Review – The Cracked Amulet by R.B. Watkinson

The Cracked Amulet (Wefan Weaves #1)Wefan is leaking from the world, and the blood-priests of the oppressive god Murak rise again to bring war to the lands of Dumnon. They search for those with Wealdan in their blood, for this gives them power. Power to twist, to alter and control, and ultimately to gain yet more power. In horrifying blood-rites practised on both humans and creatures, they gorge on the blood of innocents, destroying farms and families, conquering swathes of territory and gaining new followers. But not all Wealdan-infused blood carries the same intoxicating fuel. The blood-priests seek one above all others.

Against a background of failing states, magik and spirits, Coryn and Katleya lose all that they have and must flee all that they know. Coryn, protected by a cracked amulet, must find his sister and fulfill an oath. Katleya has only her wits and her knives to defend herself. Desperate to reach a haven where she can learn to use her power fully, Katleya uses her Wealdan to do little other than see the Wefan. But she is hunted by those who would use her for terrible purposes of their own.

A story as intricate and as powerful as any Weaving of the Wefan.

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The Temple of Indra’s Jewel by Rachel Stapleton – Review and Giveaway (ENDED)

The Temple of Indra's JewelSophia Marcil awakens from a snorkeling accident in the Lerins Islands to find herself in the chambers-and the body-of a nineteenth-century princess. In a confused state and with no idea of her whereabouts, Sophia embarks on a desperate quest for answers, hoping she can find her way back to her fiance, Nick, and her true identity.

After she finds a diary in an antique desk, Sophia follows a clue that leads her to a questionable alchemist, who relays the history and magic of the mysterious amethyst she inherited from her great-grandmother-the only possession that made the leap through time with her and perhaps the only thing that can prevent her from becoming a pawn in a murderous plot for the throne.

Using her inheritance, Sophia races through time to the twenty-first century to solve the mystery of her family’s past. But once she is there, she unearths a dire warning about a curse that clings to her heirloom, leading her down a dangerous path involving two men from different times and ultimately puts her life at risk.

In this tale of obsession, greed and passion, a woman on a journey through time struggles to regain a family heirloom and control its magic, hoping to break the curse before it breaks her.

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A Star-Reckoner’s Lot by Darrell Drake

A Star-Reckoner's Lot For some, loss merely deprives. For others, it consumes.

Ashtadukht is a star-reckoner. The worst there’s ever been. Witness her treacherous journey through Iranian legends and ancient history.

Only a brave few storytellers still relate cautionary glimpses into the life of Ashtadukht, a woman who commanded the might of the constellations—if only just, and often unpredictably. They’ll stir the imagination with tales of her path to retribution. How, fraught with bereavement and a dogged illness, she criss-crossed Sassanian Iran in pursuit of creatures now believed mythical. Then, in hushed tones, what she wrought on that path.

 

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Interview with Charles Blanchard, Author of Kingdom’s End

Kingdom's End I’m pleased to welcome Charles Blanchard, author of Kingdom’s End to The Book’s the Thing. He has written an adventure story where the main characters are rodents. Being a big fan of  the Redwall series, I was intrigued. I hope to get a chance to read and review this one for you at some point. In the meantime, Charles has agreed to an interview to give us a little more info.

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Audiobook Review – Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan

Julia Vanishes by Catherine EganWitch’s Child #1
Read by Erin Spencer and Will Damron

Julia Vanishes Julia has the unusual ability to be . . . unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people’s senses.

It’s a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it’s a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned–crime pays.

She’s being paid very well indeed to infiltrate the grand house of Mrs. Och and report back on the odd characters who live there and the suspicous dealings that take place behind locked doors.

But what Julia discovers shakes her to the core. She certainly never imagined that the traitor in the house would turn out to be . . . her.

Genre: YA / Urban Fantasy / Steampunk-ish
Story Rating: **** (4 stars)
Narration Rating: *** (3 stars)

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Cover Reveal – Steel Magic by J.L. Gribble

Title: Steel Magic
Series: Steel Empires Book 2
Author: J.L. Gribble
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Alternate History
Release Date: July 6, 2016

Pre-order Link: http://amzn.to/1Rc17n2

Synopsis:

Funerals are usually the end of the story, not the beginning.

Newly graduated warrior-mages Toria Connor and Kane Nalamas find themselves the last remaining mages in the city when a mage school teacher mysteriously falls ill and dies. But taking over the school themselves isn’t in the cards. They’re set to become professional mercenaries-if they make it through the next 18 months as journeymen first.

The debate over whether to hunt mutated monsters in the Wasteland or take posh bodyguard jobs is put on hold when a city elder hires them to solve the mystery of the disappearing mages. Toria and Kane’s quest brings them to the British colonial city of New Angouleme, where their initial investigation reveals that the problem is even greater than they feared.

But when a friend is kidnapped, they’ll have to travel to the other side of the globe to save her, save themselves, and save magic itself.

_Steel Magic-Jacket.indd

About the Cover Artist:

Bradley Sharp was born in 1977 in Oxfordshire, UK. From a young age he filled many sketch books, so it only made sense to study Graphic Communication at Nene University, where he received a BA Honors degree in 1997.

But the real world called Sharp away from academics, so he traveled around the globe a couple of times, working as a graphic designer. Now he makes a living by designing magazine spreads, but freelances with vector illustrations, allowing him to create something far-removed from what he does in his nine-to-five job.

Sharp finds vector to be an easy tool and believes anyone can use it. “I’d say my artwork is nothing more than glorified doodling. I like the logical inconsistencies of surrealism and find inspiration from many places such as music or the science fiction genre. Dog Star’s novels lend themselves well to my style. I look forward to working with DSB in the future, and hope fans will like the imagery as much as they enjoy the words.” Find Sharp’s work online at http://www.bradsharp.co.uk.

About the Author:

Gribble photo color

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. She is currently working on the Steel Empires series for Dog Star Books, the science-fiction/adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press. Previously, she was an editor for the Far Worlds anthology.

Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where her debut novel Steel Victory was her thesis for the program.

She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits).