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Blog Tour: Resurrection by Amy Carol Reeves

April 18th, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Kristie under Blog Tour Tags: Amy Carol Reeves, Historical Fiction, Resurrection, Ripper Series, Young Adult

Amy Carol ReevesPlease welcome author Amy Carol Reeves to Dark Faerie Tales! She recently released the final book in the Ripper Trilogy, Resurrection, on April 8, 2014 from Flux Publishing. Want to know our thoughts on this series? Read Bridget’s reviews for Ripper and Renegade by clicking on their titles. The review for Resurrection will follow this post.

Author Bio:

Amy Carol Reeves has a PhD in nineteenth-century British literature. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina where she works as an Assistant Professor of English at Columbia College and writes young adult books. When not teaching, writing, or spending time with her family, she likes jogging with her Labrador retriever, Annie, and daydreaming about Bront? novel hunks. Resurrection is her third novel.

You can visit Cassie around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Amy Carol Reeves?

Ripper Renegade Resurrection

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DFT: To start things off would you like to tell us about the Ripper series and what inspired you to write it?

Amy: I’ve always been fascinated with the Jack the Ripper story—specifically that it could happen during the seemingly well-behaved Victorian period. I got the idea to write a historical fiction book about it after going on Donald Rumbelow’s Jack the Ripper tour in London during graduate school.

DFT: I loved that Abbie was so independent and even though she could easily live a pampered life she decides instead to work at the hospital. Was it difficult to make Abbie a realistic character that was so different from the average rich girl in a time period where it was looked down upon for privileged women to work?

Amy: What helped me make her situation realistic was creating her unusual background in Ireland. Who knows? She might have turned out very differently if she had been raised by her Grandmother in Kensington. But I think the fact that her mother was independent and would naturally raise Abbie with her values, made her situation more believable. Furthermore, her mother had to make her living as a governess, so it wasn’t like Abbie was raised in a wealthy environment. It was quite a shock to her when after her mother’s death she was suddenly plunged into Lady Westfield’s world!

DFT: My favorite thing about the Ripper series is that it is set in London in the late 1800’s. This has always been one of my favorite settings for a book.  What is it about London that made you choose it as your setting?

Amy: London was the center of everything during the Victorian period. It had essentially replaced Paris at that point in history as a rising city. The Great Exhibition of 1851 was a big deal for the Victorians, showcasing for the world all of England’s treasures and achievements.  And yet, there was a “darker” side to Victorian London—I feel as if the display at the Great Exhibition of metal noses to mask the scarring of syphilis gestured to this.  During the Victorian period, there was a population explosion and rising poverty and prostitution particularly in East End London. Infant mortality and illness and were just a few of the problems plaguing this part of London.

DFT: I also really liked that you implemented historical facts into a work of fiction. Why did you decide to feature the famous story of Jack the Ripper in your book? And how difficult was it to combine the historical elements with the fictional elements?

Amy: Besides my own fascination with the Jack the Ripper story, it’s one of those topics that piques everyone’s interest. Like Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, the Jack the Ripper story is one piece of Victorian history/literature that most people are familiar with. Truthfully, it wasn’t that difficult to combine the historical facts surrounding the Jack the Ripper murders with my own fictional story. As much as possible, I tried to keep the timeline and facts surrounding the five canonical murders accurate and then I wrote my own story around it.

RipperRenegadeResurrection

DFT: William and Simon really couldn’t be more different, but Abbie cares deeply for both of them. What is it about each of them that she finds so appealing? Did you always envision them being such polar opposites?

Amy: Always. They were always supposed to be opposites. The love triangle is based on the love triangle between St. John Rivers, Rochester, and Jane in Jane Eyre. It’s one of my favorite love stories—where both men have different virtues (and flaws!) to offer her and yet she must choose. Simon is steady, rational, and disciplined, much more in control of his feelings than William. William is well…not in control of his emotions, but Abbie loves his raw honesty and his unpredictable personality.

DFT: What famous person do you picture when you think of Abbie? William? Simon?

Amy: Hmmm….that’s a difficult question. Truthfully, I could see Emma Watson as Abbie. I really struggle in my mind over who could play William and Simon in a movie version of Ripper.

DFT: Out of all the characters you created in the Ripper series, which one was your favorite? Which one was the most difficult to write?

Amy: Abbie is, of course, my favorite character. I like watching her develop from the stubborn girl trying to get her mother’s brooch back from the pickpocket in the opening scene of Ripper, to a more knowledgeable character facing the Ripper. In terms of the most difficult character to write, I had a hard time with the Ripper. He needed to be a dangerous murderer, and yet I wanted his character more complicated. I wanted the reader (and Abbie) to see how he became the murderer that he is in the trilogy. He has a long history, much of it interconnected with Abbie’s mother; this history is revealed in Resurrection and it deepens Abbie’s understanding of what drives him and why he is so obsessed with her.

DFT: If it’s possible without spoiling anything, what was your favorite scene to write in Resurrection?

Amy: I had many favorite scenes in this book, but I have to say, one of my favorite (and most difficult) scenes to write was Abbie’s final showdown with the Ripper. The previous books had been building up to this, so I wanted to write it well. Without giving away spoilers, I will say that I had tons of fun destroying Lady Westfield’ s lovely home during the scene.  :-)

DFT: This was the end of the Ripper series, so can you tell us about any other projects you may have in the works right now?

Amy: I’ll probably write another historical fiction. Right now, I’m doing a lot of research on different eras that I’m interested in. The reading and research is always fun!

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Resurrection

Available April 8, 2014 from Flux

About this Book:

When she catches Edmund Wyatt following her through the streets of London, Abbie Sharp learns that every British monarch for hundreds of years has known about—and financially supported—the Conclave. Furious that the monarchy would cooperate with such a nefarious group, Abbie refuses Wyatt’s request for help in catching the person who is blackmailing Queen Victoria with this secret information. But a far greater threat emerges when the Ripper, Max, returns and brings a string of new murders with him. Abbie must choose whether to help the Queen she now despises or stop Max from succeeding at his most diabolical plan yet—the creation of a whole new Conclave aimed at usurping the British throne.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Review: Resurrection by Amy Carol Reeves

April 17th, 2014 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Bridget under Review Tags: Amy Carol Reeves, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Resurrection, Review, Ripper Series, Young Adult

ResurrectionTitle: Resurrection

Author: Amy Carol Reeves

GenreYA Historical Fiction/Paranormal

Series: Ripper (Book #3)

Publication Date: April 8, 2014

Format: Paperback, 360 Pages

ISBN-10: 0738738778 (Flux)

ISBN-13: 978-0738738772 (Flux)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

When she catches Edmund Wyatt following her through the streets of London, Abbie Sharp learns that every British monarch for hundreds of years has known about—and financially supported—the Conclave. Furious that the monarchy would cooperate with such a nefarious group, Abbie refuses Wyatt’s request for help in catching the person who is blackmailing Queen Victoria with this secret information. But a far greater threat emerges when the Ripper, Max, returns and brings a string of new murders with him. Abbie must choose whether to help the Queen she now despises or stop Max from succeeding at his most diabolical plan yet—the creation of a whole new Conclave aimed at usurping the British throne.

Quick & Dirty: Fantastic ending to a stunning series. This was a wonderfully woven story filled with adventure, passion, and intrigue. I would highly recommend this series to fans of historical fiction or paranormal books!

Opening Sentence: By the time he stepped outdoors to escape the stifling billiard game conversation, young Lionel Millbrough the Third’s head swam from the three brandies he had unwisely consumed.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Abbie Sharp has survived the Conclave, a twisted group of immortal men that wanted to make her join them. Next was the Lamias, a dangerous creature that the Conclave created through their experiments that tried to kill Abbie. But she is about to face her most dangerous foe of all, the Ripper has returned to London and he has an undead army at his command. With a string of new brutal murders raging across the city it is up to Abbie to try and stop Max before he is able to overthrow the throne. She will have to put her dreams of going to medical school and eventually marrying her true love on hold because defeating Max once and for all is the most important thing right now. Abbie will stop at nothing to finally finish this, even if it means sacrificing her life or the lives of those she loves.

Abbie is a strong no nonsense type of heroine. Not only is she beautiful, she is also very smart and resourceful. She wants more than anything to become a doctor which isn’t the easiest thing to do in the time period she lives in. I really admired her strength and determination to fulfill her goals even though they are difficult. Throughout the books she has always stayed a constant character that was so easy to love and relate too. She is fiercely independent and at times I did feel that this was slightly overdone in her character. But I still loved her even though she wasn’t perfect. I loved being inside her head and I am sad to see her story end.

William is such a stubborn man. He spends a great portion of the book trying to recover from his injuries that he sustained during his imprisonment with the Lamia. Because of this he feels pretty useless and that makes him even moodier than normal. He doesn’t always think things through before he acts, which can be very dangerous at times. But when it comes to Abbie he will do anything for her and his devotion to her is remarkable. They don’t really seem like a likely couple since they are both so head strong but they have undeniable chemistry and their love is timeless. I really love William even though he can be frustrating at times, I think that he always means well.

Simon is such an all around great person. He is one of those people that you are better off for just knowing them. He is always there when you need him and someone that is constantly helping others. He cares deeply for Abbie and he respects her decisions even if he doesn’t agree with them. In so many ways he is the better choice for Abbie with his level head and mild demeanor, but they are lacking that burning chemistry Abbie has with William. Even still, I loved Simon and thought that he was just a great guy and his character was a very vital addition to the overall story.

Resurrection was a fantastic ending to an extraordinary series. It is infused with non-stop action, engaging characters, and epic romance. If you have read many of my reviews you know how much I adore books set in London in the 1800’s, so of course I loved that about this book. But Reeves’ adds her own personal twist to the setting that made the Ripper series unique. I love that she implemented parts of history into a work of fiction, it made the story feel much more realistic. The pacing of the book is spot on and pretty much from page one you are hooked. I also have to commend Reeves’ on delivering a wonderful ending. I have read so many books that are action packed like this one and it ends up leading to a very anti-climatic final showdown, luckily that is not the case in this story. I am sad to see this series end but I have become a huge fan of Reeves’ work and am looking forward seeing what she comes up with next. I would highly recommend this series to anyone that enjoys historical fiction with a paranormal twist.

Notable Scene:

I had fallen asleep in the chair in front of my desk, my anatomy book still open on my lap, an ink stain in the lap of my nightgown. The candle upon my desk had long since burned down. I squinted as my eyes adjusted to the darkness. According to the clock above my bedroom fire place, it was two o’clock in the morning.

I wondered if perhaps I had been dreaming. The house was now silent.

Rubbing my eyes, I returned the book to the desk, walked heavily to my bed.

Just as I slipped under my bedcovers a loud thump, as if someone had thrown a large sack of flour against my bedroom door, jolted me.

I leaped from the bed, laid my hand on the doorknob.

Silence.

I held my breath, swung the door open.

I screamed.

Ellen’s body tumbled into my room, her throat ripped out, as the back of her head hit my bedroom floor her lifeless eyes staring up at me.

Ripper Series:

1. Ripper

2. Renegade

3. Resurrection

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FTC Advisory: Flux provided me with a copy of Resurrection. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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March Book Haul Part Two

April 17th, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Bridget under Book Haul Tags: Altered, Bright Before Sunrise, Chloe Ryder, Courtney C. Stevens, Faking Normal, Gennifer Albin, J. Kenner, Knightley & Son, Monica Seles, Princess Ponies, Rohan Gavin, Roybn Schneider, The Academy: Love Match, The Beginning of Everything, Tiffany Schmidt, Wanted

I got a ton of books in the month of March so I ended up doing two book hauls and in this one I feature all the books I won. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel here so you don’t miss any videos.

Books that were featured:

    

  

Thanks to all these wonderful blogs and sites for holding the great giveaways I won:

Epic Reads

@BloomsburyUSKids/YA

@FierceReads

Meghann from Becoming Books

Autumn from The Autumn Review

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Review: Falling Light by Thea Harrison

April 16th, 2014 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Steph under Review Tags: Falling Light, Game of Shadows Series, Paranormal Romance, Review, Thea Harrison, Urban Fantasy

Falling LightTitle: Falling Light

Author: Thea Harrison

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Series: Game of Shadows (Book 2)

Publication Date: February 4, 2014

Format: Paperback, 289 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425255107 (Berkley/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0425255100 (Berkley/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

Having finally reunited, and fought off The Deceiver for now, Mary and Michael race up the Michigan peninsula to meet Astra before police forces catch up with them. But the closer they get, the less Mary is willing to trust a woman who by her own admission will do anything to finish The Deceiver – even if it means killing Michael and Mary to try again in another life. As they face their final battle unsure if they can trust either side, Michael’s loyalties are tested, making him vulnerable just when Mary needs him most.

Quick & Dirty: In this conclusion to the Game of Shadows duology, Michael and Mary are in a race against time, trying to reach Astra before the Deceiver catches up to them. Will they be able to make it in time?

Opening Sentence: When Michael killed the two unconscious men that lay sprawled in the overgrown grass, he did so with quick, efficient slashes across their carotid arteries.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

This book was probably more like 2.5 stars rather than 3, but I rounded up. As much as I love Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series, this Game of Shadows duology just does not do it for me, which is very disappointing. While the story moved at a good pace, I just could not bring myself to care about what was going on, which made it a very difficult read.

The book starts immediately where the first one left off, so it would definitely be helpful to read that book first. Michael and Mary are on the run, trying to find their way to Astra before the Deceiver catches up to them. This becomes tricky, as the Deceiver has framed them for a massacre he committed, and every cop and federal agent in the area is on their trail. As they continue to make their way towards Astra, they also continue reacquainting themselves with each other and trying to figure out exactly how you navigate a soulmate relationship when your base personalities (warrior vs. healer) are so different. Meanwhile, as he attempts to chase down Michael and Mary, the Deceiver is also doing his best to track down Astra, so he can take care of her once and for all and continue with his plans to take over the Presidency. Who will reach Astra first? Will Michael and Mary be able to win their fight against the Deceiver?

As is often the case with books that I have a hard time liking, one of my biggest problems has to do with the characters. I just could not form a connection with any of the three main “good guys.” I think, in the end, everyone came off feeling more like caricatures of a particular character type (e.g., strong hero who has a hard time expressing himself, wise old woman who tends to butt in where she’s not wanted) rather than characters with distinct personalities of their own. Mary seemed to move quickly from the woman who refused to believe what was going on in book one to all of a sudden having complete control over her alien healing abilities. A little bit of a learning curve would have been nice to see and would have made everything a bit more believable to me. On the positive character side, I really liked Nicholas, but he is by no means a main character and is only in a small number of scenes. If Harrison ever decides to write a story from his point of view, I would definitely be interested in reading it.

As I said before, the pace of the story is good. There’s never really a slow moment. While there are plenty of fight scenes, this book didn’t seem quite as dark as book one. It’s still not a light read, but there wasn’t as much blood and gore as was present in certain book one scenes. Overall though, the book didn’t quite work for me, which is very unfortunate. It won’t keep me from reading any of Harrison’s future stories though!

Notable Scene:

“There are things I can teach you, and things you need to help me do. We must not let the Deceiver keep the three of us from reuniting.”

“That’s what Michael says,” Mary said. She lifted her gaze. “We won’t stop again.”

“Good,” said Astra, sensing truth.

“I must go,” Mary said suddenly. “I meant to take only a little nap after I healed my shoulder. Michael’s still injured. He needs me.”

“Of course,” Astra stood. “It is so good to see you again, Mary. It has been far too long. I have missed you. Please come quickly.”

Mary stood as well. “We will. We are.”

Astra nodded and thrust gently out of the other woman’s dream, traveling back to the cool quiet well of her own mind.

I am not in control of her, Astra thought. And Mary does not show the absolute dedication to our cause that we all need, especially now when the Deceiver is so close at hand.

The realization was jarring. Astra had been confident of Michael for so many centuries. For lifetimes. His rage at the disappearance of his mate ran so deep. But now that he had found Mary, she was beginning to skew his motives.

They were starting to fight for survival, not for the Deceiver’s destruction.

Astra must be prepared to kill them both when they arrived.

Game of Shadows:

1. Rising Darkness

2. Falling Light

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FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of Falling Light. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: A Clockwork Heart by Liesel Schwarz

April 16th, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Candy under Review Tags: A Clockwork Heart, Liesel Schwarz, Review, Steampunk, The Chronicles of Light and Shadow

A Clockwork HeartTitle: A Clockwork Heart

AuthorLiesel Schwarz

Genre: Steampunk

Series: The Chronicles of Light and Shadow (Book 2)

Publication Date: August 13, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 0345545087 (Del Rey)

ISBN-13: 978-0345545084 (Del Rey)

Reviewed by: Candy

Synopsis:

FOR BETTER OR CURSE. That might as well have been the wedding vow of Elle Chance and her new husband, the ex-Warlock Hugh Marsh in the second book of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into storytelling magic.

As Elle devotes herself to her duties as the Oracle—who alone has the power to keep the dark designs of Shadow at bay—Marsh finds himself missing the excitement of his former life as a Warlock. So when Commissioner Willoughby of the London Metropolitan police seeks his help in solving a magical mystery, Marsh is only too happy to oblige. But in doing so, Marsh loses his heart . . . literally.

In place of the flesh-and-blood organ is a clockwork device—a device that makes Marsh a kind of zombie. Nor is he the only one. A plague of clockwork zombies is afflicting London, sowing panic and whispers of revolution. Now Elle must join forces with her husband’s old friend, the Nightwalker Loisa Beladodia, to track down Marsh’s heart and restore it to his chest before time runs out.

Quick & Dirty: While investigating some disappearances Marsh runs into some bad people who turn him over to an insane woman who removes his heart and replaces it with a clockwork heart. Now it is up to Elle and her friends and family to rescue Marsh and restore his heart to him before it is too late.

Opening Sentence: Not all fairy tales end with Happy Ever After.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Elle and Marsh are newly married and there are many new changes in their lives. Elle wants things to be like they were before she was married and Marsh wants her to stay home and tend him like a dutiful wife. This leads to them butting heads and Elle leaving on her airship without him. While she is gone Marsh gets bored and decided to take on a case involving people just disappearing. Unfortunately, Marsh is captured by those who are responsible and is in turn turned into a zombie like creature. They remove his heart and add a clockwork heart. When Elle returns she stops at nothing to find her husband and when she does she turns to those closest to her to return her husband into the man he was rather than the zombie she finds.

I did not enjoy this story in the beginning. This could partially be because this is the second book in the series and I didn’t read the first book, because of this I missed some important information and so I couldn’t relate to the characters at first. I also thought it was too slow and boring. Also, as a modern woman I couldn’t help but feel for Elle when her husband wanted her to give up her whole life, including her love of flying and stay at home and just make him happy. One of the hardest parts of this book for me was some of the vocabulary. I have not read many steampunk novels and the ones I have only touch on the actual terminology, such as blunderbuss which is actually a really old style of gun. This is only one example of something I needed to look up. That is not the case in this book. In this story they use many words that I had to look up to understand them. But I admit the story finally picked up and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen. Now I am hooked and I have to find out what happens with Elle and Marsh.

I did enjoy Elle. She is not like most women in her time period. While most women stay at home and keep house, Elle has her own airship company and flies her own ships. Also, you could tell that she was a good person. She is the Oracle, which is the keeper of the shadow lands. Many would use this power to their own advantage but Elle does not abuse her powers. Also, when her husband goes missing she will stop at nothing to get him back and whole again. She is kind and generous, even to complete strangers she has just met.  On the other hand I had a hard time liking Marsh. During the part when he is human I get the sense that he does love Elle deeply but that at the same time he wants to control her and wants to take her from her passions because they sometimes leave him out. I do have to say that in the end I liked the sacrifice he makes for her.

I recommend reading the first book before reading this one. I honestly think it would have helped me enjoy this book more if I had read the first one. That being said this book is good for those who truly enjoy a good steampunk story.

Notable Scene:

His body went limp; all that made this man was extinguished.

Gently she rolled him onto his back. His handsome face was pale but relaxed, as if he were asleep. The only detectable sign of life was the gentle rise and fall of his chest.

“Hush now, my dearest. It will all soon be over,” she murmured against his cheek.

“Emilian!” She called.

He was in the room within moments, as if he had been waiting just outside the door.

“Help me get him onto the table,” she said.

The Chronicles of Light and Shadow:

1. A Conspiracy of Alchemists

2. A Clockwork Heart

3. Sky Pirates

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FTC Advisory: Del Rey/Random House provided me with a copy of A Clockwork Heart. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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