Title: Bonded Fate (The Guardians of the Maiden #2)
Author: Beck Michaels
Publisher: Pluma Press
Release Date: August 3rd, 2021
Genre: YA Fantasy
JOINED BY BLOOD.
BOUND BY DESTINY.
Reeling from Cassiel's confession, Dyna struggles to understand what the Blood Bond means for them both. When she meets a familiar sorceress, Dyna realizes the only way to defeat Tarn is to find her Guardians—all of them.
Cassiel never meant to tie himself to a human, especially one that inexplicably draws him. But then the bond develops a startling change, and it puts into question everything he thought he knew.
Zev straddles the line between human and wolf, unsure if his dark thoughts truly belong to the Madness. It’s growing stronger, determined to take over—and he may just let it.
The journey to get the answers they each need will test them all. But what Dyna doesn't know is that it comes with a price, and it may cost more than she bargained for.
BECK MICHAELS is the bestselling author of the enchanting young adult novel Divine Blood, the first book in the YA epic fantasy series The Guardians of the Maiden, Bonded Fate, and the novella King’s Oath. She has been working on the Guardians series for over fifteen years, so she’d like to believe her characters exist in some tangible dimension, even if it's only in her imagination.
At seventeen, she won a scholarship to the Herron School of Art to further pursue graphic design. She now runs her own imprint, Pluma Press, and works part-time as a graphic designer through her business, Whimsy Book Cover Graphics, designing book covers for fellow authors.
Beck lives in Indiana with her husband and two children, where she spends her time reading and daydreaming of stories in faraway lands.
Continue below for more information on the book and be sure to follow this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on the 'GLIMPSE OF TIME' cover reveal tour brought to you by LITERARY BOUND TOURS, GRATUS PUBLISHING, and JM BUCKLER!
Title: Glimpse of Time
Author: JM Buckler
Publisher: Gratus Publishing
Release Date: Early 2022
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, and Ebook
How far would you go for the ones you love?
GLIMPSE OF TIME is the first book in the CAPTURING TIME SAGA. A new adult fantasy fiction series that follows a lost soul, a feisty princess, a determined prisoner, a loose cannon, a humble heir, and a few familiar faces from the SEEKER OF TIME SERIES. It's a story about taking risks, sacrifices, and betrayal.
JM Buckler has been featured in top media including ABC, NBC, and Fox. She is the award-winning author of Seeker of Time, Stillness of Time, and Passage of Time, young adult fantasy-fiction books which have received praise from the likes of Kirkus Reviews and which have been best-selling young adult books on Amazon. Game-changers in the young adult marketplace, Buckler’s novels combine electric storytelling with deep spiritual lessons and meaningful takeaway on how to cope with life’s hardships – addressing everything from betrayal and heartbreak, to violence and death.
Buckler offers writing-based programs to diverse audiences – teaching how to use the power of the pen to reshape and reclaim one’s life, as Buckler did when she began her own writing journey: After years of drifting through life, feeling insecure and lacking a sense of meaning or purpose – always trying to be the image and fill role that others held out for her – Buckler took a leap of faith and walked out on the person she was supposed to be, instead diving into the world of her imaginary characters. Through developing their lives, Buckler discovered that she cultivated her own – ultimately finding her calling and passion, transforming her reality, and emerging a grounded and confident young woman. Buckler lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and Havanese dog.
'The Lady Jewel Diviner' by Rosalie Oaks is a rather light tale that follows the path of one Miss Elinor Avely, her burgeoning friendship with a tiny vampiri named Aldreda, and their search for a cache of missing jewels.
Already having fallen into scandal in London because of her gift of divination, having only tried to be helpful, Elinor and her family escape to the county of Devon. Tucking themselves away in the home of a friend's father, she's seemingly pursued by a most determined Lord Treffler.. who wants her help finding the cache which is supposed to be hidden somewhere along the coastline.
Aided by her brother, Perry and Miss Zooth, the vampiri lady.. Elinor grows more and more intent on locating the jewels herself after coming across a pair of French refugees who tell her the story of their own lost jewels.. taken by the very same people who smuggled them into the country. Desperately wanting to assist her new friends, Elinor finds herself running afoul of the Earl of Beresford.. a nobleman who'd tried to save her from the situation in London previously and a cast of unsavory characters thought to be involved in the smuggling at hand.
The story is quite charming, as is the cast. Oaks has some skill, the strongest of which seems to be that of misdirection. She's careful not to telegraph the most important facts and displays an ability to create characters with interesting potential for backstories of their own.
That being said, the book is only slightly above average overall for me because the aforementioned potential doesn't really come to fruition. We're really only given bare bones about the characters and so I never felt any real investment in most of their situations.
As we're allowed to get to know Aldreda a little more than the others, I found myself moderately concerned for her well-being.. but the rest, no matter how dire their situations.. just couldn't summon a care within me. Likewise, the story is much more 'tell' than 'show.' The only character we get a pretty good description of is Jaq, who certainly sounds handsome enough.. but then when faced with the opportunity to really give him some depth of history.. it's just not delivered.
Most expanded details on the characters are presented briefly toward the end of the book. In fact, the novel is so devoid of description in many cases.. that I didn't realize I had no idea what Elinor looked like until something mentioned as the story wound to a close.. yet there was a tendency to almost waste words on overdoing greetings each time people came together. While I know there's a formality she was trying to achieve to reflect the societal ways of the period, it simply wasn't necessary for each person to greet each other in nearly every meeting.
Regardless of those small constructive criticisms, I still DID enjoy the story. It was told with a sort of levity that isn't overly common in modern releases, where being edgier is viewed as being more 'interesting.' There's a small, but creative mix of fantastical beings and what could certainly be a creative magic system.. if only it were developed and presented more thoroughly.
If you're looking for an easy read at the end of a rough day, this might be for you. Kick back.. relax.. and explore what Oaks' world has to share..
'Lore' by Alexandra Bracken is an extremely creative born of the classic Greek pantheon of gods. Beginning with a theme of civil war which in traditional text included all but Hestia trying to challenge Zeus, Bracken's story is a little more centralized and results in much harsher punishments by the god king.
The main character, Melora or 'Lore,' is the last surviving member of her House.. the House of Perseus. The Persedes as they're known.. are one of 9 descended Houses of legendary heroes.. who after the uprising of the gods and goddesses, are essentially tasked with their punishments.
What is their punishment? The Agon. A hunt, basically.. that occurs every seven years.. when the 9 rebellious gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals while the legendary Houses try to run them into the ground, kill them, and take their power. As it turns out, whomever kills the previous god.. becomes the new one. At least, for another seven years until the next Agon when they have to join the hunt as prey.
I genuinely love mythology and I'm always eager to get my hands on new stories that are inspired or developed from the fascinating ancient stories, but 'Lore' is just exceptional. The origin of events is certainly rooted in a believable premise that sounds as if it could have come from the same beliefs, but the modern twist is smoothly merged with the classic theme.
The dynamics, both between the old gods and new, gods in general and those heroic descendents, and all of the above and any humans they come across are each distinctive and well-suited to what one would expect. In fact, while most of the new gods are egotistical.. it feels almost performative, like a youth who knows they were raised in wealth.. rather than someone working for it and overcompensating for that fact. The old gods are just casually arrogant and it's clear they simply don't think or understand beyond their experience.
Actually, I love Athena.. she's hilarious and in that unintentional, dry wit sort of way. Also, I enjoyed that Bracken gave the old gods a very formal speech pattern and a disassociated perspective of the world and those around them. Castor is another favorite, though the characters in general all have depth to them, individuality, and distinctively clear 'voices' making the read as comfortable as any every day conversation. The dialogue is fantastic and that's the thing I find is weakest in most works from literature to tv to film.
I'm predicting already that 'Lore' is going to be in my top reads list of 2021.. but we'll see what the year has to offer. It's a definite page turner, whereas there's either some kind of tense fight or unveiled drama going on at most times. I love it so much, I have three copies coming.. and I highly recommend this title for anyone with a love of mythology and modern urban fantasy.