These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Review: Girl of Blood

Girl of Blood Girl of Blood by Norma Hinkens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Girl of Fire was a wonderful read, introducing us to the Expulsion Project and leaving us wanting more. Girl of Stone was a fun read, working to answer plenty of our questions whilst leaving us excited for the final book. Girl of Blood brings the trilogy together so well, offering a conclusion that will please the fans of the series.

From the first book, I’ve adored the cast of this series and couldn’t wait to see how their stories progressed in this one. Bringing together all the characters we have got to know so well throughout the series, we get to see as our favourites are put through some difficult situations as they attempt to make everything right once again. Throughout, we have our emotions pulled, leaving us unsure as to whether all the characters will make it through the story, forcing us to feel a range of emotions.

The situations and events vary so much, with a lot happening in this one. We deal with so many different aspects, bringing together all the different elements of the overall story along with giving us a few new things to worry about. In many ways, it’s like travelling back through the series – we revisit so many people and places, allowing us a glance at the things we loved in the prior books, giving us the answers we require as we work our way through space.

Both the expected and the unexpected occurred within this one, taking us on a wild ride throughout. Honestly, I could sit and explain all the details of this book that I loved so much, but to do so would be to give far too many spoilers. Just know the story is non-stop, we experience so much, and it is a wonderful end to the trilogy.

Although this brought everything together so nicely, I am sad to see the characters go. I would not be opposed to short stories or spinoff series telling the tales of the characters in the future, as I really did become so invested in all their lives.

Without a doubt, a great trilogy. I cannot wait to see what Norma Hinkens brings us next.

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Review: Lair

Lair Lair by James Herbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d been excited about reading The Rat series for quite some time, and although I wasn’t crazy about the first book, I was eager to dive into Lair. Personally, I enjoyed Lair a lot more than I enjoyed The Rats.

Lair takes place a few years after The Rats, dropping us back into the wonderful horror of the monstrous creatures. It takes all the creepy aspects of the first book and amplifies them, taking what we were introduced to in the first book and making it even creepier. It is more than just the overgrown rats in this story, as the mutation we were introduced to at the end of The Rats also plays a role in this story. As I said, the horror is amped up in this one.

With a new set of characters and a new location, we're quickly pulled into this story. I feel as though Lair had a bit more depth to it than the first book - whilst the first book had all the creep I could desire, I failed to connect with the characters and events. It was different with Lair, and I found myself falling deeper into the story.

I think a large part of it was that I enjoyed these characters more than I enjoyed the characters from the first book. Whilst we do have one character from the prior book in this one, and references are made to the events of book one, it was nice to be introduced to a fresh cast. It was only a little thing, but I do believe it played a big part in my enjoyment.

Overall, I enjoyed Lair a lot more than I enjoyed The Rats. I was eager to dive into Lair because of a curiosity as to what came next, whereas my eagerness to dive into Domain is based upon an investment in the story.

A great look back at the peak time of horror, and a great example of what James Herbert's capabilities as a horror writer.

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Monday, 16 October 2017

Review: Taming A Duke's Reckless Heart

Taming A Duke's Reckless Heart Taming A Duke's Reckless Heart by Tammy Andresen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My introduction to the Taming the Heart series came from book two, and I quickly worked my way through the rest of the series whenever the chance came about. Despite moving forward with the storyline, I never did work my way back to book one. I kept telling myself to, yet my long to-read list meant it remained a long way off. Fortunately, I have amended my error – I’ve now gone back and read book one and confirm it was a solid read.

Each book in the Taming the Heart series tells the story of a different couple, yet they are all linked through the characters. Links exist in the form of friendships, allowing us to follow the characters. In Taming a Duke’s Wild Rose, I was introduced to Piper and Barrett and quickly found myself interested in finding out more. Throughout the rest of the series – Taming a Laird’s Wild Lady, Taming a Rake into a Lord, Taming a Savage Gentleman, and Taming a Rogue Earl – I got to see more and more of them, getting to watch their relationship develop. Still, I had not read the story of how they came together.

You can imagine I entered this story with some pretty big expectations due to this. I’d read the next five books, constantly being shown snippets of their life. I had some pretty high standards for this story, and a part of me feared it wouldn’t live up. It’s not that I doubted Tammy Andresen – having enjoyed the five other books, I knew I would enjoy this one – it’s simply that I had created so many possibilities in my mind.

Fortunately, this one more than delivered.

