Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Short Review (June 24, 2017)

Hi there!  I am so excited to chat about the Shifter Clans series by Tiffany Shand.  Because this is my Saturday Short Review, I will only be pointing out three things that I enjoyed about the book.  However, if you are at all interested in reading it, I do suggest you do so!  This series is comprised of three novellas and will not take you a long time to complete.  It's perfect for the car ride on your way to your summer vacation!  Start it out right!

GoodReads Description
The complete series: The Alpha's Daughter, Alpha Ascending and The Alpha's Curse.

After being kidnapped as a child, Christy Daine was sent away from her shifter clan to live among humans. For over a decade she has lived in fear of the people who tried to kill her. Living with her bodyguard, Ronan, the two embark on a secret relationship that could get them both killed.

When her father, the alpha of all the clans demands she return home to marry a man he’s chosen for her, Christy will finally have to face her past and her true nature. Danger lurks around every corner and even Ronan might not be the man she thought he was.
As the alpha’s daughter, can she really choose between the man she loves and the man she is supposed to be with? And who can she really trust?

My Three Favorite Things

1. I loved Ronan!  Not only is he one handsome gent, he is absolutely devoted to Christy.  I typically find characters in novellas to be very under-developed.  Ronan, however, was very well written.  I enjoyed the spice and power he brought to this series.

2. I have an absolute love of all things fem power.  Christy starts off this series as rather timid, but then grows up to be a foe no one would want to face.  And, who expects a well-behaved "princess" to threaten to burn someone's balls off?!

3. I think it's really important to commend Shand on her wonderful world building.  Too often, this gets neglected in novellas because the emphasis is placed on the story instead of the setting.  However, Shand was able to combine the two and truly make a wonderful story.

I hope to read a full-length novel by Shand in the future.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Cover Reveal: Carry Me Home by Jessica Therrien


Carry Me Home
Jessica Therrien
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Young Adult
“A riveting page-turner… Jessica Therrien broke my heart into a million pieces — and then put it back together again. This book will haunt and uplift readers long after they turn the last page.”
-KAT ROSS, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea
CARRY ME HOME is a fictional novel inspired by the true story of a teenage girl’s involvement in several Mexican gangs in San Jose and Los Angeles. The members of her crew call her, Guera, Spanish for “white girl” and it doesn’t take long for her to get lost in their world of guns and drugs.
* * *
Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.
They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.
But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world.
Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.
Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival.


Author Bio:
Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release.
Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica’s work can also be found in a published collection of flash fiction stories called Campaigner Challenges 2011. Out of over 350 submissions her story, The Soulless, won first place for people’s choice and fourth place in the judging round of Rachael Harrie’s Writing Campaign Challenge. Her story, Saved, is also available as part of the anthology.
Jessica spent most of her life in the small town of Chilcoot, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In this town of nearly 100 residents, with no street lights or grocery stores, there was little to do but find ways to be creative. Her mother, the local English teacher, inspired her to do all things artistic, and ultimately instilled in her a love for language.
In 2003, Jessica attended California State University Long Beach where her passion for language found her studying Chinese, and in 2005 she moved to Taiwan to study abroad. From 2005 to 2006 Jessica was fully immersed in the Chinese language as she attended National Taiwan University, and in 2008 she graduated from San Diego State University magna cum laude.
Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two sons. She is working on an adult novel and a children's picture book.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cover Reveal: An Impossible World by S. P. Cervantes


An Impossible World
S.P. Cervantes
Published by: Amber Leaf Publishing
Publication date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Romance
What would happen if terrorism spread and hate took over? What would the world become?
Isabella (Belle) Grey trained her entire adult life to protect those around her––training that would prove invaluable in her quest to make a new life. Forced to live in an impossible world, terror was not only outside the walls of her protected community but also raged behind the walls of her very own home.
No longer willing to put up with her husband’s drunken abuse, Belle made the desperate decision to run away from the safety of her community and escaped alone into the broken world beyond.
Chased by death as bombs exploded in the distance, her next decision could not only save her life but could potentially bring light back into her darkened soul.
When faced with the impossible, Belle found strength in an unsuspecting stranger who set her path in a new direction––one she never considered.
Fear. Love. Revenge. Strength … all come together in this epic tale of fate and survival.


Author Bio:
S.P. Cervantes is the author of the acclaimed contemporary romance A BROKEN FAIRY TALE series. The series allows you to connect with a group of friends and their triumphs over tragedy. "Dust to Dust" is a suspenseful stand-alone romance that introduces readers to this close knit group of loyal friends. "Wished Away" is an emotional romance that should be read before the Bad-Boy romance, "His Jar of Hearts".
S.P. highly acclaimed romance called "The Wife" is now available.
S.P. is also the author of the highly rated Young Adult Romantic Fantasy trilogy Secrets of Shadow Hill. "Always and Forever", "The Prophecy", and "War of Wizards" that has been described as "Twilight Meets Harry Potter". It's not your typical romantic fantasy.
S.P Cervantes lives in Orange County, California with her husband and three children, where she is a teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, and running, but is always thinking of an idea for her next novel.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Review: A Bond of Blood and Fire by Karen Tomlinson

Title: A Bond of Blood and Fire
Author: Karen Tomlinson
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure

I received an eARC of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Description from GoodReads
A love bathed in fire. A destiny sealed with blood.

In a world ravaged by war, half blood fae Diamond Gillon must fight to survive.

Becoming a magical weapon for the fae queen is the only way to save her friends from execution, and the people of Valentia from the Wraith Lord and his army of the dead.

Commander Hugo Casimir has been ordered to train her, but Diamond struggles to trust him, and master the force of her own powerful magic. To complicate matters, the two share a rare, magical connection, a bond that will shape their fates and their hearts.

Love and loyalty will be tested as Diamond battles giants, shifters and an army of monsters in her quest to save Valentia. But will she defeat the Wraith Lord to avenge those she has lost, and triumph to save those she loves? Or will the Eight Kingdoms descend into chaos?

My Thoughts
I finished this book two days ago and I'm still trying to catch my breath.  I both love and loathe Tomlinson for her ability to pick up all of my emotions, put them into a tiny bag, and practice her mad kickboxing skills with her homemade punching bag.  I was definitely destroyed at the hands of this book.

After reading the first book, I was in love with Commander Hugo Casimir!  However, in ABOBAF Tomlinson spends the time to explain his past.  This adds a whole new layer of depth to him and it becomes very obvious why he has taken certain actions.  I love that no matter what he does, he puts Diamond before himself.  Even when whatever he's doing is going to hurt her.  He has a bigger goal in mind and definitely always tries to do the right thing.  

Diamond herself grows a lot in this book.  She moves from being a very confused, and somewhat whiny, individual to being a headstrong warrior.  Her strength shines out in this book as she begins to make choices for herself that may, or may not, be what are expected of her.

Despite the amazing character development, I was amazed by Tomlinson's description of each battle.  I was a bit afraid that the focus of this book would be on the romantic aspects and that the battles would simply be skimmed over.  I am so glad that I was wrong!  Tomlinson showed a new side of her artistic skills as each battle explodes into life.  Each scene was so well-written and included so much description that I felt like I was really there.  At one particularly heart-wrenching scene, I was crying so hard that my guy had to reach over and hold my hand.  

The sooner book 3 gets here, the better.

My Rating


About the Author
Karen has always been an avid reader. Her taste in books is eclectic but she likes nothing better than an exciting fantasy, set in a new and magical world. She lives in Derbyshire, England, with her husband, twin girls and her dalmatian, Poppy. Karen trained as a nurse and currently works as a resuscitation and clinical skills trainer, this involves training a wide variety of health care professionals and medical students in acute patient care. In addition to writing, and reading whenever she can, Karen likes to keep active. She has been training at Shotokan karate since being thirteen, likes walking, mountain biking and (for something completely different) cake decorating. She is currently working on book two in the Guardians of The Goddess series.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Gate of Air Cover Reveal


Gate of Air
Resa Nelson
(Dragon Gods, #1)
Publication date: July 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Frayka must find and convince the dragon gods of the Far East to appease the gods of her Northland heritage. If she fails, her own Northlander gods will destroy all the mortals who once promised to worship them.
The Far East is a mysterious place of legend to Northlanders like Frayka. Only an old map can show her how to get there. Once she arrives, all of Frayka’s sensibilities put her in danger. And every dangerous turn delays her from finding the dragon gods whose help she so desperately needs.
Although Frayka looks like a Far Easterner, she is a powerful Northlander warrior who is quick to voice her thoughts. She is trained to fight and won’t hesitate to do so.
But everything about Frayka puts her in deadly peril in the Far East, where the laws are strict and the punishment cruel.
Especially when the one being punished is a woman.


