Friday, February 28, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Singer

Omg! Guys, I’m super excited because today I get to unveil the cover of The Singer by the wonderful Elizabeth Hunter, whose books I’ve been fangirling over for some time now! Last year I read and reviewed The Scribe (check my review here) – the first book in the Irin Chronicles series and *ta-da* I loved it! And I can’t wait to read this book, but we still have to wait a bit… So check out the beautiful cover and add it to your TBR list. 


Happy Friday!

The Singer (Irin Chronicles #2)
Elizabeth Hunter

Release Date: May 2014

Elizabeth Hunter

Book Description:
When you've lost everything you love, how do you fight the darkness?

Ava left Istanbul with a new identity, new name, and new magic she could barely control. Laid low by Malachi's sacrifice, she searches for help from the fabled Irina. But will the secretive women of the Irin race welcome or shun her? Ava's origins are still a mystery, and her powers are darker than any they've encountered before.

The Irin world hangs in the balance. And as the children of angels battle their own demons, ancient rivalries among the Fallen threaten to wreak havoc on earth.

Thousand of miles away, a warrior wakes with no memory of his identity or his people. Stumbling though the dark and twisted schemes of fallen angels, ravenous Grigori, and even his own leaders, he must find a way back to the one thing he remembers. A single voice calls him. Malachi has one mission.

"Come back to me."

THE SINGER is the second book in the Irin Chronicles, a contemporary fantasy series from Elizabeth Hunter, author of the Elemental Mysteries.

Goodreads | Website

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Author Guest Post & Giveaway: Evelyn Ink

Hi guys! Today I welcome Evelyn Ink, author of Ill-fated and Silver Tongue. Evelyn’s books don’t fall just within one genre but encompass the elements of fantasy and steampunk to help create fun and exciting world. So check out her post on writing and inspiration, her books and a giveaway below.

On Writing Steampunk and the Fantasy Genre:
Steampunk has been dissected, categorized, and re-categorized so much that sometimes I’m unsure where my books fit into the genre. The best description I can give is that Ill-fated and Silver-Tongue are alternative-world steampunk. That is to say, like Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, my “steampunk” books are set in an invented world rather than an altered Victorian-era. 

Evelyn Ink
It is world on the edge of an industrial revolution, with some countries much more advanced in their technology than others. As with all ages of enlightenment, what is called black magic in one place, is science in another, and this most evident in Ill-fated where the heroine, Leila, is forced to leave Bainland– a small, safe, but rather primitive country, and travel south. Once in Southland she finds a world where magic meets machine; sky ships, daguerreotypes, and automatons merge with the earth-dolven magic of the South, leaving her to question, “What is sorcery and what is science?”

Within the pages of Silver-Tongue there is less of this transitional, clock-work culture shock, though the main character, Belin, is introduced to the newfangled “auto-chaise” and sky ships play a more prominent role in the story. That said, I would have to label both works as “light” steampunk. The reason being, they are steampunk in setting only. Everything takes a backseat to plot and characters, and unlike many fantasy and steampunk writers, I do not spend a lot of time expounding on the “science” behind the machines. This is a plus for some readers and a let down for others, but I myself enjoy the visual world of gadgets and gears without the overly scientific explanations.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Giveaway: Iced

Hi guys! Guess what? The other week I participated in Karen Marie Moning’s ICED Giveaway for Bloggers… and I was one of the 25 lucky bloggers to win! Which is great news for you, cause now I have a signed copy of ICED to give away. Enter to win below via Rafflecopter! *Squee* 

Good luck!

Iced (Dani O'Malley Trilogy #1)
Karen Marie Moning

Release Date: October 12, 2012

Karen Marie Moning

Book Description:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning comes the first book in her hotly anticipated new urban paranormal trilogy, set in the world of her blockbuster Fever series.

The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux.

When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.

Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Recipe: Lamb Stew “Piti”

Hi guys! How's everyone doing? As I'm writing this, we've just had another snow storm and are digging ourselves out once again. It's been quite a cold winter and I'm somewhat over it at this point. Seriously, warm weather can't come soon enough. But one thing I like about winter is that it's a great excuse to make many hearty dishes, such as stews, braises, and roasts. So today I'd like to share a recipe for a lamb stew I made the other day. It's my take on an Azerbaijanian Piti, a slow-cooking soup, traditionally cooked in an earthenware pot (I cook mine in a Dutch oven) with lamb, vegetables and chickpeas. It's hearty and delicious - a one pot meal to please the family. 

Stay warm!  

Lamb Stew “Piti”
Servings 2 – 4

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway: Chasing the Green Fairy

Hi guys! Today, I’m very excited to be part of the cover reveal for Melanie Karsak’s second novel in The Airship Racing Chronicles - Chasing the Green Fairy. And it’s such a pretty cover, don’t you think? So, enjoy the excerpt and scroll down for a Rafflecopter giveaway and your chance to win one of the ten ebook copies! 

Have a great weekend!


Chasing the Green Fairy (The Airship Racing Chronicles #2)
Melanie Karsak

Release Date: March 4, 2014

Melanie Karsak

Book Description:
A sabotaged airship.

A recovering opium addict.

A messenger with life-shattering news.

With the 1824 British airship qualifying race only weeks away, Lily Stargazer is at the top of her game. She’s racing like a pro, truly in love, and living clean. But on one ill-omened day, everything changes.

Pulled head-long into the ancient secrets of the realm, Lily soon finds herself embroiled in Celtic mysteries and fairy lore. And she’s not quite sure how she got there, or even if she wants to be involved. But Lily soon finds herself chasing the spirit of the realm while putting her own ghosts to rest. And only accepting the truth--about her heart and her country--can save her.

Amazon US | Goodreads

A chartreuse-colored leaf fluttered down onto the wheel of the Stargazer. It was early morning. The mist covering the surface of the Thames reflected the rosy sunrise. Yawning, I reached out to brush it away only find it was not a leaf at all. Carefully, I balanced the fragile creature on the tip of my finger.

“Mornin’, Lil. Hey, what’s that?” Jessup called as he bounced onto the deck of the Stargazer.

Angus was cursing as he cranked out the repair platform below the ship. We were preparing for our morning practice run to Edinburgh.

“A luna moth,” I replied.

“I thought maybe you’d finally caught the green fairy,” Jessup joked as he climbed into the burner basket.

I grinned. The moth’s green wings, dotted with yellowish eyes, wagged slowly up and down. It was beautiful, but it was dying. “My mother once told me that they are fey things, that they live in the other realm until it’s their time to die. Then, they come to humans.”

“Why?” Jessup asked as he adjusted the valves. Orange flame sparked to life.

“She said that even enchanted things want to be truly loved at least once.”

“Don’t we all?” he replied with a laugh.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Happy 1st Blogoversary & *Big* Announcement!

Photo Credit: leontine via Compfight cc

Hi guys! I can hardly believe it but today Zemfirka Blogs is celebrating its one year anniversary and I couldn’t be happier or proud of this milestone! I took up blogging on a whirl and fell absolutely in love with it. It’s been a truly amazing year, from meeting so many great bloggers, readers, and authors *grins* to visiting Book Expo America and having one of my reviews quoted in a book by one of my favorite authors nonetheless. I can go on and on as you probably know but I will keep it short and sweet and simply thank all of you for the support, encouragement, inspiration and love – you guys rock!

A special thanks to…

Mindi Havens Wells @ My Literary Obsession

Thank you!

Also, as promised I have some very exciting news to share with you. At the end of December I’ve announced a co-blogger search, wishing to find someone who would share with me the blogging responsibilities and more importantly love for reading and reviewing amazing books. So I couldn’t be happier to say that I’ve gotten an amazing offer which I couldn’t refuse. And starting this month I will be joining the ever amazing Karina over at Nocturnal Book Reviews [or NBR]. *Squee*

What does it mean for Zemfirka Blogs you ask? Well, I’ve been thinking about it for quite some time and the blog will remain for your perusal as always, I might even post an occasional review here and there [or a recipe if the fancy strikes me], but for the most part I will continue my blogging adventures at Nocturnal Book Reviews, which is a fabulous book review blog that I’ve been a fan of for some time now and am encouraging all of you to check out and follow as well. Karina, aside being an amazing blogger, is also a friend and simply a lovely person; we share many similar tastes in books so there is always exciting possibility of joint reviews to come. So come visit us at NBR and as always you can find me on Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest.

To new beginnings!

Victoria, xoxo

Friday, February 7, 2014

Author Spotlight: Christine S. Feldman

Hi guys! Because Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and there is nothing like a sweet romance to set the mood here is a little glimpse at Christine S. Feldman’s newest novella – Playing Cupid! Enjoy and don’t forget to add it to your TBR list!

