Tag Archive | The New Emperor’s Concerto

Giveaway+Review+Tour: The New Emperor’s Concerto by Hazel B. West!

I’m so excited to join in on the tour for The New Emperor’s Concerto!

Today I’ve got a book review, all the tour/book info, and my own personal giveaway as well as the tour-wide giveaway, so read on for all the juicy details and why you need this book in your life. XD

It’s one of my top favorite books I’ve read so far this year! ❤


Tour Details

The blog tour runs 4/20-4/24 and you can follow the official tour links here!


Instagram Live Chat!

Hazel B. West and Claire M. Banschbach will be doing an Instagram Live chat on Thursday, April 23 on Claire’s Instagram @cmbanschbach — be sure to drop by!


Instagram Photo Challenge

There is also an Instagram photo challenge — anyone who participates will be entered in a giveaway for a signed copy of the book, or a swag pack!


Tour-wide Giveaway

Hazel is hosting an awesome giveaway across the tour!

Be sure to drop by the Rafflecopter link HERE and enter to win a signed copy + swag, or an ebook + swag!


My Personal Giveaway! (On Instagram)

Drop by my Instagram and enter to win this paperback! (Tea and biscuit not included, sorry. XD)

I’m also running a giveaway of my own!

I ended up with an extra paperback copy of The New Emperor’s Concerto, and I thought it would be fun to give one away!

Drop by the post on my Instagram and enter there!

(Runs 4/22-4/29, US only, winner announced on my stories afterward.)

If you are NOT on Instagram but would still like to enter, just drop a comment below here on my blog and let me know, and I’ll enter you!


Free Prequel Short Story

Lastly, The Butler’s Story, a fun prequel short story, is FREE on Kindle during the tour!

Find it here!

It’s about Sinclair (MY FAVORITE BUTLER) and a young Lysander, years before The New Emperor’s Concerto.


About the Book

The year is 2228 and the world is on the cusp of World War Four. London is rife with anarchists and secret plots. It looks like dark days are coming for the British Empire. Darker than any that have been seen for decades.

But luckily England has some help.

Sir Lysander is the King’s Righteous Man-and all that entails. He’s the king’s right hand, and a red one at that, the man who stands in the shadows and does what needs to be done for the protection of his country.

Eidolon is a phantom, the anarchist group Apophis’s top retrieval expert. They need something, he gets it, no matter the consequence. Even though he’d secretly prefer to be in his flat with his cat and a good book.

They’ve been butting heads for a while but in times like these, loyalties are known to change and right now, any help is good help. They just didn’t count on being the only thing standing between England and the start of the next world war.


Book Links


About the Author

Hailing from Purgatory (aka, Florida) Hazel is an indie author, book wyrm, and coffee connoisseur. She typically enjoys writing books with an unconventional flair, probably with a bit of folklore and mythology, most definitely with a lot of siblings or brothers-in-arms. When she’s not writing, she manages an Etsy shop, drinks a lot of coffee, listens to music, haunts conventions, or just holes up like an eldritch horror and binges her favorite shows—for inspiration. If you meet this rare creature on the street, she has been known to respond to the offer of coffee and old bookstores. But it’s probably best you try to contact her online first.


Title: The New Emperor’s Concerto

Author: Hazel B. West

  • Date read: January 7, 2020
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Thriller / Mystery / Futuristic / Humor / Buddy-Cop-type-story / LONDON. IS THAT A GENRE?
  • Age: YA and up (minor language/action)
  • Year pub: 2020
  • Pages: 333 (paperback)
  • Fave character: Eidolon AND Lysander AND Sinclair!
  • Source: The author and also Amazon
  • Notes: Disclaimer: I was a beta-reader for this book, so that means I got a free copy, but I legitimately loved this book and went on to buy my own copy as well. All opinions are entirely my own.

