Book Review: Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell #1) by Jenn Bennett

9795263Synopsis:

Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . .

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time

About the Author:

JENN BENNETT writes the Roaring Twenties historical paranormal romance series for Berkley Sensation, the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series for Pocket Books, and YA contemporary romance for Macmillan (2015). She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two bad pugs. Visit her at http://www.jennbennett.net

My Review:

It’s always great to find a new series of books to devour – especially when the British summer hasn’t lived up to it’s promise, and curling up with a good book on the sofa is not so much a choice, but a requirement.

The world building was superb, although a few of the names/words were hard to remember at times and were quite similar – maybe a key at the back would have helped for those of us with short attention spans.

From a writer’s perspective, the plot was sharp and the pacing great. It was just the right size of a book to get a great story in, without feeling like you’re tackling a tome. Arcadia was a great protagonist but I found myself not really wanting to her to get with the male lead , Lon. I’m not sure why I didn’t like him, but I just couldn’t warm to him and really felt she could do better. One of my biggest gripes of an urban fantasy series is when the main character latches onto to a romantic partner early on in the books and stays with them, as this then takes the question of romance out of all the books to come – so I’ll have to wait and see if that happens here…

The front cover is lovely, nice colours and has a certain vitality about it – although the lady on the front doesn’t quite match the description of Arcadia – in the book she’s describe as big hips and kind of ordinary.

Overall, I’d give Kindling the Moon 4 out of 5 stars, a fantastic start – if you’re looking for a new urban fantasy series to get your hands on, look no further.

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Book Review: Fangirl_15 by Aimee Roseland

cover49083-mediumSynopsis:

Chloe is in love with Lucien.

He’s enigmatic, compassionate, generous and intelligent. Likes classical music just as much as kicking ass and knows his way around a kitchen, though he’d never admit it. His Samurai swords are an extension of his personality and a lifetime of heartache has taught him to wield them unfailingly. He’s gorgeous yet humble and can’t see past his own scars. Lucien feels deeply for his chosen family and is absolutely worthy of love.

Sounds perfect, right?

The only problem is that Lucien is a character in a novel.

The Dark Riders is one of the bestselling paranormal romance series of all time, and it was destined to have eight installments, one for each of the brothers-in-arms. Lucien’s story was supposed to be book eight, where he’d finally find true love and live happily ever after. Except the writer died before his story was published. Worse yet, book seven was finished by some poser that thought killing off one of the main characters would bring a more modern twist to the finale.

Chloe is absolutely devastated by the news that one of her “friends” is dead and that the series is canceled. She has a quasi-nervous-breakdown at work and ends up falling asleep in the lounge. Her midnight escape from the locked office lands her in a deserted parking lot after hours where an unseen force has been waiting. Just. For. Her…

The devastating attack strands her in an alternate reality where the Dark Riders are real and the horrible ending created by the publisher hasn’t happened yet.

Chloe decides that she’s been brought there to fix all of the storylines, and tries her best to convince the monsters around her that she’s there to help. She ends up mangling their plots more often than not and now must race the waxing moon to find a way home before Lucien accidentally falls in love with her instead of his destined mate. The Fates are working against her as Chaos interferes and the truth about what really dragged her over threatens to destroy everything that Chloe holds dear.

About the Author: 5758617

I was born and raised near Las Vegas, NV and grew up dreaming of rain. I also dreamt of heroes and villains and the women that inspired the best and worst in them.

It seemed like every book I read as a teen was a classic bodice-ripper. Wimpy-virgin-heroine always making bad choices and getting herself in trouble, cue the macho hero, yadda yadda yadda. Those books are what inspired me to write my own stories, not because I loved them, but because I constantly found myself tossing them aside and fuming. I would think of all the ways the story would have been better: if she had just picked up the sword and stabbed the bad guy when she had the chance…

I LOVE writing, and I love the new direction that fiction has taken over the last decade. So many amazing, strong female leads now! And so many new writers that finally have a voice in the indie publishing community.

