Friday, October 31, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014


November is here and you know what that means.

NaNoWriMo time!

video
(Thank you Frodo, @1FantasyFanatic on Twitter and of Frodo's Blog of Randomness for pulling this clip together for me last year.)

I'll be off the grid for the month of November participating in NaNoWriMo. I'll try to do a check in a time or two through the month with updates, but mostly I won't be around. I'll be back in December getting back into the swing of things for the new year.

Usually I do a post of what I've learned the previous year(s) to remember and expand on for this year. This year I'm doing it a little different...

I'm going to do things a little different for NaNo this year. (If this upsets any NaNo-ers, then I'm sorry.) I've got three very basic stories started that I WANT to get re-written and fixed up. I want to learn from each story and make it better than what I had started with. So for NaNo this year I'm doing re-writes - NaNo-Re-WriMo. Yes it's not the traditional idea but it's what I need to do for myself.

I love the rush and craziness of that first drawing of the story. But I've found I miss a lot at doing that too. I want to fine tune what I have as it's missing scenes and create something to a ground zero draft. I figure this would be a great opportunity to focus on at least two of these stories.

My goal for the month of November:
-- Finish current read through/re-writes, which includes a few scenes not added in the rush of writing the story. Then re-read it to make sure flows and add a few touch-ups.
-- Read the fantasy story I started. Here I'll make notes as I know there is a LOT to fix and redo. Read and note additions, changes, deletions, blah blah. You know how it goes. There is even a WHOLE leg of the journey I didn't even write! So maybe I can write that? But I need to outline the world and what I need to setup for the end to happen, along with what lines I dropped into space. Then, if I'm lucky and cruising, I can start re-writes on this fantasy! Woot woot. That would be awesome!

So, it's a bit untraditional but what I feel I need to do at this time.

Happy NaNo-ing to all that are diving into the rush of a new (or old) novel.

#PromoteTheGood

I've stayed off Twitter and Facebook for a few days earlier this week/last week, intentionally. I didn't want to be reminded of the crazy that's out there. If I do, I'll stop doing this internet stuff right that moment. I want to remember the people I've been in contact with.

I thought of all the amazing people I've worked with. All the authors that are AMAZING. Yes, AMAZING in all caps. The people that are uplifting and fun to talk too. The only crazy is the fun laughing, enjoying each others company you have with friends.

Then one of these wonderful people did an amazing post on Facebook and it made me feel better (not because I was linked but with the point). She's right. And I want to support this, in supporting AUTHORS and BLOGGERS THAT ARE AMAZING.

First, thank you for the kind mention Seleste deLaney. You are awesome and I love you. **hugs** This was the kind of post I needed to read right now.

Seleste is one of the many authors I've worked with that is amazing. I have to admit I think I have been blessed with the authors I've worked with. They are all calm, collected, and amazing in helping me with my ventures in books and writing. Truthfully, if the authors I talk to and read weren't such a friendly crew, I'd not be going to Balticon each year. Or even doing this blogging thing. They make ME feel comfortable and wanted.

How have I been so fortunate? I don't know, but I'm thrilled to say so. So with that said, please check out my review page listed by author. There is a bit of everything for everyone here, and they are all awesome, amazing people and writers.

To name a few that have helped me in writing...

-- I will mention Seleste and Skyla Dawn Cameron. They couldn't be bigger cheerleaders for me when I started NaNoWriMo. Skyla is still waiting for words from me. *sigh*
-- I also have to mention Starla Huchton. This woman has inspired me to try writing anything and is still pushing me for words.
(okay, I might be a bit shy about sending words to anyone.)

These three stick out in my mind at the moment with NaNoWriMo starting in a few days. I know there are many MANY more authors that have helped me and have been a wonderful drive to cheer me on in writing.

I have to remember all the amazing out there to keep going. And these ladies are the starts of that thinking for me. Thank you.

To name a few bloggers that I feel I've been with since day one...

-- Melissa of Books and Things - Melissa has been a friend here since...well, I think pretty close from the starts of the blog. lol. She supportive and always fun to talk to, and read her reviews.
-- Blodeuedd of Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell - Oh Blodeuedd, we have such fun. With our wild imaginations, flash fictions, and the books we read. We have similar tastes and read both UF and Fantasy reads. :)
-- Ryan of Wordsmithonia - First, if it wasn't for Ryan, I wouldn't be blogging. I met him at Barnes & Nobles forums several years back and he took the flying leap to blogging first. Then I followed. Ryan has been a kind person to talk to for years now. :)
-- Melliane of Between Dreams and Reality - Oh Melliane. She is one of the kindest souls I've come across on the internet. Melliane found me when she started blogging, I think. And I love sharing books with her. We each find something different, and they all sound so amazing!

Again, this is just a few of the amazing people I follow on the blog-o-sphere. And, again, I feel those I read and talk too (bloggers and authors) are ALL well worth a look. They are amazing people, and that's what I want to remember in the world.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cover Reveal: Mystery Night


Ghosts for Halloween?!? Yes please. Thank you!

Woot woot! I'm THRILLED! to share this new cover with you all. Krista D. Ball has been on my list for a few series and books that I neeeeed to have. And this makes me happy to share a cover and blurp for the next Spirit Caller story coming our way.

Are you ready? I know I am!

Mystery Night
Spirit Caller #4
By:  Krista D. Ball
Due Out:  December 15, 2014

Description:
In the fourth installment of the Spirit Caller series, Rachel finds herself investigating a ghost's murder and his accusations cause her to dig into the pasts of the dead and the living to uncover the truth. Only, all roads lead back to the same horrible place: her elderly neighbour's doorstep.


Yep. I'm excited! I NEEEEED TO KNOW!!!

I loved the first three stories. The first three were novella lengths, but this one is a short novel! Woot woot!

Curious about the first three? I'll share the covers and descriptions with you. (you'll have a bit of time to get through them for the fourth books release.)

Spirits Rising
Description:
Rachel Mills has one wish in life: for the spirit world to shut up and leave her alone. She thought her move to a remote fishing village in Northern Newfoundland would help.

Population: Twenty. What could go wrong?

Instead of peace, however, she relocates to a land of superstitution, the air alive with the presence of others.

When a local teenager accidentally summons the spirits of the area, including those from a thousand-year-old Viking settlement, all supernatural breaks loose. As the spirits stalk her and each other, Rachel finds herself in over her head. With the help of Mrs. Saunders, her 93-year-old neighbour, Rachel has to put aside her own prejudices long enough to send the spirits back to rest, or risk being caught in the midst of a spirit war.

Dark Whispers
Description:
A rash of teen suicides shakes the remote Newfoundland village that Rachel Mills calls home. As Rachel helps the school investigate, painful memories from her past – events she’d worked very hard to forget – continue to resurface.

As if she didn't have enough problems. Her beloved 93-year-old neighbor develops heart problems. The man Rachel's in love with, moves into her house--along with his girlfriend, the most perfect woman in creation. And a strung-out wreck of a woman claiming to be Rachel's biological mother shows up on her doorstep. But it isn’t until a local boy with a talent for spellwork, is attacked by a mysterious stranger that Rachel asks the question she’s avoided her whole life: how powerful can a Spirit Caller like herself become?

Knight Shift
Description:
After a lifetime of running away from spirits, Rachel Mills finds herself chasing them. Someone or something is harassing Manny O'Toole, a local teenage spellcaster.

To complicate things, a mysterious man arrives in town. So naturally Rachel has to find out who and what he really is. Provided she can sneak away from Mrs. Saunders, her 93 year old neighbour, a local senior and troublemaker.

On top of it all, Rachel’s made a decision about Jeremy, the secret love of her life. It’s time to have a chat.


Do you need to catch up on the series? Easy enough! Here are links to the books and the collection book with all three in:

The first book, Spirits Rising, is FREE!


And there's a collection of all three together:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Review: Haunted

Haunted

By:  Amanda Bonilla

Publish Date:  October 9, 2012

Publisher:  NYLA Publishing

Format:  eBook, 48pgs

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1.5 Novella in Sentry of Evil series; 1st Book ~ Vengeance Borne

Recommendation:  Oh yes. Lovely little read in the world of Sentry of Evil. Little bit of love and a haunting.

Synopsis:
A short story from the Sentry of Evil world…

Working on a TV special about one of McCall, Idaho’s legendary “haunted” hotels isn’t exactly how production assistant Alyssa Shaw wants to spend her weekend. But when the hotel’s handsome caretaker finds her outside at night, Alyssa forgets all about ghosts and her annoying boss.

Alec Bailey knows a thing or two about the supernatural world and its dangers. When the local news crew shows up to do a piece on his hotel, he knows he should send them away…especially with that unchecked demon lurking on the property perimeter. Supernatural protocol dictates he call in Jacquelyn, McCall’s own demon hunter, but he isn’t ready to say goodbye to the beautiful crew member who reminds of a time in his life long past…

If Alec can’t keep Alyssa from the forest, she’s as good as dead. When she ventures past the iron fence, Alec realizes that he’ll have to defy supernatural law if he’s going to save her. And it may be that defiance, this time, will save him right back…

First Sentence:
"Okay, let's unpack the gear and then everyone can get set up in a room."

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles

**I read this story for my own enjoyment.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Alyssa is a production assistant in a crew filming a supposed haunted hotel as a highlight story for Halloween. Alyssa feels the need to leave her room and go for a walk late at night as her boss and the anchor-woman are busy rattling the walls. Before she gets to the woods Alec stops her. There is something dangerous out in the woods that will kill. There is a familiarity between the two as well, but neither knows the other feels it.

To me this is a blend of spooky-sweet. What's out there in the woods, nasty. Not good out there. But Alec and Alyssa, sweet. Kind of a Val-oween?

This novella takes place not long after the first book, Vengeance Borne, of furies attacks. Jacquelyn has her hands full with the after affects but she shows up briefly here. We see Jacquelyn briefly here as she is hunting what is in the woods.

The news crew don't seem to find the ghosts they are looking for, but what's out in the woods is much more dangerous. Alec does his best to protect the guests by boarding up all the exits except the front door, to keep them from the woods. It almost works.

Alec and Alyssa both have a common feeling of familiarity and attraction for each other, neither know the other feels this way. As if they'd meet before. This is something that I wish was explored a little more, but was so sweet in this novella. We get the view from Alyssa and Alec to get the full feel of the thoughts and attraction. I hope we get a chance to see these two again in the novels at some point, I'd like to know them a bit better.

I will say I had my suspicions of Alec, you read you'll understand. I was kept in suspense of him and his being and rules for the story. I had to know more about him. In the end, I got them.

Do you need to read Vengeance Borne to read this? No, I don't think so. These two characters are not in Vengeance Borne. But you won't know the town and what Jacquelyn's job is. You'll deduce it from this story. There are no major spoilers of the first book here though, or so I thought.

