Tag Archive | Reviews

Five on Friday

5onFriday

Five Books – Five Authors

Looking for a new fantasy book to read this weekend? Try one of these:

 

Title: The Kota
The Kota Series #1
Author: Sunshine Somerville

The KotaMankind is stricken. Brought to its knees by a devastating virus, the world is further crushed by the Dominion tyranny. Humanity struggles to survive this apocalyptic nightmare, and there’s only one hope – the ancient promise of an annihilated people.

“By the Bearers brought into time, fulfillment shall come in a Mark, and hope in four children born. Evil will flee Earth before the four Marked.”
– The Mark Prophecy of the Kota

Troy Kandoya remembers the world before all this came to pass. He saw the beginning of global war, genetic manipulation, and viral plague. Now called Trok, the immortal Kota Interceder, he must fulfill the prophecies he once rejected.

After 500 years, the four Marked saviors are born. However, nothing about these heroes is what Trok expected. Loree is a master assassin who can disappear without a trace. Zaak grew up exiled on an alien planet. Alex is a telepath traumatized by an inexplicable, missing year of her life. Ryu, the final Warrior, has incredible mutate-genes of strength.

With Trok’s guidance, the Warriors join Earth’s rebels and fight the Dominion – but this isn’t going to be easy. Rebel politics are complicated, particularly for Loree. Zaak finds it difficult to navigate his home world. New questions arise for Alex as she helps civilians recover from a shared trauma. Ryu can’t hide from his famous past. And always, the Dominion threatens with its unstoppable weapon -the dehumanizing DRK virus.

For centuries, no one’s been able to end Earth’s nightmare. Can four Warriors really make a difference?

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My review:

**This review is for The Kota Series Box Set: Books 1-4

Never a dull moment in this amazing fantasy/ sci-fi series from author Sunshine Somerville.

The descriptive writing brought the various worlds, scenes and situations to life as I joined the four Kota warriors on their journey through space, time and dimensions in order to save humanity from an evil and deadly virus.

The characters are well-fleshed out and completely believable, each with their own flaws and vulnerabilities, and I enjoyed watching them develop as the series progressed.

Each book has a new setting and additional characters, but flawlessly continues on from the previous book in the series.
All four books are filled with danger, excitement and action, plus plenty of twists, turns and intrigue.

This series was a definite page-turner and a good lengthy read that gave me something to get my teeth into!
I enjoyed it immensely and will be looking out for other books by Ms. Somerville.

 

Title: Hyperearth
Author: Marco Marek

HyperearthA castle within the city of Lubena holds a secret: a portal to the alternate world of Hyperearth. Mary and Martina encounter beings that range from the curious to the dangerous. They must save their newfound friends and defeat the evil Sathon. Will they solve the quest and make it out in time? Or will they remain in Hyperearth forever?

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My review:

Hyperearth is an imaginative adventure book that moves at a quick pace.

I found this book entertaining as I joined Martina and Mary on their journey through Hyperearth, and was amazed, along with them, at the interesting characters they met and the magical items they found along the way.

A fun and enjoyable read for the young… and young at heart!

 

Title: City of Masks
Bone Mask Trilogy #1
Author: Ashley Capes

City of MasksWaking in Anaskar Prison, covered in blood and accused of murder, nobody will listen to Notch’s claims of innocence until he meets the future Protector of the Monarchy, Sofia Falco.

But Sofia has her own burdens. The first female Protector in a hundred years, her House is under threat from enemies within, the prince has made it clear he does not want her services and worst of all, she cannot communicate with her father’s sentient mask of bone, the centuries-old Argeon. Without the bone mask she cannot help anyone — not herself, and certainly not a mercenary with no powerful House to protect him.

Meanwhile, far across the western desert, Ain, a young Pathfinder, is thrust into the role of Seeker. Before winter storms close the way, he must leave his home on a quest to locate the Sea Shrine and take revenge on the people who drove his ancestors from Anaskar, the city ruled by the prince Sofia and Notch are sworn to protect, whether he wants their help or not.

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My review:

City of Masks is an entertaining and enjoyable read, with believable characters, an imaginative world and a fascinating plot.

Although this book is the first of a trilogy the story doesn’t end in a cliffhanger like so many do. It has a satisfying ending whilst also leaving enough to carry on in the next book.

 

Title: Black Halo: the Witch & the Guardian
Author: A.S. Aramiru

Black HaloWith the Light, came Magic, and the Witch. As mysterious as she was fearsome, and as powerful as she was merciless, the Witch almost succeeded in ending the world until she was vanquished by a hero and his comrades.

This is the legend of the Witch and the Guardian.

Centuries after the nigh calamity, this legend is as much as almost anyone knows of what truly happened back then and as much of an explanation anyone has of what ended an era in human civilization.

Though the people may never learn the whole story, you as the reader will follow the days that led up to how a young girl named Lily became immortalized as the Witch though her name, dream and life became forgotten.

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My review:

An intriguing, well-written and fast paced read.
A bit hard to follow at times as it jumps back and forth to different times and characters.