Taming a Duke’s Reckless Heart was exactly what I hoped for from Piper and Barrett’s story. For anyone who has yet to read the series, this is a wonderful introduction of what to expect; as someone who has already read the rest of the series this was a wonderful dive into the past. It had all I had hoped for – the romance, the drama, and the great characters.

Whilst it is not my favourite book in the series, it’s certainly in my top three. Being slightly longer than some of the later books happen to be, this one digs deep into the drama surrounding Piper and Barrett’s love story. There is plenty to keep us entertained throughout, though, leaving you more than willing to finish this one in a single sitting. From the very start, their story pulls us in, leaving us wanting more, and unwilling to turn away until we know how everything plays out.

A wonderful read, more than worth it for anyone who enjoys historical romance. It’s a series I’d recommend for any such fans, with this book being a wonderful gateway drug into the stories.

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Review: Prescription For Love

Prescription For Love Prescription For Love by Zee Monodee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Earlier this year I read Zee Monodee’s Edge of Danger, and found it to be a wonderful read. I wanted more of the author’s work. Initially, I’d planned to dive into the rest of the Corpus Agency series; however, when the chance came to read Prescription for Love I was happy to dive in.

Prescription for Love is the first book in the Destiny’s Child series. These are standalone stories where a child brings together two characters. I’m always tentative about such reads – aware such books will fall on one extreme end of the spectrum, whereby I will adore the child or I will feel as though they’re nothing more than a forced element of the story – but I found Prescription for Love to be an enjoyable read.

I’ll be completely honesty by saying I wasn’t completely won over at first. I’m not quite sure what it was, but I wasn’t pulled into the story for a couple of chapters. I was interested in a number of elements, but I wasn’t pulled under the spell. I cannot pinpoint when this changed, but it wasn’t long before I found myself lost in the story. It won me over and I found it to be a story I could not put down – I was pulled into the lives of the characters, I was pulled into the romance, and so many events had me wanting more.

Without a doubt, it’s a wonderful romance that will quickly win you over. Going back to my statement about the use of children in books, I enjoyed the way this one dealt with an older child than I’m accustomed to in such stories. Often the children are really young, but this time the child character is on the edge of those dreaded teenage years – it added a different kind of drama, and I really liked this.

In addition to the drama added through the child character, there is plenty of other drama thrown in. It’s a somewhat quick read, but there is plenty thrown in throughout. Numerous elements that throw a wrench into the works, things that will leave you questioning whether or not the happily ever after will work out – and if it does, you cannot wait to see how they reach the point of such happiness.

Without a doubt, this was another great Zee Monodee read. Edge of Danger left me with the desire to read more, and Prescription for Love has left me certain I will be reading yet more of the author’s work.

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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Review: Season of Atchem

Season of Atchem Season of Atchem by Jennifer Arntson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Season of Atchem is the first book in Jennifer Arntson’s Scavenger Girl series, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book. This first one has pulled me completely into the world, leaving me super excited to find out what comes next in this wonderful story.

Whilst the book is labelled as young adult fantasy, I believe such a thing does the book a real injustice. It is so much more than your standard young adult fantasy novel, offering more depth than you tend to see. This is not an attack on other young adult fantasy novels – I’m a big fan of the genre and am well aware of the many wonderful reads that can be found – but many of my recent young adult fantasy reads do pale in comparison to this one. In many ways, I feel as though this book is closer to adult fantasy. It’s the age of the main character that has given it the young adult label, when in reality it is a much more mature read. I do not mean this in the sense of the book having numerous explicit scenes to bump it into new adult or adult, as seems to be the trend in young adult fantasy as of late, rather I feel as though the depth and the messages sent are more in line with a more mature reader. Young adults can certainly enjoy it, yet the older readers should not shy away due to the young adult label.

What we’re given is a fabulous story, with so many layers and so much hidden depth. I could go on and on about each of the different elements, writing an extremely lengthy review that covers every single tiny details, but to do such a thing will fail to convey the wonderful way in which all the different elements of this story interact.

We’re given a new world to deal with, a rather dystopian society. As the story progresses, we get to see more and more about the world. Although we only get to see a small snippet of the entire world, we get to experience so much in this one. Moreover, there is so much promise about what we’ll get to see in the future books. I feel as though a lot of the things we were introduced to in this one will become more prevalent in the future books, and that we’ll get to experience so much more than we did in this first book.

We’re given a wonderful cast, multidimensional characters. At first, I was unsure about some of the characters, feeling as though they existed merely to add a certain element to the story, but as things move forward all of the characters grow and develop. Everyone had a role to play, everyone was important. Love or hate a character, you will come to enjoy the interactions. Not to mention, there are plenty of unknowns left at the end – things you’ll believe about characters but will be unsure about, things you’ll want to see, things you’ll hope will be avoided, and so much more.

Holding the world and cast together is a gripping storyline that introduces you to so much. It is clear this book is the first in the series, as there are many things introduced in this one. When so much is happening in a story, sometimes things can become a bit confusing – but such is not the case here. Everything flows so well, details being introduced and merging with what we already know. There are so many different elements to this story, guaranteeing something will pull you in.

My only disappointment was that I wanted a little bit more action. As I stated, this is the first book in the series and it does a lot of introducing, yet I feel as though it overshadowed the potential for action. There were many twists thrown in, lots of things are given, and I hope this means we’ll get even more action in the future books. This, of course, is just a personal preference – it’s a brilliant book without the action, yet I’m somewhat biased towards the action sequences.

Overall, this was a wonderful read. It is a brilliant debut book, and I cannot wait to see what comes next. It’s certainly a book that people need to pick up, a series I need to follow.

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Friday, 13 October 2017

Review: To Prevent World Peace

To Prevent World Peace To Prevent World Peace by Emily Martha Sorensen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To Prevent World Peace is the first book in Emily Martha Sorensen’s Magical Mayhem series. It’s an extremely short read, one you can complete in under an hour, but it will leave you interested in finding out more.

For me, I felt as though this had an anime feel about it. It was as though I was reading an anime rather than watching it, noticing quite a few of the elements of high school magical girl anime within this novel. Without a doubt, it’s certainly something that will interest people who enjoy such anime – it’s short and sweet, straight to the point, pulling you in as it leaves you wanting more.

Although it is an extremely short read, we get plenty of information across the four chapters to have a general understanding of the world and what is to come in the future books. Ideas will form in your mind, but you will be left unsure as to what will actually happen. It certainly leaves you wanting to dive straight into the next story, curious as to what will come next.

The only thing that prevented me from truly enjoying it was something that is a personal preference of my own. I prefer to understand magical worlds and systems, and with this one we’re simply thrown into it. There were some comments made to give us a bit of an understanding, but I’m hoping these details will be explained in the future stories. Certainly, for a story of this length, I can understand why the details weren’t given in great depth – and, as I said, it’s mostly just a personal preference of mine anyway.

Overall, this was a nice little read to pass a short time period. It’ll leave you excited to jump into the next story, curious for what comes next.

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Review: Saving Brad

Saving Brad Saving Brad by Siobhan Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, time to confess, Siobhan Davis won me over: I am a Brad fan now.

Saving Brad is the fifth book in the Kennedy Boys series, and the second book to work as a standalone novel. As with the prior book, Loving Kalvin, I do believe it works best if you read the Kyler books prior to reading this one. In fact, I’m of the belief each and every book in this series needs to be read for the best experience. Whilst each relationship arc is wonderful alone, there are snippets seen throughout all the books. We get ideas of what is to come for the relationships in future books, we get to see how relationships from the prior books have developed, and these things work to make the standalone books all the stronger.

That being said, the Kyler books will not be for everyone. I completely understand why some people will enter on one of the standalone novels. However, for those to be following the series, this book will work to make a lot of fans happy. As my starting line stated – I’m now a Brad fan. Brad is one of the favourite characters in the series, and I believe the high demand for his story worked towards it being published early into the series, yet I was never a fan. It’s probably one of the most unpopular opinions surround Siobhan Davis, and yet I could never bring myself to like him all that much. His story intrigued me, I cannot deny that, but I never really liked him.

As you can see, things changed in this one. I went in tentative about it being Brad’s story, yet the snapshot we were given at the end of Loving Kalvin had me eager. It was a complex mix of emotions. So much excitement, yet it was somewhat reserved compared to my excitement for the other books. The more negative emotions, however, were quickly pushed away. Siobhan Davis pulled her usual trick – she hooked me early, and I found myself unable to put the book down. The characters, the events, the drama – the entire story – managed to dig deep into my very being and I could not put the book down.

