Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

The Shadow Queen
by C.J. Redwine
Published by Balzer + Bray
Feb. 16, 2016
394 pages

Plot: Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic of his own—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman—and bring her Lorelai’s heart.
But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose. (2019,

Review: The Shadow Queen is probably one of the best retellings I’ve ever read!  Definitely not your average fairy tale! In this story, princess Lorelai and her younger brother are thought to be dead. Her stepmother (and aunt), Queen Irina has killed her father and taken over the kingdom of Ravenspire. But after nine years, Lorelai is not going to hide anymore.  She is determined to fight back for her kingdom and everyone she loves. But, she must be stronger than Irina in order to defeat her, and to do that she must be able to control the magic that flows through her veins.  Irina has powerful magic of her own, and that is the only reason she has been able to keep her opposition at bay. But when the people of Ravenspire are dying of hunger and killing their own children to save them from a slow death, Lorelai has had enough.  

In the neighboring Kingdom of Elder, Prince Kol, a dragon shifter, has problems of his own. Ogres are terrorizing his kingdom and destroying his armies. If he doesn’t get help from the Queen of Ravenspire, he’s afraid they will destroy his entire kingdom.  In his desperation, Kol strikes a deal with the Irina. But, bringing her the heart of the lost princess was not what he was expecting. Completely out of options, he reluctantly agrees.

Lorelai is not your average princess. She's tough and knows how to handle herself. And, even though she is confident and powerful with her magic, she is still human with lots of emotions to deal with and it really makes her someone you want to root for.  I loved how the author drew out the romance throughout the book and made it was very believable.  It was not a ‘love at first sight’ kind of story and the relationship between all the characters were all well done.  Lots of emotions in this book that will leave you remembering this story way after it's over. Redwine really knows how to bring you into the story and does a great job getting the reader into the mind of the evil queen. Which added to the depth of her character.  Overall, a must-read retelling of Snow White. Definitely looking forward to reading the other Ravenspire books!

Rating: 5 Hearts


Monday, April 8, 2019

Lone Star Book Blogger Tour: DRIFTWOOD BAY by Irene Hannon ***GIVEAWAY & AUTHOR INTERVIEW***

A Hope Harbor Novel, Book 5 by
  Genre: Contemporary / Christian / Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: April 2, 2019
Number of Pages: 368

****Scroll down for Giveaway!****

After tragedy upends her world, Jeannette Mason retreats to the tiny Oregon seaside town of Hope Harbor to create a new life. Vowing to avoid emotional attachments, she focuses on running her lavender farm and tea-room—until a new neighbor with a destructive dog and a forlorn little girl invades her turf. But she needn’t worry. Dr. Logan West is too busy coping with an unexpected family, a radical lifestyle change, and an unruly pup to have any interest in his aloof and disagreeable neighbor.
Yet when both Jeanette and Logan find themselves pulled into the life of a tattered Christian family fleeing persecution in war-torn Syria, might they discover that love sometimes comes calling when it’s least expected?
Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon invites readers back to the charming seaside town of Hope Harbor, where they are sure to find peace, healing, and a second chance at happiness.
CLICK TO ORDER ON: Baker Book House  ┃  Amazon  ┃  Barnes & Noble  ┃  ┃  Books-A-Million  ┃  Kobo  ┃ Get It Local Today ┃

Interview with Irene Hannon

Animals seem to play a role in all your Hope Harbor books. Who will we meet in Driftwood Bay?
An adorable, spirited beagle named Toby, who is driving the hero nuts! I think readers will love him. And Floyd and Gladys, my whimsical seagull couple who debuted in Book 1 and have now earned a spot on every cover, will be back.

Any other returning characters?
Charley Lopez, the taco-making artist, will of course return. He’s generated more reader comments than all the characters in my 55+ books combined. Readers are intrigued by him—as am I! I couldn’t write a Hope Harbor book without including him.

Do you have a favorite character in Driftwood Bay?
I never pick favorites. Each character endears himself or herself to me. But in this book, the refugee family from Syria adopted by the town earned a special place in my heart.

This is the fifth book in the series. Will new readers have any trouble following the story?
Not at all. The link between the books is the town, and while a few secondary characters appear in every story, each novel stands on its own with a fresh set of main characters and no plot threads left hanging at the end. The stories begin and end in each book. So a reader can pick up any book in the series and dive right in.

The heroine in Driftwood Bay owns a lavender farm and tearoom. What was the inspiration for her profession?
I’ve always been a fan of afternoon tea, and it was one of the things my mom and I most enjoyed doing together. In fact, one of the last teas we went to together was at a lavender farm. I think the idea of creating a heroine who was involved with both lavender and tea was born that day. I ended up dedicating the book to my mom, who I lost quite suddenly 2 ½ years ago. She would have loved this story.

Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including One Perfect Spring, Hope Harbor, Sea Rose Lane, Sandpiper Cove, and Pelican Point, as well as Dangerous Illusions and the Private Justice and Men of Valor suspense series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, and she is a member of that organization’s elite Hall of Fame. Her many other awards include National Readers’ Choice, Daphne du Maurier, Retailers’ Choice, Booksellers’ Best, Carols, and Reviewers’ Choice from RT Book Reviews magazine, which also honored her with a Career Achievement award for her entire body of work. In addition, she is a two-time Christy Award finalist. 
Grand Prize:  
A Copy of Driftwood Bay + Oregon Coast RainGlobe
1st Runner-Up:  
A Copy of Driftwood Bay + Book Lover’s Coffee Mug
2nd Runner-Up:  
A Copy of Driftwood Bay + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
April 2-12, 2019
(U.S. Only)
Series Spotlight
Scrapbook Page
Character Interview
Guest Post
Author Interview
Top Ten List

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