I was blessed with a wonderful husband who supports my passion for writing and reading, and who really helped me focus my desire to publish my work. When I’m not busy enjoying my daughter and husband, I’m usually developing a new story idea, or sneaking in some time with my favorite authors.

I’m a bit of a hermit, they called it being “shy” when I was a kid, but I love hearing from fans. I also love ferrets, hiking, chili dark chocolate, strong coffee, nursing mamas, and rain.

http://www.aimeeroseland.com

My Review:

I’ve read a few books with this premise, a massive fan of a book series/ TV series is pulled into their world to cause havoc and fall in love with the character of her dreams. I read another one a while back that was so obviously based on Twilight that it was verging on copyright infringement, that one had the character dragged into this world, not the fan into the imaginary world though.

Fangirl_15 was actually a pretty good read, it was well plotted out and introduced some lovely characters and scenes. It was also very well written – which the other book I read, was not.

From a writer’s perspective I think that the story would have been better first person from Chloe’s point of view. As it was third limited, it kind repeated itself a lot, which did get annoying to read the same scene twice from two different perspectives. If keeping it third person, perhaps simply integrating the perspectives, rather than limiting, would have solved the problem.

The front cover is a bit of a let down. as it does nothing to capture the distinct urban fantasy vibe that the book has. This looks more like a thriller, which won’t do it any favours in the long run.

Overall, I’d give Fangirl_15 4 out 5 stars – definitely worth a read, as don’t we all want to get lost in our favourite books?

Book Review: A Shiver of Light by Laurell K Hamilton

a-shiver-of-lightSynopsis:

 I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. Legal name Meredith Gentry, because “Princess” looks so pretentious on a driver’s license. I was the first faerie princess born on American soil, but I wouldn’t be the only one for much longer…

Merry Gentry, ex–private detective, now full-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses, but when she learned she was about to have triplets, she began to understand what that might mean. Infertility has plagued the high ranks of faerie for centuries. Now nobles of both courts of faerie are coming to court Merry and her men, at their home in exile in the Western Lands of Los Angeles, because they will do anything to have babies of their own.

Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, is a more dangerous problem. He tried to seduce Merry and, failing that, raped her. He’s using the human courts to sue for visitation rights, claiming that one of the babies is his. And though Merry knows she was already pregnant when he took her, she can’t prove it.

To save herself and her babies from Taranis she will use the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as the Darkness, the Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares. They are her lovers, and her dearest loves, and they will face down the might of the high courts of faerie—while trying to keep the war from spreading to innocent humans in Los Angeles, who are in danger of becoming collateral damage

My Review:

Laurell K Hamilton has been one of my fav authors for a long time. I’m a big fan of the Anita Blake series and loved the Meredith Gentry books (although some were a bit hit and miss – overall they were a really great paranormal read)I love the fact that her main characters are not tied to one leading man, and it makes a pleasant change to have the ladies in control; so I was really looking forward to reading the next instalment in the lives of my favourite faes. When you read a series of book, such as the Meredith Gentry series, it kind of feels like spending time with old friends – and this book was a good catch-up session!

From a writer’s perspective, I felt a little irritated with the amount of minor character interaction. Part of the author’s success was the reader wanting to follow the stories of the attractive characters that she created, but this one kind of felt a little OTT. When Merry gives birth, the babies and their ‘ease’ with their many fathers could have easily come across in a few paragraphs, but seemed to go forever. With sooo many characters it felt like the story really didn’t get going till all the men in Merry’s life had had a ‘moment’ with each of the babies – which was frustrating when I wanted plot. When it did get going, it eases you back into the normal pace of her previous books, so perhaps less ‘Then Rhys took the baby and fed it, then Galen took the baby off him, then Sholto shifted another baby in his arms’ – ad nauseam…and more movement of the story would have gripped me earlier.

The front cover is very different from the previous ones – although this might be because it’s a different release in the UK and all the others will look the same – As it is different, I almost didn’t recognise it as part of the series and could have easily looked past it – so although pretty, perhaps doesn’t do the marketing many favours.

