Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: Third Daughter

Third Daughter Tour

Third daughterThird Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn

Skyships, saber duels, and lots of royal intrigue... and, of course, kissing.

The Third Daughter of the Queen wants her birthday to arrive so she'll be free to marry for love, but rumors of a new flying weapon may force her to accept a barbarian prince's proposal for a peace-brokering marriage. Desperate to marry the charming courtesan she loves, Aniri agrees to the prince's proposal as a subterfuge in order to spy on him, find the weapon, and hopefully avoid both war and an arranged marriage to a man she does not love.

Third Daughter is the first book in the The Dharian Affairs Trilogy (Third Daughter, Second Daughter, First Daughter). This steampunk-goes-to-Bollywood (Bollypunk!) romance that takes place in an east-Indian-flavored alternate world filled with skyships, saber duels, and lots of royal intrigue. And, of course, kissing.

From the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, The Dharian Affairs is a new series filled with equal doses of action-adventure and romance, meant to appeal to fans of Mindjack.

NOMINATED for the Illinois Librarian's "Soon to be Famous Author Project" wherein librarians hope to discover local authors whose "work will jump off the page for readers."

"Third Daughter is vividly breathtaking. Quinn delivers royal intrigue, exotic locations, and sweeping romance. Not to be missed!" - Pavarti K. Tyler, author of Shadow on the Wall

"Susan Kaye Quinn writes characters that leap off the page... Incredibly well written, the vivid setting was crisp in my mind... As the plot raced on, I was cursing real life for not letting me just sit glued to my kindle, punching the touch screen to get to the next page." - Tiffany on Goodreads

Author Susan Kaye Quinn

susan quinnSusan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, which is young adult science fiction. The Dharian Affairs trilogy is her excuse to dress up in corsets and fight with swords. She also has a dark-and-gritty SF serial called The Debt Collector and a middle grade fantasy called Faery Swap. It's possible she's easily distracted. She always has more speculative fiction fun in the works. You can find out what she's up to by subscribing to her newsletter (hint: new subscribers get a free short story!).


I was astonished by the originality of this work, and was happy of a brand new setting that's far different from many of today's Romance/Adventure novels. Bollywood meets Steampunk?! You've got to love it, and I most certainly did.

Aniri, our leading lady, is the Third Daughter of the Queen. This means she'll be free to Marry for Love when she turns 18. In love with a handsome diplomat and prepared to begin a life outside of the stifling Royal court, her dreams are dashed when her Mother requests that she consider an arranged marriage with a barbarian prince in order to keep the peace between divided nations.

But not everything is as it seems, and as Aniri enters the agreement with the intention to spy on her faux husband-to-be for her mother, she discovers little by a little a devious and devastating plot to overthrow her family and destroy the kingdom that is nearer and dearer to her heart than she ever imagined.

Aniri as a main character is a bit strong-willed but that's part of her endearment and actually serves her very well in various occasions.  Despite her stubborn streak she is more intelligent, politically savvy, and noble than we (and even herself) imagine and her big heart keeps guiding her in the right direction. Surrounded by a slew of characters from a cranky assassin to an overly romanced handmaiden, Aniri tackles fear and a broken heart to save her home and keep the peace.

I will admit that I guessed the plot twist before it happened, but that didn't take away any of the enjoyment in the read. Beautiful imagery, beautiful landscapes, and GORGEOUS costuming. I mean, this would make a spectacular film.

The reader will be on the edge of their seat waiting for the worst to happen, cheering for Aniri to "Run Run Run!!!" or yelling at the pages "No! No! No!".

I highly recommend this spectacular tale of a young woman who simply wants to be free and in love, but finds that freedom means more than she believes and  love does not come in the package she expects.



Priya gave Aniri a sly glance in the mirror. “If my lady is not interested in the new Samirian diplomat, I know many ladies of the court who will be. I might even try a hand at him myself.”
Aniri smiled. “Priya, you are wicked.” She decided it was indulgent to burden Priya with her worries. She would have to figure this out herself. Priya stabbed in a final pin, making Aniri wince. “I also think you secretly train in the fencing room with those pins.”

“Yes, my lady, I do.” Priya pulled another pin from her waist and flourished it in the air. “Have you seen the fencing instructors? They are quite handsome, and strong, and very… sweaty in their earnest practice.”

Aniri nearly laughed, but her sour mood returned when Priya stepped back, her primping complete. Aniri studied herself in the mirror. The girl who had run into the forest in her night clothes was completely erased, and a princess glowered back at her.

“Perhaps you could go to tea in my place, Priya.”

“Oh no, my lady.” Priya gave her a mocking half-curtsey. “My bravery is nowhere near equal to that task.”

Aniri wasn’t sure hers was either.

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/24/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Until Next Blog,

Read On! 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Even Hippies Get The Blues

Displaying booktourhippies.jpg 

Displaying hippieseBooknew.jpgTitle: Even Hippies Get The Blues
Author: Michel Lee King
Official Release Date: February 21, 2014
Pages: 202 Pages
Genre: Humorous Romance/Literary Humor
Target Audience: Adult Women, New Adult

Synopsis: “Sometimes peace can only come through chaos.”

Amy thought she had it all together. Her goals were set and she was working toward them seamlessly while practicing her peace-loving philosophy.