10 Awesome Things About

The New Emperor’s Concerto

1. WHAT DID I JUST READ. I have no idea, but it was absolutely smashing and I adore it, and I’m going to go have a book hangover now, thanks. My absolute FAVORITE thing about this book is the characters and their banter/snark/buddy relationships. I CAN’T. I love them all so much! Shenanigans and unlikely friendships and brothers-in-arms. It’s HILARIOUS and awesome and so much fun! And their snark gives me life. XD

2. MY NEW FAVORITE BUDDY STORY. ❤ Buddy stories where two (or more) characters who don’t get along AT ALL have to work together and become brothers-in-arms are the best! LYSANDER AND EIDOLON/FLYNN AND ALSO SINCLAIR. (Everyone needs a Sinclair!)

3. IT’S SO BRITISH. Honestly. It’s like the most British thing I’ve ever read. It celebrates Britishness and tea and just all of it. And it’s set in futuristic London a couple hundred years from now, which I adored! “Futuristic London” should be a genre. It’s delightful because it’s a perfect mix of modern London with other feels — old-fashioned-ness tossed in, and bits of technology that are just enough ahead of modern times to be cool and spy-gear-like but without being so advanced as to feel like it crossed into sci-fi. It just all felt so natural and I loved it!

4. HUMOR AND SNARK GALORE. Humor is important to me. I love books that make me laugh, and are fun, and I especially love humorous, quotable banter. The dialog in this book is on point and I kept wanting to quote it. XD These snarky characters are just the best! Not to mention the footnotes from one of the characters. The book itself also doesn’t take itself too seriously, so there will be random fun cliches or make fun of those, and it’s just . . . great. XD

5. EXCITEMENT, THRILLING ACTION, ETC. Aside from simply being a fun romp, it’s also an awesome action-adventure story, with the characters trying to stop World War Four from happening. If it was a movie it would be on par with some of the greats. It can get a bit intense at times and kept me on the edge of my seat and there were a few feels thrown in along the way. The plot kept twisting and it was just delightful! Such an exciting book. (Now I wish it WAS a movie… 😀 Also, if it was, it’d be rated a low PG-13 for minor language/action so just FYI.)

6. LYSANDER. The King’s Righteous Man, Sir Lysander’s the “good guy” who’s also a little scary and not afraid to do what has to be done. Lysander is so epic, beyond all epicness! Definitely a new favorite character. And he has no patience for putting up with the likes of Eidolon, and it’s brilliant. XD

7. EIDOLON. Eidolon, the Phantom, might be my favorite, but really they all are. He’s one of the “bad guys” and is a brilliant thief but really he just wants to read and drink tea and hang out with his cat and I love it. XD His snark and his converse and his Britishness and just I CAN’T! But what’s most fun is throwing both of them together and watching the sparks fly. XD

8. EVERYONE NEEDS A SINCLAIR. Then we have Sinclair, who is Lysander’s butler but not terribly older than him, and they’re almost like brothers-in-arms aside from the whole proper-British master/butler thing. Just imagine a younger Jeeves who can fight and you have Sinclair, who’s my new favorite butler. He’s the single most competent person ever, he’ll always have tea and biscuits ready under the slightest notice in the most insane circumstances, he is about as skilled at fighting as even Lysander, is never flustered, is the loyalest ever, can casually stab villains with a knitting-needle when you least expect it, and has the solution to everything. I need a Sinclair. Everyone needs a Sinclair! (I will not stop saying this. XD)

9. REFERENCES. As if all of the above isn’t enough awesomeness, there are also delightful references peppered throughout — from Pratchett to Doctor Who to Lord of the Rings to Star Wars to The Princess Bride. It made me so happy and is tons of fun, especially all the Pratchett-ness. XD

10. CONCLUSION: It’s just an absolute rollicking good time and I had a blast reading it. Some of the most sheer fun I’ve had reading a book in a long time. I have a sudden need for more futuristic-London stories. And more hilarious adventure stories in general. And more of these characters, let’s be honest. In conclusion, that was an ABSURD amount of fun and was absolutely hilarious, exciting, and SO BRITISH. You need it in your life!


Excerpt

Lysander came to slowly, groggily. His training kept him from making a move, from tipping off his captor that he was conscious. Simply continuing to put on the façade of unconsciousness as he tried his best to make sense of his surroundings in his current state.

The first thing he noticed was the rustle of paper as if someone were turning the pages of a book and identified the familiar scent of English breakfast tea. The clink of china confirmed that fact. Was the knave really sitting there reading and drinking tea while he was lying there captive?

He tried to ease his eyes open, staring out through his lashes when he realized something else. Something moving against his side. He froze, his breathing hitching in surprise before the thing seemed to simply leap onto his chest, digging something sharp into him. Lysander tensed, almost not wanting to look.

Unless you want to keep pretending, I know you’re awake, so you may as well get up and have a cup of tea. I’m sure it will help your head,” a familiar voice said.

Lysander opened his eyes and found himself staring face to face with his attacker: A black cat with green eyes, staring at him reproachfully, flipping its tail, claws digging through Lysander’s clothing and into his chest. He turned his head, confused, to see Eidolon. The other man was sitting comfortably in a chair to the right of the sofa Lysander was lying on, a pair of reading glasses perched on his nose, a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other, balanced across his knee to hold his place.

What is this?” was all Lysander could ask, still muzzy from the drug.

My flat, which you broke into, in case you don’t remember,” came the rather defensive reply.

Lysander huffed indignantly, reaching up to feel the side of his neck, which smarted from the dart. “You drugged me.”

You should have knocked like a civilized person,” Eidolon replied. “It’s quite rude to just go breaking into people’s residences willy-nilly, King’s Righteous Man or not.”


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And there we are. Make sure you enter the giveaways and let me know if the book sounds interesting! Do you like buddy stories? British books? Humor? 😀 Do you have a favorite book that fits one or more of those categories? Thanks for reading! 🙂

Two Cover Reveals! (Dragons and Ravens + The New Emperor’s Concerto)

I’m so excited to share TWO cover reveals with you guys today! So excited for both of these!

COVER REVEAL #1

Firstly, we have a futuristic London buddy-story which I beta-read earlier this year and loved so much! It has all the snark and Britishness and action and it’s fabulous! 😀 Definitely a favorite! I’M SO EXCITED!

The New Emperor’s Concerto

by Hazel B. West

Releasing March 24 — next Tuesday!

About the Book

The year is 2228 and the world is on the cusp of World War Four. London is rife with anarchists and secret plots. It looks like dark days are coming for the British Empire. Darker than any that have been seen for decades.

But luckily England has some help.

Sir Lysander is the King’s Righteous Man-and all that entails. He’s the king’s right hand, and a red one at that, the man who stands in the shadows and does what needs to be done for the protection of his country.

Eidolon is a phantom, the anarchist group Apophis’s top retrieval expert. They need something, he gets it, no matter the consequence. Even though he’d secretly prefer to be in his flat with his cat and a good book.

They’ve been butting heads for a while but in times like these, loyalties are known to change and right now, any help is good help. They just didn’t count on being the only thing standing between England and the start of the next world war.


Aaahh! Isn’t it so cool? 😀 I’m SO excited for this book to release! It’s just so good! And I’m getting a Terry Pratchett vibe with that cover — which is appropriate since one of the main characters is a huge Pratchett fan and there are several inside jokes about that. 😉

Links:


COVER REVEAL #2

And now ANOTHER cover reveal, which I’m also super excited about! *flailing*

You see, one of my favorite recent reads was Strayborn by E.E. Rawls, and Dragons and Ravens is a novella in that series!

And another cool thing? Today’s the cover reveal but it’s ALSO release day! Yes indeed, this novella is available TODAY!

Here’s the cover!

Dragons and Ravens

by E. E. Rawls

Available Today!

About the Book

Curse of fire.

Hercule, the young heir of House Dragonsbane, has everything that wealth can purchase—that is, everything except for the one thing he longs for most: true freedom. And when a powerful goblin casts a curse on him, he may soon fall too far from ever finding it…

Held in darkness.

Zarren dreams of becoming a swordsmaster and a hero who saves lives, but first he must save his twin brother and himself from a cruel household. With nothing but faith, and the slim glimmer of hope to light their way, can they make their escape?


Aaahh, doesn’t it sound cool? I’m excited to read this! And I love those scales and feathers! So prettyyyy! 😀

Book Purchase Links:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

Author Bio:

E.E. Rawls is the product of a traveling family, who even lived in Italy for 6 years. She loves exploring the unknown, whether it be in a forest, inside a forgotten castle, or within the pages of a book.

She runs on coffee, cuddly cats and the beauty of nature to keep the story wheels of her mind running, as she writes tales that will both entertain and inspire others, giving them worlds they can explore and become lost within.

WEBSITE: https://eerawls.com/

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/eerawls_author/

EBOOK SALE

For a short period, March 18-23, Strayborn (Draev Guardians Book 1) will be on sale for $0.99! Click to go to: Kindle.

And for the record, this was one of my favorite reads of 2019! ^_^ (You can read my review of Strayborn here!)


Thanks for reading, guys! I hope you enjoyed these covers! Eeee! I’m so excited for both of these!

February 2020 Book Ishness

It’s time to share some bookish releases this month, and what I’ve been reading so far this year!

FEBRUARY RELEASES

There are some AMAZING books releasing in February which I’m super excited about! *muffled shrieking* (Titles link to Amazon or Goodreads.)

  • Winter Spell – Claire M. Banschbach — This one isn’t on Goodreads yet (hence no picture) but I’M SO EXCITED FOR IT TO RELEASE! It’s the final Faeries of Myrnius book (but it stands alone) and I copyedited it and it’s my favorite book by this author yet (aside from Oath of the Outcast which just topped my favorite reads of last year). Y’all. This book has absolutely everything that I love, and it’s wintry, and has faeries, and all of the relationships and snark, and just AAHHH. It’s amazing and you need it in your life! I think it’s releasing in March or late Feb. Soon!
  • Cry of the Raven – Morgan L. Busse (Feb. 4) — Final book in the Ravenwood Saga, and I’m SO excited that this one is out! *shrieking* IT WAS AMAZING! (Read my review here.)
  • No Chance Meeting – Jaye Elliot (Feb. 14) — Jaye L. Knight is publishing a contemporary romance under a pen-name, and I’m super looking forward to reading it! I’ll be sharing a bit about it for the blog tour later this month. 🙂
  • Freeze Thaw – Selina J. Eckert (Feb. 14) — This novelette is a breathtaking take on Sleeping Beauty, featuring an archaeologist student and an Ice Age princess! Pretty sure I didn’t remember to breathe the entire time I read it. Wow. (I copyedited this, so I got an early look at it!) This was a Top Ten Finalist in the Five Magic Spindles contest held by Rooglewood Press.
  • Clockwork Magician – W. R. Gingell (Feb. 28) — I’m very behind on the Two Monarchies series (I’ve still only read Masque and Spindle) but this is another one and it’s releasing soon and I can’t wait to catch up on these delightful books!
  • The New Emperor’s Concerto – Hazel B. West — I beta-read this and it’s totally another favorite! Set in futuristic London, with two chaps on opposite sides who may be the only ones who can stop another world war. It has one of my new favorite buddy stories and the characters and snark and Britishness is all MY FAVORITE. It’s brilliant and I love it so much! I’m so excited for it to release!

In other news . . .

February is Fantasy Month

If you haven’t heard, Jenelle Schmidt is hosting the Fifth Annual February is Fantasy Month blog event! There are giveaways, fantasy blog posts, and an Instagram challenge! Feel free to check out all the info here, and join in with fantasy posts of your own (there’s a linkup and everything)!


MY READING NEWS

January Reads

2020 is off to a great start for reading! Here’s what I read this last month. (If you want to read more about them, you can find them on Goodreads here.)

  • The Geppetto Codex – Kyle Robert Shultz — Aaah! The fifth Beaumont and Beasley book is finally here and it’s so good! Faun and dryad MCs, the Afterverse version of Venice, creepy puppets, awesome epilogues…!
  • The New Emperor’s Concerto – Hazel B. West — I just flailed about this so I’ll spare you. 😉 (But I love it!)
  • Unexpected Magic – Diana Wynne Jones — This one’s an anthology of fantasy or sci-fi short stories, although I read the short stories at the end of 2019 and only read the novella at the end (Everard’s Ride—terribly interesting) this year… Some of them weren’t my favorite but they were all interesting, and I enjoyed a bunch of them. I’ve been meaning to read this collection for ages, so I’m pleased I finally did!
  • Winter Spell – Claire M. Banschbach — I just talked about this one too but AAAAHHH IT’S SO GOOD!!
  • Freeze Thaw – Selina J. Eckert — Likewise!
  • The Butler’s Story – Hazel B. West — What a fun prequel short story that introduces the hero of The New Emperor’s Concerto, and the butler character, Sinclair. (Everyone needs a Sinclair!) If you’re curious about my squawking, you can meet these characters in the prequel short story which just came out!
  • 5,000 Words Per Hour – Chris Fox — I’m trying to read a few nonfiction books I’ve collected. This one was interesting and hopefully some of the ideas will be helpful.
  • Brown-Ears at Sea – Stephen Lawhead — I finally read this! I love Lawhead’s books for children, which are not very well known but delightful! I just loved this adventure of a stuffed rabbit being swept out to sea and having adventures, while trying to get home to his little boy.
  • Defined – Sarah Holman — An intriguing short story in the Tales of Taelis Kingdom Adventure series!
  • Writing Magic – Gail Carson Levine — I have a stack of a dozen books on writing which I’m hoping to get through, one month at a time, this year. I quite enjoyed this author’s thoughts about writing and it inspired me and made me smile. 🙂
  • The Honorary Agents and the Mystery of the Stolen Artifacts – Lindsay Helm — Fun mystery for younger readers. 🙂
  • The Honorary Agents and the Mystery of the Rare Coin – Lindsay Helm — And this is the sequel to that one and I loved it so much! It’s a fun mystery/treasure hunt and I really enjoyed it! ^_^
  • Elapse – Sarah Holman — I listened to this on audiobook and really enjoyed it! Also in the Tales of Taelis series, it made me excited to read the next book.
  • Strange Waters – Phoenix Fiction Writers — What a delightful collection of fantasy and sci-fi short stories! I need to get together a review for these. Some of them were a liiiittle too scary for me, but most were amazing! (And they’re all super well-written!)
  • Beyond the Shadowed Earth – Joanna Ruth Meyer — I’m getting my thoughts together for a review but WOW, that was gorgeous and mythic and intense! :O I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it!

February: Currently Reading (Ish)

The closest I have to a nightstand stack right now. ARCs and review books, which I’m hoping to focus on and catch up on reading and reviewing in the next month or so! I’ve actually read the top two now, and I’m looking forward to getting into the others. 🙂

I’m also re-reading aloud Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn (fun Han Solo heist novel!), and I’m still in Green Dolphin Country by Elizabeth Goudge which is GORGEOUS but is taking me an embarrassingly long time because it’s so long and I keep having reading deadlines on other things. XD I WILL finish it soon! I’m determined!

January Book Haul

My January bookhaul! So many exciting books! (The top three were given to me.) Also, how about the adorable art by H.S.J. Williams! IT’S SO ADORABLE. I’ve read/loved Cry of the Raven, Hollow, Kate’s Christmas, and the Honorary Agents book. Looking forward to Emberhawk (it’s releasing March 10!!) and reading the Hero’s Guide series so I can read this third book!


That’s all the updates I have for now. Are there any books you’re excited about? I hope you have an amazing, bookish month! Thanks for reading!