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review 2015-09-12 22:03
REVIEW - Dead Handsome by Laura Strickland
Dead Handsome: A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure - Laura Strickland

My review of Dead Handsome written by Laura Strickland


This is the first Steampunk book I have ever read. I'm not sure really what I was expecting so I can't honestly say rather or not it met my expectation. But it was different. Odd at times. I had some troubles really getting into it. In part because of the style of book it's written as but also the story itself. It just didn't excite me. It felt like something was missing. A lack of connection. Which made the book only just okay to me.

****Gifted ARC copy****

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text 2015-04-17 09:00
@GoddessFish Exclusive Excerpt: Dead Handsome by Laura Strickland


Dead Handsome



A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure
Laura Strickland



Genre: Steampunk Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: February 27th 2015
Number of pages: 326
Word Count: 75,935
Cover Artist: Diana Carlile



Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     ARe
Clara Allen needs a husband in order to keep a roof over the heads of her assorted dependents, a roof her nasty grandfather will re-appropriate unless she is married by her 21st birthday, only a few days away. Strong-minded, unwilling to take orders from any man, she decides to solve her problem by raising a murdered prisoner from the dead and marrying him. She expects an empty-headed puppet; she certainly never dreams he’ll be so devastatingly handsome.

Liam McMahon doesn’t recall much about his life before his hanging in the prison yard, other than being Irish. He does remember the kiss Clara bestowed as she brought him back to life. Every time he looks at her, his desire gets out of hand. But his former life is chasing him down like a steam engine, and when a couple of mad geniuses decide he’d make a fine experiment, he wonders if he’ll live long enough to claim Clara’s heart or if he’ll die all over again.

Exclusive Excerpt: 

Liam tried to decide how he felt about Collwys. The fellow looked like a dandy, dressed in a fine, brown suit with his fine, sandy-colored hair worn in a sculpted coif, and with the kind of features Liam suspected would make women swoon. Liam thought him a little too cozy with Clara. Now he literally felt his back go up.

“No need to worry about her,” he growled. “She was with me.”

“I was not worried, Mr. McMahon, merely anxious to hear about the outcome. And what is this?” Collwys raised his eyebrows at the serving unit and did not appear to notice Liam had failed to shake his hand.

“My grandfather condemned it to the scrap heap. You know what he’s like.”

Liam narrowed his eyes. No, he definitely didn’t like the confiding, comfortable way his wife spoke to this man. He wondered why Clara hadn’t taken Collwys to play her husband. He looked exactly the sort of which the old fart back on Delaware would approve.

Collwys smiled indulgently. “Just like you, Clara, to let your heart rule your more practical sense.”

“’‘Twas I who insisted we bring the unit,” Liam put in. “It didn’t want to die. And I happen to believe in second chances.”

Collwys gave Liam a searching look. “Fascinating,” he murmured.

“Liam’s back went up still further. “’‘Tis not a logic problem, but about a life—his.” He gestured at Dax.

“So, Mr. McMahon, you feel steam units have sentience? And rights?”

“Everything has a right to live, if it wants to.”

Laura will be awarding a pair of hand-crafted, Steampunk-style pierced earrings - US only - to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.



Author Bio:

Born in Buffalo and raised on the Niagara Frontier, Laura Strickland has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. To her the spunky, tenacious, undefeatable ethnic mix that is Buffalo spells the perfect setting for a little Steampunk, so she created her own Victorian world there. She knows the people of Buffalo are stronger, tougher and smarter than those who haven’t survived the muggy summers and blizzard blasts found on the shores of the mighty Niagara. Tough enough to survive a squad of automatons? Well, just maybe.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Blog | Amazon | Goodreads

Source: www.musingsandramblings.net/2015/04/goddessfish-promo-dead-handsome-by.html
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text 2014-03-05 09:36
Blog Tour for Champion of Sherwood by Laura Strickland


