Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Review of The Other Inheritance by Rebecca Jaycox


We start our story meeting Reggie, a young adult who has had a sad start. She has lost her father and her mother has turned to drink from the loss.  She is a social outcast at the best of times, so when a biology lesson results in the unexpected reanimation of a frog at her hand, she finds herself a laughing stock and utterly confused with her ability.   That’s not the only issue that Reggie is dealing with, visited by a man named Rhys in her dreams she learns that her father was not all he has seemed.  Rhys comes to her dreams from “the Other” (our world is “the Real”) and revelations that her father was from magic leads Reggie to discover she inherited that magical gift.  Reggie's "gift" very soon becomes her curse when she is told she must uproot her life to come to the Other for protection as there are those that would seek to harm her for what she is.  Someone is coming to protect her in her journey

Asher works as a slave for Andrius, ruler of the other, he is tasked to recover Reggie before Rhys, and return to the Other under a false pretence.  When Reggie and Asher meet, they connect immediately and trust is given freely.  Their journey is fraught with danger and twists in allegiance, can the foe become the friend?   What is Reggie and why is she so important?

In the round this was a very enjoyable read, all the main characters are instantly likeable and relatable in their flaws. Even Reggie’s mother can’t be seen as bad for turning to drink, she is clearly broken over the loss of Reggie’s father, Sebastian.   The world of the Other has some spectacular scenery and creations which is why I love reading fantasy so much!  it really allows your imagination free reign and this story gives you just enough to build that world without too much and overwhelming you with description over plot.  By far my favourite character though is Brwyn, a changeling, who has an uncanny knack of being at the right place at the right time.  He is enigmatic, charming yet entirely loveable as you know there is no hidden agenda, I loved it when he turned up!  

The action really ramps up in the last 30% as Reggie starts to fully embrace her legacy and allows herself to open up to her powers without fear. In this latter 3rd it becomes a real page turner and I couldn't put it down, willing the characters forward, one part where Reggie has to hide in a fireplace will have you holding your breath as you read.

My only downside with this story is that I occasionally found some dialogue confusing and there were parts which for me, could have had some more explanation (which I now have as Rebecca Jaycox was amazing at chatting it through with me.) The ending, however, is bittersweet because as a reader we are privy to more information than Reggie which sets us up nicely for book 2!

I very much recommend giving this a read and gets a 4 out of 5 from me!


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Review of The Alpha Plague by Michael Robertson

In the not so far off future the second cold war has led to worldwide ban on arms, unbeknown to the majority of inhabitants and workers of Summit City, it’s top scientists are working on a way to wreak war without guns.  Our protagonist Rhys, is a worker within Summit City, low down on the chain, he is tied to a desk next to his ex wife and spends his day working out how to get better access to his son. All that comes crumbling down when an explosion erupts from the area of the mysterious Alpha Tower, the "experiments" come crashing out into the square creating a deadly army of Infected from the first few out the door.  Rhys now faces a race against time to escape Summit City and reach his son before the infected get there first.

This is one intense ride of a story, initially played out in 2 parts between Rhys and within the Alpha Tower itself until both stories come together.  There are parts that will make you not want to turn the page for fear of what is coming next and other parts where your page turning is going as fast as your heart!  It’s a mid length book which adds to the need for good pace (which it has) and the scenes are played out pretty much in real time.  Rhys is a character that you want to root for, he has his flaws and there is a revelation that knocks his halo for a while but ultimately you have to love him, if only for the fact that he’s just as unfit as most of us would be when suddenly faced with constantly running from the infected hoard’s.  It’s these little touches of realism that really ground the story and add to the intensity.

It does end on a cliffhanger of sorts, although that part of the story is done it’s no way near a neat little bow, I shall definitely be reading more of this series!

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Review of Tatyanna by Lindsay Johnston

Tatyanna has always felt like an outsider, never really fitting in and feeling almost invisible to those around her, save for her beloved rescue cat Tux.  When she turns 21, her party with her untwinny twin leads to a seemingly random encounter with Dimitri, who is there to settle a score with a partygoer, but ends up fully noticing Tatyanna, much to her surprise.   Meeting Dimitri sets in motion a chain of events taking her towards a destiny she could never have imagined, far away from the world she knew as home.

This book is amazing and I loved every second of it!  Tatyanna is a fantastic character and I really clicked with her, witty and sarcastic - she's my kind of girl!  The supporting cast are equally well crafted, they all have their part to play and will have you loving and hating, depending on the character of course!  The conversation between the characters was easy going and funny at times and despite the depth of the world it never became overly caught up in lore.  The imagination of the author pours out into every paragraph and there are no wasted pages which considering the length of the book is quite a feat.  I have such a respect for fantasy authors because of the intricacies needed to create their worlds, the scenes in Tatyanna leaped off page for me, beautiful castles, whispering forests, waterfalls and wondrous displays arising from manipulation of the elements, Tatyanna has the element of water with beautiful swirly waves and rainstorms.  

This is far from fluffy fantasy though, there are some upsetting scenes and a massive battle set piece which really pulls little in the way of punches, which all leads to the perfect balance within this book.  There are lots of twists to the tale and you will be left questioning who you can and can’t trust right alongside of Tatyanna.  Overall, I would say that this was a very accessible fantasy read, if you aren’t sure of the genre or maybe have been put off by really dry fantasy in the past, this is the book to change your mind, I recommend this book to all readers, I promise you will not be disappointed!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Author Interview with Lindsay Johnston

For this weeks spotlight, we welcome debut author Lindsay Johnston, who released her first book Tatyanna, a fantasy adventure, last year! 

Q: For those that are new to Lindsay Johnston, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books?

Lindsay: I am a mother of two rambunctious adorable kids, a wife and I work full time for a non profit as an educator. When I’m not working or writing, I also play World of Warcraft, and I enjoy working out (mainly so I don’t feel guilty for eating the way that I do).  I currently am working on a fantasy series about a young woman, Tatyanna who has spent her entire life feeling like she doesn’t belong, especially in her own family. Weird things start to happen to her, that she can’t explain and eventually she finds out that she is a princess from a hidden world and has the ability to heal people with her touch. She has to make the choice if she is strong enough to leave the only world she has ever known to save her people that she never knew existed.

Q: At what point in your life did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Lindsay: I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Growing up, writing was very difficult to me partly due to a learning disability so it was something that I always struggled with and never felt good enough. In my youth I was HUGE into scary stories, R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike etc so some of my stories I would write had some sort of blood and gore in it. In High School, I used to write poetry and then as an adult, I had an idea and I just ran with it, and Tatyanna was formed.

Q: Do you need peace and quiet to write or do you have a playlist to keep you going?  If you do would you share it with us?

Lindsay: It varies. I prefer to listen to music when I play because it helps keep my mind focus and music helps me to come up with ideas. Music is a big part of my life. I don’t have a play list, I probably should. For Tatyanna, I can tell you that I listened to a lot of Ra and a few of their songs inspired some scenes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_(Ra_album) Do you Call my Name, Rectifer What I Am. Fallen Angels, I Lost Everything Today etc. Pretty much this entire CD inspired various parts of the book. One Republic: Stop and Stare

Q: Are your characters always a complete work of fiction or is there an element of someone you know to start the idea rolling?

Lindsay: Oh geez, for this book, Several of the characters were inspired by someone I know personally or an object or previous fascinations.
Q: What are your experiences of being an Indie Author, do you find that social media is a help or a distraction to your writing?

Lindsay: Social media is a blessing and a curse. It’s been great because it’s gotten me connected to the Indie Book World, and to be honest I never realized how big and complex this world really is. It’s a distraction because of facebook’s silly games and spending hours checking out what other people have done or are doing.

Q: What are you currently working on or is it a secret!?

Lindsay: I am currently working on book 2: of my series: Seraphina (Princess of Air). I have also thought about revamping a half written book that is a paranormal murder mystery and maybe publishing it between books 2 and 3. Not sure yet.
Q: For Tatyanna, you created a fantasy world that she was unknowingly connected to, how do you go about creating a new realm like that?

Lindsay: I was a hardcore gamer when I first thought of the idea for Tatyanna. It started with me being bored at work one day and asking myself “Wouldn’t it be cool if this game was real?” from there different ideas flowed through my mind until I settled on the hidden world, something that was once there but not. I have always had a fascination with The Bermuda Triangle and the stories, so I actually used that as a way to create and explain my hidden world. I won’t say too much as to how I did it, you’ll just have to read it and see. :)

Q: If you could be any character you have written who would you choose?

Lindsay: Hmm. A lot of me is already in Tatyanna, I would LOVE to have her gift to heal but I think it might be Terran, I would like to be. He is the Prince of Earth (Yes, I realize I am a girl, he is a boy, but if I could have his powers that would be AWESOME!). You don’t know too much about Terran and what he can do, but he is the Prince of Earth and can control the Earth, plants, trees, nature etc and can communicate with living life. I think that would be cool. I have plastic plants because they can’t die on me if that tells you anything.

Q: What are you currently reading?

Lindsay: The Heir by Eillie Dane and I actually have a few arcs I need to read, one of them is Courage to Fight by Pavan Kaur (LOVED the first book), Loving Ruby by Roya Carmen

Q:Fictional Dinner Party - give me 5 fictional characters or authors who you would have as dinner companions!

Lindsay: Archer and Bree from Archer’s Voice (Heck, Mia Sheridan would work too, the author). I better stick to authors, I’ll get more characters out of them that way. C.M. Owens (LOVE her Sterling Shore Series), Dean Koontz, Stephen King and Nora Roberts.

Thank you so much for taking part in our interview Lindsay! I loved Christopher Pike growing up too! I'm excited to get reading Tatyanna and even more so following this interview, check back later in the week to see my review!


Blackwell Blog Tour

Title: Blackwell
Author: Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor
Genre: Paranormal thriller
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
Blurb: Hell has a new master
In the late 1800s, handsome, wealthy New Englander, Magnus Blackwell, is the envy of all.
When Magnus meets Jacob O’Conner—a Harvard student from the working class—an unlikely friendship is forged. But their close bond is soon challenged by a captivating woman; a woman Magnus wants, but Jacob gets.
Devastated, Magnus seeks solace in a trip to New Orleans. After a chance meeting with Oscar Wilde, he becomes immersed in a world of depravity and brutality, inevitably becoming the inspiration for Dorian Gray. Armed with the forbidden magic of voodoo, he sets his sights on winning back the woman Jacob stole from him.
Amid the trappings of Victorian society, two men, bent on revenge, will lay the foundation for a curse that will forever alter their destinies.
From New Orleans, Alexandrea Weis was raised in the motion picture industry and began writing stories at the age of eight. In college she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen once again and began her first novel, To My Senses. Since that time she has published many novels. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning books, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable.
Alexandrea Weis is also a certified/permitted wildlife rehabber with the La. Wildlife and Fisheries. When she is not writing, she rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She is married; they live in New Orleans.
Author Links:
Buy Links: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2iyNipp
Leaving the firelight, he headed toward the water, eager to learn more about the woman. Beyond the glare of the bonfire, his eyes were better able to take in her figure. Her nightdress was torn in places and had dark splotches on it in others. She stood at the water’s edge, her feet hidden below the surface of the bayou. As he drew closer, Magnus got a better view of her exquisite face. Her pale, snowy skin glowed in the darkness, and her features were perfect except for a scar above her right lip. He ached to help her, to guide her from the water and back to the warmth of the fire.​ 
“Are you all right?”​
She titled her head to the side as she examined him. Then without saying anything, she held out her hand to him.​
Magnus could hear a woman’s voice saying, Magnus, come with me, in his head, but her lips never moved. He was entranced, drawn to her, and just as he was raising his hand to take hers, another hand clamped down on his wrist. ​
“Magnus, no, don’t touch her,” Madam Simone called out. ​
The spell was broken, and the woman in the water faded away. ​
Magnus gawked at the water. “What?”​
“I told you to stay close to the fire,” she admonished.​
He pointed to the water. “You saw her? Who was that?”​
Madam Simone let go of his arm. “You mean what was that, don’t you?”​
“I don’t understand.”​
She waved her long stick out over the water. “That was a spirit called by the ceremony. She often appears when we perform our rituals on the bayou.”​
“You know her?” The shock was evident in his voice.​
“She’s the spirit of one who sacrificed herself for love many years ago. She was the quadroon mistress of a wealthy white man who spurned her and her unborn child.”
Magnus removed his hat and wiped his hand over his brow, feeling shaky. “So you are telling me I just saw a ghost?”
Madam Simone chuckled at his reaction. “The world is not everything you see, Magnus. Ghosts are as real as you or I. They are the impression left behind by a life ended in misery, pain, or confusion. The spirits trapped or bound to earth are the ones who haunt. The ones who have found peace are the ones who leave.”
“Where do they go?”​
She gave him a sad smile. “That all depends on what you believe. Heaven, hell, paradise—take your pick. We have more names for the world that comes after than we do for the one we currently inhabit. I think that speaks volumes about our capacity for hope.”​
Magnus took an unsteady breath as his eyes returned to the water. “What about her? The girl in the water? Will she ever find peace and move on?”​
“No.” Madam Simone shook her head and, gathering up her skirt, took a step away from the shore. “She has chosen to remain here.”​
“Chosen?” he shouted. “Are you telling me she had a choice?”​
“We all choose in life and in death, Magnus.” She glanced back at him. “That is why we have souls—to make that choice.”
​Magnus could still hear the voice of the spirit calling to him in his head. “I think she spoke to me. She knew my name.”
​ “Spirits often bring messages from the dead. Do you know anyone who has recently died?”
​He shook his head. “No, no one.”
​Madam Simone motioned ahead to the bonfire. “Let’s get back to the fire.”
​Returning his hat to his head, Magnus followed her up the bank. “I’m not sure what I witnessed, Madam Simone, but I no longer think I’m a skeptic.”
​She grinned as they walked along. “Good. Then the ceremony served its purpose.”
“What purpose?”
​Madam Simone kept her eyes focused on the firelight. “To prepare your soul for what is to come.”

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Blackwell: Release Day Blitz and Rafflecopter Giveaway

Title: Blackwell
Author: Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor
Genre: Paranormal thriller
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
Blurb: Hell has a new master
In the late 1800s, handsome, wealthy New Englander, Magnus Blackwell, is the envy of all.
When Magnus meets Jacob O’Conner—a Harvard student from the working class—an unlikely friendship is forged. But their close bond is soon challenged by a captivating woman; a woman Magnus wants, but Jacob gets.
Devastated, Magnus seeks solace in a trip to New Orleans. After a chance meeting with Oscar Wilde, he becomes immersed in a world of depravity and brutality, inevitably becoming the inspiration for Dorian Gray. Armed with the forbidden magic of voodoo, he sets his sights on winning back the woman Jacob stole from him.
Amid the trappings of Victorian society, two men, bent on revenge, will lay the foundation for a curse that will forever alter their destinies.
From New Orleans, Alexandrea Weis was raised in the motion picture industry and began writing stories at the age of eight. In college she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen once again and began her first novel, To My Senses. Since that time she has published many novels. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning books, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable.
Alexandrea Weis is also a certified/permitted wildlife rehabber with the La. Wildlife and Fisheries. When she is not writing, she rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She is married; they live in New Orleans.
Author Links:
Buy Links: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2iyNipp
Leaving the firelight, he headed toward the water, eager to learn more about the woman. Beyond the glare of the bonfire, his eyes were better able to take in her figure. Her nightdress was torn in places and had dark splotches on it in others. She stood at the water’s edge, her feet hidden below the surface of the bayou. As he drew closer, Magnus got a better view of her exquisite face. Her pale, snowy skin glowed in the darkness, and her features were perfect except for a scar above her right lip. He ached to help her, to guide her from the water and back to the warmth of the fire.​ 
“Are you all right?”​
She titled her head to the side as she examined him. Then without saying anything, she held out her hand to him.​
Magnus could hear a woman’s voice saying, Magnus, come with me, in his head, but her lips never moved. He was entranced, drawn to her, and just as he was raising his hand to take hers, another hand clamped down on his wrist. ​
“Magnus, no, don’t touch her,” Madam Simone called out. ​
The spell was broken, and the woman in the water faded away. ​
Magnus gawked at the water. “What?”​
“I told you to stay close to the fire,” she admonished.​
He pointed to the water. “You saw her? Who was that?”​
Madam Simone let go of his arm. “You mean what was that, don’t you?”​
“I don’t understand.”​
She waved her long stick out over the water. “That was a spirit called by the ceremony. She often appears when we perform our rituals on the bayou.”​
“You know her?” The shock was evident in his voice.​
“She’s the spirit of one who sacrificed herself for love many years ago. She was the quadroon mistress of a wealthy white man who spurned her and her unborn child.”
Magnus removed his hat and wiped his hand over his brow, feeling shaky. “So you are telling me I just saw a ghost?”
Madam Simone chuckled at his reaction. “The world is not everything you see, Magnus. Ghosts are as real as you or I. They are the impression left behind by a life ended in misery, pain, or confusion. The spirits trapped or bound to earth are the ones who haunt. The ones who have found peace are the ones who leave.”
“Where do they go?”​
She gave him a sad smile. “That all depends on what you believe. Heaven, hell, paradise—take your pick. We have more names for the world that comes after than we do for the one we currently inhabit. I think that speaks volumes about our capacity for hope.”​
Magnus took an unsteady breath as his eyes returned to the water. “What about her? The girl in the water? Will she ever find peace and move on?”​
“No.” Madam Simone shook her head and, gathering up her skirt, took a step away from the shore. “She has chosen to remain here.”​
“Chosen?” he shouted. “Are you telling me she had a choice?”​
“We all choose in life and in death, Magnus.” She glanced back at him. “That is why we have souls—to make that choice.”
​Magnus could still hear the voice of the spirit calling to him in his head. “I think she spoke to me. She knew my name.”
​ “Spirits often bring messages from the dead. Do you know anyone who has recently died?”
​He shook his head. “No, no one.”
​Madam Simone motioned ahead to the bonfire. “Let’s get back to the fire.”
​Returning his hat to his head, Magnus followed her up the bank. “I’m not sure what I witnessed, Madam Simone, but I no longer think I’m a skeptic.”
​She grinned as they walked along. “Good. Then the ceremony served its purpose.”
“What purpose?”
​Madam Simone kept her eyes focused on the firelight. “To prepare your soul for what is to come.”

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Cover Reveal: Loving you with Teeth and Claws by Martina McAtee

Title: Loving You with Teeth and Claws
Author: Martina McAtee
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
Blurb: Twenty-two-year-old alpha wolf, Isa McGowan, is busy. While most people her age are finishing college and starting their careers, Isa’s raising four pre-teens and running a restaurant. She doesn’t have time for dating, and she especially doesn’t have time for the lunatic standing on her porch, claiming to be her fiancĂ© . . . no matter how pretty he is.
Wren Davies has a dangerous problem, and Isa is his solution. When he arrives in Belle Haven to explain his plight, the last thing he expects is a punch to the face. Instead of finding a politically savvy alpha with a large wolf pack, he meets a barely five-foot spitfire with a mess of kids, a mean right hook, and a million excuses why she’ll never honor their betrothal.
Now Wren has two problems…
Martina McAtee lives in Jupiter, Florida with her teenage daughter, her best friend, two attack chihuahua's and two shady looking cats. When she isn't writing young adult books about worlds with reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures she's reading or watching shows that involve reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. Her debut novel Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things released in August of 2015. Her second book in the Dead Things series, Dark Dreams and Dead Things, released July 15, 2016.
Author Links: Facebook: www.facebook.com/MartinaMcAtee1
Buy Links: #Free with KindleUnlimited
Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things: http://amzn.to/1Z4L4NH Dark Dreams and Dead Things: http://amzn.to/1Z4KVtH

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Review of the Seekers Keys by Christina L Rozelle

The Seeker’s Keys is the concluding part of the Treemaker’s Trilogy and my word what a conclusion!  Sadly real life got in the way of me being able to read this story in a really good session and I had to take snatches of time where i could, which prevented me getting as immersed as I would have liked, but the impact and story telling remained immense.

We begin back in the refuge, still recovering from the escape from Alzenai.  The weight of Smudge’ admission in relation to hormone manipulation is heavy on Joy, tough conversations are needed and a greater urgency of what needs to be done in relation to the rescue of friends left behind arises.  The gravity of the task at hand is overwhelming, the retrieval of the keys, the resetting of the trees from the other factory, the rescue of Jax, Vila, the baby and destruction of Lord Daumier all need to be completed.  As with all best laid plans things never run smoothly and with each completed task a new one seems to stem from it.  Cheyanne’s prophecy’s with hindsight all become clear and the fact that Joy’s father was far more of a magician than she ever realised weave into every step they take and every new friend they make.  Joy’s talent for powerful storytelling seemingly stemming more from fact than from fiction, reveal the clues needed to finally complete the tasks, with help from an unusual army.

Realities are still skewed at times which brings one of the best storytelling mechanisms into play, the sections involving the use of the 5R Elevens are brilliant.  I loved them in book 2 and they continue to play a pivotal role here, bringing extra depth to the story in places, I won’t say which parts for fear of spoilers, but for me there was one section especially that was amazing because of this.

Whilst there is still tragedy within this story, it is filled far more with hope that the others.  Despite this, I still couldn’t shake the feeling instilled in me by the first 2 books that everything was going to go to hell at every turn, which led to a much more nerve wracking read.  Heartbreaking revelations in relation to new friends made and old enemies alike, bring a greater level of understanding to the vileness of the world from book 1, although never quite enough for me to forgive.

The fall of Alzenai is spectacular and the following Exodus section ticked all my epilogue boxes. It emotionally completely wrung me out though and I’m glad I had the time to read the last quarter in pretty much one sitting.  I’m so glad I discovered this series, I have loved every second of both the harrowing and uplifting parts and I will miss the characters greatly.  Thank you so much Christina L Rozelle for creating this amazing and immersing world.

PS: I would love it if there was ever a time where a prequel relating to Zephyr the Magnificent could be written, just putting that one out there ;)