*RECOMMENDED READ* ~ Catherine Miller’s Deridia series

#sciencefiction #scififantasy #scifi #scifiromance #romance #topread

I read Mercy, the first book in Catherine Miller’s Dredia series earlier this year and quickly became hooked, immediately downloading and reading the rest of the series, Trade and Mercy.

I loved this series! I’m partial to science fiction romances, in particular when they focus on relationships between different races and this theme is at the very heart of this series, which explores human relationships with aliens. The setting for the series is the planet Dredia, where the ancestors of a group of human colonists had the misfortune to land. The existence of the humans is desperate. Some are barely tolerated by the planet’s indigenous races and eek out a meagre existence in the Wastes, whereas others have even been enslaved by the planet’s violent race of slave owners.

Each book deals with how a different human female is either compelled or chooses to leave all she knows and is thrust into the society of another of the planet’s races. In Mercy Prim’s life is so desperate in the Wastes that she offers herself to one of the visiting Arterians who is on a trade visit. In Trade the Marzons insist that one of the human colonists bond with one of their own, it being their custom to form such alliances to solidify both peace and trade. Finally in Thrall, Ness who has failed to perform her tasks to the level expected by her harsh Narada slave masters is given as part payment to visiting traders.

I found each read to be compelling in its own way as they each explore what it is like to be different and/or reviled by society and the challenges faced by couples whose relationships challenge the accepted norms within their society. Each romance is very different and each a slow burn and there is a great deal of emotional angst. Not only do all the women experience very real difficulties in adjusting to their new realities, but each of the males have their own personal struggles to contend with. I hugely enjoyed the author’s voice and found each book an emotional rollercoaster of a  read.

In Mercy Rykkon the healer is viewed as an outsider by his own village and his decision to return home with Prim, a human woman, is not one that his people accept easily. Also how will two individuals from such diverse races possibly bond given all their differences?

In Trade  Heather is compelled to sacrifice herself for the good of the human community. Her marriage to Machrus one of the Marzon necessary to ensure her people’s safety. The twist here is that her bridegroom too is far from willing. Their story was a compelling read as the couple at first formed an uneasy alliance, then respect for one another before a slow burn romance developed. And what of Machrus’ people, will they accept her?

Thrall was a particularly emotional read as Ness, a slave, has been made to feel utterly worthless by her former masters and finds adjusting to life with Olivar, the man to whom she has been given as part payment for goods, extremely difficult as she has never had the freedom to think or act for herself.

Mercy

Dishonourable.
Unwanted.
Outsider.

Such are the slurs cast upon Rykkon, however undeserved. As the only village healer, his people cannot cast him out entirely, but there is little comfort in such a life when he has long known that no mate from his clan would willingly join with him. It is a lonely fate, but one Rykkon has learned to accept. That is, until one tense exchange between his people and the humans brings him an offer he simply cannot ignore.

The humans are not their slaves. Nor their property. Nor of any great concern. But neither are they free. It is by the provisions of the Arterians they scrape out a sorry existence in the Wastes, and by their goodwill alone that they continue to survive. Scavenging for hasart beetles under the two suns is the only life the desperate colonists have known since their ancestors first landed on the desolate planet. It was all they knew. It was all they hoped for.

Until one day, a young female dares to ask for more.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Trade

Gullible.
Foolish.
Weak.

She had always done as she was told. She dug in the sands until her fingers bled so that her people could have something to barter. She packed up her sparse belongings without complaint when it was time to flee the Wastes, leaving behind the only home she’d ever known, and the site of the bittersweet memories she carried of her lost family. It was easier that way, to obey and not to question, knowing her own judgement to be faulty.

But when her people learn that the exchange for living on alien land and securing their safety is the price of one of their unclaimed women, the limits of her compliance are tested, as she is given in marriage to a man she does not want from a species and clan she does not know.

Only to discover that he feels precisely the same about their ill-begotten trade.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Thrall

Slow.
Useless.
Failure.

