Book Spotlight: Vampire Creed by Rain Grey

VampireCreedVampire Creed by Rain Grey

Synopsis:

Barnaby Blaine Rice was a Vampire born in the depression with a very special power to see who people truly were. After a long, empty existence of witnessing the darkest points of humanity, Blaine happens to encounter a beautiful married woman named Mary Slate. Unable to handle his love for the beautiful human, Blaine accidentally kills another Vampire over her and is put under a serious debt with the Vampire Council.

Blaine reluctantly forces himself to forget the woman and allows her to live her life without his intervention. It wasn’t until 50-years-later that the distant memories of the captivating Mary are brought back to the surface. Blaine has the pleasure to encounter the young Wendy Slate, granddaughter of Mary Slate after a criminal vampire keeps her hostage. Blaine got there in time to stop the criminal, but not to stop the beginning of Wendy’s transition into Vampirism.

As he was forced to sire her into this new world, he discovers that Wendy is the most amazing person he’d ever met. Wendy has to make a life-altering decision as Blaine has to deal with his blooming feelings for a woman who was identical to his first love. This modern love story introduces the most influential turning point of these lover’s lives.

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Book Spotlight: Wings of War by Karen Ann Hopkins

 

EmbersWings of War by Karen Ann Hopkins

Synopsis: 

There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them.

Embers is an epic paranormal adventure/romance about a seventeen year old girl who discovers that she’s immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt’s boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember’s exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she learns that she’s a Watcher, a descendant of angels.

While Ember is instructed about her heritage and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two teenagers who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the young men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it’s cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war that’s been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil, and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She may be one of the few champions willing to make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.

Embers is the first novel in the dark and gritty YA paranormal romance series, The Wings of War.

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Book Review: Division Zero by Matthew S. Cox

perf6.000x9.000.inddSynopsis:

Most cops get to deal with living criminals, but Agent Kirsten Wren is not most cops.

A gifted psionic with a troubled past, Kirsten possesses a rare combination of abilities that give her a powerful weapon against spirits. In 2418, rampant violence and corporate warfare have left no shortage of angry wraiths in West City. Most exist as little more than fleeting shadows and eerie whispers in the darkness.

Kirsten is shunned by a society that does not understand psionics, feared by those who know what she can do, and alone in a city of millions. Every so often, when a wraith gathers enough strength to become a threat to the living, these same people rely on her to stop it.

Unexplained killings by human-like androids known as dolls leave the Division One police baffled, causing them to punt the case to Division Zero. Kirsten, along with her partner Dorian, wind up in the crosshairs of corporate assassins as they attempt to find out who – or what – is behind the random murders before more people die.

She tries to hold on to the belief that no one is beyond redemption as she pursues a killer desperate to claim at least one more innocent soul – that might just be hers.

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About the Author: MCox_02_Light_wb2

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.

Awards: Prophet of the Badlands (excerpt) – Honorable Mention – Writers of the Future

            
My Review:
It’s lovely to come across a book that can boast a really good genre mash-up, and sci-fi really lends itself to this. This book had lots to think about in, and really pushed the boundaries of imagination. My only complaint as a reader was that the story was somewhat jerky and I couldn’t relate to Kirsten.
From a writer’s perspective, there was a lot going on, I mean a lot, and trying to keep everything straight was difficult which took from the enjoyment of the story. It was written 3rd person and perhaps this confusion could have be lessened by writing 1st person. It would have given more depth to the protagonist and eased the story through from one of point of view, limiting the amount of information that the author could have forced at the reader. Kirsten comes across a little young in her actions and character, which makes it hard to really relate to her, or believe in her.
The front cover is very cartoon-like and so looks more like a lower YA read than anything else. I doubt it’ll help it on the virtual book shelf, brown doesn’t stand out as a colour compared to the more eye catching reds and blues.
I’d give two big thumbs up for the idea of the book. 3 out of 5 stars for the book overall.
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Book Review: Path Unchosen by Kim Cleary

Path-Unchosen-by-Kim-ClearySynopsis:

When eighteen-year-old Judy Hudson discovers she’s a necromancer and sees first-hand the pain her powers can cause the dead, she just wants to deny who she is. The zombie plague is long over. She wants to find a more normal life, but that’s a challenge when a beautiful otherworldly man, who claims to be her guardian, saves her life.

