Friday, 28 February 2014

Book Blitz: Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison


Book & Author Details:
Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison
Publication date: February 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:
All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…


Purchase:


Excerpt Of Sea and Stone

The broad stone ground of the Training Rock was warm and smooth beneath my bare feet. A salt-scented wind teased the tendrils of hair escaping from beneath my hood. I straightened my spine and lifted my chin as if I belonged as I approached the group of boys and young men, who stood in a haphazard line before the target of wood.
I took my place at the end of the line.
The smell of salt filled the air. Gulls screamed overhead as the first boy drew back his arm and threw his spear. It glanced off the target and clattered on the rock. His face creased with disgust, and he turned away. The second boy threw, and the tip of his spear embedded itself in the corner of the target.
I was better at throwing than any of these boys. I’d always been good at it, better than anyone else my age when I was small enough to swim in the shallows with the free children and sleep in my mother’s arms at night. My mother had beamed with pride to see me throw, and so I continued to hone my skill even after she was gone. Sometimes I went out to the edge of the rocks that formed a ring around the sea like a circle of stone arms, and I caught fish to put on the fire so Nealla and I could eat more than the meager food we were provided for our meals. I was better than all of them, but being a girl banned me from participating in the competition.
At the front of the line stood Nol, the oldest in the competition and the favorite of the crowd. He cast a glance my way, but didn’t look long. I exhaled as he turned his head away.
One by one, the boys threw their spears. They were still learning, and few were good yet. The aim of a fisherman was impeccable, once he’d mastered the art, but these were just boys.
I swallowed as the boy beside me took his turn, and then it was mine. I stepped forward and hefted my spear. The weight was familiar in my hand. I inhaled, squinted at the target, and threw.
The spear buried itself at the edge of the middle circle. A few of the boys cried out in appreciation. Sweat broke out across my back.
I hadn’t meant to throw quite so well.
Nol turned his head again to look at me. He wasn’t stupid, even if he was infuriating. He’d seen Kit throw before.
I held my breath, and he looked away.
Those who had struck the target gathered their spears and tried again. There were only a few of us, and the number rapidly dwindled. I threw poorly, but my spear seemed to swerve to meet the target against my will, and the rest of the boys threw with the skill of drunken monkeys. Finally, only Nol and I were left.
My heart drummed in my chest. I didn’t dare look at Nol or the crowd.
You’ve improved, Kit,” Nol said as he passed me to retrieve his spear.
It was clear by the way he strode toward the target that he thought victory was assured for him. He barely spared me a glance as he drew back his arm to throw.
The crowd waited, breathless.
Nol threw first. His spear struck the inner circle of the target, and he straightened, pleased. I could tell by his posture that he thought he’d won. The necklace of shell he always wore tinkled faintly as he turned to me. He yanked off his mask, and his expression was triumphant.
Your turn.”
I drew my arm back and took aim. I heard the rush of the sea behind me, the cry of gulls above me, and the hiss of my breath over my teeth as I threw. Sea and gulls and breath combined to make music. I shut my eyes and threw.
My spear hit the mark and quivered.
It had struck closer to the center.
The boys roared in approval and swarmed around me. Nol’s jaw tightened, and he shot a glance toward the crowd. I saw his father, the mayor, frowning.
I stepped forward to receive my prize. As I passed Nol, suspicion crossed his face. He snatched off my mask, dislodging my hood in the process.
My long hair tumbled down around my shoulders. Wind fanned my face.
I was exposed.
The crowd gasped. Nol let go of me as if he’d been burned.
It’s Tagatha’s thrall!” someone shouted.
You deceptive little brat,” the spear master snarled. “Where’s Kitran?”
I ran.
The spear master grabbed for me. His fingers slipped through my hair, giving one painful tug, then the strands ripped from my scalp and I ran faster. I reached the edge of the cliff, dropped Kit’s spear, and jumped.
The rock was hard beneath my feet as I leaped, and then salty air rushed around me, the gulls’ screams filled my ears, and I was falling, falling, falling through air and wind and sunlight. I brought my arms forward right before I entered the water in a perfect dive.
Bubbles exploded across my vision as I hit the water. Blue closed around me, cold and shocking, shutting out the shouts above. My chest skimmed the sandy bottom of the lagoon. Fish shot away, and seaweed snagged my ankles. The rocks of the bay were dark against the orange light of the dying sun.
I swam a ways from the cliff, holding my breath, kicking my legs to propel myself forward.
When my head broke the surface, I heard the spear master shouting after me. I swam away, my arms making sure, even strokes as his threats echoed across the water after me. I had no fear that he would jump in after me. I was one of the strongest swimmers in the village. He couldn’t catch me, and he wouldn’t try.
But I couldn’t swim forever.

AUTHOR BIO
I live in Georgia with my wonderful husband and two spoiled cats. When I'm not writing, I'm usually catching up on my extensive Netflix queue, reading a book, giggling at something funny online, or trying to convince my husband to give me just ONE bite of whatever he's eating.

Learn more about my writing and books at my blog
 (http://thesouthernscrawl.blogspot.com/), find teasers for upcoming works on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kateaveryellison), and subscribe to my new releases newsletter to be notified of new novels as soon as they hit stores (https://tinyletter.com/kateaveryellison)!




Author Interview with Kate Avery Ellison

Describe Of Sea and Stone in six words.
Atlantis, steampunk, sunlight, seawater, secrets, romance.

What books have you read and loved lately?
I am almost finished with Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, and it’s an absolute delight. Witty, immersive, and utterly compelling fantasy that reminds me very much of my beloved Megan Whalen Turner books.

Ice cream or cake?
Ice cream cake, of course! It’s the best of both worlds.

What authors have influenced your writing style the most?
I grew up on a pretty steady diet of mystery, actually, so I feel like classic mystery authors like Agatha Christie had a strong influence on me. When I was a teenager, I started reading fantasy by authors like Robin McKinley, Gail Carson Levine, and Sherwood Smith. The Blue Sword, Ella Enchanted, Crown Duel...I loved those books. I also had a huge love of historical fiction, so Ann Rinaldi, Elizabeth George Speare, and Eloise Jarvis McGraw influenced me a lot as well. As far as more recently-written books that I didn’t grow up reading, I continue to be an awe of fantasy authors Megan Whalen Turner (The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, etc.) and Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock), dystopian author Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), and contemporary young adult authors Lucy Christopher (Stolen) and John Green (A Fault in Our Stars).

If you had to pick a shoe that represented your writing style, what would it be?
Have you seen those canvas shoes where an artist has drawn original artwork on the front and sides and is selling them online? I think my books are like that—in some ways they feel familiar, but they have their own surprises and twists that make them unique.

Who has been the most supportive person in your writing career?
My husband. About two years into trying to get published, I was ready to give up on my stories and get a job doing something tremendously ill-suited for me, like being a secretary (I am a very bad secretary. Very disorganized). He convinced me to give it more time, and he is probably the sole reason I am published today. He is my first reader, my strongest encourager, and my most reliable critic.

Are you working on anything else currently?
Yes! I’m currently hard at work on the second book in the Secrets of Itlantis series, and I’m also working on a few secret projects on the side—one is a more traditional fantasy, another is a post-apocalyptic novel. I hope to have more details about them for my readers very soon.


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Book Review: Witch Fall by Amber Argyle(Witch Song #3)

With the magic of their songs, the Witches control the seasons, the storms, even the sea. Secure in their supremacy, they have forgotten the unmatched destructiveness of mankind. For the world has begun to covet their power, seeing them as weapons to be controlled instead of rulers worthy of obeisance.

Born of witches but raised among their enemy, Lilette searches for a way to heal the rift between mankind and the witches. But it may be too late to save either. For if there is one thing Lilette has come to know for certain, it’s that all things fall.


My Review:
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

I read and enjoyed the first two books in this series and the novella which came after it was a decent read. But I just didn't enjoy this book at all for reasons I will explain..

There is no issue for me with the writing style, character and plot development, storytelling, worldbuilding etc of the author. She is very good at setting out a story, developing it and drawing you in to care about the characters and wonder what will happen next.

The problem I had with it was purely personal. I wasn't greatly interested in reading Lilette's story to be honest. I was more interested in seeing what might happen to the characters in book two. Yes Lilette is important to the story in books one and two and I fully understood why the author wanted to take the reader back to see how things came to be. It does explain the actions and fears of the witches. I have no issue with that and I'm sure lots of people will enjoy it. But it just isn't my kind of read. I didn't like the old historical book setting and the string of miserable experiences that come from being in that period of history. I'm not a huge fan of books set in old anywhere except when it is Tudor times, so I was never going to connect with the plot.

I can imagine that some of you are saying 'well why read it if you knew it wasn't your thing?' Well the answer to that was simple. I agreed to review the series based only on reading the blurb for book one so I had no idea what was coming in the other books. I hate looking at blurbs for later books in case a massive spoiler yells out at me and blows a big raspberry! In this case it is just unfortunate that the story went in a different direction from what I enjoy and that is no fault of the author.

I certainly don't regret reading the series and I do recommend it to those of you who like paranormal historical, paranormal romance and dark fantasy. The characters are great, the plot is always moving and twisting and there should be something in it for all readers.  
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

AOTW #16 R Leib


Welcome to Author of the Week! Every week on my book group, an author member is chosen to be Author of the Week and will be featured here, tweeted on Twitter, shared on Google Plus and Pinterest and generally treated like royalty! Group members are asked to do features and talk about our AOTW to help each one to promote his/her work to the book community. 
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/114319-my-big-fat-indie-book-gang

This week: R Leib!


I have been a fan of Science Fiction since I was a pre-teen. I started with the youth fiction of Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. Once I graduated to reading Bradbury, Science Fiction became part of who I was. Over the years, Arthur C. Clarke, Ursula K. Le Guin, Alfred Bester, Harlan Ellison, and a myriad other writers sparked my imagination.

I worked for 30 years in the computer industry as a programmer and in quality assurance. Most of that time was spent in the paleolithic ages of data processing. This was when computers were million-dollar behemoths with slow processing speeds, when a terabyte of data required the floor of an office building to store it. I saw the advent of display terminals, performance monitoring, and computer generated imaging.

It was only when I retired from working in the computer industry that I returned to writing


Where can I find R? 
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7221195.R_Leib 
http://www.ckart.com/rich/ 
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7221195.R_Leib/blog 

On a space station in Earth orbit, something terrible has happened to Bertie Lindermann. Normally, the investigation would be a job for station security, but this is not normally. Allon Wu might be the last person anyone would pick to unravel a high profile mystery, but circumstances have thrust that responsibility upon him. With deceit the order of the day, who is not a suspect? Is this an isolated incident, or the precursor of a maelstrom that could throw Kostya station into chaos? With an unknown deadline, uncertain resources, and a personal tale of fantastic obsession, can he navigate the currents of intrigue and curtail what may be an evolving crisis before it is too late?

Where can I buy this book?
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Negatives-Tale-R-Leib-ebook/dp/B00DW7JJJG/ref=sr_tc_2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393503014&sr=1-2-ent 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Negatives-Tale-R-Leib-ebook/dp/B00DW7JJJG/ref=sr_tc_2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393503064&sr=1-2-ent

Book Spotlight: Deviation by Christine Manzari

Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control.

When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?


Where can I buy this book?
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deviation-Sophisticates-Christine-Manzari-ebook/dp/B00EFZAUYM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393501515&sr=1-1&keywords=Christine+Manzari 

http://www.amazon.com/Deviation-Sophisticates-Christine-Manzari-ebook/dp/B00EFZAUYM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393501561&sr=1-1&keywords=Christine+Manzari

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deviation-christine-manzari/1116503777?ean=9781492128922 

Where to find Christine!
http://www.christinemanzari.com/
http://tinemanzari.blogspot.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/Xenatine
https://www.facebook.com/ChristineManzari
http://www.pinterest.com/xenatine/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7218946.Christine_Manzari

Spotlight: Escaping Fate series by DelSheree Gladden


Turning sixteen should mean driving, dating, and breaking curfew. It should never mean certain death. Arrabella's excitement for her upcoming birthday is swallowed up by not only her dismay at being moved to a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere, but by the terror of the dreams that assault her every night. Stalking her dreams, the raven haired beauty warns her, taunts her, as she is paraded toward her death. Desperate for answers, Arrabella turns to her grandfather, the only one willing to delve into her family's dark past. Warning her that once she takes the first step, there is no going back, Arrabella's grandfather begins to unwind their awful heritage. The only joy she finds in the week leading up to her death is meeting Tanner Wheeler, a young man she barely knows but is immediately drawn to. A story of selfish betrayal reaching back to an age of merciless gods and blood sacrifice, Arrabella's world is sent into a deadly spiral.

Get this book FREE right now! 
http://www.amazon.com/Escaping-Fate-DelSheree-Gladden-ebook/dp/B0042P550O/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392619405&sr=1-9&keywords=delsheree+gladden 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Escaping-Fate-Series-ebook/dp/B0042P550O/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1393494974&sr=1-4&keywords=DelSheree+Gladden 


***NEW RELEASE FEBRUARY 26th 2014***

Arrabella thought she was done with dreams, done with curses and the threat of death.

