Review: Prudence and the Professor – Mari’s Take

 

Genre: Historical Steampunk Romance

Rating: Yay!

 

Ho boy, this book. I am practically wiggling in my seat about this one.

Prudence for print -with trim -300 dpi -CMYK The story is SUCH a delicious mix of romance and steampunk set in the Civil War era. Determined to carve a life out for herself after being tragically widowed by the war, Prudence takes a job in remote Montana for Professor Gerritt Rhinehart. Gerritt is a smartypants inventor whose ideas might turn the war in the North’s favor.

Prudence was such a great lead character. Smart and strong, but thankfully lacking the bullheadedness that leads to certain trouble. I always wonder how such smart women in romances can make so many dumb moves, and I am extremely happy to say none of that happened here.

The interplay between Prudence and Gerritt is both sweet and sultry. There were a few times where I would have liked some more indepth interplay, as I felt there was rehashing without new territory covered, but overall it wasn’t extensive enough to really bother me.

A cast of sidekicks keeps the story rolling. Hands down favorite was Alma, the smart-mouthed cook Gerritt employs, and who feels it’s completely appropriate to offer sexual advice to Prudence. I laughed so much when she was about.

Gerritt, by contrast, is both smart and sexy, and I really enjoyed having a bookishly smart man as the main love interest. Not every man needs to be some war chieftain carrying off his woman. Because of his smarts and apparently delicious bum –ahem!- I found myself wishing for so much more time in his head because it was so enjoyable.

Overall, this romance is a sweet, enjoyable twist on western romances, with the goody goodies, the bad baddies, and of course, nifty devices. A wonderful fast read perfect for an afternoon where you just want a good story.

 

Sibelle Stone is the pseudonym for award-winning romance author Deborah Schneider. As Deborah she writes Western and Americana romance novels. As Sibelle Stone she writes historical romance with paranormal elements (things like magic, witches and evil Druids), and steampunk with incredible machines. It’s the same person, but with two different sides.
Both Sibelle and Deborah reside in a small town near the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. Deborah is employed by one of the busiest libraries in the country in a job that involves arranging programs with authors, storytellers, musicians, dancers and jugglers. Deborah received the Romance Writers of America Librarian of the Year Award in 2009.
Visit Sibelle at www.sibellestone.com, or find her on Facebook and Twitter
Prudence and the Professor can be found at:

Author Interview- Whistle Down the Wind Author Sibelle Stone

sibellestoneToday I have Sibelle Stone and her delayed interview. Don’t blame her, she’s been convention hopping and just downright busy. Luckily she was able to snag a few moments and answer my questions about her latest release Whistle Down the Wind. Without further ado, Sibelle
1. Whistle Down The Wind has a ton of detailed references to Wiccan ceremonies, celebrating the solstice, etc. How did you research this information for the book?

I work for one of the busiest library systems in the country, so research is actually one of the easiest things I do. I know a lot of reference librarians and they love getting challenging questions. I’ve been interested in witchcraft for many years and have a whole collection of books on the history of witchcraft in addition to the library resources and some on-line research. One problem we do have in the library is that the books on witchcraft are often stolen, by people who object to us putting them on the shelves. But, our policy is “free and open access” so it’s important to have all kinds of books available to readers.

2. I was a bit bummed when Griffin’s true purpose in the New World/Americas didn’t really get resolved or at least we didn’t see the culprit he was seeking. Is this something that will be revealed in a future book?

Yes, since this is a 4 book series, I needed to leave that bit of plot hanging. If you tie up all the lose ends in a series, there really isn’t a reason for the reader to come back. Each book will stand on it’s own, but there is an overarching plot line about the sisters magical abilities and the Dark Druids efforts to destroy King Charles II.

3. Catlin is really the ‘hero’ of the book. She rescues herself and Griffin from multiple battles and situations. Was this intentional to have Catlin essentially be her own hero or is it just how she evolved while writing the story?

I like to write strong women, and often get in trouble for it. My heroines have been called “bitches” because they stand up for themselves. They don’t always need the hero to take care of them, they WANT a relationship with the hero. I think for modern women, this is significant. I love reading historical romance, but if the heroine is too much of a “doormat” – I lose interest in the book. I like writing a couple that works together to resolve issues. They need to respect each other and what they bring to the relationship. Besides, BITCH can mean – beauty in total control of herself.

4. Now, I would imagine there are future books planned for the Mystic Moon series, who’s book can we expect next and when? How many do you have planned?

There are four sisters, and I’m planning for each sister, who also controls an element, to have a book. Their stories will be linked but I wanted each one to have her turn. The next book is about the eldest sister, Aelwyd, the fire mage. I set up her story a bit in “Whistle Down the Wind”. Then there is Meaghan, the water witch, who will get tangled up with a pirate, (actually a privateer) and finally the youngest sister, Seren, who is an earth witch. I also want to write a novella about some of the characters in Jamestown. I’ve actually had questions about them. The next Mystic Moon book is planned for Fall of this year. I just finished a Steampunk book and have a Western to finish before getting back to the 17th century. Since I work full-time and write full-length books, I can’t produce books quickly.

5. Finally compared to your previous books and writing adventures what do you enjoy most about writing the Mystic Moon series?

I really love writing this series about four sisters. I have two sisters and it’s a very special relationship. There is great love and sometimes, great conflict. Having the opportunity to include information about the European witch craze is also important to me. We don’t even know how many women were executed during those times, but it was a huge number considering the total population.

Review: Whistle Down The Wind- Landra’s Take

Genre: Historical/Paranormal Romance

Rating: Yay! 

I’m a sucker for a good romance, especially a historical one; add in magic and dark druids, and I’m sold!

This is the first book in Stone’s Mystic Moon series. The story center’s around the second to oldest of four sisters, Catlin Glyndwr, and her determination to avoid the hangman’s noose and find a future for her family without persecution. She seeks safe passage to the New World via an escort in Sir Griffin Reynolds. Griffin accepts, with a little coercion, and these pair set out on a journey that will challenge their ability to offset attraction as well as stay alive. Set in the mid-1600s, at a time when people, especially women, were accused of witchcraft without provocation, Stone allows readers to explore what life was like for those of the time and for a real witch.

Catlin is feisty  and a powerful witch able to summon gusts of air and storms with little difficulty. I liked Catlin. She’s a heroine with loyalty, empathy, and dedication to her tasks. This woman can also take care of herself, which for a female in the 1600s is pretty impressive. Her growth comes from trusting others with her secrets, being independent from her family, and opening herself up to the possibilities of love.

Witches are commonly known as adepts in Catlin’s world, and each one has a certain power and spirit creatures who assist them. For Catlin it’s a group of slyphs or elemental’s of air that work with her to execute her spells. These little creatures ask for all manner of shiny baubles when they help out. Her sister, Aelwyd, it’s a group of fire dragons. The sad part is Stone only gives a slice of the mythology behind the witch craft and the sister’s enemies, the dark druids, in this first book. I found myself really wanting more information in this area. The mythos of the world in which the sisters dwell is what I really desired.

The hero, Sir Griffin Reynolds, is a hunk. I liked his ability to play the rogue, but when it came to playing hero, I felt like he got shafted. In multiple situations Catlin was the one rescuing him, instead of the normal hero rescues heroine type of story. While Griffin doesn’t do much rescuing, he does assist Catlin in learning more about love and sensual practices; so, in that way he’s a hero. His character his fleshed out pretty well, but my only hiccup, this may or may not be major, is that Griffin’s secret reason for traveling to the New World is never revealed.

Overall, this is a good book with a bit of true history mixed with some paranormal elements. You’ve got a good cast of characters and a heroine that does some major butt kicking; without a sword I might add.

Whistle Down The Wind is available at:

Smashwords

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

This Weeks Read: Whistle Down The Wind by Sibelle Stone

whistle down the wind

Arrested for using her magical powers to protect herself, Catlin Glyndwr faces the hangman’s noose. Descended from a long line of elemental witches, she can control the wind and weather. But the worst thing that can happen in 1664 England is to be charged with practicing of witchcraft. Especially when the accusation is true.

Sir Griffin Reynolds is visiting his closest childhood friend before embarking on a secret mission for King Charles II to the New World. When his friend becomes deathly ill while interrogating a beautiful woman accused of witchcraft, Griffin accepts her offer of help. In exchange for her freedom, she’ll heal his friend.

When Griffin and Catlin embark on a journey to Virginia to save the colony, they succumb to the temptation of a white hot passion that blazes between them. But a Dark Druid stalks Catlin, and if he can’t possess her and her magic — no man will.

A beautiful witch discovers there’s more than one way to be wicked!

Get a copy of Whistle Down The Wind at:

Smashwords

Amazon

Barnes & Noble