Judy tries to set right the harm she inflicted on a spirit she raised, but new zombies attack—zombies raised from among the long-time dead. Someone else just like her is out there, and he’s not trying to set anything right. To save her own life, and protect the innocent inhabitants of the nearby town who’ve become her friends, Judy has to figure out who’s raising the dead and why. She must also learn to control the darkness inside her—a seductive darkness that promises her power beyond her wildest dreams.

About the Author: authorheadshot2

 Kim writes urban fantasy for anyone who longs to discover they are extraordinary. She writes about hopefulness and determination, and about heroes who push through extraordinary situations and obstacles, one step at a time. Magical friends and gorgeous guys help, or hinder, in one adventure after another.

When not writing, revising, or thinking about writing, Kim gardens, plays with her dog, chats on social media, catches up with friends or cooks an Indian feast. She is a member of Writers Victoria, Romance Writers of Australia, The Alliance of Independent Authors, and a certified chocoholic.

Kim grew up in Birmingham, UK, studied medieval history and psychology at Adelaide University in South Australia and has worked all over Australia and in London. She now lives with her husband and an adorable Cocker Spaniel in Melbourne, Australia.

My Review:

With soooo many zombie books about nowadays it’s hard to find a good angle that hasn’t already been flogged to death, risen and been shot in the head. But Kim Cleary has actually managed this with Path Unchosen. To have your main character as a necromancer in the zombie invasion is a brilliant concept!

It kind of reminded me of ‘The Forest of Hands and Teeth’ where, although its set in the future, it very much feels like we’re with the characters in the past. The beginning of the book was a little slow to get cooking, the orphanage was very binding to the protagonist, Judy (as it should be) so I was chomping at the bit to see her spread her wings – which was probably what the author wanted. Sadly, even when Judy is free she doesn’t develop much as a character, and comes across still very child-like, even though she is supposed to be 18 – maybe because she had a sheltered life?

From a writer’s perspective, it was very well written with some lovely turns of phrase that really impressed me. The flow wasn’t overly steady though, and the plot seemed jerky at times. There were also a few grammatical errors – but hey you can probably find some here too of you look hard enough ;)

The front cover is nice, but doesn’t stand out to me. I think if it were to have Judy on the front and perhaps a more dystopian feel to it, it would be more attractive and represent the book much better.

Overall I’d give Path Unchosen 3 out of 5 stars. My hat is off to Kim Cleary for the whole concept and it’s a promising start to a new series.

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Interview with Monique Snyman

Monique Author PicTell us about your publishing journey.

I’ve always been a writer, but I only took the plunge to become a full-time author in 2009.  I was in my third year of university, still searching for a vocation that would ultimately become my life, when my younger sister suggested I write a novel.  She didn’t intend for me to quit school, but I did, and “Charming Incantations: Enticed” was born.  I was only twenty at the time, I was incredibly naïve, and I will admit that I had no idea what I was getting into.  Then again, I don’t regret my decision.  My book was picked up a couple of times by publishers.  The first publisher accepted the novel in 2010, but I pulled the manuscript before they could work on it – I didn’t feel comfortable there – and the second publisher actually published “Charming Incantations: Enticed” in 2012.  Unfortunately they went out of business, so I needed to find someone else to publish the whole series, and Rainstorm Press came to my rescue early this year.

What part of being a writer do you love most?