Overall, I’d give A Sliver of Light 4 out 5 stars – Nice to catch up with the feisty Fae Princess and see what happens after her happily ever after, and the kids start being painfully squeezed out.

Book Review: Midnight Crossroads by Charlaine Harris

Midnight CrossroadSynopsis:

 From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale—populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that’s how the locals prefer it…

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth…

My Review:

So, I’ve read a lot of Charlaine Harris. Her Sookie Stackhouse series was amazing (apart from the last one – don’t get me started there!) and I simply adored her Harper Connelly (brilliant from start to finish) So I was excited to get a chance to read this new book.

Midnight Crossroads gives us some of the secondary characters from the other series, and I was overjoyed to find Manfred there – a particular fav of mine from the Harper Connelly’s adventures, who I think was an incredible character and continued to be so during his stay in Midnight Crossroads.

From a writer’s perspective, it took a while to get into the story, everyone had to be introduced and the town of Midnight Crossroads is almost a character in itself (a lovely touch) But once it got going it was very engrossing. And what a great idea to move your less-used characters into a town together, it kind of ties all her literary worlds into one – fab idea!

As long as you don’t come to it thinking you’re getting an out and out paranormal mystery, but more along the lines of the Lily Bard and Aurora Teagarden books, then you’ll be thoroughly pleased.

The front cover is perfect for the book, it features the town and has some attractive colours in there – although as it’s a Charlaine Harris, it’ll be found relatively easily regardless.

Overall, I’d give Midnight Crossroads 4 out 5 stars – I still don’t completely forgive her for what she did to the Sookie series, but this does go some way to bend the bridges.

Book Review: Daughter of the Dragon by Nina Croft

daughter of the dragon princess kindleSynopsis:

Found abandoned as a baby and brought up in a children’s home, Lily Palmer has no clue that she is the last of the Dragon Princesses and destined to be mated to a king. But when she wakes up one night to find her apartment invaded by a stunningly gorgeous, but totally deluded madman, she can no longer ignore the dreams which have haunted her life.

Exiled on Earth, and trapped in human form, the dragons have waited two thousand years for the only person who can open the portal between their world and this one. Now they have found her and Malachite Smith has one job—to deliver Lily to his King. According to dragon law, only the King and the Dragon Princess together can open the portal and take them home.

But neither Mal nor Lily are prepared for the overwhelming attraction which flares between them. Or for his reluctance to hand her over to a king he despises. Can they stand as one and challenge the old ways, even if it means destroying his people forever?

About the Author:

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Website: http://www.ninacroft.com

Facebook: ttps://www.facebook.com/Nina.Croft.author

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Nina_Croft

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NinaCroft

My Review:

There are a lot of Dragon books available at the moment and although this one doesn’t stray too far from the normal plot lines of paranormal romance, it was one of the good ones.

It is third person and does head hop – which I’m not a fan of, but it flows nicely and to be honest, I didn’t notice that much and became too engrossed in the story to care.

Mal & Lily were great characters and their relationship is a slow burn (pun intended) that gives the reader a more likely ‘will they, won’t they’ love tug of war – which I feel, in a lot books I’ve read recently, seems some what missing – having the main characters in love before they’ve even met! Which is kind of a let down in a book with a strong romantic theme.

From a writer’s perspective there were a few scenes that were jerky and hard to follow and the 3rd person limited point of view strayed a few times toward the end, having both characters thoughts and actions present when it should have stuck to its original pattern of limited to the one character per section.

The front cover is interesting but doesn’t really do the book justice, and the characters on the front do not really look like those described in the book – which is a bit of shame as it makes the whole thing a little disjointed.

That said, I really enjoyed it and would give it 4 out of 5 stars, it would have had 5 out of 5 if it had gone through one more final edit and a cover revamp – then, in my opinion, it would have been a perfect paranormal dragon romance!

Daughter of the Dragon Princess RDB Banner 450 x 169

Book Review and Interview: Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson

154_Royal Street_REV

Synopsis:

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ’s boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters. While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerald St. Simon has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and the killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter roux.

About the Author:

On Aug. 28, 2005, Suzanne Johnson loaded two dogs, a cat, a friend, and her mom into a car and fled New Orleans in the hours before Hurricane Katrina made landfall.images (1)

Four years later, she began weaving her experiences and love for her city into the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, beginning with Royal Street (2012), continuing with River Road (2012), and now with Elysian Fields (August 2013).

She grew up in rural Alabama, halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis’ birthplace, and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years—which means she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football and fried gator on a stick.

She can be found online at her website or her daily blog, Preternatura. As Susannah Sandlin, she writes the best-selling Penton Vampire Legacy paranormal romance series and the recent standalone, Storm Force.

 Website       Blog      Twitter    Facebook      Goodreads

Interview:

Tell us about yourself.

By day I’m a (mostly) mild-mannered magazine editor working in higher ed; by night I write about hot guys and cool women, only a few of whom are actually human and none of whom, I must say, work at universities. University politics has influenced my work, however—it’s brutal! I’ve lived in five states, mostly in Texas and Louisiana, and currently live in Alabama. I have two geriatric furkids and…that’s about it. I’m pretty boring!

Tell us about your publishing journey:

I’ve worked as a journalist since finishing college, including a stint as a crime reporter for a daily newspaper, ambulance-chasing (well I never LITERALLY chased an ambulance, but I did roust the county coroner out of the shower once…not in person…ew). Writing novels was something I never really expected to do, but after I went through Hurricane Katrina as a longtime New Orleans resident, I decided to write a journal, which became a short story, and eventually ended up being an urban fantasy. I’ve gone the traditional route. I was fortunate to get a great agent, and she in turn has been able to sell my books both as Suzanne Johnson (urban fantasy) and Susannah Sandlin (paranormal romance and romantic thrillers).

When did you discover you wanted to be a writer?

I was actually on a pre-med track in high school because I liked both math and science, but I got involved in founding a literary magazine for our school (it’s still being produced, which amazes me) and by the time I started college went straight to English and journalism. So I’ve always written nonfiction. Writing fiction just sort of happened, and now I wish I’d pursued it sooner.

If you could be any supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

Well, it would depend on what the supernatural world was like. If it were the world of my Sentinels of New Orleans series, I’d want to be a wizard. They have some pretty cool skills and mainstream with humans well. It’s too hot in NOLA to sprout fur at the full moon, and I’m too fond of having legs to go the merwoman route (don’t call them mermaids—they’re quite liberated and don’t like it).

What are you reading at the moment?

Actually, I’m drafting a novel, and for me that means not reading in my normal paranormal. So I’m reading a genre I usually don’t read at all—contemporary romance. It’s a book by Jennifer Crusie that I’m going to use as a textbook for a plotting course I’m teaching in October, and I have to admit, it has made me laugh out loud several times. Shhh…don’t tell anyone. The other thing I’m reading is a nonfiction book about British operatives recruited by Churchill during World War II—research for the book I’m working on.

Who are the authors that inspire you?

I wish I had more time to read! In romance, I love JR Ward, although (and I can’t believe I’m admitting this), I’m two books behind with the Black Dagger Brotherhood—that’s proof that my schedule has been insane this past year! I also always tip my hat to Stephen King, whose books I grew up reading. My favorite urban fantasy author is Jim Butcher.

What’s your least favourite part of being an author?

Writing the first draft. It’s downright painful. The words don’t flow easily, and I always swear I’m not going to make it through to the end. There’s always a point—usually around the 35-40,000-word mark, where I just think “this is all crap.” But I plow through, and it somehow works.

What’s your favourite part?

I like revisions. Revisions let me play with words and layer in emotion and description and humor. It’s a good thing for me to have deadlines because, left to my own devices, I’d revise the same manuscript over and over until one of us—either me or the manuscript—was dead.

If you didn’t write Urban Fantasy – what would you write?

