Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cover Reveal & Release: Legends of the Destrati Volume 1


I'm so excited to share this one with you!

This is the first volume of a three volume set. This book is two stories set in the vampire world of the Destrati Clan. I really love the characters in these stories and hope you check them out too!

Legends of the Destrati Volume 1
By:  Dina James
Due Out:  OUT NOW!

Book Description:

Among Ethereals, Clan Destrati’s reputation and exploits are as renowned as the associates it boasts. 

Within these pages are but a few of their legends.

Play Dead - Nikolai is on a mission bring a certain renegade vampire to justice before his clan council. Known as The Betrayer, Kyle is a powerful force to be reckoned with by any standard, both feared and shunned by every single vampire clan in existence. Why he would choose to assist one of their members — the very member sent to bring Kyle to justice — is his own affair. The better question is why anyone, let alone a Destrati, would accept the Betrayer’s help.

In From The Cold - Kyle abhors the word “vampire.” He prefers the more accurate term “lost soul,” for that is how true vampires are made — through a damning bargain with the Devil. Kyle is unique among what could loosely be called his kind, for he not only wants the return of what he feels was stolen from him, he wants retribution. On a cold night, a conversation with the Destrati Queen helps ease his desire for vengeance.


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This is one of those settings on books that I just love. And it does fit well with the characters. I hope you check out the volume and enjoy what you find. Then you can join me in asking Dina for more stories in this world. :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Review: South Coast

South Coast

By:  Nathan Lowell

Publisher:  Podiobooks

Publish Date:  2007

Format:  Podiobooks

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  1st Shaman Tale: Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series
Associated with:  Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series; 1st Book ~ Quarter Share, 2nd Book ~ Half Share, 3rd Book ~ Full Share, 4th Book ~ Double Share, 5th ~ Captain's Share, 6th ~ Owner's Share

Recommendation:  Hmm, you don't have to listen/read it to go with the series, but it is a wonderful way to learn of the Shaman mentioned in the series and unlocking the magic inside.

Synopsis:
A Shaman's Tale from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper.

Otto is Richard Krugg's only son and heir to the Shaman's gift.  The only problem is Otto doesn't want it.  He wants to be a fisherman.  When company policies force unwelcome changes onto his life and threaten even the security of the village, Otto discovers that being a shaman isn't optional.

Jimmy Pirano is caught between the devil and the deep green sea when new production quotas are handed down from corporate headquarters.  Locked into a century of existing practice, Jimmy is forced to find new ways to fish and new places to do it in or face the very real possibility that Pirano Fisheries will lose the St. Cloud franchise.

Join Otto, Richard, and Rachel Krugg as they struggle with what it means to be the son of a shaman.  Cast off with Jimmy, Tony, and Casey as they navigate the shoals and shallows of corporate fishery along the South Coast.

First Sentence:
All happy families resemble each other; all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way.

Purchase At:
Amazon

Listen At:
iTunes  /  Podiobooks

**I listened to this story for my own enjoyment.

My Thoughts and Summary:
The synopsis for this book is right on the money.  So I'm not going to go into the details, just to my thoughts.

There is a true family aspect here with Richard, Rachel, and Otto. I love it. They are a family and love each other, don't always agree but work through it as a unit. This is wonderful to see.

We see welkies! If you listen/read Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series with Ish, you know what a welkie is. Shamans make them. And we see them right here where they start and how they evolve to the amazing little statues they are.

This story is told with different Point of Views. This way we get all sides of the story - a Shaman and the Business owner as well as the low workers. Even though the workers are the ones who do the labor, Jimmy Pirano - the son who runs the branch in this area - doesn't forget where he and his father came from. They worked their way up to where they are, and he won't forget it. We hear from Otto and his family, Jimmy and the business side of fishing. Both have their own lives, yet meet in the middle.

Nathan sets up a whole world and environment here on this planet. A planet and production that is affected by needs out in space. A fishing port on land, which is kind of the same set up and idea as going into deep dark space but on the vast sea. Boats and crews and a business of trade, same general aspect as Ish's story. However, the fishers have a quota they are required to meet, and it's been raised.

Nathan is meticulous at creating well defined systems of work and money. The marketing system is well defined, and the people are in a normal routine to do as they do best. The manipulators are high up the ladder, but there is always two sides. We get a feel for the little guy and working class as Nathan is wonderful at doing. How the workers are affected by the numbers. And as much as I love the idea, I think this is why this one was a bit slower for me. I love to fish, but I wasn't as taken with the fishing business, yet I couldn't stop listening out of curiosity of what will happen on this world. It's well done, but I wasn't as into the story.

Then we have the Shaman side, as we got further into the story I started to really get curious about this aspect and loved what I saw. This was the growth of a young boy into his family heritage, and even the father as well. This shows you what a Shaman does and is rather than tell you, and for what we learn of the Shaman, this is the best way to experience it.

If you've listened/read Nathan's tales with Ish, you know of Sarah Krugg. This tale is of the Krugg family, but not of Sarah. This is long before her. This story doesn't relate to the Golden Clipper series, other than it's a world in it's Universe.

A trader's tale of another kind. In the end, I enjoyed the magic I saw unlocked in a Shaman, and how a world grew to be more than what it already is.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Audio Book Review: A Witch's Trial

A Witch's Trial

By:  N.E. Conneely

Publish Date:  February 8, 2015, Audiobook September 10, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 7 hrs 49 mins
Narrated By:  Jeff Hays

Genre:  Paranormal

Series:  3rd in Witch for Hire series: 1st Book ~ Witch for Hire, 2nd Book ~ A Witch's Path

Impression:  Everything we've learned and crossed were small blocks, even though tough fights, for what's to come. Michelle has found herself in the path of a demon's sights!

Synopsis:
When Michelle pulls an old book out of a fire, she finds answers and heartbreak. The book confirms that a demon walks the land, though according to legend they were all dead. Now, she needs to rediscover the secrets to killing demons before her loved ones fall victim.
Elron’s budding relationship with Michelle suffers a blow when his mate returns. While he struggles with love and guilt, it becomes clear that not everyone gets their happily-ever-after.

This is the third book in a series, following Witch for Hire and A Witch's Path. Your reading experience will be greatly enhanced if you've read the previous books.

First Sentence:
Tears gathered in my eyes as I watched Elron page through the book.

Purchase At:
Amazon 

Audible


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review, at my request.

****POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS****

The reality sinks in. Michelle has a demon after her. She has destroyed three parts of Gremory's plans already. She must figure out how to stop, and kill, Gremory before he harms and kills more kids or her family that he's threatening. Michelle worries for all around her and works at her personal stumbles with the battles of magic that the demon sends her way. Her parents, who have now told they will be getting married in two weeks along with moving and would like her to be part of the wedding. Elron, whom she's dated and now not sure where their relations his is as he recently found out his wife is alive and has Sylvia's diary as she's been in Gremory's grips. She also has several clans requesting her time and attentions to join, along with a demand by her grandmother to come home to her clan.

Jeff and his talented many voices. I love all the different voices! Which it also makes it easy to know all the characters as the cast is a full one with many visiting as well. The different voices also keep it interesting and keeping my mind from drifting. The emotion he shares. Jeff knows when to put the accent pauses in and drawn emotion in his voice at the right places. All accents the story and what the characters are bring to the scene. He brings the story to life, giving the story a fourth dimension we would not get by reading alone, like talking with a group of friends.

This story picks up EXACTLY where A Witch's Path ends. Oh, the crazy days of magical troubles. Magical people and beings living in the world with humans keep Michelle on the go with the active troubles.

Michelle grows closer with Elron in this story, though for some of the book she doesn't realize it with all that must be running through Elron's mind and emotions. Michelle and Elron still banter, but it's fun. They are both strong minded and don't fear small comments. They do make me smile. (Dances with Mud. lol. I love that one.) We have our friends and family that we've seen since the first book. Landa is a great motherly friend. She's wise in her advice to Michelle and helps to keep Michelle true to herself. Landa is a rock for Michelle and grounds her back to the world, preventing her from getting lost in sorrow or uncertainty. We also have a few new allies and friends for Michelle. Julius is a gargoyle that's sent by Horst to help keep an eye out around Michelle's home. The gargoyle's sense the presence of evil, and demon. I enjoy seeing the gargoyle's present in this story. They do bring some long history with them. They, too, made me giggle at their having fun with fighting the dangerous evils around.

Demon's are extincted and the only information about them are fables and lore. This is where Julius comes in handy. He is old. So old that he lived in a time when Demons and terrible evils were fought. Though he doesn't know exactly what the Hunters did to kill the demons. It all comes around and things make sense in this well written story while Michelle fights off the chaos Gremory is releasing in her home area.

This third book has added to the world and troubles Michelle is facing magnificently! I thoroughly enjoying the story and narrations. It's drawn me in deeper with the depth of all Michelle has been through leading to now. Amazing building upon all events we've been through to get to this point with character, world, and troubles from the previous books. The world rules have become clearer with each step as well.

This book is good clean fun with the world of paranormal creatures and beings. There's not a lot of sex or swearing (actually at this point I think none). There are close relationships of love for family and friends and growing loves along with battles fought and dangers in the world. I didn't miss the swearing and sex in this story. Michelle is on the go with enough troubles and turmoil that they aren't needed to keep your attention.

There is more to come, we see that now. And in a world full of magically potential troubles, why not?! I can't wait to get more with Michelle and our cast of colorful characters!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Post #101

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.

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Sorry once again. It's football season which makes it hard to get on the computer for any length of time. I tried visiting everyone last week, but time runs out on me quickly. I'm going to work at it again this week and see what happens. But with football happening I've been working on content editing work as well, so time has to go where I have to focus first - kiddo and paychecks. Sorry. :(

This week I've been able to get through some audio books at the office during the day as well. Those really help with keeping up the book reviews here. And don't forget, if you don't like audio, there is always the book to read. :)


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The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... I did not get to exercise this week. I'm tired of going, going, going in the car. *sigh*


Episode ?:
I need time to walk again. I have been downloading the episodes each week so I have them, but haven't had the opportunity to walk and listen.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Trailer Park Fae by Lilith Saintcrow
AND
Work reads as well.

Current Audiobook:
Nothing until next week.


Current Podcast Book Listen:
None, now back to Audio books


Finished Last Week: 
Nothing, time has been my enemy!

Audiobooks from Audible:
Insight Kindling by Chess Desalls
A Witch's Trial by N.E. Conneely

Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing (I'm slow with limited reading time)

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Last Week on the Blog:


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




Posts:

Around the Internet...


Reviews:

Podcast Review:





Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:

A pick of one of Asha King's back list books (ends Sunday the 27th.).


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This Week to Come on the Blog:

I have a review scheduled for Monday. I'll have to get working on pulling reviews together for the rest of the week.

~~~~~~~~~~

Received Last Weeks:


Review & Review Consideration:



Audio Books Requested for Review:
Beware the Little White Rabbit edited by Shannon Delany
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Curiosity often leads to trouble...

Thirteen powerful voices in young adult fiction invite you to journey into startling new Wonderlands in this nod to the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s timeless character, ALICE. 

Mystery. Madness. Mayhem. Each story in this collection will intrigue, bewitch, and enchant. Through rich historicals, castles and keeps, wild wormholes, secret workshops, deadly plagues, and gritty urban explorations, we present new tales of Alice and her white rabbit. 

Whether an intrepid reporter, a would-be car thief, or the last human in a world ruled by machines, at the heart of each story Alice is a girl discovering who she really is in worlds that never fail to surprise.

What wonders await, oh curious reader? Leap down the rabbit hole and discover the truth...



Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:



Free Ebooks:

(On my Kindle App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
Ward Against Death by Melanie Card
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…

Unforgiven: A Tale of the Possessed by Erica Hayes
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
From the author of the dark fantasy Shadowfae series comes a darkly romantic tale of redemption... and revenge. 

In a decadent republic on the brink of revolution, immortal blood drinker Lisette has long ago learned the price of her selfish pursuit of pleasure. Now, trapped in marriage to the stoic nobleman who saved her from the mob, she's vowed to use her powers only for good. By night, she stalks plague-ridden streets, armed with rapier and pistol, hunting the Possessed: the pleasure-crazed victims of Lisette's own kind. 

But beneath her respectable fa├žade, old hungers still burn, sated only by her husband's fading love… until the hunt pits her against their ancient enemy, a dark prince and lover who rekindles Lisette's forbidden thirst for power—and blood. 

Betrayed by the only man who can save her, with the city erupting in flames and ultimate power within her grasp, Lisette must choose between dark past and uncertain future, shadows and light—and the two magnificent, tragically irreconcilable men who haunt her soul. 

A 10,000 word novella, previously published in the anthology My Bloody Valentine. 

(On my Nook)



Free Audio Books/Stories:




~~~~~~~~~~
Reviews to Come:

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
Danube Waves by Katharina Bordet
Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
Heartstealer by K.T. Bryski
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
House of Grey 6 by Collin Earl
The Secret World Chronicle: World Divided by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere
The Secret World Chronicle: Waiting On by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere
The Secret World Chronicle: Revolutions by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #4 - Down by the River
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
A Witch's Trial by N.E. Conneely

Friday, September 25, 2015

Audio Book Review: of 2 Riyria Chronicles Tales: The Jester & Professional Integrity

The Jester

By:  Michael J. Sullivan

Publish Date:  July 17, 2014, Audiobook January 17, 2014

Format:  Audiobook - 54 mins
Narrated By:  Tim Gerard Reynolds

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  2.5 in Riyria Chronicles series (stand alone in series); 1st Book ~ The Crown Tower, 2nd Book ~ The Rose and the Thorn

Impression:  Quick fill for my fantasy need with my favorite duo.

Synopsis:
WHO WILL HAVE THE LAST LAUGH?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A thief, a candlemaker, an ex-mercenary, and a pig farmer walk into a trap…and what happens to them is no joke. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester’s treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool. Difficult choices will need to be made, and in the end those who laugh last do so because they are the only ones to survive.

This is a standalone short story of 7,200 words, originally published in the Unfettered anthology. No prior knowledge of The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to enjoy it to its fullest, making this a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for Riyria veterans to spend a little more time with old friends. The Jester is a story of adventure, bonds of friendship, and a recognition that the choices we make dictates the future we find.

First Sentence:
Hadrian discovered the most fascinating thing about plummeting in total darkness wasn't the odd sense of euphoria from the free fall or the abject terror from anticipating sudden death but that he had the time to contemplate both.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles

Audible (free here)


My Thoughts and Summary:
Royce and Hadrian are wandering around the caves carved by a dwarf. A dwarf jester to be exact. They are looking for a way out, but were hired by the woman with them to find the treasure. Myra and Wilmer have the map pieces, but this place is a labyrinth full of puzzles, and choices that are life or death making.

I was thrilled to be back with Royce and Hadrian again. They are my favorite fantasy duo.

Tim is a wonderful voice for fantasy. He portrayed the personality of the characters well. He also did voice differences in tone to differentiate the characters. He was an enjoyable listen as my attention went to the story and not his voice, a great combination!

With this being a short story we don't get all the details of all the trials they've crossed; traps, wolves, and more. We do get the major gist of the events they went through by the injuries they've all endured, although Myra and Royce seem to be fairing better than Hadrian and Wilmer.

We are on the run though, from a huge monster of some kind. We hear the constant drum of it's feet as it nears them. They end up locked in a room with three options and water rising. What choice will they make? What choice would you make?

We do get some Royce and Hadrian banter, there personalities are the same as ever. Hadrian aways wanting to help, and Royce, well Royce is Royce. But what I did pick up on was they didn't feel the center of the story. Other characters felt to take over more, Myra and her sense of humor. She was a strong character here. And the banter between her and all the others is strong. She's even pushy to get her way. This story was more of the craftiness of a dwarf jester and tribulations they need to go through on this mission.

My favorite part is the ending where Royce has one comment for Hadrian.

Do you have to read others to read/listen to this one? No. There are drops of their first job and how long they've been working together at this point, but nothing you need to know before this story. Michael Sullivan has created this to be a stand alone short story, and it is that.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Professional Integrity

By:  Michael J. Sullivan

Publish Date:  Audiobook June 3, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 1 hr 18 mins
Narrated By:  Tim Gerard Reynolds

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  2.6 in Riyria Chronicles series (stand alone in series); 1st Book ~ The Crown Tower, 2nd Book ~ The Rose and the Thorn

Impression:  Back in the saddle with Royce & Hadrian, true and true.

Synopsis:
One of the genre's favorite pairs returns in a classic fantasy short for both Riyria veterans and first-time readers.

Several years have passed since the war-weary mercenary Hadrian and cynical ex-assassin Royce joined forces to start their thieves-for-hire organization better known as Riyria. Things have gone well enough for the team as they do "jobs" for various nobles throughout Elan. Usually that means stealing something, but when a young heiress asks them to steal her…well, that's a first for the pair. All is not as it seems, but Royce is determined to get the bottom of what's actually going on. After all, he has his professional integrity at stake.

Originally released in the Blackguards anthology published by Ragnarok Publications, this is a standalone short story of 10,800 words. No prior knowledge of The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to enjoy it to its fullest, making this a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for existing fans to spend a little more time with old friends.

First Sentence:
"Say that again." Hadrian said.

Purchase At:
Amazon 

Audible (free here)


My Thoughts and Summary:
Kristin, a young woman, wants Royce and Hadrian to kidnap her. She'll pay, of course. She wants a man to know she exists. Hoping the plan to disappear, her father the Lord panic, and the young man come to her rescue. What Royce and Hadrian uncover in her place is far more dangerous than a simple job. And a deeper plan than they expected to find.

Tim Gerard Reynolds, once again, is the narrator for our duo. He does an amazing job with the dry humor banter between Royce and Hadrian. His emotion shows for our men, Royce a bit not carring and Hadrian a bit of caring and worry. Along with doing a voice tone difference for Kristin. His pacing is well done. I slipped right into the world of Royce and Hadrian with ease here.

This is the classic Royce and Hadrian we know! Royce cracks me up with his observation of Kristin along with his offhand honesty. We do, for a flash, see a softer side of Royce. *gasp* For a moment as the look crosses his face, but then it's gone. Hadrian is as caring as ever. He just can't say no. And the tall tale 'easy job' he always things he's getting them into becomes so much more. We get to see Hadrian's talent with disarming and a quick look at him with a sword.

Do you have to read others before this? No. This one can stand on it's own. It will give you a great feel for the characters personalities. If you loved this story, I highly suggest picking up all the books in the world with them. This is what you'll get.

There are hints to Royce and Hadrian, how they are now along with touches of their history or hinting at a history is present. There's even a drop referencing The Jester, nothing big but a nice way to tie everything together.

Michael has done a wonderful job with the duo here. Boy, this story really re-awoke my love for the characters.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Audio Book Review: Insight Kindling

Insight Kindling

By:  Chess Desalls

Publish Date:  January 22, 2015, Audiobook July 15, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 7 hrs 35 mins
Narrated By:  Jill Maglione

Genre:  YA Paranormal

Series:  2nd in The Call to Search Everywhen series; 1st Book ~ Travel Glasses

Impression:  The time and space travel world expands as a team is formed and go on a mission to find Calla's lost father. And first love starts to bloom.

Synopsis:
Calla faces charges against her for changing the past. Her use of the Travel Glasses resulted in the creation of two writings that affected the lives of Edgar, the inventor of the Travel Glasses, and Valcas, their prior owner. Now Calla must explain her actions before the Time and Space Travel Agency.

The hearing does not end well. The travel commissioner finds Calla guilty as charged and forces her to choose between two harsh penalties. Despite the risk of becoming lost herself, Calla accepts a dangerous travel mission that may help her find her father. She teams up with a group of talented travelers. While working with them, she soon discovers that she has a special travel talent of her own.

Pursued by the sentient being of white light that’s been tracking her father’s bloodline, Calla fears her newfound talents may not be enough to protect her and her teammates before they complete their mission.

Insight Kindling is the second installment in The Call to Search Everywhen serial series.

First Sentence:
Valcas and I landed as swiftly as we'd flown away from the White Tower, where we'd left his past behind.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles

Audible


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

Through Calla's travels of time and space she's broken TSTA rules and now must stand trial for the daily reminders that were created, by her and in her name. As long as she stays out of jail, Valcas knows of a volunteer mission she can join. Valcas had bigger plans in mind since the first time he meet Calla. He wants to find his best friend, and Calla's dad. To do that, he needs her help. She has a close bond to her father, by blood. All she'd been through was a test to see if she could travel.  Calla's going to be spending a lot of time with Valcas and this is not the same Valcas she grew fond of. Or is he still there?

I slipped right into the story with Jill voicing the characters. It felt she reads the story with more emotion in Calla from the first word. She speaks with personality for all the characters along with voice differences such as scratchy or deeper. I really enjoyed the differentiation between them all, making it easy to tell who was talking. She even carried through with similar voices from the first book voiced by a different narrator. Well done. I think I enjoy Jill's narration much more than the narrator of the first book.

We've picked up a few new characters here! We meet Calla's mom and she doesn't want Calla and Valcas going on this mission alone. She works a few things around and gets two others that are in court the same day and set to go on missions to find Lost people. We add Ivory and Ray to our team. I really enjoy their abilities and the way they interact with Calla. There is another, but you can meet that person when you get there. ;)

It's very neat to see the traveling world in this book. We get lots of details of different things with traveling. It did NOT feel like an info dump either. *Bonus* It is the story and it all comes out to help us understand the way of time and space travels. So much to the way of doing things and rules along with people having special abilities to do unique things in traveling. We also find out, at the very beginning, what is after Calla! I'm so glad this book jumped in with details and answers. Thank you, Chess!

With all the great things we learn of the world, we get to see Calla fall in love. Calla doesn't realize it until she's gone and fallen. But she does. This is Calla and Valcas's story of falling in love all over again while they are looking for her father, and stuck in the Fire Falls.

This story is a YA Paranormal read and is a clean story for young readers to enjoy. There is no swearing and barely a kiss is present. I would suggest this story for many young readers. The story is a simple one, a mission to find Plaka while Calla and Valcas seem to be skating around each other while feelings grow. It held my attention as it feels character based here and the characters feel developed in the story and voice.

I went from not trusting Valcas to liking him in the first book. This book I fell in love with Valcas with Calla. And now I'm very upset with him. But that's the way things go in books. lol. This means the author wrote it right. I should have seen it coming though. However, I fell for the trap and was irritated with the character in the end.

Now I need the next book, due out later 2015, to see where and when the characters are and how they are coping.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Author Guest Post and Giveaway: Though Lovers Be Lost


I'm excited to share a Paranormal Romance author with you today. Please welcome Asha King. She writes with a little bit of heat in her stories. Today she's sharing about her newest release, Stray Cat Strut. If you need to get caught up, the first two books - Cats in Heat and Cat Scratch Fever - are on sale for 99c!

After her post is a great excerpt of Stray Cat Strut. At the end of the post is a GIVEAWAY!


Though Lovers Be Lost

Although I have a true Beauty and the Beast retelling coming out in December, my paranormal romance series Cats & Conjure actually owes quite a bit to the B&tB TV show.

No, not that new “remake” (dear God, please stop everyone from remaking everything), but this Catherine and Vincent:



I only managed to write one standalone romance years ago before I quickly found myself leaning toward series books. It’s my favourite to read and quickly became my favourite to write. And I wrote it as I often saw: different couples in each book, all connected either as friends, or fellow townspeople, etc, the heroes and heroines of future books being glimpsed in earlier ones.

But I also love urban fantasy and paranormal romance, following the same couple from book to book, and when I started the Cats & Conjure series, it seemed a logical way to explore that. A heroine discovering her powers, the dark brooding hero determined to keep her safe, a horrific villain hunting them, and a host of side characters. There was a detailed world waiting to be uncovered, one that could span several novellas.

Also? I might be in the minority, but I love cliffhangers. I love when I’m frantically flipping the pages on my Kobo reader looking for more, I love when I gasp and scream at my screen at the end of a TV season. As long as I know there are more stories to come, cliffhangers thrill me, and the Cats & Conjure novellas ended up taking that structure. Although an arc is complete in each book, there are threads right into the next.

At the core of that had to be the couple: Adelaide and Erik, a conjurer/healer and a tiger-shifter raised to kill.

Now, I’m not a fan of a lot of the keeping-lovers-apart tropes. I’m not into love triangles. Although I’ve employed the Big Misunderstanding before, I try not to anymore.

What I do love? The slow burn romance. The all-consuming ache and yearning for someone. The world of danger threatening their lives at every turn, leaving two people willing to die for one another. The “bond greater than love” that keeps them together even when they remain apart.

Addie and Erik owe a lot to Catherine and Vincent in that regard, not just because he happens to turn into a big cat sometimes. They might not get together quickly (the first novella, despite being called Cats in Heat, is not a sex-fest), they might struggle to resist, they might be torn apart, but they always, always find their way back to one another even when lost. It presents many challenges to keep their story fresh and interesting with each book rather than give them a happily ever after and move on to another couple, but it makes it that much more rewarding to see them succeed.

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Stray Cat Strut Excerpt

(The scene: Addie, Erik, and company are on the run, and were led to a fortune teller’s house, who they ask for help.)

Lady Octavia’s cabin was likely warm in winter—there was an empty fireplace in the center of the large living room that would easily heat the whole space. In summer, however, the place was probably an oven, so fans whirled in two of the windows and one hung from the ceiling humming dully with every revolution.

The two dogs settled on either side of Octavia’s chair as she sat, resting the shotgun loosely across her lap.

At this point, Addie would’ve preferred the crystal ball.

Octavia gestured for them to sit. Adelaide took the end of one couch, the nameless cat still sitting annoyingly on her shoulder. Naliah took a straight-back chair from next to a writing desk in the corner and promptly sat. Murphy and Erik waited near the door, standing warily and not taking their eyes from Octavia.

The room was simply adorned, more on the rustic side, and given the lack of fortune teller look, Addie figured she must conduct business elsewhere in the house.

“Your kind is supposed to be dead,” Octavia said.

Addie shifted under the woman’s steady stare. “My grandmother was one, but she’s been dead several years.”

“Her name?”

“Aveline Deveraux.”

Octavia nodded, no look of surprise passing her eyes. “I didn’t know her but knew of her. Good woman. I’m sorry she’s passed.”

“Her home—my home—burned down and right now...right now we’re in trouble and need somewhere to go. I can work with an existing Sanctuary, I just can’t build one from the ground up yet.”

Octavia said nothing for several long moments, her gaze traveling over everyone in the room before returning to Addie. “Come. Let’s make tea.” She rose without waiting for a response, walking—with shotgun in hand—around the farthest archway and disappearing from sight. Her dogs remained where they were, both staring at Murphy and Erik.

Apparently Addie was the only one invited. She exchanged a glance with Erik, who barely nodded in response, and then she rose and followed Octavia.

She found the other woman in the kitchen, running water into a kettle. The shotgun rested across the kitchen table and Addie breathed considerably easier knowing no one was pointing it at her now. The cat leapt off her shoulder at last, landing on the kitchen counter. Octavia gave the feline a look but didn’t shoo her away.

“Something very bad is happening to you,” Octavia said in a low voice.

Addie nodded. “Someone figured out what I am. He’ll keep killing to get to me—that’s why we need a Sanctuary.”

Though Octavia pulled the kettle from the tap and set it on the stove, she left the water running in the sink—maybe she knew some of her guests had heightened hearing. “There is more than one monster after you. And even if you find this new Sanctuary and make it your own, you have a lot to overcome. Enemies from all side, Adelaide, and you don’t know yet what you truly are.”

A shiver traced Addie’s spine. “What am I?”

“That’s not a question I can answer.” The woman’s eyes seemed to flicker toward the black cat grooming itself on the counter, but maybe Addie was just seeing things.

“Do you know where I’m supposed to go?”

The kettle whistled and Octavia busied herself pouring two cups of tea. She made no move to make some for the others and Addie didn’t speak up. At last she turned off the faucet, passed a mug to Addie, and then gestured over her shoulder. “Let’s ask the cards, shall we?”

Octavia led Addie to the opposite end of the kitchen, away from the large doorway that led to the living room where the others waited. Erik would hear her retreating steps and be on high alert, but Addie tried to send reassuring energy his way so he knew all was well. The other kitchen exit took her to a dark narrow hall and down a handful of steps into another room.

This was more like Addie had expected of a fortune teller. Fabrics in blue, purple, and gold, both brocade and sheer, draped from the ceiling to hide the walls, making a cozy spot in the center of the room. Plus cushions were splayed over a Persian rug around a low table, atop which sat candles and a fabric-wrapped package. The room’s light came from behind the draped fabric which made it subdued and warm. No chairs, but when Octavia took a seat on the pillows on one side of the table, Addie took the other and cradled her tea in her lap. It smelled like chamomile, nothing particularly forbidding among the scents, and so she took a sip.

Octavia settled, her silk robe falling open to reveal yoga pants and a T-shirt. If she had on the entire fortune teller getup, she’d likely look quite striking, but for now it was an odd mix with her dramatically lined eyes and casual clothes. She set her mug on the table and pulled the fabric back from the little square package to reveal tarot cards.

Addie knew a girl, once, who claimed to read tarot, so she was at least familiar with what the cards should look like. These ones, however, were nothing like the Rider-Waite deck she was familiar with. The illustrations were completely different and characters were Japanese rather than English.

Octavia immediately began shuffling while Addie sipped her tea, then she set the deck in the center of the table. “Cut the deck thrice.”

Addie reached forward with one hand and did so until there were three piles of cards.

The fortune teller picked the first and then tucked the other two to the side. She closed her eyes, hand hovering over the chosen deck for a moment, and then began turning the cards one by one face-up on the table before her.

Addie watched in silence, feeling energy in the room snapping and crackling. The cat—both in her vision and at the park pavilion—hadn’t steered her wrong, it seemed; this woman truly did have power.

Soon Octavia had a spread of ten cards but she’d laid them out in a spiral-like pattern. She tapped one long fingernail on the card in the center. “You are amidst many influences and your final path isn’t clear. You were told to go north?”

“Yes.”

She nodded slowly. “North. To the water. The Sanctuary that used to be there is hidden now—quite literally.” She tapped a different card, one at the top that was nothing but a blur of pastel colors. “The woman who created it was powerful and the magic that remains is enough to hide it from both sight and touch.”

“How will I—”

“You’ll see it.” Octavia lifted her gaze to meet Addie’s eyes. “One descended from the Protector will see through the glamour, do not worry on that.”

Addie nodded, rolling the words around her head for a moment. Why couldn’t this woman just draw a damn map or give GPS coordinates? “Okay, so north to the water? How far?”

“It’s an island. You’ll need a boat. Fifteen miles down the road from my house is a marina—start there. You’re the one who can sense the Sanctuary, you’ll have to show them.”

Naliah’s gonna love that. “Is there anything else? Can you tell me why there are so many cats around me?”

“Guardians will be drawn to you, just as they were in the times of old. It is not my place to tell you who you are, Adelaide.” Then Octavia’s hand snapped out and grasped Addie’s wrist, squeezing tight.

Addie’s heart pounded hard and she struggled to calm her breath, tried not to jerk her arm back and flee.

Darkness passed over the fortune teller’s eyes, something ancient in their depths. “You do not escape the monsters pursuing you unscathed. Greatness requires great sacrifice. Not everyone will survive this onslaught, Adelaide.” Octavia released Addie’s wrist and leaned back again. “Make your peace with their deaths now.”

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The Books So Far...

Book #1: Cats in Heat
Description:
Adelaide Deveraux lives a quiet life in the country, never quite fitting in with other people and preferring her spare time spent caring for the various stray cats in the area. But late one Friday night, a feline of a much larger persuasion shows up at her door, shifting into a very injured—and very naked—human man in need of help.

Erik Wells has been on the run his whole life: from the people who killed his parents when he was a boy, from a group determined to exterminate his own kind, and now from the underground gladiator ring who abduct shifters and have them fight to the death for entertainment. And he needs to keep running, but something about Addie draws him to her home and her care.

The tiger in him senses it: there’s more to Addie than apparent at first glance—more to her knack for working with roots and herbs; more to her prophetic dreams; more to the secrets buried in her family history. But if she is who he thinks she is, the danger’s just beginning, as the powerful man responsible for keeping Erik captive for so long will stop at nothing to obtain her for his own.

Just 99c until September 30! KindleAReNookKoboiBookstoreSmashwords


Book #2: Cat Scratch Fever
Description:
Tiger shifter Erik Wells has reluctantly left the woman he loves in the hopes of protecting her from the people out to get him. But his retreat has come too late: Erik’s enemies have not only found her but know exactly who she is and what she’s capable of.

Adelaide Deveraux is only beginning to discover the power of conjure passed down to her from her late witchdoctor grandmother. But those powers might not be enough to save her when she’s taken from the sanctuary of her house and brought to the man intent on owning her and her magic...even if he has to break her to do it.

Just 99c until September 30! KindleAReNookKoboiBookstoreSmashwords


Book #3: Stray Cat Strut
Description:
Adelaide Deveraux has escaped her enemy’s compound along with her tiger-shifter lover, Erik Wells, but the home that had once been her sanctuary is now gone, burned to the ground and leaving them with no choice but to go on the run.

At least Erik knows a thing or two about running; he’s been doing it for most of his life, and he’s determined to keep Addie safe. Between their handful of allies and Addie’s growing magic, he thinks they just might have enough resources to survive, and, for the first time in his life, sees a future for himself and the woman he loves.

But the powerful sorcerer on their tail has more than owning Addie in his sights. Now he’s also out for revenge and not everyone will make it out alive…

KindleAReNookKoboiBookstoreSmashwords


Coming in 2016: Alley Cat


All three are bundled into one print volume if that’s your thing: Cats & Conjure Volume One is now available in paperback.



About the Author:
Asha King likes good-looking men and hot books, and often strives to combine the two in contemporary, paranormal, and suspenseful romantic stories. She hails from the exotic land of Canada, where she doesn’t ride a polar bear to work but does drink vast amounts of locally brewed beer and watches hockey.

She loves connecting with readers and you can keep up to date with her online at www.AshaKing.com, where you’ll find a list of her books as well as what she’s working on.

Find more of Asha at...
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ashaking78
Facebook: http:///www.facebook.com/AuthorAshaKing

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GIVEAWAY!!

This is for any book on Asha King's backlist of books.
Ends September 27, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Audio Book Review: Travel Glasses

Travel Glasses

By:  Chess Desalls

Publish Date:  May 7, 2014, Audiobook September 16, 2014

Format:  Audiobook - 7 hrs 9 mins
Narrated By:  Natalie Winters

Genre:  YA Paranormal

Series:  1st in The Call to Search Everywhen series

Impression:  A young girl falls into the mind blowing world of time and space travel.

Synopsis:
Calla Winston’s mobile devices sit in a corner of her room, covered in dust. Weeks ago, she shared photos and laughs with her best online friend. Now, after having felt the sting of betrayal, she prefers being hidden and friendless. She equates privacy with security and technology with pain.

Then she meets Valcas, an otherworldly time traveler who traverses time and space with a pair of altered sunglasses. When an ethereal being knocks Calla to the ground near her family’s lakeside cottage, Valcas uses the Travel Glasses to help her escape. He offers his further protection in exchange for a promise. Intrigued by Valcas and the possibility of time travel, Calla accepts. That is until she learns that his search for her was no mere coincidence.

Calla sets off on her own, taking the Travel Glasses with her. Torn between searching for her estranged father and reuniting with the rest of her family, she tracks down the inventor of the Travel Glasses in hopes of discovering more about Valcas’ past and motivations. The Travel Glasses take Calla’s mistrust of technology to all new levels. But without them, she’ll never make it back home. With Valcas hot on her trail, Calla hopes to find what she’s looking for before he catches up.

The Call to Search Everywhen is a serial series of novel-length installments. Travel Glasses is YA fantasy filled with metafiction and other literary twistiness. It's a thought-provoking narrative about trust, relationships, reality and illusion.

First Sentence:
The day I met Valcas began within the confines of the grounds surrounding my family's lakeside cottage.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

Audible


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

Valcas is helping Calla, and he could use her help too. He's saved her from some thing that's after her, and it's not safe for her to return home. He's also in a tight spot and she can help him by posing as his betrothed. Calla realizes a bit late that the rule she's to play for Valcas seems more long term than she originally thought. When she learns he's searched her out specifically she becomes upset, and Valcas has her locked in her rooms. Young Calla knows the only way out of this palace is the same way they got in. She must retrieve Valcas's traveling glasses, the ones that give him the ability to travel through time and places. To do this, she must act the part she was brought here to be. After she has the glasses, she goes on her own mission to stay safe and learn what she can of Valcas.

Natalie narrates this story with accents for characters from different parts of the world, and time. We have Romaso from Venice and Shirlyn from England. Valcas has a prim and proper sound to him that is relayed in his speaking and the terms he uses. However in the beginning I didn't feel a lot of emotion in her voice while reading. In the end of the book it felt her connection with Calla and Calla's growth grew in her voice acting.

The first few chapters happen fast and left me with lots of questions.  All good as I wanted to know all the answers! What's after Calla? Why? What's knocking her over? He say's it's 1812? Why does Valcas have sunglasses on in the dark? Things change fast and I'm curious as to why and how, jet ski to row boat. I have to keep going to see what's going on!

As you guessed it, the sunglasses are the travel glasses. They are what helps move from world to world and time to time. They do have their affects on the users though.

The neat thing of this story that I enjoyed when thinking back through the story is my thinking process of how or why things are the way they are changes. Each trip to the past or another place brings something to mind that could be an explanation of why. I do like that you can't change the past. Well, there are the written personals you can leave, but there are rules against such things that are monitored by the TSTA, Time and Space Travel Agency. So the changing the past is not an easy answer to everything. I have changed my mind on Valcas's motives about three times with what I learned. lol.

Valcas...Hmm. I love him and think he's scary. How is that? Well, when we first meet Valcas he comes across a bit strong. Calla's view of him leaves us with a creepy feel for him. But when Calla goes to visit a younger Valcas, before he uses the traveling glasses, he is sweet. I think Calla has fallen for this version of Valcas. Then we learn something else about Valcas, after we too have fallen for him, that changes our view yet again. I want to hear Valcas explain things and see what happens with this 'older' Valcas with Calla. I quote older because there is a special thing with Valcas. By the end of the story I'm liking him very much.

Calla. At first I thought it was a bit quick for her to go to dinner with a boy she's just meet. But things move on and I get to know Calla a bit more as the story goes. She is seventeen and still learning the way of the world. Her thinking is a bit innocent in the seventeen year old's ways as well. But at the end of the book it seems Calla is learning and trying to do the right things. Calla also has in mind her father. She's never known her father and maybe, just maybe, she has the means now to find him. But I think that's another story.

This is a Young Adult read. It's done with no violence or overly intimate scenes. Good clean story with a young girl learning her way in the world and getting to experience friendships she never had.

I grew attached to Calla and green eyed Valcas. I'm looking forward to seeing them in the future books. I ended this book surprised that it ended. I want to know what comes of what she learns of her mother's job and her hearing with TSTA. Then what Valcas will say and if there is a connection here with him in the current time. I'm still wondering on what was after Calla too. And her missing father...