Posted in book addict, book review, books, series review

Series Review: The Artifact Hunters

I picked up a book in November that sent me on an exciting reading spree. I did a Book Review: Nefertiti’s Heart By A.W. Exley in November, but after finishing the series decided to contact the author directly. I loved her books so much, I wanted to find out more about them, and her. But before I post her author interview, I wanted to do a post summarizing the five books of her series.

The Artifact Hunters is a series set in the Victorian age with steampunk as the background. The two main characters are Cara Devon and Nathan Lyons. They are two members of the London peerage, but with much different backgrounds. But it’s their fighting spirit and love of adventure that draw these two together.

A series of five books showcase each of their stories, and the their combined story that throw them into some intense situations that will have you on the edge of your seat. Each book also showcases a particular artifact that either needs to be found, or stopped from creating chaos. Here’s a brief summary of each of the books.

Book 1: Nefertiti’s Heart is where the characters Cara and Nathan meet under precarious circumstances. Cara has to decide if she should trust the nefarious Lyons so she can get the money she needs to set herself up for a comfortable life. She also has to deal with her recently departed father and all the ancient artifacts he left behind. You can read more about this book through Book Review: Nefertiti’s Heart By A.W. Exley

Book 2: Hatshepsut’s Collar finds Nathan on Queen Victoria’s bad side. She’s detained Nathan in the Tower of London. Cara must decide how far she will go to help him. And when she discovers that the Queen is wearing a dangerous artifact, Cara must find away to convince the Queen to give it up. In the meantime, Nathan and Cara have a lot of trouble on their heels as they travel by airship to Russia and Siberia.

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Posted in author, author interview, book addict, book review, Indie Author

An Author Interview With Elina Vale

Last month I did a book review on The Charmed Locket by Elina Vale. It is the first book in The Treasure Hunter’s Heart series. Shortly after I did the review, I managed to get a hold of an ARC copy of the second book Hidden Truths.

Elina continues the story where the first book leaves off, and we follow Gina, Philip, Ramon, and Sera, who are in search the third wolf statue. This statue will lead them to where the coveted book of mechanical charms rests. And the Divided are hot on their trail.

A showdown between the Guild and the Divided leads to tragedy. Later, Gina finds herself back in her hometown burdened by what she knows. War is coming, and she’s not sure what to do about it. Who can she tell? Who should she trust? As she tries to find a way forward in ever darkening circumstances, Gina makes some discoveries that helps her realize she’s not quite alone as she thought she was.

The first two books have been a really fun read. I love how this series has captivated my attention. So I decided to contact the author to see what more I could learn about her books, and the author herself. Here is the interview with Elina Vale. Her responses are in bolded text.

Thank you so much, Elina, for taking the time to do this interview! First, I have some questions about your books.  

You are currently writing a series called The Treasure Hunter’s Heart. It is a series based off the idea of charmed mechanics that have what seems like magical powers. These mechanics were supposedly destroyed and many people in the books think them pure legend, except for a few like the main character Gina Mansfred, who is in a desperate search to find out more about them. I think this is an intriguing plot premises. Can you tell us more about these charmed mechanics, and maybe a little about where your original ideas for the mechanics came from? 

Charmed mechanics are different kinds of items, that seem to be just regular objects like necklaces, statues, pens, boxes and so on, but they all have been enchanted. Charms are first built like any object with mechanics (with locks, hatches, moving parts) are, but after that, magic will bring them alive: A box opens with a secret word, a jewel could turn you invisible by twisting a certain piece on it, a statue might come alive when you blow on it a certain number of times… So the charms are a combination of mechanics and magic. 

I guess the idea of regular items being enchanted kind of intrigued me.  

Gina is in a pretty desperate situation where she finds herself between two warring organizations who are searching for the mechanics, and to bring them back from myths of old to everyday usage. She also happens to be romantically stuck between two men that are heading these opposing expeditions. This in itself is creating a lot of tension, conflict, and darkness for Gina personally. Out of all her struggles, what do you perceive to be her biggest hurtle to overcome?  

She has a lot of growing up to do in these books for sure. Her biggest issues in this series will definitely be her trust issues and her fear of losing people.  These will make her do some hazardous things before she learns to trust in others and let go of this fear. She also struggles morally and wants to do the right thing. The problem is that she is not sure what the right thing to do actually is… 

Gina poses as a thief in book one called Lily, who boldly takes from the rich to give the more unfortunate. Will we see a return of “Lily” in future books? 

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Book Review: Nefertiti’s Heart By A.W. Exley

Nefertiti’s Heart Book One in The Artifact Hunters by A.W. Exley is available in paperback, kindle, and audio.

If you are looking for an incredible adventure of romance, steampunk, and a strong female lead this is a great read! I really enjoyed my time with this book, and was pleasantly surprised with some of the twist and turns. But the one thing I enjoyed the absolutely most about this book was the toughness and grit of the female lead Miss Cara Devon.

Set during the Victorian age in London, Miss Cara Devon is determined to settle her newly departed father’s estate so she can close that harrowing chapter of her life forever. But things don’t go quite as planned as she meets a villainous Viscount and becomes sucked into an investigation to uncover the killer that’s been murdering the daughters of the wealthiest families of England.

As she seeks out all the ancient artifacts her father accumulated in his lifetime and then secretly stashed all over London, she is also forced to face the ghosts of her past. The kind of ghosts that leaves a female member of high society shunned and in disgrace. She finds herself in uncomfortable waters as she attracts the attention of a dangerous Viscount, and comes under suspicion as the murdered daughters body count grows.

This is the first book of the Artifact Hunter series, which currently has five books and two novellas. You can find out more at A.W. Exley’s author site. I, for one, plan on reading them all. I am hooked!

Posted in A Writer's Life, book addict, books, ebook, learning about writing, magic, read, reading, reading everyday, The Writer's Toolbox

The Magic of Reading

unnamedBooks. They amaze me. They captivate me. They are true magic. Imagine this.

You get a new book to read because someone recommended it to you, or the cover just looks freaking awesome, or it’s a promising jewel you happened to stumble upon. It sits there in your lap eager to be read, but the cover, the title, the words splashed across the pages are meaningless. It’s just a book. Like all the other books taking up space on the bookshelf. But you open the cover and begin to read anyways, because it’s calling to you. There’s this pull to open it you can’t quite explain. So you do and you begin to read it.

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