What’s Coming in June?

What can you expect to see in June?

poison heart

Poison Heart by Emma Jean Hoffmann*

horded

Horded by Frances Pauli*

brightside

Brightside by Mark Tullius*

Binding Spell

Binding Spell by Christine Pope*

regency

A Counterfeit Betrothal/The Notorious Rake by Mary Balogh**

Coralina

Coralina by Anita Valle**

scapemaker

Scapemaker by Steve Cypert

iron flower

Iron Flower by Billy Wong*

winter witch

Winter Witch by Paula Brackston

 

* Review at the request of the author
** Goodreads win

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Free Books on Amazon Today

I thought I would take a look at all the books I have reviewed and published to see if any are free. Below are Kindle editions that are free from Amazon.

 

gravity
“One night in the town of Hell, Ariel’s best friend goes missing. Those around her believe Jenna ran away, but when Ariel is tormented by nightmares and paranormal activity, she realizes Jenna’s disappearance was part of a bigger mystery. Ariel’s obsession with haunted houses and horror movies makes her the perfect detective.

But to complicate matters, a handsome newcomer named Henry Rhodes plagues her with unwanted attention. Though he doesn’t believe in the supernatural events, she enlists his help and that of quirky nerd Theo. What is making the lights at school flicker? And why did Ariel dream of the old abandoned Dexter orphanage? When Ariel finally discovers the truth, it’s much worse than she ever feared.”

 

Amazon Freebie for May 30th – Here
My Review – Here

 

 

Ember
“**Mature Content Advisory**
Recommended for readers 17+ due to sexual
situations and language.

For nineteen-year-old Ember, life has always
been about death. With a simple touch, she can see when someone will die. It’s
her curse and the reason she secludes herself from the world. The only person
that knows her secret is her best friend Raven.

But that changes when
she meets Asher Morgan. He’s gorgeous and mysterious and is the only person
Ember can’t sense death from. The silence he instills in her mind and body
allows her to feel things she’s never been able to before, so despite her
initial reservations, Ember lets Asher into her life and lets herself to get
close to him. But the closer they get, the more Ember realizes that Asher is
keeping secrets from her.

When unexplained deaths begin to surface in her
town, Ember questions why she can’t see Asher’s death and what it is he’s hiding
from her.”

 

Amazon Freebie for May 30th – Here
My Review – Here

 

 

magic of thieves
“In a province where magic is forbidden and its possessors are murdered by the
cruel Praetor, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has
only one hope for survival. Concealment. In the shadow of Dimmingwood, she finds
temporary protection with a band of forest brigands led by the infamous outlaw
Rideon the Red Hand.

But as Ilan matures, learns the skills of survival,
and struggles to master the inherent magic of her dying race, danger is always
close behind. When old enemies reappear and new friendships lead to betrayal,
will her discovery of an enchanted bow prove to be Ilan’s final salvation or her
ultimate downfall?

* * * * *
When I was small, my mother taught me
about the magickless–evil men who hunted our kind to destroy us. They came from
across the water to steal the lands of our ancestors. Pretending to want peace,
they enslaved us and sought to extinguish what they couldn’t possess, the one
thing their harsh laws could never control. Our ancient powers. One day, my
mother warned me, violence would shatter the safety of our home, and when that
day came, we must fight. And we must win.”

Amazon Freebie for May 30th – Here
My review – Here

 

 

Review for Betrayal of Thieves by C Greenwood

betrayal-of-thieves.mobi

My Rating: 3.5/5

Author:  C Greenwood
Title:  Betrayal of Thieves (Legends of Dimmingwood) (Volume 2)

Genre:  Fantasy

Background:

Amazon Description:  
“Ilan has narrowly escaped her last encounter with the soldiers of the evil Praetor but many of her outlaw friends have not been so fortunate. When her closest companion is dragged off to Selbius for execution, Ilan has no choice but to defy the captain of the forest brigands and journey to the stronghold of her enemies.
Risking exposure, both as an outlaw and a possessor of illegal magic, Ilan has few allies in the strange city. Worse, she has attracted the attention of an unknown mage bent on her destruction. With the help of an unpredictable warrior priest, a cunning street thief, and her powerful bow, will Ilan evade the clutches of the Praetor and the attacks of the mysterious mage long enough to complete her mission and rescue her friend?
* * * * *
When I was small, my mother taught me about the magickless–evil men who hunted our kind to destroy us. They came from across the water to steal the lands of our ancestors. Pretending to want peace, they enslaved us and sought to extinguish what they couldn’t possess, the one thing their harsh laws could never control. Our ancient powers. One day, my mother warned me, violence would shatter the safety of our home, and when that day came, we must fight. And we must win.”

Opinions:

*Please note there may be some spoilers for the first book in this review – I would suggest reading the first book before this one (although you can get by without it)*
Betrayal of Thieves if the second book in the Legend of Dimmingwood series. The story takes off right where the first book finished. In this book Ilan is going in search of Hadrian who said he would help her understand her magic. However, things don’t go entirely as planned when Terrac is captured by the Fists.

Characters:
The story is written in first person following Ilan. Leaving the brigand behind, Ilan sets out to learn about her magic, but it sidetracked when her friend, Terrac is captured. No longer in her wooded haven, Ilan must go to the city to see what became of Terrac. She meets a new friend and experiences the sufferings of thieves (ironically) and the city life in this book. A new character, Fleet, is added to the mix in this story. He aids Ilan on life in the city with his vast array of knowledge and skills.  Thieves are still predominant in the character, but they are no longer part of the brigand Ilan left behind. Terrac’s character is slightly out of place when we see him for a second time in this book. This seems like it should be explained more deeply in the next book.

Plot:

The plot moved along fast for me—even a few months went by that I thought were day in the book. There is not as much action (i.e., fighting) as there was in the first book.  More knowledge about magic was slightly added as well. I think more could have been said on the subject—especially with the bow. However, the writing (like the first book) went smoothly, and I finished the book within a day.

The Bottom Line:
Overall it was a good read. I think I liked the action of the first book better, but I did like the change of scenery and the different types of characters brought in this second volume. If you like fantasy book, you might want to try this book.

 

Review for Raven’s Awakening by Ella Phoenix

Ravens Awakening_FINAL_1563x2500

My Rating: 4/5

Author:  Ella J Phoenix
Title:  Raven’s Awakening*
* Previously titled Manataka

Genre:  Paranormal

Background:

Amazon Description:  

Since she was a child, Chloe has endured horrible nightmares about a Native American prince living in a time long forgotten. She never understood why, until she finds a stone that matches the one in her dreams. It has unimaginable powers, powers Chloe doesn’t understand. Fueled by memories of someone else’s past, she sets off on a wild quest for the stone’s birth place, hoping to also find answers to her foreboding dreams.
On the outside, Mason Green looks like a hard working, self-made millionaire, with too busy a life for romance. Very few people know the real reason for his self-imposed seclusion. It’s safer that way. But when a sexy historian shows him a supernatural stone from a forgotten tribe, Mason is intrigued – maybe the relic is the salvation he’s been waiting for. Ignoring the irrational attraction that threatens to crack the cask around his heart, Mason agrees to help Chloe.
As their wild quest becomes a dangerous mission, they must find the relic’s birthplace before Mason’s past catches up to them.”

Opinions:

Raven’s Awakening is a Native American fantasy/paranormal book that takes the reader on an adventure.  Chloe and Mason come together, rather reluctantly at first, to discover the secret behind a rather special stone—one that holds secrets to the past.

Characters:
The story is written in third person that follows mainly Chloe and Mason. Chloe is a Native American expert that has nightmares about the Tula tribe. She discovers a special stone while working at the Smithsonian and sets off to find out more. Mason is a Native American that teams up with Chloe in hopes of understanding the relic among other things. However, certain people are after Mason and the chase is on. Chloe and Mason are multi-dimensional characters. They each have their own quirks and pasts that they must overcome.

Plot:
The plot moves nicely and includes some twists and turns along the way. Adventure is not far behind and there is a nice climax at the end.  I was a little hesitant when I first started reading the book. The first chapter has a lot of foreign words to comprehend (Chenesi, Dai-Mo, Noo-hi, Uwetsi, etc.) Luckily, I copied the list of terms at the beginning (from my Kindle) and was able to refer back to that. The second chapter seemed to jump back into normal lingo and I didn’t feel completely lost any more.

As a note: I received two editions of this book. The newer one changed the British slang into American (minus a few little minor moments – for example, “uni” was used instead of “university” near the end of the book). Because the story takes place in America and centers on Americans, this change seemed right for the book. [I did wish I received the updated edition before I got about 42% of the way done with the older edition.] So, if this sort of thing bothers you, make sure you have the correct edition before purchasing the book.

The Bottom Line:
It was a good read. There’s romance, adventure, Native American, and some twists in the story.

Liebster Award

liebster award

So just when I thought I was starting to understand this blog business, here comes a Liebster Award. I was nominated by George from George’s Books and Bits. I wasn’t sure what this was until I read about it. Thanks George for the nomination.

What is the Liebster Award?
To quote my new pal, George:

“The Liebster Award is passed on by bloggers to new bloggers who have less than 200 followers, and to support the blogs that you like by sharing them with your readers.

These are the rules of the award:

Recipients of the Liebster Award must:
1.List 11 Random Facts about you
2.Answer the questions that were asked of you (By the blogger that nominated you)
3.Nominate 11 other blogs for the Liebster Blog Award and Link to their Blogs
4.Notify the bloggers of their award.
5.Ask the award winners 11 questions to answer once they accept the award”

Basically, it’s to keep new bloggers blogging and to offer encouragement and more followers.

11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

1. I love the color pink

2. I like to eat baby yogurt because it taste better than regular yogurt [strawberry is to die for!]

3. I love thunderstorms

4. I hate seafood [yep, all kinds]

5.  My secret weapon of choice would be superglue [’tis very dangerous, you know]

6. I have a plant called Baby Slermy [not exactly sure what kind of plant he is….it’s green and leafy]

7. I prefer salty to sweet

8. I’ve been to 8 countries – not including the one I live in

9. If you said “Henry,” I would think of a chicken [I’ll let you ponder that one!]

10. My favorite dessert is cheesecake [any kind of cheesecake]

11. My favorite non-domestic animal is an ocelot

QUESTIONS ASKED OF ME

1. Which super power would you rather have: invisibility, flight or super-speed
– Invisibility. I could cause so much trouble with that 🙂

2. Blue cheese – right or wrong?
– Wrong. I love cheese, just not blue

3. Sum up your blogging style in 3 words.
– Reading and writing

4. Cats or Dogs?
– Cats (I own 2) [I do like dogs, too]

5. If you had three wishes what would they be?
– To have some awesome superpowers; To not have to work so I have more time to read; World Peace (I felt obliged and I probably seen Miss Congeniality too many times)

6. Whats the opposite of opposite?
– Same (?)

7. Whats the one word that your best friend would use to describe real-world you?
– Crazy

8. Can you lick your elbow?
– Yes! I can actually do this and love watching people try to imitate me LOL
EDIT: I was asked for proof….see below:

I can lick my elbow!

9. Biscuits (cookies for the american readers!): To Dunk or not to dunk?
– Depends on the type

10. What literary character would you be and why?
– Right now….Claire from Outlander because I love Jamie

11. Whats your one book you can’t believe hasn’t been made into a film (we’ve all got one!)
– Technically Outlander – a movie hasn’t been made yet but they are talking about a TV series right now