I also write paranormal romance under the name Susannah Sandlin, and am working on my first romantic thriller—it remains to be seen if I can actually write a book without at least one paranormal species in it! I’d like to dip my foot into writing historical fantasy at some point down the road. One of the things I most enjoy about the Sentinels series is that I have the “historical undead,” famous humans given immortality through the magic of human memory. So I get to research and bring to life characters like the pirate Jean Lafitte, jazz great Louis Armstrong, and voodoo queen Marie Laveau.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m drafting the fourth book in my Penton Vampire Legacy series as Susannah Sandlin, tentatively titled Deliverance, and plotting the fourth book in the Sentinels series so I’ll be ready to dive into that one as soon as the Penton book is done. I also have three more books due in the next nine or ten months, so it’s shaping up to be another busy year…which is a good thing!

Thanks for having me here today, Nicky! – It’s a pleasure Suzanne, drop by anytime!

My Review:

I loved the idea of this book series and to set it against the back drop of a natural disaster was pure genius. I liked DJ as the main character – but there were a few aspects of her personality which fall into the cliché urban fantasy heroine. She was more powerful than she thought. Sexier than she could ever imagined. Had serious family issues. Was forced to work with a sexy monotone lush mountain-like man. I’m not saying that this was necessarily a bad thing – but it does feel very samey to a number of other books in that genre.

From a writer’s perspective the flow was perfect and the turns of phrase evocative. Suzanne is a great writer and this is what sets the Sentinels of New Orleans apart from other very similar themed novels. I must admit, that I was curious about other reviews for this book and so scoped a few out on Good Reads. It would seem that they range from excellent to couldn’t finish and I think I can answer why that is. It depends on how often you read this genre. Someone new to it would think it was amazing. A reader whose main genre is urban fantasy and paranormal romance might feel it lacks lustre and gives us a cookie-cutter style protagonist.

I personally think it’s a great book. The world built for this series is well thought out and interesting – I just loved the Historical Dead. I have a squishy soft spot for first person narrative and, the more I read, the more I liked DJ – hey I think we all undervalue ourselves on the beauty stakes and probably even the talent stakes too.

The front cover is magical and gives you a clear image of what DJ looks like – I hate getting halfway through a book to be faced with a description of a character that doesn’t match your imagination.

Overall I’d give Royal Street 4 out of 5 stars and, with there being two more books on offer, it’s a real treat to get your paranormal teeth into.

Buy Royal Street 

Elysian Fields Banner 450 x 169

Book Review and Interview: The Exemeus by Folami and Abeni Morris

The Exemeus CoverSynopsis:

Her short life was devoted to love and to hate. Love of the man who stole her heart, hate for the man who stole the world. Murdered by the government she swore to destroy, she’s been given another chance to make it right. But to save the planet, she needs the help of the most powerful mystic the world has ever seen—unfortunately he hasn’t been born yet.

In a world where fear is the only currency, Dephon has committed the ultimate crime: inspiring hope.

His only goal is to make it safely through ninth grade, but on a post-apocalyptic Earth run by the Treptonian government, it isn’t that simple. Heir to a legendary power, Dephon Johnson is the only threat to the government’s rule. And on Trepton, all threats must be eliminated. When hundreds of assassins are dispatched to neutralize him, Dephon is forced to fight back. His only chance of survival is to enlist the aid of the greatest warrior the world has ever known. The only problem is, she’s been dead for 13 years.

About the Authors:

Folami and Abeni Morris are a sister-sister writing team. Together they wrote (and rewrote) The Exemeus, somehow managing to accomplish it without murdering one another. Despite their facial similarities, tendency to finish each other’s thoughts and stick up for each other constantly, no, they’re not twins and thus deserve their own individual bio.

