Tag Archive | Beaumont and Beasley

October Bookish News & Afterverse Relaunch!

Greetings, fellow page dreamers!

I’ve gone kind of radio silent because I was on vacation… but it’s time for another edition of what’s up In Bookish News, in October this time.

This month we’ve got the relaunch of the Afterverse, the release of SEVEN Snow White novellas, a batch of other new book releases, some hashtag and bookclub fun, and a giveaway, so there’s lots to cover!

Afterverse Relaunch!

Firstly, Kyle Robert Shultz is doing a Soft Relaunch on October 31 of his Afterverse series!

Essentially, this means that they’re coming to Kindle Unlimited, that there will be new short stories for his newsletter subscribers (go sign up on the side of his blog!), and that there has been some cover-tweaking and some story polishing.

Now, before you freak out, don’t worry — the changes are minor. The covers are just shined up a little, and the first three books (The Beast of Talesend, The Tomb of the Sea Witch, and The Stroke of Eleven) have undergone an extra round of edits to comb out typos and inconsistencies, and to clarify a few things, so there may be a few additional details.

But the stories as you know and love them (if you’ve read them already) are still essentially the same, so you don’t need to read the new versions! (Unless you want to.) And this is just a chance for you to celebrate the awesomeness that is Beaumont and Beasley, and new free short stories, yay!

And if you haven’t read the books yet, now is the absolute perfect time to jump on the Afterverse reading bandwagon with these shiny new editions!

(Small disclaimer: I’m Kyle’s editor. So I… er… may have been the editor involved with polishing the new editions. It was an absolute delight to shine up these hilarious and brilliant stories. ❤ I should put it on my invisible Badge of Credentials: Editor of the Afterverse.)

You can read all the details on Kyle’s site! Or, specifically, in two posts so far, HERE and HERE. And all of these updates should go into effect October 31st. 🙂

If you’re a little confused about the order of the books… here, allow me to make you a list. (And yes, this may be an excuse to throw around the shiny covers for a whole bunch of stories I love. I have no regrets.)

Beaumont and Beasley Books

  1. The Beast of Talesend
  2. The Tomb of the Sea Witch
  3. The Stroke of Eleven
  4. The Return of Beaumont and Beasley (containing novellas The Janus Elixir [about Malcolm Blackfire!] and The Hound of Duville [about Nick and Crispin] which were previously published separately)

Beaumont and Beasley Short Stories

  1. The Last Days of Lady Cordelia (deals with some events from Book 1, The Beast of Talesend) — Amazon
  2. Christmas in Talesend (takes place after Book 3, The Stroke of Eleven) — Amazon
  3. A Spoonful of Aether (Beaumont and Beasley) — Newsletter freebie

Blackfire

Blackfire hasn’t officially launched with a novel yet. This is a Regency Fantasy setting of the Afterverse, featuring dragon/archaeologist Malcolm Blackfire and reformed jewel-thief Melody Nightingale. There aren’t any full-length books out about them yet. (Malcolm appears in many of the Beaumont and Beasley tales, and he and Melody feature together in The Stroke of Eleven.)

The tales that are exclusively about Malcolm and Melody so far are:

  1. The Haunted Hoard (short story) — Newsletter freebie
  2. The Janus Elixir (novella) — One of the two novellas collected in The Return of Beaumont and Beasley (Book 4), on Amazon

Crockett and Crane

Spinoff in magical wild west. Can stand alone. (Book 2 was released on Wattpad originally but will be published sometime on Amazon.)

Novels

  1. Horseman

Crockett and Crane Short Stories

  1. The Centaur Express (Crockett and Crane) — Newsletter freebie
  2. Ravenous (Crockett and Crane) — a free short story as an intro to Kyle’s Patreon page

OKAY. Moving on from the Afterverse, to . . . Snow White!

Seven Magic Mirrors

The Seven Magic Mirrors co-release is happening THIS WEEK and next! Seven Snow White retellings by six different authors are publishing the last several days of the month, run by Kendra E. Ardnek. I’ll be reviewing one by our very own Sarah Pennington — I’m SO excited! *flails around* Anyway, they’re all gorgeous and sound AMAZING so check them out!

Other Book Releases

(The first couple were actually the end of September, but who’s counting. :P)

  • Punctuation 101 – Jill Williamson — This is SUCH a handy, adorable little book for writers! I highly recommend it! I had the chance to volunteer as a proofreader for it and I love it so much. (Why yes, I am the kind of person who proofreads punctuation books for fun… *cough* This is probably why I’m an editor.)
  • Fallow (Green Princess, #2) – H.L. Burke — Look who’s doing it again — releasing books way too fast! XD I’m so excited to read the FIRST book so I can get to this one someday… 😀
  • Paws, Claws, and Magic Tales – Fellowship of Fantasy authors — Eep, another FoF anthology! It’s FREE so you should definitely pick up a copy of these magical cat tales. I can’t wait to read it. ^_^
  • Ogre Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine — It’s a prequel to Ella Enchanted! :O Excited for this one!
  • The Profile Match – Jill Williamson — The final Spencer (Mission League) book is out and I’m so excited for Jill finishing this six-book series! 😀 I’m kinda behind on it but am looking forward to catching up. ^_^
  • Mardan’s Heir – Kathrese McKee — This is the sequel to Mardan’s Heir, and they’re both on my TBR. It looks so cool!
  • A Wind from the Wilderness – Suzannah Rowntree (Oct 29) — This prolific author is always coming out with new tales and this one looks gorgeous!
  • Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares – Shaun Hume (Oct 31) — Some may remember my review of the first book, a charming British fantasy adventure with fantastical creatures. I’m really excited for this one! 🙂

Other Events

A little late in the month for some of these, but there’s always time to jump on board!

Drachtober / Spooky Story Challenge

Jenelle Schmidt is running #Drachtober and the Spooky Story Challenge again (I posted one of my own!), so drop by and check those out!

Bookclub News

The Fellowship of Fantasy bookclub is reading Masque, a funny Beauty and the Beast story I ADORED — and we’re meeting the author, W. R. Gingell, at the bookclub’s Facebook party this week on Oct 26!

Also, speaking of bookclubs, Jill Williamson and Gillian Bronte Adams have started an awesome new bookclub called @fantasyreadalong on Instagram (and elsewhere? I think they said it moves around) and the first readalong will be in NOVEMBER, for Mark of the Raven by Morgan Busse — I’m so excited!

Giveaway

You can also drop by my other blog to enter a giveaway for No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty, running through October 28! 😉


I think that’s all I have for you. I do have some books I should review soonish, and we’re coming up on NaNoWriMo so I’ll probably have a mix of posts and too-busy-writing-to-blog, so we’ll see!

Whew! So much happening this month! What book(s) are you most excited about? Thanks for reading! 🙂

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The Stroke of Eleven (by Kyle Robert Shultz) – Beaumont & Beasley, #3

(Pretty cover is pretty…)

Title: The Stroke of Eleven

Author: Kyle Robert Shultz

  • Date read: December 3, 2017
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Fairytale retelling (Cinderella / Beauty and the Beast / Alice in Wonderland / etc.)
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 255 (Kindle)
  • Series: Beaumont & Beasley, #3
  • Fave character: DON’T MAKE ME PICK. (*ignores fact that I’m the one who asks myself these questions*)
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free e-copy of this book from the author (thanks!); these opinions are entirely my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Website

I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO REVIEW THIS, HALP.

So much of this story is mind-boggling twists, and it’s basically a walking spoiler, so HOW I am even going to BEGIN to talk about this is just…

*takes deep breath*

This will be a spoiler-free review, and I will attempt coherency, but basically: everyone needs to read this so that I can talk about it, because if the whole world has read it, then nothing will be a spoiler anymore, right? Right. Problem solved!

Anyway. Reviewing.

MEEP. <—[My entire reaction to the entire book.]

I HAVE FEELS, OKAY. I HAVE MANY FEELS.

NO I WILL NOT BE CALM.

