Ramblings

Cover Reveal – Tales of the Wendy #2!

Happy Thursday everyone,

It’s finally here! The cover for Tales of the Wendy book #2.

I read book #1, The Wendy, exactly a year ago and I absolutely loved it. The story captured me, the writing enchanted me, and of course, Wendy inspired me. She was fiery and independent and honourable, even when she had to make difficult choices.

But I will stop blabbing now and get on with the good stuff…

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NOT EVERY ADVENTURE GOES AS PLANNED …

In this eagerly awaited second volume of the acclaimed Tales of the Wendy series, Wendy’s troubles are far from over. Hook wants her in irons, the crew wants to throw her overboard, and Pan’s magical compass is the only thing standing in their way. But Pan himself is nowhere to be found.

When a new everlost captain appears on the horizon, it will take everything Wendy has to survive.

And a tiny red dragon will set events in motion that could save or doom them all. 

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Fans of Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Gena Showalter’s The Evil Queen, and Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone will love the rip-rollicking adventure, fantasy, and historical elements of the Tales of the Wendy series by Steven Brown and Erin Michelle Sky, Dragon Authors.

What other authors have said about The Wendy:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “All the markings of a classic … captivating and delightful.” ~ Lydia Sherrer, USA TODAY Bestselling author of Love, Lies & Hocus Pocus

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “What a fantastic take on a classic tale!” ~ Tyrolin Puxty, author of the Broken Dolls trilogy

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “I’m so grateful I found this book. It completely captivated me.” ~ T.A. Hernandez, author of the Secrets of PEACE series

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “Delightful and surprisingly hilarious … Sky and Brown bring fresh magic and wonder to a well-known story.” ~ C.L. Ogilvie, author of Some Assistance Required

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “Like Hook good. Except better.” ~ S. Shane Thomas, author of Rob Rogers Fights a Unicorn

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “The Wendy is a delight—beautifully written and funny.” ~ Steven Ramirez, author of Tell Me When I’m Dead

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “WOW! Just WOW!” ~ Emma Hill, author of Ashes of Glass

Cover Reveal date: August 8

Links:

iBooks | Kindle | Kobo | Nook

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Book details:

Title: The Navigator

Authors: Erin Michelle Sky & Steven Brown

Series: Tales of the Wendy, Book 2

Pub date: October 8, 2019

Publisher: Trash Dogs Media, LLC

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1946137036

Paperback ISBN: 978-1946137043

Ebook ISBN: 978-1946137098

Kindle ASIN: B07VNBPN1T

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And last, but absolutely not least… The cover!

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Isn’t it gorgeous?!?!Image result for love it gif

I am so excited! I can’t wait till the release!

If you haven’t read book #1, you must immediately add it to your to-read list.

 

 

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Ramblings

Free eBook – Ashes of Glass

Today is the day! My debut novel Ashes of Glass is free on Amazon.ca today and tomorrow. If you have a couple minutes pick it up and add it to your summer to-read list.

Click HERE to find Ashes of Glass on Amazon.ca.

A servant struggling to survive.
A prince becoming a leader.
A snake seeking power.

Arella Marceau, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, finds herself diminished to a lowly servant who must obey the every whim of her stepmother. Then she meets Freddie who is handsome, kind, strong, and of course, very charming. They spend an afternoon together, exploring ruins, becoming lost in the forest, and dealing with gypsies and Arella begins to fall for the young man. When a mysterious debt arises, it inevitably tears Arella away from what she thought might have been a shred of happiness.

Arella accepts her dismal fate, but working as a scullery maid at the palace is a tumultuous task. For it is soon revealed to her that Freddie is Prince Friederic, heir to the throne of Ormandy. Even though discovery would mean life-shattering consequences, Freddie and Arella defy social expectations and meet in the safety of a secret garden. To complicate things further, Arella’s creditor seems to be frighteningly fascinated with her, as well as with the monarchy. What kind of secrets does he keep behind his black eyes?

As Arella’s life spins out of control, she must hold to her love for Freddie and to her belief that God has a perfect plan.

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Ramblings

Beta Reading Service

For as long as I can remember, I have loved writing. It is such a joy to weave stories into colourful and complex tapestries. But over the past few months, I have discovered that I also enjoy helping other authors. I suppose much of it has to do with my experience which made me realize how important it is to have others read and critique your work. Sometimes it’s hard to accept what people say, but in the end, your story will shine all the more.

With all of that said, I decided to offer beta reading services. I wish I had lots of time and lots of money but as a student, things are a little tight. So to start out, I am going to ask for a small fee.

$0.0003/per word which works out to be around $27 for 90,000 words. I will read the first 2,000 words for free so you can get a sense of how I work and so I can assess whether or not I will be a good fit for your novel. I use google docs for beta reading which allows me to comment directly on things and which allows you to get my comments as soon as I make them.

Genres that I am interested in: young adult, Christian fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, and children’s literature.   

Genres that I am not interested in: erotica, non-fiction, and horror.

Here is the link to my read shelf on Goodreads so you can see the kind of books I like. https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/69093165-e-j-hill?shelf=read

Also, here is the link to a list of book reviews I have written. I encourage you to read one or two of those. https://letterstoyou312.wordpress.com/book-reviews/?frame-nonce=c1e7c6bca8

If I haven’t scared you away yet and you think I would be a good fit for your book, please send me an email: emmajoyhill20@gmail.com  

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Book Reviews

Bandaging the Blitz by Phyll Macdonald-Ross & I.D. Roberts

This was such a stunning read! It was another book I found at the local book fair and what a fantastic discovery. It was a shot in the dark – I had never heard of this book before. However, it was not a disappointment!

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As a book co-written by someone who actually lived through these things, it had a beautiful authentic atmosphere. Each time I picked up this book, it was like I stepped through a portal into the 1940s. Many historical novels miss this touch of authenticity so this was a treat.  

The characters were quite charming. I loved watching Phyll grow from a girl into a woman and nurse. Oh, and of course Mac and Eddie! Their antics often left me with a smile on my face. Alistair was charming and sweet and Phyll and Alistair’s romance warmed my heart. But what a rollercoaster! At times it was like everything was against them, yet despite this, they didn’t become bitter or angry with each other; on the contrary, it brought them closer together.

Again, the writing style had a personal and authentic feel to it. Although, at times the present tense threw me off.

This was also a relatively clean read. There are a few questionable words, but there was no sex.

Altogether, I definitely recommend this book. Give it a read. You will be blown away! I wish there was a second novel so that I could continue following Phyll through her journey as a nurse.

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Keep your eyes open for my next review! The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Book Reviews

Thief of Cahraman by Lucy Tempest

Image result for bumpy road gifThis began with a bit of a rough road.

At 5% I still was not hooked and was mostly skimming. However, I stuck with it in the hope that things would improve. They did, but there was another major aspect that continued to bother me. The world building. I was so confused. I wasn’t sure whether to imagine a medieval-fairytale type world or a mid-1800’s type world or a modernish but still medieval type world. Because, glitter and glue on masks, pink-rimmed cat-eyed spectacles,  bicycles, trains, palaces, swords, horses, and wagons. So ya, I really wasn’t sure what to think.

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But wait, my friends, don’t stop reading. Because at around 45% I was so hooked I finished it the next day. With the movement to the palace and the beginning of the competition, things got really exciting and interesting. Honestly, I loved the last 55% of this book and now I can’t wait for book #2!

What changed?

One thing was that the world of Cahraman was described with far more clarity. It actually became a very intriguing and colorful place. The depth of the characters seemed to broaden as well. Ada’s little band of friends (Cora and Cherine) were totally loveable and entertaining and Ada was kind and loyal. I didn’t like how Cyrus was just sooo handsome, but after a bit, I did find him rather sweet.

The writing was good. It was neat, but I wasn’t blown away by it. After the first bit, the plot became super engaging and was well planned out. The twist to the Aladdin fairytale was unique and it was also interesting to see how Tempest wove the characters of other fairytales into the plot.

Lastly, I’ll give this one a 4.5/5 in the clean-read category. There was barely any profanity and there was no sex.

Wrapping it all up, I recommend this story to lovers of fairytale retellings.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Book Reviews

The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Where I do I begin? Perhaps with a little background… I’ve looked at Armentrout’s books before, but I’ve never actually picked one up to read. They have rather good reviews so when I saw “The Darkest Star” on Netgalley, I requested it.

I want to say it started out good but… Here, I’ll share a quote from the first chapter.

“My lips parted on a soft inhale. The reaction was startling and embarrassing. I sort of wanted to smack myself, but in my defense, the guy was stunning, the kind of beauty that almost didn’t seem real at first.”

Shall I continue? It gets better.

“Messy brown hair toppled his forehead in waves and curls. Even from where I was standing, I could tell that his face knew no bad angle, the kind of face that needed no filter. Impossibly high and broad cheekbones were paired with a carved, square jaw. His mouth really was a work of art…”

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Okay, I’ll stop now.

After reading this only 2% of the way through, my skepticism skyrocketed. Things didn’t get better and I stopped at 47%.

What I did like: The idea of the Luxen and Origins was quite interesting – it has a lot of potential. To me, it is a unique twist to the whole “aliens from another planet inhabiting earth.”  

However, the characters weren’t compelling since they lacked depth. Evie wasn’t very smart and had few interests so this gave her little to no personality. Luc, I felt like I didn’t get to know him because every other description mentions his insanely good looks. I care more about who he is than what he looks like. The dialogue between the characters, especially Luc and Evie, did not flow nicely and was riddled with sarcasm and sassiness. At first, I let it slide since it gave the characters some fire, but simply put, it was overdone. Further, the writing contained minimal flourishes. It wasn’t a work of art, it was vague shapes and lines. I expected more from an author who has so many published titles.

And lastly, this was not at all a clean read. The characters swore frequently and up to 47% there wasn’t any sex, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the other 53% contains it.

Altogether, I do not recommend this book and I don’t think I will read any other books from this author either.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

Book Reviews

The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson

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First… GORGEOUS cover! Very compelling. 🙂

I was super excited about this book since I have read and own the first four books in the Hagenheim Series plus The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest. So yeah, I had high expectations.

I was intrigued with the way the story started, Aladdin’s mother’s death, how he was forced to steal, and how he met the priest and the knight. But I was sad that he was then taken to Germany and we don’t see the Middle East again. I had been hoping that Dickerson would integrate the rich culture of the Middle East.

It was interesting that much of the story was told from Aladdin’s point of view. I had not been expecting this at all, but it was a nice change. Aladdin was hard-working, honest, and had a firm faith in God; however, he lacked notable flaws. He was, as the other characters even state, perfect. One thing, though, that bothered me about him, was the way he compared Gethel and Kirstyn. It was all about their looks! “She was pretty, he supposed, but not as beautiful as Kirstyn. Her hair was brown and smooth, her brown eyes and mouth rather small and delicate. He couldn’t help comparing her to Kirstyn’s pale-blonde hair, her full lips, and large blue eyes. Kirstyn was also taller than Grethel.” Just NO. A girl’s outside beauty does not make her truly beautiful!

Okay, moving on. The idea behind the plot was interesting. I liked how Dickerson took the Aladdin story and made it her own. Retellings do by no means have to exactly follow the Disney version. That’s the beauty of a retelling, you can make it your own.

The writing was okay, I had hoped for something more elaborate since Dickerson is an experienced writer.

Finally, as with all of Dickerson’s books, this was a clean read and I loved that about it.

But altogether, I felt a little like the publishing process for this book was rushed. If they had spent a bit more time filling out the plot, the characters, and the setting, and embellishing the writing, it would have made this book so much better.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

What are your thoughts on this book?

Thanks for reading!

E.J. Hill

Book Reviews

Crystal Magic by Madeline Freeman

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I’m going to skip right to the end… What just happened? Like how could Freeman just leave us hanging like that?!?

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Deep breath.

Okay, let’s try this again. This book was a fun, pretty chill read. The main character was sweet and kind and definitely level-headed. Even when the “mean girl and her posse,” tempted Kristyl with magic, she didn’t dive in head first. One of my favorites, though, was Jodi. She was awesome!

Moving on, the writing was okay. It was nice, but didn’t wow me. Also, the story was a little slow at times; although, I don’t think the author intended it to be an action novel. And just one more note about the ending… What a crazy twist! I did not see it coming and now I kinda want to read the next book…!  

Lastly, this was a relatively clean read. One girl gets called a bad name, but that’s pretty much it. Altogether, I recommend this book to lovers of urban-fantasy and young-adult.

Book #2:

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Book Reviews

Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter

8465337This book is a golden little nugget I found while digging through piles of dusty books at my local book fair.

“What caused the gods to fall upon my family like starved lions in a Roman arena?”

This was such a beautiful read! I was immediately drawn in by the vibrant world the author created. It was so colorful and full of life that I could imagine it all in detail. This was largely due to the writing style which had just the right amount of flourishes; yet, it was not weighed down by extravagant descriptions. It was precise and at the same time stunning!  

One thing I unexpectedly enjoyed, was the time span of the book. It began with Cleopatra Selene at age 7 and progressed till she was 16. This gave me a well-rounded understanding of the princess’s character as well as allowed for a great deal of character growth. Altogether, I found her very strong and determined. Even after she had been in Rome for a long while, she still did not give up on her dream of restoring Egypt’s glory. Now Selene’s brothers were adorable, especially Ptolly (although, he was a bit spoiled).

Lastly, it was a clean read. However, the worshipping of Isis and Egypt’s other gods takes a large place. Also, the characters often use the exclamatory expression, “gods.” I found that it became more prominent near the end of the book than it was at the beginning. An example… “Gods, Juba! I have been taking care of myself for a long time. I do not need your protection.”

Altogether, I definitely recommend this book. It’s gripping as well as elegantly written.

Happy summer

E.J. Hill

 

 

Book Reviews

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

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“Soft hearts make the universe worth living in.”

     My first impression of this book was not so great. I don’t know why, but Chapter 1 and 2 were not written well. At all. The sentence structure was weak and there was a lot of telling instead of showing. I found myself wondering what in the world happened to the bestselling author of Divergent. Thankfully, it improved in chapter 3 with Cyra’s point of view. But altogether, the writing was average, I didn’t find it to be overly stunning. It was just a story, it wasn’t really a work of art.  

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    Okay, so the characters. Not perfect and that was great! At one point Akos observes Cyra fingering a pimple on her chin. I had to read it twice because I couldn’t believe it. Sorry, maybe some of you are cringing, but that is real life relatable and not something I read about on a regular basis. Anywaaays, I liked that Roth added this element to the characters.

“I may be in pain, but I am not weak.”

Now, Cyra’s attributes were a clear result of her upbringing, she was as strong as a lion yet as fragile as a butterfly – I actually kind of liked her in the end. Akos, though… I’m not really sure about him yet. He seems a tad selfish and maybe a little weak too. I think this improved as the story went on and we’ll see what book #2 brings.

   To be honest, the plot was kind of slow. It did pick up a bit in places, but I felt like I had to plow through it instead of being able to sit back and enjoy the ride. Also, the story was rather violent and brutal. Killing played such a large role that I didn’t enjoy the book quite as much as I had hoped. I’m not convinced it’s even moral to write about something like this and pretend it’s okay. Yeah, there were and are violent cultures and we should be aware of that, but I don’t think we should romanticize it. What do you guys think?

     So it was a pretty clean read. There wasn’t much swearing and they didn’t have sex, but nope, I’m not going to recommend it. It was a cool idea; however, en masse, it wasn’t a great book.

    Have you read this book? What did you think?

    Have a fantastic weekend my friends!

    E.J. Hill