Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

The Mask of Mirrors

RECOMMENDED: The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick is $2.99 and a KDD! M.A. Carrick is the name for the writing duo of Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms. Carrie wrote a Lightning Review of this one and gave it a B+:

Readers who like political scheming, fashion as a weapon and a tool, secrets, and swashbuckling will enjoy this, and as a special treat for Tarot fans the characters have their own form of cartomancy which is described in detail in the book.

The Mask of Mirrors is the unmissable start to the Rook & Rose trilogy, a dazzling and darkly magical fantasy adventure by Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms, writing together as M. A. Carrick.

Fortune favors the bold. Magic favors the liars.

Ren is a con artist who has come to the sparkling city of Nadežra with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house, securing her fortune and her sister’s future.

But as she’s drawn into the elite world of House Traementis, she realizes her masquerade is just one of many surrounding her. And as nightmare magic begins to weave its way through the City of Dreams, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled…with Ren at their heart.

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Change of Plans

Change of Plans by Dylan Newton is $3.99! This is book three in the Matthew Brothers series and features a hero with a below‑the‑knee amputation and a chef heroine raising her three nieces. I’ve heard good things about Newton’s contemporaries, but they seem to fly under the radar.

In this charming romantic comedy, a hometown hero comes to the rescue of a chef unexpectedly left to care for three little girls—who may end up saving him too.

When disaster strikes and chef Bryce Weatherford is given guardianship of her three young nieces, her life goes from cooking with fire…to controlling a dumpster fire. Five‑year‑old Addison refuses to remove her fairy wings, eight‑year‑old Cecily won’t bathe, and tween June is majoring in belligerence. With all this chaos, Bryce jettisons hope for a life outside of managing her family and her new job.

It’s been years since Ryker Matthews had his below‑the‑knee amputation, yet the phantom pain for his lost limb and Marine career haunts him. To cope, he focuses on his vehicle restoration business. He knows he’s lucky to be alive. Yet, “lucky” feels more like “cursed” to his lonely heart.

When Ryker literally sweeps Bryce off her feet in the grocery store’s baby aisle, they both feel sparks. But falling in love would be one more curveball neither is ready to deal with… or is it exactly the change of plans they need?

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Empire of Exiles

Empire of Exiles by Erin M. Evans is $1.99! Mentioned this one on a previous edition of Book Beat, as Sarah thought it’d appeal to high fantasy readers in the Bitchery. Ely in the comments was won over by the dramatis personae right at the beginning.

Twenty-seven years ago, a Duke with a grudge led a ruthless coup against the empire of Semilla, killing thousands. He failed. The Duke was executed, a terrifyingly powerful sorcerer was imprisoned, and an unwilling princess disappeared.

The empire moved on.

Now, when Quill, an apprentice scribe, arrives in the capital city, he believes he’s on a simple errand for another pompous noble: fetch ancient artifacts from the magical Imperial Archives. He’s always found his apprenticeship to be dull work. But these aren’t just any artifacts — these are the instruments of revolution, the banners under which the Duke lead his coup.

Just as the artifacts are unearthed, the city is shaken by a brutal murder that seems to have been caused by a weapon not seen since the days of rebellion.

Since Quill is the only reliable witness to the murder, and no one in power believes his story, he must join with a young mage, a seasoned archivist, and a disillusioned detective to find the truth of the attack. And what they uncover will be the key to saving the empire – or destroying it for good.

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The Last Heir to Blackwood Library

The Last Heir to the Blackwood Library by Hester Fox is $5.99! This a little pricier than normal, but it’s still cheaper than both the hardcover and paperback versions. Fox does a good blend of historical settings, Gothic elements, and sometimes dual timelines. This is her latest release.

In postWorld War I England, a young woman inherits a mysterious library and must untangle its powerful secrets

With the stroke of a pen, twenty-three-year-old Ivy Radcliffe becomes Lady Hayworth, owner of a sprawling estate on the Yorkshire moors. Ivy has never heard of Blackwood Abbey, or of the ancient bloodline from which she’s descended. With nothing to keep her in London since losing her brother in the Great War, she warily makes her way to her new home.

The abbey is foreboding, the servants reserved and suspicious. But there is a treasure waiting behind locked doors: a magnificent library. Despite cryptic warnings from the staff, Ivy feels irresistibly drawn to its dusty shelves, where familiar works mingle with strange, esoteric texts. And she senses something else in the library too, a presence that seems to have a will of its own.

Rumors swirl in the village about the abbey’s previous owners, about ghosts and curses, and an enigmatic manuscript at the center of it all. And as events grow more sinister, it will be up to Ivy to uncover the library’s mysteries in order to reclaim her own story—before it vanishes forever.

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