After reading this, I wanted to watch High Spirits again. Do you know that movie? A movie from 1988 with ghosts and a castle. Was cute and fun. I think if you enjoyed the movie, you'll enjoy the quick story.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review: Rusted Veins

Rusted Veins

By:  Jaye Wells

Publish Date:  October 28, 2013

Publisher:  Orbit

Format:  eBook, 52pgs

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  5.5 in Sabina Kane series: 1st Book ~ Red-Headed Stepchild, 2nd Book ~ The Mage in Black, 2.5 Short story ~ Violet Tendencies, 3rd Book ~ Green-Eyed Demon, 4th Book ~ Silver-Tongued Devil, 5th Book ~ Blue-Blooded Vamp

Recommendation:  Visit old friends once again. Loved seeing the crew back at work.

Synopsis:
Halloween in New Orleans is usually a treat. But for Sabina Kane and the rest of Team Awesome, this year's celebration has its share of nasty tricks. When Brooks's new waitress goes missing, the Changeling asks Sabina to help him find her.

The problem? The missing mage is one of Adam Lazaru's old flames, and having her show up in their lives is giving Sabina heartburn. Plus saving her may also threaten the fragile peace Sabina's achieved for the Dark Races. Luckily for Adam's ex—but unlucky for her kidnappers—Sabina Kane isn't easily spooked.

First Sentence:
Some cities are naturally holiday cities.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles

**I read this story for my own enjoyment.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Sabina is returning home from her duty filled European trip. A home town that livens up at Halloween, New Orleans. Halloween is just days away. Gighul gets the night away from home and wants to hang with Sabina and Adam, like the old days, at Erron's for dinner. Erron shares news that his concert won't happen on Halloween after what his psychic bassist saw. And Brooks rushes in late with terrible news of a missing waitress who had a date with a vampire two nights ago and hasn't been home since. Brooks is terrified for the girl as she once was into drugs and, well, vampire! Gighul and Adam are ready to go find Candy, but Sabina isn't as gun ho especially after she learns the girl is an ex of Adam's.

I don't want to say to much and give the story away. I enjoy this world and seeing these characters again.

I was a little surprised to see Sabina was living in New Orleans, then not so much with the friends she made here and the thinness of the veil between life and death - with her connections and all.

Sabina. Oh I loved the evil and wicked Sabina. The saucy woman ready to draw her gun and shoot first. Sabina has grown and changed with the position she has inherited. And the people around her have loved her and it shows. Sabina seems to be managing well as head of the Dark Races Cabinet. Sabina has matured! She still has a stubborn streak, but she's learning.

We hear, see, names we are very familiar with. Michael Romulus, Queen Maeve, Rhea, Maisie, and yes Adam. Then we have the one and only Gighul. But there are so many more that are present in this short read. It's amazing how Jaye was able to bring such a cast together in a quick read.

It is so cool to see them all again. To see where they all went and became. They are all still the same feisty bunch we meet but time and life has taken each to a new level in their lives.

Definitely read this AFTER you finish the series up. The first page tells you how it all ends and the way things are now for everyone.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Post #68

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~

Another week of October has slipped away. Where does the time go? It feels as each year the time slips through my fingers like water. Now, it feels like water rushing down a waterfall. There is no pause before each molecule is gone. It seems crazy!

I did get a few posts up last week. But I didn't get to my emails. I hate that as I am one to respond to emails, and it's been about two months now since I've done so. Maybe this week will be the week I can get to those. Kiddo is done with football now and we aren't doing training this week. So maybe...

I even have a few reviews that I have to write yet as well. And October will be ending soon and November will be here. That means NaNoWriMo! *sigh*


What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Edgelanders by Jennifer Melzer (will start this week)


Current Podcast Book Listen:
The Horde by Patrick Scaffido


Finished Last Week: (in last month)
nothing


Finished Podcast Book Listen:
None finished yet.

~~~~~~~~~~

Last Week on the Blog:



Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)






Posts:

YOU can make book 3 possible! Another series ended by the publisher, before it's truly ended. (Book 3 has always been the planned end.)

Flash Fiction (13) by yours truly and links to two friends as well. --- hope you enjoy.

Around the Internet...



Reviews:
GIVEAWAYS:




Weekly Posts:

Mythical Monday
Throwback Thursday


~~~~~~~~~~

This Week to Come on the Blog:

This is Halloween week, so I've planned two reviews and a cover reveal that follow the theme. ;)

Review:  Rusted Veins by Jay Wells (Tuesday)
Review:  Haunted by Amanda Bonilla (Wednesday)
Cover Reveal:  Mystery Night by Krista D. Ball (Thursday)

~~~~~~~~~~

Received Last Weeks:


Review:


For Review Consideration:



Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Red Blooded by Amanda Carlson
Goodreads Synopsis:
After Jessica's brother is kidnapped and taken to the Underworld, she will stop at nothing to get him back. But before her grueling training is finished, Jessica's power mixes unexpectedly with the circle and she's dropped into the Underworld without protection or her escorts.




Free Ebooks:
(Kindle)
The Goblin Market by Jennifer Melzer
Goodreads Synopsis:
Beyond the Goblin Market lies the remains of a lost and broken kingdom divided by war. The war has been over for centuries, but the kingdoms still stand apart, overrun by a creeping goblin darkness known as the Darknjan Wald. It has been written that only one holds the power to destroy that darkness and reunite the kingdoms, but she has no memory of her former life. 

Meredith Drexler must save her sister, Christina, from the wicked goblin king, Kothar, who has kidnapped the girl in order to convince Meredith to uphold an ancient commitment Meredith doesn't remember making. Sent Upland disguised as a human child, she has no recollection of her former faerie life, or her uncle's promised marriage betrothal to Kothar. 

When she ventures back Underground in search of Christina, every step Meredith takes brings memories of her forgotten past back to the surface. As the pressures of her former life entangle with her quest to save her kidnapped sister, Meredith's predetermined fate is revealed. Will she embrace it, or walk away forever from a life she barely remembers as her own?

(Nook)
Vatican Assassin by Mike Luoma
Goodreads Synopsis:
BERNARD CAMPION'S friends call him "BC." Not that he has a lot of friends. You don't make a lot of friends when you're an assassin. His mission: eliminate the governor of Luna Prime, Meredith McEntyre. His bosses, The Office of Papal Operations: The OPO, tell him she's been sympathizing with the enemy, the Universal Islamic Nation (UIN). His boss? BC works for the Pope. IT'S 2109, a time of war. BC is "officially" assigned as PR man to the Vatican Mission on Luna Prime, the major city on The Moon, as his cover. Just a mild mannered, young, twenty-something priest working for the New catholic Church on public relations. But he's really a weapon pointed at the UIN by the NcC and their Earth based allies, the Universal Trade Zone, the UTZ.


Free Audio Books/Stories:


~~~~~~~~~~

Reviews to Come:

Ravenwood by Nathan Lowell - a podcast reading of the book
The Secret World Chronicle: The Hunt by Mercedes Lackey & Steve Libbey (in audiobook while at work)
Rusted Veins by Jaye Wells
Haunted by Amanda Bonilla
The Secret World Chronicle: World Well Lost by Mercees Lackey,Steve Libby, Cody Martin, & Dennis Lee
Harlan's Wake by John Mierau
The List by John Mierau
Tales from the Archive: 4 - Wooden Go to Waste by Sandra Wickham
Tales from the Archive: 5 (part 1 & 2) - Those Dark Satanic Mills by Suna Dasi
Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Dirty Magick: Los Angeles edited by Charlie Brown
A Cursed Bloodline by Cecy Robson

Thursday, October 23, 2014

YOU can help make book 3 possible!

Yep. You get to help make book 3, The Nothing, by Kerry Schafer possible.

Lets start at the beginning...

Kerry started a trilogy The books of the Between. The first book, Between, was released January 2013. The second book, Wakeworld, was released January 2014. Kerry describes them as a blend between Urban and High Fantasy. (sounds like winners to me!)

Between
Description:
"Vivian Maylor can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because she just broke up with her boyfriend and moved to a new town, or it could be the stress of her new job at the hospital. But perhaps it’s because her dreams have started to bleed through into her waking hours.

All of her life Vivian has rejected her mother’s insane ramblings about Dreamworlds for concrete science and fact, until an emergency room patient ranting about dragons spontaneously combusts before her eyes—forcing Viv to consider the idea that her visions of mythical beasts might be real.

And when a chance encounter leads her to a man she knows only from her dreams, Vivian finds herself falling into a world that seems strange and familiar all at once—a world where the line between dream and reality is hard to determine, and hard to control…"

Wakeworld
Description:
Vivian Maylor is trying to hold it together. But her attempts to build a life with the man she loves seem doomed by the dragon inside her yearning to break free. Vivian is a dreamshifter, the last line of defense between reality and the dreamworld, and the only one of her kind.

Weston Jennings also believes he is the only one of his kind. He fears his powers as a dreamshifter, and resists learning to control them. After suffering a tragic loss, Weston heads deep into the woods of the Pacific Northwest to embrace a safe life of solitude. But when a terrible mistake leads to an innocent’™s death, his guilt drives him to his former home, where he encounters what he never thought he would find: another shifter.

Now Vivian and Weston must work together to defeat a new threat to the dreamworld.




I know there are tons of people out there that enjoyed these books. But, unfortunately, it wasn't tons enough. The publisher has decided to not continue with the series. Now those people are waiting for book three and the conclusion to the trilogy. AND those of us who have the first two books to read on our shelves NEED to know there is a book three we can conclude with.

This is where you can help.

Kerry has a kickstarter going on right now to sponsor the book, and receive a copy at if you please, and get that book out in the world.

Briefly about the third book, The Nothing:
Dream worlds are dying and taking dreamers with them. Vivian hates sorcery, but her only hope of saving both worlds and dreamers lies with the Sorcieri. She will have to risk everything she has ever loved to claim her own neglected power and stop Aidan, the evil Dragon Queen, from her plan of total annihilation.


Are you up to helping? You can head over to Kerry's Kickstarter and find the level of Pledge that you feel comfortable with.

Thank you!



NOTE:
If you are curious and want to learn more about the books...
Kerry shared about her dragons here:  Let there be Dragons
Kerry shared about her Bigfoot here:  Beware the Bigfoot

And you can visit Kerry's site with all her information and about her books:  http://www.kerryschafer.com/

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book Review: The Broken Road

The Broken Road

By:  Teresa Frohock

Publish Date:  September 21, 2014

Publisher:  The Story Vault

Format:  eBook

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st in Frayed Empire series

Recommendation:  Wow. A whole new world and magic created in a novella. I enjoyed the chanting magic and use of vibration. Then the whole element of the connection of worlds and what darkness is present on the other side... and seeping into this fantasy world as well.

