I’m excited to be hosting a stop for the Artifact Hunters tour that features Nefertiti’s Heart and Hatshepsut’s Collar by A.W. Exley. This series is new adult / Mystery / Steampunk, recommended for ages 16+ (there’s some mature content). The tour runs March 3-14th. Check out the tour page for the full list of tour stops.
Nefertiti’s Heart (Artifact Hunters #1) by A.W. Exley
Page Count: 284 pages
Published: February 4th, 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press
Recommended Age: 16 and up
Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.
London, 1861. Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the
strange death of her father – sell off his damned collection of
priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start
dying of broken hearts, an eight inch long brass key hammered through
their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal
beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to
Her Majesty’s Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a
connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she, somewhere
in London her father hid Nefertiti’s Heart, a fist sized diamond with
strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life,
notorious crime lord, Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his
desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she
could figure out his motive.
Self-preservation fuels Cara’s search for the gem. In a society where
everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure
out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.
MY REVIEW OF NEFERTITI’S HEART
Despite being a life long fantasy addict, this was my first experience of a steampunk novel, and I loved it. I will certainly be reading more, starting with the next book in this series (see below).
I rated this book at 4 1/2 stars; a really enjoyable, gripping read that I’d happily recommend. The writing is filled with vivid imagery and flows beautifully, I was drawn inside Cara’s head from the word go and couldn’t wait to find out where she was going next. The characters were all highly individual, especially the creepy pseudo-alive house which added plenty to the atmospheric setting. I loved the way the mechanicals and the Victorian setting meshed together and suspension of disbelief was a breeze. The plot was riveting, the dialogue crisp, and all the loose ends wrapped up – for now.
So why not the full 5 stars? There were a small number of proof reading misses (extra words that had been left in after the final edit) but it was two small plot points that detracted slightly from the overall experience for me. With Cara’s history of abuse, I felt she gave herself up to Nate way too fast. This is an area I know a little about, and I just didn’t quite believe it. And second, after painting Cara as such an amazing, strong, independent woman, I was disappointed that at the climax she had to be rescued by two men. I’d have liked to have seen her find her own way out, or at the very least have some sort of input in her rescue. She did a great job of delaying the villain, but then had no more to do with the dénouement.
So that’s it folks, and now I’m off to read Hatshepsut’s Collar.
Links: Curiosity Quills Page
Hatshepsut’s Collar (Artifact Hunters #2) by A.W. Exley
Page Count: 274
Published: November 13th, 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press
An ancient Egyptian artifact is driving Queen Victoria insane, and that’s not top of Cara Devon’s growing list of problems.
Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is a man of numerous secrets, but there is one in particular that threatens his fledgling relationship with Cara. Stunned by Nate’s revelation, and before she can absorb the ramifications of his actions, he is arrested, charged with treason and imprisoned in the grim Tower of London. He stole something the mad queen wants, and only has days to deliver, before his date with the executioner.
Although sorely tempted, Cara can’t let him die on Tower Green, not when their connection means she would share his fate.
Only together can Cara and Nate figure out how to wrestle Hatshepsut’s Collar from around the queen’s neck, before she plunges Britain into a world war. The search for answers sends Cara to the opulent Winter Palace of St Petersburg and the frozen depths of Siberia, with every step shadowed by an enemy with his own dark plans.
Anita Exley’s Biography:
Books and writing have always been an enormous part of A.W. Exley’s life.
She survived school by hiding out in the library, with several thousand fictional characters for company. At university, she overcame the boredom of studying accountancy by squeezing in Egyptology papers and learning to read hieroglyphics.
Today, Anita writes steampunk novels with a sexy edge and an Egyptian twist. She lives in rural New Zealand surrounded by an assortment of weird and wonderful equines, felines, canine and homicidal chickens.
This tour was organized by CBB Book Promotions.