Folami Morris

Folami grew up in the tiny city of San Mateo Ca, where nothing ever happens and no one ever leaves. She went to Xavier University for undergraduate, getting her B.A in physics and her B.S in Biology. After graduation she returned to California, to live in an even smaller city, where even less happens, Antioch Ca. During this time she escaped the monotony by hanging out with her imaginary friends Hyalee and Dephon, and by writing the Exemeus. She finally escaped to Queens NY and now realizes that quiet and tiny aren’t so bad.

Abeni Morris

As luck (and logic) would have it, Abeni grew up in the same tiny little town as her sister, then she too escaped to the tinier town of Antioch. She has yet to leave. She received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood development from Cal State East Bay. She is the mom of two amazing kids, who swear that they deserve a percentage of the book proceeds and a ton of the credit. At least she raised dreamers.

Interview:

Tell us about yourselves.

To keep it simple we are both educators who love to read and write when ever we can scrounge up spare time.

Tell us about your publishing journey:

Folami: It really was filled with rejection after rejection until I attended the backspace writer’s conference where agents actually said they liked what they saw. However, at that same conference I met Darcie Chan who talked about her self-publishing journey and I thought “I can do that”. I had an uncle who had been pushing us to self-publish anyway, so it all clicked together. I never contacted the agents and I started researching self-publishing.

 When did you discover you wanted to be writers?

Abeni: When I was nine. I would read a book that I just loved and I had to write my own version. At the time I didn’t know that was plagiarism, but it was the start of my writing career. I was only nine, sue me. As I grew up other interests took its place and I didn’t know I was going to be a writer until Folami told me we were going to write a book together. And here we are.

Folami: It was pretty similar for me. At 7 I would read books that just didn’t end the way I wanted them to end. So I would write my own endings. Eventually, I started to write my own beginnings too.

If you could be any supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

Abeni: I can’t say I’m dying to be a supernatural creature, but I would have to say a fairy.

Folami: Definitely not a vampire, sparkly or not, I love the sun way too much. I would have to pick a fairy as well.

What are you reading at the moment?

Folami: I am still reading Jennifer L Armentrout’s Apollyon. I love all of her series, especially The Covenant series.

Abeni: The Azemeon. I have a hard enough time keeping up with our book, let alone reading other books. When we finish I will finally get around to reading Hush, Hush. That is next on my TBR list.

Who are the authors that inspire you?

Folami: I am inspired by J.K. Rowling for her ability to impact millions of people’s lives and create amazing tales year after year. I’m also inspired by all self-published authors who are able to create memorable works.

What’s your least favourite part of being an author?

Abeni: The time it takes to make sure that every detail matches up. It is so time-consuming.

What’s your favourite part?

Folami: I love getting to hold the book in my hand at the end and to know that we wrote it. I also love talking to fans.

What’s it like working with another author?

Abeni: It’s great when its your best friend, but sometimes its tough to fuse ideas together when you’re both seeing the scene so differently.

What are you working on at the moment?

The Sequel! The Azemeon. We’re running late with its production, but hopefully the extra time will make it that much stronger of a novel.

My Review:

The Exemeus tells two stories, one of a mother and the other of her son and is written by two authors (sisters). I was a bit worried about this book for that reason. I myself have attempted to write with other authors and found the results both frustrating and pointless – however – this works. I’d presume that they each take part of the story to write separately rather than writing ‘together’, and if they did, it was weaved together seamlessly. If I hadn’t been told it was two authors, I’d have been none the wiser.

As YA superhero novels go, this has to rank a good one for me. An intricate world, that although is fantastical, remains believable. It was also very evident that there is more to come, as it ends on a big question mark.

The different words for things (such as Trepton for The Earth) were a bit confusing at first, and I must admit that I don’t like having to mentally learn a new language to understand what’s going on in a book.

From a writer’s perspective, I really have to commend the Morris sisters for the book. It flowed nicely, had exciting action scenes and was very well-written. Again even more impressive as it was two authors working together toward the same goal. Most of the time authors are like chefs in a kitchen!

The front cover does let it down for me. It really doesn’t do the insides justice. Although it has an attractive colour scheme, it’s kind of bland and I think that they should have gone for something a little less cartoonish.