*calms self*

I haven’t quite figured out how I feel about a few of the things. Because wow, things GO DOWN in this and nothing will be the same. O_o It was honestly exhausting to read. So, good news for all you people who love feelsy books: this one is for you. XD

I… ahem… do NOT always love feelsy books, so like I said, I’m kind of on the fence on some things… BUT once I got over it, I think I figured out that I’m mostly worried about what will happen in future books, and not AS much about what actually happened in this one (or did it?), so since that’s kind of a silly thing to worry about, I’ll just say: this was a good book. An excellently written one, in fact. And it’s brilliant/genius/mindboggling, and as long as I don’t worry about what future books will hold for my precious character friends, or about some of the sort-of things that kind of maybe happened (or not? Time travel is confusing, guys.), I can say: I LOVED IT! 😀

It’s a fairytale retelling/reworking/mashup/THING, featuring Cinderella, dashes of Alice in Wonderland, continuations of Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid (because of the first two books) and TIMEY-WIMEY STUFF. How cool is that? VERY cool.

And I can’t say much about the plot because SPOILERS. (So. many.) But I’ll do what I can.

Nick and Cordelia continue to be one of my favorite things—seriously, I love their relationship and banter SO MUCH. And just them as characters. THEY ARE THE BEST. ❤ Crispin kind of isn’t in it as much, since he and Molly are kind of… out of the way near the beginning, but I didn’t actually mind as much as I thought I might. Because the explosion of plot twists, and Nick and Cordelia being adorable, kind of distracted me. XD (ButIloveCrispinokayarewegoodyesCrispinCrispinCrispin.) The Mythfits are back, being quirky as ever. 😉 MALCOLM returns—I was kind of unsure about him in Tomb of the Sea Witch, but gaaahh, I love him now. So much. We also meet exciting NEW characters!

And I quite liked the Cinderella and prince characters. They were great! 🙂 The Cinderella story was fascinating in this! (Any story that is very involved with a clock/midnight is a prime candidate for a time-travel story. ;)) And yay for dashes of steampunk!

There are SO many new developments, and time-travel-y thiiings (some of which are frankly terrifying, but you know). And DID I MENTION TWISTS? There are twists, people. o.o TWIIISTS. O____O And I guessed a couple of them and they happened and I’m in shock but wow, and I don’t know how I feel, but ALL THE THINGS. Also the White Rabbit. Yes. Wow.

AND THERE WERE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST THINGS. I know it’s silly, because the Disney cartoon isn’t even an original thing, and I only saw it once, but I was ridiculously happy about a little moment or two in this that was B&B-ish. XD (And there was a thrown roll. Just sayin’.)

Anyway, Nick and Cordelia and Crispin are some of my favorite EVER characters. I’m immensely attached to them. Plus I adore the Afterverse, and fairytales in general, and time travel hurts my brain, and what I mean to say is this book was excellent. Exhausting and hard for me to decide if I’m okay with a thing or two, but excellent. XD

And did I mention it’s still hilarious? No? Because IT’S STILL HILARIOUS. I don’t know HOW Kyle Shultz does all of this—hilarious, fairytale, timey-wimey, plot twist, epic, fun adventure, with all the feels, and my favorite characters. I’M KIND OF EMOTIONALLY INVESTED. If you can’t tell. Ahem.

SO, I LIED. This wasn’t a coherent review. Oh well.

Now you know what I think (kind of… as much as I know… which isn’t very much…), so you can dash off and read the book yourself so that we can discuss spoilery things… And if you can’t yet, because you haven’t read The Beast of Talesend, well WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR, YOU POOR SOUL. *shoos you off to go read that one because you’re missing out*

If you need me, I’ll just be over here in the corner, emotionally worn out and confused and waiting for another Beaumont and Beasley adventure. Send help. Or, no, send tea and cakes and the next book, and a safe where I can keep the characters protected from all the MEEPery. (It’s a word, shush.)

(This is why I don’t write reviews at one a.m.)

Some Favorite Quotes

So… parachutes. Not fun. I’ve never liked heights. I like them even less when I’m falling from them.

***

“Look… we come in peace.”

“No, we don’t!” cried Cordelia. “We don’t come in peace! We go in abject terror!”

***

Getting eaten by evil pumpkins was very low on my list of preferred ways to die.

***

“My name is Gervase,” he informed us.

“My condolences.”

***

Malcolm stopped me with a gesture before I could speak to him. “Please, don’t say anything. Whatever it is, I’ve already heard it.” He started doing a very poor imitation of my voice and accent. “Malcolm! Crikey! You’re so young! What’s going on here? Who’s that girl? I’m so confused! Oi!”

“I do /not/ sound like that,” I growled.

Melody smacked him on the back of the head. “Don’t be rude, grumpy-scales.”

***

“The White Rabbit Society is now assembled.” Kanin’s tone was solemn and ceremonial. “May the clock strike twelve.”

“May the clock strike twelve,” echoed everyone, including Cordelia.

I looked from one to the other in bewilderment. “Right. That wasn’t weird at all.”

***

“…but a scheme this brazen could get us all killed. Repeatedly.”

***

Melody moved over to a table laden with refreshments. She picked up some sandwiches and began gleefully throwing them at random people.

“She reminds me of you,” I said to Cordelia.

“Oh, really? I can’t imagine why.”

***

“Shut up and be magical.”

***

That was cheating, of course. But I was perfectly willing to cheat time, death, and any other inexorable force of nature for Crispin’s sake… regardless of what the consequences might be.

***

“Cinderella and Prince Charming.”

They both gave me displeased looks.

“What?” I shrugged. “That’s who you are, isn’t it?”

Cinderella rubbed her eyes. “I do wish people didn’t remember me by that ridiculous nickname my stepsisters made up.”

“And I have an actual name,” said Matteo. “Why do they never remember the princes’ actual names? Plus the fact that they made me out to be a complete idiot. How insane would you have to be to try finding a girl based on her shoe size?”

***

“Chin up, Gareth!” said Malcolm, with a sort of crazed cheerfulness. “Why worry? We’re Beaumont and Beasley! We live for danger!”

“Technically, only Cordelia, Crispin, Molly, and I are Beaumont and Beasley,” I reminded him.

“At this point, I’d say we’re all honorary members by virtue of shared insanity.”

~ ~ ~

Click covers for other related reviews:

  

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Talk to me, fellow page dreamers! Have you read The Stroke of Eleven, or either of the first two Beaumont and Beasley books?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

The Tomb of the Sea Witch by Kyle Robert Shultz

Today I’m reviewing the sequel to The Beast of Talesend, AND I’M SO EXCITED!

Title: The Tomb of the Sea Witch
Author: Kyle Robert Shultz

  • Date read: July 23, 2017
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Fantasy / Fairytale retelling (Little Mermaid, bits of Beauty and the Beast, etc.)
  • Age: YA — or, well, anyone really
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 209 (paperback)
  • Series: Beaumont and Beasley, #2 (read my review for Book 1, The Beast of Talesend)
  • Fave character: Crispin and Nick
  • Source: The author
  • Notes: I received a free Advance Review Copy of this book from the author (many thanks!). I was not required to write a positive review and these opinions are entirely my own.
  • Links: GoodreadsAmazonAuthor’s Blog

I don’t know how to review this book! I JUST LOVED IT A LOT, OKAY?

There are SO many amazing twists, and spoilers that I have to avoid talking about because I don’t want to spoil it… I also kind of want to keyboard-smash and flail in all-caps that everyone should read this… I will attempt to be coherent, but MAN, this might be hard. *twitch* Ahem. *gathers self*

This is an utterly fun adventure! From the moment I read the prologue (in Nick’s delightful dry narrator tone, of course) I knew I was going to adore this book—and was I ever right! (The answer is yes; yes, I was right.)

I loved The Tomb of the Sea Witch just as much as book 1, The Beast of Talesend—possibly more, if that’s possible. O_O I… I don’t even know; I loved them both a LOT. But this one has potential to be my favorite so far, if only because of a few awesome things which were even more prevalent than before.

LIKE THE CHARACTERS.
AND THEIR BICKERING.
AND THE HUMOR.
AND THE FAIRYTALE TWISTS.
AND ALL THE PLOT TWISTS.
AND MAGICAL CREATURES.
(And I will try to be coherent, promise. *cough*)

More fascinating fairytale bits feature in this! Book 1 was largely Beauty and the Beast, and this one has remainders of that, but is mostly The Little Mermaid… ish… but different. (I will say no more. XD) Other THINGS are also referenced. O_O Needless to say, this post-fairytale world of the Afterlands is still FASCINATING, and totally unpredictable, and I can’t wait to see what other fairytale things get woven in later on!

THERE ARE TWISTS GALORE. The adventure got pretty intense in the midst of all the humor and character interactions! Eep! *collapses* EXCITEMENT. And so much trouble for our heroes. XD I couldn’t put it down and had to keep flipping those pages. It kills me that I can’t say much about the plot because I LOVE so many of the plot twists, but I will not spoil them—just go read the book yourself! (But these plot twists though. So many amazing and/or ominous developments! :O)

Nick is still an AWESOME narrator—seriously, he’s a favorite! ^_^ I just love his loyalty and grouchiness and he’s fabulous. ❤ Cordelia is taking a turn for the mysterious (I mean, she had a dash of that to start with) and—gah, I need to know more about her. O.o She’s great too. 😀 CRISPIN IS IN THIS ONE MORE. *does a dance of happiness* I absolutely loved Crispin in book 1, although he wasn’t in it very much, so I was ecstatic to find that he has more of a central role in this one. SO MUCH CRISPIN. ❤ It’s still mostly about Nick, but more Crispin “screen-time” this time around was great, and all the shenanigans he got up to were hilarious. XD He also went through a lot… *cough* *hugs Crispin and adopts him*

But even better than each individual character on their own? ALL THE CHARACTERS TOGETHER. I absolutely LOVE this trio! THEY ARE THE BEST!!! *hugs them* Nick and Cordelia are so great; I love their banter. I love Crispin and Nick’s brotherly shenanigans and interactions. I love how Nick and Cordelia try to keep Crispin in line and he tries to keep THEM in line and—laksjdlfkj SO MUCH ADORABLE. All three of them just make the greatest trio! There are some fabulous character arcs going on here during the continuing quest to de-Beast-ify Nick, and more questions raised about all the characters… ACK, I can’t wait to read more about these three! Anyhow, the Beasley brothers are fantastic together! I love themmm! ❤

There are other fun characters introduced, too. 🙂 Molly, for instance. *grins* I really like her. 😀 She and a certain character were so adorable together. XD And we have an ominous dragon with SUCH a presence… o.o And since it takes place largely at a magical “anti-hero” type school (*laughs so hard over this*), we have a small group of students dubbed “the Mythfits” by Nick—and they were so fun. XD And Kiran (a certain descendant of a certain character…) was verrry interesting and I’m curious about him. Mer-people also feature—yay!—as well as mythical creatures galore—many of which Crispin “adopts” in this, which was beyond adorable. 😛 (The little dragon/salamander though!! “Zup-zup!” <3)

I must confess, the very ominous epilogues got me extremely nervous for what will become of these characters in the upcoming sequels—eep! O_O (NEED. MORE. BOOKS. NOW.) So as far as any “downsides,” that’s literally all I can think of: that I’m VERY worried for my character friends, and there’s a bit of intense, dark scariness throughout the book, mostly in the second half. (But all mixed in with hilariousness, so it still felt pretty lighthearted overall. Of course, it being intense only means it’s VERY EXCITING and only makes me want to read them more, sooo…)

Short version: This book is one of the funniest I’ve read, with the BEST dialog, and is an utterly original twist on fairytales, with some of my favorite characters ever; I totally recommend it. JUST READ IT ALREADY, EVERYONE. Or, well, maybe read The Beast of Talesend first. BUT READ THIS BECAUSE IT’S FABULOUS.

Now I’ll just be over here flipping through both books and reading amusing quotes from Nick and Crispin and co., while waiting impatiently for the sequel, because I NEEDS MORE OF THESE, PRECIOUSSS.

(P.S. This was the perfect thing to read over a weekend when I was kayaking—all the water!—and my family also benefited from it because I couldn’t resist quoting aloud parts of it as I read; there were lots of laughs. The book photography opportunities were also perfectly timed. <3)

(This quote was so appropriate for being at the beach, I had to snap a picture of it. XD It will stand in for quotes, because if I were to share my “favorite quotes” like I do sometimes, I would literally quote the whole book…)

~ ~ ~

So there you are! Do you have this or The Beast of Talesend on your To-Read list? BECAUSE YOU SHOULD. XD And what’s the best fairytale retelling, or funniest book, you’ve read lately?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer