Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Christmas Dragon and Strings by Ruthanne Reid: #Review #GustPost #Giveaway @ruthannereid @GoddessFish

The Christmas Dragon
(Among the Mythos, Book 2)
by Ruthanne Reid
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
All Katie Lin wants is to get away from her family: from the magic, from the mayhem, and from the never-ending war. 

Unfortunately, someone has other ideas, and sends her a box. A box that jumps. 

The tiny fire hazard inside may just force her back to Wales - and right into the path of a dragon war, the Crow King, and at least one reluctant elf prince. Sometimes, running away just doesn't work as planned.

(Among the Mythos Book 3)
by Ruthanne Reid
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Need help? You probably shouldn't ask Grey. 

A runaway Unseelie prince, Grey feeds on love - a commodity he conjures via music and magic in late-night Manhattan. It's a sweet gig, if lonely, and Grey is almost sure the dire warnings he was given about New York in December won't come true. 

Then a monster from his childhood attacks in the middle of the night, and everything changes. 

He survived, but he's marked, and more monsters are coming for him and everyone who survived. Grey has no plans to be a hero but fate doesn't care what he wants. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you aren't the one pulling the strings.

Carly: Today I'm pleased to be welcoming Ruthanne Reid who has graciously agreed talk about why she loves fantasy.
Ruthanne: Oh, oh, oh. You asked me one of the questions closest to my heart! Why do I love fantasy? Because it gave me hope. 

I was a really lonely kid. “Bully-bait,” the title goes, and it was true: whether in my neighborhood, at summer camp, or even in church, I seemed to inspire cruelty in the kids around me. Maybe it was because I was fat, or maybe it was because almost all I did was read. Whatever the reason, I can say with complete honesty that I did not make a single really good friend until I was in my teens, and even then, we had nothing in common but a shared church (both our fathers were pastors, so proximity just sort of happened).

Fantasy gave me the outlet I needed without letting me go bitter.

In fantasy, I saw people just as unlikeable as I was still finding a way to make a difference. I saw that people could keep trying against impossible odds, and if they did, they would find peace – even if it wasn’t victory in the normal sense of the word. From fantasy, I learned that faith and persistence mattered far more than talent, opportunity, money, or fame. 

I learned that there was hope for me. That there might be magic in my life, if I just didn’t give up.

All that has proven true. Faith and persistence are the most important things because every storm will pass – even if the end of the trial means death, and that part is important. To die without bitterness but with love, to die with dignity, leaving a legacy of selflessness behind… that is a good thing. An honorable thing. And it lends dignity to even the most horrible of situations.
I love fantasy because it gave me hope in reality. I write it for the same reason, and if my readers can come out of it feeling like their lives aren’t as dark as they feared, then I have accomplished my goal.
From The Christmas Dragon
The box jumped.

Boxes are not supposed to jump. It’s a law somewhere, I think. Maybe Guyana. Apparently not in New Hampshire, because the box kept jumping.

I sat in my idling car, puffs of exhaust rising in my rear-view mirror, and stared at the uncoordinated box-dance. It was wrapped in the loveliest paper, too, which was a shame, because bouncing on my boot-scraper had roughened all the corners and torn one edge. The bow was big and purple and covered in small green somethings. I wasn’t close enough to make them out.

I didn’t want to be close enough to make them out.

If I didn’t do something soon, the neighbors would notice. The box probably hadn’t been jumping all morning, or there’d be a crowd. Or maybe it was already on YouTube. I didn’t know.

So much for a safe, boring life among the Ever-Dying. New Hampshire, you have failed me.

I turned off the car. Time to go see what invaded my (mostly) magic-free space.
The Christmas Dragon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Katie Lin is desperate to live a normal life in a world that is full of hidden magic. She just wants to be left alone, but fate has a different plan in mind.

John Grey is mischievous, a bit of an adventurer, and is just passing through. When he saves Katie, and her mysterious jumping box, he unwittingly gets himself pulled into a bigger adventure than he ever dreamed possible.

I loved this little story right up until the end. This series is different than most because the books are not written in a progressive time line and instead jump to different periods in the same universe. The ending is a cliffhanger, which would have been fine if the story continued in book three, but it didn't, and that left me feeling bereft. THE CHRISTMAS DRAGON is a wonderfully lighthearted tale with mystery, magic and friendship combined with a bit of suspense. I loved the way the story flowed and hope that someday Reid tells the ending.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The land of the EverDying is full of magic, both good and bad, but most of the inhabitants are human and don't know it. For those that do, however, the world is a scary place, full of shadows that go bump in the night. John Grey doesn't worry about that though, he's Fey, and one of the good guys... at least he's not one of the bad guys. Usually.

So when an honest-to-goodness evil monster crosses his path, Grey doesn't have any plans to be a hero, he just wants to get out alive. He has every intention of packing up and heading to greener pastures, but instead he finds himself siding with a misfit group of humans who are determined to bring the ancient being to its knees.

STRINGS is the third book in Reid's fantasy series Among the Mythos and takes place some time after The Christmas Dragon. Once again Grey has gotten himself in over his head, and yet he somehow manages to keep finding his way. A well written fantasy with engaging characters, snappy dialog and a dramatic story-line.
The Christmas Dragon
Indie author Ruthanne Reid writes about elves, aliens, vampires, and space-travel with equal abandon. She is the author of the series Among the Mythos, and believes good stories should be shared. Subscribe to her free email newsletter for free books and more on her Website. You can connect with her on Twitter or Tumblr, where she looks at too many kittens and Avengers blogs.

Ruthanne’s love of magic, urban environments, and deep space birthed a strange world with undercurrents of faith, magic, villainy, and heroism (along with swords and lasers, on occasion). Among the Mythos showcases aliens with all-too-human feelings, entire societies on the decline due to greed and fear, protagonists who might actually be the bad guys (or vice-versa), and endings every bit as messy as the world that creates them.

Ruthanne knows from experience that endings are messy. No matter how exotic the setting, how many limbs the characters have or what (if any) genders, the problems and questions addressed by a good story are very real, and that’s why they have power. If she has a theme, it is this: keep fighting, and keep pushing toward hope, because the struggle is worth the finish-line.

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  1. Very interesting guest post today. Enjoyed reading the reviews too.

  2. Thanks for the reviews. Will the characters in The Christmas Dragon and Strings be meeting up later in a story?

    1. Thank you, Jess! Oh, yes. These novelettes were designed to introduce the characters. They'll all have far greater roles in future books. :)

  3. I really loved the reviews. What great stories.

    1. Thank you, Jane! Or should I say MomJane? :)

  4. Thanks for hosting me today, Carly! I really enjoyed answering that question. :)

  5. I always enjoy reading the book excerpts and finding new authors and series to follow. Thx for this giveaway as well.

  6. I like the impressive covers the most!

    1. Thank you, Mai! They were very fun to design.

  7. I am so sorry that you were bullied as a child. I could not even as a child why anyone ever felt that they had to pick on someone. <y parents taught me to be nice to everyone. I'm glad that you found a way to escape!

    Your books sound lovely. I hope to get one them soon!