Champion of Sherwood
by Laura Strickland
When Gareth de Vavasour, nephew of the Sheriff of Nottingham, is captured by the outlaws of Sherwood Forest and held for ransom, he knows he will be fortunate to escape with his life. Amid the magic and danger that surround him, he soon realizes his true peril lies in the beautiful dark eyes of Linnet, the Saxon healer sent to tend his wounds.
Granddaughter of Robin Hood, Linnet has always known she is destined to become a guardian of Sherwood Forest, along with her sister and a close childhood companion. She believes her life well settled until the arrival of Gareth. Then all her loyalties are tested even as her heart is forced to choose between love and the ties of duty, while Sherwood declares its own champion.
Excerpt Five:
He spun once more. A man stood behind him, wreathed in white mist pure as the moonlight. Gareth reached for a weapon he no longer wore.
"Peace," the man said.
"Who are you? How come you here?"
"I am the spirit of this place. Some call me the Green Man. Others call me Robin Hood."
"Robin Hood is long dead." Gareth had heard the tales. Who had not?
 "Aye, long dead," the man agreed, "as are many here. This is our bastion, our refuge, a place of faith and strength."
"What do you want with me?" Surely, and surely, he was back asleep on his tether, and dreaming.
 "Nay, lad, you are not dreaming."
"Can you hear my thoughts?" What madness was this?
"I ask of you, young man, only one thing, one boon, one favor if you would survive this night."
 "Of course I will survive. This is but darkness, and trees, and moonlight."
The man waved one of his hands. A creature appeared beside him, a pure white wolf with its hackles raised. Another subtle movement and he stood flanked on the other side by a great, white hart, its sides streaming mist. The trees overhead tossed their branches and Gareth felt the power gather, sharp and vital, around this being who faced him.
Fear such as he had never known – not even when awaiting the arrival of his father with the strap – engulfed him. He said, "What do you seek of me? What boon, what bidding?"
"I ask of you but one promise, that you should follow what is in your heart." He smiled again. "Does not a true champion, always follow his heart?"

Our Author Interview

Thanks for inviting me to this fun interview here today with the Angels with Attitude!
What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book?
If I were Linnet, I think I might have made more of an effort to communicate with those around me, once I began developing feelings for our Norman enemy, Gareth de Vavasour – especially with my twin sister, Lark.  Of course Lark is notoriously hard to handle, with a very short temper.  She just might have slit Gareth’s throat with one of the many weapons she keeps about her person if she thought he posed any sort of danger – even to my heart.  But we’re a close-knit bunch and act always one for the other, so it might have been worth a shot to sit her down beside me and try to explain that one can’t choose where one loves.  And it might have prevented some of the misunderstandings that later cost such a very high price …

What was your inspiration behind this book?
I’ve always loved myths, lore and legends.  When I was young I read all the Andrew Lang fairy books and every other compilation I could find.  I’ve previously written a series of books set in ancient Scotland and Ireland, but the inspiration behind The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy was my daughter, who adored anything about Robin Hood.  When she was small we used to play “Robin Hood Barbies” together and act out all the well-known tales.  The very handsomest of the Ken dolls was Robin, and the space under the dining room table was our Sherwood Forest.  Eventually we got so into it, I even sewed them all period clothing!  All that play became the foundation for this series, which actually deals with Robin Hood’s descendants and takes place after his death.  That’s why I dedicated the first book, Daughter of Sherwood, to my own daughter.

Why did you become a writer ?
My desire to write grew out of my love of reading.  I was fortunate enough to have an older sister who was an avid reader.  Every Saturday she look me to our local library where I had the privilege of prowling the shelves and choosing books to take home with me – each and every one a treasure trove just waiting to be opened.  I especially loved the books that created whole worlds within their pages.  But I always felt devastated when the story came to an end – I wanted more!  Eventually it occurred to me that if I wrote the story I could continue it as long as I wished and create whatever world I could imagine.  Sheer bliss!

As a reader and writer I think it is important to get to know your fans and make a connection with them as an author who takes the extra step to hear what their fans think and want in their continued writing is continued success and key to selling more books .Do you agree with that ?
Yes, I do agree and I love to hear from my fans.  Writing a book is a bit like tossing a pebble into the water.  You make ripples, but you can’t see quite where they reach.  Many of the books I’ve read have made a profound difference in my life and I’ve always wished I could tell the author … if I could only find the words.  When my readers drop me an email or leave a message on Facebook, I receive the gift of knowing who I’ve touched, and how they feel about my work.
Of course a writer likes to know what her readers wish would happen in her future books, especially during the creation of a series.  I do get that kind of feedback, especially from my online writing community, and I’ve found we’re often on the same page … but sometimes I surprise them, and that’s fun too.

Do you have a favorite author or authors?
I have many authors I value very highly.  It would be so difficult to choose a favorite.  When I was a girl I loved Louisa May Alcott.  Reading her, I learned a great deal about characterization and adding emotional content.  As a teenager I loved Tolkien and Robert Silverberg.  A few years later it was Barbara Michaels.  These days if I selected one name, it would have to be Sir Terry Pratchett.  I adore his prowess at world building.  His characters are wacky, yet believable and consistent.  The best part of his writing, though, is that dry, wicked and quite devastatingly clever humor.  Every time he releases a new book, it’s like Christmas morning for me!

Do you like to write your books in a continuing series ?
Yes, because writing a series is a little bit like time travel.  An author creates a world in the first book, populates it with characters and sets it running.  Usually after the book is completed, she misses that world, and those people.  Sometimes they even continue talking in her head.  With a series, the author gets to return to that same setting, perhaps a year or a generation later, and spend some time there again.
I’ve written two series: my present work The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy and my Celtic Series, of which four books are now in print.  The Celtic Series takes place in pre-Christian Ireland, Scotland and Gaul and like The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy follows several generations of a single bloodline.

If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why?
Do you mean a character from one of my own books, or any book at all?  If it’s from one of my own books, I would have to choose Gabhan out of The Waking Dream.  The bastard son of a Celtic chief, he’s tall, raven-haired, blue-eyed and tattooed with the markings of his mother’s Pictish tribe.  Best of all, he’s a harper who can create musical magic out of thin air.  Since I love Celtic music and especially ancient harp tunes, such as those of Turlough O’Carolan, I would be willing to follow Gabhan just about anywhere.
If asked to select a character from someone else’s book, I might just be tempted to choose Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings.  It’s good to date the King!

What kinds of books do you like to read in your spare time ?
I read avidly and pretty much constantly, so I go through a large number of books.  Sometimes I read on my Kindle and sometimes with a flesh-and-blood book in my hands.  I tend to choose my reading material based on the mood I happen to be in at any given time.  I’ll read anything from Romance (Historical, Contemporary and Romantic Suspense) to Mystery (traditional and cozy) or Suspense to Fantasy, Science Fiction, Steampunk, Young Adult and even Westerns.  Luckily for me, I work for a library system in Upstate New York, so I never have any lack of reading material.  
Incidentally, my litmus test for any book I pick up is to read the first line – if it grabs me, I’ll read the book.  If not, I’m quite likely to put it back down.

Do you cry when writing sad scenes?
No, never.  I’m usually too caught up in the moment.  But I’m likely to choke up a bit when I read them back, later.

Did you have a Cover Designer ?
Yes – my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, provides a cover designer for each of my books.  Authors contribute details and descriptions, and our input is welcomed throughout all stages of the design.  Their artists are very talented and go out of their way to do a wonderful job.  I just love the cover Diana Carlile created forChampion of Sherwood!

Who is your fictional boyfriend or girlfriend crush ?
Not sure I have one.  Does Aragorn from the “who would I want to date” question count?

If you were able to dine and have a one on one with your favorite writer/author who would it be ?
Oh, I’d love to have a long dinner with my favorite author, Sir Terry Pratchett.  I’d pick his brains about how he came up with the concept of Discworld and how he crafts all those wonderful, intricate and off-beat plots.  I’d also like some details about how he makes his characters so weird yet believable.  He’s the best I’ve ever seen at persuading his readers to suspect disbelief.
And what would we eat at this dinner?   Some delicacy bought from a street vender in Ankh Morpork, no doubt – possibly even sausages on a stick.

Do just re-read your favorite books ?
Yes, definitely!  I think a really good book warrants re-reading.  And the very best books stand up to it, because they offer up something different each time they’re read – a little more beauty, wisdom, magic or humor.  A good book has depth.  I’ve readWuthering Heights many times, also The Master of Blacktower, Witch of the Glens, and many others too numerous to list here.  I always think curling up with a well-read book is like spending time with a well-loved friend, don’t you?

Do you ever get in a reading slump like your readers do ?
No, I don’t think I get into reading slumps.  Honestly, I’d read the back of a cereal box, if I didn’t have anything else available.  Sometimes I do bog down in the middle of a book, if I have too much else going on and become distracted.  But I have this little peculiarity – I absolutely hate to abandon a book once I’ve started it.  I feel as if I make a commitment when I decide to read something, and with very few exceptions I stick to it.  I think I’ve dropped a book in the middle only two or three times, ever. 
There’s such a wide range of books available right now – both digital and print – it’s almost impossible for me to get bored.  With a single click on my Kindle, I can have the whole world before my eyes.  Whatever I want, it just comes to me – it’s like magic!

What is the funniest book you ever read ?
Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys – without question!  I quite literally laughed till I cried.  Then I read it to my friend, and she laughed too.  Can’t recommend it highly enough.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination often takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario, with her husband and her "fur" child, a rescue dog. Currently she is at work on the third book of the Guardians of Sherwood series.
Publisher:  http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=1042
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Strickland/e/B001KHSACW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1


Source: angelswithattitudebookreviews-joelle.blogspot.com/2014/03/blog-tour-for-champion-of-sherwood-by.html
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review 2013-11-15 00:00
Daughter of Sherwood (The Guardians of Sherwood, #1)
Daughter of Sherwood (The Guardians of S... Daughter of Sherwood (The Guardians of Sherwood, #1) - Laura Strickland love the start of a trilogy combined with the book's setting in Sherwood Forest, home to everyone's favorite law-breaker Robin Hood. Perhaps it was Disney that first hooked me on the story of Robin and his Merry Men, but it is certainly an interest that has lasted throughout my life. With my strong connection to the legend as well as the historical setting in early medieval England I must admit Laura Strickland had a huge hurtle as I began to read Daughter of Sherwood and she truly sailed way over the mark!

We are introduced to Wren, the daughter of Robin Hood, and taken on a journey of her own self-discovery while coping with the demands of her father's legacy. Like so many a maiden she finds herself torn between two seemingly irresistible men unable to commit fully to either, but she finds her purpose when her beloved forest is threatened. Only then is Wren able to reach down within herself and become the leader she is destined to become.

Strickland's writing is descriptive, painting landscapes and characters with her words that draw the reader further and further in to her narrative. Daughter of Sherwood is a love story but not in the traditional sense. Wren discovers not only a love of her beloved forest, but also a loving respect for her father. It seems, to this reader that she also discovers a love and appreciation of herself and her abilities. The love of the heart is always messy and the love triangle Strickland creates is full of the misery, angst, rejection and hope that always mingle with one's search for a companion.

Strickland's Daughter of Sherwood is a page turner. She is able to hold onto the legends while creating a new story-line around them. Fans of English history, of the folklore of Robin Hood, or those who simply enjoy a good read will all find something in Daughter of Sherwood which I recommend without hesitation.
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review 2013-11-03 18:32
Daughter of Sherwood by Laura Strickland
Daughter of Sherwood - Laura Strickland

Title: Daughter of Sherwood

Author: Laura Strickland



Laura Strickland’s new historical romance book Daughter of Sherwood, published by The Wild Rose Press, will be released on November 1, 2013.
Raised as a scullery maid in Nottingham Castle, Wren has no idea she is the daughter of the legendary Robin Hood. When she is forced to defend herself against the unwanted advances of an influential man, she flees the castle and finds refuge in Sherwood Forest. It is then she learns a powerful secret: she has a destiny as a guardian of Sherwood, charged with the responsibility of defending its ancient magic.
Since Robin's death many years before, his supporters have kept his legend alive.  Now one of the three guardians holding the spell has died. With two young men, Sparrow and Martin, Wren must form a new bond strong enough to protect Sherwood and continue her father’s fight.  Drawn equally to Martin’s warrior spirit and Sparrow’s gentle strength, she finds it nearly impossible to choose between duty and love.
Laura takes us on a journey into the world of Robin Hood's daughter, where we experience her struggle to accept her identity and the demands of her father's legacy.  Along with Wren, we learn that what is loved in life can never be lost, and that great love is worth the price paid.  For at last, when Martin is captured and held at Nottingham Castle, the path becomes clear for Wren and she finds the strength to become the woman she was born to be, the Daughter of Sherwood.
Daughter of Sherwood is book one of The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy. 



My Thoughts

Sometimes greatness is thrust upon us.
Wren never knew about her famous  father until now nor could she imagine the adventure that awaits her. Full of  magic, mystery, and intrigue this is a page turner you will not want to miss.  The author did a great job of keeping with the original image of Robin Hood  while adding her own unique spin to the tale. I had a great time reminiscing  about old characters and meeting plenty of new ones along the way.
Wren  is courageous, headstrong, and as beautiful as she is kind. I really admired in  ability to take things in stride and her willingness to sacrifice for the good  of everyone. She is a beautiful character both inside and out and someone I  would love to have as a friend!
There are also two new characters that  were both so fun to read about. The first is Martin who is a potential love  interest. He is brave, strong, and charming. However, his motives are uncertain  and he has many secrets that may or not be harmful to Wren.
The second,  and my personal favorite, is Sparrow. He is the kind, thoughtful, and friend  that Wren can turn to for anything. I loved reading about him and really enjoyed  his sweet nature. He was also very brave and would do anything for  Wren.
Romance wasn't the only thing on their minds however. There were  still many dangers that Wren needed to face. The hardest part would be figuring  out who was friend and who was foe.
For a romantic and heart pounding  adventure check out the "Daughter of Sherwood".

Source: curseofthebibliophile.blogspot.com/2013/11/daughter-of-sherwood-by-laura-strickland.html
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