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Artemis Gordon

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  1. http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Depositphotos_52671211_original-300x200.jpgWelcome back, everyone! Let’s gather ’round for some links! How was the week been treating you? It’s been awful cold in New England. My little space heater finally kicked the bucket yesterday, on a day when the high was 13 degrees Fahrenheit. Talk about timing! Sarah and I also recorded a podcast, so keep your eyes (ears?) peeled for that! … If you love finding new patreons to support, I found one that may be of interest to some of you. It’s Sebastian Crane’s Hellfire Club, which explores queer, occult, erotic, and arcane histories. Sebastian is also a ghost tour guide in Salem, MA. How fucking rad! … Launching next year, Oakland-based artist and UC Santa Cruz assistant professor A.M. Darke will be starting what will probably be the world’s first free database for 3D-modeled Black hairstyles. The Open Source Afro Hair Library has plans to go live Juneteenth 2023. You can read more about it in this Vice article. … I’ve been obsessed with this Leia Ham’s reimagining of Lord of the Rings set in ancient China. … Sometimes the YouTube algorithm giveth and I’ve come across the most accurate video title in existence. … Don’t forget to share what cool or interesting things you’ve seen, read, or listened to this week! And if you have anything you think we’d like to post on a future Wednesday Links, send it my way! View the full article
  2. Vessel of Starfire Vessel of Starfire by Allison Carr Waechter is $2.99! Thanks to everyone who let us know about this sale after featuring it on Cover Awe. This one is more of a YA or NA title and, while there is a queer romance in the book, I believe the cover subjects are sisters. Do correct me in the comments below if you’ve read it! On a planet that sits at the crossroads between realms, two sisters stand between their people and an apocalyptic prophecy that forecasts the end of all worlds. Echo and Miyala Rodrigal have lived an adventurous life of crime in the fifteen years since the elite criminal family, the Vindicata, rescued them from a home for wayward children. Once close, lately, the adoptive sisters struggle to connect. Miyala has grown into the crew’s top strategist, content to scheme and plan, seemingly secure in her place within the family. By contrast, Echo feels she needs to earn her place in the crew. She’s carefully built her identity around being the deadliest assassin on the continent, l’Echo Morbida, the echo of death. When the Warlord forces the Vindicata, to betray their oath to only commit crimes of justice, Echo must reconnect with her sister quickly to find a way save their family. But the Vindicata have been keeping secrets Echo can scarcely imagine. Amidst the threat of intercontinental war, meddling gods who won’t say exactly what they want, and a cult of true believers determined to strike “unnaturalness” from the continent forever, now those secrets are oozing out and Echo can’t keep running from the facts about herself she’d rather not face. *** Vessel of Starfire is a YA fantasy adventure with a diverse cast of characters, a queer love triangle, and a hefty dose of familial drama. Appropriate for mature YA readers and adults. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Duke the Halls Duke the Halls is $2.99 at Amazon! This anthology is $4.99 elsewhere. This collection has six holiday historical romances from some recognizable names. I believe each story is around 100 or so pages according to the page count on Goodreads. From six beloved writers—Jennifer Ashley, Anna Bradley, Grace Burrowes, Kerrigan Byrne, Christi Caldwell and Tanya Anne Crosby—come six Christmas stories that will warm up your holiday, and put a twinkle in your eyes. A First-Footer for Lady Jane by Jennifer Ashley When Grandfather MacDonald predicts Lady Jane will marry this year’s First-Footer–the first guest into the house on Hogmanay—she dismisses the notion. Her childhood sweetheart is fighting on the Peninsula, and she can’t imagine marrying anyone but the staid Major Barnett. But when the clock strikes midnight, and Hogmanay begins, a knock at the front door changes Jane’s life forever. Then in a Twinkling by Anna Bradley An escapade, a caper, an outrageous Christmas courtship…Oliver Angel will do whatever it takes to win the heart of his chosen lady. The first time he met Dinah Bishop she turned her pistol on him, but instead of his head, Dinah’s ball struck the softest part of his heart. Oliver is determined to make Dinah his own, but there’s one small problem… Dinah Bishop doesn’t believe in love. Making Merry by Kerrigan Byrne Sprightly Victorian spinster, Vanessa Latimer, is stranded for the holidays in the Scottish Highlands by a relentless winter blizzard. She takes refuge at a centuries-old inn where the only available room is haunted by the ghost of a warrior who fell at Culloden Moor. One who refuses to give up his side of the bed. The Art of Kissing Beneath the Mistletoe by Tanya Anne Crosby Alexandra Grace Huntington once believed in fairy tales. She oohed and ahed over gowns from Courtauld’s, never wore black lest in mourning, always minded her social graces, and never, ever indulged her inner bluestocking. Now her world has come crashing down and she’s alone for the holidays—no siblings, no parents, no friends, and not one shred of pride remaining. When she’s unexpectedly invited to celebrate one last holiday with her dearest friend, she can’t accept quickly enough… only how did one comport oneself after one’s father has attempted to ruin the one man she’s loved all her life? A Marquess for Christmas by Christi Caldwell Lady Patrina Tidemore gave up on the ridiculous notion of true love after having her heart shattered and her trust destroyed by a black-hearted cad. Used as a pawn in a game of revenge against her brother, Patrina returns to London from a failed elopement with a tattered reputation. The last thing she’s interested in is falling in love. But it is Christmas, and after a chance encounter with a vexing, but entrancing widower in Hyde Park, Patrina begins to think anything is possible. The Marquess of Mistletoe by Grace Burrowes He left her standing in the cold… She sent him off to war. Leo Drake was all set to share his future with the lady of his dreams, when he was told Marielle had changed her mind. Bewildered and heartbroken, he joined the army and sailed for Spain. It’s ten years later, and fate has thrown Leo and Marielle together on Christmas night. Will they say farewell for all time, or let the magic of the holidays rejoin their hearts? This is a limited-time, special box set. All these novellas were previously published, but never together in a box set. Enjoy! Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Complete Highland Magic Collection The Complete Highland Magic Collection by Kerrigan Byrne is 99c at Amazon! This one has nine stories from the Highland Magic series, but I also think these stories are on the shorter side. Included are nine stories of men who battle the beast within, and the women who are strong enough to tame them… Highland Secret: He’s death for hire, cursed by a malicious enemy who left him unable to speak. She’s a refugee with a dangerous secret that could cost her life. Outnumbered by thousands, he’s fated to die in battle like so many Berserkers before him. Could the strength of their love defy destiny? Highland Shadow: He’s a mercenary Laird who fears nothing but the darkness inside him. She’s a noble beauty from two of the most prominent families in Scotland, sold to the highest bidder. He mistakenly rescues her from a fate worse than death, but now she’s his captive. Highland Stranger: He’s a nameless bastard, stalking the Highlands bent on revenge and murder when he stumbles on an infant deserted in the snow. She’s a desperate woman who’s lost everything, including her dignity. Highland Darkness: Her last memory is of her violent death, and now she’s screaming for vengeance. He’s a Laird with enough sins to stain his soul, but he’s cursed for the crimes of another. With a clan divided, an impending marriage, and whispers of dark magic threatening the Highlands, a tempting Banshee is the last thing he needs in his chambers. Highland Devil: She was brutalized and burned alive, but denied her vengeance by a cruel twist of