11 NOMINATED BLOGS

1. My Bad Art Blog by ‘TiresiasMage’

2. Seraphic Singles by Dorothy

3. My Addictions by Patti

4.  Books of Amber by Amber

5. Katrina Hadjimichael’s Blog by Katrina

6. The Ole Master Plan by Girl Parker

7. High-Low by Rob

8. Adrian’s Blog by Adrian

9. I Just Like That By Melissa

10. A Totally Random Romp by Jean

11. Chapter Book Challenge by Rebecca

QUESTIONS TO YOU

1. Where is your dream vacation?

2. Why did you start writing your blog?

3. Do you “rinse and repeat”?

4. If you could change something in your past, what would it be?

5. Have you ever participated in random questioning before?

6. What is your favorite book?

7. Is your toilet paper hung so that the flap is over or under the roll?

8. What color is your favorite shirt?

9. Email, text, or phone?

10.  Name an animal that begins with the letter “J”

11. Have you received or read any good advice for new bloggers?

Review for Of Gaea by Victoria Escobar

of gaea

My Rating: 5/5

Author:  Victoria Escobar
Title:  Of Gaea (of Legacies) (Volume 1)

Genre:  Fantasy

Background:

Amazon Description:

“Her choice will change the world. She hated the wheelchair. Hated the way it made her feel less than what she was. Most of all she hated not being able to do all the things she used to. Ari had been a track and field star, an archery champion and an Eskrima pro. Now she was confined to a wheelchair slowly dying inside from its restraints. Medical science wasn’t working. The tests, the drugs, the therapies were all useless and a waste of time. She was tired of wasting her time; she was tired of failure. It was time to look away from the obvious and try something unconventional. Nothing was ever free and that included miracles. Abruptly, Ari finds herself tangled in a web of lies, questioning everything she’s ever known as truth. Never had she believed she’d be thrown headfirst into a world of good and evil, magic and Gods. Trapped in the middle of a war she had never known existed both parties demanded her allegiance. Ari was a catalyst that could change all the rules of the Earth. But when the time comes to make a choice will she be strong enough to know right from wrong?”

Opinions:

Of Gaea is a wonderful book about a young woman, Ari, whose life is turned upside.  After an “accident” that left her crippled, she seeks a way to be able to walk again. This leads her on a path of finding out who she really is and where she comes from. Her life and the people she loved are not all what they appear to be.

I haven’t read much on Greek mythology, but I didn’t have any trouble following along when something popped up in the book.  Things are explained throughout the book. The story is written in third person and mostly follows Ari (the main character.) Ari is a likeable character that has strengths and weaknesses (physical and other) that makes her realistic and relatable. The reader is strapped on for an adventure as Ari discovers the truth about her family and what is coming in the future.  She has choices to make that not only affect her both the world as well. Most characters fall under (I’ll say it like this) “pure”, “tainted”, and “balanced”.  Although these characteristics hinder some of their multi-dimensionalness (yes, I made that word up), it does not take away from the story and it’s not always so black and white.

The plot moved along well. At the beginning the reader knows something more is going on than meets the eye, but the information is discovered as Ari finds out. There were also a few surprises mixed along the way.

The good parts? The plot kept my interest and I enjoyed the character Ari. There’s was just enough action and information given as needed in the scenes.

The bad parts? The point of view would switch without notice and I would find myself stopping to think, “Wait. This isn’t Ari anymore. She wouldn’t say ‘she’….Oh, it’s Sasha!” [Perhaps in the next book there could be a line break between the change of views rather than normal paragraphs?]

Overall, it was a great read. I found myself at the end (with just a pinch full of pages) thinking how is she going to finish this book up.  It better not be a cliffhanger during a climax that leads to the next! [I hate that. Seriously, a book should be finished and not left off no matter if it is part of a series.] But, it wasn’t.  If you like fantasy book, especially with a little Greek mythology, then you should try this book.

