Review – Wolves And Roses

Wolves And Roses

by Christina Bauer

Wolves And RosesSeries: Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, Book 1
Genres: Paranormal, Fairy Tale, Romance
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Pages: 331
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google PlayKoboiBooks
My Rating: ★★★★★

Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem. She’s descended from one of the three magical races―shifters, fairies, or witches. That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template. In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.

Should being the key word.

Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the sleeping beauty life template. Not even close. She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures. She can’t sing. And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties want her to marry. Even worse, Bryar’s having recurring dreams of a bad boy hottie and is obsessed with finding papyri from ancient Egypt. What’s up with that?

All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her. And she might be able to do just that–if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.

But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. If Bryar can’t figure out who―or what―she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.

Continue reading “Review – Wolves And Roses”

Fountain Pen Series Wrap-Up

Happy Fountain Pen Friday, everyone. This is it for my fountain pen series. I’ve had loads of fun writing this series, and I learned far more than I expected.

Before I say good-bye to this series for good, I want to wrap up the entire thing in one, easy-to-share page. So, if you know someone who’s curious about fountain pens or wants to learn more about them, share this link: http://bit.ly/rdlf-fpseries. You can get to all three sections’ issues from the links below. Thanks for reading!

Fountain Pen 101: So you're interested in fountain pens?

  • Why Fountain Pens
    Why should you use fountain pens? Check out the benefits and detriments.
  • Anatomy of a Pen
    The basic anatomy of a fountain pen.
  • Where to Start (with Pens)
    The best pens (in my opinion) with which to start your fountain pen journey.
  • Nibs
    An introduction to nibs, including sizes; materials; and flex, fude, and music nibs.
  • Ink
    An overview of ink, including brands and commonly discussed properties.
  • Ink Reservoirs
    An overview of ink reservoirs in pens and my ratings of their capacity and ease of cleaning.
  • Cleaning & Filling
    The joys of pen cleaning!! ← Sarcasm.
  • Paper
    “Good” and “bad” paper and mini reviews of various notebooks I’ve tried.
  • Stores
    The benefits of brick and mortar stores, and a crowd-sourced world map of stores that carry fountain pens.

Fountain Pen 201: You've gone down the rabbit hole, what's next?

  • Pen Shows
    Learn about fountain pen shows and check out the international list of shows I know about.
  • Indie Pen Makers
    Learn about indie pen makers, including a list of indie makers I know about.
  • Nib Customization
    Learn about nib customizations, from the simple to the complex.
  • Inventories
    The benefits of keeping an inventory of your pen and ink collection.
  • Ink Swab Catalog
    “Fan requested” post covering my ink swabbing methods.
  • Community
    The fabulous fountain pen community.
  • Secondhand and Vintage
    Things to know when buying secondhand and vintage pens.
  • Selling Pens
    Things to know when selling pens.

Fountain Pen 301: Joining the maker community

  • DIY Nib Work
    How to get started with DIY nib work.
  • Pen Making
    How to get started with making pen bodies.
  • Pen Cases
    How to get started with making your own pen cases.

Review – The Scythian Trials

The Scythian Trials

by Elizabeth Isaacs

The Scythian TrialsGenres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction
Release Date: October 16th 2018
Pages: 374
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | KoboiBooks
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Descendants of the Amazons, the Scythians work alongside prominent governments but answer to no one. Warriors living on the fringe of civilization, they live by one credo: Strength through Equality. Power through Knowledge.

Nya Thalestris is the brightest Scythian of her generation. Strong, capable, ruthless, she is sure to earn a spot in the Trials, a time-honored mating ritual responsible for the evolution of her species.

Abducted by their sworn enemy, the Drahzda, Nya is forever altered and spirals out of control. The Society sends in Jax Nickius. Infamous psychologist and one of the most brutal warriors of their kind, he discovers triggers planted in Nya’s mind. As Nya solidifies her spot in the Trials, Jax develops a plan to help her heal—while pursuing her as a mate. But, Nya’s attraction to Jax is at war with her instinct to never let anyone get too close.

During the Trials, Nya’s repressed memories surface, revealing a new enemy—one from inside the consulate walls—and a traitorous alliance on the horizon that could irrevocably change the course of history.

Since before the Bronze Age, the Society has managed to safeguard humanity from itself … until now.

Continue reading “Review – The Scythian Trials”

Series Review – The Six Lives of Henry VIII

The Six Lives of Henry VIII Series

by Leigh Jenkins
Genres: Tudor England, Historical Fiction, Royalty, Alternative History

I had fond memories of reading the first three books of this series a few years ago, so I decided to reread them and finish out the series while I was on vacation. In general, the ideas are clever and many of them are supported by history. It’s always interesting to read “what if” and alternate universe stories.

Unfortunately, the series has its ups and downs, with fabulous entries and horrendous ones. However, the individual books in the series play off of real history, so you don’t need to read them all, nor do you need to read them in order.

