyra finds herself ensnared by its grasping claws, can she stand against the darkness that destroyed humanity or will she succumb to the destruction of her soul?



I thought there was a really good story to tell here, but the way the story was laid out for me made it very difficult to follow. The mulitude of short chapters that went back and forth in time were very jarring. I had a hard time settling into this story because the narrative felt like it was constantly getting interrupted.  This book wasn't very long but it felt like I took me forever to get through it because of these interruptions. 

I also felt like the characters were very superficial. I was never able to feel any connection with them, or their relationships to each other. This book felt like a list of events, instead of immersive story-telling. This is the first book in a series, so I'm hoping this book's purpose was to lay out a plot for further books ahead.  

If you're looking for a dark fantasy read, that keeps you on the edge you might enjoy this book!

The Dark of Letum is available on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!