I’m not a megalomaniac under normal circumstances, but whenever I open a document affiliated with my writing, I turn into a vengeful goddess ready to strike fear into the hearts of my characters.  Other than that, I’m also a dreamer, and throughout my life I’ve seen things differently.  By writing, I’m able to create a whole new world with words.  Besides that though, I love to wake up in the morning and realise that my office is everywhere and nowhere…  Of course, that’s just some of the perks of being a writer.

Which part do you hate most?

The money obviously sucks.  I’m a full-time author, so I rely on my book sales.  I also hate reading some of my older pieces, because I’ve grown as a writer and as a person, and it just makes me cringe.

What life advice have you been given, that you wished someone had given you sooner?

“You are who you are, so embrace life and screw the rest.”

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

Hmmm.  Well, maybe this sounds a little sadistic (or perhaps even morbid), but I’d love nothing more than to be the Grim Reaper.  Being Death is like being a writer without having to edit yourself the whole time.  Although, I’m sure George R.R. Martin would be the first pick if that position becomes available, so I’m not holding my breath.  *giggles*

Which paranormal creature scares you most and why?

Demons.  You really don’t want to know why…

Twilight Saga – loved it, or hated it?

The Twilight Saga was published during my teens, but although I read all four books, I found the writing terrible, and Bella to be a very bad example for girls.

If you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you eat?

*grins* Milosh Moore is the Vampire Representative in the “Charming Incantations” series, and I suppose dinner with him would mean I’m on the menu (honestly, I don’t care, he’s sarcastic and sexy enough to make me do anything).

Who are your favourite authors and why?

I suppose I’ll sound old-school, but my favourite authors are Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchet and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  I’m also enjoying Kim Newman, as well as George R.R. Martin.  The list goes on though.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m almost done with the first book in my new supernatural series, called “Mocking the Raven”.  It’s a part of the “Project Anonymous” series.

Synopsis: “There are no exceptions. There are no quitters. There is no turning back.

The Project Anonymous initiative was created by the government in the 1940’s to protect the world from the wicked and inexplicable things that threaten mankind’s existence.  Unknown to the public, these soldiers are highly trained to defend and save us all from the clutches of evil and the best place to begin a career like this is by applying to Fairview Military Academy…

Bodies are piling up and the cause is somewhat unknown.  The people of the small town on the outskirts of East Tennessee are confused when the healthy, young residents start dying from what seems to be middle-aged illnesses.  Heart attacks, cerebral aneurysms and strokes are undeniably some of the more questionable deaths, but when a grown man of twenty-three dies of pneumonia on a warm summer’s night, it is clear that something odd is at work.  An unlikely duo of Project Anonymous soldiers is paired up for the case.  Enemies of sorts, Isla and Lucien are forced to set their differences aside in order to solve the mystery.  But while they hunt the creature, there’s still a good chance that these misfits will kill one another in the process, or worse, actually come to a mutual agreement that they have more in common than they like to admit.”

When I’m done with this book, I’m starting work on the third book for “Charming Incantations”.

Where can fans find you online?

 *laughs* I’m everywhere, but here are some links to help you in your search:

Twitter

Facebook

Blog

Pinterest

Goodreads

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About Charming Incantations: Enticed e

When Lisa Richards’ parents died, she never thought her life would change as drastically as it did.  Now she has to take over her father’s seat on a secret supernatural council, lead troops into battle against the ferocious Goblin Lord, and try not to get herself killed in the process.

To make matters worse, Lisa thinks she may be falling in love with the socialite werewolf who was simply supposed protect her.

Whoever said growing up was easy, clearly didn’t have to save the world every other week

Buy Enticed.

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.

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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.

Buy Trial by Fire

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Interview with Kira Synder

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How did you get into writing? 

Thanks for having me on the blog, Nicky! I’m so happy to be here. I was a voracious reader as a kid – an addiction I’ve happily never gotten over. From that it was a short jump to writing professionally, everything from plays to videogames to my current work as a screenwriter and novelist.

What advice would you give other authors?