Ness had always tried to do as the masters told her, tried to fulfil her expected purpose within the time allowed. She was a thrall and nothing more. Every pain was a lesson, every hurt was for her betterment. And someday, perhaps, she could earn honour enough to serve the Narada in a household.

But when the masters tire of her repeated failures to produce the allotment required of her, she is chosen, not for the death she expects, but to serve as payment to a people she has never seen, whose ways are strange and utterly impossible for her to accept.

Taken in by a man who claims that he is not her new master, she is troubled when he does not comprehend the defective nature of the thrall he has been given, and how unworthy she is to be in his service.

And, perhaps even more concerning, his persistent belief that she is no slave at all.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/992485.Catherine_Miller

 

 

 

 

~*REVIEW ~ Winning Freyja’s Cloak: A Short Erotic Fantasy with Loki, By Samantha Macleod*~

#erotica #shortstory #norsemythology

Adult/18+ read

There was absolutely no way that I could resist reviewing this new release by Samantha Macleod. I’m a huge fan of Norse mythology and love the author’s depiction of Loki, the trickster god, throughout her work. If you too love reading (extremely) naughty tales featuring gods and goddesses with superpowers, then I’d urge you to dive into this short story now. At the time of posting it was available FREE on Amazon.


Blurb

Freyja is the most beautiful woman in Asgard, and she has no shortage of lovers.

But when Loki shows up on her doorstep, he’s after more than just her legendary beauty.

Loki asks to borrow Freyja’s feather cloak, the magical garment which transforms the wearer into a falcon. At first, Freyja is reticent to let go of her treasure. However, when Loki promises to show her something she’s never seen before, his offer proves too tempting to resist.

After all, what can Loki the Trickster possibly do to surprise the most experienced lover in Asgard?

This erotic twist on Norse mythology is highly explicit, and not intended for readers under 18.

My Review

Filthy, dirty and downright naughty! 5 stars

Where to start? What a deliciously debauched and down and dirty story this is!

Samantha Macleod packs a great deal of naughtiness into this quick read, which features Loki, the Lie -smith, on which she has based a number of books.  Freyja is literally putty in Loki’s hands as he promises to show her something she has never seen before… How can a girl resist?

What follows is a series of carnal delights that delights and surprises even Freyja, herself a deity not untutored in the many and varied acts of lovemaking.

Neither this read or Loki disappoint in this highly charged erotic foray into the realm of Asgard.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Connect with the Author

Website

Facebook

*REVIEW* ~ Claiming Thor’s Hammer: an Erotic Adventure with Thor and Loki, by Samantha Macleod

#erotic #short #mmm #erotica

Blurb

All of Asgard depends on Thor, and his legendary hammer Mjölnir, to protect them from their foes. So when Thor returns one night without his hammer, refusing to say how it was lost or where it may be, all of Asgard is at risk. Loki tracks Mjölnir to the muscular arms of the fearsome warlord Thrym, who reluctantly agrees to a deal: Thrym will return Thor’s hammer in exchange for Freyja, the most beautiful woman in Asgard.

There’s only one problem with Loki’s plan. Freyja refuses to marry the ruthlessly handsome Thrym. Low on options, Loki insists he can still retrieve the hammer. All it takes is wrapping Thor in a wedding dress obnoxious enough to allow him to pass for Freyja.

Once inside the dark confines of Thrym’s castle, however, things take an erotic turn not even Loki the Trickster could have predicted…

My Review ~ 5 stars

A sizzling erotic short – a real gem!

Being familiar with Samantha Macleod’s sizzling re-interpretations of the characters and myths from Norse mythology, I jumped at the chance to review this erotic short – with a title such as Claiming Thor’s Hammer I knew it was going to be an absolute blast. Well let me tell you the read surpassed even my wildest expectations!