Synopsis:
The world of Lehbet is under siege. The threads that divide Lehbet from the mirror world of Heled are fraying, opening the way for an invasion by an alien enemy that feeds on human flesh.

Travys, the youngest of the queen’s twin sons, was born mute. He is a prince of the Chanteuse, nobles who channel their magic through their voices. Their purpose is to monitor the threads and close the paths between the worlds, but the Chanteuse have given themselves over to decadence. They disregard their responsibilities to the people they protect—all but Travys, who fears he’ll fail to wake the Chanteuse to Heled’s threat in time to prevent the destruction of Lehbet.

Within the palace, intrigue creates illusions of love where there is none, and when Travys’ own brother turns against him, he is forced to flee all that he has known and enter the mirror world of Heled where the enemy has already won. In Heled, he must find his true voice and close the threads, or lose everyone that he loves.

First Sentence:
Outside the gilded halls of Aquitania, summer wilted the crops in the fields.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles

My Thoughts and Summary:
Travys, the prince, and Marc, Travys lowborn noble friend, find a morbid sight of the dead god and the sacrifice with it. The nobles have not done as they promised to the lowborn citizens. The promise to hold back the fray and beasts within. The person behind the ritual and fueling the lowborn is more than Travys had imagined and Travys is on the mission to find this person to protect his people. Then the matter of the princes marriage comes forth as another problem and his twin is not pleased.

Wow. A whole new world and magic created in a novella. I enjoyed the chanting magic and use of vibration. Then the whole element of the connection of worlds and what darkness is present on the other side... and seeping into this fantasy world as well.

I like there is a chanting magic to create the spells on walls to help protect the town people and to try and hold the fraying edges of reality together, keeping the dark monsters born from the fraying edges at bay. But things aren't going so well with the magic either. Only the nobles are of this magic.

Travys, the second of the Queen's twin sons, was born mute so he's powerless to the changing magic in his blood. Yet he has found a way to make the magic work for him.

This feels like a dark fantasy to me, more so than horror. There are ugly dark things in the world Travys lives in and beyond. Yet some of those dark things are not as terrible, at the moment, as others. The book didn't make me jump or scare me, so it's not that sort of horror.

This story surprised me when I got into it. I enjoyed the writing and the creation here. What surprised me is this is a novella! It reads like a full length fantasy novel. With each page the world and characters grow along with the plot and troubles they come across.

I look forward to more of this world. there is so much here to explore and so many possibilities. And I have a few curious thoughts on what else could happen. Oh do I hope Teresa gets us more of The Frayed Empire soon!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Review: Stoned in Charm City

Stoned in Charm City

By:  Kelly A. Harmon

Publish Date:  May, 2014

Publisher:  Pole to Pole Publishing

Format:  eARC

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in Charm City Darkness series

Recommendation:  An Urban Fantasy with a religious tone to the magic.

Synopsis:
"No Good Deed Goes Undamned"

Forty dollars. Two crisp twenties. All that stands between Assumpta Mary Margaret O’Connor and homelessness.

For the price of forty dollars, she helps archeologist Greg LaSpina find something he’s lost–and causes all Hell to break loose.

Literally.

With demons tormenting their every step, Assumpta and Greg become both hunted and hunter in their search for a way to send the demons back to Hell. One careless mistake could cost them their lives.

Wrestling with her faith, Assumpta considers an offer made by one very sexy demon: sleep with him, and learn how to rid the world of the escaped evil.

But the offer comes with a steep price: her immortal soul.

First Sentence:
"Do my numbers."

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles

My Thoughts and Summary:
Assumpta is looking for work to pay rent and her father. She breaks a promise to her mother when a man sent by her ex-best friend instants to pay her to read his numbers for his fortune. Assumpta doesn't like what she sees in the results. Greg needs Assumpta to help him by using her specialty of finding things. The item he's lost, or more what was in it, is Pandora's urn he was taking care of from a dig he was on. Greg's touch brings Assumpta head long into his search for the presence that was in Pandora's urn.

Assumpta is in debt - college bills which she didn't get to complete, rent, and her greedy father who's charging her for everything since birth (including birth). Greg is cursed by an ancient jar that housed Pandora's sins. But contacting Assumpta for help, Greg has cursed the Religious strong woman.

This story has a religious tone to it. There isn't a witch craft here or something paranormal. The magic here is based on Religious belief. Assumpta's strong Catholic belief almost gives it a feel of magic of it's own. That belief and the church is what Assumpta uses to save herself and Greg. Now I'm not a big religious person, but with the way it reads in this book it's like any other magic I've read in Urban Fantasy or Fantasy reads. Assumpta has a strong belief and the "magic" works from that belief.

I liked Assumpta when I first met her. Then she started talking to Greg about needing to believe and baptism and such. Seeing Greg as one that's not a believer was a nice balance, and even in the end you see the scales tip in opposite directions. But this first talk with Greg and Assumpta is one that is very common, and hit home a bit with me. Once I got past my initial feelings I realized the Catholic belief Assumpta has is like any magical strong belief for witches or any other Urban Fantasy, that I wasn't being preached too. And on I went with the book, easy enough. Her belief was working to save her and Greg from the "demons" attached to them.

There were a few things that felt vague to me. The beginning was shaky for me - in connections and believably areas. Like I wasn't sure how a demon came to be attached to Assumpta, or why. It's said, yes, but I still felt as something was missing. There was also Assumpta's unknown helper. I didn't realize he was different from her "Rider" minion at first.