The books are all rather short, coming in at an average of 200 pages. Also, I found enough errors throughout the books that I’m knocking off a star. So, the series as a whole earns 3 stars.

Continue reading “Series Review – The Six Lives of Henry VIII”

Fountain Pen 301: DIY Pen Cases

Happy Fountain Pen Friday, and welcome to the final issue of Fountain Pen 301. There will be a final, summary issue of my series next week. But this week, I’m covering pen cases.

Speaking from experience, it can be tempting to look at Rickshaw Bagworks or Nock Co. and think, “I can do that.” If the thought stems from the idea that you can save money by making it yourself, let me tell you, unless you’re a master sewer, you’re wrong.Between the materials and the time you’ll expend, you’ll end up spending much more in the long run!

However, if you’re interested in the challenge or the process, I’ve got some hints for you.

Continue reading “Fountain Pen 301: DIY Pen Cases”

Review – Too Gentlemanly

Too Gentlemanly: An Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy Story

by Timothy Underwood

Too GentlemanlyGenres: Historical Romance, Regency, Classical Re-write
Release Date: November 29, 2017
Pages: 288
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Fitzwilliam Darcy had grown unused to female society during his five years of seclusion since Georgiana had her illegitimate child. That was why he accidentally insulted Mrs. Bingley’s sister. And why he kept thinking about her.

When Georgiana became pregnant with Wickham’s child, Darcy had not made her marry the man Colonel Fitzwilliam found to preserve her reputation. She had begged him not to, and Darcy would do anything for his sister. He would even attend the Hertfordshire assembly with Mr. Bingley, because Georgiana wanted him to enjoy society. Bingley’s neighbors had refused to let a fallen woman like Georgiana amongst them. Darcy would not pretend to be pleased to meet them.

Elizabeth thought Mr. Darcy was a grand philanthropist: His rudeness provided everyone with a handsome and rich man to hate. But why, if he was actively determined to sneer at all the company, had he bothered to attend their assembly? Still, he was a very handsome man.

Darcy needed to overcome his bad first impression if he wanted Elizabeth. But he was rich, handsome and clever.

Continue reading “Review – Too Gentlemanly”

Fountain Pen 301: Pen Making

Happy Fountain Pen Friday, and welcome to another Fountain Pen 301. This week, I’ll be discussing pen making, both pouring your own resin blanks and turning pens.

Once again, rather than relying on my own (nearly nonexistent) knowledge for this topic, I reached out to some significantly more knowledgeable pen friends for help. Thank you very much to Chet Herbert of Herbert Pen Co. (fabulous man and gorgeous pens!) who was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to share some of his expertise. And thank you, also, to Brian Chu of Red Dragon Pen Co. for pointing me in the direction of some fabulous information. Continue reading “Fountain Pen 301: Pen Making”

Review – Three Mages and a Margarita

Three Mages and a Margarita

by Annette Marie

Three Mages and a MargaritaSeries: The Guild Codex: Spellbound, Book 1
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Magic
Release Date: September 14th 2018
Pages: 312
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview—to see if I’d mesh with their “special” clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That’s the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they…offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn’t a bar. It’s aguild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I’m exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there’s a good reason no one else wants to work here.

So what’s a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course—with a pay raise.

Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.

Continue reading “Review – Three Mages and a Margarita”

Fountain Pen 301: DIY Nib Work

Happy Fountain Pen Friday, and welcome to the final set of my fountain pen series. Fountain Pen 301 is very different to its predecessors. 301 will be short, only three entries, and will give you some advice and suggestions on where to start if you want to become part of the maker community.

In this first issue, I’ll be discussing nib work, which seems to be the next step in fountain pen ownership, based on my pen friends, even if you don’t stick with it. There seems to be great interest in the fountain pen community right now in learning nib work, so I’m hoping some of this information will help those of you who want to know more.

Rather than relying on my own (nearly nonexistent) knowledge for this topic, I reached out to some significantly more knowledgeable pen friends for help. Continue reading “Fountain Pen 301: DIY Nib Work”

Review – The Warrior’s Bride Prize

The Warrior’s Bride Prize

by Jenni Fletcher

The Warrior's Bride PrizeGenres: Romance, Historical Romance, Roman, Ancient World
Release Date: October 1, 2018
Pages: 288
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | WHSmith
My Rating: ★★★★★

Daughter of a slave…

…wedded to the warrior!

Livia Valeria is furious when she’s ruthlessly gambled away by her intended bridegroom. Luckily, it’s tall, muscled and darkly handsome Roman centurion Marius Varro who wins her as his bride! She must hide her Caledonian roots, but when Marius faces a barbarian rebellion at Hadrian’s Wall, Livia must make a choice: her heritage or the husband she’s falling for…

Continue reading “Review – The Warrior’s Bride Prize”