fate. He’s a ruthless and brilliant Druid driven mad by his quest for retribution. Two Souls have lost themselves in the tormented secrets of the past and can only find redemption in the dangerous desires they thought long dead. Highland Destiny: She’s a Banshee assassin who’s not yet killed a man, and her first mark had a carnal proposition too seductive to resist. He’s the notorious Laird of Shadows, a rogue Berserker terrorizing the Highlands in search of a warrior’s death. Highland Warlord: A dark evil threatens Morgana de Moray’s Highland home. The Druid Princess is left with no choice but to strike a deadly bargain with the dangerous Berserker and risk all to unleash the beast from within the man. Highland Witch: Charged with keeping a Druid relic safe, Kenna de Moray is cloistered in a convent far from home. When a Viking Berserker saves her from the lash of a whip, he doesn’t realize that he’s about to unleash the full force of her passionate fire on the world, or that he’s drawn her enemies to them. Highland Warrior: Malcolm de Moray is the Druid King of the Picts, and Earth’s last hope to stop the Apocalypse. The woman he saves has spent a century as a prisoner of dark Druids, and now she must choose between her heart or her life as they battle for the future of us all. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. An Unseen Attraction An Unseen Attraction by K.J. Charles is $2.99! This is a relatively new release, coming out this February. It’s a M/M historical romance and was recommended several times in a Rec League on neurodivergent characters. This is also the first book in a new series by Charles and has a 3.8-star rating on Goodreads. A slow-burning romance and a chilling mystery bind two singular men in the suspenseful first book of a new Victorian series from K. J. Charles. Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship… Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding… it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered. Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  3. C Shadow of the Swan by Nicola Cameron September 8, 2020 · Belaurient Press ParanormalRomanceScience Fiction/Fantasy Hoo boy, was this book a mixed bag. Here are my main takeaways for potential readers, sorted into the good, the bad, and the meh: The good: The premise and world-building are intriguing and fun once things get going, and the third-act action is genuinely a nail-biter (after an otherwise slow-ish plot). There are several very engaging lady secondary characters of supernatural origin. Also, most of the major secondary characters are queer. Finally, I love a vampire hero, even if this particular vampire hero is weirdly staid and talks to the heroine like he’s her grandpa. The bad: With the exception of some genuinely hot sex dream sequences in the first act, the sex writing in this book is a CLUNKER. The probable single worst excerpt, which almost made me quit the book entirely, is when the heroine is fondling the hero’s scrotum: It was indeed heavy, and covered with what felt like more crispy curls, and inside were two roundish objects that jostled and moved within their fleshy container. Testicles, of course. Fascinating. FLESHY CONTAINER??? TESTICLES, OF COURSE???? Cue my internal screaming. The overall unsexiness of the sex is not helped by the fact that the hero and heroine call each other “dear” repeatedly, which has to be the least sexy endearment of all time for me. The meh: The romance started out strong with a marriage of convenience mixed with a heady blend of mistrust (from the heroine), a desire to stay distant (from the hero), and intense mutual attraction, but loses steam around the midpoint. The transition from “you might be okay” to eternal love is too abrupt. Also, the plot DOES revolve around an evil being who wants to forcibly impregnate the main character to bear his son and heir (because heaven forfend he allow one of his bajillion daughters to be his heir), which I’m sure will be a hard pass for many readers. Overall, while I do not regret reading this book, it was kind of a letdown relative to how cool the premise was…so temper your expectations going in. View the full article
  4. Dragon Unleashed Dragon Unleashed by Grace Draven is $1.99! This is the second in the Fallen Empire series and I gave it a B-. You can read my review here. My general thoughts are Draven’s world building is lovely, but wow there is a lot of sexual violence or threats thereof. The main villain is also a hyper-sexual woman, which gives me pause. A dragon shapeshifter and a healer with power over the earth fight a corrupt empire in this thrilling and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance. Magic is outlawed in the Krael Empire and punishable by death. Born with the gift of earth magic, the free trader Halani keeps her dangerous secret closely guarded. When her uncle buys a mysterious artifact, a piece of bone belonging to a long-dead draga, Halani knows it’s far more than what it seems. Dragas haven’t been seen for more than a century, and most believe them extinct. They’re wrong. Dragas still walk among the denizens of the Empire, disguised as humans. Malachus is a draga living on borrowed time. The magic that has protected him will soon turn on him–unless he finds a key part of his heritage. He has tracked it to a group of free traders, among them a grave-robbing earth witch who fascinates him as much as she frustrates him with her many secrets. Unbeknownst to both, the Empire’s twisted empress searches for a draga of her own, to capture and kill as a trophy. As Malachus the hunter becomes the hunted, Halani must risk herself and all she loves to save him from the Empire’s machinations and his own lethal birthright. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Who Wants to Marry a Duke Who Wants to Marry a Duke by Sabrina Jeffries is 99c! It also looks like it’s part of KU. This is the third book in the Duke Dynasty series. I believe Catherine mentioned it on a previous Hide Your Wallet. Are you a fan of the series? Stepsiblings in search of the truth about their mother’s succession of beloved husbands—and their own surprising identities as eligible young nobles—are the endearing stars of this dazzling series from New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries . . . A past kiss with adorably bookish Miss Olivia Norley should be barely a memory for Marlowe Drake, the Duke of Thornstock. After all, there are countless debutantes for a handsome rakehell to charm beyond a young lady whose singular passion is chemistry—of the laboratory type. But Thorn has not forgotten—or forgiven—the shocking blackmail scheme sparked by that single kiss, or the damage caused to both their names. Now Thorn’s half-brother, Grey, has hired the brilliant Miss Norley for her scientific expertise in solving a troubling family mystery. And the once-burned Thorn, suspicious of her true motives, vows to follow her every move . . . For Olivia, determining whether arsenic poisoning killed Grey’s father is the pioneering experiment that could make her career—and Thorn’s constant presence is merely a distraction. But someone has explosive plans to derail her search. Soon the most unexpected discovery is the caring nature of the reputed scoundrel beside her—and the electricity it ignites between them . . . Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Provenance Provenance by Ann Leckie is $2.99! Leckie is an autobuy author for a lot of sci-fi fans and while this book is set in the same world as her previous trilogy, I wonder if you need to read those to understand this one. If you know, please leave your thoughts in the comments! Following her record-breaking debut trilogy, Ann Leckie, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke and Locus Awards, returns with a thrilling new story of power, theft, privilege and birthright. A power-driven young woman has just one chance to secure the status she craves and regain priceless lost artefacts prized by her people. She must free their thief from a prison planet from which no one has ever returned. Ingray and her charge will return to their home world to find their planet in political turmoil at the heart of an escalating interstellar conflict. Together, they must make a new plan to salvage Ingray’s future, her family and her world, before they are lost to her for good. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Midnight Riot Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch is $3.99! This is the first book in an urban fantasy series set in London. Sarah did a review of the first three books in the series that she was reading along with her husband: As a reader who loves immersive deep dives into different aspects of various cultures, and who loves puzzles and language, this is a lot of my catnip. Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  5. This HaBO comes from Regina, who is looking for this paranormal romance: I’m searching for a paranormal romance book I read a few years ago ( I thought it was a Kresley Cole or Gena Showalter but no such luck—but probably in a similar vein). I remember some specific details, so hopefully you can find it! The book starts off with the main girl getting attacked by a group of men, this leads her to being afraid of going places alone and the dark. There’s a competition for her hand in marriage. I don’t know if she’s magical, but all the contenders are different creatures/paranormal warriors. The first challenge is like gladiator style. Some asshole warrior does well in the challenge (he ends up with her). The girl’s best friend is competing for her hand(but they aren’t in love with each other) but I think at one point he had said he wasn’t planning on fighting for her. There’s a specific challenge where each of the men have to get her a gift. Her best friend gives her Modest Mouse tickets. The main love interest gives her the heads of the men who attacked her. That’s all I got—I really hope you can help. Well I definitely want to read this. View the full article
  6. Squee A Most Unusual Duke by Susanna Allen December 28, 2021 · Sourcebooks Casablanca Historical: EuropeanParanormalRegencyRomance Content warningHeroine has survived an abusive marriage, including sexual assault. Details are not discussed on page, and it is not dwelled on, but it’s there as background. You know how sometimes you pick up a book because it looks like fun, and then it turns out to be clever and funny and tender and tropey and still somehow unique, and you read it all in one sitting and hop straight onto the Kobo site after midnight to order the previous book in the series? Yeah, that was A Most Unusual Duke for me. This story worked so, so well for me. It’s a nice, traditional sort of historical, where the hero and heroine are essentially forced into marriage by the Prince Regent, and have to learn how to live together, and heal from their respective traumatic pasts while restoring the decrepit manor house that belongs to the hero, and there is only one bed, and also, the butler is a were-turtle. Plus, the hero is a were-bear, and the clan (or ‘sleuth’ as it is called here) has been in disarray since the death of his father. And all of these items are treated in exactly the same, matter of fact way, and I completely loved it. You know, the house is falling down around your ears, and your husband is grumpy and rude, and the in-laws have come to stay and you don’t have anywhere to put them, and also werewolves are so bloody dramatic, will they ever get over themselves? I also loved that this was a story that could easily have been angsty and dark, but in fact was deliciously cosy, tropey, and often very funny. For a book that really has quite a lot of plot, it was fairly slow-moving and gentle, and there was a sly humour to the narrative voice at times that I particularly enjoyed. In another breathless moment she was out of danger, those two large hands that saved her from the Tread of Danger having now rescued her from the Mirror of Certain Death. The story starts with a prologue, in which Osborn, a bear-shifter and future alpha, sees his grieving father killed by another bear shifter who wants to take control of the sleuth. The interloper wins the duel, but fails to hold the sleuth together and they scatter. Six-year old Osborn flees with the rest, and rather than swearing revenge, he swears never to marry or take on alpha status, because his father, he believes, was weakened by the death of his mother and thus Felled By Love, leading to the destruction of the sleuth. Osborn never wants to be responsible for the destruction of a sleuth, thus he must avoid alpha-hood, and love, forever. This is, of course, the logic of a six year old, or of a traditional Regency hero, so I was happily on board with it. Meanwhile, Beatrice is fully human, and is the survivor of an abusive marriage to a werewolf. She has, rather more rationally, decided to eschew both marriage and shifters in future, and has managed thus far to do so, largely by blackmailing the Prince Regent with her knowledge of the Were, who are found at the highest echelons of society, mind you, but are nonetheless a Secret. I was not entirely convinced of the likelihood of this, but was enjoying myself too much to care. (Also, the Prince Regent is a were-bear, which delighted me.) Beatrice learned, during her marriage, to be an ice queen – people refer to her as ‘Lady Frost’ – and has also mastered the art of the Defiant Curtsey, which the Prince Regent quite hilariously cannot handle at all. I cannot tell you how much I loved Beatrice. Anyway, the Prince Regent summons Osborn and Beatrice and tells Beatrice that the Were community is onto her and that her only choices are death or marriage to Osborn. Beatrice is not interested in dying, and Osborn can’t bring himself to be responsible for her death, so the marriage is on. But don’t worry, it’s going to be a marriage in name only – they won’t have sex and they definitely won’t fall in love. OH OF COURSE THEY WON’T. And then they go to Osborn’s falling-down manor, and meet the servants – who are all Were – and there are renovations and only one bed and his family shows up and there are plot moppets and Mysterious Happenings and did I mention that this book is so, so, tropey? It is really SO SO SO tropey. I ate it up with a spoon. Show Spoiler Seriously, I haven’t had this much sheer fun reading something in a very long time. The relationship between Beatrice and Osborn was pretty delightful. I’m a sucker for marriage of convenience romances where two people have to learn how to deal with each other, and this one was extra fun because neither of them wanted to be there, and both of them are prickly, sarcastic types, but they are also both adult enough not to blame each other for it. And while they are not prone to sweet words, or indeed, direct communication they show care for each other in their own unique way. Osborn balked on the threshold of the largest receiving room, and when she did not exhort him to follow or inquire as to why he hesitated, he took a breath and ventured forward. It cost him, and Beatrice honoured his fortitude by being as brisk and snappish as she could manage. He, in turn, was obstreperous and sarcastic. She tested the bell pull, and it came straight down from the ceiling with the requisite cloud of dust. She stumbled back into his chest; he turned her around and stroked the dust off her face, which produced an odd stirring beneath her petticoats, to a disturbing enough degree she dropped the velvet rope and left the room. Both Beatrice and Osborn are people with terrible things in their pasts, and both of them have learned to be fiercely self-protective in response. I liked the way they gave each other space, and didn’t demand explanations, but instead helped each other preserve their privacy and dignity until they were ready to share. Even in bed, while Osborn is aware of what Beatrice’s first marriage must have been like, and is accordingly very gentle and careful with her. He doesn’t make any comment about her reactions, beyond ensuring that she is still consenting, nor does he press her for the additional intimacy of conversation or explanation. When they finally do let their guards down enough to talk directly to each other about their respective pasts, it is almost a greater intimacy than the sex. I love that Osborn may be a big, gruff, rude alpha, but he is also innately gentle. While he gives as good as he gets in arguing with Beatrice, he is physically very careful with her, right from the start. And when his sister in law gets annoyed with him, he voluntarily bends down so that she can box his ears, even when he thinks he is in the right – it’s just this very sweet non-verbal expression of affection and respect. He’s really rather adorable. I also love that Beatrice takes one look at the falling-down manor and goes ‘Aha, a project!’, and is then just unstoppable, organising everyone in sight. I also enjoyed her relationship with her new nieces and nephews, who she begins to teach proper manners – in her own rather unique style: The children rushed to stand before him and treated their uncle to a sardonic flurry of curtsying and one exceedingly condescending bow. I really, really want to learn the art of defiant curtseying. I also liked that Beatrice’s prickliness and Lady Frost persona are not negative personality traits that need to be unlearned, but rather signs of her strength, and that her new family loves her and accepts that this is just part of who she is. There are so many little things to love in this book, as well. Osborn’s family are a delight, especially Charlotte, his sister-in-law, who has never met a double entendre she didn’t like. I also really liked the Prince Regent being a shifter. It makes so much sense of his apparent fecklessness and indolence if in fact he was spending half his time trying to manage the affairs of a secret Were community. There were lots of little Easter eggs for lovers of Shakespeare and etymology, too, which made me happy, and I liked the way the story came together like a jigsaw puzzle in the end. And I love that after the main plot is wound up, we get quite a bit of time to enjoy the denouement. It made reading this story a very relaxing experience. A Most Unusual Duke was utterly unlike anything I was expecting. I was prepared for drama (let’s face it, werewolves *are* usually dramatic) and angst and fated mates and sexytimes, and I got some of those things, but mostly I got a cosy, tender, funny, domestic sort of story about two people figuring out how to live together and look after each other and the people around them. I loved that the story could be serious and angsty and sweet one moment, and laugh at itself in the next moment. And I adored Beatrice and Osborn and the way they treated each other and the people around them. I loved this book, and I’m heading straight off to read the first book in the series as soon as I finish writing this review. View the full article
  7. Magical Midlife Madness Magical Midlife Madness by K.F. Breene is 99c at Amazon! This is described as paranormal women’s fiction and I’ve been noticing more and more of these sorts of books popping up. Have you read any of them? A woman starting over. A new house with an unexpected twist. A cape wearing butler acting as the world’s worst life coach. “Happily Ever After” wasn’t supposed to come with a do-over option. But when my husband of twenty years packs up and heads for greener pastures and my son leaves for college, that’s exactly what my life becomes. Do-over. This time, though, I plan to do things differently. Age is just a number, after all, and at forty I’m ready to carve my own path. Eager for a fresh start, I make a somewhat unorthodox decision and move to a tiny town in the Sierra foothills. I’ll be taking care of a centuries old house that called to me when I was a kid. It’s just temporary, I tell myself. It’ll just be for a while. That is, until I learn what the house really is, something I never could’ve imagined. Thankfully forty isn’t too old to start an adventure, because that’s exactly what I do. A very dangerous adventure that will change my life forever. I have a chance to start again, and this time, I make the rules. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Wild Women and the Blues Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce is $2.99! This historical fiction was mentioned on a previous Hide Your Wallet, and look at that beautiful cover! There’s also a dual timeline element here. Have you read this one? In a stirring and impeccably researched novel of Jazz-age Chicago in all its vibrant life, two stories intertwine nearly a hundred years apart, as a chorus girl and a film student deal with loss, forgiveness, and love…in all its joy, sadness, and imperfections. “Why would I talk to you about my life? I don’t know you, and even if I did, I don’t tell my story to just any boy with long hair, who probably smokes weed.You wanna hear about me. You gotta tell me something about you. To make this worth my while.” 1925: Chicago is the jazz capital of the world, and the Dreamland Café is the ritziest black-and-tan club in town. Honoree Dalcour is a sharecropper’s daughter, willing to work hard and dance every night on her way to the top. Dreamland offers a path to the good life, socializing with celebrities like Louis Armstrong and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. But Chicago is also awash in bootleg whiskey, gambling, and gangsters. And a young woman driven by ambition might risk more than she can stand to lose. 2015: Film student Sawyer Hayes arrives at the bedside of 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, still reeling from a devastating loss that has taken him right to the brink. Sawyer has rested all his hope on this frail but formidable woman, the only living link to the legendary Oscar Micheaux. If he’s right—if she can fill in the blanks in his research, perhaps he can complete his thesis and begin a new chapter in his life. But the links Honoree makes are not ones he’s expecting . . . Piece by piece, Honoree reveals her past and her secrets, while Sawyer fights tooth and nail to keep his. It’s a story of courage and ambition, hot jazz and illicit passions. And as past meets present, for Honoree, it’s a final chance to be truly heard and seen before it’s too late. No matter the cost . . . Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh by Ella Quinn is $1.99! It looks like this one has gotten a cover redesign and is the second book in The Marriage Game series. Both the hero and heroine want to marry each other, so I don’t know what the conflict is here quite yet. For Ella Quinn’s bachelors, courtship is all about gamesmanship, until the right woman shows them how much they have to learn. . . Since she was a young girl, Anna Marsh has dreamed of Sebastian, Baron Rutherford asking for her hand in marriage. But that was in another life when her brother Harry was alive, before she vowed to secretly continue the work he valiantly died for. Now as Sebastian finally courts Anna, she must thwart his advances. Were he to discover her secret, he would never deem her a suitable wife. . . Sebastian has always known Anna would become his wife someday. He expects few obstacles, but when she dissuades him at every turn he soon realizes there is much more to this intriguing woman. Somehow he must prove to her that they are meant to be together. But first he must unravel the seductive mystery that is Miss Anna Marsh. . . Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Before the Coffee Gets Cold Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is $2.99! I mentioned this book in one of my Get Rec’d posts. It’s a tender, bittersweet book where people are given a chance to redo a moment in their life. What would you change if you could travel back in time? Down a small alleyway in the heart of Tokyo, there’s an underground café that’s been serving carefully brewed coffee for over a hundred years. Local legend says that this shop offers its customers something else besides coffee—the chance to travel back in time. The rules, however, are far from simple: you must sit in one particular seat, and you can’t venture outside the café, nor can you change the present. And, most important, you only have the time it takes to drink a hot cup of coffee—or risk getting stuck forever. Over the course of one summer, four customers visit the café in the hopes of traveling to another time: a heartbroken lover looking for closure, a nurse with a mysterious letter from her husband, a waitress hoping to say one last goodbye and a mother whose child she may never get the chance to know. Heartwarming, wistful and delightfully quirky, Before the Coffee Gets Cold explores the intersecting lives of four women who come together in one extraordinary café, where the service may not be quick, but the opportunities are endless. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  8. Can you believe it? It’s our first Cover Snark of 2022! http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/image4.png From LM Elyse: No Sarah: I have. No words. None. None words. Elyse: I refuse. Maya: Can I just say that kerning hurts my feelings more than the collection of haunted dolls, I mean children. Elyse: It’s book 9, you guys. There are 8 more of these. It’s like a haunted regency mannequin bonanza Claudia: OMG I’m going to have nightmares! Sneezy: NOOOOOOOO!!!! IT WASN’T ME!!!!! WHATEVER IT WAS I DIDN’T DO IT!!!!! MERCY!!!!! MERCY!!!!! GET THEM AWAY FROM MEE!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/image3.png From Leah: There is much confused staring at this one, I guess the priest collar is impervious to being ripped open. Elyse: It looks like someone is standing behind him like those aren’t his arms. Sarah: The perspective is really odd, isn’t it? I’m impressed with the alignment that allows his nipples to look at the title. Lara: I’m a little sketchy on religious detail, but aren’t priests supposed to take a vow of poverty? Sarah: Maybe the thing that makes him a billionaire is his exclusive use of the metal that’s holding his collar on despite the rest of his shirt yielding to his rather tiny T-Rex arms? Tara: According to his face, he’s wondering whose arms those are. Catherine: That shirt ripping move looks so wrong with a priest’s collar. And yeah, billionaire priests? I don’t think so. But also, is he a billionaire werewolf priest? Because the pattern of chest hair is really weird! Super furry pecs and no hair on his abdomen? It looks very odd. If he’s mid-transformation that would excuse the shirt ripping, though…. Sneezy: He should start with the collar then!!!! At this rate he’ll get the Darwin Award before the Vatican boots him out. http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/image5.png Elyse: I don’t know what’s worse, the dragon is the way his head looks glued on Sneezy: It’ll be a while before anything can compare to Mr Four Arms, but this is so annoyingly blah And my knee jerk reaction is the dragon, but then I notice Knock-off Ken Tara: So is the dragon coming out of his butt? Or is he half man, half fire dragon, but it’s a top half for both of them? Lara: Also who exactly is the traitor in this scenario? Sneezy: The nipples They’re clearly trying to pop off and start their own dragon butt colony Catherine: I’ve heard of dragon breath, but dragon farts must be absolutely lethal… Elyse: Fisher has dragon farts, 100% He can clear a room Smell mah farts http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/image2-1024x768.jpg http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/image1.png Susan: This cover on its own is just “eh” but I thought the title said ballerina A ballerina prince is WAY more interesting Carrie: Same and agree. Also he looks a little like a discount Keanu Reeves so now I want to watch a made-for-netflix garbage movie called The Ballerina Prince’s Girlfriend starring Keanu Reeves as famous retired ballet dancer looking for love. Susan: Take my money! Sneezy: WANT!!!!!!!! AJ: A) do want and B) glad I’m not the only one who saw Keanu Reeves Amanda: Sometimes the snark is the awesome plots you missed out along the way. View the full article
  9. Under the Whispering Door Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune is $3.99! This is a Kindle Daily Deal and is good for one day only. At the store, this was a coworkers best of 2021 book. What’d you think of this one? When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead. Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over. But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life. When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days. Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Burnout RECOMMENDED: Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski is $2.99! This one is another KDD. Sarah and Elyse jointly reviewed this one and gave it an A: This book is nonfiction about the science behind stress, what it is, and how we deal (or don’t deal) with it effectively. Between the science and the practical applications, it’s incredibly informative, useful, soothing, and empowering. What’s expected of women and what it’s like to be a woman today are two very different things – and women exhaust themselves trying to close the gap between them. How can you ‘love your body’ when everything around you tells you you’re inadequate? How do you ‘lean in’ at work when you’re already at 110% and aren’t recognised for it? This paradox isn’t going away any time soon, so let’s stop ignoring it and change our relationship to it. Twin sisters Emily Nagoski, PhD, and Amelia Nagoski are here to help end the cycle of inadequacy, overwhelm and exhaustion, to go beyond banal self-help platitudes (‘Practice self-care!’, ‘Set boundaries!’) and confront the real obstacles that are standing between women and well-being. Combining the latest science-based evidence with prescriptive advice and a good dose of humour they reveal: · how stress is a biological cycle that has to be completed before your body can return to a state of relaxation · why rest, human connection and reducing self-criticism are key to recovering from and preventing burnout · how to control the ‘monitor’ in your brain that regulates the emotion of frustration · why the Bikini Industrial Complex makes it difficult for women to love their bodies – and the easiest way to fight back · what you can start doing today to manage stress more effectively Eye-opening, compassionate and optimistic, BURNOUT will completely transform the way we think about and manage stress, empowering women to thrive under pressure and enjoy meaningful yet balanced lives. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. A Lady Awakened RECOMMENDED: A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant is $2.99! This book is often recommended in terms a sex-positive heroine. However, other readers found the heroine’s view of sex to be rather unromantic. I feel like this is one of the more divisive romances; people either seem to love it or hate it. In Cecilia Grant’s emotionally rich and deeply passionate Regency romance debut, a deal with a rumored rogue turns a proper young woman into . . . A Lady Awakened. Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes . . . for a fee. Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all . . . love? Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Forest of Stolen Girls The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur is $2.99! This is a young adult historical mystery set in Korea. Ellen reviewed Hur’s debut book and absolutely loved it. They also mentioned this one on a previous Hide Your Wallet. Suspenseful and richly atmospheric, June Hur’s The Forest of Stolen Girls is a haunting historical mystery sure to keep readers guessing until the last page. 1426, Joseon (Korea). Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest near a gruesome crime scene. Years later, Detective Min—Hwani’s father—learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared from the same forest that nearly stole his daughters. He travels to their hometown on the island of Jeju to investigate… only to vanish as well. Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village—and collides with her now estranged sister, Maewol—Hwani comes to realize that the answer could lie within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  10. Welcome back, all! Are you ready for more recommendations? For a refresher, I have many book-related jobs from freelance reviewing to events planning and bookselling at an independent bookstore. The past couple weeks have been really wonderful in terms of handselling. Most of the things have been books that were featured here or are rather popular, but I still love the social and human connection of introducing a book a reader seems really interested. Here are a few of the lesser known titles from the past couple weeks. Have you recommend a good book or two? Pick something up based on a friend’s recommendation? Let me know! American Spy I’ve been loving spy thrillers written by women lately. I have more to recommend if that’s in your house of wheels. What if your sense of duty required you to betray the man you love? One woman struggles to choose between her honor and her heart in this enthralling espionage drama that deftly hops between New York and West Africa. It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant, but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club. Her career has stalled out, she’s overlooked for every high-profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic, revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. Yes, even though she secretly admires the work Thomas is doing for his country. Yes, even though she is still grieving over the mysterious death of her sister, whose example led Marie to this career path in the first place. Yes, even though a furious part of her suspects she’s being offered the job because of her appearance and not her talent. In the year that follows, Marie will observe Thomas, seduce him, and ultimately have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, a sister, and a good American. Inspired by true events — Thomas Sankara is known as “Africa’s Che Guevara” — this novel knits together a gripping spy thriller, a heartbreaking family drama, and a passionate romance. This is a face of the Cold War you’ve never seen before, and it introduces a powerful new literary voice. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Cat Massage Therapy, Vol. 1 This one was actually recommended to me and yeah, they’ve got my number. Who wouldn’t want an adorable cat to make biscuits on their tired muscles?! A full-color manga about purrfectly professional massage therapists: fluffy cats who knead your troubles away. Nekoyama, worn out after another long day at the office, stops at a therapeutic massage parlor—only to discover that it’s run by a cat! Not only that, but the cat actually does the massaging?! As the professional “meowsseur” digs soft toe beans into Nekoyama’s aching muscles, his heart warms and his worries melt away. This is only the beginning, as he and other world-weary workers are about to meet the other feline professionals who have mastered pawfully cute techniques to reduce human stress. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Cat Who Saved Books I received this one as a piece of mysterious book mail, meaning I didn’t request a copy in advance. A teen inherits a bookshop from his grandfather and right when he’s struggling the most with his grief, a magical bookish cat appears! From the #1 bestselling author in Japan comes a celebration of books, cats, and the people who love them, infused with the heartwarming spirit of The Guest Cat and The Travelling Cat Chronicles. Bookish high school student Rintaro Natsuki is about to close the secondhand bookstore he inherited from his beloved bookworm grandfather. Then, a talking cat appears with an unusual request. The feline asks for—or rather, demands—the teenager’s help in saving books with him. The world is full of lonely books left unread and unloved, and the cat and Rintaro must liberate them from their neglectful owners. Their mission sends this odd couple on an amazing journey, where they enter different mazes to set books free. Through their travels, the cat and Rintaro meet a man who leaves his books to perish on a bookshelf, an unwitting book torturer who cuts the pages of books into snippets to help people speed read, and a publishing drone who only wants to create bestsellers. Their adventures culminate in one final, unforgettable challenge—the last maze that awaits leads Rintaro down a realm only the bravest dare enter . . . An enthralling tale of books, first love, fantasy, and an unusual friendship with a talking cat, The Cat Who Saved Books is a story for those for whom books are so much more than words on paper. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Wait for It Okay, I originally loved the Palm Springs vibes of the cover. Fresh starts. Grumpy landlords. A bit of angst and antagonism. A woman at the end of her rope moves to Arizona looking for a new lease on life and befriends a handsome shut-in who teaches her about resilience, courage, and ultimately true love, in this funny, bighearted novel about hope and healing from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay. Stuck in a dreary Boston winter, surrounded by annoyingly happy couples, Annabelle Martin would like nothing more than to run away from her current life. She’s not even thirty years old, twice-divorced, and has just dodged a marriage proposal… from her ex-husband. When an opportunity to start over arises, she jumps at it and flees to Arizona for a dream job as a graphic designer. When she arrives in the Valley of the Sun, Annabelle moves into a pool house attached to a mansion with a mysterious owner. Having assumed her anonymous landlord, Nick Daire, to be some old, rich curmudgeon, Annabelle is shocked when she finally meets him and finds that he’s not much older than her and is in a wheelchair. Nick suffered from a stroke a year ago, and while there’s no physical reason for him not to recover, he is struggling to overcome the paralyzing fear that has kept him a prisoner in his own home. Despite her promise to herself not to get involved, Annabelle finds herself irresistibly drawn to Nick. And soon she wonders if she and Nick might help each other find the courage to embrace life, happiness, and true love. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  11. Wildwood Whispers Wildwood Whispers by Willa Reece is $2.99! I mentioned this one on a previous Hide Your Wallet. It reminded me a bit of one of my favorite books, Garden Spells, but with some darker tones. Have you read this one? A heartwarming novel of hope, fate, and folk magic unfolds when a young woman travels to a sleepy southern town in the Appalachian Mountains to bury her best friend. “Dark, tender, and thought-provoking, Wildwood Whispers is a beautifully woven tale of fantasy, feminism, and mystery set in rural Appalachia.” —Constance Sayers, author of A Witch in Time At the age of eleven, Mel Smith’s life found its purpose when she met Sarah Ross. Ten years later, Sarah’s sudden death threatens to break her. To fulfill a final promise to her best friend, Mel travels to an idyllic small town nestled in the shadows of the Appalachian Mountains. Yet Morgan’s Gap is more than a land of morning mists and deep forest shadows. There are secrets that call to Mel, in the gaze of the gnarled and knowing woman everyone calls Granny, in a salvaged remedy book filled with the magic of simple mountain traditions, and in the connection, she feels to the Ross homestead and the wilderness around it. With every taste of sweet honey and tart blackberries, the wildwood twines further into Mel’s broken heart. But a threat lingers in the woods—one that may have something to do with Sarah’s untimely death and that has now set its sight on Mel. The wildwood is whispering. It has secrets to reveal—if you’re willing to listen… Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Silk is for Seduction Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase is $1.99! We had two guest reviews for this one. Julie gave it an A-: I really enjoyed this book. Marcelline and her sisters play pre-Victorian Era hardball with their business competitors and the duke. She’s surviving in a man’s world by her wits and her determination. And Milena also gave it an A-: I loved Marcelline to bits. She’s a businesswoman, and her work is not just a decoration she’s ready to drop at the first twitch of a duke’s eyebrows. She loves it – all of the fabulous dress designs the Noirot sisters produce are hers – and she doesn’t want to abandon it, even in exchange for a life of luxury. Brilliant and ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirot is London’s rising star. And who better to benefit from her talent than the worst-dressed lady in the ton, the Duke of Clevedon’s intended bride? Winning the future duchess’s patronage means prestige and fortune for Marcelline and her sisters. To get to the lady, though, Marcelline must win over Clevedon, whose standards are as high as his morals are…not. The prize seems well worth the risk — but this time Marcelline’s met her match. Clevedon can design a seduction as irresistible as her dresses; and what begins as a flicker of desire between two of the most passionately stubborn charmers in London soon ignites into a delicious inferno…and a blazing scandal. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Kill the Queen RECOMMENDED: Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep is $1.99! Elyse read this one and gave it a B+: Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep is the first book in a fantasy series that features a badass female gladiator on a quest to reclaim the throne from her murderous cousin. It’s tremendous fun, although it wraps up quickly. Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance. In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten. But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre. Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move. But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. In Bed with the Earl In Bed with the Earl by Christi Caldwell is $1.99! This is book one in the Lost Lords of London series and I’m super curious about it. It has amnesia, but the hero seems to have it prior to meeting the heroine. Also, the heroine is a reporter! Christi Caldwell, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Wicked Wallflowers series, combs London’s underground and finds romance and danger for a missing lord and the lady who loves him. To solve a mystery that’s become the talk of the ton, no clues run too deep for willful reporter Verity Lovelace. Not even in the sewers of London. That’s precisely where she finds happily self-sufficient scavenger Malcom North, lost heir to the Earl of Maxwell. Now that Verity’s made him front-page news, what will he make of her? Kidnapped as a child, with no memories of his well-heeled past, Malcom prefers the grimy spoils of the culverts to the gilded riches of society. Damn the feisty beauty who exposed the contented tosher to a parade of fortune-hunting matchmakers. How to keep them at bay? Verity must pretend to be his wife. She owes him. The intimacy of this necessary arrangement—Verity and Malcom thrust together in close quarters—soon sparks an irresistible heat. But when the charade ends, the danger begins. Will love be enough to protect them from a treacherous plot devised to ruin them? Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
  12. The Battle of the Greasy Grass, also known as The Battle of the Little Bighorn, or as Custer’s Last Stand, took place on June 25, 1876 in what is now Montana. It was fought between U.S. troops, led by George Custer, against Lakota Sioux, Arapaho, and Northern Cheyenne warriors led by Sitting Bull, Chief Gall, and Crazy Horse. The Lakota Sioux, Arapaho, and Cheyenne won the battle. While most fighters on both sides were men, several women fought on the side of the Native Americans, including Buffalo Calf Road Woman. Buffalo Calf Road Woman was born around 1850. She was a member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation. She lived during a time when the United States military was committing genocide against Indigenous people through a campaign of murder, harassment, and forced relocation. http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/393px-Buffalo_Calf_Road_Woman-197x300.jpegA Northern Cheyenne woman, thought to be Buffalo Calf Road Woman On June 17, 1876, Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne fighters fought against U.S. soldiers in the Battle of the Rosebud. During the battle, Buffalo Calf Road Woman’s brother was injured. She rode onto the battlefield and carried her brother to safety. This rescue was so daring that it rallied the Cheyenne, who had been retreating, to victory. The Cheyenne called the battle The Battle Where the Girl Saved her Brother. Buffalo Calf Road Woman was married to a man named Black Coyote. They fought side by side in the Battle of the Greasy Grass. She was an excellent shot and witnesses reported her firing her gun and staying in the thick of the fight on horseback for the duration of the battle. According to Northern Cheyenne oral tradition, it was Buffalo Calf Road Woman who unhorsed General Custer and according to some stories she is the one who killed him. Other women also fought in the Battle of the Greasy Grass. Pretty Nose was an Arapaho woman who fought in the battle and survived. She lived to be 101 years old. One Who Walks With the Stars rounded up stray horses and killed two soldiers who were fleeing from the battlefield. Minnie Hollow Wood’s courage in the battle made her the first Lakota woman to be given a war bonnet. Moving Robe was an experienced warrior at the start of the battle, having previously fought against the Crow Nation. She participated in the Battle of the Greasy Grass in part to avenge her fallen brother. Years later, she told an interviewer: My Heart was bad. Revenge! Revenge! For my brother’s death. I thought of the death of my young brother, One Hawk. I ran to a nearby thicket and got my black horse. I painted my face with crimson and braided my black hair. I was mourning. I was a woman, but I was not afraid. Many women were involved in the battle in other ways. Kate Bighead was a Northern http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Minnie_Hollow_Wood-143x300.jpegMinne Hollow Wood, wearing her war bonnet, taken around 1925 Cheyenne woman who followed her nephew, Noisy Walking, to the battlefield since he “expected me to watch and sing songs to give him courage.” When he was wounded, she removed him from the battlefield. Women nursed the wounded and guarded the children and the elderly from the nearby camp. When the battle was over, women enacted revenge for their dead by mutilating the fallen bodies of the enemy troops, an act that was performed within a cultural context in which damaging the bodies of the enemy symbolized victory and the attainment of justice. Despite their successful battles, Buffalo Calf Road Woman and Black Coyote and their two children were forced to move to the Southern Cheyenne Reservation in what is now Oklahoma, where they faced starvation and an outbreak of measles. Many Northern Cheyenne, including Buffalo Calf Road Woman’s family, attempted to return to the north in 1878 during the Northern Cheyenne Exodus. Buffalo Calf Road Woman is thought to have fought at the Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork along the way. The survivors were eventually allowed to stay in Montana, in the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. During the Exodus, Black Coyote became violent and unpredictable. In 1879, he shot and killed a tribal elder and was banished from the core group. Then he was arrested for killing two U.S. soldiers. While he was in jail, Buffalo Calf Road Woman died of diptheria or malaria in 1879. Black Coyote, who was already facing execution, hung himself. They are thought to be buried near Miles City, Montana. Their story left a legacy of courage and tenacity against great odds. I went down a lot of Internet Rabbit Holes for this one, but my main sources were: Cheyenne and Lakota Women and the Battle of the Little Bighorn “Kate Bighead and the Little BigHorn” from Astonisher.com “Buffalo Calf Road Woman: Custer’s Final Foe” from Mental Floss “How the Battle of Little Bighorn Was Won” from Smithsonian Magazine Wikipedia’s page on Buffalo Calf Road Woman I also used Wikipedia for articles about other women in the battle, as well as entries about The Battle of Rosebud, the Battle of the Greasy Grass, and the Northern Exodus. View the full article
  13. http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/bigstock-Attractive-African-American-Wo-276592921-e1554492486926.jpgHey all! It’s our first Whatcha Reading of 2022! Check out which books we’re currently diving into! Sarah: I finished 2021 by re-reading the Call of Crows series. I can’t imagine why I enjoyed reading a series where “Let rage be your guide” was a major theme. What a mystery. Now I’m reading Cursed Luck by Kelley Armstrong ( A | BN | K | AB ) – a curse breaker teams up with a luck worker to un-curse a famous necklace. Carrie: I’m reading the print version of Ice Planet Barbarians. ( A | BN ) I gather from the afterword that some changes were made when the print version was published and I’m liking it much more than I thought I would – a page turner for sure. Shana: I just finished Role Model by Rachel Reid and I cried like a baby at the ending. My heart. A | BN | KCatherine: I have just started reading A Most Unusual Duke by Susanna Allen, and so far it appears to be a traditional regency marriage of convenience renovation romance, only with werewolves and werebears and other werecreatures and . I’m enjoying the combination ‘we must restore this dusty manor to its former glory’ and ‘oh no, there is only one bed!’ with ‘and incidentally the butler is a turtle’. The were stuff is all handled in such a prosaic, matter of fact fashion, which is making me chuckle. Elyse: I just got Crash Site by Rachel Grant ( A | BN ) in the mail but haven’t started it yet. A | BN | KMaya: I just finished The Kindred by Alechia Dow. Aliens that look like POC crash land in Florida and need to hide from royal assassins! Also they have a whole mind-speaking thing with each other! And their love is forbidden! The cover is gorgeous and the inside parts are pretty great, too! I’m also listening to Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh. ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) I’m on book 11 out of 14 and will be totally bereft when I run out of books! Susan: I’m reading Still Sick by Akashi, ( A | BN | K ) which is about an office worker whose coworker discovers she draws f/f fancomics. So far, it’s making me grin! I too would pray for the ground to swallow me if my coworkers found my fic, let alone read it in front of me .___. So, whatcha reading in the new year? Tell us below! View the full article