I like the ending of the book with Assumpta. This is the first book of the series, setting the stage for the world and the characters. I'm curious to see where the author goes as Assumpta seems different in the end, and one I'm curious to follow and watch grow. And curious about Jak, and see more of him.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Post #67

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~

So I was able to be back a little bit this week. Woot woot! Life still took over from Thursday on, so I haven't been on the computer since Wednesday. But I was on for a few hours previously in the week. I did start a few reviews and posts for scheduling, and enjoyed myself. :) I forgot, in all the craziness of life, how much fun I have here working posts up. But I'm going to take it slow at posting as life is still on the go-go.

But I did get two posts up this week. Other than that, not much to share. Hope you all have a great week!


What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Edgelanders by Jennifer Melzer (will start this week)


Current Podcast Book Listen:
The Horde by Patrick Scaffido


Finished Last Week: (in last month)
Stoned in Charm City by Kelly A. Harmon


Finished Podcast Book Listen:
None finished yet.

~~~~~~~~~~

Last Week on the Blog:



Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)






Posts:



Around the Internet...



Reviews:
GIVEAWAYS:




Weekly Posts:

Mythical Monday
Throwback Thursday


~~~~~~~~~~

This Week to Come on the Blog:

I have two reviews I'm planning on touching up and posting this week.
The Broken Road by Teresa Frohock
Stoned in Charm City by Kelly A. Harmon

~~~~~~~~~~

Received Last Weeks:


Review:


For Review Consideration:



Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:



Free Ebooks:



Free Audio Books/Stories:


~~~~~~~~~~

Reviews to Come:

Ravenwood by Nathan Lowell - a podcast reading of the book
The Secret World Chronicle: The Hunt by Mercedes Lackey & Steve Libbey (in audiobook while at work)
Rusted Veins by Jaye Wells
Haunted by Amanda Bonilla
The Secret World Chronicle: World Well Lost by Mercees Lackey,Steve Libby, Cody Martin, & Dennis Lee
Harlan's Wake by John Mierau
The List by John Mierau
Tales from the Archive: 4 - Wooden Go to Waste by Sandra Wickham
Tales from the Archive: 5 (part 1 & 2) - Those Dark Satanic Mills by Suna Dasi
Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Dirty Magick: Los Angeles edited by Charlie Brown
A Cursed Bloodline by Cecy Robson
The Broken Road by Teresa Frohock
Stoned in Charm City by Kelly A. Harmon

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tales from the Archives, Vol 3: #3

Tales from the Archives, Vol. 3: #3

By:  Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

Written by:  Michael Spence

Narrated by:  Philippa Ballantine

Format:  Podcast, 47:24 minutes

Genre:  Fantasy, Steampunk

Series:  3rd in Tales of the Archives Vol. 3 podcasts, part of A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series

Recommendation:  Nice way to meet new characters and authors in this steampunk-ish world particularly if you enjoyed the book; A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, Phoenix Rising.  The archives are full of stories to be told.

Synopsis:
Why the Sea is Boiling Hot

Researcher Dodgson is happy in the bowels of the R&D department of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, until a mysterious death and the question of space and time fling him out of it. He finds himself in the foreign environment of field work, with the whole fate of the Ministry, and the Empire itself in his nervous hands.

My Thoughts and Summary:
In London 1871 there is a man who went for a walk through Hide Park. Simons Ravensdale is an elderly gentleman who was shoot in the heart. No shot was heard and no one was seen leaving. There is an exit wound, but no entrance wound!

The story starts right off with the murder and leaving us curious of what happened. My kind of start!!

We meet Agent Hugh Carpenter and Agent Dodgson in this story. Agent Carpenter transfers to the War Office to guard the secret project. Dodgson gets caught up in the details of the secret project plans Carpenter accidentally took from the office. The theory of folding space was a touch hard for me to follow while listening. I would like to have read that section so I could reread to try to imagine and wrap my brain around it. But that is my thinking process.

We see the Eather gate! Dodgeson talks to Sir Carol Ludovick, who does the Eather Gate. We see the use of the Eather Gate and speculations further from what it is currently used for. It seems House of Usher was who one wanted to get in good with.

A complex story with the Eather Gate and connections



Would you like to listen to these? For a taste of the characters or in addition to the book... Visit The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

You can find these for your Reading pleasure in any eFormat you would like at Smashwords.

You can find the Archives: Amazon Kindle ~ Tales from the Archives Scroll through the list for them all, and the ones you still need.

There are short stories always added to the listing. So keep checking back!



I listened to this short story for my own enjoyment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tales from the Archives, Vol 3: #2

Tales from the Archives, Vol. 3: #2

By:  Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

Written by: K.T. Bryski

Narrated by:  Gavin Douglas and Blythe Haynes

Format:  Podcast, 39:52 minutes

Genre:  Fantasy, Steampunk

Series:  2nd in Tales of the Archives Vol. 3 podcasts, part of A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series

Recommendation:  Nice way to meet new characters and authors in this steampunk-ish world particularly if you enjoyed the book; A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, Phoenix Rising.  The archives are full of stories to be told.

Synopsis:
Under Oak Island

Agent Brandon Hill is called in to investigate strange happenings in Nova Scotia. The location is an isolated stretch of land called Oak Island, a truly peculiar place with mystery and peril surrounding it. At the Money Pit, a man-made excavation site at the island’s heart, Hill meets up with Agent Anouk Tremblay, le Ministère Officiel d’Occurrences Sans Explication, the Québec counterpart to the Ministry.

Struggling against the dark claustrophobia lingering around them in their descent of the Money Pit, Hill and Tremblay navigate hydrological systems and digging technology to discover what has taken refuge under Oak Island.

My Thoughts and Summary:
December 1894 in Nova Scotia, Canada. Agent Brandon Hill finds his next case is in the Money Pit, an excavation pit. Brandon is to be known to the workers of the shaft as a health inspector. He is paired with a French female agent from Quebec, Agent Anouk Tremblay. No one knows what is buried in the shaft James Clark has been digging in. Clark has come across a metal plate of 155 feet across, and the Ministry won't let him go further until it is investigated. The dig operator says they saw an image of a skeleton and shadows moving on the metal plate.

The shaft was founded in 1795 by three boys and was rumored to have a pirate treasure buried in it. Oh when you finally find out what is buried deep in the shaft, you will be shocked! And a curse unlocked.

I liked that the story was well thought out. The mention of the ocean and how Clark has managed to keep the tunnels from the ocean from flooding the shaft. Yet this comes in handy later too! Excellent use of surroundings.

Brandon and Anouk feel as they are at competition with each other for who will lead the investigation and go first on everything. Brandon has an Indiana Jones feel with his quick escape. I like this!

Gripping tale with suspense! This story felt more supernatural than steampunk, but I was hooked from the beginning. The character interaction between Brandon and Anouk and the mystery suspense of what was down here. Oh, then when we saw it!



Would you like to listen to these? For a taste of the characters or in addition to the book... Visit The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

You can find these for your Reading pleasure in any eFormat you would like at Smashwords.

You can find the Archives: Amazon Kindle ~ Tales from the Archives Scroll through the list for them all, and the ones you still need.

There are short stories always added to the listing. So keep checking back!



I listened to this short story for my own enjoyment.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Post #66

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~

I'm back. Or so I hope so. I can't believe it's been about a month since I did a Sunday Post, and just shy of the same for any posts on the blog. Life has been on crazy fast forward these days. I've been on the go every night with the kiddo and his activities and things along with family things and searching to contact an aunt in Australia (by internet, sadly) with events of another aunt this last month. It's just been a crazy roller coaster ride here.

In all of this, I haven't got much done in the way of reading or writing. I'm hoping to get back on track and at it here for the remainder of October. (Yes, November is so close and I take that off to focus on NaNoWriMo.)

I did spend a good chunk of the time on preparing for a brainstorming about a story idea for NaNo. The session turned out wonderful and I can't wait for the podcast to go live for you all to hear it. :)

So, on to the bookish stuff. It's been a bit slow, but lets get updated. :)


What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Stoned in Charm City by Kelly A. Harmon


Current Podcast Book Listen:
The Horde by Patrick Scaffido


Finished Last Week: (in last month)
Dirty Magick: Los Angeles edited by Charlie Brown
A Cursed Bloodline by Cecy Robson
The Broken Road by Teresa Frohock


Finished Podcast Book Listen:
None finished yet.

~~~~~~~~~~

Last Week on the Blog:



Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)

Posts:

At The Challenged Writers blog:
Writing Update for September
Flash Fiction (11)
Flash Fiction (12)
I hope you enjoy the quick flash fictions. If you do, please feel free to leave a comment. Thank you.

Around the Internet...



Reviews:
GIVEAWAYS:




Weekly Posts:

Mythical Monday - Author Patrick Scaffido talks about Mythical African Zombies!
Throwback Thursday


~~~~~~~~~~

This Week to Come on the Blog:

I don't know yet. I'm going to sit down and figure out what I have.


~~~~~~~~~~

Received Last Weeks:


Review:


For Review Consideration:
The Broken Road by Teresa Frohock
Goodreads Description:
The world of Lehbet is under siege. The threads that divide Lehbet from the mirror world of Heled are fraying, opening the way for an invasion by an alien enemy that feeds on human flesh. 

Travys, the youngest of the queen’s twin sons, was born mute. He is a prince of the Chanteuse, nobles who channel their magic through their voices. Their purpose is to monitor the threads and close the paths between the worlds, but the Chanteuse have given themselves over to decadence. They disregard their responsibilities to the people they protect—all but Travys, who fears he’ll fail to wake the Chanteuse to Heled’s threat in time to prevent the destruction of Lehbet. 

Within the palace, intrigue creates illusions of love where there is none, and when Travys’ own brother turns against him, he is forced to flee all that he has known and enter the mirror world of Heled where the enemy has already won. In Heled, he must find his true voice and close the threads, or lose everyone that he loves.

The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton
Goodreads Description:
In the late twelfth century, across the sweeping Mongolian grasslands, brilliant, charismatic Temujin ascends to power, declaring himself the Great, or Genghis, Khan. But it is the women who stand beside him who ensure his triumph.... 
 
After her mother foretells an ominous future for her, gifted Borte becomes an outsider within her clan. When she seeks comfort in the arms of aristocratic traveler Jamuka, she discovers he is the blood brother of Temujin, the man who agreed to marry her and then abandoned her long before they could wed.
 
Temujin will return and make Borte his queen, yet it will take many women to safeguard his fragile new kingdom. Their daughter, the fierce Alaqai, will ride and shoot an arrow as well as any man. Fatima, an elegant Persian captive, will transform her desire for revenge into an unbreakable loyalty. And Sorkhokhtani, a demure widow, will position her sons to inherit the empire when it begins to fracture from within.

In a world lit by fire and ruled by the sword, the tiger queens of Genghis Khan come to depend on one another as they fight and love, scheme and sacrifice, all for the good of their family...and the greatness of the People of the Felt Walls.


Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
The whole package from the kickstarter:

River by Skyla Dawn Cameron
Goodreads Description:
Defiant, nocturnal, moody–though River sounds like a typical teenager, she’s anything but. River’s a werewolf. 

The life of an alpha female wolf was irrevocably changed the night she was attacked and bitten, and awoke confused, alone, and human. Three years later, thrust into a world where she doesn’t belong and living in foster care, River barely tolerates humanity and still doesn’t know who bit her or why. 

But River isn’t as alone as she previously thought; someone’s been watching her, someone who holds the answers she’s been seeking. And though the human who changed her seems to be a step ahead of her at every turn, River is determined to beat his game and return to her pack and mate. 

As if being stuck in a world she hates, with a life she never asked for, and faced with a destiny she doesn’t want wasn’t bad enough, River still must find a way to survive every human’s greatest challenge: high school.


Free Ebooks:
(Kindle)
Edgelander's by Jennifer Melzer
Goodreads Description:
When Princess Lorelei of Leithe overhears her fiancé’s plot to murder her on the way to their wedding, she does the only smart thing: she runs. 

Into the Edgelands, the savage, woodland home of the legendary U’lfer, a race of fierce wolves who walk as men, she knows she is as good as dead, but she would rather be torn apart by werewolves than die by Trystay’s hand. 

A young U’lfer warrior named Finn catches her scent on the wind and finds himself possessed by an unnatural desire to shield and protect her from that which hunts her. From the moment he first sees her, Finn knows she is his. He feels her heartbeat, knows her soul, and he will do anything, even suffer exile from the Edgelands to be with her. 

But there is more to Lorelei than meets the eye. She is like Finn; there is U’lfer blood in her veins, a beast beneath her skin she never knew was there. The answers she seeks lie south, in the frozen tundra of Rimian, where a village of people just like her have been waiting for Lorelei to come and save them since before she was even born.

Sorrow's Peak by Jennifer Melzer
Goodreads Description:
Once a princess of Leithe, Lorelei has been exiled from her homeland and led to the city of Dunvarak in the tundra of Rimian. The people of Dunvarak call her Light of Madra, and nearly every one of them has a story about the white hand of light and comforting voice who saved them from death during the War of Silence.

She is their savior, and being a savior is no small task. It comes with expectations, and the fate of an entire race rests on her shoulders. Tasked with embarking on a cross-country journey to the ruins in Great Sorrow's Peak, the half-bred U'lfer of Dunvarak believe the fractured horns of their god, Llorveth, are hidden among a long-dead dragon's treasure hoard. Only with that relic in their possession will they finally be able to embrace the dormant wolf and rise to stand beside their U'lfer brethren in the coming war with men.

But there is more to her task than simply retrieving the mystical horns of a silent god. Lorelei and her companions, Finn, an U'lfer warrior she shares a mate bond with and a half-Alvarii mage named Brendolowyn, have made this journey before, and unless they can figure out where they went wrong in past cycles, time threatens to repeat itself for eternity.

Demons at Deadnight by A&E Kirk
Goodreads Description:
For seventeen-year-old Aurora Lahey, survival is a lifestyle. 

DEMONIC DESTINY 
Aurora has the crappiest superpower on the planet. And it's just unleashed a hit squad from hell. Demons are on the hunt, salivating to carve her carcass into confetti. 

CHARISMATIC KILLERS 
The Hex Boys--mysterious, hunky, and notorious for their trails of destruction--have the answers Aurora needs to survive. But their overload of deadly secrets and suspicious motives makes trusting them a potentially fatal move. 

LETHAL ALLIES 
The battle to save her family, herself, and stop demonic domination may cost Aurora everything worth living for, and force her to reveal her own dark secrets. But no worries. She needs the Hex Boys to pull this off, and, chances are, teaming up with these guys will get her killed anyway. 

(Barnes&Nobles)
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer
Goodreads Description:
Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream.

Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn't want. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming . . .


Free Audio Books/Stories:
(Audible)
Mitosis: A Reckoners Story by Brandon Sanderson
Goodreads Description:
From "New York Times" bestselling author Brandon Sanderson's action-packed novel "Steelheart" comes "Mitosis," a short story set in the world of The Reckoners series, exclusively available in the digital format.

Steelheart may be dead, but Epics still plague Newcago and David and the Reckoners have vowed to fight back.

Catch all the action before "Firefight," the exciting sequel to "Steelheart," hits shelves in January 2015.

~~~~~~~~~~

Reviews to Come:

Ravenwood by Nathan Lowell - a podcast reading of the book
The Secret World Chronicle: The Hunt by Mercedes Lackey & Steve Libbey (in audiobook while at work)
Rusted Veins by Jaye Wells
Haunted by Amanda Bonilla
The Secret World Chronicle: World Well Lost by Mercees Lackey,Steve Libby, Cody Martin, & Dennis Lee
Tales from the Archives, Vol 3: #2 by Tee Morris, Pip Ballantine, & others.
Tales from the Archives, Vol 3: #3 by Tee Morris, Pip Ballantine, & others.
Harlan's Wake by John Mierau
The List by John Mierau
Tales from the Archive: 4 - Wooden Go to Waste by Sandra Wickham
Tales from the Archive: 5 (part 1 & 2) - Those Dark Satanic Mills by Suna Dasi
Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Dirty Magick: Los Angeles edited by Charlie Brown
A Cursed Bloodline by Cecy Robson

The Broken Road by Teresa Frohock