on Oct 13, 2016

 In celebration of the Virtual Fantasy Con, fantasy author Melissa Sasina is holding a giveaway for the three available ebooks in my Chronicles of Midgard series: Falls the Shadow, Melody of the Dark, and Opening of Lost Doors!
This giveaway will run from Thursday, October 13 until October 19th!
Three winners will be chosen on October 20th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
on Sep 30, 2016
Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared throught the Fae portal she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes in an alien world of mirrors, magic, and deception—a prisoner of  the evil Fae Lonnrach, who has a desperate and deadly plan for his new captive.

Time after agonizing time Lonnrach steals Aileana's memories, searching for knowledge to save his world. Just when she's about to lose all hope, Aileana is rescued by an unexpected ally and returns home, only to confront a terrifying truth. The city of Edinburgh is now an unrecogniable wasteland. And Aileana knows the devastation is all her fault.

The few human survivors are living in an underground colony, in an uneasy truce with a remnant of the fae. It is a fragile alliance, but an even greater dangter awaits: the human and fae words may disappear forever. Only Aileana can save both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing so might be her life....

Genre: Young Adult / Historical / Fantasy / Steampunk

Review: After book #1, The Falconer, ended with a heart pounding cliff hanger, I was eager to read the next in the series. The Vanishing Throne is every bit as magical and exciting as book #1, if not more! 

After failing to stop the fae from invading her home, Aileana has to put the pieces of her shattered world back together. During the story she is nearly destroyed, first by the confines of Lonnrach's faery prison, then by her overwhelming guilt about the remnants of her world. This book deals more with the internal struggle, which is written wonderfully. We know that Aileana is strong and capable, but it's nice to see her vulnerable side, too. Despite the painful trials she goes through in this book Aileana keeps fighting and really grows as a character. I'm looking forward to seeing where she ends up in book #3. 

The first book in this series was amazing and book #2 does not disappint. The thrilling, exciting adventure continues as we venture to new cities of the fae. Each setting is masterfully described as well as extremely different and creative. From the scary to the beautiful, the homes of the fae are as unique as the creatures themselves. The author has a wonderful imagination.

We learn more about Kiaran Mackay, known in the faery realm as Kadamach. The biggest revelation about Kiaran blew me away. I was not expecting it. As we readers know from book #1 Kiaran did many awful deeds in his day, but honestly every time he revealed something bad he had done in the past  I just wanted to hug him. I don't want to give away his back story but he has come so far as a character. His feelings for Aileana , make him a better person, more human, and I just love him. His tenderness to Aileana is truly endearing. We know that he has a hard time with emotions so the fact that he is so sweet and caring towards her (and almost no one else) speaks to their deep connection. 

We are introduced to Kiaran's sister, Aithinne. A witty, mad-as-a-hatter, badass warrior. Her presence reveals a different side of Kiaran, and the history between the two is fascinating. Also, some familiar faces from Aileana's past, the human survivors fighting against an unrelenting enemy. 

In this installment of the series an abundance of faery secrets are revealed, as well as long held alliances, betrayals, and a fascinating history that brings to light the motivations of friends and enemies. 

At the end Elizabeth May hits us again with a rockin' cliffhanger. It's going to be a painful wait for book #3, however completely worth it because I can't wait to find out what happens next in this awesome story! 

~ Important Links ~ 

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson (aka PrincessMab) is a book reviewer, fangirl, bookworm, and writer. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books as 1/5 of the team behind the runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and listening to ASMR Boyfriend roleplays on Youtube;)  She can most likely be found reading and fangirling about her current read on the various social media sites below. ^_^           Instagram & Twitter @theprincessmab 
on Sep 22, 2016
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. She's leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sithichean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them. 

Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her abilities and her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother. 

The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacaring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder—but she'll have to save the world first. 

Genre: Young Adult / Paranormal / Fantasy

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May is the best book I've read all year! I was so happy to spot this book at the library, what a perfect novel to get me out of my recent reading slump. 

The Falconer is a beautifully imagined story that combines faeries, history, a little romance, with steampunk wonder. The story starts off very quickly right in the middle of an average night of faery hunting for Aileana. As the plot unfolds Aileana is forced to face her destiny and fight with a motley group of friends to protect the world from the fae. 

Aileana is a resourceful inventor and warrior, hiding as a normal lady during the day. At night she hunts for the faery who murdered her mother. I like how Aileana is aware of some ridiculous customs of the day, and hates the part she plays. She has to hide who she is and how she feels and I think many readers can relate to that. During the novel she struggles with balancing the warrior parts of herself with the more feminine and that was interesting to read. 

He would probably hate my saying this but, Derrick is soooo adorable. I love that Aileana has a little fae friend that supports her and trades information for pots of honey. They bicker like siblings, and its good for Aileana to have a friend who knows her secrets. 

Kiaran MacKay is my new book boyfriend and I'm claiming him as mine. ;))) Seriously, he is a fascinating character, incredibly mysterious and intriguing. He teaches Ailenana to hunt his own kind (for reasons unknown). You're never sure of his motives, and neither is Aileana. I really enjoy his relationship with Aileana, even though he is kind of jerk, he seems to care about her, and she can be herself around him. I'm excited to learn more about him in the next book, especially his hidden past. 

The steampunk elements were so interesting, they really added an extra spark to the story and blended well with the fantasy side of the story. My favorite were the "stitchters" mechanical bug-like things that stitch a person up after injury. You don't often find too many books with fae and steampunk elements. That particular combination pleasantly reminded me of The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. 

The ending! Arggghhh! Right in the middle of a highly suspenseful situation, bam, cliffhanger! I'm not as upset as I usually would be because book #2 is available now and I have a copy in my possesion ready to devour immediately after finishing this review. ;) 

~ Important Links ~

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson (aka PrincessMab) is a book reviewer, fangirl, bookworm, and writer. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books as 1/5 of the team behind the runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and listening to ASMR Boyfriend roleplays on Youtube;)  She can most likely be found reading and fangirling about her current read on the various social media sites below. ^_^           Instagram & Twitter @theprincessmab | Tumblr -  http://princessmabblr.tumblr.com/ | Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/princessmabwrites/

on Sep 20, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016 -
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Where: From the comfort of your own home or anywhere with a wi-fi signal
When: All day
About: Virtual FantasyCon 2016 is an online 8 day Facebook event celebrating Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror! Come along and meet with authors, artists, bloggers, cosplayers, and more! It's just like a regular convention, except its free, you don't have to travel, and you can participate from anywhere you can get online. There will be giveaways, a blog hunt, and much more! The event will feature the following sub-genres:
Sunday, October 9th: Epic/Sword & Sorcery (Includes High Fantasy)
Monday, October 10th: Sci-Fi/Sci-Fi Fantasy/Time Travel
Tuesday, October 11th: Faiytale/Punk (Includes all versions of Punk)
Wednesday, October 12th: Paranormal/Urban 
Thursday, October 13th: Series/Short Stories
Friday, October 14th: Dystopian/Apocolyptic
Saturday, October 15th: Dark/Grim Dark/Horror
Sunday, October 16th: Children/YA Fantasy
Fantasy author Melissa Sasina will be participating on Thursday for the Series/Short Stories event, although keep an eye out for your chance to win e-copies of her books and even bookmarks and swag throughout the event! 
 Links to each sub-genre will be posted closer to the beginning of the event. 
Until then, join the Reader's Corner (https://www.facebook.com/events/1757708664480385/) to learn more about the authors participating and join in on fun games leading to the event kick off. 
This event is run and hosted by Fantasy - Flight of Imagination. Be sure to check out their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/AFlavourOfFantasy/ 

on May 31, 2016
The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. 
He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king's approval to be his guests at Thornbeck 
Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character. 

Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true indentity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn't select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent be the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina's best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can't deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. 

Genre: Historical / Romance

Review: Since reading my first Melanie Dickerson book last year I have become a huge fan. Her writing is so smooth and well-paced, and completely right for the type of stories that she writes.  

This is the second book in the Thornbeck series and the main characters from the previous book, Jorgen and Odette, play a significant role in this book and it was wonderful to revisit these lovely characters again. Jorgen is now the Chancellor to the margrave, and both he and his wife care for their friend, Reinhart and hope to see him happily married. 

While this book is marketed for adults, simply I believe for the sake that the main characters are over 18, there are no love scenes or anything of the like that would prevent an older teen from reading and enjoying this book. 

Reinhart begins the novel very cynical of love. A product of his parents arranged, advantegoues but ultimately unhappy marriage. He also lives with a crippled leg, walking with a cane, regretting his lost days of knighthood, doubting that any woman would ever want him. Surrounding him are rumors that he killed his older brother so that he himself could rule Thornbeck castle. Throughout the story Reinhart softens and exhibits growing care towards those under his charge and the woman he wishes to make his bride. 

I liked Avelina, but found that she often acted too young, if that makes sense. Often second guessing herself and giving into others. While I believe her to be above 19, we are to the best of my recollection never told her exact age. Though, I'm not sure if that is simply because she is a servant and used to bowing to greater authority. Or maybe she just seems that way because Odette, the main character of book #1 was of a higher social rank and therefore was more confident, maybe its just a comparison.

Over the course of the novel Avelina realizes her value and importance. She ultimately stops comparing herself to born ladies. In addition the margrave, Reinhart sees her true value as a person for her compassion, respect, and courage. There love story is wonderful to read. 

While The Beautiful Pretender doesn't surpass the total amazingness of book #1, it was still an enjoyable and recommended read. :) 

Find The Beautiful Pretender on Goodreads
Find The Beautiful Pretender on Amazon
Find The Beautiful Pretender on Barnes&Noble

A Note from the Reviewer: Hello, Runawaypen readers! I'm excited to present my 50TH BOOK REVIEW at The Runaway Pen!!! Ahhhhhhhhh! It makes me so happy to share my love of books with you all. In celebration of this milestone I'll be posting a whole bunch of book reviews in the month of June, so keep checking back here! And as always thank you so much for reading! :)

Follow me ^_^  ~ Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads
on May 30, 2016
Pia has always known her destiny. 

She is meant to start a new race, a line of descendants who will bring an end to death. She has been bred for no other purpose, genetically engineered to be immortal and raised by a team of scientists in a secret compound hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest. Now those scientists have begun to challenge her, with the goal of training her to carry on their dangerous work. 

For as long as she can remember, Pia's greatest desire has been to fulfill their expectations. But on the night she turns seventeen, she finds a hole in the seemingly impenetrable fence that surrounds her sterile home. Free in the jungle for the first time in her life, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Unable to resist, she continues sneaking out to see him. As they fall in love, they begin to piece together the truth about Pia's origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction / Romance

Review: Let me start by saying that Origin is not a book I would typically read. I generally don't venture farther into science fiction literature than Star Wars or Star Trek novels. Recently however I was visiting a cousin of mine who was reading this in her school book club and she spoke so highly of this book that I knew I had to check it out. 

The concept for Origin, the quest for immortality obviously isn't a new storyline, but the way it's presented here is so unique and enthralling. Immortal Pia knows nothing of the outside world, (she has never even seen a map) other than the scientific journals that are cleared by the head of Little Cam, Uncle Paolo. She lives a remote world filled with what she thinks are her family but soon discover that the people she trusts most having been lying and keeping dangerous secrets. 

The main character Pia is the perfect balance of intelligence, curiosity, and naivety. Personally I tend to have trouble finishing a book if the MC is constantly making stupid decisions. That was absolutely not an issue in this book. Pia is mature and clever, and ultimately compassionate and unselfish when push comes to shove. Her courage in standing up for what is right, even against her family is truly admirable. And yet there is a sadness about Pia because she knows that sooner of later the people around her will whither and die, while she will live on forever and ever. 

The boy from the jungle, Eio, is mysterious and courageous. His mother was Ai'oan, but his father is one of the scientists in the foreigner town of Little Cam. Because of this he shares Pia's feelings of being an outsider and not belonging. As much as I enjoyed the romance between Pia and Eio, it did feel a little forced at times. That being said they still had a real connection and both were willing to stand up for each other. 

Possibly my favorite thing about this novel is how it masterfully it illustrates the fall from good, the line between doing what would be considered a small wrong, to doing something considered evil. We see this everyday but this novel pushes it front and center and shows how easy it is for people to compromise on morals. There's a line from a song that goes, "It's a slow fade, when you give yourself away", that line really resonated with me while reading this book. Spoilers. How ordinary people could become complacent with kidnapping and killing people. It is honestly terrifying and will most likely give you chills as you read. End Spoilers. 

The entire novel is filled with suspense, but the last 100 pages will have you on the edge of your seat. The tension and uncertainty is just perfectly portrayed. The ending was a surprise for me, and I suppose I'll leave it at that to avoid any spoilers. Ultimately Origin was a thrilling adventure into the quest for immortality. 

A Note from the Reviewer: Hi runawaypen readers! Thank you for reading my review. I hope you enjoyed it! I'm currently reading the second book in this series and hope to post it soon. :) To keep up to date with the books that I'm reading and upcoming reviews follow me on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab

on Feb 29, 2016


Opening of Lost Doors (The Chronicles of Midgard #3)
"In the snow covered mountains, Odin's spear lies within a forgotten slumbering city...Maeja and her crew must find the relics of the gods before the Empire does, but acquiring Odin's spear will be no simple task. First they must escape from the Empire's capital city, then gain entrance into the long forgotten palace of Ostegard deep in the icy mountains. There, Odin's spear remains securely hidden in a dangerous, trap-filled labyrinth beneath the fabled Shrine of Ages. Before the city will wake and yield its gates, Maeja must first prove her worth as a Valkyrie. Only then will she be able to lay her hands upon the spear. With an army of walking corpses ravaging parts of the Midlands and the great serpent Jormungand tormenting the seas, Maeja and crew are running out of time..."
Kindle: http://amzn.com/B01BUPHXXK
Amazon Print: http://amzn.com/1516928865
Nookbook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/opening-of-lost…/1123465582…

B&N Print: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/opening-of-lost…/1123386135…

on Feb 7, 2016
Blurb: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime.

The opportunity to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she begins to realize that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Genre: Young Adult / Romance

Review: Before about a month ago I had no idea this novel even existed. Then I started doing some monthly challenges on instagram and it seemed as if this novel/series was EVERYWHERE. It would seem nearly everyone has read this novel but me, so on a recent trip to Barnes&Noble I figured I would find out what the big deal was. Long story short, barely halfway through I was already completely obsessed.

The Selection is a grand sweeping romance, familiar yet completely unique. The writing is fast-paced and engaging, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. This story is set in a future after war has destroyed what we know and something strange and new has come forth. 

America is such a great main character. A perfect blend of strength and vulnerability. Honest and brave. She is so easy to relate to, you'll be cheering for her the whole way through. Her relationship with Aspen was pleasantly less hormonal than I anticipated, they love each other earnestly and that was lovely to read. As was her friendship with Maxon, in Pride and Prejudice style fashion, America and Maxon start out on rocky terms, but they soon see the goodness in each other. 

I'll admit the concept is a bit far-fetched but I think that's what makes it so...enchanting. This is the perfect story to read as a vacation from the real world. Cass' entire novel is magical and romantic, encased in a world of dreams and endless possibilities. 

Now if you'll excuse I have to make a trip to Barnes&Noble and purchase the rest of the series ASAP!

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and ardently shipping RumBelle. M lives in Upstate New York and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab

on Feb 6, 2016

The hunt continues for the lost treasures of the gods in the snowy mountains of Midgard.

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