Skip to content

CLAY’S HOPE by Melissa Haag — Book Review

April 28, 2015

Clays-Twitter-Teaser3-1024x409

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble

Clay is a man of few human talents. As a wolf, he hunts well and can fight off a grizzly twice his size, but has no aspirations. The idea of a Mate isn’t something he has ever seriously entertained. Dreamed about, maybe, but he knows the chances are nearly non-existent. 

Then he meets Gabby, a human girl. She hates him at first sight, yet he can’t let her go. Who he was is no longer important. Now, who he needs to become to win her over is the only thing that matters.


Companion novels always make me a tad wary. You just never know what to expect. Is it going to be exactly the same? A copy and paste of everything. Is it going to be completely different? Is it going to ruin the original story that I fell in love with?

When Melissa Hagg emailed me and asked if I would be interested in reading Clay’s Hope, I wasn’t sure about it. I’ve fallen in love with her Judgment of the Six series and didn’t want to be disappointed with a companion story that wasn’t what I was hoping for. But, I decided to trust Melissa:)

Clay’s Hope does fall into the normal companion series routine. It follows exactly what happened in Hope(less), the first book in the Judgment of the Six series. I was a little worried at first that it wouldn’t be able to hold my attention since I already knew the story. I’ve read Hope(less) a few times since Melissa insists on torturing her fans and not publishing everything right now. I thought, maybe, it would just be the same scenes with copy and pasted dialogue (what little there is since Clay doesn’t exactly speak much). But, Melissa has my trust for a reason.

Yes, scenes were the same. Yes, some of the dialogue was the same. But, the perspective was completely different. I think one of the reasons this companion novel worked so well was because Clay never really spoke in Hope(less). His thoughts and opinions were always shown with a shrug or grunt. The reader never got to hear what he really thought. So, being able to see things from Clay’s perspective was great.

Clay is every bit as awesome as you think he might be in Hope(less). His attitude and sense of humor draws you in and makes you cheer for him. His devotion to Gabby makes your heart melt. I think you could read this as a standalone story, but if you really want to get the full effect of Clay, you need to read Hope(less), which I did again (please don’t judge).

A comment on Melissa’s writing. She has a great style and her stories always have a great flow. They don’t feel stilted or disjointed. Everything goes together well and time moves at a good pace. I really love that if you read Melissa’s books, you can see her writing style developing and only getting better.

A fresh take on shape shifters. An intriguing story from a new, already loved, perspective. Read it. Just do it.

Read Hope(less) for free:) Click me!


UNHOLY BLUE by Darby Kaye — COVER REVEAL

March 18, 2015

Cover for UNHOLY BLUE

Strong and Rare and Irish.

 

That’s how Shay Doyle likes her whiskey. And men. As Healer to a clan of immortal Celtic warriors living in modern-day Colorado, she has been gifted with such a man: Bannerman “Bann” Boru. The only problem is keeping the stubborn warrior alive. For Fate seems to have it in for Bann, and his son, Cor, descendants of the kings of Ireland, and recipient of an ancient grudge from the mad god, Cernunnos.

 

But, with a bit o’ luck, Shay, Bann, and the rest of the Doyle clan—along with the aid of a legendary huntsman known as the Black Hand—might just suss out how to kill a shapeshifter that refuses to stay dead, prevent clan warfare, and make a choice that could change their lives.

 

If they don’t lose them first.


Praise for THE STAG LORD:

“A passionate story with a strong romance…Darby Kaye’s Tuatha Dé Danann shouldn’t be missed.” — M.D. Waters, author ofArchetype and Prototype

“A refreshing glimpse into the world of Celtic mythology and tradition…and give us heroes we want to root for—and reasons to keep turning the pages.”

            — Walter H. Hunt, author of the Dark Wing Universe and Elements of Mind

“Delightful tale filled with action, mystery, and romance.” — Rabid Reads

“…highly recommend for fans of urban fantasy who are looking for brilliant characters to fall head-over-heels for.” — A Belle’s

Tales.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | TWITTER

I WISH by Elizabeth Langston — Book Review

November 24, 2014

 I WishWhat Lacey needs is a miracle. What she gets is a genie with rules.

Lacey Linden is hiding the truth of her life—a depressed mom, a crumbling house, and bills too big to pay. While her high school classmates see a girl with a ready smile and good grades, Lacey spends her evenings seeking ways to save her family. On a get-cash-quick trip to the flea market, Lacey stumbles over a music box that seemingly begs her to take it home. She does, only to find it is inhabited by a gorgeous “genie.” He offers her a month of wishes, one per day, but there’s a catch. Each wish must be humanly possible.

Grant belongs to a league of supernatural beings, dedicated to serving humans in need. After two years of fulfilling the boring wishes of conventional teens, he is one assignment away from promotion to a challenging new role with more daring cases. Yet his month with Lacey is everything that he expects and nothing like he imagines. Lacey and Grant soon discover that the most difficult task of all might be saying goodbye.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


You find a genie in a bottle (or lamp), rub the bottle, genie appears in a cloud of smoke and promises to grant you three wishes. Pretty generic, right? Everyone knows this and everyone has contemplated what their three wishes would be. Money? Good health? Maybe a never ending supply of books… Well, you might want to rethink this well known formula because Elizabeth Langston is about to burst it.

First, the genie is in a music box not a lamp or bottle. Eh, not a big deal. He appeared in a cloud of smoke, which is pretty normal for genie entrances. So, how about those three wishes? Nope. Try thirty. But, there’s a catch. All thirty wishes have to be humanly possible. So, no magical super powers, no instant money, and, most unfortunately, no endless supply of books. Bummer. There is tons more that Elizabeth changes and manipulates to re-write such a well known formula, and she does it well.

As with her other books, Elizabeth weaves a story with wonderful images, real characters, and just enough fantasy to keep things magical. In I Wish, she switches from time travel (Whisper Falls) to a more whimsical story with a girl and her genie.

There’s a lot going on in this story. I will admit that Elizabeth does use another formula that she doesn’t change up as much. You have a teenage girl doing her best to keep her family out of poverty by working and going to school at the same time. Like a lot of stories with this plot at it’s base, the teen girl, Lacey, fears Child Protective Services. Now, although Elizabeth does follow this formula, she changes it up a bit and keeps it fresh. Plus, I guarantee you’re going to love the characters and how they interact with each other. I especially loved Kimberley and am hoping her story is told in the next book:)

That’s right, this is a new series. But, there is no annoying cliffhanger. The ending doesn’t give as much closure as I would like it to, but I know that Elizabeth will deliver in her next book. She always does:)

Come on, sexy genie, tenacious protagonist, cute little brother, and a tactless best friend. What more could you wish for?


elizabeth-langston (3)Elizabeth Langston lives in North Carolina, halfway between the beaches and the mountains. She has two teen-ish daughters and one husband (a geek like her). When she’s not writing software or stories, Elizabeth loves to travel with her family, watch dance reality TV shows, and dream about which restaurant ought to get their business that night.

Elizabeth’s debut novel WHISPER FALLS released in November 2013. Its sequels, A WHISPER IN TIME released in April 2014 and WHISPERS FROM THE PAST released in October 2014.  Her new series begins with I WISH in November 2014. Learn more about her

Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Website

THE STAG LORD by Darby Kaye — Book Review

November 21, 2014

stag lord

Amazon | B&N | NetGalley | Goodreads

On the run across America from a vengeful shape-shifter, Bannerman “Bann” Boru has only one thing on his mind: keeping himself and his young son, Cor, alive. 
At any cost. 
Until he meets Shay Doyle, healer and member of a secret group of immortal Celtic warriors, the Tuatha de Danaan, living in modern-day Colorado. When Cor is injured, Bannerman is forced to accept her help. He quickly realizes that the golden-haired healer is shield-maiden tough and can hold her own onthe field of battle with the big boys. And Shay soon discovers that there is more to Bann than meets the eye. 
Now, with the shape-shifter Cernunnos teaming up with the local pack of Fir Bolgs (Bronze Age creatures with a nasty taste for children), Bannerman, Shay, her wolf-dog Max, and the rest of the Doyle clan must figure out how to battle one insane god.

I dunno about you, but knowing a book has a sexy Irish Mythological Knight in it increases its appeal. That’s why reading, and then writing a review for, The Stag Lord by Darby Kaye was a no brainer.

Kaye has a wonderful way of incorporating mythology and modern times. It was plain throughout the story that some of the characters were from the old times, yet they had obviously learned to adapt to current civilization. So many authors have trouble combining these two ways of life and it makes the story clunky and hard to follow. Kaye found a way to make these two different times fit together seamlessly.

What really stands out in this story is the father/son relationship. A lot of stories only focus on one aspect of a relationship and miss the deeper, more realistic parts. Kaye made the interactions between Bann and his son, Cor, so real. Well, not including all of the scary monsters and super powers. She stripped away the myth at certain points to show the core. There were moments of distress and anger between Bann and Cor along with moments of happiness and pure love. I smiled at how they joked around and cringed when they fought. Kaye certainly knows how to construct a real, down-to-earth relationship buried within all the mythology.

That being said, there was something I wished she had focused a but more on. Toward the beginning of the story, we meet the Healer, Shay. She is supposed to be a talented Healer for her people. This is mentioned often throughout the entire story. However, you don’t exactly see this. I mean, sure, she heals many of the characters multiple times. But, it’s always using the same potion. A potion that can be made by many of the other characters. I just wish Kaye had delved more into the different healing techniques and shown more of the different ways Shay could have healed her patients. I felt like something was missing throughout the entire story on this front.

I also wanted to mention that this is NOT a Young Adult story, which had been what I first believed. This is Adult Urban Fantasy. So, yes, there are some sexy times contained within. I’m not usually into this sort of thing. But, I will say that Kaye has a tasteful way of incorporating these scene into her story.

If you like Irish Mythology, tons of cool sword fighting, incredibly strong young characters, and a romance contained within it all, give The Stag Lord by Darby Kaye a shot. I seriously doubt you’ll be disappointed. Oh, did I mention the insane plot twist at the end? …


kaye

Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. She’s been known to run in blizzards and bike in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby writes urban fantasy for tweens, teens, and adults, and is now trying her hand at contemporary romance. She’d love to talk with you. No. Seriously.        

Website | Twitter

(Un)bidden by Melissa Haag — Book Review

November 3, 2014

Unbidden

Before you read my review, go get the first book in the Judgement of the Six series. It’s FREE!
Amazon | B&N | iTunes

(Un)bidden by Melissa Haag Book Review

In a genre where werewolves have been written about over and over again, Melissa brings a new twist to something readers love. The fourth installment of her Judgement of the Six series certainly doesn’t disappoint!

Books one through three introduced us to the modern werewolf society that Melissa has carefully and creatively built. We learn what werewolves are up to and hear about women who have special abilities. Book three, (Un)wise, gets into the details of these abilities and explains the reasons for the war Melissa hints is coming. However, there is still a lot of backstory that isn’t covered in these three books. That’s where (Un)bidden comes in!

(Un)bidden is Charlene’s story along with the story of how the werewolves became a tad more civilized than they were previously. Up until this point, readers didn’t really get to see what werewolf society had been like or how wild they were. Here, Melissa shows us how difficult it was for Charlene to understand and survive in their world. I really liked how Melissa put the two different societies side by side and didn’t make one seem better than the other. Both sides made compromises and tried to understand each other. There were a few bumps and bruises, mainly for Charlene, but I think it was really well done.

Apart from the occasional grammatical error, Melissa’s writing is really smooth and fun. She holds your interest throughout and makes it nearly impossible to put the book down. I knew this from the previous books, so I waited until the weekend to start this one:) After the wildness of book three, I was wondering how Melissa would hold my interest with Charlene’s story, but she managed! Even though the entire story happens in one place, I never got bored.

The only issue I had with this book was the age difference between Charlene and Thomas. Well, it wasn’t so much the age difference as it was the disregard for it. Yes, werewolf society does things differently, and, yes, Charlene points this out and attempts to make Thomas understand. But I still believe Melissa may have taken it a tad too far. Her other books I would say are fine for all YA readers, but this one I suggest readers are 16 and older.

That being said, I highly recommend this series. Melissa is a great story teller and she really adds something to the werewolf discussion. Her story isn’t like anything else you’ve read before!

Get (Un)bidden here: Amazon | B&N | iTunes


Haag

Melissa Haag lives in Wisconsin with her husband and three children.  An avid reader she spent many hours curled in a comfortable chair flipping pages in her teens. She began writing a few years ago when some ideas just refused to be ignored any longer.

Touch, released in January 2013, is her first published novel.  Hope(less), the first book in the Judgement of the Six series released in March 2013, is her second published work.

Visit often to hear about her new titles, or subscribe to her mailing list for automatic notifications, awesome deals, and exclusive content.

THE KEEPERS by Anoosha Lalani

October 27, 2014

Keepers Tour copy

Sixteen-year-old Isra Kalb has grown up starving in the slums of Islamabad. But hunger is only the beginning. When her father is mysteriously murdered and madness corrupts her mother’s mind, she’s left alone to fend for herself and her sister. Homeless and destitute, the only thing she has to remember her loving family by is a commonplace necklace–an amulet barely worth keeping.

Or so she thinks.

Swept into a web of lies, deceit and turmoil, Isra struggles to find a place for herself and Zaffirah, wondering if the strange creatures and visions she’s seeing are indications of the madness that took her mother. But when Snatchers capture Zaffirah, Isra learns her amulet isn’t so useless after all. Transported to Zarcane–the beastly garden where Adam and Eve were born–Isra comes face to face with her destiny. She’s a Keeper, charged with protecting the borders of Zarcane and keeping the demon hordes lurking in the shadows from taking realms that are not their own. And she’s not the only one; there’s a second Keeper, a boy whose identity hasn’t been revealed.

Now, in order to save her sister and fulfill her family’s legacy as Keeper of the Amulet, she has to find the second Keeper and close the borders. Surrounded by betrayal, trapped between warring factions of angels, and desperate to save the only family she has left, Isra must decide:

Who can she trust when nothing is what it seems?

Available on Amazon Add to goodreads 

author photo

Anoosha Lalani has always had an insatiable desire to escape reality. It was a childhood trait that never seemed to fade out. If Anoosha were to make one wish, it would be to have wings to journey off the face of this planet and into the worlds of her stories.

When she’s not writing, you may find Anoosha attending high school in Singapore. Having moved around so much, she has had the wonderful opportunity to be exposed to a vibrant range of cultures, which often seem to find their way into her stories. Anoosha was born in Pakistan, the setting of her most recent novel, The Keepers.

Connect with Anoosha on her website and twitter.

Damsel Distressed Blog Tour

October 19, 2014

KellyVision

First, the excerpt!

“When are we gonna get a fat princess? How about a princess with bad acne and crappy posture and the mouth of a sailor? Probably never.

Every. Single. One. Is the same. Totally hot. Totally predictable.

Snow White has the attention of seven little men, not because she’s the only one who can reach the top of the bookshelf, but because she’s a porcelain-skinned, ruby-lipped knockout.

The little mermaid got a prince because she shut her trap for five whole seconds and looks fierce in a bikini.

And Cinderella? She’s a girl who clearly demonstrates to the prince that she’s got lots of experience on her knees and doesn’t mind getting dirty.

Carmella and those chicks would run in the same clique, that’s for sure. And they’re the girls who get it all…Who get happiness.

Something to strive for? Something that one can attain with enough passion…

View original post 678 more words

New: set your default delivery device for Kindle books

October 19, 2014

I Love My Kindle

New: set your default delivery device for Kindle books

===

NOTE: if you are reading this on a site called


Kindle Updates
Your source for the latest Kindle updates and news

they have reproduced my copyrighted material without my permission. They are infringing on my copyright.

They are also reproducing posts from other sites, I presume again without having obtained authorization (although I do not know that for sure).

If you are able to contact them, please ask them to stop. I would be satisfied with that outcome, and would rather not take additional action (I have already alerted Google’s AdSense to the situation, and they appear to have removed their sponsorship).

Thank you for your consideration of the rights of authors.

===

Well, this should reduce the questions which get asked in the Amazon Kindle forums!

For years, people have been confused by where a book goes…

View original post 923 more words

WHISPERS FROM THE PAST by Elizabeth Langston — Book Review

September 30, 2014

Whisper From the PAst

…that’s not freedom at all.

With the dangers of the past behind them, Mark and Susanna are reaching for what the future holds. As Mark’s final year of high school draws to a close, his focus shifts to choosing a college and moving on. For Susanna, it’s time to set down roots and realize dreams of her own.

Yet the whispers from the past continue. A glimmer in the waterfall reveals messages from a dear, old friend. As she fights to resist their call, Susanna must finally confront the consequences that her choices have made across two centuries.

Elizabeth’s TwitterElizabeth’s website | B&N | Amazon | Read an excerpt!


My review:)

The third and final book to Elizabeth Langston’s Whisper Falls series. All I can say is, “Took you long enough, Elizabeth!” I’ve been suffering for quite some time in anticipation of this last piece to one of the best stories I’ve read. If you haven’t (or have!) read the first two books, you can check out my previous reviews here:

Whisper Falls

A Whisper in Time

There will be some slight spoilers for the first two books, so don’t continue reading this review if you wish to be surprised! Go read the books first. I promise you won’t regret it:)

I’ll admit, I had some seriously high expectations for this last book. Elizabeth is such a fantastic writer and story teller, and I expected nothing less than epicness from her. She delivered. However, I’ll also admit that there were a few things that rattled me about this last book.

As always, the writing was fantastic. Elizabeth has a way of weaving words that draws you in. She could write scientific formula..and I’d probably still love her style. Her sentence structure, word choice, and flow will grab you and refuse to let go. So, be prepared.

I did have a few issues with some of the plot points that took place. Elizabeth steered the characters in directions that I didn’t think fit with the personalities from the last two books. I still love Mark and Susanna, but I did have a few moments where I didn’t like them much. So, be prepared to possibly disagree with them and maybe even Elizabeth’s choices. Even though I had some issues with decisions made by the characters, Elizabeth did what an author is supposed to do. She made me feel. I felt everything. Happiness, sadness, anger, regret, frustration, sympathy. That’s what books are meant to do: touch the reader.

Although I may not have agreed with everything, I did understand Elizabeth’s reasons for pointing her characters in certain directions. Elizabeth made the motivations clear, and I applaud her for taking risks with her characters and story. Her expert writing and story telling trumped any conflicts I felt about her choices in plot. Her in-depth historical research is evident on every page and will enrich your reading experience.

Writing pages about these books won’t do any good. I could tell you about how much I love Mark and Susanna. About how much I enjoyed their witty banter, dedication to their loved ones, and strength. But, honestly, I can’t tell it the same way Elizabeth can..and has. I love the characters, story, and writing. I think you will, too. Try it. I also love being proved right;)

*I was provided with a copy by Elizabeth in exchange for an honest review.

THE ROSE MASTER by Valentina Cano — A Book Review

July 15, 2014

The_Rose_Master_Blog_Bagde

 

 

The day Anne Tinning turns seventeen, birds fall from the sky. But that’s hardly the most upsetting news. She’s being dismissed from the home she’s served at since she was a child, and shipped off to become the newly hired parlor maid for a place she’s never heard of. And when she sees the run-down, isolated house, she instantly knows why:

There’s something wrong with Rosewood Manor.

Staffed with only three other servants, all gripped by icy silence and inexplicable bruises, and inhabited by a young master who is as cold as the place itself, the house is shrouded in neglect and thick with fear. Her questions are met with hushed whispers, and she soon finds herself alone in the empty halls, left to tidy and clean rooms no one visits.

As the feeling of being watched grows, she begins to realize there is something else in the house with them–some creature that stalks the frozen halls and claws at her door. A creature that seems intent on harming her.

When a fire leaves Anne trapped in the manor with its Master, she finally demands to know why. But as she forces the truth about what haunts the grounds from Lord Grey, she learns secrets she isn’t prepared for. The creature is very real, and she’s the only one who can help him stop it.

Now, Anne must either risk her life for the young man she’s grown to admire, or abandon her post while she still can.


 

Want something original to read? Then check out The Rose Master by Valentina Cano. It has a strange “Jane Eyre” feel to it while reading. Creepy mansion, something lurking in the darkness, scratches at the door while you sleep, and a mysterious and obviously haunted Master who roams the grounds at all hours. However, Cano strays quite a bit from the classic tale of Jane Eyre. She has a few surprises in store for anyone brave enough to read her shiver-inducing story.

I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. Cano has a very unique voice that makes the story flow and keeps you interested. She makes sure to stay within the dialect of the time she is writing about, yet makes it modern enough where you’re not tripping over strange words. The heroine, instead of being constantly melancholy about her situation, is determined and easy to root for. Unlike some other YA, I wasn’t constantly annoyed with the heroine for stupid decisions she made. However, she was still realistic and not completely perfect.

Cano does leave a few things hanging. You do get a momentary happily ever after. My main complaint is that it is wrapped up way too quickly after the climax of the story. You have the big finale, and then the story ends. I wish there had been a bit more focus on what happens after things escalate. There is going to be a sequel, which means Cano will probably explain the few loose ends. But, I would have liked a bit more at the end of this book to hold me over until the next one comes out.

Being a Jane Eyre fan, I really enjoyed Cano’s twist on the classic. If you like reading a story with a little bit of everything, you should read The Rose Master.  

 

 

*I was provided with a free copy of The Rose Master by REUTS Publications in exchange for an honest review.

Whimsically Yours

The Whimsical Life of an Aquarius

I Love My Kindle

Fun and information about the Kindle and the world of e-books

ZEN AND PI

Between perfect harmony and objective reality, there exists a vast chaos—us.