In this tale Thor, aided by Loki, is hell bent on retrieving his hammer Mjölnir from the warlord Thrym. Failure is not an option and he will do what it takes, with hilarious and unexpected results. Indeed, I just loved the premise of the manly and burly Thor, masquerading as Freyja, wrapped in a wedding dress! Will Thor and Loki’s desperate and daring ruse to fool the wily Thrym into surrendering his prize work or will the mighty warrior see through their disguises? Have Thor and Loki bitten off more than they can chew and what will the repercussions be?

This is not only an extremely scorching and lusty read, but also one which is full of friendship and humour. It can be read as a standalone, but if you are familiar with the characters of Thor and Loki from the author’s other books such as The Trickster’s Lover, Death and Beauty and Honeymoon (which I certainly urge you to read if this story tickles your fancy), you will appreciate how this work gives the reader yet more insight into the characters of the heroes!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon US   Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36436553-claiming-thor-s-hammer?ac=1&from_search=true

https://sammacleod.wordpress.com/about-me/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012016893561

 

 

*REVIEW* ~ Waking for Winter (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles #4), by Katherine McIntyre

#paranormal #romance #urbanfantasy

Blurb

The Philadelphia Coven has thwarted the Order of the Serpent’s every attempt to destroy their city only to draw out the scariest nightmare from the Otherworld, the Caoranach. One of the Coven’s own, Cami Akiyama, has already met this creature—the very monster who tortured her, branding her with a mark. Given Cami’s history with the big bad, the Coven leader assigns her a bodyguard, none other than the gorgeous and lethal necromancer, Dante Martinez, the ex-boyfriend she disappeared on years ago. One conversation confirms the spark between them never died, and based on the way Dante flirts, he won’t allow that flame to extinguish out without a fight.

No one has ever compared to Dante and the incendiary passion he inspired in her, but the Caoranach broke her—Cami’s too damaged for any sort of relationship. Not like that stops him. If anything, he fights harder for the memories of a love that kept her sane on the bleakest nights. And despite every effort to distance, she finds herself falling for him all over again. Except the Caoranach isn’t finished with her—the branded mark holds the secret to the city’s destruction or salvation, and Cami stands in the center of the storm.

My Review ~ 5 stars

Fast Paced and Passionate Second Chance Romance

Waking for Winter is a fast paced and passionate second chance romance. It contains one damaged Banshee who is not going down without a fight and a Necromancer who will give anything to keep her alive and make her his. It is the fourth and final instalment in the author’s Philadelphia Coven urban fantasy series which combines kick-ass scenes and heated encounters.

The Order of the Serpent has been the proverbial thorn in the side of the Coven, the organisation dedicated to prevent creatures from the Otherworld wreaking havoc and destruction on their city and humanity. The Order’s actions have drawn out the nightmare of the Caoranach, a creature intent on destroying the city. Cami has had the misfortune to have been held captive by this creature and bears both mental and physical scars, the latter in the form of the Caoranach’s mark. Cami is in an impossible situation – she is hell-bent on destroying her nemesis but fears the mark bestowed on her has formed an unwelcome bond with her enemy, enabling the creature to use her as a weapon against those whom she loves. Once Cami’s mark becomes known to the Coven, the necromancer Dante, whom Cami walked out on years ago is assigned to protect her.

Cami is a heroine whom I was rooting for from the off. She is so stong when the chips are down despite havng to cope with PTSD from her time in captivity. Her actions in the novel and in the past are motivated by protecting those whom she cares about and I admired how she put the welfare of others before her own, even if to do so risks her heart and soul. Dante, who we met earlier in the series, comes across as a bit of a man-whore, but we soon learn that this is just a front. Tasked with protecting Cami, the couple are forced into close proximity and the feelings they once had for each other soon resurface.

Yet Cami is adamant that she will not re-kindle their relationship and as the tale unfolds we learn her reasons for this. However, Dante is extremely persistent and as the danger increases so soes the passion! Brought together once again in the shadow of the death and destruction threated by the Caoranach will Cami and Dante reunite or even survive? I loved the story from beginning to the end.

Recommended for lovers of fast-paced and sexy urban fantasy.

Reviviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review. 