 

Review for Doublesight by Terry Persun

doublesight

My Rating: 3.5/5

Author:  Terry Persun
Title:  Doublesight

Genre:  Fantasy

Background:

Amazon Description:  

“This is book one in the series: After the Doublesight Wars, dangerous and mean-spirited shape shifters were killed off, causing other doublesight to hide their gifts, congregate into their own villages or clans, and avoid most humans. Zimp and Zora are the twin granddaughters of the crow clan’s sage. The reticent Zimp is relieved that she has not been chosen to take her grandmother’s position, but after Zora is murdered after an attack on the clan, Zimp is forced into her obligations. Rumors, stemming from Castle Weilk, suggest that dangerous throwbacks have been born–gryphons, harpys, dragons–and, once again the humans decide to hunt them down. Fear leads to mistrust, and mistrust to murder, all seemingly. The doubesight council assembles to assess the situation and sends five doublesight to investigate the rumors, placing Zimp in charge of four men. Struggling with her own intuitive abilities, and trying to hold a stable position as leader, Zimp finds herself in the center of a changing world and must decide on her real place within it.”

Opinions:

Doublesight is a fantasy novel that centers on shifters (doublesights).  The book takes the reader on an adventure to discover answers against threats and a possible war against the different clans—including humans (singlesights). This is the first book of a series.

Characters:
The story is written in third person that follows a number of characters. One main character is Zimp, who loses her twin sister (Zora) at the beginning of the story. Zimp doesn’t believe she is as good as her sister with leading and is hesitant about assuming her new role as a leader. Zimp doesn’t get much choice when she becomes the leader of a small mixed group of doublesights who must find out what is happening to other doublesight clans. The characters are multi-dimensional—having both strengths and weaknesses. Because of the shifts in the narratives, the reader gets a rounded picture of the characters. However, having so many viewpoints can be a little cumbersome.

Plot:
The beginning of the story allows the readers to see the struggles and tragedy that is affecting the doublesight clans. Each suffer losses and are thrown together to find out what they should do about things. History of prior wars and fighting plague the minds of each clan. Trust becomes a major issue throughout the book. The doublesights must work with each other but their natural predator and prey instincts create a weak bond that will need to be overcome—not to  mention the inner turmoil a doublesight experiences when in their human or beast form. The later part of the book picked up for me when there was more action. The beginning was background and at some parts I grew tired about the different viewpoints of mistrust among the small doublesight group set out on a mission. (Don’t worry there are still fight scenes in the beginning.) The ending leaves the readers wondering what will happen in the next book. I would have preferred a little more ending (down time) and connecting a few more loose ends before ending this book.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, it was a good read. If you like to read about shifters and fantasy worlds, you should give this book a try.

 

Review for Stitches by Courtney Pierce

stitches

My Rating: 4/5

Author:  Courtney Pierce
Title:  Stitches: A Novel

Genre:  Paranormal

Background:

Amazon Description:   

“Jean and Spence Collins are about to discover the magic of living—with magic. After thirty-two years in the corporate grind, the Collinses need a quiet time-out. But that’s not what they get when Jean buys a creaky hope chest at an estate sale. Its false bottom hides an extraordinary eighteen-inch piece of fabric – and Jean finds it. The magnificent birds on it are vivid, alive, and impossibly ancient…and they change. And they’re about to change the Collinses’ lives too. With the former owner’s greedy son and the FBI on their heels, Jean and Spence set off on a transforming quest to London, and finally to Cairo, to unlock the fabric’s secrets of the fabric’s secrets of life…and death. They also learn that living with magic comes with a responsibility: for every one thing they give, they get back multiple rewards. STITCHES is the debut novel of a series that follows the scintillating trail Jean and Spence leave in their wake as they sleuth their way toward retirement – with a little immortal help. It celebrates a new coming-of-age story: the adventurous spirit of the boomers who want to put away the remote and run to the next phase of life. Magic exists for every generation, but what you do with it can change your life forever.”

Opinions:

Stitches is a touching and beautiful story about a special piece of fabric.  The piece of fabric contains three color birds that seem to come to life and fly right off the fabric. The reader discovers the history of the fabric through memories and stories of older generations and flashbacks. It also continues in the present with Jean and Spence, which takes them on adventure they never dreamed of.

