Wednesday, August 8, 2018

New Release Spotlight: Fairest Son

It's awesome to be able to celebrate with fellow bloggers when they have new books releasing! Today I'm excited to spotlight Fairest Son by H.S.J. Williams. This is a fairy-tale retelling, and I do love such stories! If you're a fan too, read on...


About the Book

The Fair and Foul courts of the fey folk have long yearned for one to bring them together in peace, but hopes are dashed when the fairest prince and the prophecy concerning him are laid to ruin. Burdened with shame and sorrow, the prince flees to the cold mountains far above the forests and lochs with nothing but animals and goblins for company.

When a human huntress stumbles upon him in her search for a legendary predator, their fates are intertwined. But she hides deadly secrets, and if he dares to trust her, he may risk the doom of both courts to an ancient evil...

A novella retelling of Snow White



About the Author

From the beginning, H. S. J. Williams has loved stories and all the forms they take. Whether with word, art, or costume, she has always been fascinated with the magic of imagination. She lives in a real fantastical kingdom, the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with her very own array of animal friends and royally loving family. Williams taught Fantasy Illustration at MSOA. She may also be a part-time elf.


About the Artist

Irina Plachkova is an acclaimed artist, freelance illustrator, and fashion designer, better known as PhantomRin. You can find more of her work at phantomrin.tumblr.com.


Intriguing, no? :) 
What's your favorite fairy tale?
Remember, you can pick up a copy of Fairest Son today!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Compelling Story of Small-Town Competition | Review of His Hometown Girl



About the Book (from the author's website)

He'd always managed to best her…

Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he's not playing fair.

Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that's always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?

My Rating

Spring

My Review

This is a sweet summer read about a single mom wanting to provide the best for her young son. Jodi's path takes her back to her hometown...and brings her face to face with her childhood sweetheart, who is now the enemy of her goals. I enjoyed seeing how their competition plays out, especially since the stakes are so high for both of them (her son's future and his community's way of life), and they both make compelling points for why their particular offer is the best one for the farmers of Cedar Bay.

The story felt well balanced between the budding romance (growing in the midst of thorny words and circumstances) and the two main characters' careers and priorities. The secondary characters, especially Daniel's sister and father, add extra layers of emotion and complications. And while I don't necessarily agree with the suggestion that happiness is of utmost importance, I did find a lot to love with Daniel and Jodi's ultimate choices. There are also some thoughts about parenting (approaches, mind-set, etc.) that could lead to good discussions/pondering.

From tender moments between a guy, a girl, and her little boy, to cringe-worthy moments in the heat of their competition, His Hometown Girl has it all. The small-town setting and the challenges the characters face make this an interesting read till the end.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.*

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Mystery Review Opportunity: Swell Time for a Swing Dance


Hello, friends! Today I'm sharing about an autumn blog tour opportunity for a new WWII-era mystery novel from a dear friend and client, Cindy Vincent. :)

Here are some of exciting aspects of this particular tour, which runs October 15-19:

- Paperback review copies available to bloggers with US mailing addresses

- Numerous options for participating (from a simple spotlight post if you're crunched for time to guest posts, interviews, or a book review)

- Tour-wide giveaway includes some awesome WWII-themed prizes

Read on to learn more about the book and find out how you can sign up for the tour...


Swell Time for a Swing Dance 

About the Book

December 31, 1941. Young Houston socialite Tracy Truworth, Apprentice P.I., can’t imagine a better way to send off the old year and ring in the new than by dancing through the night with her fella, Pete Stalwart. But a swell evening soon takes a terrible turn when a fellow dancer with moves like Fred Astaire ends up dead on the dance floor. And before the hands on the clock can point to midnight, a finger is pointed at Pete, accusing him of murdering the young man.

Then after Pete is hauled away in handcuffs, the night goes from bad to worse . . . and Tracy’s sweet grandmother is accused of stealing an ancient artifact from the museum. Now Tracy must team up with her boss and mentor, Sammy Falcone, in order to find the stolen statuette, unmask the real murderer, and restore the reputations of those she loves the most.

Yet as America becomes embroiled in another world war, the risks and sacrifices intensify—even on the homefront. And Tracy soon finds her own home invaded by a near parade of questionable characters, while unsavory suspects lurk in the shadows, and a ruthless reporter makes her life miserable. With time ticking against her, Tracy must be willing to swing past the setbacks and hop through the hazards if she hopes to solve a mystery that involves a lot of dancing . . . and a lot more danger.

Available now from Mysteries by Vincent 


About the Author 

CINDY VINCENT, M.A. Ed., was born in Calgary, Alberta, and has lived all around the US and Canada. She is the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She is also the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper novels and the Daisy Diamond Detective series. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and an assortment of fantastic felines.

Note to Potential Reviewers

This is a full-length historical mystery novel set at the beginning of World War II. While the book is not specifically Christian fiction, there are some faith elements and the content is clean, with only kissing (no sex scenes) and mild (non-gory) violence. While Swell Time for a Swing Dance is the second book in a series, it can be read and understood on its own.

Want to Read the Book Now?

If you'd like to review the book or participate in the tour in other ways, sign up here:


To learn more about my services as a freelance book editor and marketer, please visit www.amberchristineholcomb.com.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Helpful Perspective for Life's Journey | Review of Born to Wander



About the Book (from Moody Publishers)

Why are we so restless? 

All of us have a little wanderlust—a desire for that next thing, that new place, but this competes with our longings for security, control, and safety. We don't like how it feels to be unsettled and uprooted. Whether we're navigating a season of transition, dealing with the fallout of broken relationships, or wrestling with a deep sense of restlessness, we are all experiencing some form of exile. And most of us do whatever we can to numb the feelings of unbelonging, powerlessness, and unsettledness that come with it. But the truth is that exile has a profound purpose if we can just learn to lean in.

Over and over again Scripture tells us that the people of God are exiles and wanderers. And this is good news because exile is what transforms us into pilgrims. In Christ, we are no longer directionless wanderers, but pilgrim followers who have a clear purpose and a secure identity. In Born to Wander, Michelle Van Loon weaves together personal stories and keen insights on the biblical themes of pilgrimage and exile. She will help you embrace your own pilgrim identity and reorient your heart toward the God who leads you home. Engaging and thoughtful, enhanced with practical suggestions, prayers, and questions, Born to Wander will teach how to trust God even when you don't understand what's happening around you and follow Him even when it hurts.

If you keep chasing security, you'll never find it. Embrace the purpose behind the wandering and discover the freedom and safety of resting in God alone.


My Rating

Spring/Summer

My Review

I love the idea of adventure, the concept of life being a journey. I also understand the restless longing that doesn't go away no matter where you move or how your life might change for the better. So the premise of this book captured my attention!

Born to Wander is an encouraging series of chapters on various steps of the "pilgrim" journey each Christian faces in this world. It's all very readable and approachable, speaking to modern challenges while discussing lessons and accounts from Scripture. I found the latter chapters (particularly "Divided," "Trekked," "Sojourned," and "Diverted") to be especially compelling and thought-provoking (although it might also be that I was more focused when I was reading much of those sections in one day).

I appreciated the insights the author provides; for example, the context and explanations she offers regarding the Psalms/Songs of Ascent in the book of Psalms (in the "Trekked" chapter). This is a great, fairly quick read to use as a launching point for contemplating the life you're called to live, your identity in this world, and your perspective along the way.

*With thanks to Moody Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Novellas and Short Stories


I'm really excited about today's Top Ten Tuesday topic! Novellas and short stories are some of my favorites to write; even my two "novels" aren't really that long. ;) (You can see a list of the books I've written HERE.) I love when a story you can read in an evening or two has a much bigger impact than its small length would suggest. So, here's a list of some novellas/short stories I greatly enjoyed...