Loving Kalvin was an emotional read on a number of levels, yet it pales in comparison to Saving Brad. They’re both deeply emotional in many ways, yet the situations dealt with in Saving Brad are much heavier. From the moment we were introduced to Racheal I had a few ideas about how her story would play out – things she said, things she had done, had me believing certain secrets would one day come to the forefront. When I found out she was to be the leading lady in Brad’s story, I wasn’t at all surprised when the synopsis pretty much confirmed my belief. Nevertheless, I was waiting on the specifics of the situation. Very quickly, we get to see how Racheal has a dark past and secrets that will rip anyone apart. I worked out the specifics of the situation quite early, but that failed to lessen the impact when the reveal came about – it was dark, it was emotional, and it worked so well in this story. There have been hints of darkness throughout all the books in this series, but I believe this one to deal with the darkest of issues. In other words, it is not a story for the faint of hearts. It will be a trigger for some, and it will leave emotional scars.

Whilst Racheal’s story is the darker element, Brad’s story is also highly emotional. As I’ve stated, his story has interested me throughout the series. I’m so glad we finally got to see how everything came together in that regard. It was emotional in completely different ways, working to pull your emotions in so many directions as each element of the story was presented. A lot of Brad’s story works to add the lighter tone to the story. There are still many dark moments to be found, but a lot of the elements are in the classical Kennedy drama sense.

As for the relationship between the two of them, I came to ship it more than I’d expected. They played off of each other so well, their different personalities and individual stories making for an explosive read. Alone they were both characters I was never crazy about – together, I lost myself in their story. It hit me hard in so many places, and it left me emotionally raw by the time I was done.

There were two things I wasn’t crazy about, if I’m honest, but I realise these things are a personal preference.

The first is some of the choices made by certain members of the Kennedy family. I’m really not going to say too much, due to spoilers, but certain things felt like a bit too much. When we return to the Kennedy home, I found myself surprised by the turn of events. I understand the choice, but it felt a bit too much to me – I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. I understood, but it felt too much. The other is something to do with a reveal made by one of the characters towards the end of the book. Again, it was something I understood, but I wasn’t sure if I felt it was the right choice – at first I thought it was just the shock, but as I thought about it, I felt it jarred slightly with the image I had of the character. Both of these are things I can understand, I can rationalise the choices, but I felt as though it wasn’t what I ever expected to see of the family.

The other thing I wasn’t overly crazy about was the ending. Whilst there was closure, I felt as though things happened rather suddenly. I’m not going to go into detail, and I know why things played out the way they did, but I’m not sure if I was completely happy. To me, the latter part of the book had an almost romantic suspense feel about it. I love a good romantic suspense, and I set my bar rather high. I know this wasn’t a romantic suspense book, but the way elements towards the end slipped in that direction meant my expectation towards the ended was lifted. It did have the emotional impact of the rest of the book, but I wasn’t on the edge of my seat as action sequences of this sort usually leave me. I’m not quite sure what it was, but it hit me emotionally yet it failed to get my heart pumping.

Overall, however, I loved this one. I’m both surprised and glad that Siobhan Davis managed to win me over when it comes to Brad, as I honestly wasn’t sure whether it would be possible. Siobhan Davis managed it though, and I’m grateful. He may never be my number one favourite character in this series, but I’m certainly a bigger fan that I was prior to this one.

As a final note, I’m even more excited for the future books now. I’ve been a big Keven fan from early in the series and he completely stole my heart in this one – the sooner I get my hands on his story, the happier I will be. Honestly, he was a total babe in this one – my love for him has only grown. The snippet provided into Kaden at the end of this one has left me excited for his story also – I feel as though we’re going to get a Siobhan Davis spin on another popular trope, and I cannot wait for it.

Bring on the future Kennedy Boys!

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Monday, 9 October 2017

Review: Runes

Runes Runes by Ednah Walters
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Runes is one of those books that spent way too long sitting on my Kindle. At the time when I downloaded it, I was intrigued. However, when I finally had the chance to read it the feeling had lessened. Thus, I put the book aside until the feeling of interest returned. Although the interest did return, it was never quite to the original level.

For me, I feel as though Runes is a story made up of far too many young adult tropes. There is a good story to be found, but it is buried under layers of clich├ęs. Thus, my emotions were constantly changing. There were parts of this story that I found to be really interesting, yet there were also parts of this story I did not care for at all. It was a confusing read, in terms of my emotions, hence my three star rating. I wasn’t over the moon about this one, nor did I hate it. It simply was.

As I said, there is a good story to be found within this one. It does provide us something different when we get down to the small details of the story. We finally have a story dealing with Norse mythology. I adore any kind of mythology, yet I feel as though Norse mythology does not get all the attention it could. At least, not as a whole. Certain elements have made it into the mainstream, but there is much more to Norse mythology than most stories will show. I loved how Runes was willing to take more than just the most well-known elements, building a much bigger picture. It was a refreshing change from the seemingly endless Greek mythology books out there, giving us an entirely new mythology to work with.

I also enjoyed the way we were slowly given the information regarding the mythology. If you have the knowledge, certain aspects will give you clues. You can make educated guessed, you can see what is hidden behind the details. Even with my rudimentary knowledge, I’m unable to work out all of the specifics. I guessed some of the big elements of this one, but there is a lot of mystery waiting to be found in the future. It is nice to be working with a mythology that is lesser known, a mythology that will leave people curious as to what is coming next.

However, it felt like a bit of a battle to reach these interesting elements. A lot of this story felt as though it was pulled out of a bag marked ‘typical young adult fantasy moments’. It was a case of ‘scenes we have seen before’ altered ever so slightly to fit this situation. The new guy at school with the bad attitude, the one that seems interested in our main character for no apparent reason. Our main character having some hidden special snowflake element, something that sets them apart. The clearly supernatural creatures that have it out for our main character, providing those heroic moments where our female can become even more confused about the male character’s intentions. I could continue, but a lot of the details felt as though they’ve been done too many times before. I was losing interesting as I read through the details of teenage life that have been done a thousand times over. It’s due to this that I’m so picky when it comes to my young adult reads – for me, those set within the confines of high school are too alike for me to truly enjoy.

Overall, this one had potential. There were some enjoyable elements, enough to leave me intrigued, but I wasn’t crazy about it. I may go on to read the second book, but I’m unsure – there is some interest there but whether it is enough for me to purchase book two remains to be seen.

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Review: Bearly Breathing

Bearly Breathing Bearly Breathing by Kit Tunstall
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have this love-hate relationship with short stories. Either I love them or I hate them. In fact, I spent a lot of my earlier years hating them. I would avoid them like the plague, believing I would never find one I enjoyed. When I finally found one I did enjoy, I was shocked. Finding multiple I enjoyed was a real jolt to the system. I quickly realised, however, that I needed certain things to enjoy short stories. There is a very fine line between short stories I enjoy and those I do not enjoy – it can be just a small thing that decides which side of the line a short story falls upon.

Bearly Breathing, unfortunately, falls upon the side of the line where I didn’t really enjoy it. There was the potential there – it involves some of my favourite things in short stories: a shifter and his mate, a couple stuck in the wilderness, and a lot of lust – but it failed to deliver me the story I had hoped to receive.

For me, this felt more like a collection of scenes rather than a story with a start and an end. Although there was a clear start and end to the story, I feel as though the scenes failed to include enough to create an entire story. There was a lot of information dumping rather than showing how things were playing out. We were told our heroine’s backstory, we were told the details of the shifter world, and we have a small bit of drama at the very end of the story to make it seem as though the details were merged together to create something. However, it didn’t feel as though anything happened. It felt like elements of a larger – more interesting – story were plucked and thrown into this little snippet.

In other words, I had wanted more. There was the potential for enjoyment, but as a whole I failed to reach the point where I was truly enjoying myself. A few moments made me think it was possible – moments that have me believing this is closing in on being a two-point-five star read – but the collective wasn’t enough to win me over.

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Review: The Rats

The Rats The Rats by James Herbert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My mother grew up reading all the big horror writers, leading to my appreciation of the greats. James Herbert is a shining example of my mother’s teenage years influencing my reading. For countless years I listened to her rant and rave about James Herbert’s books, telling me how wonderful they are. Thus, I dove in with eagerness. I started with the David Ash books, and loved them. From there, I have gone on to read a couple of other books – Portent, Fluke, and Creed. Other books have spent a while on my bookshelf waiting to be read. The one book my mother always references, however, was The Rats.

The Rats was the book my mother always told me to read when telling me about James Herbert. A favourite, it would provide all the creepy goodness of any worthwhile horror novel. Unfortunately, my mother could never find her copy. Thus, as I read more and more Herbert – enjoying all the stories I read – I found myself more and more intrigued by The Rats. It reached the point where my mother wanted me to watch the movie simply so I could understand what she was talking about – but I held out, knowing the book would provide all I wanted.

You can imagine this lead to some very high expectations. Endless talk from my mother left me believing this would be an amazing book, the best James Herbert novel I would read. I went in eager, hoping for the best.

Whilst I did enjoy The Rats, I feel as though my mother amped it up too much. I went in with too many expectations; I went in with the bar set way too high. It was a fun read, it provided me with another entertaining James Herbert read, but it wasn’t quite what I’d been anticipating.

The horror in this one was wonderful. It took something from the real world and made it into something terrifying. Turning the mundane into the truly terrifying is the best way to write horror, in my opinion. Ghosts and ghouls are a lot of fun, but causing people to be fearful of everyday aspects is even better. I cannot fault the way in which rats were made to be truly horrifying creatures.

However, I feel as though the story failed to give the same kind of impact as my other James Herbert reads. It was good for the creep factor, but everything seemed to be resolved far too easily. It seemed to come together much too quickly for me to be completely content. I realise this links in with the book being the first in a trilogy, but I feel as though it concluded far too quickly. Things happened, but I failed to connect in the way I did with other James Herbert books.

It was a fun read, yes, and I’ll certainly be reading more. It simply wasn’t quite what I had been imagining.

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Blog Tour: The Bloodprint.

Title: The Bloodprint
Author: Ausma Zehanat Khan
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Touring: October 2-October 13, 2017

The author of the acclaimed mystery The Unquiet Dead delivers her first fantasy novel—the opening installment in a thrilling quartet—a tale of religion, oppression, and political intrigue that radiates with heroism, wonder, and hope.

A dark power called the Talisman has risen in the land, born of ignorance and persecution. Led by a man known only known as the One-Eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination—a superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing.

But there are those who fight the Talisman's spread, including the Companions of Hira, a diverse group of influential women whose power derives from the Claim—the magic inherent in the words of a sacred scripture. Foremost among them is Arian and her apprentice, Sinnia, skilled warriors who are knowledgeable in the Claim. This daring pair have long stalked Talisman slave-chains, searching for clues and weapons to help them battle their enemy’s oppressive ways. Now, they may have discovered a miraculous symbol of hope that can destroy the One-Eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: The Bloodprint, a dangerous text the Talisman has tried to erase from the world.

Finding The Bloodprint promises to be their most perilous undertaking yet, an arduous journey that will lead them deep into Talisman territory. Though they will be helped by allies—a loyal ex-slave and Arian’s former confidante and sword master—both Arian and Sinnia know that this mission may well be their last.

Ausma Zehanat Khan is the author of The Unquiet Dead, published by St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books, and winner of the Barry Award, the Arthur Ellis Award and the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Novel. Her widely acclaimed second novel, The Language of Secrets, was published in 2016. Among the Ruins, her third mystery was published in February 2017. She is also at work on a fantasy series, to be published by Harper Voyager, beginning October 2017. The Bloodprint is Book One of the Khorasan Archives. 
A frequent lecturer and commentator, Ms. Khan holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law with a research specialization in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. Ms. Khan completed her LL.B. and LL.M. at the University of Ottawa, and her B.A. in English Literature & Sociology at the University of Toronto. 
Formerly, she served as Editor in Chief of Muslim Girl magazine. The first magazine to address a target audience of young Muslim women, Muslim Girl re-shaped the conversation about Muslim women in North America. The magazine was the subject of two documentaries, and hundreds of national and international profiles and interviews, including CNN International, Current TV, and Al Jazeera "Everywoman". 
Ms. Khan practiced immigration law in Toronto and has taught international human rights law at Northwestern University, as well as human rights and business law at York University. She is a long-time community activist and writer, and currently lives in Colorado with her husband.
Connect with her at her website:  or on social media

Did the Bloodprint represent deliverance or deception?
            There were only three among them who would be able to read it, even if by some fortuitous working of fate, Arian was able to find it. Herself, Ash, and Ilea.
            And why would the Black Khan help them? Solely for the sake of the Sacred Cloak?
She raised her eyes to his face.           
            “You do not seek the Bloodprint for yourself, Excellency? You were the one who thought to—intercept it.”
            Thief, her eyes called him. And liar, as well.
            “Rukh,” he reminded her.
            She pretended to soften. “Rukh, then. You said you have proof of the Bloodprint. Are you able to read the Claim? Is it true you were schooled in the High Tongue?”
            A glimmer of amusement in his eyes suggested he fully understood the things she hadn’t expressed, her private dismissal of his character.
            “I’m not as fluent as the Companions of Hira.” He made a small bow to Ilea. “But neither am I ignorant.”
            No, Arian thought. He wouldn’t be. And he’d evaded the more important question. She returned to it.
            “You do not expect to retain the Bloodprint, if I am able to retrieve it?”
            “If you are able to retrieve it, all of Khorasan will be at your feet.”
            “That is not why I pursue it.”
            It was important to her that she convince him of this, though she couldn’t have said why.
            His eyes narrowed, as if he’d grown tired of her.
            “A Companion who does not seek power, perhaps because she wields it so wholly.” There was a caustic note in his voice. “The Bloodprint doesn’t matter to me. I have taken the Cloak as payment, it will serve me well enough.”
            His words challenged her to deny him.
            Arian didn’t think twice.
            “It isn’t a prize to be bartered.” She turned to Ilea, prepared to risk the High Companion’s wrath. “And the Cloak isn’t yours to cede. It belongs at Hira. We are its rightful guardians.”
An indefinable expression crossed Ilea’s face.
“It was the price I paid for the Black Khan’s counsel. A counsel we desperately need.” There was a bitter edge to her voice. “You’ve been away too long, in pursuit of your misguided quest. I’ve had other priorities at Hira.” She made an impatient gesture with her hand. “Either accept your Audacy, or refuse it. I will not countenance further debate.”
Why not? And then realization struck Arian. For all of her discouragement of Arian’s efforts with the slave-chains, Ilea had expected Arian to bring the Cloak to Hira. How else could she have known to make her bargain with Rukh?
She had known Arian would seek it. And she had meant to trade it away.
            She was swamped by a feeling of grief. How had she and Ilea come to this point?
            “Why do you look so betrayed? You chose to pursue the Cloak for your own ends. I understood it would serve a larger purpose.”
            “What purpose?” Arian whispered.
             “The defence of Hira. The defence your actions made necessary.”
            “My actions?” Arian echoed the words without understanding their meaning.
            Ilea’s response was cruel. She had found a way to strike back.
“Yes, your actions. Your unceasing war against the slave-chains has put the Citadel at risk. The One-Eyed Preacher brings his war to Hira. And when he comes, the Citadel will fall.”
            Arian blanched at the words. Was the High Companion right? Had she brought destruction to the Citadel? When everything she treasured was at Hira?
            “No,” she said, grief in her voice. “That cannot be true.”
            The Black Khan murmured something to Ilea, and the waters of the All Ways resumed their careful dance. Ilea crossed her arms, pressing both hands to her circlets. She waited impatiently for Arian to mimic the gesture.
“This is not an Audacy to undertake only as it suits you. Our very survival is at stake—the lives of the Companions, the sanctity of the scriptorium, the Citadel itself. Will you accept this Audacy? Or does your courage forsake you at the outset of the war?”
This isn’t the outset.
I’ve been waging this war for a decade.
At too great a cost, she now realized. But Arian accepted the Audacy’s rites. The time for dissent had passed. She had no choice but to seek out the Bloodprint.
Or face the end of the world.
Monday, October 2
Book reviewed at Reading Reality
Interviewed at Mythical Books
Book featured at I Smell Sheep

Tuesday, October 3
Book featured at CGB Blog Tours
Book featured at T's Stuff

Wednesday, October 4
Book featured at Comfy Chair Books
Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish

Thursday, October 5
Book reviewed at Books for Books
Book featured at The Dark Phantom
Book reviewed at Good Family Reads

Friday, October 6
Book reviewed at Portrait of a Book
Book reviewed at BTH Reviews
Interviewed at Leigh Anderson Romance

Monday, October 9
Book reviewed at Bibliophile Ramblings
Book reviewed at BookStopCorner
Book reviewed at Ashley's Bookshelf

Tuesday, October 10
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Book featured at A Title Wave

Wednesday, October 11
Book reviewed at Morbid Romantic
Book reviewed at Natural Bri
Book reviewed at Thoughts on Books

Thursday, October 12
Book reviewed at Okbolover
Book reviewed at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf
Book featured at The Bookworm Chronicles

Friday, October 13
Book reviewed at GothicMomReviews
Book reviewed at Good Choice Reading
Book reviewed at Books Are Love