|Love fairy tales and mythology?|
Fans of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, and other mythical creatures?
Enjoy when a beloved classic tale is retold?
A Twist in the Tail Thursdays features all this and more!
by Julie Reece!
by Julie Reece!
This month, Month9Books and Julie Reece released THE PALADINS, book two in The Artisans Duology. Today, I'm reviewing the first book, THE ARTISANS, as part of THE PALADINS Blog Tour and we're giving away an e-book copy of THE PALADINS (internationally!) to five readers!!!
B O O K T R A I L E R:
"Love is a fleeting dream that destroys your soul."
Like e-books? THE ARTISANS is on sale for only 99¢!!!
(The sequel, THE PALADINS, is currently on sale for $4.49!
Snap both up while you can save some money!!!)
I'm always up for a good Beauty and the Beast retelling, especially when things get changed up and switched around in new, unpredictable ways. I was really mad at myself for never getting around to reading THE ARTISANS by Julie Reece last year, even though I'd been coveting the book so long and even managed to interview her during Fairy Tale Fortnight. When I found out she was coming out with a sequel, THE PALADINS, I was determined to read both this year. THE ARTISANS is very different from any version of Beauty and the Beast that I've read, and isn't focused on the fairy tale the way other retellings are, which will appeal to readers who aren't fans of fairy tales. THE ARTISANS has a Gothic, suspenseful feel, a ghostly essence, and a mystery that will keep readers guessing. There's also no beast in the tale, so non-fans can all breathe in relief and dive into this one. Fairy tale lovers will also enjoy it, because the outward shape of the story is still very B&B, even though the interior is not.
Raven Weathersby hasn't had an easy life. Her mother died from influenza, leaving her and her beloved stepfather alone. Her stepfather Ben lost it and has been drinking and gambling and throwing his life away ever since. After a gambling night gone horribly wrong, Ben is in over his head with a debt that can never be re-paid. Raven journeys to Gideon Maddox and promises to work for him in order to pay off the debt. For one year, she will design a fashion line for his sinking company that he will use to revitalize it at a fashion show in Paris. She'll live under his roof while Gideon puts her stepfather through rehab. Raven resents the fact that he'll profit off her designs, but will do anything for Ben. The Maddox House isn't what she was expecting, however. She's haunted at night by ghosts who want her to save them...or just going crazy and hallucinating. She isn't sure which. As Raven begins to care about Gideon and his opinion, she realizes there's something seriously wrong lurking in the house. Can she figure out the mystery of the Maddox House before it destroys her?
One thing I really love about THE ARTISANS is how much Raven loves her stepfather Ben. Parental bonds aren't always present in YA, at least not favorably. Even less so when it is a stepparent. Raven loves Ben and will do anything for him, and he loves her equally, though he's lost himself in his misery. Raven will do anything to keep Ben from harm, even selling her own wishes and dreams and ideals. I also really liked the way Raven loves to design clothing. She spends a LOT of time talking about what everyone is wearing or what she's designing--and in most books, that would get to me after a while. But she's a designer, so of course that's what she notices and focuses on. Heck, there's even a scene with Gideon where she's idle enough to merely count the stitches on his shirt. That's something a designer would notice that the rest of us wouldn't. She's also a fast designer--she actually reminds me a lot of Kini from Project Runway in that regard. Super fast, always spot-on. If I didn't know it could be done, it might seem a little too perfect. Raven is a girl who will make great waves in the world of fashion and has a long career ahead of her.
It's hard to talk about the book and plot itself without giving the mystery away. There's a lot of darkness and suspense that will keep readers guessing. What's real, and what's false? Is there a curse, and how can it be broken? What is an Artisan, and what sway does being one have? What I can say is this is a retelling that will appeal to multiple demographics, not just fairy tale fans. Gothic suspense readers and mystery lovers will also snap this one up! It also reads as a stand-adone: The sequel will come as a welcome surprise to fans and bring them to a new story very different from the one found in the first book!
I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.
Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.
Then I thought I’d write one down…
Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!
Enter to win...
• Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of THE PALADINS (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece
a Rafflecopter giveaway