Tag Archives: Fantasy

Book Birthday & Giveaway: Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr

     Happy Book Birthday to Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr.

“Dangerous promises and beguiling threats swirl together in a dozen stories of enchantments, dark and light, by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr. Uncanny and unexpected creatures appear from behind bushes, rise from under the seas, or manifest from seasonal storms to pursue the objects of their attention—with amorous or sinister intent—relentlessly.

From the gentle tones of a story-teller’s cadences to the terror of a blood sacrifice, tales of favorite characters from Marr’s Wicked Lovely novels mix with accounts of new characters for readers to fall in love with . . . or to fear.

Lush, seductive, and chilling, Melissa Marr’s stories revel in the unseen magic that infuses the world as we know it.”

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with the short story genre. For me it’s usually because short stories if they are well written…simply leave me wanting more. I want to know what will happen next, how it will end or just more depth in general from my reading material.

That was surely the case with most of the tales in Melissa Marr’s newest collection of stories filled with a plethora of unforgettable characters, differing styles and even what at times felt like a range of  time periods. Inside you will find a little bit of something for everyone from stories containing the characters of the bestselling Wicked Lovely series to the occasional vampire and even the almost folk tale-ish “Winter’s Kiss” which happened to be my personal favorite within the collection. In the end the volume is a array of stories  filled with variety of every kind, snippets of the darker side and tastes of true terror at times. It’s the perfect book to read straight through from beginning to end or to parcel out each night before bed. I can only hope we may see some of these stories later developed into much more by the very talented Marr in the future. Also if you haven’t- make sure to check out Marr’s most recent and only adult novel  Graveminder which I truly enjoyed a short while ago.

Super Book Giveaway

In celebration of the release of Faery Tales and Nightmares Stiletto Storytime is excited to be able to offer a special giveaway from author Melissa Marr herself. One lucky reader will win a personalized copy of Faery Tale and Nightmares along with a personalized copy of the recently released A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton. Giveaway ends midnight EST March 1, 2012. US addresses only please for this giveaway. Winner will be contacted by e-mail.

To enter simply comment below telling me why you want to win this great prize pack. Are you a Melissa Marr fan or a newbie who is intrigued? Do you love short stories or simply crave a taste of the dark side? Just let us know for a chance to win both great books.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower Melissa Marr on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower Kelly Keaton on Twitter

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Filed under Book Birthday, Fantasy, New Books, Paranormal, Short Story Collections, Young Adult Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss

    “Lucy Derrick is a young woman of good breeding and poor finances. After the death of her beloved father, she is forced to maintain a shabby dignity as the unwanted boarder of her tyrannical uncle, fending off marriage to a local mill owner. But just as she is on the cusp of accepting a life of misery, events take a stunning turn when a handsome stranger—the poet and notorious rake Lord Byron—arrives at her house, stricken by what seems to be a curse, and with a cryptic message for Lucy. Suddenly her unfortunate circumstances are transformed in ways at once astonishing and seemingly impossible.

With the world undergoing an industrial transformation, and with England on the cusp of revolution, Lucy is drawn into a dangerous conspiracy in which her life, and her country’s future, are in the balance. Inexplicably finding herself at the center of cataclysmic events, Lucy is awakened to a world once unknown to her: where magic and mortals collide, and the forces of ancient nature and modern progress are at war for the soul of England . . . and the world. The key to victory may be connected to a cryptic volume whose powers of enchantment are unbounded. Now, challenged by ruthless enemies with ancient powers at their command, Lucy must harness newfound mystical skills to prevent catastrophe and preserve humanity’s future. And enthralled by two exceptional men with designs on her heart, she must master her own desires to claim the destiny she deserves.”

Witches, Fairies, the Luddites and Lord Byron? Oh My!

History, romance, adventure and magic all combine in Regency England in David Liss’ newest novel The Twelfth Enchantment. As a lover of all things Regency, I could not wait to see how the author would combine it’s world of society and manners with the fantastical idea of magic and witches among the Ton. Throw in some Lord Byron to boot and you have a page turner that truly seems to work well together despite being a jumble of genres that often seem to many to count. However beware one must be willing to think freely for this is not a book that follows the rules…suspension of belief is a must.

Lucy Derrick is a charming main character that is well written and realized especially considering the author is male and his protagonist a female. Often in this instance I find the character may not ring true especially with a woman placed in a historical setting but Liss managed to make Lucy not only real but also quite charming and likeable. She is believable both as an abandoned women at the mercy of her Uncle and as a woman on the brink of discovering her own powers as a witch. As the novel progresses she becomes more and more enjoyable as she embarks upon adventure, intrigue and romance.

The supporting characters within The Twelfth Enchantment were also well written and developed including the devilish “bad guys”, loyal friends and of course the handsome suitors. In many instances I found the book reminding me of various past novels such as North and South (Elizabeth Gaskell), Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell and The Discovery of Witches. It was as if there was a bit of each all wrapped into one with The Twelfth Enchantment.

While suspension of belief is required, the novel was both interesting and intriguing on many levels and a well blended version of historical fiction and fantasy for those who enjoy a little more than your average foray into the past. I myself would love to see a sequel later on down the road perhaps?

Until then make sure to follow along on this TLC Book Tour and see what other reviewers think about this book.

Book Giveaway

One lucky reader of Stiletto Storytime will win their very own copy of The Twelfth Enchantment. Giveaway ends midnight EST August 29, 2011. US/Canada addresses only please. The winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address.Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

To enter simply comment below.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter (Leave Name)

Like TLC Book Tours on Facebook (Leave Name)

Be/Become a Follower of Author David Liss on Twitter (Leave Name)

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Fantasy, historical fiction, New Books

Review: The Fire Lord’s Lover by Kathryne Kennedy

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I don’t usually read a lot of fantasy except the classics and popular works of late. I also don’t usually read any romance which is why The Fire Lord’s Lover took me so much by surprise. It was exactly the type of book I usually would get a few chapters into and then abandon if I picked it up at all. Honestly I usually don’t even begin this type of book. It’s just not my regular niche but for some reason I started this one, one night right before bed and simply could not put it down. This book had me reading until late in the night and then waking wanting to return.

It’s a set up that immediately had me wary….a London taken over by fantastical magic, elven lords, an assassin bride and sex, sex and more sex (this book is for mature readers only)….not really my general cup of tea but somehow Kathryne Kennedy had me hooked. She does a wonderful job of taking a plot and spectacularly real characters that could seem rather fantastical and even stereotypical for the genre and yet she makes it all work. Kennedy is a great writer and that’s the key. Any story in the hands of a true storyteller can work for almost any reader if delivered in the right way. I have seen that again and again with other people but rarely with myself until The Fire Lord’s Lover.

The characters are definitely what drew me into the story initially. Dominic is such an interesting play on fantasy, strength and yet vulnerability that he immediate pulls you in while Cassandra is his perfect match that you find yourself rooting for at every turn. The plot is expertly crafted but I would have to say my only criticism is that the ending seemed abrupt and somewhat too “easy”. I would have liked more lead in and more of a scene. However readers must make that decision for themselves. I now find myself awaiting the next installment of The Elven Lord Series. So while I wait for the second book give the first a try and let me know if you were pulled in as well. There may be magic at play!

The Fire Lord’s Lover by Kathryne Kennedy

If his powers are discovered, his father will destroy him…

In a magical land ruled by ruthless Elven lords, the Fire Lord’s son Dominic Raikes plays a deadly game to conceal his growing might from his malevolent father-until his arranged bride awakens in him passions he thought he had buried forever…

Unless his fiancée kills him first…

Lady Cassandra has been raised in outward purity and innocence, while secretly being trained as an assassin. Her mission is to bring down the Elven Lord and his champion son. But when she gets to court she discovers that nothing is what it seems, least of all the man she married…

Then Dominic and Cassandra together uncover an unspeakable evil, one that threatens the destruction of the magical realm they would give their souls to save…”

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Filed under Adult Books, New Books

Once Upon A Time Challenge IV

The time has almost come for Stainless Steel Droppings….Once Upon a Time Challenge IV! I have had this one on my calendar for quite some time. This is my first year with this challenge, I just barely missed it last year. The challenge centers around the magic that can be evoked by the written word in four main genres: fantasy, folklore, fairy tale and mythology. As with most challenges there are differing levels for any reader and I encourage you all to join and take part in a great reading experience. I will be signing up for the Quest the Third Level which entails:

“Fulfill the requirements for Quest the First:Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time IV criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres  AND top it off with a June reading of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream OR a viewing of one of the many theatrical versions of the play. Love the story, love the films, love the idea of that magical night of the year and so this is my chance to promote the reading of this farcical love story.”

I am extremely excited especially to add some mythology to my reading lists…it has long been one of my favorite subjects. I took as many classical mythology classes as I could in college…trying to learn Ancient Greek however seemed to stop me in my tracks! For this challenge I am thinking possibly to re-read The Iliad and possibly Antigone which have long been favorites and also some new fantasy. I am also very excited about re-reading some Shakespeare and possibly catching a version of the play that is performed outside yearly here.  I am open to suggestions if you have any must read books that will fit the criteria. I love book suggestions just as much as I love giving them. I often feel that I must be missing something…so comments are welcome! The fourth annual Once Upon a Time Challenge officially begins on Sunday, March 21st and ends June 20th but sign up has already begun.  Enjoy your journey!  And to start you on your path below is one of my favorite quotes about fairy tales:

“For those who immerse themselves in what the fairy tale has to communicate, it becomes a deep, quiet pool which at first seems to reflect only our own image; but behind it we soon discover the inner turmoils of our soul – its depth, and ways to gain peace within ourselves and with the world, which is the reward of our struggles.” -Bruno Bettelheim The Uses of Enchantment

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