THE CHANGE by KIRSTEN MILLER

Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick–a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers–putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town.

Well, that certainly describes this book!

Mattauk is an oceanfront community, where three midlife women are about to make some noise!

Nessa James is alone now that her twin daughters are off to college. In her neat house close to the ocean. A nurse who also sees the dead. A gift inherited from her grandmother. The voices in her head are screaming for help and she has no idea what to do.

Harriett Osborne has had enough of men taking what she has worked hard for. Now her husband has left her for a younger woman and her career has imploded. She returns to her home in Mattauk, and finds her power.

Jo Levison has an 11-year-old daughter and a husband. She’s happy with both. But she is at war. With herself. Her body and what is happening to it. Hot flashes have taken on a whole new meaning.

When the voices Nessa hears lead her to a remote beach by an exclusive housing development for billionaires only, they are there when they find the first body. The police are not part of the solution, but the problem. And the normal rules don’t apply to the sick and fabulously wealthy men who have a lot of secrets.

So the women pool their talents and get to work. Women’s work. Cleaning up the mess of men.

What a thrill of a tale! I loved these women. A strong story of women who are tired of men getting away with murder and are about to turn the tables!

NetGalley/ May 3rd,2022 by William Morrow & Company






IN A GARDEN BURNING GOLD by RORY POWER

In a Garden Burning Gold (Argyrosi, #1)

First in the Argyrosi Series

Before anything can we talk about the stunning cover art on this book? I have to admit this was one time I judged a book by its cover and it was great!

This is a Fantasy/YA/LGBT and much more. I went in knowing nothing and I figured out a lot very quickly.

The book focuses on twins Rhea and her brother Lexos. They have a brother and a sister, all with special gifts. The twins have spent lifetimes serving their father and their house. They control the seasons, the tides, the skies all while trying to keep their unstable father happy.

Every season Rhea must choose a consort that will die with that season. It’s unimaginable. All the different factions are looking to unseat them and take their land and their powers. Until Rhea chooses an unlikely consort and discovers all of the lies she has been fed her entire life. While her brother is off trying to doublecross the other factions, she is returning to open the gates for war. But who will she end up at war with?

This was a beautiful story I thought. The characters were so well done that even the bad ones were interesting.

NetGalley/  April 5th, 2022 by Del Rey

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SUCH A PRETTY SMILE by KRISTI DEMEESTER

Such a Pretty Smile

I finished this book in one sitting. With the lights on and the doors locked.

This is for all the women who don’t want to sit still and look pretty. For the women and girls who have been patronized and marginalized by men.

Told by two rather unreliable narrators. Caroline and her daughter Lila. In 2004 Caroline is living in New Orleans. Girls have been disappearing and the bodies are found mutilated with horrific bites and scratches that leave the media calling the killer The Cur. All are young girls who won’t sit still and look pretty. The ones who refuse to be put in a box. They are opinionated and will not conform to what society wants them to be.

Caroline is having a hard time sleeping. She hears packs of dogs everywhere and loses time. Her fiance’ is also an artist and rather a jerk. Caroline has begun sculpting and the sculptures are disturbing but also gallery-worthy. With her father who is dying and a husband who is a narcissist, she has a lot of stress. Her doctor is patronizing and tells her to take a pill and it will be fine. It is not fine. Not fine at all.

Jump to 2019 and Caroline and her daughter Lila are living close to Atlanta where Caroline is now teaching and sculpting. But she is still haunted by whatever is in her past. And now girls are disappearing and found dead in the same manner as before.

Lila is hiding who and what she is from everyone. Her father and his wife in New Orleans, the school psychologist, and her mother. She feels like there is something inside of her, snarling and begging to be let out, but when she does, it backfires horribly.

I am not going any further with this story because you really need to experience it for yourself. Let me just say it has been a long time since I was this terrified for an entire book!

I can’t wait to see what comes next for this author. Look out, Stephen King!

NetGalley/ January 18th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press





IRON WIDOW by KIRAN JAY ZHAO

While this draws on a few real characters in history, make no mistake, it is a Sci-Fy, Fantasy, Futuristic tale that touches on the place women still have in society. Second. Disposable.

And then it just dives right in to giant fighting machines called Chrysalises, transforming robots that battle with mecha aliens that have almost destroyed everything. The pilots are boys. The girls or concubine pilots give of their life force and no one seems to care that they lose their lives.

Except 18 -year-old Zetian. She has plans of revenge after her sister died during one of these fights. She doesn’t use normal weapons. She takes on her pilot with her mind and is the only one returning. With a nickname. Iron Widow.

She has turned the tables on the boys and will now use them as ‘fuel’. They are afraid of her and what she can do. They try pairing her with the strongest male pilot in Huaxia. But Zetian has tasted the power and she likes it. Now her mission is to find out why only girls are being used and disposed of.

She is one of the strongest characters I have seen. She has had enough and is not taking it anymore. This is not my usual genre but I am very glad I read it. I felt empowered and ready to fight.

Well Done.

NetGalley/September 21st, 2021 by Penguin Teen

The NATURE of WITCHES by RACHEL GRIFFIN

Climate Change meets Climate Witches in this Contemporary Fantasy/Paranormal Young Adult debut novel.

Witches have been maintaining the climate for a very long time. Their powers are the powers of the seasons. With the sun peaking in the season they are born.

But the humans or shaders have gotten greedy and off-track wanting more of everything without a thought as to how to it will affect the planet or the weather. They aren’t holding up their end of the bargain. Now the witches control over the weather is getting spotty. Witches are being depleted just trying to hold things together while the weather is acting like an out of control toddler.

But there may be hope. Clara is an Everwitch, she is rare and encompasses all of the seasons. But in Autumn Clara wants nothing more than to lose her magic. The power she has is out-of-control. She has already hurt people she loved. She just wants it gone so no one will be hurt. But the weather is hurting everyone.

When Winter comes and the world is raging as disaster after disaster kills more witches Clara finally understands that only she holds the power and answers that may save them all. But first, she needs to get control of her emotions and her magic.

Sang, is helping her with that. Big problem. He’s hot. She’s hot. He’s training her and he has a strangely calming effect on her magic. But will that keep him safe if she loses control?

And when Summer comes she will have to choose between her powers and love. Her responsibility to her fellow witches and her own personal happiness.

First, I don’t read YA. So much angst. Not so for this book. I could have kept on reading if only the author hadn’t stopped writing. I loved Clara. A strong female lead and strong female characters. I adored every person in this book. I look forward to the next one.

June 1st, 2021 by Sourcebooks Fire/ NetGalley Review



CROSSINGS by ALEX LANDRAGIN

Crossings

Crossings is an unforgettable and explosive genre-bending debut—a novel in three parts, designed to be read in two different directions, spanning a hundred and fifty years and seven lifetimes.

Paris. About to be overrun with Nazis is not the best place for a not only German man but a Jewish one as well. As all-around is chaos and fear, a courier arrives at his bookbinding shop with a manuscript from a Baronness who would like it re-bound in the red leather she sends with it.

Inside are three stories, very unlikely tales. When the Nazis arrive the manuscript is forgotten for a bit and when he retrieves it he keeps it. Later he learns it can be read two ways. Straight through or in a very different way. The fantastical tale is hard to believe and takes us all over the world. The one commonality is Charles Baudelaire. He wrote at least the first one and a lot of this content is about him and a mysterious woman.

That is all I am saying here. This was something I have never seen a writer attempt. The word Epic comes to mind. The planning and detail this took are beyond anything I’ve seen.

Personally, I read it both ways and understood everything just fine. Although at one point I took a few notes to keep everyone straight.

Historical Fiction mixed with fact and fantasy. Well Done!

NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Press July 28,2020

The Nobody People by Bob Proehl

The Nobody People

After decades in hiding, a group of outcasts with extraordinary abilities clashes with a world that is threatened by their power.

Great world-building in this tale! It has rather an X-Men feel to it. These are ordinary people that you wouldn’t look twice at. Nobodies. And yet not quite as ordinary as they seem.

They all have abilities. Emmeline was one of my favorites! Fahima was another. Ordinary people with extraordinary gifts. And with those gifts come the people who would use them or destroy them.

This time they will come together to fight the bigots, the small-minded, and the ones who fear what they can not understand. One of them tries to hold on to a shaky sort of peace while the others are ready to stand up and fight.

I see there will be a second in this Fantasy/Science Fiction book. The kids were really interesting and I’m sure this will be a hit with young adults!

NetGalley/  September 3rd, 2019 by Del Rey

 

 

Perfunctory Affection by Kim Harrison

PERfunctory AfFECTION

Is it better to live a lie of perfection when the truth is too ugly to survive?

Meg wants to overcome her crippling anxiety and depression which took hold after her mother’s death and her boyfriend, Austin, is supportive of her. Her therapist starts her on a trial drug what is supposed to cement new patterns in her brain. Or so she says

The pills help her and within days she has met a new friend, been stalked by a crazy man telling her that her friend isn’t real and that the pills will put her in danger. Along with a shady FBI guy who keeps popping up trying to find said crazy man.

Her boyfriend is also telling her something is wrong with the pills and the doctor and her, but she is too determined to take the art world by storm and be accepted by her new friends.

The friends were so creepy I knew they weren’t real. This is Kim Harrison so the fey were bound to be caught up in this.

I’m not sure if it was meant to be just a shorter story or there is more to come, but the ending was abrupt and did not leave me satisfied.

Netgalley/March 31st 2019 by Subterranean Press

 

 

THE SPELLBOOK OF KATRINA VAN TASSEL (A Story of Sleepy Hollow) by ALYSSA PALOMBO

The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hollow

Who hasn’t heard the Legend of Sleepy Hollow? It’s long been one of my favorites. Ms. Palombo has given it a different spin.

In the sleepy little village of Sleepy Hollow, a new teacher has arrived. As the wealthiest member of the town, Katrina’s father is hosting him until he finds lodging with his students.

When Ichabod Crane and Katrina meet, there is an immediate connection on both sides and soon they are stealing away to the woods where their friendship turns to passion and love.

The two lovers come from very different worlds and Katrina’s father is determined to marry her off to her childhood friend, Brom Van Brunt, who has become a rather unpleasant fellow vying for her affections.

When Ichabod disappears on All Hallow’s Eve, Katrina is devastated and in a predicament.

With little choice but to marry Brom, she is miserable and her heart still belongs to her love. When she enlists her friend Charlotte’s help to find out what happened, she is shocked to her core.

Could the tale be more than just a scary story? Is the Headless Horseman real? And what will happen when she discovers what happened to Ichabod and who is to blame?

A story of love, magic, and timeless tales. Well Done!

Netgalley/October 2nd 2018 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins

Blood and Gold #1

Daughters of the Storm (Blood and Gold, #1)

Five very different sisters team up against their stepbrother to save their kingdom in this Norse-flavored fantasy epic–the start of a new series in the tradition of Naomi Novik, Peter V. Brett, and Robin Hobb.

FIVE ROYAL SISTERS. ONE CROWN.

They are the daughters of a king. Though they share the same royal blood, they could not be more different. Bluebell is a proud warrior, stronger than any man and with an ironclad heart to match. Rose’s heart is all too passionate: She is the queen of a neighboring kingdom, who is risking everything for a forbidden love. The twins: vain Ivy, who lives for admiration, and zealous Willow, who lives for the gods. And Ash, who is discovering a dangerous talent for magic that might be a gift–or a curse.

But when their father is stricken by a mysterious ailment, they must come together on a desperate journey to save him and prevent their treacherous stepbrother from seizing the throne. Their mission: find the powerful witch who can cure the king. But to succeed on their quest, they must overcome their differences, and hope that the secrets they hide from one another and the world are never brought to light. Because if this royal family breaks, it could destroy the kingdom.

Five daughters. One Kingdom. Bluebell is a warrior. She strikes fear into the heart of those she meets on and off the battle field and does not suffer fools lightly. I imagined her as Xena. Everything is cut and dried for her. It’s right or it’s wrong based on how it affects the Kingdom and her father. Eventually she will rule.

Rose has been married off to the King of another area that assures peace for both countries. But her heart is with the man she couldn’t have. And her daughter may be his also. She is tender-hearted but can get the job done if need be.

Ash has been hidden away for years studying to become a counselor, but when she is called home when her father becomes ill, she finds herself surrounded with magic and knows she has to leave.

Willow has lived with her Uncle and comes home to find her ill father. She has taken up the faith of another God and is obsessed with it and the voices in her head. She has no loyalty to anyone including her sisters.

Ivy is the flighty, boy crazy one. She has no problem stealing your boyfriend or her sister’s husband. But she gets neither.

Now they must work together to get their father to safety and to find the undermagician who can make him well again. All the while their step-brother is planning on killing Bluebell and taking the throne with his mother as Queen. I did not care for his character. Shallow and calculating, he kills with no care and yet cares tenderly for a blind child.

This is the first book in the series and I found it to be quite entertaining. A new fantasy series in which all of them are just discovering who they are and what they are.

Ms. Wilkins has created smart, conflicted and addictive characters here. I can’t wait for the next one!

Netgalley/Del Ray  Release March 06, 2018