Returning

Due to a complicated mess of a life, I haven’t had much time to respond to emails or post reviews.  I haven’t even had a stable living address for the past 6 months, so I’m happy that on August 1st I’ll finally have a place to send my mail.  I’m heartbroken to say that some of my most precious books have not survived the various moves, although I’ve managed to preserve the majority of my bookmark collection in a safe place in my car.  In fact, my entire trunk is loaded with books right now.

I’m sorry that I’ve been out of touch with everyone.  I miss reviewing terribly and I’ll respond in time to various emails from authors/publishers that have offered books that I’d be interested in reviewing.  I also have reviews on paper that I need to put online, but, alas, I don’t have internet until my apartment is set up.

I’ll clean up some spam messages today.  I apologies that so many have managed to get through the website spam filter.

Lizzy

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Roadblock

As many roadblocks that I keep hitting, it almost seems like continuing this blog is not meant to be.  I don’t want to quit reviewing.  I’m just finding it very difficult to keep going.  Here’s just the latest crazy thing to happen in my life…

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Over the weekend, I got a terrible toothache.  My daily intolerance (and subsequently calcium deficiency growing up) has made me very susceptible to teeth problems, so this came at no surprise to me.  What did shock me was that my face swelled up horribly.  The sharp, shooting pains of a toothache didn’t scare me as much as being unrecognizable to my own mother.  Needlesstosay, I went to the dentist and had two teeth pulled (abscess was above them).  They said that the antibiotics may take a few days to activate and relieve the swelling.

So, I apologize for not answering emails and basically disappearing off the planet.  I’ll be back eventually.

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Tour Review — Artifact Hunter series (Nefertiti’s Heart)

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Thank you to Candace’s Book Promotion for organizing the tour and to Curiousity Quills Publishing for supplying a review copy.  Check out my review of the first book from THE ARTIFACT HUNTER series and then enter the giveaway for your chance to win copies of both books plus more.

Cover Nefertiti's Heart

 

Nefertiti’s Heart by A. W. Exley

Genre: Steampunk, Science Fiction

Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Pages: 280

Published: February 14th, 2013

Links: Goodreads | Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Author Links:  Facebook | Goodreads

Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.

London, 1861. Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father – sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight inch long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality.

Her Majesty’s Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she, somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti’s Heart, a fist sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord, Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive.

Self-preservation fuels Cara’s search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.

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It always makes me smile when a steampunk novel creates inventions completely unique to its world.  I love how the rich have mechanical horse-powered carriages.   One of the characters was an air-ship pirate.  One thing that played in the back of my mind was that the focus seemed to be more on providing entertaining characters than characters that easily fit into the time period.  Cara and her grandmother are both willful and naughty.  I’m surprised that there wasn’t more of a focus about the scandalous behavior Cara engages in.  Her female friend (I can’t remember her name) and fiance offered a little glimpse that the way Cara behaves is not normal for a lady, but I wish it was more center-stage.  Still, I liked all the characters.

Romance lovers will love the building chemistry between Cara and her mysterious admirer.  Cara, herself, has a confusing personality at the beginning, since her traumatic past prevents her from enjoying the womanly urges she has that are downright scandalous for the era.  The focus shifts from the serial killer to Cara overcoming the mental scars inflicted on her as a teenager.  This section is surprisingly heavily on the romance.  Since I’m more of a fan of mystery than romance, the middle section lagged a bit.

But a sudden twist of the plot brought me right back to the story.  The ending was far faster paced than the rest of the book and a complete page turner.  Initially I thought a certain character was most definitely the killer, but I was happily wrong.  Turns out all the wrong questions were being asked.

B rating minus rating

(I received a copy of this book from the publisher/Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.)

 

Cover Hatshepsut's Collar

Hatshepsut’s Collar by A.W. Exley

Page Count: 274

Published: November 13th, 2013

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

An ancient Egyptian artifact is driving Queen Victoria insane, and that’s not top of Cara Devon’s growing list of problems.
Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is a man of numerous secrets, but there is one in particular that threatens his fledgling relationship with Cara. Stunned by Nate’s revelation, and before she can absorb the ramifications of his actions, he is arrested, charged with treason and imprisoned in the grim Tower of London. He stole something the mad queen wants, and only has days to deliver, before his date with the executioner.
Although sorely tempted, Cara can’t let him die on Tower Green, not when their connection means she would share his fate.
Only together can Cara and Nate figure out how to wrestle Hatshepsut’s Collar from around the queen’s neck, before she plunges Britain into a world war. The search for answers sends Cara to the opulent Winter Palace of St Petersburg and the frozen depths of Siberia, with every step shadowed by an enemy with his own dark plans.

Links:
Goodreads Amazon US | uk | de |  fr | it | es | Kobo

giveaway image lizzy dark fiction

  • 1 Steampunk Dragon Jewelry Box, Butterfly Hairclip, Full set of paperback books in the Artifact Hunters series & A pair of custom Nefertiti’s Heart / Hatshepsut’s Collar bookmarks with drawn character art (US/CA)
  • 1 Google Chromecast, Full set of paperback books in the Curiosity Quills anthologies (Primetime & After Dark ’13) (US/CA)
  • 12 ebook prize – READ AN EBOOK A MONTH Any 12 ebooks from the CQ catalog in the format of your choice (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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