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CLAY’S HOPE by Melissa Haag — Book Review

April 28, 2015

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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!


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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.

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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

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THE STAG LORD by Darby Kaye — Book Review

November 21, 2014

stag lord

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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.        

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(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!
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(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…

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