It sounds blindingly obvious, but finish things. Many aspiring novelists and screenwriters have a single half-completed book or script that they just keep tinkering with. I recommend that you finish a project, give it a solid and thoughtful rewrite, then move on to the next. You’ll only get better with practice.

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

Does witch count? I’d love to be a witch like Tilly, the best friend of the heroine Celia in my Parish Mail series. Powerful, in touch with the natural forces around us, and able to do good in the world with that power. Plus, she has an awesome raven as a familiar.

What’s your favourite social media outlet and why?

Twitter’s my favourite. Breezy and simple, it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and interesting people, catch breaking news, and be entertained.

What’s the last book you read? And what was your thoughts on it?

I recently finished THE WORLD WITHOUT US by Alan Weisman, which describes what might happen to the Earth if every human vanished suddenly. Fascinating speculation, and a sobering portrait of the harm we’re doing to the planet. I read it chiefly as research for THE 100, the TV show I’m currently working for, but it’s the kind of book that I read for fun. I love science. I usually alternate nonfiction with novels, and so right now am reading PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, which I’m honestly embarrassed to not have read before now! It’s marvelous, of course.

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If the Parish Mail books were made into a series, who would you cast as the leads?

My ideal cast would require some time travel to get all the actors at the right ages. Kandyse McClure (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) as Tilly, Liam or Chris Hemsworth as Donovan, Avan Jogia (ABC Family’s TWISTED) as Luc. Jason Dohring, Alexander Skarsgard, or Joel Kinnaman as Sloan.

Celia, the books’ heroine, is a special case. I could see her played by actresses like Kristen Bell, Rosario Dawson, or Jamie Chung. Careful readers of Parish Mail will notice that I never describe precisely what Celia or her family look like. I want the reader to be able to picture Celia as any race.

What inspired you to write Dead Letter Office?

I was intrigued by the idea of how the ghosts of not just people but events – dark energy left by traumatic incidents like murder and war – might travel through time and affect the present. And how cool would it be to give a very modern girl, who’s skeptical of anything paranormal, the clues to solve present-day crimes in the form of letters that are decades or centuries old? New Orleans is the perfect place for these mysteries: it’s one of the few American cities where the new and the very old exist side by side.

If you can have dinner with a literary character, who would it be and why?

A double date with Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and my husband would be delightful. A lovely dinner, some dancing, witty wordplay…

What are you working on right now?

I’m writing the next Parish Mail book, codenamed PMX, which will be out later this year. Follow me on Twitter or check out my blog for clues as to what it’s all about.

I’m also busy on THE 100, a fantastically cool new YA science fiction show coming to the CW for midseason. It’s LOST meets BATTLESTAR GALACTICA with a LORD OF THE FLIES vibe.

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Where can fans find you online?

I’m on Twitter @sugarjonze, and my blog is http://what-fresh-hell-is-this.blogspot.com. I’m also on Goodreads and Readmill. I love talking to readers, so please do drop me a line!

Buy Dead letter Office

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Interview with Brandice Snowden author of Demon’s Veil

DemonSynopsis:

Powerful veils hold Earth apart from realms mortals believe are merely tales of myth and legend. They are opening again, leaving humans vulnerable, and the monsters ready to strike.

Marie Leveau prefers to remain alone and anonymous, for she knows what goes bump in the night, and sacrificing others isn’t part of her personality. But life isn’t always about getting what you want.

Contracted by The Organization, a shadow government agency, Marie is assigned a new Special Ops team, one she must introduce via Paranormal 101 to the very monsters they didn’t believe existed. Marie and her team are sent to Asia in search of an ancient relic, leading them into the jungle and tests of a fragile new bond. Despite the initial distrust, and an unholy battle with a demon-god, the team survives, their lives forever changed and woven into an unbreakable tapestry.

Returning home, the new friends sense the very people responsible for their safety are willing to sacrifice them all in the name of power.

They learn of a prophecy, and The Paladin, the one person able to close the veils and keep the mortals safe.

