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Making a Tinderbox

(The Tinderbox Tales #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  185 ratings  ·  44 reviews
At first glance, the small continent of Arclid may appear similar to Great Britain at the beginning of the industrial revolution. However societal rules regarding gender, race, and sexuality are very different. These differences shape the lives of our protagonists, the would-be-princess Lady Elisandrine 'Elise' Falk and Nessa Clay, a farmer's daughter who’s chasing her dre ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 9th 2017 by Heartsome Publishing
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  185 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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I don't even know how to start with this one, but I am going to give it my best shot at articulating just how good this book was. One word summary, Wow. I was wowed, amazed, and totally spellbound by Making a Tinderbox. If I could read books like this one everyday life would be truly grand. This is one of those books you find and just turn to mush because it did everything right. It took a hold of my heart, as sad as I was that the story was over, I was dazzled by its brilliance as well.

Lady El
Lia A
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just wanna say wow. What a ride. I've always been a sucker for adventure (going from a place to another is adventure for me, so) novel, this one just hit the right spot. Well it's a great novel, mesmerizing world called Orb, medieval-ish (although it feels a lil fairy magic-ish one for me). A noble and a peasant = misunderstanding & insecurities

I like how the characters' depth being revealed tho.

Can't wait for the next book in this series. Maybe Sterner-Radley will explore the whole Orb, a
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I *really* really really wanted to like this book. Royals, a bit of steam punk, Nessa's a pansexual (cheers really. Nice to see some rep out there), etc. Everything was in line for it to be a lovely book.

Instead they just treated each other like crap. The set up was there. Early on. I'm like oh it's going to be one of those. Very early on, and it's not spoilery, one says she's only into casual. The other says she's in it for the long haul. I knew then that it was a set up for disaster later on.

Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is amazing! My first from the author.
I’m really impressed with her imagination. Now, I want try sugar pumpkins I wish they were real.
The book’s setting is from another world name The Orb.
Where everything’s the same with earth but also not.
Yeah I know, you have to read to find out.
Elise came from a noble family and she’s bound to marry the Prince. She’s a big flirt but she’s also sweet and caring.
Don’t mess with her because she got a really bad temper.
She’s not good on relationships an
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautiful and unique story. Part historical fiction part entirely other world. I loved the flexibility that this gave to let the people of this world be diverse in their sexuality and gender. I loved the world the author created. The characters were all brilliant. I fell in love with all of them. And my god the romance just about killed me. I didn't realize until I wasn't nearly done the book that this was the first book in a series! I can't wait to read the next book because this was ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this. Nice word building but a nicely sweet romance as well. It's a steal on Kindle Unlimited!
Nessa Clay, the farm daughter meets Elisandrine (Elise) Falk, the noblewoman, when the latter asks her to aid in her escape to the big city. Elisandrine wants to escape a pending marriage with the prince and Nessa wants to spread her wings away from parents at the farm, so she agrees to be her travel companion. Nice perk is that Elise has the money to finance their first weeks in the big city while they look for work.

Making a Tinderbox is marketed as a Steampunk novel but I personally got a more
I must say this, I am always delighted and enchanted by any book I read by this author. She is a superb storyteller and this story was wonderfully written. This story brought up so many important themes of self-acceptance and embracing people who differ from the majority. This story was a lovely blend of historical, fantasy with a healthy dose of contemporary romance thrown in. Nessa Clay spent the majority of her life working on her parents' farm and she seeks safety and consistency but her ent ...more
Jeannette Rodriguez
Making a Tinderbox was a lovely book with romance, suspense, drama, humor, and friendship.

The book is about Elise, a noble woman, trying to escape a marriage to a prince and Nessa, a farmer's daughter, trying to start a life of her own away from home. When these two characters cross paths they end up embarking on a journey to Nightport together. They seem to be very opposite characters, but end up getting along really well. When they end up in Nightport, they rent a room and end up sharing a be
Kitty Kat
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this story of Elise Falk, a noblewoman, and Nessa Clay, a farmer's daughter who run away to the big city together for a new life . Their relationship is one of friendship and platonic love but there is more, though neither will admit it. They appear to want very different things from a partner. Meeting new people and becoming part of this fascinating city on the brink of greater industrialisation gave depth to the novel. There was a bit of a mystery in the background and the promi ...more
Just a man's point of view
The great things of this book are the atmosphere, the mistery.
World building deserves a praise, it is the real richness of this novel, a new world, a new geography, a new (view spoiler) society on the verge of the first hints of modernity given by steam power, (view spoiler) and gas lights. It is a mix of an epic fantasy and a victorian english environment. Total originality!
There's a sort of promising non-magical, magical und
Loek Krancher
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a tale!

At first, I thought this is a tough one to read because of the use of specific words/language but with each chapter I became more and more comfortable with it and I can truthfully say that I have enjoyed it immensely. I loved their turbulent life, the diversity in the mesmerising characters, the vividly descriptions of the places and people, the little mystery, the intriguing time period, the humour and of course the romance. In one word, splendid! Now I look forward to the next
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Making a Tinderbox (The Tinderbox Tales #1 - ooh, there's going to be more? great!) is a fantasy novel set in a land on the brink of the industrial revolution. There are queens, kings and knights, peasants and city-dwellers - but also printing (books, newspapers), small industry and rumours of steam trains.

Lady Elisandre, soon to be wed to a prince, wants out of an arranged marriage. Nessa, a farmer's daughter, is in search of a better life and a new profession - not what her parents want. Toget
Linh Nguyen
4.25 stars
Don't know why but I really like the title. And the book reminds me of Patience & Sarah
This was a beautifully written story. Our heroines were irresistible, and I also loved the entire cast of characters and the world. While I am so grateful this book did not end with a cliff-hanger, I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Making a Tinderbox is a sweet romance set in a steampunk world. Both characters are enjoyable and relatable. I especially loved the growth Nessa accomplishes throughout the book, learning to face her fears and reach for her dreams. The book revels at times in the underbelly of the city, with a most charming guide in the form of Hunter Smith. I really like the depth this adds to the story. Whether you are a romance fan or a fantasy fan, you will enjoy the book.
Carol Hutchinson
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this historically magical novel. Elise and Nessa are both very different, yet relatable characters. Their journey into the wider world, and revolution of city life is captivating. Thank you Emma for bringing us the wonderful world of Achlid, Suger Pumpkins and all the other magical (and delicious) delacacies of this fictional world. I am very much looking forward to the further Tinderbox Tales you will bring us!
Tony Hisgett
Mar 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, lesbian
The publicity blurb was much more exciting and interesting than the actual book. My initial impression of the book was the dialogue was quite stilted, the characters were two-dimensional and the whole plot to escape bordered on farce. I don’t know why they didn’t just walk around with a big sign saying I’m an escaped Princess.

I tried to keep going, but I wasn’t enjoying the book and I didn’t particularly like Elisandre and at times Nessa was so deferential and soppy, it was almost painful.

In th
Scarllet ✦ Underrated Lit Warrior
My first book of 2018 and its a five 🌟 read!! What an enchanting world, with even more breathtaking and magical characters. I just love Elise and Nessa's progression, their friendship was strong from the beginning which only led to an amazing romance. I loved the pining and the jealousy that Elise was dealing with when she believed her love was unrequited. The friendships that the girls gained was sweet to me, I love supporting characters that aren't just flat. I absolutely wish that sugar pumpk ...more
Megan EM
In the introduction, the author states that lesfic readers do not typically read fantasy. I can definitely say I am in the minority then. Good book. Lots of romance in this first book. Light on the fantasy part, but there is some nice world building. I am hoping for a little more adventure or intrigue in the second book.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I offered to read this book as I had the time but I was a bit worried I wouldn't be able to give a good review since I am not a big fan of fantasy. Then I thought “well, you are a sucker for a good romance and you liked last Emma's book so why not?” So yes, why not. And boy, was I ever wrong. The book gets you hooked from the beginning. You get inmersed in the story, you are part of it. You hold your breath through their trip to Nightport, their relationship, their encounter with the queen. Y ...more
Rae Storey
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lesbian, fantasy
had some trouble getting into the story at first. Elise seemed too over the top for me to connect with and Nessa too dull for me to care about. But once they meet, the story really takes off and it didn't take long for the characters to become my friends.

Some folks may shy away from this book because of the "fantasy" label. But don't let that freak you out! It may be set in a different world, but that is more for the ability to introduce a new culture than for magic and beasts.

This story is all
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the feel of this novel. Lots of adventure and laughs and boozy goodness. Just what I like. Not ashamed to say I have a crush on Elise either. Very fun read!

Oh! I love the cover, too. Can’t always say that so it’s worth a mention.
Marybeth Coscia-Weiss
This can be a weekend read, but I did not want the story to end (So it became an extended weekend read).
Lady Elise and Nessa Clay, two girls from two different classes meet under interesting circumstances and hatch an escape plan to the nearest city. Elise's personality is strong and outspoken which paired well with Nessa's quiet but determined demeanor. The romantic portion of the story is well paced without giving much away. Overall, it was a great starter in what I hope to be a lasting serie
Chelsey Walker
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another absolutely brilliant book by Emma! I couldn't Putnam it down. The adventures Elsie and Nessa go through and the growth both women go through is amazing and keeps you one your toes. Patiently waiting for the second installment (well maybe not so patiently LOL)
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many great things to say about this book.
I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to see where this adventure took these characters.

I loved seeing the two main characters grow and form a friendship, and then go to liking each other but both being scared the other does like them, and them finally getting together.
All the friendships that are formed. Hunter is a great character.

This book has adventure, comedy, romance and a little mystery.
Such a good read.

Can't wait to purchase my paperback copy
Kristin Charles
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely book, this was my first time reading this authors work. I will definitely be checking out her other books. Fast paced and enjoyable characters.
Heather Henkel
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This was a really awesome book. I like the world seeing and the purple in the story. I think Hunter is a great character and of course I love the main ladies. There really aren't enough books in this genre. I can't wait for the next book.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Pleasant Surprise

I love this book's cover. Inside isn't too bad either! Not a lot of lesbian novels taking place in an alternative world, so I'm really looking forward to the world building in the following Tinderbox titles. My one criticism is that I would have preferred less dialog and more narrative.
Nicole Person
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Surprising Delight

I wasn't sure what to expect from this work of fiction. Sterner-Radley didn't disappoint! Great mix of fantasy and well developed characters. Can't wait for part 2!
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Emma Sterner-Radley spent far too much time hopping from subject to subject at university, back in her native country of Sweden. One day, she finally emerged with a degree in Library and Information Science. She thought libraries was her thing, because she wanted to work with books, and being an author was just an impossible dream, right? Wrong. She's now a writer and a publisher. (But still a lib ...more

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The Tinderbox Tales (2 books)
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