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon.com

Author Links

Website: http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

Tumblr: http://www.booksteacoffee.tumblr.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kmcintyremt

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pixierants

*ARC REVIEW* ~ A Dragon’s Treasure, by Beverly Ovalle

#erotic #paranormal #dragons #shifter #romance

Blurb

Kai has been hunting for his mate for a very long time. Drawn to a singular place on earth, filled with treasures, he still seeks the greatest treasure of them all. His mate. Fleeing danger, Connie runs into the arms of destiny, but she has plans already, and a Dragon mate is not on the agenda. Kai has waited centuries for Connie, and he will claim his mate. Patience may not be a Dragon’s virtue, but he always gets his treasure. Sparks fly in this humorous erotic tale of mating and mayhem.

My Review ~ 5 stars

Fun and frolics in this sizzling dragon shifter read

A Dragon’s Treasure is a humorous and smoking hot read as Dragon shifter Kai attempts to persuade his reluctant mate to reconcile herself to the fact that she is his. He has been waiting centuries for her and now she has walked into his life he is not going to be put off by this small spitfire of a woman who calls herself Connie! He has plans a plenty for her and he will not be thwarted. I loved Kai’s visceral reaction on finally finding his mate and also how his friends wolf shifters Breccan and Maxwell in particular have fun at his expense as they can see that he is faced with a reluctant mate!

As for Connie she is on the run from a dangerous situation, escaping to her childhood friend Ellen and hoping to lie low for a while. She has her life pretty much planned out and it did not include falling for a hottie like Kai, let alone an uber controlling Dragon shifter – she is wary of the intensity of the feelings he invokes, not to mention the danger she is in from her predicament. However, you know what they say about the best made plans of mice and men…

Kai and Connie get off to a bad start and sparks fly between them as Kai tries to reign in his dominant side which does not go down with the strong willed and feisty Connie! I enjoyed  the fact that despite her instant attraction to Kai she is no pushover and loved witnessing their mating dance and their verbal sparring. There are a host of sizzling scenes and Kai is one lusty dragon! Kai will succeed in making Connie his for life and he will do all in his power to protect her from the danger she is in.

Fans of erotic romance will love this read especially if they like their heroines to get down and dirty with some hot blooded shifter types (and they don’t come much hotter than dragon shifters)!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BeverlyOvalleAuthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ovalleba

Website: http://ovalleba.wix.com/beverly-ovalle

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6982787.Beverly_Ovalle

 

 

 

*BLOG TOUR* ~ Mistress of the Air, by S. Nano (includes author post, extract and giveaway)

On Airships

Mistress Of The Air is a comic, Steampunk, erotic adventure. It features Edwardian dominatrix Lady Sally Rudston-Chichester and her airship, ‘The Corseted Domme’. Lady Sally travels across the Empires of Europe having adventures and dropping in on her aristocratic relatives for afternoon tea.

Lady Sally’s airship is a crucial part of the story. I love airships. I think it’s the absurdity of them that appeals to me. Really, you send something up into the sky powered by hundreds of cubic feet of explosive gas – it’s a disaster waiting to happen! But, having said that, airships are so cool and fun that you can see why the Steampunk genre has embraced them. They are also sexy. They are like giant phalluses in the sky, a feature I make use of in my book. They are a god-send to a writer of erotica wanting to have a bit of fun.

Lady Sally’s dirigible (I love that word!) is actually based on a real airship, the R100. Where I used to work (in the local archive) there was a collection of documents and photographs about the R100 which was built in the 1920s at an airship station in Howden in the East Riding of Yorkshire close to where I live. I used these as my inspiration for ‘The Corseted Domme’.

In fact, the descriptions of Lady Sally’s airship are pretty realistic. Duralumin was an aluminium alloy used in airship construction. The geodetic frame of ‘The Corseted Domme’ was a type of construction for airships and aircraft that using a form of spirally crossing basket weave to improve load bearings. Airships were vast, their living quarters designed for long distance travel.

The R100 and R101 were part of a programme to develop civil airships for long service routes. The R100 did a test flight taking it to Canada. The programme came to an ignominious end when the R101 crashed in France in 1930 on its maiden test flight.

What a shame! How exciting it would be to have a sky filled with airships like a Steampunk novel.

Of course, ‘The Corseted Domme’ is the largest and fastest dirigible ever to be built, reaching speeds of 120mph. And she needs that, because Lady Sally has a habit of upsetting people and getting into trouble so she has to make a few hurried escapes.

Be warned. Mistress Of The Air contains wild escapades, kinky BDSM, dastardly devices, explosions, nice cups of teas and the sleekest, sexiest airship on earth. I hope you’ll join Lady Sally for the ride!

Book Blurb

Mistress of the Air is a Comic, Steampunk, Erotic Adventure.

Lady Sally Rudston-Chichester owns a brass mine in Zanzibar, a Lapsang Souchong tea plantation in China, a rubber tree farm in Malaysia, trunk loads of corsetry, and the country’s largest collection of antique whips and floggers.

Larger than life, and itching to find new and inventive ways to punish her submissive gentlemen, the Edwardian dominatrix has a vision. Embracing the spirit of the new age of aviation, she embarks on a series of adventures on her own airship, The Corseted Domme, with her transvestite maid, Victoria, her airship pilot, Captain Wyndham, and her automaton sex toy, Borghild.

A select group of submissive gentlemen, consisting of a duke, bishop, lawyer and banker, is invited to join Lady Sally so she can try out her new dastardly devices and sex toys on them. She whips, spanks and punishes her way across the Empires of Europe, dropping off to visit her aristocratic relatives and friends for afternoon tea.

But Lady Sally’s journey is not uneventful. War is threatening to break out and the Ministry of Aviation want to commandeer her airship for the war effort. And when The Corseted Domme has a crash landing, Lady Sally realises there is a stowaway on board intent on sabotaging her airship.

There will be wild escapades, kinky BDSM, dastardly devices, explosions and nice cups of tea.

Buy links

Ebook

Amazon US (Kindle):    Amazon UK (Kindle):    Barnes and Noble:    Kobo:

Print

Amazon US (print):

Amazon UK (print):

Create space/eXcessica (print):

Book extract

“I am thrilled. It’s wonderful to see my project come to its fruition. I take it everything is ready for the maiden flight of my airship.”

“Yes, Lady Sally,” replied Wyndham, “she’s ready. She’s a magnificent machine; I’m convinced your ladyship will be impressed by her.”

“I don’t doubt that, captain, after all the interior fittings have been made to my exacting specification and design.”

“I see you’ve brought your luggage, madam,” said Wyndham, gesturing towards the charabanc laden with trunks.

“Oh, but that is merely one or two trifles, my corsetry and some of my antique whips and canes. I have engaged the services of several horse and carts for the remainder of my wardrobe, and the heavier bondage and domination equipment is already installed. My maid has spent several weeks packing for my escapade, haven’t you Victoria?”

“Oh, yes madam, I certainly have!”

“Come Victoria, don’t pretend it hasn’t been anything but a labour of love for your mistress.”

Victoria’s wistful look conveyed that it had indeed been just that.

“Follow me Lady Sally,” said Wyndham, leading the way. “Barnes-Wallis is going to give you a tour of the airship and explain the technique of its construction. It uses many unique materials and design features, but he’s the expert on that.”

As they entered the shed Lady Sally gasped. She had a vision of how her dirigible might look, of course, but her breath was taken away by the sheer scale and magnificence of her creation. The airship was the size of an ocean liner and dwarfed the diminutive figures as they stood on the ground gazing up in awe at the vast expanse of linen fabric enclosing the gas bags and duralumin frame. Barnes-Wallis led them onto the walkways from which they could view the intricate internal structure.

Now in his element, the normally diffident Barnes-Wallis began his enthusiastic explication of the construction of the airship.

“Each transverse frame consists of a hard girder in the form of a stiff, sixteen-sided polygon with the flats at top and bottom; this massive hard girder is twenty-seven inches deep and up to a hundred and thirty feet in diameter. Sixteen steel cables penetrate the centre of the polygon to the corner points, bracing the polygonal girder against deflections and making it erect….”

“… And, of course, erect girders are essential to the structure, are they not?”

“… One half of the transverse frame is divided by a vertical plane passing though the axis of the ship, consisting of a stiff arched rib with oiled ends that are free to slip towards each other, and this arched rib is braced by eight radial wires, which go flaccid through the deflection of the arched rib under the applied loads. Normally four or five wires remain in tension….

“And how have you calculated the torsional load bearing capacity of my airship?”

“The forces and bending movements in the members are calculated by the solution of a lengthy simultaneous equation containing up to seven unknown quantities.  In the solution, we had to find the correct compression force for the radial wires to achieve the required load bearing. This geodetic type of construction for the airframe makes use of a space frame formed from a spirally crossing basket-weave of load bearing erect members. The principle is that two geodesic arcs can be drawn to intersect on a curving surface in a manner that the torsional load on each, cancels out the other….

“… Well that is simply amazing,” commented Lady Sally, “but perhaps I ought to take a look at the living quarters now…”

“… but I’d love to show you my calculations, your ladyship…” called Barnes-Wallis waving a wad of foolscap sheets with closely pencilled figures at the three receding figures.

“Oh, fascinating I’m sure,” she called back, “but I’ve such a busy day ahead of me and I ought to be moving on.”

Captain Wyndham smiled as Victoria bustled Lady Sally away.

“He’s a genius you know. From my knowledge of aeronautical design, I know the construction of this airship is truly remarkable.”

“Indeed, I chose him for his brilliance in structural engineering, captain, though I must confess the ‘how’ is not always my strong point. I merely tell people what I want and they do it for me… isn’t that so Victoria?”

“Oh yes, madam, indubitably, yes.”

About the author

Nano is an author of erotic stories with dark and exotic content in fantasy, paranormal or historical settings, often drawing on the themes of female supremacy, BDSM and fetish but with a seam of quirky humour running through them as well. His first full-length erotic novel, ‘Adventures in Fetishland’, a BDSM/fetish re-invention of Alice in Wonderland, was published by Xcite Books. His short stories and novellas have been published by Xcite Books, House of Erotica, Forbidden Fiction, Coming Together and Greenwoman Publishing.

His second novel, ‘Mistress Of The Air’ was published by eXcessica on 21st April 2017.

Web site: www.slavenano.co.uk/writing

Blog: www.slavenano.co.uk/blog

Facebook (Nano Vaslen): http://www.facebook.com/nano.vaslen

Mistress Of The Air facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Mistress-Of-The-Air-1671491076492099/

Pinterest: http://uk.pinterest.com/nanovaslen/

Amazon UK author profile:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B005EBU1QI

Amazon US author profile:

https://www.amazon.com/Slave-Nano/e/B005EBU1QI/

Goodreads author profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6828376-slave-nano

*****

GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here:

http://writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/s-nano/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog tour organized by

Writer Marketing Services.

 

 

~ BLOG TOUR PLUS ARC REVIEW & AUTHORS’ POST~*DISENCHANTED* by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

I was thrilled to receive an Advanced Reader Copy of Disenchanted, penned by the writing duo Heide Goody and Iain Grant. I invite you to put your feet up, scroll down and find out about this fun-filled book and read my review. You can also read a post compiled by the authors – another of Dr Alexander’s letters to them, which contains an insight into the research material used to create the novel. I am particularly pleased to be hosting this particular letter as it features the town of Tamworth, which I know very well. More of Dr Alexander’s letters can be found on the other blog’s in this tour. 🙂

Book Blurb

“Ella Hannaford has a small business to run, an overworked father to look after and a future stepmother who wants a perfect wedding. 
Can she avoid a girly night out with her clueless stepsister? Can she side-step lovesick suitors at every turn? Not if it’s up to that team of foul-mouthed dwarfs who want to forcibly drag her into her happily ever after.
Gingerbread cottages, dodgy European gangsters, gun-toting grannies, wisecracking wolves, stubborn fairy godmothers, ogres, beanstalks and flying carpets abound in a tale about what happens when you refuse to accept your Happy Ending.”

My Review ~ 5 Stars *****

Magic and mayhem collide in riotous fairy tale romp!

As someone who is an unabashed romance novel addict and who also loves fairy tales, I could not resist the chance to review Heide Goody’s and Iain Grant’s Disenchanted. The premise of the novel – where the heroine very definitely does not want a HEA, despite the meddling of a host of formidable magical creatures, also appealed to my sense of the perverse. Indeed, I found the read to be a real tonic and I defy anyone to read it and not crack a smile and/or stifle a gaffaw within reading the first few pages!

If you thought that fairy tales were firmly consigned to superstitions from the past and story books for children, then think again. Magical creatures really exist, although Ella the heroine would much rather they were not quite so fixated on controlling her life. Much of the action takes place in rural England (predominantly the Midlands), as Ella veers from one adventure to another in her quest to avoid her prospective suitors at all costs and at the same time unravel issues from her family’s past. I loved the fact that Ella is a 21st century woman (no simpering miss) and does not need a ANY interference, magical or otherwise, in her life thank you very much. Her efforts to resist the fate her fairy godmother and her associates have planned for her drive the plot forward and the conflict makes for some hilarious scenes as the authors expertly turned the usual HEA fairy tale tropes on their head…

This unique and humorous tale includes an evil stepmother to be, a gung-ho grandmother, unlikely prospective suitors, a fairy godmother, dwarves, a big bad wolf and more. Combined with an indomitable heroine and a series of larger than life characters, it’s a fast-paced, laugh-a-minute, feel good read, with some excellent one-liners.

It was my first experience of the authors’ work and I now have a real taste for their irreverent humour and will be reading some of their other works very soon. Thoroughly recommended to readers who enjoy a fun filled read and magical read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me by the authors for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

The links are:

UK kindle:   UK paperback:   US kindle:   US paperback:

A Post from the Authors

Heide and Iain’s latest novel, Disenchanted, is out this month. The fairy tale fantasy comedy was written with no small assistance from Dr Epiphany Alexander of Sheffield University’s Department for Folklore and Oral History. As an insight into the research material used to create Disenchanted, we present another of Dr Alexander’s letters to the author duo.

My Dear Friends,

When last I wrote to you, I believe I was trapped  in the trunk of a Lincoln Continental in downtown Tucson, Arizona. I found time to reflect upon some of the unusual things that have happened in my  life over recent days, and I was able to draw some useful conclusions. So it was that when Pak Choi suggested that we might slip out via his homeland, I immediately agreed, as I had determined what should be our next course of action.

One should always be wary of spending too much time in Faerie, as it ages the skin terribly, so I had Pak Choi immediately open another portal back into the real world, and this one to the town of Tamworth.

As I am sure you’re aware, Tamworth was the seat of the Saxon rulers of Mercia, and it was for this reason that I needed to visit. The photograph in the domunculus I had seen in Tuscon was unmistakeably a picture of Æthelflæd. Æthelflæd was the daughter of Alfred the Great, and known as the Lady of Mercia. Pak Choi opened a convenient doorway that emerged in the river meadow in the shadow of Tamworth castle.

The castle is built at the confluence of two rivers, the Tame and the Anker, and this important junction is the subject of a local fairy tale, known as The Mermaid and the Mother. A local boy, Tom, liked to spend time by the river, although his mother warned him to be careful of mermaids. Tom was confident that he would not be tricked by the notoriously sly mermaids, and continued  to pass his days on the pleasant grassy banks. When a swan engaged him in conversation he was not afraid, and even took the swan home to meet his mother. It turned out that the swan was a mermaid, and by inviting her over the threshold of his home, Tom was now betrothed to her. Tom didn’t mind the prospect of spending the rest of his life swimming in the river with this fascinating creature, but his mother was determined to prevent the marriage so she heated up the oven, preparing to roast the swan. The cunning mermaid passed word of this to the town’s magistrate, who was naturally obliged to protect the royal bird and so threw the mother in jail, and presided over the nuptials in her absence.