With few clues, the team must unravel the prophecy and figure out how to close the veils. Or the monsters will use Earth as ground zero, innocents be damned.

About Brandice:

brandiceI grew up around the tall tales and history of Texas. I worked my way through college just because I was told it was out of my reach; earning a degree in Literary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. Along the way I learned to shoot, wield a sword and even met a family ghost or two.

I have been an artist, teacher, military wife, mother and now novelist. I spend my free time indulging in my fantastical side, learning first hand skills my characters use in my books. I have a passion for history and mythology and use much of what I learn to create new worlds.

I currently resides on the Texas/Oklahoma border with the love of my life and my children of both two legged and four legged variety.

 Interview.

Tell us a bit about who you are and your publishing journey…

I am a 34 year old wife and mother.  My friend would say I am quirky; strangers would probably call me weird.  But I’m okay with that.  I enjoy thing like the Society for Creative Anachronism, art, history, and mythology has always appealed to me.

My publishing journey literally started with a dream; actually it was a nightmare.  I had this emotionally wrenching nightmare and turned it into a short story to get it out of my head.  My husband and friends badgered me to give them more of the story, which was how I found NaNoWriMo.  I hadn’t actually seriously considered writing a novel until that point.  One I got started the story just grew.  After winning NaNo, I saw a Curiosity Quills Press contest announcement in a facebook group and thought what the heck.  I had nothing to lose.  Low and Behold, here I am, winner of the contest with my first book “Demon’s Veil” published and the second book in the series nearly completed.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I just finished the newest Jim Butcher, “Skin Games”  and a cute little romance called “What Stays in Vegas” by Beth Labonte.

What is the best, and worst, thing about being an author?

The best thing about being an author is twofold…creating these characters that become such a major part of your life and then sharing them with others.  The worst thing for me at least is the marketing, especially with social media.  I can charm the pants off of you if we are in the same room, but I am still learning the ropes when it comes to charming people via a computer interface.

If you could add one more bit to Demon’s Veil – what would it be?

A holodeck program like you saw on Startrek.  I wish in some scenes that the reader could see what was going through my brain because words fall short sometimes.  But as far as the story, I wouldn’t add anything extra yet.  Once I end the series that may change though.

What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it?

The hardest part was my own self talk.  It’s a huge time commitment to write a novel and I often found myself saying, “I don’t know if I can do this.”  But in the end I barrelled through with “just one more page” or “five more minutes of writing.”   It’s amazing how those little goals can add up to such a big goal.

If Demon’s Veil was to be made into a movie – who would be your leads and why?

I would want Hugh Jackman for my Morgan.  He’s buff and sexy but also has a down to earth kind of quality that I like.  Marie is a little harder to cast.  Her character is Creole from Louisiana.  When I was writing her I thought mostly of a cousin of mine (My great grandparents were Cherokee and Creole French).  So I would love to see a Native American actress like Maija Tailfeathers in the part; but I also think there are some really talents African American actresses that could do well also.  I think Alexander Skarsgard would make a great Keiron. I’m not sure who to cast for Alejandro and Milana Delgado. Maybe give a talented newcomer a chance.  I know five leads is a lot, but this book is more of an ensemble cast.

I’m an evil villain taking over the world!! Are you with me? Or against me?

Well that depends….are you Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, or Chaotic evil? (Yes I know my nerd girl is showing LOL)

What’s your next project?

For the moment I am concentrating on completing the Veil Prophecy Trilogy; but I have also begun plotting an epic fantasy series based on Arthurian legend as well as two romance novel series.  One being a steampunk/mafia series set in the distant future one a new planet.  The other being a a series based on my own take of mythology from around the world.

Where can fans find you online?

Follow me on:

https://www.facebook.com/BrandiceSnowdenWriter

https://twitter.com/brandicesnowden

http://www.brandicesnowden.com/

Demon’s Veil on Amazon: