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Love Steampunk?

https://i.warbycdn.com/-/l/women-colonel-monocle-eyeglasses-whiskey-tortoise-angle-1240-ceb95fa9/1500x750.jpg?quality=80

Warby Parker offers the Colonel Monocle, a monocle that is actually designed for a prescription lens. I know there are a lot of monocles out there, but they seem to be all for ‘show.’ This one is designed to work! Cool….

Review: The Time Garden by Daria Song #AdultColoringBook #Fantasy

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” – Ashley Smith

Joy and beauty. Two things we miss most in this hurry-hurry world of ours. The sound of wind through the trees. The sight of a field of flowers. The scent, and taste, of chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven. Joy.

I felt a bit of that joy when I received Daria Song’s “The Time Garden.” Printed in a large format on beautiful paper, the cover pictures an ancient tree, dropping copper and gold blooms through the sky. The shimmer immediately caught my eye and made me smile. Flipping through the pages, I immediately thought of the excesses of the Victorian times – pattern and design just this side of overwhelming, and yet balanced and flowing in line. And there is a rather sneaky Steampunk Vibe as well – clocks, gears and engines scattered about like secret whispers in the wind.

Artful references to opera (Ouvre Ton Coeur by Georges Bizet), a trip to the Salle du rêve (the dream room). The wisdom of the owl, juxtaposed with the transience of the Sakura, the Japanese Cherry Blossom. The movement and pure merriment of the Ghirardelli Cable Car, the Pier 39 Carousel. And when is the last time you browsed an antiquarian book store? How I miss Borderlands Science Fiction Bookstore in San Francisco . . . how I miss San Francisco!

This ‘coloring book’ is so much more than that. As an adult, I love colour, and this gorgeous format, the story of a little girl and her miraculous journey, is so amazing. Drawn in meticulous detail, it is such a joy to flip through, searching for the tiny messages and beautiful storyline. I haven’t started playing with it yet, but it is very high quality paper, and I think I will try it with coloured inks? The frontispiece will be the perfect place to try out colour before I begin, but for now just turning pages is relaxing.

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” – Greg Anderson

I received this book from Penguin books and Bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own, though, and I really do find it to be amazing!

For The Steampunk Crowd: The Diabolical Miss Hyde: An Electric Empire Novel

22328559

Kindle Price: $1.99

Book Description

February 10, 2015

Forensic science, magic, mystery, and romance mix in this edgy steampunk fantasy—a retelling of the horror classic, in which Dr. Eliza Jekyll, daughter of the infamous Dr. Henry Jekyll—pursues a dangerous murderer in an alternate Victorian London.

In an electrified Victorian London, Dr. Eliza Jekyll is a crime scene investigator, hunting killers with newfangled technological gadgets. She will need every advantage available to catch a terrifying new psychopath splattering London with blood. Hidden in the grimy shadows, the fiendish murderer preys on beautiful women, drugging them before slicing off their limbs. Finding the “Slicer” can make Eliza’s career . . . or unmask her darkest secret. Like her father, she has a hidden second self that emerges when she drinks his forbidden magical elixir. Just a few sips, and a seductive and impulsive Lizzie Hyde is unleashed.

The members of the Royal Society do not trust Eliza, and they send their enforcer, the mercurial Captain Lafayette, to prove she’s a dangerous sorceress. The careful doctor knows that one wrong step can make her prey to the clever Lafayette, a man who harbors an evil curse of his own. No matter how much she craves the elixir, she must resist.

But as the Slicer case draws her into London’s luminous magical underworld, Eliza will need the potion’s power to help her . . . even if it might attract the attentions of Lafayette. .

Even if it means setting the wild Lizzie free. . . .

Reviews

“A fearlessly imaginative world of magic, mystery and literary allusion that is delightfully immersive and dangerously seductive. …[Carr’s] heroine’s journey is full of sensual intrigue and heady danger that will leave readers breathless.” (RT Book Reviews (4.5 stars))

“Carr’s steampunk debut is electrifying, memorable, and razor sharp.” (Publishers Weekly)

“This debut steampunk, gender-swapped take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story of the uncontrolled id … [has] energy and over-the-top adventure. Don’t think about it too hard, just enjoy the ride.” (Library Journal)

“…Ms. Carr takes us into an almost-familiar world, drawing us further into the dark just a bit at a time. If you thought steampunk was played out, here is an utterly convincing revivification.” (Wall Street Journal)

“This debut electropunk monster mashup gives you exactly what you never knew you wanted: The classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a genderbent twist.” (barnesandnoble.com)

“I was utterly hooked and happily stayed that way for the next four-hundred-some pages. …It’s dark, intense, and sometimes disturbing, and man is it awesome.” (Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger)

The Diabolical Miss Hyde is a big, juicy steampunk/fantasy/romance/mystery package of fun, and I highly recommend it. Grade: A.” (Smart Bitches)

“There’s plenty of twists and turns, with a dash of magic and a wink at the classic literature.” (Parkersburg News & Sentinel)

From the Back Cover

Magic, mystery, and romance mix in this edgy retelling of the classic The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde–in which Dr. Eliza Jekyll is the daughter of the infamous Henry

In an electric-powered Victorian London, Dr. Eliza Jekyll is a crime scene investigator, hunting killers with inventive new technological gadgets. Now, a new killer is splattering London with blood, drugging beautiful women and slicing off their limbs. Catching “the Chopper” could make Eliza’s career—or get her burned. Because Eliza has a dark secret. A seductive second self, set free by her father’s forbidden magical elixir: wild, impulsive Lizzie Hyde.

When the Royal Society sends their enforcer, the mercurial Captain Lafayette, to prove she’s a sorceress, Eliza must resist the elixir with all her power. But as the Chopper case draws her into London’s luminous, magical underworld, Eliza will need all the help she can get. Even if it means getting close to Lafayette, who harbors an evil curse of his own.

Even if it means risking everything and setting vengeful Lizzie free . . .

Review: Chronicles of Steele By Pauline Creeden

Be as gentle as a dove but as cunning as a viper.
Preserve one’s self with intellect,
and know when it is time to be either the dove or the viper.

Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person. – Tennessee Williams

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities. – Dr. Seuss

ravenHere is an admission. As much as I have been interested and charmed by the concept of Steampunk, I have never read a book in the genre. Given the opportunity by the publisher to read Chronicles of Steele: Raven I can say that I am glad I waited. It is, in a word, delightful.

Raven Steele lives in a world of contradictions and extravagances of the surreal kind. Steam powered horses and mechanical humans live alongside flesh and blood beings. Dirigibles crowd the air while Victorian dress resides alongside leather and sword bearing private guards. Medical advances proceed alongside alchemy, and witchcraft is very real, in a sort of ‘physics meets alchemy meets herbology’ mashup. Sword and sorcery meets Victorian in an utterly enjoyable manner. The contradictions are charming and well written, a perfect introduction to a genre I was unfamiliar with.

Raven is a Reaper. Once the private (and very fatal) bodyguards and assassins to the Duke, they were disbanded when their leader, Raven’s father, refused to murder the Duke’s wife on his order. Hounded from the castle, his own men set upon him, her family flees, only to lose her mother to murder at the hands of the other Reapers. Trained by her father to be a Reaper in order to ascertain her safety from those who would murder her, Raven has travelled the lands, searching for redemption. A tenant of Reaper training, redemption is given through giving back a life for every life taken – and Raven’s balance sheet is nearly complete.

But freedom and real life are jerked from her grasp when she rescues the young Baron of New Hope, Darius. The child is handed over to Raven by his elder brother, Baron Solomon Goodhope, who entreats her to save the child from his murderous father. The evil Duke means the boy to die for supposedly being infested by a demon. But the story is much more, and much less, than the Duke believes. And when he sets his guards on Raven and Darius’s trail the consequences will be deeper than he could ever have expected.

Friends will become enemies and enemies possible friends as Raven begins a desperate cross-country race, by dirigible and train, horse and on foot, first to find the Witch she has been tasked to locate to cure the child, and then to save him once again from those who would murder him. Those who should by all rights keep him safe, but will kill in the name of the Duke, no matter how insane the order may be.

His conscience could not agree with what he was about to do. But orders were orders. And as captain of the guard, Jack always followed them to the letter.

Honor is found in the oddest places – but the boundless knee-jerk bone-headedness of mindless adherence to command structures and orders, even when deeply twisted and evil, is readily apparent. As well as a type of debilitating naivety on the part of people who should know better. But there is also a smile around every corner at the unexpected, the quaint, and the captivating. All of these things make the story appealing on so many different levels. Not only that, but there is an undercurrent here, another story line lying just below the surface which makes me eager for the next installment to the series!

While all these things are wonderful, there is one thing that bothered me. It may seem a small thing, but to me it is important to the presentation of the book. I was completely discombobulated by the cover. It presents as the cover for a Shamanistic Fantasy novel more than anything else. It is gorgeous, without a doubt, but it has absolutely no continuity with the story line. It is disconcerting to say the least. Without looking at the blurb I automatically expected the book to be on par with Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series, or possibly Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series. Not for a true Steampunk novel. But again, it is a small thing that will possibly be of no interest to other readers.

I highly recommend this book for its strong heroine, well written story, and (yes, here is that word again) charming world building. Oh, and I was surprised to find that this is listed as “young adult” – but not in a bad way. It is a great story for young and young at heart. I will be watching anxiously for Darius’s story, the next in the Chronicles of Steele. And I will definitely be checking out others in the genre. I am hooked!

I received Chronicles of Steele: Raven from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

If you like my reviews, it would be great if you could “Like” it on Amazon as well! Thanks all…

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