This book is unlike most paranormal books I have read. I would not blush handing this book to my mother to read as I would with some other paranormal books I have read. The paranormal aspects of the book are contained in the magical ability of the fabric itself (and its connection with death.) The story focuses on new beginnings and being free with yourself. For example, Spence and Jean move from their home in Texas to Oregon. Once there, they try to figure out what they should do with this new stage in their life.

There is a sweet relationship with the characters. They are heartfelt and loving. It is easy to feel connected to them and feel the sadness, happiness, or fear that they do. The “bad” guy in the book is pretty much one-dimensional but the other characters make up for that.

The beginning was a little slow for me as I tried to figure out what exactly the fabric does and how it will be connected to the main characters, Spence and Jean. As the book progressed, I enjoyed it much more; there was more action and adventure.

In short:
The good parts? The character relationships were amazing. I really liked the characters, especially Jean, Spence, Mary, and Mycroft. The plot really grew on me as I progressed with the book. Finally, the writing was mature and easy to read.

The bad parts? The bird theme was really heavy—not to say this is bad, but it really stood out as I read. It would sometimes make me stop while reading to say “another bird reference.” As I have said, the beginning was a little slow for, but again I am used to different paranormal reads where things just take off right away.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It will be interesting to see where the next book will take things.

 

Review for Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

warm bodies

My Rating: 4/5

Author:  Warm Bodies
Title:  Isaac Marion

Genre:   Science Fiction

Background:

Amazon Description:  

” R is having a no-life crisis—he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he is a little different from his fellow Dead. He may occasionally eat people, but he’d rather be riding abandoned airport escalators, listening to Sinatra in the cozy 747 he calls home, or collecting souvenirs from the ruins of civilization.

And then he meets a girl.

First as his captive, then his reluctant house guest, Julie is a blast of living color in R’s gray landscape, and something inside him begins to bloom. He doesn’t want to eat this girl—although she looks delicious—he wants to protect her. But their unlikely bond will cause ripples they can’t imagine, and their hopeless world won’t change without a fight.”

Opinions:

I won this book through Goodreads First-Read Giveaway.  (Thank you to Goodreads and the author!)

First off, this is the second zombie book that I have ever read. I have not seen the movie, and the only zombie movie I have seen was Dawn of the Dead. Therefore, prepare yourself for a zombie book reader newbie.

Warm Bodies is a book about a world gone wrong—where zombies plague the earth. Humans as well as zombies fight for their existence against each other, even with themselves. R (the first person narrator) is a zombie who loves music and is slightly different than his dead counterparts. He ends up saving a human girl, Julie, which sparks a forbidden relationship. (Maybe not quite as romantic as Romeo and Juliet—although you’ll notice similar scenes between the two stories.) As the story progresses, R begins to change (for the better in human eyes), which causes a stir in the zombie and human worlds.

Good parts? Well, I loved the climax the best. There were some definite twists and turns that I didn’t expect. I also found some amusing parts. For example:

“I grab my stomach again. ‘Feel empty. Feel…dead.’
He nods. ‘Marr…iage.’
I glare at him.” (p. 14, paperback)

This was the first line that made me laugh. I also liked the fact that the “romance” of the book was not heavily done. It made it seem more realistic. Because, seriously, who would fall in love with a dead, decaying corpse who smelled right away? (Perhaps, this is just me.)

The bad parts? Actually not too many. Zombie speech could get annoying. There are…so many…pauses. But, not too many zombies have speaking roles (besides grunting). The beginning was a little slow as the reader got to learn about R’s life, but the later parts of the book picked up on action.

The book has a fair amount of cursing (although realistic) that could have been cut down a little and not taken away from the story. There were references to sexual content but nothing descriptive. This is just a friendly heads up if things like this bother you.

The Bottom Line:

Overall, I enjoyed the book. Now I can go watch the movie! As I have said at the beginning, zombie books are not my forte, so I can’t compare it against other zombie stories out there. It was an easy, enjoyable read. If you like paranormal-type, post-apocalypse books, you should give this book a try.