Blog Tours · book reviews

Blog Tour: StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio

I have been looking forward to this post for so long!

Today I get to share my thoughts with you about StoneKing as part of the ongoing Blog Tour. Thank you to Fiery Seas Publishing and Donna for the opportunity to get involved!

Part of the reason this has been some time in the making was that before February, I hadn’t even read any of the earlier books in this series. So… I had some catching up to do! If there is anyone else new to the series and would like to learn a little more about my thoughts for the prior books in the series, Kinglet and Fiskur, you will note I have kindly (and unashamedly) provided links for my self promo for you to take a look at.

Are you sitting comfortably, ready to see where Kristan’s adventure takes us next?




StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio

February 20th, 2018


The Gemeta Stone Book 3

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC


Book Trailer


They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.

But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.

And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

StoneKing picks up a short while after Fiskur – Kristan’s anointed Reaches are now governing his realm whilst he returns home to Fandrall to restore his birthright.

Yet the StoneKing himself is as broken as the realm, and as he tries to take the troubles from everyone’s shoulders, will he break under the strain? He is certainly a different man. In Kinglet he is a young, strong, altruistic and stereotypically heroic in character – which couldn’t be any further from the truth now. He is physically weak and mentally tested as he struggles to master his magic, whilst everybody else succeeds in trying his patience. It is hardly surprising when the rocky foundations of control crumble, given that Kristan’s Reaches lack the experience required to rule the realm in his stead.

An unexpected journey as a result of a delegation visit and an even more shocking gift is the only reason that Kristan discovers any of the ongoing turmoil; it only goes to show how tenuous his control is.

I am not going to lie – I loved seeing Kristan fall from grace in Fiskur; not that I would wish the trauma he went through on anyone, but there would have been very little scope for character development if he hadn’t. I’m not a huge fan of tropes, some more than others, and I actually love this series more for breaking the stereotype. Nobody is as perfect as Kinglet painted Kristan to be, so the newfound dark elements of his mind and perspective lend a greater depth to his character. At the moment, his all-in-all expression of negativity creates a lot of conflict and uncertainty, but I cannot help but feel it has some greater part to play later on. Who can say, maybe Daazna created the tumultuous monster that will be his undoing?

I would say it helped a great deal that I have read the previous instalments to the series only a short time ago, but I found StoneKing incredibly easy to pick up. Also, given that by the third book the reader understands the fantasy world built by the author, the pace of the book seemed quicker to me. Whilst the text was still beautifully and vividly descriptive, the need to impart detail and explanation was not so prominent and that enabled us to get on with the action. I am not one for spoilers, so you will just have to pick up the book(s) to find this out for yourself!

The one thing that surprised me about the book was the distinct lack of presence of our main antagonist, Daazna. Instead it appears that Kristan has more than one enemy and maybe their future role could become more significant than we know. Personally, I would have liked to see even one chapter dedicated to Daazna. I want to know his plans!! Even just to serve as a reminder that he is still alive!

Much like in Fiskur, we are introduced to a number of new characters. I love Serle, aforementioned “inexperienced squire”. He is only a child, bless him, but I would go so far as to say he is practically incompetent at being a squire. There were times when he irritated Kristan so much and was so deflated at the whole situation that I just wanted to mother him and tell him it was alright. I also loved Nolle and her cheeky side. Even knowing the wrath she would endure from the StoneKing, she still pushed the boundaries far more than she should have. But then she could, because he needed her Wiche power. Both of these characters made refreshing additions and I hope to see more of them in future books.

I cannot wait to see what the next instalment of the series is and what difficulties Kristan and his friends encounter. Having read the first three books and really enjoyed them, I can hand on heart say that I will be following the series through to the end, whenever that may be.

Buy Links: Amazon  ~  Barnes & NobleKobo  ~  iBooks

Donna Migliaccio About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa& The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.

Social Media: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest

book reviews

Book Review: Living on A Rainbow – Calvin Wade

I downloaded Living on A Rainbow for free from Amazon a little while ago, after reading a sample of the first chapter of the book. I was instantly captivated.

Living on a Rainbow

Goodreads – Living on a Rainbow

‘Living On A Rainbow’ is a story about mental health, bullying, growing up, battling against adversity but most of all it is a story about love. The love between a man and a woman. The love between a boy and his best friend. The love between a mother and her son and the love between a boy and his father.

Harry ‘H’ McCoy is not an ordinary boy and his life is not an ordinary life.

The cover perfectly illustrates where we find our main character, H, at the beginning of the story – stood on the edge of a bridge, both afraid and morbidly fascinated with heights. His best friend Andy at his side, trying to talk him down and convince him that his life isn’t over.

In Living on A Rainbow we re-live H’s rollercoaster life, rewinding the years from that precarious moment on the edge, back through his adulthood and teenage angst to where it all begins – with a happy child in a loving family and the kind of best friend we have all wished for.

As well as themes of mental illness, one of the most important messages in the book is that love for one another is one of the best gifts we have. Relationships form and fracture, as they do naturally throughout life, but we get to see the impact they truly have.

The first couple of chapters really drew me in. I wanted to learn what had happened to make H want to end his life. Then, as we experience H’s life from his childhood, I found the pace slowed. This isn’t a bad thing – it gives you the time to think and relate to his experiences. It grows on you. At the time, I thought the narrative would benefit from being broken down by chapters bringing us back to the present time, but having finished the book, I have changed my mind.

For me, the greatest revelation in the book comes right at the end – it’s how subtle/gradual a decline in mental state is. I will say now that I (luckily) have never experienced mental illness, although I have in my own way been able to relate to H towards the end. External influences are often attributed to stress in life and it isn’t always apparent that our perception or outlook has changed. In the past year I have had difficulty with bad mood swings as a result of a hormone imbalance. It took somebody else having a word with me to make me realise it was more than circumstantial. As far as I knew I was just having a bad time; I had job uncertainty and a close family member was recovering from illness. Naturally, I attributed my bad moods to these things. Having experienced what I have, I can hand-on-heart say that this has been written in a way that I strongly identify with. If anyone was to read this book as a means of understanding mental illness, I would say that this is an accurate representation of one of many mental illnesses out there.

I think Living on A Rainbow is an insightful read and I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more. Inevitably, mental illness is a personal experience and differs between us all, so I would also recommend reading it in conjunction with other books of a similar nature in order to build a bigger picture.

Rebecca mono

sunday summary

Sunday Summary – 11th March 2018

Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful women out there! I hope you have some lovely plans for today!

I’m off to spend the day with my mum a little later, but for now, here is how my week has gone in all things bookish!

So I kept things reasonably quiet in terms of blog posts as I knew I wanted to get a fair bit of reading done this week. For the first time ever I reviewed an audiobook, The Stand by Stephen King. I have really taken to audiobooks; they are so convenient to listen to if you are up and about doing other things… and that way you still get everything done and the benefit of “reading” at the same time! Win!


Books Read


I’m actually quite pleased at how much I have managed to read this week. Unfortunately, due to running over in finishing up my last February read, I am a little behind schedule and fingers crossed I can make that time up!

Living on A Rainbow was my last February read, which I finished on Monday. It covers a number of sensitive topics including mental illness, so be warned, but I have to say it is beautifully done. Not only that, watching the MC slowly decline only goes to show that it really can happen to anyone!

On Tuesday I began my March TBR in earnest, with Copper Sky by Milana Marsenich and again, what a beautiful book. It highlights the struggles of living in Butte, a mining town in Montana in 1917. Whilst it also includes the dangers men faced in working in such conditions they did and disasters experienced in the town, it predominantly focuses on the struggles of two women, Kaly and Marika. Kaly is a prostitute who finds herself pregnant and doubting the future of both her and her baby. Marika aspires to be a doctor and fights against her father and the arranged marriage he has planned for her. Without saying too much, I finished this book yesterday I really can’t wait to share my thoughts with you all about it!

I’ve also been listening to An Almond for a Parrot now for the past few weeks and it is so laugh out loud funny, I daren’t listen to it in public in fear of people thinking I am stark raving mad! It’s brilliant! It’s a little more risqué than I would normally “read”, but it is portrayed from a perspective of near innocence (which is funny, since our MC is a “lady of pleasure” to put it politely). You cannot help but laugh!

So, you may have noticed “Strange The Dreamer” up there and thought… what the? That’s not an ARC!! And you would be right – it isn’t. Yesterday, this book was really calling me. It’s been sat on my bookshelf for nearly a year and I keep picking it up, flicking through a few pages and then put it down again, vowing to read it next month. Or the month after. It hasn’t happened so far.

So yesterday, temptation got the better of me. I told myself if I had a productive day and finished reading Copper Sky I would read the first chapter. Naturally, this spurred me on, I got all my housework done and finished Copper Sky in the early evening. After a short break, I made myself a cup of tea and read the first chapter. Then the second, third, fourth… you get it. I ended up reading all of part one, which is about 80 pages worth.


dog cheeky grin.gif

So yes, you could say that I fell off the bandwagon in a way. That being said, if I find a book that I love so wholeheartedly that I cannot put it down, I’m not going to deny myself that! That is what we readers look and secretly hope for.

I’m still going to be fulfilling my ARC reads, but no doubt I’ll be reading this on the side too. I will not wait until next month to pick it up again.. I can tell you that now!


Books Discovered


I’ve heard many a good thing about John Grisham’s writing, so when I saw this book discounted last Sunday, I knew had to try one of his books for myself!

Likewise with The Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans, the murder mystery element of the book intrigued me, especially since it is set in London 1881, and historic fiction IS one of my favourite genres after all!


Coming Up…

This week, I am going to be reviewing my recent read of Living On A Rainbow by Calvin Wade. I touched above on how well the book tackles difficult themes, so if you are interested to know more, please stay tuned for my review on Wednesday!

Again, this week I am keeping it reasonably QT in the hopes of catching up with my reading, but the following week I will be sharing a number of different posts with you!

Keep reading!

Rebecca mono

sunday summary

Sunday Summary – 4th March 2018

Happy Sunday everybody!!

I hope you got lots of reading done this week – a lot of people would have had the opportunity with the weather being the way it was. My parents were in Derbyshire and they experienced 8-10 inches of snowfall… and whilst the pictures are lovely I wouldn’t like to be stuck in it!!

Alas, here at home we only had a dusting of snow, so there were no reading days for me this week. *silently wallows in despair*

I could have used the time to finish my February TBR, but never mind. I set myself the target to read five books, but only made it about halfway through book four on the list. That being the case, I’ll have to sincerely apologise to ADSOM fans, because I am going to have to postpone this read for a short while.

Moving on to cheerier topics, I treated you all to two reviews this week! First I posted my review of Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio, in preparation for reading StoneKing for the ongoing Blog Tour. Then on Thursday I took part in another Blog Tour for P.J Reed’s The Torcian Chronicles. I would really appreciate if you could take a look at those if you haven’t already.

Finally on Friday I published a brief Reading List for March, called March of the Arcs! As the name would suggest, this month I am dedicated to reading some ARC’s received. The first book on my list was added at the request of the author, the second a Blog Tour (19th March) and the final three are Netgalley downloads that I have had for shamefully too long!


Books Read


This week I have been attempting to finish Living On A Rainbow by Calvin Wade. It is the last book that I managed to start in the month, and I am really trying to finish it so as to not set myself too far back for this month. I’m really enjoying it so far though, so hopefully I’ll be able to share my thoughts with you about it soon.

I also made a brief start on Copper Sky by Milana Marsenich, which the author has kindly asked me to read and review. Thank you to both her and OpenBooks for the opportunity and I can’t wait to get stuck in further!

On the audiobook front, I began listening to An Almond for A Parrot yesterday, whilst I was doing my housework of all things. I like to listen to books when I am doing mindless tasks, as it gives you something to concentrate on. I added this book to my TBR last year and it’s perfect to listen to. I love the narrator’s way of voicing characters – she has really brought them to life.


Books Discovered

This week I was *reasonably* tame.

By reasonably, I mean I bought two books… but here me out…

Over the next year or more, I am looking to save a lot more money than I do currently. I’m actually quite good at saving normally, but if I am saving for anything “extra” and I don’t see the reward in the near future, I find it more difficult to not spend money for that purpose.

So, knowing what I am like and knowing that I am looking to be saving this money over a long spell, I have decided to set up a reward scheme for myself. I have set myself a savings target every month, starting in April. Basically, if I save my target every month I am going to buy myself a Penguin Classics book as a reward! That way I get to grow my collection and see the benefits of saving my money. I think it’s a good idea and it’ll work for me.

So, finally, to that end, I started my collection to set the wheels in motion with Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.


Coming Up…

Next week is blessedly going to be less manic and I am hoping to get plenty of reading done. I only have one post planned for you, which is a review of the first audiobook I listened to – The Stand by Stephen King.

I also hope to invest more time into discovering new blogs to follow this week – so I look forward to reading your posts soon! If anyone is feeling so kind as to post a link to their blog, either here or on my Twitter page, I would greatly appreciate it!!

Rebecca mono

Reading Lists

Reading List: March 2018 – aka March of the Arcs!

I cannot believe it is March already!!

Spring is just around the corner, although if the weather is anything to go by you wouldn’t know it!! In an ideal world, it would be the kind of weather to stay at home in and snuggle up with a book – wouldn’t you agree?!

Unfortunately, living in your own Fantasy world doesn’t pay the bills, so I have to dig out every single pair of gloves I own and wear them simultaneously to venture into the frozen wastes to earn my keep *sigh*

We all have to have something to look forward to when the day is done though. I’ve spoken recently about the mini reading slump I have found myself in lately, and I have been trying to come up with some ideas for how to beat it. I have decided a change of routine is probably a good start, so I came up with an idea called March of the Arcs! I have a few (plenty of) arc’s due for review, so not only is this the change of routine I think I need, I hope the boost to my rating on Netgalley should also lift my spirits!! Fingers crossed I’ll also get introduced to some lovely new books too!


Copper Sky

Copper Sky

I was kindly asked to review this title by the author, who had seen a couple of my other reviews for OpenBooks… so thanks for asking me! So far I have read the first chapter and  I can’t wait to get stuck in to the rest!




Finally I get to read the much anticipated third book of this series!! I have been DEVOURING the previous books in order to catch up and participate in the current blog tour. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you all on the 19th March!




I think this was one of my first downloads from Netgalley and I really want to give it a try. Admittedly, it isn’t the sort of book I would read normally – poetry isn’t really my bag, but since it is such an iconic piece of literature I feel I have to have a go! If nothing else, I am sticking to the brief of trying something new and breaking routine!


Ekata: Fall of Darkness


This is also a Netgalley download that I have sat on for a few months and really need to read. It’s a kind of dystopian fantasy, as I recall… and both of these are genres I enjoy.


The Mansions of Murder

Mansions of Murder

This is my most recent Netgalley “Read Now” download, and it’s a historical fiction/murder mystery. I can’t say I have read anything like it before and I hope, if I enjoy it, I’ll be picking up more books in the genre. I am currently toying with the idea of trying Agatha Christie’s works, so this is my way of dipping my toes into the water, so to speak.


I hope you don’t mind that this list isn’t particularly detailed – it’s been a busy week for me here. If you have any questions or want to know more, please drop me a comment below!

For now though, have a wonderful Friday and a lovely weekend!!

Rebecca mono

book reviews

Book Review: Fiskur – Donna Migliaccio

I don’t usually binge read a series, so to read Fiskur immediately after Kinglet isn’t normally the sort of thing I would do. I like to savour a series, *torment* myself a little while about getting around to reading the next book whilst juggling a number of other series’ for which I want to do the EXACT same thing!

*only being slightly sarcastic here – can torment be a good thing?

That being said, consecutive reading does have it’s benefits. For starters, I can actually remember what happened in the first book as it is still fresh in my mind. I don’t have to dredge through the four corners of my brain to remember who THAT character is and what they are up to.

For anyone who doesn’t know, I have been catching up with the series in preparation for the ongoing Blog Tour. I will be reviewing StoneKing, the third book of the series, in the penultimate slot of the tour on the 19th March.

If you want to check out my review of where the series begins, you can find that here.


***I was very kindly provided with a free copy of this book by Fiery Seas Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions stated below are my own ***



Goodreads – Fiskur

With his family’s talisman in his possession, Kristan Gemeta is ready to face the Wichelord Daazna – but he has no inkling of the scope of Daazna’s power, nor the depths of his hatred.

With the recovery of his family’s protective talisman, Kristan Gemeta has found hope, courage – and perhaps even the first stirrings of love. With the aid of Heather Demitt, her band of rebels, a shipload of Northern brigands and the legendary Kentavron, he readies himself to face the Wichelord Daazna. But neither he nor his comrades realize the strength of Daazna’s power and hatred. The Wichelord’s first blow comes from a direction Kristan least expects, with horrific, lasting consequences.

One of the most poignant observations I made in my review of Kinglet was how stereotypically perfect, handsome and charming our protagonist Kristan Gemeta is. In particular, I commented on how much these characteristics are very stereotypical and how I would have liked to see more individuality from Kristan.

I have not been left wanting.

Without saying too much, Kristan seriously “falls from grace” from being the perfect prince. I would go so far as to say I really didn’t expect the level of change we see in our MC, but I love it! After falling off the pedestal, so to speak, we get to see a far more complex and developed side to his character. His newfound cynicism contrasts his former innocent, comparatively childlike self and whilst the circumstances are tragic (still no spoilers), I think it is a step Kristan needs to take in order to grow into his role as the Gemeta and the opposing force to Daazna.

It is often said that in our darkest moments we realise just what we are capable of, and I cannot help but feel this moment is gradually creeping up on Kristan. His newfound mind-set is written remarkably well and Donna clearly has an expert ability to step into her characters shoes in order to convey them perfectly on paper. From joviality to abjectness, no emotion remains unexpressed.

Fiskur features many of the characters we know and love from Kinglet, and each has their role to play. Heather, Kristan’s low-born love interest has refused to conform with the proprieties of being a woman and she earns herself a reputation as a warrior. Obviously I am hugely biased – but I am loving the display of “girl power” here. I want to pull myself up here for even calling it that. Courage and a fierceness of character shouldn’t be defined or characterised by gender. The point I am trying to make is that we get to see this in characters of both genders (although Heather truly is the ladies “champion”) and I am glad to see the inclusion.

Heather and the remaining “rebels” find themselves taking on new responsibilities in the fight against the force of Daazna. I personally really like when books have an element of politics in them; for me, it brings a whole new level of sophistication into recognising the  motives or potential rivals and countering them cleverly to retain control. I hope to see more of this in the next book as it *could* introduce an additional conflict to an increasingly captivating storyline.

*I hope it does now I’ve said that!!


I thoroughly enjoyed reading Fiskur and watching the wider plot of the series unfold. The book seamlessly picked up where we left off yet introduced some unexpected developments to keep us as the reader on our toes. I don’t know about you, but I for one cannot wait to see what StoneKing brings us.

Rebecca mono



sunday summary

Sunday Summary – 25th February 2018

I’m glad to report a comparatively more successful week this week.

It feels like I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately… so I’ve been trying my best to work out a way to get out of it. Admittedly, I am still working on a couple of ideas, but hopefully this motivational lull doesn’t last too long.

I kept things reasonably quiet on the blog this week, with just of couple of posts shared. The first post, and the only one I had planned to publish was my review of Kinglet by Donna Migliaccio. I have been reading the series in the run up to the Blog Tour of StoneKing, which I am really looking forward to!

I also published an additional post last night, which I hadn’t really anticipated to share at all when I first wrote it last month. I had written it as a way to vent some frustration and it has been playing on my mind ever since. I must have been feeling particularly salty last night, because I finally decided to share my opinion (be it wanted or not). If you want to take a look at my heated ramblings and perhaps have a giggle or two, take a look at my Unpopular Advice for Authors post here.


Books Read

I started off this week finishing Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio. As I mentioned above, I am making my way through The Gemeta Stone series in readiness for the third instalment, which has just been published!

Next I moved onto The Torcian Chronicles by P. J. Reed, and I am going to be perfectly honest and say that I ended up skim-reading this as I am reviewing it for a Blog Tour next week. I don’t want to say too much prematurely, so if you are interested in what I have to say on this, check out my upcoming review.

Lastly, I have started reading Living on A Rainbow by Calvin Wade. I downloaded this book a few months ago when you could access it for free and I am currently about 30% through at the moment.


Books Discovered


Before this week I had never heard of Don Quixote. I only came across it when I was watching a fellow bloggers YouTube channel and she was discussing reading it for her university studies!

I then read up a little more about this mammoth of a book and decided I wanted to add it to my list of classics I wanted to collect.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is a book I distinctly remember borrowing from the school library years ago. I don’t ever remember ACTUALLY reading it though…

I used to do that a lot.

I’ve decided that I should also pick up this iconic book at least once in my lifetime.


Coming Up…


Next week is going to be a busier one on the blog!

I am taking part in a cover reveal tomorrow for Breachers by Anthony Thomas, a science fiction novel being published later this year. Also going to state my intentions here and say that it sounds like it’s right up my street. I hope there is a blog tour for it later on this year, as I would love to take part!

I have two reviews to share this week – on Wednesday, I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Fiskur, the second book of The Gemeta Series and on Thursday I am reviewing The Torican Chronicles. I hope you can join me for those!

We are also welcoming in a new month this week, so I will be sharing my reading list with you all on Friday!!

What books are you looking forward to reading?

Rebecca mono


Unpopular Advice for Authors

I have always been an avid reader, and since beginning this blog, I think I am more so than ever!

I have read a variety of new books and genres from authors over a wide spectrum of backgrounds… new, up-and-coming authors and established ones alike. From my newfound experience I want to share some advice with you, my dear author. Inevitably, I think a lot of my advice is not going to be relevant to J.K Rowling’s and Stephen King’s, to name but two examples, as they have the best backing behind their writing. I daresay many experts in the literary industry would bite their own arm off for the chance to work with these legends, but unfortunately, we can’t all have the same support and success… at least not right away!

If you are newly published, or about to publish and ever want the chance to reach the highbrow heights of literary success, I ask politely if you could at least entertain my thoughts on an argument that keeps cropping up in my mind.

Lately I have read a number of books that have entered the market either through self publishing or small, independent publishers. Now I am aware that this is a huge market and that is why I wanted to share this post, because I hope it makes you re-think your options if you are about to do what I consider to be the greatest sin in publishing…




Maybe you have a degree in English Language or Literature. That’s great.. Congratulations! You have set yourself up as best you can to write a book. The bad news is, you still shouldn’t rely solely on editing your own work. Yes, it costs money to pay someone to look at it for you, but if you really are serious about getting your book out there, it should be worth every penny. Consider it an investment – it will pay you dividends (or royalties) in time.

“But there are many authors out there that self-publish?” I hear you say.

Yes, there are, and there are many that do well from it. I don’t dispute that, but I really think you will be putting your best foot forward by getting a professional to edit your work.

As an author, you can never be fully qualified to edit your own book simply because you are not (and never will be) impartial. You can put the book away for a couple of years and distance yourself from it, sure, but you will always read what you are TRYING to say as opposed to what is ACTUALLY on the page. A book is best reviewed by somebody that has no connection to it whatsoever.

I offer this advice for one reason only – if a book hasn’t been edited properly, 99% of the time, a reader can tell. I can tell. Be it a loophole or inconsistency, I have come across so many spelling mistakes, repeated phrases and even continuity issues. If the text doesn’t flow, it breaks the reader’s concentration and that could make them put the book down – for good!

To give an example, in a recent reading experience, a character’s actions in relation to time were unrealistic. School bells were ringing left, right and centre (when the text clearly says they are fifty minutes apart), but the character’s actions barely filled five minutes between each bell. I understand you want to move the text on to where the action happens, but there would have been so many ways to achieve this without trying to brush off the whole thing hurriedly. I DNF’d that book for that reason. I’m sure the last thing an author wants is for a reader to put their book down prematurely and never pick it up again.

A second and more recent example is of a main character who’s age and states of dress changed within a matter of paragraphs. To explain, he was drinking such a cheap wine that it burns holes in his clothes if he spills it, but this doesn’t always happen in the narrative even though you know it should. Later on, there was an occasion on which he was supposed to be undressed, but then he suddenly had a robe on out of nowhere – it’s the little errors like these that can add up and put someone off continuing.

Lastly, the thing that takes the cake with this book for me was the following description:-

…taller birch trees that loomed over the living forest with disdainful indifference.

Please, just think about it.

I don’t want anyone to take any of the above points to heart… this is not an exercise in slander. I understand your work is precious to you. I make these points for constructive purposes only.

If your work is that important, would you not take that extra step to make it the best it can be? If you want to be taken seriously as an author, I really think you should.

Rebecca mono


book reviews

Book Review: Kinglet by Donna Migliaccio

I first discovered this series when I took part in a Blog Tour back in November for Fiskur, organised by Fiery Seas Publishing. This is the second book in the series and I was gutted that I hadn’t discovered it earlier. If I’d had the time to catch up with the first book and read second for the Blog Tour, I would have done!

Alas, I didn’t. Sometimes, it isn’t meant to be.

My stroke of luck finally came in January, when I contacted Fiery Seas Publishing to express interest in beginning the series. My review request schedule had freed up considerably, so it was the perfect time to enquire. Catherine, an absolute hard-working gem, very kindly sent me both Kinglet and Fiskur to read and review in time for the publishing of the THIRD book of the series (which celebrated it’s publishing date yesterday!)

To have even one book published is a huge accomplishment, so to see the third book of a series published must be absolutely amazing!! Congratulations Donna!!


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I have the privilege of reading StoneKing as part of the current blog tour. I’ll be using the penultimate slot of the tour, on the 19th March, to share a review with you… I hope you can join me for that!

Today though, I’m talking about where it all begins:-

***I was very kindly provided with a free copy of this book by Fiery Seas Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions stated below are my own ***



Goodreads – Kinglet

Kristan Gemeta has lost everything: his crown, his kingdom, his courage – even his name.

In the vast wilderness of the Exilwald, he’s known to the other outcasts as Kinglet. As long as Kristan stays hidden, he can elude the bounty hunters, brutal soldiers and terrifying spells of Daazna, the Wichelord who killed his father and destroyed his life.
But when a new band of pursuers comes looking for him, Kristan’s wariness gives way to intrigue. For bounty hunters they’re oddly inept, and a young woman in their company is leaving enigmatic drawings wherever they go. As they plunge deeper into the Exilwald, Kristan follows. He discovers the drawings symbolize the Gemeta Stone, an ancient family talisman seized by Daazna but now in the little band’s possession.

With the Stone’s protection, Kristan might stand a chance against Daazna. He could regain his birthright and his honor. But to obtain the Stone, he must reveal his true identity and risk the one thing he has left…his life.


If asked what my favourite genre is, I would tell you that Fantasy is by far the most entertaining read for me. I have been busy enjoying some different genres for a while, so to come back to a favourite, written so well as this… what can I say? I fell in love straight away!

That being said, I’m not a huge fan of all the tropes in Fantasy. If I’m honest, I think the orphaned child is one that is used time again – I’d go so far as to say a little overused for my taste, but some people like that. There are some other stereotypical elements to Kristan’s character – he is kind, noble and forgiving…. way too forgiving! Oh, he’s handsome too. Did I forget to mention that?! Again, these are typical traits that are very common among our Fantasy leads.

The only author I can think that has completely flipped these traits on their head with their protagonist is Mark Lawrence, in his The Broken Empire series. The protagonist’s character is extremely well developed; his most defining features are his flaws… and believe me, there are many! I found his unique character a refreshing change; there were times I loved to hate him, and then others I couldn’t help but pity him. He stands out from the crowd of fantasy protagonists by stepping away from the norm, which I really appreciated.

As much as Kristan’s character encapsulates a lot of the favourable and stereotypical traits one might expect and we commonly see, that isn’t to say I didn’t like him. I felt an affinity to him from the start, even from his brief spell at the beginning as a youth, always under pressure to adhere to high expectations and trying to understand the world and its workings from an early age. Not to put this across as a negative point (I’m more in favour of calling it a constructive one), I would have liked to see a little more originality to Kristan’s personality.

I really enjoyed the magical element being introduced straight away. We are thrown into the action first and gradually our understanding of the motive is built upon later. With world building in Fantasy, it is very easy to try and ‘info dump’ a lot of background before anything even happens. This is far from the case, and rightly so, because that can ruin a book for me. Bogging a reader down in details is a turn off, but gradually integrating ideas, clues and other information is the best way to move narrative in the right direction. Donna achieves this effortlessly.

Two years after the Gemeta’s flight from his home, his father’s death and the powerful mage responsible for it, a group of rebels leave Fandrall equipped with the magical stone that has been in the Gemeta’s possession for generations. They travel into the unknown Exilwald, his rumoured hiding place and home to a number of unsavoury characters.

The dynamic of our adventurers attempting to find the exiled King changes frequently. Family ties and friendships are tested, as would be expected from a group forced out of their homes with merely the clothes on their back. Whilst not the most companionable character of the group, I actually came to like Colin an awful lot. As head of the group, his predominantly negative attitude stems from his feeling of responsibility to protect.  In a lot of ways he comes across as an antagonist, but truthfully he is a man very much grounded in reality. He’s grumpy, miserable and completely pessimistic about the slim chances of completing the task at hand – a bit like me before my first coffee of the day really…

There are many things I could talk about that I really enjoyed, but to summarise, I’ll say this – it has a fantastic plot and an approachable narrative with a wonderful twist of many elements that make up a classic fantasy.

Rather than reading my positive ramblings, you could be reading this for yourself! Thank you to Donna and Fiery Seas Publishing for the chance to pick up this wonderful start to a new series! I cannot wait to read the next one!

Oh wait, I don’t have to!

Rebecca mono

Donna MigliaccioAmazon  ~  Barnes & NobleKobo  ~  iBooks

About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa& The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.  

Social Media:                    Website        Facebook        Twitter        Pinterest



book reviews

Book Review: The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

I can only apologise if you were expecting a review out of me yesterday.

I had every intention of writing this on Monday night – I was home early and had plenty of time on my hands… but WordPress had no plans to do ANYTHING for me. Reluctantly, I signed off.

I knew I wasn’t going to get anything written on Tuesday, and that is why in my Sunday Summary I commented that I may be late posting this. Why? It was my birthday! I had plans to be out for the evening – and I enjoyed every minute of it!


The Miniaturist

Goodreads – The Miniaturist

Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam–a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion–a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .”

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office–leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist–an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand–and fear–the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

I feel like I have spoken about this book a lot – and to my mind it deserves all the attention it gets.

I added this book to the TBR last year – but after watching the recent TV adaptation between Christmas and New Year… I knew I had to read this sooner rather than later. I love books and TV shows set in historic time periods, along with the social issues and differences to modern day life that come along with that.

Nella marries a rich merchant and travels to Amsterdam to start her new life in a position of power. The atmosphere of Amsterdam is extremely oppressive in comparison to today’s standards, with the oppression coming from the church and religion itself. Power is a double sided coin though – and there are many that would like to see her new husband Johannes Brandt fall from grace.

The dynamic of the city and the relationship Nella has with Johannes’ sister, Marin, go hand in hand with each other. Marin is distant and untrusting of Nella, but as the narrative, the lies and deceit gradually unfold, these two women have to join forces to withstand the storm. Marin would have many believe she paupers herself in humility to God, but she is far from virtuous in reality, which Nella soon discovers.

But within this city built on lies and corruption, resides the Miniaturist, who has a startling ability to see the details many would love to keep hidden…

Nella, and the perspective of the story from this naïve, young woman is written in an extraordinary way. Throughout we see how Nella develops from the innocent young girl, who thinks longingly of marriage and children, to a woman who is able to deal with hardship and finally take her role and accompanying responsibilities as Johannes Brandt’s wife. Whilst she always retains a glimmer of hope, something I attribute to her youth, her understanding of her new world and the corruption rife within it blossoms.

The characters and relationships are complex yet consistent, built within the web of society laced with prejudice and discrimination, a lack of gender rights and racial inequality. All of these issues are touched on beautifully, in such a way as to make you sympathise with each character and the difficulties they face in this oppressive life they lead.

I completely loved this book, and I cannot recommend this highly enough to anyone! Even if you cannot bear to read the book – watch the TV adaptation, please.

You won’t regret it.

Rebecca mono