  14. The transcript for Podcast 492. Squeeing About Fandoms and Feels with Olivia Dade has been posted! This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks. ❤ Click here to subscribe to The Podcast → View the full article
  15. Sword Stone Table Sword Stone Table edited by Swapna Krishna and Jenn Northington is $1.99! Catherine reviewed this one and gave it a B: If you like twists on the King Arthur stories, if you enjoy fantasy and science fiction, and if you like more POC and queer people in your stories, I think you will enjoy Sword, Stone, Table. But if you are coming into this as a romance reader, please do be aware that while there are plenty of happy endings in this book, there are quite a few tragedies as well. Which, after all, reflects the source material. Featuring stories by a bestselling, cross-genre assortment of the most exciting writers working today, an anthology of gender-bent, race-bent, LGBTQIA+, and inclusive retellings from the vast lore surrounding King Arthur, Camelot, and the Knights of the Round Table. Here you’ll find the Lady of the Lake reimagined as an albino Ugandan sorceress and the Lady of Shalott as a wealthy, isolated woman in futuristic Mexico City; you’ll see Excalibur rediscovered as a baseball bat that grants a washed-up minor leaguer a fresh shot at glory and as a lost ceremonial drum that returns to a young First Nations boy the power and the dignity of his people. There are stories set in Gilded Age Chicago, ’80s New York, twenty-first century Singapore, and space; there are lesbian lady knights, Arthur and Merlin reborn in the modern era for a second chance at saving the world and falling in love–even a coffee shop AU. Brave, bold, and groundbreaking, the stories in Sword Stone Table will bring fresh life to beloved myths and give long-time fans a chance to finally see themselves in their favorite legends. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Murder on Black Swan Lane Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose is $1.99! This is the first book in the historical mystery Wrexford & Sloane series, which I think Ellen enjoys. It’s also a Kindle Daily Deal, so grab it while you can. In Regency London, an unconventional scientist and a fearless female artist form an unlikely alliance to expose unspeakable evil . . . The Earl of Wrexford possesses a brilliant scientific mind, but boredom and pride lead him to reckless behavior. So when pompous, pious Reverend Josiah Holworthy publicly condemns him for debauchery, Wrexford unsheathes his rapier-sharp wit and strikes back. As their war of words escalates, London’s most popular satirical cartoonist, A.J. Quill, skewers them both. But then the clergyman is found slain in a church—his face burned by chemicals, his throat slashed ear to ear—and Wrexford finds himself the chief suspect. An artist in her own right, Charlotte Sloane has secretly slipped into the persona of her late husband, using his nom de plume A.J. Quill. When Wrexford discovers her true identity, she fears it will be her undoing. But he has a proposal—use her sources to unveil the clergyman’s clandestine involvement in questionable scientific practices, and unmask the real murderer. Soon Lord Wrexford and the mysterious Mrs. Sloane plunge into a dangerous shadow world hidden among London’s intellectual enclaves to trap a cunning adversary—before they fall victim to the next experiment in villainy . . . Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. Men Like This Men Like This by Roxanne Smith is $1.99! This is a contemporary romance with a horror author heroine and an actor hero. Plus, there’s a fake relationship! I believe this is also a closed door romance. Anyone interested? Can she trust a man who pretends for a living? Horror author Quinn Buzzly knows all about the dark side, but when she meets actor Jack Decker, she’s moved to explore something completely different—at least on paper. With his sexy good looks, intriguing manner, and charming Irish-tinged English accent, Jack is the perfect model for her next hero. Quinn decides to spend one year in London writing a historical romance inspired by him. Until real life butts in… Jack’s jealous ex-fiancée sparks a media storm when she accuses him and Quinn of having an affair. But Jack knows how to play this game. At his insistence, Quinn agrees to go along with the faux romance until the chatter subsides. Then they’ll stage a quiet breakup and go their separate ways. Yet Jack is a shameless—and irresistibly convincing—flirt, and Quinn has to remind herself it’s an act. Or is it? If Jack means business, he’ll have to find the words to convince a wordsmith that their love is the real thing… Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. The Cecelia and Kate Novels The Cecelia and Kare Novels by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer is $2.99 and a Kindle Daily Deal! This is a set of three YA fantasy books and the first book is a great comfort read. Courageous cousins are forced to do battle with magical foes in this series, collected here in a single volume In Sorcery & Cecelia, cousins Kate and Cecelia have been inseparable since childhood. But in 1817, as they approach adulthood, their families force them to spend a summer apart. As Cecelia fights boredom in her small country town, Kate visits London to mingle with the brightest lights of English society. At the initiation of a powerful magician into the Royal College of Wizards, Kate finds herself alone with a mysterious witch who offers her a sip from a chocolate pot. When Kate refuses the drink, the chocolate burns through her dress and the witch disappears. It seems that strange forces are convening to destroy a beloved wizard, and only Kate and Cecelia can stop the plot. But for two girls who have to contend with the pressures of choosing dresses and beaux for their debuts, deadly magic is only one of their concerns. In The Grand Tour, seasickness during the Channel crossing is the price Cecelia must pay for her budding magical skill. As her nausea ebbs, she is comforted by her new husband, James, and the knowledge that at long last they are on their honeymoon. In their company is Cecelia’s cousin Kate, newly minted as the Marchioness of Schofield, and her husband, Thomas. The shared journey guarantees the two couples a happy start to married life, if they can survive the perils of the Continent. In Calais, a mysterious woman visits Cecelia with a package intended for Thomas’s mother. Inside is an alabaster flask of noble manufacture, one of the royal artifacts that have been vanishing all over Europe as part of a magical plot against the French crown. This is no simple honeymoon: On their tour of Europe, Kate and Cecelia must save the monarchy from an emperor-in-exile named Napoleon. In The Mislaid Magician, it’s been a decade since Kate and Cecelia foiled Napoleon’s plot to reclaim the French crown. The cousins now have estates, children, and a place at the height of wizarding society. It is 1828, and though magic remains at the heart of the British Empire, a new power has begun to make itself felt across England: the steam engine. As iron tracks crisscross the countryside, the shaking of the locomotives begins to disrupt the workings of English magic, threatening the very foundations of the Empire. A foreign wizard on a diplomatic mission to England vanishes, and the Prime Minister sends Cecelia’s husband to investigate. In order to accompany her husband to the north of England, Cecelia leaves her children in Kate’s care. As Cecelia and James fight for the future of magic, Kate is left with a no less daunting problem: how to care for a gaggle of disobedient, spell-casting tots. Add to Goodreads To-Read List → You can find ordering info for this book here. View the full article
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