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Thursday, March 13, 2014

{Blog Tour} NEFERTITI'S HEART and HAPSHEPTUT'S COLLAR by A.W. Exley, The Artifact Hunters series

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
Genre: NA/Mystery/Steampunk
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 immortality.

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.


 This is the type of book that I utterly adore. Adventurous, romantic, a heroine overcoming something in her background, she's feisty and independent and can take care of herself, she doesn't whine, the man doesn't just step all over her but does try to protect her, mystery, steampunk, mythos, a little magic. Are you drooling yet?

Enter A.W. Exley's incredibly rich, well-described world and meet Cara Devon. The book starts off with a bang! After her bastard of a father dies to a snake bite (an asp of all LONDON), Cara is there to deal with her inheritance. We quickly learn about her past with her father and things begin to become complicated, quickly. Viscount Lyons is the rumored lord of the underworld with shady dealings and a reputation for viciousness.  He wants something from Cara's father's house and sends two goons to get it. She deals with them quickly and sends him a message that if he wants anything, he will have to strike a bargain.

Then she's visited by the police, a scant few minutes after she just shot at those goons. And the police aren't so nice to her and make her wonder what indeed is going on. She doesn't really care about who killed her father; but she doesn't want to get caught in the middle. All she wants to do is sell off his priceless artifacts and keep the money from the sales...

Romance, adventure, a kickbutt heroine, a rake of a leading man who is more noble than the Nobles, and wit, I loved this story. The words just flowed so well, enrapturing the reader, and keeping you firmly in a steampunk Victorian England, eager to discover who is behind the murders, and if that artifact really works. This is my first book I've read by A.W. Exley and it will not be the last. 

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.

We are back again to Cara & Nate, a short few months after the ending of book one, NEFERTITI'S HEART. I was worried about the whole "second book" thing, where it just doesn't live up to the expectations of the first, but let me assure you that Ms. Exley is not one of those who have fallen victim to that. If anything, this book is even better than the first, with more highly charged emotions and sexual tension between our hero and heroine, more on the line as the crown gets involved, and these wonderful side characters who, in a few short paragraphs, attach themselves firmly to the reader as someone you like.

Adventurous, action-packed, and touching, when Cara finds out that her new love had dealings with her father, she is incredibly upset. She isn't given time to process it, however, or make her anger known as the second after she learns about it, the front door is broken down and Nate is arrested! The crown is after Nate and demanding the return of some object that Cara doesn't know about. Cara needs to solve the problem and save Nate so she can kill him herself for lying by omission.

This was a kindle-bruiser, just like book one and I absolutely loved it. I hope that this series lasts as long as J.D. Robb's In Death series (up to book 38 now, I think?!) as they track down artifact after artifact, keeping the two main characters as well as their friends and adding more and more. I will read each and every one of them. Romantic, a hero that doesn't suffocate the heroine despite his instincts to put her in a cage to protect her, a heroine that understands that need and yet is willing to walk away from love to stay true to herself, tons of action, rakish friends, a grandmother and aunt who are as hilarious and outspoken as Grandma Mazur (Janet Evanovich), I can't get enough and eagerly await the next installment.

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.

Author Links:
Facebook | Goodreads


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This tour was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

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