[Here is a picture of the mother preparing to cook the swan]

Pak Choi and I enjoyed the brief and pleasant walk up into the town, passing by the Assembly Rooms, which bears Tamworth’s unofficial coat of arms. This features a pair of mermaids, popularly supposed to be Tom and his bride.

I wanted to visit the library, where I believed there was an archive of the local newspapers. The late Mabel Swift had a popular history column in this for many years, and it was her work that I wished to review, as I had heard that she had a great deal of expertise regarding the life of Æthelflæd and I needed to find out what link there might be with Andrew Lang’s Black Fairy Book. In the library, a bespectacled assistant called Ernest offered to copy all of the relevant material for me, and suggested that I should enjoy a walk around the shady pathways between the library and St Editha’s church while I waited. Pak Choi and I enjoyed this very much, as there are lots of cheeky squirrels who seem unafraid of people and so Pak Choi was able to have a hearty gossip with them without attracting too much attention. He passed on a bawdy tale of squirrel-based derring-do which I will relate here for your amusement, as I know that your book Disenchanted touches on some rather base elements.

A squirrel called Ewan declared himself king of the nuts, by virtue of the fact that nobody else had thought to do it first. He had a throne constructed of nuts and made all of his subjects bring him nut-based tributes. He was an unpopular ruler as nobody could ever see any benefit to his reign, only the burden of supplying nuts for his insatiable appetite.

It became known that he needed so many nuts to sustain his lovemaking, as he liked to visit whatever passes for a red light district in squirrel terms (I’m afraid that Pak Choi’s excessive mirth made this point a little unclear to me). Ewan’s subjects decided that they could cure these urges with the use of a classic honey trap. They recruited a delightfully pretty girl squirrel. Pak Choi used the term hotsy totsy. I honestly don’t know where he gets it from, I think these squirrels are a bad influence. The attractive squirrel was charged with engaging the squirrel king in energetic lovemaking, but whenever he reached for a nut (as he would do throughout) she would bite him vigorously. You might think that this tale ends with Ewan’s re-education, perhaps renouncing his reign over the nuts, but you’d be wrong. It actually ends with him contracting tetanus and dying, which had Pak Choi and his bushy-tailed friends falling about and hooting with laughter.

[Here is a picture of the King of the Nuts]

There is an interesting anchor-themed sculpture near the church. It is a memorial to Colin Grazier, one the three British seaman who retrieved secret documents from a sinking German submarine in World War Two. The Enigma code books were amongst those documents, enabling those clever people over at Bletchley Park to understand the Germans’ encrypted messages. Sadly, young Colin, a local lad, drowned when the sub went down.

[here is Pak Choi’s sketch of the sculpture]

I had my own mystery to solve and codes to break and felt inspired by Colin’s example as I went back into the library to see what Ernest had found for me. The librarian had uncovered and photocopied a wealth of local history material for me.

Ernest looked at me intently and enquired if I would like to join him for a drink of locally brewed real ale, over which he could tell me some more about the local area. Lovely though the little man was, I can’t abide real ale. I dismissed his advances with brief thanks and made a sharp exit. I had much to think about. I was not in need of ale but of some quiet thinking time and a cup of Pak Choi’s soothing tea.

I post this to you in the knowledge that I have promised to meet you in Birmingham tomorrow to help celebrate the launch of your new book. I see no reason at all why I can’t get to the bottom of this mystery and then come meet with you, dear friends.

Yours,

Dr E. Alexander

Dr Epiphany Alexander’s latest book, “One Day My Prints Will Come: How Early Printers Hindered the Spread of Fairy Tales” is currently available from Sheffield Academic Press.

Heide Goody and Iain Grant’s novel, Disenchanted, is available now from Amazon.

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