After surviving the ancient Aztec curse that had plagued her family for centuries, Arra was more than ready for her new life in the boring little town of Grainer, Maine. Boring and small sounded perfect...but she should have known better than to think it would last.

The dream was odd, but Arra passed it off as nerves about starting school in Grainer. Her boyfriend, Tanner, was there to distract her…and get her into a little trouble as well. He pushes the dream out of her mind until they walk onto the school campus and see her. The lonely girl from Arra’s dream.
Tanner’s reaction is fierce. He won’t risk losing Arra again and demands she stay away from Sibeal, but Arra can’t stop thinking about her haunted expression. What if she can help her? Arra can’t just walk away and let whatever curse has a hold of Sibeal claim her without trying to stop it. But what if Sibeal deserves the punishment?

Arra’s battle to make the right choice about Sibeal only gets harder when she is forced to turn to the person in town she likes least for help. Sebastian Wallace is arrogant and irritating, but he’s seems to be the only one who can help her. As Arra tries to determine what the right choice is, she finds out saving Sibeal may be the least of her problems.


http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Stone-Escaping-DelSheree-Gladden-ebook/dp/B00INJGPQI/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1393439883&sr=1-9&keywords=delsheree+gladden 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Soul-Stone-Escaping-Fate-Series-ebook/dp/B00INJGPQI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1393495593&sr=1-1&keywords=DelSheree+Gladden 


 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upny29DHoYI

DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist. Her works include Escaping Fate, Twin Souls Saga, The Destroyer Trilogy, and Invisible. Look for, Wicked Power, the next book in the Someone Wicked This Way Comes Series, and Soul Stone, book two in the Escaping Fate Series, coming 2014.

Also by the author!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16114834-inquest
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17413095-secret-of-betrayal
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17830049-darkening-chaos

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9721730-twin-souls
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11276752-shaxoa-s-gift
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13394465-qaletaqa

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18191070-wicked-hunger

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18681291-invisible

Throwback Thursday #10



This Meme is hosted by Melissa at My World in Words and Pages. Go to her blog and join us!

I blog about great looking new releases, new books sent to me for read and review, book reviews of what I've read and features about exciting new authors to try.

But what about all the books that are already on my TBR, waiting for me to read them? Don't they deserve a mention and a chance to be highlighted? Yes they do!

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where I will take the time to tell you about some of the books that have been on my shelves for a while and maybe a few of you will add them to your wishlists/tbrs. If you have read them, why not leave a comment to tell me what you thought of it-but no spoilers please! This week I have chosen three more books to tempt you with. 

DYSTOPIAN CHOICE:
No, she thought. No, please, God, I'm not seeing this

Seventeen-year-old Alex is hiking through the wilderness when it happens: an earth-shattering electromagnetic pulse that destroys almost everything.

Survivors are divided between those who have developed a superhuman sense and those who have aquired a taste for human flesh. These flesh-hunters stalk the land: hungry, ruthless and increasingly clever...

Alex meets Tom, a younge army veteran, and Ellie, a lost girl. They will fight together and be torn apart, but Alex must face the most difficult question of all:
In such a vastly changed world, who can you trust?

A srtory of high-wire tension, gut-wrenching twist, and burgeoning love, Ashes will leave you breathless
.


HISTORICAL CHOICE:
The tragic, moving, and gripping story of the ascendance and fall of Katherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, and the best friend she nearly dragged down with her

When twelve-year-old Katherine Howard comes to live in the Duchess of Norfolk's household she could not be more different than her poor relation, Cat Tilney. Yet, of all their companions, it is Cat, watchful and ambitious, to whom the seemingly frivolous young girl confides. When Katherine is summoned to the royal court at seventeen--to become, months later, the wife of Henry VIII after he casts off his previous queen--she leaves behind an ex-lover, Francis, with whom Cat is soon passionately involved.

But a future that seems assured for the pampered new queen and her maid-in-waiting lasts a brief year and a half, only to be imperiled by improper acts and scandalous allegations of girlhood love affairs. Imprisoned in the Tower and hoping to escape a most terrible fate, a frightened, desperate Katherine relates a version of events that only Cat recognizes as a lie--as more than one life is threatened by what she alone knows to be the truth about Katherine Howard's past.


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

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.

While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.

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


FOLLOW ME:
http://chucklesbookcave.blogspot.co.uk/
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https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3426724-chucklesthescot
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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Book Review: Shadow Demon by Judith Post(Wolf's Bane #2)

A gargoyle rescued Reece Rutherford from a werewolf attack. A bloodred, hexagram tattoo stains Reece's skin where the werewolf's paw touched her, and her magic is awakened. Hecate feels the shift in Bay City's magic and comes to train Reece as a new witch...and helps make Reece strong enough to survive the rogues that are trying to take over Bay City. So, when an ancient, evil warlock comes to claim Hecate and unleashes a shadow demon on his victims, it's Reece's turn to protect her mentor. But she can't do it alone. The gargoyles who stand guard over mortals and the werewolf pack that calls Bay City home all join together to destroy the Egyptian pharoah, who's studied the dark arts century after century.

My Review:
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Reece and her friends have defeated the rogues but a new terror is coming for them. A warlock obsessed with making Hecate his mate is in town to claim her and will kill anyone who tries to stop him, unleashing a shadow demon on the innocent, and dark magic. Now the gargoyles, werewolves and witches have to find a way to work together to defeat the demon and his master.

I was a big fan of book one and this sequel does not disappoint. It keeps the same fast paced action of Wolf's Bane and continues to add depth to the characters. All my favourites from book one are back again ie Andre, Father Daniels, Benito and the werewolf pack, plus we have a few new ones as well. I was happy to see that Luna is being introduced after hearing about her in book one. It was also nice to see a different side to Hecate. She is always a self assured and confident witch but now we see her scared and vulnerable which adds a lot to her character and provides an interesting twist to the story. She is now the one who needs protection. We also get to see a bit more of the werewolf pack members like Bull and Whitey which was nice.

This plot is totally different from book one and features a battle of white magic versus black magic. The gang need to think about how to stop the demon's killing spree and then have to find spells to help them battle a much more powerful warlock. Other enemies are coming to town to help the warlock so they must be tackled as well. Reece is still trying to learn her trade and even Hecate does not have the skill to do it alone, needing powerful allies from her past to come to her aid. It was good to see a story where the good guys are heavily outpowered and have to use brains as well as magic to try to win the battle. I also like how this story is linked to the first book in that it was Hecate's use of heavy magic to beat the rogues that allowed Nen to find her after hundreds of years of hunting. I also liked that again it was very much a team effort to fight their enemies with everyone able to bring something useful to the fight. Egypt was mentioned as being important to who Nen and Banafrit are so I was hoping that there might have been a bit more about that and maybe a bit of Egyptian mythology.

The author uses straightforward language and just enough description to set out the story, avoiding the temptation to get too descriptive or boring. Her characters are real and flawed, allowing the reader to relate to them despite them all being paranormal beings. When the magical battles are being described, they are explained clearly so you can easily imagine what is actually happening. I like her style of writing and telling the story.

The one thing that I do find slightly annoying is the constant reference to Reece being hungry and getting full descriptions of nearly every meal that she eats! In a short 200 page novel, I feel the time could be better spent but it is a minor niggle which doesn't detract from the story.

I definitely recommend this series to fans of urban fantasy, dark fantasy, paranormal, paranormal romance. I devoured this book in one sitting over several hours, so it certainly held my interest. The book has a couple of short sexual scenes but the romance elements do not overpower the main story. I will look out for other books in this series.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

Monday, 24 February 2014

Book Blitz: Earthwalker by Kellie Wallace


 photo onewiththewindbanner_zps89c7c416.jpg


Earthwalker - PROMO Blitz
By Kellie Wallace
Urban Fantasy
Date Published: 1/29/2014

Noah is an angel whose job relies on collecting human souls who aren’t ready to leave their vessels. To his brothers Michael and Gabriel, he is just another rookie, earning his arch angel wings. When Noah catches an earth bound demon in his form stealing a soul, he is sent back to Heaven to plead his case. But no one believes him. He is banished from heaven for a crime he didn’t commit, given one year on earth to find the demon responsible for his framing. If he fails to do so, he will be dragged to hell for eternity.
On his first day on earth he meets publishing assistant Fern Holliday who helps him get back on his feet. She is reluctant in getting close to him, but agrees to help Noah find the demon. By following the signs Michael sends him, Noah and Fern travel the world in search of the demon. They grow closer every day until Fern is struck down by a mystery illness. Noah is at loss at what to do as her condition worsens. Before the year is up and he returns to heaven empty handed the demon appears agreeing to be taken back, only if Noah takes Fern’s soul to Lucifer. Will he follow the strict rules of heaven or succumb to his heart? Meanwhile Lucifer’s army is growing stronger.

EXCERPT

Noah entered the hospital foyer and shivered, his wet woollen coat dripping water onto the laminate floor. Around him people moaned, writhing in pain or comforted loved ones. He always hated coming to hospitals, the trip often leaving a bitter taste in his mouth.
A young nurse engrossed in her paperwork passed him unaware of his stained clothes, wet from the rain. He must have stunk, having spent most of the night shivering in an alleyway, gaining the courage to come inside the building. He gazed at the nurses behind the reception desk taking calls and admitting new patients. They wouldn’t notice if he snuck down the hall to Room 205.
He inadvertently lifted a hand to caress his left shoulder, branded with a handprint of an archangel. It stung tonight meaning his next soul was nearby. He remembered the night he’d gotten the brand, lying on his bathroom tiles dying of a heroin overdose in 1965. He didn’t see who’d grabbed him from near death but he did remember their grip on his shoulder, their fingers boiling his skin like plastic. His soul, ripped from his body, pulled through the ceiling and into the stars. He woke up days later, hovering over a dead body. He didn’t recognise them, or how they died but somehow he knew what to do. He rested his hand upon their shoulder and was temporarily impaired by a bright light. It was gone as quickly as it came, leaving behind a feeling of euphoria. Whatever he had done felt right. A baby’s cry snapped Noah back to reality, back to the dripping coat and the chill in his bones. The smell of the hospital nauseated him. He tapped his notepad against his chest and remembered the job he had to do. He wandered down the hall passing the dead or dying in their hospital beds. They were not his tonight.
When he approached Room 205, he fished in his pocket and withdrew his leather-bound notepad. Embossed in gold was the name of his next soul. Damien Jacobs. According to Noah’s Intel from Heaven, the man had terminal cancer, dead for at least an hour. But his soul was still affixed to the hospital, not ready to leave Earth.
Noah pressed a hand against the door and searched the halls. A nurse ducked into a room nearby, a patient hung by the cafeteria. No one paid him any attention, so he turned invisible, sucking energy from the objects around him. Reaping souls took stamina and energy, draining him quickly. He had a short window of time before he materialised again.
Noah stepped into the room and paused to listen to the sound of weeping. Damien lay dead in his bed, tubes still attached to his lifeless body. After all these years as an angel, he could never forget the colour of the human skin once a soul left the body. The fragile area around Damien’s eyes appeared transparent and elastic. His family sat around him, hunched over, each gripping onto a piece of his blanket, desperate to capture his soul before it left his body. Noah saw movement in the corner of his eye. Damien stood beside him in a white hospital robe, his face blank and deadpan. “Am I dead?”
Noah froze, knowing his answer could change Damien’s fragile frame of mind. When a soul is fresh from the body, there was no telling whether they would be agitated or bitter about their death. It all came down to the first interaction. An angel must treat them as though they were still alive, human.
He took a steady step towards Damien, his hand out stretched. “I am afraid it is true. But you must come with me now,” he said gently.


Kellie Wallace

 photo Kellie20Wallace20author20pic_zps17f08074.jpgBorn in Sydney, Australia Kellie Wallace developed a love for the written word early in life, recalling her earliest memory when she was three years old. Her father used to read to her when she was a child, establishing a deep love and respect for books. Kellie wrote a bit in high school, most memorably her first fantasy book called Giblin the Conquer, an X Files fan fiction and a military fiction. She didn’t write another word until 2007.
After finishing high school, Kellie moved to the sunny Northern Beaches from the Central Coast and carved a successful career in the media/advertising industry writing for numerous Sydney based publications.
An aspiring novelist, Kellie fulfilled a dream in 2008 having her first book All She Ever Wanted published by Zeus Publications at the age of 22 years old.
In 2013, Kellie released her next catalogue of books Darkness before Dawn, Skylark. In her spare time she loves to write, game and draw. Her first crime fiction novel To lean of falling men will be out in 2014, along with EarthWalker and dystopian Edge of Tomorrow.

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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Film Review: Clash of the Titans(2010)

When the soldiers of Argos rebel against the Gods of Olympus, Zeus unleashes Hades to teach them a lesson about loyalty. Hades orders the King to sacrifice his daughter to save his people and the city. Perseus, the mortal son of Zeus wants revenge on Hades for killing his family and agrees to join an army determined to defeat the Gods and their beastly minions.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800320/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
 Filmography links and data courtesy of IMDb.

I do enjoy a bit of Greek mythology though not all of the films I've seen on the subject have been that great. This film is one that I didn't expect much of but I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw. Firstly, the acting in this film was superior to other similar films. Sam Worthington was a very believable Perseus and the fact that he is pretty damn good looking is an added bonus for female viewers! Seriously though Liam Neeson was good as the conflicted Zeus who feels guilty over the cruelty unleashed against his people, and who wants to protect his angry son. The excellent Ralph Fiennes is perfect in the part of Hades, giving him a bit of complexity in his character so you don't just see him as a bad guy. The other soldiers on the quest have good personalities and are not just there to make up the numbers. Other notable performances were Gemma Arterton and Alexa Davalos who did a nice portrayal of Andromeda.

The film also has a great cast of mythology creatures to enjoy which is the main reason to watch the film: Pegasus, evil witches, giant scorpions, Medusa, the Kracken and the Djinn. Medusa was pretty scary as monsters go and the sequence where they are trying to capture her without looking into her eyes or being killed by her was quite exciting and tension filled, one of my favourite parts of the film. The Djinn were interesting characters who tend to be vastly underused in films and books in my humble opinion, so I enjoyed seeing them in the film. The giant scorpion battle scenes were nicely done as well. The action is constant throughout and you don't have the longwinded boring bits that can often spoil these mythology films. The romance is more implied than anything else and only serves as a side story that never intrudes on the main purpose of the quest, which was good. There were also a few good moments of humour to enjoy.

Overall this was a good all action, monster rich mythology romp which I very much enjoyed. It should appeal to those who liked the original, those who like Jason and the Argonauts and anyone who likes a good action adventure film.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

Saturday, 22 February 2014

New Release: Beasthood by AZ Green(new edition)

The bloody, raw meat was tantalizing her; calling to her. She hated it and yearned for it all at once.
Stop, she ordered. What are you doing?!
So hungryyyyy, snarled a primal voice deep within her.
Don’t you dare! she screamed back.
But the primal hunger ignored her pleas and took over her body, forcing her rational voice deep within the crevices of her mind.


What would you do if you discovered you weren't human? That you turned into a bloodthirsty monster against your will? What if your instincts, emotions and desires were torn between your own and the dark, dangerous animal lurking inside of you? If it could make you yearn for someone you shouldn't, make you say and act in ways you wouldn't and overwhelm your whole existence?
If everything you'd ever known about your life was a lie?

In a world where a deeply hidden community is swathed in mystery, deadly secrets, betrayal and murder, Jaz Barker struggles to fight against the dangerous Beast within her and the emotions and desires it thrusts her way. When tensions ride high and people she cares about are put in danger, she will have to decide how much of her newly awakened animal-side she's willing to let in.

And if it is worth the risk...


Where can I buy this book? 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beasthood-Hidden-Blood-Z-Green-ebook/dp/B00CYBFTWC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393071250&sr=1-1&keywords=Beasthood 

http://www.amazon.com/Beasthood-Hidden-Blood-Z-Green-ebook/dp/B00CYBFTWC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393071307&sr=1-1&keywords=Beasthood 

My Updated Review:
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have since read the book for a second time as a new version of it has been released and it was just as good to go back to it again, so it is one that you could take down from the shelf to read over and over.*

This is a really hard book to classify into a genre. It's not really horror, urban fantasy or paranormal romance but it has shifters, and elements of several genres. Dark fantasy is the best description I think. Not all books can sucessfully bridge several genres at once but this is an example of it being done well. It is very much a character based slow burner where the tension and plot build towards the end so don't expect action packed sequences all through it. That does not mean boring as there is always something happening that takes the story forward. And yes, you will need to read book 2 to get some of the answers!

Let's start with the good stuff! First, the characters. I liked Jaz-feisty, stubborn and scared witness when weird stuff happens to her, which is what you'd expect. We get a lot of what she is thinking, her conflicted feelings, her less than sensible thought processes, so you learn a lot about her as a person. I like that she is flawed and normal and freaking out all the time, given her circumstances. I liked Alf, Ronnie, Skye and the gang a lot and they are well developed so that you care what happens to them as the story progresses. The sequence at the river had my heart in my mouth, especially concerning Ronnie and Alf. I don't want to give spoilers but it was the first time I was seriously worried for any of the gang and that shows that you have bonded with the characters. Fraya is good as the bad girl because she doesn't come across as just evil for the sake of it, she has a history that makes her that way, which I liked. She seems like a complex character and you see quite a few sides to her as the plot develops. Nik is also a complex character. He has to be the tough Pack Leader and have discipline and control, but he is also human and has flaws. There are no perfect characters which adds to the realism of the book cast. You want flawed characters as they are more interesting and it creates interesting conflicts.
I like the kidnap scene going wrong, as it shows that even the best plans made by supernatural beings can be royally screwed up.
 

I liked that the author has done something different with the shifter genre as well, which isn't easy given their popularity. They aren't a bunch of sex mad monsters constantly howling at the moon, mating and fighting, they are people who are different. They talk, they work, they have fun, they show a whole range of emotions. The story flows smoothly though you must pay attention to the first few chapters as the flashbacks go back a full year and if you aren't paying attention, you might get confused. It is well written and when the tension starts building in the last third of the book, it really becomes absorbing. The whole arena scene was pretty nerve jangling as you didn't know what was going to happen next and I was quite upset about what happened to one of my favourites! I was also trying to think through who the traitor was and certain clues were given ie eye colour, that I might need to go back and look at again as I have two suspects in mind. My short term memory is not very good so I can't hold all the info to let me solve the puzzle!

Dialogue is obviously important to the author and a lot of seemingly innocent conversations or diary entries prove important later on so pay attention to detail. Readers who skim will miss the clues and it's fun to try and put the clues together even if you turn out to be wrong. There is also humour in the writing which I enjoy in a dark story.

The bad? Nothing that I would call bad to be honest. It does get off to a slower start than the action packed urban fantasy that I usually read so I was a bit worried that I might not get into it, but that didn't happen so that was good. The author approached me about reading the book, saying she thought I would enjoy it based on my book tastes and she showed good judgement there because I did enjoy it. Like I said it was different from my usual reads but in a good way and I will be interested in reading book 2 for sure. I would recommend this book to fans of dark fantasy, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and shifter stories.

star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

Stacking the Shelves #24


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
 
A quiet week at The Book Cave. I've hardly been in the house this week and I feel totally run down and tired so not much reading done and I've only been online for essential things mostly. Still I did get a few books worth mentioning!
 
FREE DOWNLOADS FROM SMASHWORDS:

EBOOKS BOUGHT:

BOUGHT:

 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Throwback Thursday #9



This Meme is hosted by Melissa at My World in Words and Pages. Go to her blog and join us!

I blog about great looking new releases, new books sent to me for read and review, book reviews of what I've read and features about exciting new authors to try.

But what about all the books that are already on my TBR, waiting for me to read them? Don't they deserve a mention and a chance to be highlighted? Yes they do!

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where I will take the time to tell you about some of the books that have been on my shelves for a while and maybe a few of you will add them to your wishlists/tbrs. If you have read them, why not leave a comment to tell me what you thought of it-but no spoilers please! This week I have chosen three more books to tempt you with. 

DYSTOPIAN CHOICE:
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost--how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked: Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss--maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.
When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again. 


HORROR CHOICE:
Just when you thought the horror of Off Season was vanquished in their first outing, The Family, lives on... years later continuing to terrorize the coast of Maine. And their zest for life, and yours, continues on in The Family tradition. The local sheriff of Dead River, Maine, thought he'd killed them off ten years ago... a primitive, cave-dwelling tribe of predatory savages. But somehow, the clan survived. To breed. To hunt. To kill and eat. Now the peaceful residents, who came to Dead River to escape civilization, are fighting for their lives....

URBAN FANTASY CHOICE:
Being strong is one thing. Being an unlimited source of power is quite another.

Genetically altered by the Organization, Annie Fox takes down criminals CIA-style with her luminary strength. With nothing to mend but her broken heart, she is relentlessly pursued by her boss Derek Lake. Just when Annie is about to give him a chance, her ex-husband unexpectedly comes out of hiding.

A wanted man, Nick Logan is a cold-hearted murderer who is considered enemy number one, and orders are clear: kill on contact. He is more powerful than ever and threatens the lives of those she holds most dear. His plan? Get his hands on Annie and use her Kinetic energy to destroy them all. When Annie finds herself with an opportunity to end him, she pauses, horrified by the scars covering the face she once loved. A split second that will cost her everything…