Her world of blissful ignorance crumbles when Travis, a blond paramedic with a body that can stop a truck, waltzes in to open her eyes... Just after Murphy, and his pesky law, paint a target on her back. How many times can a waitress be interrogated in one day? Just how much orange acrylic paint can get caught in dreads before an interview? How does one retain their composure while dripping paint nude in their living room and staring down a trespassing police officer?


Charming, Refreshing, and Fun
"Even Hippies Get The Blues" was a pleasure to read. I'm still a little new the the entire "New Adult" genre, and felt a little strange at first reading about a main character who is much younger than me and living an adult lifestyle - Job, apartment, real dreams an aspirations (not just to survive High School), but the weirdness went away the moment I got to know "Star". Ms. King has created such a treat of a character with Amy Landry.

Amy Landry is a quirky artist who is very serious about her dreams, thank you very much. While being artistic and open-minded she is in no way flighty or overly "bubbly". Over analytical, a thinker, and creative to boot she's determined to reach her goals, even if that means working a terrifically horrific job as a waitress at a class "D" (for dump) restaurant. I admire her quiet spunk. 

It may have also taken me a few minutes to get over the fact that Amy dips herself in toxic paint for the sake of art. I find that she has a shockingly lax view of her own self preservation in this regard. I suppose, however, that it's to each their own (and to own their each?). 

What I appreciated the most about "Even Hippies Get The Blues" was the likeability of Amy and how real of a person Ms. King fashioned her to be. When I use the word "real" I'm referring to how natural it was to assume Amy was an actual human being NOT a fictional character. I recognized behavior, thoughts, and even decisions that Amy made as behavior, thoughts, and decisions that I could personally claim. Though I may not be able to completely ignore a gorgeous police officer sitting in my apartment for 3 hours while I painted... No, no. I'd get ticked off at the distraction eventually. Amy just forgets he's there. Bravo, girl. Bravo!

Ms. King also touches on some more sensitive points about being a unique person in a world that's a little weirded out by "Uniqueness". While Amy comes off as a very normal, loving, fun individual her outward quirks (dreadlocks specifically) attract a lot of negative attention. Throughout the book she's getting asked awkward questions,  getting verbally abused by narrow minded people, and just in general being shorted on respect for her lifestyle. Thankfully our main gal reigns victorious over all of the pettiness (well, most of it), and readers will be refreshed by her outlook and will to persevere, even when she's bummed out and things seem to be going crap.

The romance aspects were sweet. And I mean chocolate covered strawberry sweet. Suitable for any reader who believes that love is possible. Ms. King has beautifully presented an idea that Even when things are the worst they could be there's an opportunity for change.  Love, for yourself, for another, for your life, and for your passions alters perceptions and intentions and everything becomes new and anything possible.

Love this book. 5 quills.

Author Bio

Michel Lee King writes fiction that has a tendency to mix the light and dark elements of life and focuses primarily on the Literary Fiction and Fantasy genres. Michel is a peace and fun-loving person living in the shadow of Mount Rainier in Washington state. She is happily married, has one son, two dogs, and a cat. When not consuming copious amounts of coffee, she is writing, editing, or enjoying the outdoors with her family.

She can be found online:
Twitter: @Michel_Lee_King
Facebook: King.Michel.Lee

 Amy wakes tangled in her yellow sheets and unable to extricate herself:

Laying in my womb-like chrysalis, I returned the phone call. On the third ring, my best friend answered. “Hey Amy. How’s it going? Why didn’t you answer?”

I started laughing hysterically at the situation. “I’ve been taken hostage by my sheets and they won’t let me go.”

A long pause followed my announcement. Finally I heard a soft chuckle. “Should I call the police? Or search and rescue?”

“Both,” I snorted mid laugh.

Her chuckle intensified. “Oh my god, you’re serious aren’t you?”

“Yes. I’m lying here, on the floor, wrapped up like some sunshine burrito, and I can’t get out.”

I had to hold the phone away from my head because she was laughing so hard. “Why are you laughing at a time like this? My dignity is at stake!”

Rustling met my wheezed outburst before the line went dead. Staring up at the stained ceiling, I gave in to the hilarity of my plight. Who else could get themselves this stuck in cotton?

Calmed somewhat, and out of breath, I gave the sheets an honest fight. Sadly, they were winning. Sweating, and only slightly less trapped, I inched my way into the kitchen where the aromatic wonder that was my customary French roast tempted my bruised ego.


Tour Small Prize Giveaways

To celebrate the release of “Even Hippies Get The Blues”, you can win a signed paperback, bookmark, mug, mug warmer, Gevalia French roast coffee, dark chocolate, 2 bamboo coasters, 2 bamboo placemats, essential oil (choice of lavender, orange or rose), “laugh” stone and a reusable shopping bag.
Displaying EHGTB Small Prize #1 (619x640).jpg Displaying EHGTB Small Prize #2 (622x640).jpg

Grand Prize Giveaway

Here’s what you can win: a signed paperback copy, bookmark, mug, mug warmer, Gevalia French roat coffee, dark chocolate, 2 bamboo coasters, 2 bamboo placemats, essential oil (choice of lavender, rose or orange) and a reusable shopping bag.

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up. Please go to the authors webpage to enter. RafflCopter Giveaway
will be up on AuggieTalk soon!


Until Next Blog,

Read On!