Playing Cupid (Heavenly Bites Novellas #3)
Christine S. Feldman

Release Date: January 31, 2014

Christine S. Feldman

Book Description:
Much as she loves her meddling matchmaker of a grandmother, free-spirited Aimee Beasley is tired of dodging the dull and downright tiresome dates the older woman keeps trying to arrange for her. So when she notices her beloved Gran preening in the presence of a distinguished elderly gentleman who’s been visiting their apartment building, Aimee is delighted at the prospect of turning the tables on her.

But her plans to match her grandmother up with the gentleman in time for Valentine’s Day hit a snag when Aimee realizes he’s the uncle of their downstairs neighbor, a stodgy thirty-something history professor named Doyle with whom she butts heads on a regular basis. She’ll need to find a way to make nice and enlist his help, or her plan to see her long-widowed Gran happily matched again will never work.

For Gran’s sake, she’s determined to find a way. In the process, she starts to realize that her cranky downstairs neighbor has a softer side she never suspected existed.

And when it comes to romantic heroes, history professors may not have gotten a fair shake…

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble

Aimee Beasley held the door open to their apartment building’s lobby for her beloved and bespectacled Gram as the older woman listed the many wonderful qualities possessed by her pharmacist, starting with his full head of hair and ending with his detailed knowledge of the common side effects of every medication known to humankind.  It was a surprisingly long list, so either Gram had spent a great deal of time compiling it, or she had simply made half of it up.  Either way, her dedication to her cause was admirable.

“So?” said Gram, expectant and finally pausing to draw breath as she peered at her granddaughter through tortoiseshell glasses that seemed to dwarf her face.

Aimee shook her head.

“But he’s such a nice young man—” her grandmother protested.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Spotlight & Book Reivew: The Courtesan Chronicles {Blog Tour}

Coven of the Courtesan (The Courtesan Chronicles #1)
Yolanda Shoshana

Release Date: October 2013

Yolanda Shoshana

Book Description:
Coven of the Courtesan- The Courtesan Chronicles Series

Coven of the Courtesan follows a coven of witches in New York City who bring back the magick and art of the courtesan. Come on the adventures of Bast, Lola, and Pixie as they take you on a journey that looks like Charmed meets Sex in the City.

Coven of the Courtesan, Book 1- The Courtesan Chronicles Series

Bast Buchanan is about to become CEO of Spellbound Entertainment until the Ewing family swoops down and buys the company. She never saw this coming.

Ramennis Ewing expects to run his father’s new conquest and take over the family media empire. He is ready to prove there is more to him than what is in the press.

When Bast is asked to work side by side with roving playboy, Ramennis, can she continue to keep her guard up with this new enemy, one of the sexiest men she has ever met or does her coven have to open up a can of power of three on him. Just who will seduce whom?

*The mixed media novelette series contains real magick and spells.

Amazon US | Goodreads

As Bast Buchanan got closer, she could see the shadow of a man standing in the distance and hear a voice whispering something that she could not make out. All she could tell was that it was a woman’s voice.

"Hello, can you hear me, you called to me,” stated Bast.

The whispering continued and the words flowed faster. Walking over debris in the darkness, Bast moved closer to the voice speaking to the person who was calling out to her. "What are you trying to tell me, can you speak louder?” Darkness and echos filled the space. From the corners of her eyes, Bast could see other spirits moving around her, but she was focused on the voice that was speaking to her.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Book Review: Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)
Deborah Harkness

Release Date: July 10, 2012

Deborah Harkness

Book Description:

Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library,she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers...

Amazon US | Goodreads

Second in Deborah Harkness’s bestselling All Souls Trilogy, Shadow of Night is a breathtakingly beautiful and historically rich tale of love and marriage, trust and family, magic and mystery, and a long lost manuscript known as Ashmole 782. Picking up where A Discovery of Witches left off, Shadow of Night plunges its readers into the intricate and colorful world of 16th century Elizabethan England, where Diana and Matthew find themselves among Matthew’s friends, a famed group of poets and scientist known as the School of Night. Still, journeying into the past to find a manuscript and a witch to educate Diana quickly proves to be a much more cumbersome and time-consuming task than Matthew would expect. And soon the whirlwind of intrigues and conspiracies, not to mention Matthew’s countless identities and many masters, threaten to envelope them all together.

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