Titan Books Blog Tour: Pennyblade by J.L. WOrrad

Today is my stop on the Pennyblade blog tour, thank you to Sarah Mather and the Titan Team for having me along! I have an excerpt for you today but first a little about the book:


A sharp-tongued disgraced-noble-turned-mercenary has to stop the world collapsing into chaos in this gripping, savagely funny epic fantasy packed with unforgettable characters, for fans of Joe Abercrombie.

Exile. Mercenary. Lover. Monster. Pennyblade.

Kyra Cal’Adra has spent the last four years on the Main, living in exile from her home, her people, her lover and her past. A highblood commrach—the ancient race of the Isle, dedicated to tradition and the perfection of the blood—she’s welcome among the humans of the Main only for the skill of her rapier, her preternatural bladework. They don’t care which of the gleaming towers she came from, nor that her grandmother is matriarch of one of Corso’s most powerful families.

But on the main, women loving women is a sin punishable by death. Kyra is haunted by the ghost of Shen, the love of her life, a lowblood servant woman whom Kyra left behind as she fled the Isle.

When a simple contract goes awry, and her fellow pennyblades betray her, Kyra is set onto a collision course with her old life, and the age-old conflict between the Main and the Isle threatens to erupt once more.


THE MAIN, Coastal Highway, April 881

I pointed my rapier in the innkeep’s mottled face.

‘Forgive my candour,’ I said.

He stood in the noiseless highway inn’s doorway, the light from inside making a half silhouette of his figure. He stared at the rapier’s point.

‘What’s that?’ he asked.

‘What?’ I said. ‘A bloody sword.’

Trepidation caught flame in his wet eyes. ‘Where’s its edge?’

‘Dun’t have an edge,’ Shortleg said beside me. ‘All about the point. Like a big needle, right?’

‘Right,’ the innkeep said. He gulped.

‘It does have an edge,’ I said to them both. ‘Eight inches’ worth either side of the point, see?’ I indicated. ‘The emphasis is on the point, granted, but it’s not without edge. Common misconception.’

‘Yer couldn’t slice an arm off or owt,’ Shortleg countered.

‘Maybe I don’t want to slice arms off. You humans and your fucking dismemberment.’

‘Nowt wrong with a big chopper,’ Shortleg said. He chuckled and grabbed his crotch.

‘Oh, yes, very mature.’

The innkeep gulped again. ‘You’re an elf?’

‘Fuck’s sake,’ I muttered.

‘Commrach,’ Shortleg corrected him.

‘Look,’ I said, ‘could we all agree that this is a sword? If only in principle?’

‘Yeah,’ the innkeep said. He held his blotchy hands up. He took a deep breath. ‘So… you, er, you want letting in?’

‘Ah, there’s no rush,’ I said. ‘Our colleague’s right behind you.’

The innkeep looked over his shoulder to see Nail levelling a throwing spike at him.

‘Anyone back there?’ Shortleg said to Nail.

‘Silent as the grave,’ Nail said.

‘Business shit then?’ Shortleg said to the innkeep.

‘I guess,’ he replied.

‘C’mon, let’s all have a pint, eh?’ Shortleg said and he smiled.

The men made their way to the bar.

I looked back and motioned to Benadetta. She was stood by the road, thirty feet away, a grey ghost in the twilight. Desolate moorland stretched behind her.

She nodded and began to walk forward, almost hobbling. Not for the first time I felt uneasy about her wound.

The innkeep, already behind the bar and pouring ale for Shortleg, looked at Benadetta’s vestments with surprise.

‘She’ll have whisky,’ I told him.

‘A joke,’ Benadetta said. ‘I apologise for our behaviour, sir.

We’ve h-had to take extreme measures. But, as you see, we are of the Church. You’re quite… safe.’

Aside from his inability to recognise offensive weapons, I thought.


About the Author

James Luke Worrad lives in Leicester, England, and has for almost all his life. He has a degree in classical studies from Lampeter University, Wales. He has found this invaluable to his growth as a science fiction and fantasy writer in that he soon discovered how varied and peculiar human cultures can be. In 2011 James attended Clarion, an SF workshop held at the University of California, San Diego. He’s had short stories published by Daily Science Fiction, Flurb, Newcon Press and Obverse Books. He also writes screen plays for short films, one of which- Flawless- won the Seven/Five Film Festival Award and was selected for both the Cannes and NYC Independent film festivals. (It was also screened at CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider). He runs the Fantasy & Science Fiction Salon group on Facebook. He also works a nightshift at a small hotel, an occupation that never leaves him short of material. 

Pennyblade is due for release on 29th March 2022 and is available from Titan Books

Review of A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

Felicity Morrow is back at the Dalloway School to finish her senior year after the tragic death of her girlfriend. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students―girls some say were witches.

Felicity was once drawn to the dark legacy of witchcraft. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; but it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget it.

It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway―and in herself.

A lesson in vengeance was initially such a captivating read for me, whilst it took a couple of chapters to get into the flow, I had easily consumed half the book in one evening. I enjoyed the old school creepiness of Dalloway, that it had such a rich and vibrant history. Felicity’s inner monologue captured such a broad and complex range, from the usual school struggles, fitting in and rising above the whispers, to pure harrowing fear as branches tap on windows and spirits seemingly are prowling the forest outside.

Comparisons to “The Craft” are well founded, with Felicity’s penchant for tarot reading and late night rituals alongside of 5 girls who fit the established tropes well with Ellis taking front and centre as the narcissist. This is truly Felicity and Ellis’s story though and the side characters feel very much just like that, it’s a shame they were not given the opportunity to develop but in turn this did support the insular world that Felicity and Ellis were the queens of.

Honestly Ellis is just awful though. The worst kind of manipulative, gaslighting friend, I had such an intense dislike for her that I struggled to root for the relationship with Felicity. I’m not sure if as a reader we are meant to be caught up in the spell that she weave’s over the others and if we were i think that maybe why i was able to see as many of the twists coming as I did. If you are triggered by gaslighting I would carefully consider picking this up, it brought back all kinds of horrible memories for me.

Whilst i really enjoyed 90% of the story I struggled with the ending which felt somewhat messy and rushed. This was a shame given how perfectly the story had been paced up to that point, everything had such an elaborate gothic flourish and feel to it’s planning, a slow burn of trust and discovery, that the ending really jarred.

A lesson in vengeance was a great read which i reached to pick back up at every chance and was easily consumed in 48 hours, the worldbuilding was wonderful and Felicity a fantastic character, it just missed the 5* mark for me for the reasons above which are more down to my own interpretations than the writing. 


BBNYA Blog Tour: Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow

BBNYA is a yearly competition where Book Bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website http://www.bbnya.com or twitter @bbnya_official. 

The sign-ups will soon be open for the 2022 BBNYA competition, be it for authors to enter their books, or for bloggers wanting to be part of the new panel, so keep your eyes peeled!!

Check out some of the reviews so far!

Read to Ramble

Myth and Magic Book Blog

Rebbie Reviews

The Strawberry Post

Lost in Neverland


The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the Dragon’s Rage….

As the Dragon Heir, seventeen-year-old Kaia inherited the power of flame to protect her homeland from a godlike necromancer’s undead army. But after centuries of peace, the necromancer has faded to myth, and the Dragon Heir is feared by the people. Persecuted and cast out, Kaia struggles to embrace and control her seemingly useless gift while confined to her family’s farm.

But when the necromancer’s undead terrorize the land once again, Kaia runs away to join the battle.

With the help of her childhood rival, the handsome Shadow Heir, and a snarky, cursed cat, Kaia must figure out how to control both her fire and her confidence in time to save Okarria. If she fails, she will sacrifice her family, her new friends, and the enchanting world she has only just begun to see.

And time is running out.

Book Info

Publisher: Self Published

Length: 178 Pages

Date Published: March 1, 2020 


https://www.amazon.ca/Odriels-Heirs-Hayley-Reese-Chow-ebook/dp/B0838R4DTB  (Canada) 

https://www.amazon.com/Odriels-Heirs-Hayley-Reese-Chow-ebook/dp/B0838R4DTB (USA) 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Odriels-Heirs-Hayley-Reese-Chow/dp/1652953302  (UK)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/51626011  

Author Website: https://hayleyreesechow.com/ 

About the Author

Hayley Reese Chow is the author of Odriel’s Heirs, the 2020 winner of the Florida Author Project. She also has short and flash fiction featured in Lite Lit One, The Drabble, Bewildering Stories, Teleport Magazine, and Rogue Blades Entertainment’s anthology, As You Wish.

Until recently though, she’s mostly done a lot of things that have nothing at all to do with writing. Her hat collection includes mother, wife, engineer, USAF veteran, reservist, four-time All American fencer, 100 mile ultramarathoner, triathlete, world traveler, book inhaler, and super nerd.

Hayley currently lives in Florida with two small wild boys, her long-suffering

husband, and her miniature ragehound.

But at night, when the house is still, she writes.

To find Hayley’s other stories and see what she’s working on next, check out

hayleyreesechow.com. You can also find her on Twitter or Instagram @HayleyReeseChow.