Release Day Blitz: Kitsuneko by C.S. Johnson

Happy release day to my friend CS Johnson and her novella Kitsuneko. Isn’t that cover just stunning? Grab your copy of this Amazon #1 New Release at a special, limited time price of 99¢. Believe me, it’s worth every penny (watch for my review in later this weekend if life doesn’t get too busy).

The Blurb:

Trouble is brewing in the realms beyond the rainbow …

Kitsuneko has always done her best to honor her duty. As a young fox-cat changeling, she was conscripted into slavery by King Dario and Queen Arianna of Toulacoeur to serve as the surrogate for Princess Cari, their daughter who was kidnapped seventeen years ago.

But when Kiro, Cari’s younger brother and the heir to the throne, proclaims his love for her, Kitsuneko is torn between her duty to the kingdom and her desire for the virtuous prince. 

And when Kiro’s kisses leave her breathless, Kitsuneko finds herself — and the kingdom — in mortal danger.

For the peace that Toulacoeur enjoys, maintained through the blessing of Kleon, the Unicorn Guardian, is at risk, and to maintain their rule, the king and queen have arranged for Kiro to marry Ariella, a Warlord’s daughter from a tribe of Gryphon Riders.

Can Kitsuneko and Kiro find a way to be together and keep the kingdom’s peace? Or is their love destined to only lead to destruction?

Kitsuneko is A Companion Novella to The Realms Beyond the Rainbow, a fantasy romance adventure from award-winning, genre-hopping author C. S. Johnson.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Remember, this 99¢ release day price won’t last forever, so get your copy today HERE.

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Book Review: Soul Antiquary by Lianne Willowmoon

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 out of 5 stars

I’m really torn with this review. There were several aspects of this book that left me giddy and screaming “five stars!” while other aspects had me shaking my head and asking “really?” Do I recommend Soul Antiquary? Yes! But I would caution all who read it to suspend belief and be willing to allow a few things to slide.

“But Jessica,” you say, “after reading the blurb it’s obvious this is a paranormal fantasy. Of course I’m going to suspend belief. What’s wrong with you?” To which I’d say, it’s not the fantasy element I had problems with. It was the real-world aspects of the story that feel rushed and/or incomplete. Example: In the first chapters our main character, apparently a famous photographer, decides at the drop of a hat to move from the city to the middle-of-nowhere. In a matter of a day (okay, two because he had to drive home and pack) he’s managed to not only buy a new house, he’s emptying his previous home and leaving keys on the kitchen counter for his realtor. Say what? Have you ever bought a house? Anybody have the process take less than several weeks?

Maybe because this unrealistic home-buying escapade took place so early in the book and it set me on edge watching for similar events, but I felt like all the real-life turns of Soul Antiquary were just too easy, too pat. Perhaps they won’t twitch others as much as they did me, but to each his or her own.

Now, that said, the paranormal element of this story was riveting! As in “OMG! What a crazy cool concept!” I couldn’t get enough. I found myself reading late into the night to see what craziness might happen next. It was addicting.

So, my final take away from Soul Antiquary? Reality bites, but fantasy rules!

Please, give this book a look-see. Soul Antiquary is not currently enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, but you can nab an e-book here for only $3.99

Book Review: Restless Bones on Crystal Lake (Moon Investigations #2) by B. Batiste

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 out of 5 stars

Picking up almost precisely where Witch Hunt on Crystal Lake left off, Restless Bones finds our heroine Hazel trying to juggle her private investigations business while attending classes at the local magical academy. But her next case isn’t going to be easy when her friend and colleague is accused of murder and all the evidence seems to say she is guilty. With little more than faith in her friend, Hazel and her associates must try to prove Lola’s innocence.

I love the premise of this series. Hazel is just a good woman who happens to have some (maybe more than some… time will tell) magical powers, but in her world, so does everyone else. What sets Hazel apart is her genuine goodness. Her wiliness to do what is right even when it’s not easy. Restless Bones is a quick, light read. The story doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s an escape, and a darn good one! At times, I was a little confused by some of the flashback sequences, it took me a while to get back into the groove of Ms. Batiste’s writing style, but once I did I just let the tides of Crystal Lake carry me along for the ride.

As with so many of the books I read and review here, you can read Restless Bones on Crystal Lake for FREE on Kindle Unlimited here.

Book Review: Shifting Identities (Criminal Elements #3) by Cris and Clare Meyers

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars

What a ride! This third installment in the Criminal Elements series focuses primarily on Carlos and Grace. Watching the young, relatively innocent Carlos navigate among his new friends, mastering the “criminal element” if you will, really tugs on the ol’ heartstrings. Equally charming was getting an insider’s view as each of his companions tries to help him grow while still preserving his innocence in whatever way they can. Grace’s challenge was particularly endearing.

Cris and Clare have developed something special. Their unique tandem writing style creates a seamless narrative, one which draws the reader in immediately. Their characters are endearing (well, our heroes at least… the villains are appropriately vile) and flawed. They’ve taken what could have been a boiler plate “gang attempts an impossible heist” trope and woven elements of magic and wonder to create quite the tapestry.

I always worry when reading a series that I’ll be left with a nail-biting cliffhanger ending, but rest assured… Shifting Identities ends well with plenty of room for the next book but without leaving you in a panic. Bring on book four!

Check out the Criminal Elements series on Kindle here.

Book Review: Penny White and the Weariness of Were-Wolves by Chrys Cymri (Penny White #7)

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars

Penny White 7

Chrys’s books are a captivating blend of fantasy and social commentary, and this series in particular is an immediate read for me. I wait eagerly for each new installment and Weariness does not disappoint.

One would think being stranded in Lloegyr would be a dream for Penny White, but unfortunately it brings a whole new set of obstacles.

It’s both humbling and heartbreaking to watch Penny as she tries to cope. Add the challenges faced by her unconventional family (Morey, Taryn, Jago & Clyde) to the situation with Raven and the care of her new “flock” of traumatized were-rabbits and you can sense the storm a-brewing in the distance. I laughed, I cried (real tears y’all), and experienced all the feels. As always, Penny White and the Weariness of Were-Wolves was well executed and highly enjoyable.

*** I received an advanced electronic copy from the author which I then chose to voluntarily review. ***

Readers can dive into Penny White’s world FREE in Kindle Unlimited here.

Book Review: Penny White and the Nest of Nessies (Penny White Book 6) by Chrys Cymri

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars

Yet another amazing, enthralling, compelling story in the Penny White series! Book Six finds Penny struggling to find balance in a work relationship with Peter (after the crumbling of their personal one) while being drawn further into the orbit of Minister without Portfolio Sue Harkness. That woman sets my teeth on edge!

After a British submarine slips through a thin space and into Lloegyr, Penny is drafted to negotiate the return of both the sub and her crew. Meanwhile Clyde is considering entering the priesthood… The Archdruid of the Unicorns calls Penny’s debt due… Penny has another run-in with Earls Barton man (how many excuses can she come up with for the strange goings on in his back garden?)… And a dead mermaid turns up near the orca tank at Midlands Safari Park but no one know how she got there, let alone where she came from or how her remains should be handled…

It’s all piling up rather quickly for Penny and juggling her duties- to self, family, church, England and Lloegyr -might just prove to be too much. That’s why, when Sue Harkness learns about air crossings and starts plotting ways to use them to the advantage of the British government, Penny must make a drastic decision which holds immense consequences for everyone, human and non-human alike.

Every book in the Penny White series has held my attention from start to finish, with each one gripping my heart a little tighter than the last. I don’t know how Ms Cymri manages to interweave so many complicated, human themes into this wondrous fantasy tale, but she does so with aplomb. Penny is, as always, a heroine I can relate to: imperfect, loveable, a bit mad (in all the good ways), and steadfast in her commitment to doing the right thing even when it’s hard. And boy, do things get hard! If you haven’t begun the Penny White journey yet, what are you waiting for? Or, if like me, you’re waiting impatiently for each new book, hurry up and nab this one. You won’t be disappointed.

**I received an advance electronic copy of this book from the author which I then chose to voluntarily review**

This book just released and is currently available for your reading pleasure free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Download your copy HERE.

Book Review: Dying to be Roman (Dai & Julia #1) by E.M. Swift-Hook & Jane Jago

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 out of 5 stars

This novella presents a very cool alternate timeline in which the Roman Empire still exists. London as we know it doesn’t exist, instead it’s Londinium… a city in which only Roman citizens are viewed as ‘worthwhile’ and non-citizens (Saxons, Caledonians and other non-Romans) must scrape by. Amidst this topsy-turvy blend of history & fantastic future, Saxon vigiles (police officer) Dai has a doozy of a murder mystery to solve.

Participants in the Londinium Games are being murdered. But alongside these non-Roman deaths are a few noble Roman citizens who up the ante significantly. Dai’s superiors assign a Roman Inquisitor to oversee his investigation. That alone would be enough to annoy Dai, but when he meets the person assigned to take charge he gets more (or less?) than he bargained for. Julia is small but mighty, a spitfire Roman who, contrary to her class and citizenship, treats Dai (and most non-citizens she encounters) with a respect rarely afforded.

This was truly a delightful introduction to the world of Dai & Julia. It’s a quick read with an intriguing mystery and plenty of hope to fill out future installments.

Care to check out Dai & Julia’s world? You can grab your copy HERE, free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Book Review: Emerald Dream (Bronze Rebellion Book 2) by L.C. Perry

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Bronze Rebellion is gaining momentum! Here in book 2 we follow characters from the first book (primarily slave-turned-rebel Ebony and captive-turned-reluctant-rebel Princess Irene) as well as a few new POV characters. The inclusion of new characters added to the numerous characters readers must track however it was 1) necessary so we could keep tabs on events back in the palace and 2) well managed by the author. As in the first book, despite the plethora of characters to keep track of, they’re all distinct and easy to keep straight.

The stakes are getting higher as our rebels must do all in their power to prevent the annihilation of a root city. This will be Irene’s first exposure to the horrors of slavery beneath her feet and her reactions, mistakes, and perseverance really resonates. Amidst all the turmoil romance blooms for a few of our characters. Initially I wondered if this would be cliche or distracting, but all in all I think it added to the character dynamics nicely. Really looking forward to the next installment.

**I received an advance electronic copy of this book from the author which I then chose to voluntarily review**

Pick up your copy (free the Kindle Unlimited subscribers) HERE.

Book Review: Vicious Faith (Serial Murderess Trilogy, Book 3) by C.F. Rabbiosi

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5 stars

After parting ways with Brandon, Faith finds herself captive to the biggest boogeyman from her past. The man who has haunted her nightmares for years! But in a twist only Ms Rabbiosi could pull off we learn this man’s true identity… and it has huge ramifications for both Faith and Brandon. Will Faith survive another encounter with her gas-mask-wearing personal demon? Can Brandon resist the inexorable pull this man has over him? Will anyone survive the depravity that’s sure to come?

To avoid spoilers, I’m just gonna say “damn!” and let you know that the last half of the book is one giant knock-out punch. What a conclusion! And my favorite of the trilogy.

**I received an advance electronic copy of this book from the author which I then chose to voluntarily review**

Pick up your copy HERE and prepare for a wild ride!

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