Overall I’d give The Exemeus 3 out of 5 stars. Suitable for YA and upwards and definitely should be on your reading list.

Find the book: Amazon | GoodReads

Find the authors: Website 

Link below for the whole tour:

theexemeustourbutton

Win stuff here!!!

Make sure to check out The Exemeus Scavenger Hunt, where you can win a Kindle Fire or $150!  The first stop is at My Guilty Obsession, where you can get the first clues on this incredible journey for an amazing prize!  The Scavenger Hunt starts on Monday, August 26th and runs through Friday, August 30th.  Chances to win are through midnight on September 1st.  Buy your copy of The Exemeus today, if you haven’t already!

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Book Review: Affairs of the Dead by A.J. Locke

AffairsOfTheDead_ByAJLocke_453x680Synopsis:

Help ghosts, stop a thief, and try not to die…

Necromancer Selene Vanream helps ghosts settle their affairs so they can move on. But when breaking the rules gets her in trouble, she’s bumped down to tracking ghosts trying to avoid the afterlife. Ghosts like Ethan Lance, who claims he was kicked out of his body when someone else jumped in. Which might be plausible—if such a thing were possible. And if Micah, Selene’s partner, didn’t pull her into an investigation of brutal murders that lead directly back to Ethan.

But when the whole mess puts Selene’s life in danger, she suddenly has very personal reasons to get Ethan’s body back. Between her uncomfortable relationship with Micah, and problems with her boss, Selene learns just how much trouble it can be when you don’t follow the rules.

About the Author:

A.J. Locke is an author and artist, originally from Trinidad, now residing in New York City. Affairs of the Dead is her debut novel, and other than writing she enjoys reading, drawing, painting, graphic design, and watching too much television.

Blog: http://iqurae.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/AJ-Locke/522250584507699

Twitter:  @maqueripe

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17226279-affairs-of-the-dead

My Review:

Affairs of the Dead is set in a world where the paranormal is accepted, and well, normal. This makes a big difference to the story telling as it stops the author having to constantly hide her characters’ actions.

The protagonist Selene is head strong and sassy and I loved the way she handled herself in some very bizarre and sometimes dangerous situations. There’s a depth to her that will really resonate with urban fantasy enthusiasts. I must admit though that some of her choices and actions were questionable and I think she might prove to be a bit of a ‘Marmite’ type of character (for those outside the UK this means you’ll either love her, or hate her, with no ground in between) But then again, this is the case with most characters you care about. It didn’t end as well as I’d hoped – I can’t say much more for fear of ruining the ending – but I think that was where it let itself down.

From a writers’ perspective, again nothing really new here. The Laurell K Hamilton Anita Blake series has a similar concept of necromancers for sale and I’d just read The Necromancer’s Seduction too, so the premise didn’t amaze me – but what it does, it does very well. It’s got a good pace and a few naughty scenes here and there that spice it up. There’s a generous amount of humour and a solid story at the centre too. The writing was faultless, although some points were repeated a few times.

The front cover was great and again I admit it was the reason I choose to be part of the tour – I know, I should hang my head in shame, but deep down we all do it to some degree. I like pretty, shiny things (maybe I’m a book magpie?)

Overall I’d give Affairs of the Dead 4 out of 5 stars. A promising start to an urban fantasy series that I’d recommend to anyone looking for a good read to take them out of this boring world, and into a more interesting one.

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Book Review: Little Red by Trista Jaszczak

LittleRed1600x2400Synopsis:

Follow Sam Wentworth through the winding back roads of Louisiana, on a desperate escape from her past, where she falls into the arms of the unlikely and sometimes unwilling hero, Ethan Parker.

When circumstances and fate seal the two together, entangling them with his six older brothers, Sam finds her life changing in ways that she never imagined. Filled with feuding families and a little old bayou magic, can Ethan put aside everything he has ever known to keep Sam safe from the dangers that their lives and their love possess.

About the Author:

Trista Jaszczak (pronounced Jazz-ick) is a writer, military spouse and a mother. She is originally from Hamilton, Ohio but calls home where ever the military sends her and her family, which is currently Anchorage, Alaska. She has a great love for writing, the outdoors, fitness, guitar and the arts.

www.facebook.com/AuthorTristaJaszczak

www.tristajaszczak.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/TristaJaszczak

http://authortristajaszczak.tumblr.com/

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 My Review:

There’s been a recent uptake of fairy tales retold. Lots of books and movies out there that have taken the basic premise of a famous fairy tale and manipulated it into another story. I must admit that Little Red Ridinghood is one of my personal favourites. Plucky red coated leading lady, hunky lumberjack, and possible supernatural wolf – who could ask for more? Little Red takes the basic idea of the fairy tale, but not so much that you feel it’s too familiar. Trista did a great job of writing something that can definitely stand as a story in itself, if you took out the fairy tale aspect.

From a writer’s perspective, it is a little clunky in places and is a bit jumpy. But it doesn’t stop the enjoyment of the overall story. I loved the idea of the wolf curse and the back story of the brothers. I also adored the setting of Louisiana

The front cover really doesn’t do the story justice – it could have done with being something similar to the front covers of the Jessica Haines Forsaken series and perhaps featured Ethan and his brothers too, as they play a major part in Sam’s story.

Overall I’d give Little Red 4 out of 5 stars, it’s an original take on an old tale which turned out to be an addictive read.

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Book Review: Trial by Fire by Margarita Gakis

TrialByFire_CVR_LRGSynopsis: 

Jade leads a structured life: Routine job. Caffeine addiction. No serious relationships. And now, she can spontaneously set things on fire with her mind. Well… perhaps “normal” was never in the cards for her. As she questions her own sanity and spirals out of control, a man appears on her doorstep and tells her that, like him, she’s a witch.

Pulled in all directions, her unbridled magic draws dangerous attention and Jade wonders if she’s made the worst mistake of her life by joining a coven, or if she’ll even live long enough to regret it.

About the Author:

Margarita loves the art, creativity and romanticism of storytelling. Sometimes, however, the act of putting pen to paper proves challenging, elusive. She develops genuine, relatable characters which grow in the hearts of her readers. From that foundation, the stories flourish into a warm friend.

She enjoys pursuits which blur the lines between the analytical and creative sides of her brain. This includes her day job in electronic data management, where she uses her creativity to solve logical problems, and also her lessons learning to play the cello, where she finds beauty in the structure of music and the instrument. She believes there is a place for both logic and imagination to work together. When they do, the results are magical.

Margarita has a special spot in her heart for dogs and lives with three of them. It can be a little overwhelming but the quality snuggle time makes up for it.

Gakis1

Margarita lives in Calgary, Alberta with her family.

http://margaritagakis.wordpress.com

Twitter:  @margaritagakis

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/CovencraftSeries

 My Review:

I really enjoyed this book. I love a good witchy story and the main character Jade was easy to read and very likeable – which makes a big difference in the story. It had a solid plot with twists and the dialogue was especially good; I always think realistic aspects must be included in fantasy stories to keep them at least slightly believable.

I also liked Paris as a character. He was written well and wasn’t stereotypical or corny in any way – which can be a trap for this genre.

I especially liked Jade with her ‘days without incident’ countdown. It reminded me of one of my favourite TV shows ‘The Simpsons’ where, in the opening credits, Lenny falls off a ladder as he’s trying to hang their ‘days without incident’ sign.

From a writer’s perspective it was fast paced and flowed nicely. I finished the book within two days and it didn’t feel like a task or something that I was forced to do – it was a welcome distraction to spend some time with Margarita’s characters.

The front cover is very evocative and strangely beautiful – and it was what made me chose to review this book in the first place – I know, that’s really shallow of me – but I think it’s time to admit that most people do judge books by their covers.

It had a kind of Golden Compass meets True Blood feel to it and I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars. A promising start to a new urban fantasy series, as it definitely left it open for another book.

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