Author Bio:
Resa Nelson is the author of the 4-book Dragonslayer series: The Dragonslayer’s Sword (nominated for the Nebula Award, finalist for the EPPIE Award), The Iron Maiden , The Stone of Darkness , and The Dragon's Egg . Her 4-book Dragonfly series takes place after the Dragonslayer series.
Her standalone novels include the mystery/thrillers All Of Us Were Sophie and Our Lady of the Absolute .
Resa has been selling short stories professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and she is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years as well as a regular contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Legends of Deceit by Rebekkah Ford: A Cover Reveal


Legends of Deceit
Rebekkah Ford
Publication date: June 2017
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
They know her.
They want her.
They’re poised to attack, but then a mysterious warrior with piercing green eyes saves her and nothing will ever be the same.
When Haven Evergreen was twelve, a witch cast a memory spell on her. Ten years later, Haven comes home and finds her mother murdered and two hooded beings lurking nearby.
Larkin Vestergaard is part of an elite team of soldiers. He’s on a special assignment to save the daughter of his king. When he sees Haven, he’s shaken to his core. Could she be the girl he lost long ago?
Larkin escorts Haven to a magical world where mythical creatures both beautiful and frightening exist. The truth of who she really is unravels, tearing the very fabric of her life. Despite her fierce attraction to Larkin, Haven longs to be back home where things are normal. But she’s forced to embark on a new journey of love, duty, and honor. Yet the pathway is paved with deceit, and it becomes a journey of life and death.


Author Bio:
Rebekkah Ford is an award-winning author who writes paranormal fiction. She believes her fascination with the unknown derives from her childhood. When her parents were married, they were the directors of the UFO Investigator’s League. They also investigated ghost hauntings and Bigfoot sightings in addition to extraterrestrial cases. Rebekkah’s upbringing, knowledge and experiences with the paranormal world, along with her colorful imagination, aids her in creating her stories.
Rebekkah has an irreverent sense of humor, is known to annoy her beloved cat, Church, by singing opera to him (Rebekkah is tone deaf, btw), and she believes having a dirty mind makes boring conversations more interesting.

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saturday Short Review (June 3, 2017)

Title: Francesco Augustine Bernadone: A Brief History of Our Tomorrows (Love and Fear: The Future is Bucharest Book 1)
Author: Stan Faryna
Genre: Science Fiction, Post-apocalyptic, Futurism, Young Adult, Adventure 

I received an eARC from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

GoodReads Description
In 2026, hundreds of millions of gamers hustle in an epic, virtual reality to win real cash prizes. Zombies, ruthless players, scarce resources and menacing artificial intelligence are just a few of the challenges in ‘Jacob's Trouble’, where less than one in a thousand manage to level up, grind for gear and avoid permadeath in order to loot hidden treasures and find life-changing wealth.

Recently unemployed, Francesco sells his father's legacy, a Rolex watch, for guidance in the game. Caught up in the naive hope he’ll win the prize money for an experimental, nanobotic cancer treatment for his wife, the ex-janitor begins an adventure that offers all the promise of redemption, but far greater challenges than he ever realized.

Can Francesco, an eighty-year-old non-gamer, find windfall and fortune in this dark and dystopic virtual reality game? Zombies, guns, machetes and death in a game might seem inconsequential, but the cost of failure is a reality this elderly man cannot bear.

My Thoughts
Wow!  I was really impressed by how much was explained and developed in so few pages!  But, because this is a Saturday Short, I will focus only on my three favorite pieces.

1. I am freaking in love with Francesco, which may be weird, because he's an old, married man, but oh well.  I'm not looking for loving, I just adore the idea of an MC who is so very much in love with his wife that he is willing to put himself in harm's way if there is even a chance of saving her.

2. As previously stated, Faryna does A LOT with the few pages he uses.  New world?  Built it!  Believable characters?  Creates them!  Whole new money and post-apocalyptic system?  Done.  And, the best part was that I lapped it out of his hands as a bird yanks away hunks of bread.  One big problem with this?  I NEED BOOK TWO.  I seriously need to know if Francesco helps his wife.  Does he succeed?  Does he fail?  Does Carl finally bite the big one?

3. When I started reading this piece, I was sure that I wouldn't like it.  I was so damned confused that I didn't think I could go on for another minute.  Yet, for some reason I felt compelled to.  I got to the middle of the book before things really started to make sense.  Now, typically this is not a good thing in my book.  By the time I'm half done, I should be sure as snot about what the heck I'm reading.  Faryna, however, broke this rule.  I got to the midpoint and WHAM the plot hit me upside the head and made total sense.  I have a lot of respect for an author who can use words to confuse the audience as easily as he can put the final pieces together for that same audience.

I look forward to reading more from Faryna in the future.

My Rating

Stan Faryna can be contacted at any of the links below.





 


Friday, June 2, 2017

Review: Ahe'ey by Jamie Le Fay

Title: Ahe'ey
Author: Jamie Le Fay
Publication Date: April 26, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance

I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Description from GoodReads
Morgan's feminist books didn't prepare her to deal with the dashing Gabriel and the land of Ahe'ey...

Ahe'ey: The Complete Collection

Morgan is a dreamer, change maker and art lover. She is a feisty, slightly preachy, romantic feminist full of contradictions and insecurities. Morgan uncovers a world where women have the power, and where magic is no longer just a figment of her wild imagination. Sounds like a dream, but it may, in fact, turn into a nightmare.

The world of the Ahe'ey challenges and subverts her views about gender, genes, and nature versus nurture.

The strong and uninvited chemistry between her and the dashing Gabriel makes matters even more complicated. His stunning looks keep short-circuiting her rational mind.

My Thoughts
I cannot think of a better introduction to Le Fay's wonderful writing style than Ahe'ey.  I instantly fell in love with her imaginative and detailed descriptions and her subtle way of stating her political opinions.  

Le Fay deserves praise for her characterization skills.  Each one felt so real that I was able to understand their motives and ideals as easily as I can understand my own.  The same can be said for her world building abilities.  Not only does Le Fay bring a whole new world to life, she explains it well and it truly makes sense.  It is very easy to understand the foreign concept that is Ahe'ey.

Additionally, Gabriel was such an easy character to fall in love with!  I love how multifaceted he is.  There is the side of him that he brings out around his family, at work, and around Morgan.  Although I'm not completely convinced by their romance, I can definitely see the underlying attraction there.

The only problem I had with this book is that Morgan accepts Ahe'ey a little too easily.  Personally, I would think that all of the people explaining their land and rules would be off their rocker if I was suddenly just there.  I understand that she can see everything in front of her, but I was really surprised that she never had an overwhelming fit of confusion.  She merely accepts it all.  I'm not sure if that was meant as a survival tactic or if that was just part of Morgan's personality that I failed to understand.  However, the more realistic approach would have been for her to have some form of freak out moment.

My Rating

About the Author
From as young as I can remember, I have soothed myself to sleep by imagining epic stories of heroes, heroines, sorceresses, dragons, angels, and demons. I based my stories on the books and movies I was watching and the narratives that moved and inspired me.

I was as excited and delighted with Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre as I was with Battlestar Galactica (the original TV series). The Mists of Avalon, an Arthurian legend retelling from the point of view of the female characters, had as much effect on me as Cosmos by Carl Sagan.

I imagined myself occupying the boots of the hero as much as I occupied the glass slippers of the damsel in distress. The first one was what I wanted to be; the second was what society wanted me to be, and I believed them, for a little while.

I am fascinated by my inner world when it comes to associating myself with the male hero. From childhood, I wanted to be him and marry him. He was my role model, the courageous, honourable, virtuous, humble, and sometimes conflicted hero that is so well expressed in Aragorn, Darcy, or Apollo from the original Galactica. I never had time for bad boys. I was always mesmerised by stories of brotherhood: two men that would honour and risk their lives for each other. How I wished at the time to see women portrayed in the same way.

My relationship with female characters was more complex, possibly reflecting my relationship with myself and mirroring the bare, deserted female landscape provided by the media at the time. My youth and my inner world were most influenced by Zimmer Bradley’s Morgaine Le Fay, the underdog, the magician, and the misunderstood and undervalued priestess of my childhood who painted a vivid picture that the world does not welcome powerful women, that they are rejected, vilified, and unloved. She was the character that made me want to be the powerful dark-haired, average-looking sorceress instead of the beautiful blond girl who got to marry the king.

As I grew into adulthood and discovered quite late in my life the welcoming arms of the feminist movement, I went through all stages of grief, including rage. Fortunately, rage does not last long in the body of a creative optimist.

As I gained the courage to write my own fiction, I was conflicted. I knew my imagination and power came from my truth, but I also knew I needed to honour the millions of voices that are screaming for better representation of minorities. I am one of those voices, dissecting each new book and movie, criticising the stereotypes, the common places, and the limiting depictions of gender, race, and sexuality.

This book was a great teacher that opened my eyes about how difficult it is to write engaging fiction and do justice to the people of the world. Can a Western, Caucasian, European woman really do justice to diversity beyond gender? Can she avoid creating stereotypical villains and heroes?

In the end, I have done my best to honour the world while being true to myself and to the characters and stories that inspire me. To be able to pour my heart out, I had to let go of what I should be feeling and writing. I had to embrace my flaws and my inner demons.

So that is all, what is left is a book that fully embraces everything I love: feminism, romance, friendships, social justice, environment, science, magic, and art. I found a big old pot, put in a few archetypes that have inspired people from the beginning of times, and mixed in the story lines and characters that have touched me throughout my life. I seasoned it all well with social consciousness and the life lessons that have made me grow as a human being. I fully embraced my geekiness and my romantic heart. I have submitted to my, sometimes overwhelming, idealism—the idealism that keeps my fire burning and gave me the courage to write Ahe'ey.

Much Love, Jamie

Thursday, June 1, 2017

TS901 Cover Reveal


TS901
Stacey Rourke & Tish Thawer
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult
Tainted water for the good of the people. Fluoride and vitamins to sustain the health of the human race. Added ingredients to extend and elevate the quality of life. All good things, right?
Wrong.
Thia Kelly has been changed by the TS901 chemical in the world’s water supply. Now, forced into hiding with the other inflicted outcasts, she struggles to survive as her powers emerge.
Evan Daniels hunted for others like himself, and finding Thia suddenly brought meaning back into his life. Love blossomed between the strange couple while they searched for a way to reverse the effects. Unfortunately, the Government had something else in mind.
Super-soldier creation on a mass scale was their end goal, and thanks to an unfortunate family tie, Evan became Patient #1.
Good-guy? Bad-guy? The world isn’t sure, but Thia is left with only one choice––save the ass of the world’s first Anomaly who just happens to be her boyfriend.


Author Bio:
Tish:
2017 – #1 Bestseller in Historical Fiction (Witches of BlackBrook)
2015 – Best Cover – Penned Con (The Witches of BlackBrook)
2015 – Readers Choice Award – Blogger Choice Awards (The Witches of BlackBrook)
Bestselling and Award Winning Author, Tish Thawer, writes paranormal romances for all ages. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.
Tish is known for her detailed world-building and magic-laced stories. Her work has been compared to Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. She has received a RONE Award nomination (Reward of Novel Excellence), as well as nominations for Best Cover, Reader’s Choice, and Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery).
Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer, and is a columnist for Gliterary Girl media and has bylines in RT Magazine and Literary Lunes Magazine. She resides in Colorado with her husband and three wonderful children and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin, and Fountain Literary Management.
You can find Tish on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTishThawer

Stacey:
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
Facebook at www.facebook.com/staceyrourkeauthor
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.

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