This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof

Sarah and Tucker's story floats through the heart with all the tender poignancy of a falling autumn leaf. Their friendship blooms sweetly, brightly. Grows into something as passionate and brilliant as the summer sun. And culminates in a season where beauty coexists with that which fades, causing bittersweet thoughts of that which lasts.
(Read more of my review HERE.)

Unlucky in Love & Lyrics by Tracy Joy Jones

This one was a newsletter freebie in honor of St. Patrick's Day, and what a fun, touching story! I'm not sure when/if the author will be offering this particular novella again, but you can currently grab her Fourth of July freebie novella (When Fireworks Fly) by signing up for her e-newsletter HERE. I haven't read it yet, but I really enjoyed How Gretchen Stole Christmas and Unlucky in Love & Lyrics, and I can't wait for the next novella to arrive in my inbox this fall. :)

Seaglass by Kara Swanson

Here's another newsletter freebie! (You can find it HERE.) This one is a short story by Kara Swanson, and here's my super short review from last December: A bit of fantasy churns through the pages of this simple little story, but the message shimmers bright for real-world readers. I love the imagery and what the two main characters come to see about living life.

The Little Siren by J.M. Stengl

All right...one more newsletter freebie. ;) The Little Siren is such a cute and sweetly romantic introduction to the Faraway Castle series, and you can grab a copy when you sign up for the author's e-newsletter HERE. I've also started the other series novella, Cinder Ellie (available for purchase), and I'm having a blast revisiting the setting and reading about a heroine with a summer job, as I have one too (just as a breakfast server instead of a maid). 

The Language of Souls by Lena Goldfinch

This is the little story that introduced me to Lena Goldfinch's writing...and now I'm so blessed to call her a dear friend, mentor, encourager, and editing/marketing client. :) As I said in this post back in 2013, The Language of Souls is "a sweet, romantic, lovely fantasy novella."

Ten Thousand Thorns by Suzannah Rowntree

This story is beautiful... Epic, yet sweet. Profound, yet fun. Challenging, yet comforting. Ten Thousand Thorns is a version of Sleeping Beauty that has a life, message, and style all its own. I loved it!
(Read more of my review HERE.)

Bespoke by Amanda Dykes

All the rumors you might have heard are true...this is a lovely little tale! Only a few characters are featured, and yet the author weaves their lives into a braid of tender emotion, loss, and hope.
(Read more of my review HERE.)

One Enchanted Christmas by Melissa Tagg

Christmas in July, anyone? :) Here's another Christmas novella, and this one made my favorites list from 2015. (See the list HERE.)

Dash and Cinder by Bridget Ladd

Another novella that made a favorites list! (See the list HERE.) I do so love fairy-tale retellings. ♥

For Elise by Hayden Wand

This novelette is sweet, tender, and quirky.
(Read more of my review HERE.)

BONUS (Novella Collections I Love)

Five Glass Slippers
(Favorite novella: Broken Glass by Emma Clifton)

Five Enchanted Roses
(Favorite novella: Wither by Savannah Jezowski)

Once
(Favorite novella: Rumpled by J. Grace Pennington)

With This Ring?
(Favorite novella: The Husband Manuever by Karen Witemeyer)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Secrets, Sacrifices, and Shapeshifters | Review of Kiss of the Spindle



About the Book (from Shadow Mountain Publishing)

Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a death-like sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date—after a year, it becomes permanent. And the year is almost up. In a desperate attempt to find Malette—the witch who cursed her—Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett’s private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she’s traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England.

Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other. Filled with suspense, intrigue, and plenty of romance, Kiss of the Spindle is a steampunk Sleeping Beauty story. It is a race against the clock as Isla and Daniel try to hunt down the elusive Malette before Isla’s death-like sleep becomes permanent.

Available now!

My Rating

Spring/Summer

My Review

Danger comes in all shapes in this exciting take on the Sleeping Beauty story! In the beginning, the threat of future trouble and a building romantic tension carry the plot...and then things really start to take off in a new direction, especially once the characters reach their destination.

I so enjoyed getting to know the travelers and crew members aboard the Briar Rose airship. (Although I confess one particular passenger felt a little lacking in distinctive personality as the story progressed, at least compared to everyone else.) Samson is hilarious, and I loved his interactions with the captain! Nigel is mysterious; Daniel is a swoon-worthy, protective hero; and Isla is as spunky, determined, and likable as they come. This voyage brings together an interesting mix of people who have every reason to be wary of one another.

As with another steampunk/fantasy I read somewhat recently (The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder), the characters make the story feel accessible for fans of any great story (in this case, especially fans of romance!). It definitely has a dark side, and there are some magical elements mixed in with the interesting technological aspects, just as a heads up. But if you enjoy fairy-tale retellings with sweet and thrilling romance and fresh dangers the characters must navigate, Kiss of the Spindle is an excellent choice!

Complete with engaging settings (from an island paradise to a creepy swamp) and humor to lighten the tension, this story of secrets, sacrifices, and shapeshifters makes for an exciting escape.

*With thanks to Shadow Mountain through NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Audiobook Review: Echo in Time by C.J. Hill



About the Audiobook

After being pulled 400 years into the future, twins Taylor and Sheridan found some refuge from the government of Traventon, which used the dangerous Time Strainer to yank the girls from the past. Yet the threat of the dangerous technology still looms. Taylor and an ally, Joseph, are selected to go on a mission to destroy the time machine and weapon. But their actions before they do may have major consequences for the future and the past.

Action-packed and romantic, this futuristic sequel to Erasing Time is perfect for fans of dystopian and sci-fi novels such as The Maze Runner by James Dashner, Across the Universe by Beth Revis, and Matched by Ally Condie.


My Rating

Spring

My Review

I confess I knowingly came to this story unprepared, as I haven't read (or listened to) Erasing Time, which is the first book in the series. That did make it a little trickier for me to get invested right away...added to the fact that the narration initially feels a little too casual for a dramatic story like this one.

However, both the story and the narration won me over in time. :) (Reference to the audiobook's title intended!)

I've read several books by Janette Rallison (AKA C.J. Hill), and I'm a big fan of her My Fair Godmother series. While this particular book didn't end up being a favorite, I found it enjoyable and engaging once I became more familiar with the main characters and once the plot really took off with a mission to make things right...which led to a lot of things going quite wrong.

I really appreciate the fact that this story offered some surprises for me (which might have been partly due to me being unfamiliar with book one, but I bet those who are familiar with the series appreciate knowing what happens to the characters after Erasing Time). It's interesting to see how Taylor, Sheridan, and the team adapt to unexpected twists and consequences. When you mess with the time stream, all sorts of mayhem can ensue!

As for the narration, it came across a little flippant and perhaps disengaged at times...but I'm not sure if that might simply be a result of how I heard the narrator's main accent. Ultimately, though, different characters stand out in the voices he performs, and I was impressed with the range of accents and tones the narrator could pull off!

While it wasn't always easy visualizing what was happening, especially at the beginning (being unfamiliar with book one), the story and its characters pulled me in as they faced a range of challenges and discovered love in the midst of danger and change. This is an entertaining futuristic story about the difficult choices that come with power, intelligence, and unalterable circumstances.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a complimentary audiobook download. This review is my honest opinion.*

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Endearing Characters on a Quest for Truth | Review of The Story Peddler



About the Book

Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn't just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king's guard hunts her down...and they're not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she's not the only outlaw in the empire. There's a rebel group of weavers...and they're after her too.


My Rating

Spring/Summer

My Review

The main characters of The Story Peddler are so endearing. Tanwen is a farm girl with lots of ambition and hope for a life beyond all she's known...and all she's lost. Braith is a princess with a tender heart who finds herself in a very precarious position as she attempts to show mercy to those under her father's tyrannical rule. Both girls have at least one dear and loyal friend, as well as many more enemies.

The premise and plot for this story offer a lot of intrigue and include delightful descriptions. It was so neat to see how storytelling unfolds in this fantasy world and to have the characters experience art (including words) in exciting, tangible ways. I also loved the emphasis on truth being revealed through art...how even when someone might not be intending to express something, truth speaks for itself. The book depicts this in such clever ways!

There's a great sense of tension and danger throughout most of The Story Peddler as Tanwen and Braith navigate new situations and revelations. There's even a bit of romantic tension in the form of a subtle love triangle for one of the girls...but mostly, romance takes a back seat to survival and the quest for truth (as well as freedom to express it). This is actually the first in a series, but this installment has a solid ending while promising a different quest to come that will show readers even more of this intriguing fantasy world.

For a well-imagined cast of characters and an amazing display of their talents set against a backdrop of unrest and uncertainty, The Story Peddler is grand storytelling!

*With thanks to Enclave Publishing through JustRead Publicity for providing me with a complimentary e-copy of this book.*

Friday, June 22, 2018

A Time for Adventure | Blog Tour + Author Interview + Giveaway


I have the pleasure of participating in the tour for my friend Miranda Atchley's new historical novel, A Time for Adventure! In this post, you can read the fun description for this book, join me for an enjoyable chat with the author, enter an ebook giveaway, and find out how to snag a free e-copy of another historical novel by the author. It all starts here...

About the Book

The year is 1921, and after years of dreaming, Abi Hensley has set out to travel through Europe. Along with her friend Meg Clery, Abi travels from the rich historical sites in England to the gorgeous green landscapes of Ireland, visits an abandoned castle in Scotland, and roams through the chic streets of Paris. Along the way, they meet a myriad of interesting people, encounter familiar faces, and see things they’ve only ever dreamed of.

Yet their time in Europe isn’t without its challenges. While in Ireland, Abi joins Meg in spending time at her family’s farm. There, they find that the Clerys are overwhelmed by the demands of their farm. In light of this, the family must make some hard decisions; choices that could change the course of their lives forever.

One thing is for certain: Abi’s tour of Europe will most definitely be a time for adventure.

Pre-order for $.99! (Releases June 26th)

About the Author

Miranda Atchley loves books of all sorts, but she has always had a special place in her heart for historical fiction. Writing is her favorite thing to do, and she has published four historical novels and three contemporary young adult novels. Her novel A Castle in the Sky was a finalist for Read Free.ly’s The 50 Best Indie Books of 2016. She also writes the blog A Real Writer's Life. When she isn't writing, you can usually find Miranda with her head in a book, taking a walk, or watching Downton Abbey at her home in Arkansas. Read Miranda’s blog and subscribe to her mailing list at: arealwriterslife.blogspot.com


Author Interview

Amber: Welcome to Seasons of Humility, Miranda, and congratulations on your new release! :) If you could travel to any of the places Abi visits in Europe, where would you most want to go? What would you do while you were there?

Miranda: All the countries Abi visits in Europe (England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, and Switzerland) are on my list of countries I’d like to visit someday. But there is one place in particular that I knew nothing about before I wrote this book that really stands out to me: Bern, Switzerland. It sounds like a really interesting city and the pictures I looked at during the writing process are beautiful. (If you’d like to see some of those photos, you can visit my pin board at: https://www.pinterest.com/mirandaatchley/a-time-for-adventure/) I would love to visit this storybook city and see the medieval architecture and the Swiss Alps during the winter.

Amber: What a lovely board! Bern looks like a great place to visit.

What have you enjoyed most in writing about Abi’s adventures over the years in this four-book series? Has Abi’s journey mirrored your own as a writer or otherwise?

Miranda: There are many things I enjoy about writing Abi’s stories. For one thing, I admire her because she’s a very brave and interesting heroine. She wasn’t afraid to chase after her dreams and do things that weren’t expected of women in the late 1910s/early 1920s. She drove a car, moved across the country on her own, and marched with the suffragettes. Her journey as an author has been different from mine in many ways, mainly because she went the traditional route, whereas I self-publish. Yet I can relate to her because we’ve both struggled with writer’s block, yet we both love writing deeply and have a great appreciation for the written word.


Amber: You’ve written both contemporary and historical novels. What is the hardest part about switching to a historical genre? What is the most rewarding part of the process?

Miranda: The hardest part is definitely the research end of things. There is a lot more fact checking involved in writing historical fiction than I had ever considered before I started writing this series. The most rewarding part is that I get to write in a genre that I love and have enjoyed reading for a long time. There’s just something about historical fiction that I love so much; the style of the writing, reading about the way things were in the past, and, of course, those outfits!

Amber: I totally hear ya! I enjoy reading and writing historical fiction, but the research can be daunting. Speaking of reading... What are your favorite classic novels and why?

Miranda: That’s a tough one! It’s hard to choose, but I think I have it narrowed down to five:

  1. Anne of Green Gables–This book will always have a special place in my heart.
  2. Jane Eyre–There are so many lines that jump out at me in this book ("I am no bird; no net ensnares me") and I admire Jane greatly. She was a brave and noble heroine. 
  3. The Blue Castle–Valancy Stirling is one of the best heroines ever, and no one could spin a line like L.M. Montgomery. 
  4. Daddy-Long-Legs–It was one of those books that I couldn’t put down and has really stuck with me. Jean Webster was another author who was full of wit and wisdom! 
  5. Sense and Sensibility–I love Pride and Prejudice, but there’s just something about Elinor and Marianne Dashwood’s sister relationship that stands out to me and causes this book to nestle a special place in my heart. 

Amber: Love your choices and explanations! You picked some of my favorites too, like Anne of Green Gables and Daddy-Long-Legs. All such great stories!

How about your series? Will Abi’s journey continue? If so, can you give a hint at what she’ll be facing next?

Miranda: It certainly will! I have begun the fifth, and at this time final, book in The Abi Hensley Series. In this book, Lily House Press will be developing into a full-fledged publishing company as Abi and her business partner, Mr. Sanders, begin accepting manuscripts from potential authors. Also, the family of Abi’s former maid, now secretary and dear friend, Meg Clery, will play a big role in this book. I’m particularly excited for readers to meet Meg’s sister, Fiona. I think you’ll like her. ;)

Amber: Sounds like a grand finale for the series! Thank you so much for visiting today. :) It's been a pleasure to host you!

eBook Giveaway

To celebrate the release of A Time For Adventure, Miranda Atchley will be giving away three Kindle editions of the book! The giveaway is open internationally. Must be 18 or older to participate. Ends at 12:00 a.m. on June 26th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Free eBook!

Also in celebration of this release, the Kindle edition of Of Things To Come (The Abi Hensley Series, Book 3) will be free to download June 22-26. Grab your FREE copy HERE!


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

An Enthralling and Satisfying Fantasy | Review of The Electrical Menagerie + Tour + Giveaway


About the Book

The Electrical Menagerie, one-of-a-kind robotic roadshow, is bankrupt.

Sylvester Carthage, illusionist and engineer, has the eccentric imagination the Menagerie needs to succeed creatively—but none of the people skills. Fast-talking Arbrook Huxley, meanwhile, has all the savvy the Menagerie needs to succeed commercially—but none of the scruples.

To save their show, Carthage and Huxley risk everything in a royal talent competition, vying for the chance to perform for the Future Celestial Queen. In this stardust-and-spark-powered empire of floating islands and flying trains, a shot at fame and fortune means weathering the glamorous and cutthroat world of critics, high society, and rival magicians—but with real conspiracy lurking beneath tabloid controversy, there’s more at stake in this contest than the prize.

Behind the glittery haze of flash paper and mirrors, every competitor has something to hide…and it’s the lies Carthage and Huxley tell each other that may cost them everything.

"Dazzles from start to finish. In Carthage and Huxley, Sherlock and Watson fans will find another dynamic duo whose ready wit and sizzling banter (and inevitable personality clashes) never fail to delight. You'll be calling for an encore performance."
Gillian Bronte Adams, author of The Songkeeper Chronicles

"The stuff that fandoms are built on."
Kyle Robert Shultz, author of Beaumont & Beasley


My Review

"I already love the writing! Pretty sure this is going to be delightful :)"
—My Goodreads status update at 5% through the book

How I felt upon starting the book is how I felt on ending it: delighted with the writing! While there are "romantic" moments showing up here and there through some of the story, this is not a romance...and yet, I still loved it. Imagine that!

The Electrical Menagerie has it all: imaginative performances, incredible robots, mystery and danger, a variety of fascinating settings in a familiar (but also unfamiliar) world, and two great heroes running the show. I loved the humor mixed in with poignant observations on being human. I enjoyed the adventure, following Carthage and Huxley's show and the subterfuge going on behind the scenes. The characters, with their issues and talents and unique personalities, keep you guessing and hoping, and there's so much to love about the stars of the book stage (with their mentoring sort of friendship) and their mechanical butler.

This story just feels so satisfying. The character growth, the enthralling descriptions, the brilliant reminders, the way the story ends with closure but plenty of room for more adventures...it comes together beautifully. If you enjoy steampunk and fantasy that doesn't feel too far "out there" to grasp (and definitely hits home), The Electrical Menagerie is a winner! Complete with clever, relatable characters and a journey perfect for those with wide imaginations and creative hearts, this thought-provoking story will surely bring down the house.

*With thanks to the author and Unicorn Quester for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC of this book.*

About the Author

Mollie’s first job was with a major theme park, where she operated a roller coaster, fixed parade floats, and helped Scooby-Doo put on his head. Now, Mollie is a movie producer and the author of character-driven science fiction/fantasy novels for adults who never outgrew imagination. Her favorite things include Jesus, dinosaurs, and telling cinematic stories that blend glitter and grit.


Book Giveaway

Explore the world of The Electrical Menagerie by entering to win this Celestial Isles prize pack, which includes: "High Victorian" playing cards by luxury playing card company Theory11, handmade galaxy mug by DeVita Designs, Science & Engineering Themed Pocket Notebook Set by CognitiveSurplus, and a tin of Electrical Menagerie themed tea (over a $50 value)! (US only.)


Click HERE to enter!

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 4th
Tuesday, June 5th
Wednesday, June 6th
Thursday, June 7th
Friday, June 8th
Saturday, June 9th
Monday, June 11th

Monday, June 4, 2018

Where the Train Took Us on My Birthday

My new novella's birthday (Where Trains Collide released yesterday!) was also my birthday...and how perfect is it that my husband, Josh, surprised me with train tickets to celebrate? :)


On Friday, Josh and I checked the mail, only to find an odd letter addressed to me from the "Glacier National Park Birthday Club." I opened it, was a little leery of the potential scam, and then discovered the letter was actually from Josh. :) Enclosed was a boarding pass for a train trip on Saturday to and from East Glacier. So sweet!!


It was such a delightful day! We boarded the train in Whitefish, Montana, and enjoyed the morning sunshine and gorgeous views during the two-hour trip to East Glacier. The train winds along the river during much of the journey and skirts the southern boundary of Glacier National Park. And now that it's spring (going on summer), the tree-lined path is green as can be and so lovely!


Josh had arranged for us to pick up a rental car in East Glacier when we arrived, and we spent most of the day enjoying the incredible sights in the Many Glacier and St. Mary areas of the park...


The Many Glacier Hotel is beautiful and has the most amazing backdrop!



We saw so much wildlife! 
Josh is scoping out a moose and her baby across the lake.





One of my favorite memories from the day was our hike to Apikuni Falls. It was quite steep, uphill almost the whole way there...but the views and the waterfall (and the cute critters!) were the best. Then we got to hike downhill the whole way back. ;)





Josh was able to get a pic of both of us at the falls. ♥





We actually saw a grizzly bear and her cub!! 
Thankfully, we were able to safely view them from the car. :)

In the St. Mary Lake area, we got a view of Wild Goose Island (above), Sunrift Gorge, and Baring Falls.







I couldn't have asked for a better birthday adventure, and I'm so grateful to my thoughtful husband for planning it out and making this a weekend to remember. ♥