The story and mystery keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next and what each of the characters intentions are.

 

Title: The Branches of Time
Author: Luca Rossi

The Branches of TimeThe population of the island of Turios is mercilessly exterminated by the workings of black magic. Only Bashinoir, badly wounded, his wife Lil, and the Priestess Miril have survived. Determined to give their loved ones a worthy burial, the three soon discover that the corpses have disappeared. Their only hope for salvation now lies in the magical protection of the Temple, as sinister threats continue to pursue them. A shadow spreads over their hearts, dividing and destroying them, as their bodies appear to be fading away. Feeling increasingly isolated, Bashinoir watches as the two women grow closer…
In the Kingdom of Isk, wizards and wisemen alike must bow down before the insatiable King Beanor, whose greed for power and war is matched only by his hunger for sex. A young woman he has chosen as his next bride does not, however, wish to surrender her freedom to love and live. Will games and tricks under the sheets turn the tide in a war that has lasted thousands of years?

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My review:

The book held my interest from start to finish. The story toggles back and forth with different POVS and flashbacks.

The writing flows easily, the characters are fascinating and so is the plot.

 

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

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A-Z: Books I’ve Read

A-ZJ is for Journey

 

Joanna’s Journey

Karen J. Mossman

Escaping a broken romance, Joanna runs head long into another, and then another. Managing two long distance relationships at the same time is complicated and made even more so when her best friend is a good looking guy who knows her better than most.

Set in the 1980s, Joanna and her sister, Sandie are two very beautiful women. After a cruel upbringing, both girls have their scars, but deal with things differently and as with most sisters, they clash.

When the unthinkable happens and Joanna’s world implodes, she finds herself alone to face what she can’t and won’t accept. It is times like these you find out who your friends are and who you can trust, or more importantly, who you can’t.

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Joanna’s Journey: Review

28510893A well-written love story that follows Joanna through the pitfalls of falling for two completely different men, neither of whom is right for her!

Joanna is well-fleshed out and is mostly likeable. However, she is human and has her flaws, she can be selfish and I found myself frustrated with her at times. She refuses to listen to any advice and doesn’t always learn from her mistakes.

The ups and downs of Joanna’s life and relationships kept me turning the pages and I would love to know what happened next.

 
Karen J. Mossman

Karen J Mossman comes from a family of journalists with her grandfather and uncle having been newspaper editors. Further back a 2x grandfather wrote for his local paper and also published a book based on those articles. Karen is the only one to go into fiction.

All Karen’s books are in collections – The Decade Series, The Themed Collection, Electric Eclectic and Just Stories.’ She is also a founder member of Electric Eclectic books and has four tales in that collection.

Karen is also an avid blogger and book reviewer, “It’s especially important to me to have feedback from my readers, so please leave a review when you have read one of my books.”

Karen lives on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey off the North Wales coast with her husband and two dogs. She has two grown up children, who were both born on the same day, two years apart.

 

The Journey of the Marked

Rebecca P. McCray

The mark means honor. The mark invites death.

On a distant planet, Eros thrives in the Human settlement he calls home. Raised to follow his grandfather’s noble footsteps, he studies the details of each species that co-exist here. But when his sixteenth birthday arrives and the mark appears, he’s called to fight, which changes his life forever.

Forced to abandon his home, the mark makes him the hunted. He’s attacked the night he arrives in the city. A tough, street fighter named Kenrya saves his life. When they join others on the same journey, her cynical attitude drives a wedge between the group.

Given the perils facing them, can they put aside their differences and trust each other long enough to survive?

Discover this epic adventure where an individual’s unique abilities can change the course of the future.

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The Journey of the Marked: Review

21802177Rebecca P. McCray has a fantastic imagination and her vividly detailed writing brings to life the complex world of Zolei.
The many different species living on the planet are wonderfully described and I have a clear picture of most of them, although keeping them straight was hard at first, I soon figured out who was who.

In some chapters we join the five marked teens; Eros, Tip, Kenrya, Prizene, and Azetan, as they make the dangerous journey to the Miyran training camp. Other chapters follow the family members and friends who were left behind, as they meet up while searching for news of the five. There are also chapters that show the story from the Tyrnotts and Graeliths (the bad guys) point of view. These different perspectives give the story and the characters a great deal of depth.

It’s an amazing book that I did not want to reach the end of, but I have, and now I’m desperate to read the next one!

 
Rebecca P. McCray

Rebecca McCray is a financial consultant by day and fantasy world-builder by night. Her debut novel, The Journey of the Marked, is a finalist in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. She enjoys building out a world that is a cross between high-fantasy and gritty sci-fi and plans to publish the second novel in the series in the first half of 2016.

Besides being an avid reader, she loves to travel and experience new cultures.

 

 

A is for Awethor and Awethology!
D is for Death
G is for Ghost
B is for Blood
E is for Emotion
H is for Horror
C is for Creepy
F is for Fantasy
I is for Infinite

Books I Read in January ’17
Books I Read In March 2016

Time Will Tell by Les Lynam

TimeWillTell

 

…Before You Leap

Before You LeapBook 1

Two teens from two centuries apart, one the direct descendant of the other. Einstein’s Theory didn’t cover THIS relativity.

Sean Kelly considered himself an average 16-year-old, living in an average neighborhood in a small University town. Nothing too exciting ever happened in Grover’s Corners, Missouri; some might even label it boring. His ordinary life was disrupted when a distant relative dropped by at the beginning of his Junior year in high-school. A distant relative from the 23rd Century.

Two 16-year-olds in a time machine. What could possibly go wrong?

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My Review:

A well-written and humorous read.

The characters were brilliantly described, completely believable and come alive as you read.

I loved Sean’s reaction to the science behind time travel, which was interesting and not overly complicated.

Ther was no great cliffhanger at the end, but it was left open for another book, which I’ll be more than happy to read

This book was so much more than your typical sci-fi/time-travel novel.

 

…Saves Nine

Saves NineBook 2

Sean Kelly and LX travel back one more generation to the year 1969. The question is: will either teen know how to ‘make the scene’ in the sixties? Can they blend in with the other teens in tiny Mercer, Iowa; including Sean’s dad? When they return to 1995, both of them have regrets about the past.

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My Review:

Wow! Amazing! I loved this book!

If you read and enjoyed …Before You Leap read this! In my opinion, it’s even better.

The plot is fascinating and the writing outstanding.

The characters from book one continue to develop, and the characters new to this book are well fleshed out.

How the author keeps all the toing and froing between different times straight in his mind while writing it so that it’s completely understandable for the reader is beyond me.

I can only hope that Les Lynam can also travel through time so that the next book in the series will be waiting for me when I finish this book yesterday!
(He couldn’t – I had to wait)

 

…In One Basket

In One BasketBook 3

After her relocation from 1969, Jane joins LX and Sean in an attempt to kidnap a clone from the Schattenwelt space station in the year 2169. Sean is shocked to find that he has already been there twice, but even more surprised by the team leader.

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My Review:

Another great, fun-filled book from Les Lynam !

Having read the first two books of the series I was looking forward to reading …In One Basket, and I was not disappointed.

The book follows on from where the second book ended and I was pulled straight back into the story.

My old friends Sean, Jane/Kate and LX are back and better than ever, and I loved the surprising development of Steffi’s character.

It was an exciting and enjoyable read, filled with non-stop action and unexpected twists!

 

Meet The Author:

Les LynamLes Lynam (1954- ) was born in Creston, Iowa, into a farming family which also included an older brother and two older sisters. The family farm was near the tiny community of Corning, Iowa, (birthplace of Johnny Carson).

After graduating from Corning High School, he attended Central Missouri State University (renamed University of Central Missouri in 2006), graduating in 1976 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications.

After a short, mostly unsuccessful, attempt at running a print shop, he refocused and returned to a life of studies at the University of Missouri. He received an M.A./M.L.S in 1986 and began a new career as a librarian at Ward Edwards / James C. Kirkpatrick libraries at UCM. He took an early retirement on December 31, 2012 to pursue his lifelong dream of writing Science Fiction.

His premier novel, “…Saves Nine”, was first published in 2014 with hopes and dreams of many more to come. His favorite sub-genre of Science Fiction is Time-Travel, with Martian Colonies a close second.

He has one son and three grandchildren.

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A-Z: Books I’ve Read

A-ZI is for Infinite

 

Infinite Waters:

9+1 Speculative Fiction Short Stories

Nicholas C. Rossis

Voted one of the Best 50 Indie Books of 2015, Infinite Waters contains ten speculative fiction short stories and flash fiction.

A writer seeks her future at a carnival but gets more than she bargained for. A disgruntled twin discovers that blood runs thicker than water, especially when you spill it. A high school student just loves to experiment. And a bully learns that nothing is scarier than a supermarket.

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Infinite Waters: Review

Infinite WatersA collection of nine seemingly unrelated short stories that are connected by another story which slowly unfolds through the book.
Each story is different, from dark to fun and everything in between. They are all well-written and most have a twist or two.

 
Nicholas C. Rossis

Nicholas C. Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats and his baby daughter, all of whom claim his lap as home. His books have won numerous awards, including the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award.

In addition to his best-selling series, Pearseus, he writes short science fiction/speculative fiction stories, many of which have appeared in various collections and anthologies. These include Infinite Waters, which was voted one of the best 50 Indie books of 2015.

 

Infinity

The Exiled #3

Scott A. Borgman

The angels have waited, knowing something is coming on the horizon. Something dark. But they don’t know what. They don’t know when. They only know it’s coming. For five years, Kaly and Cody have waited as well. And in those five years, neither has aged a day. Such was the gift that was given to them.

He’s plotted, planned, and studied each of his foes for ages. He knows their weaknesses. When he unleashes his fury upon them all, no one is prepared. Humans, angels, old gods… no one is safe. Chaos ensues and the death toll begins to rise.

As the angels fight to defend Heaven and the old gods battle for Olympus, Kaly makes a dangerous decision and ventures into Lucifer’s prison, while Cody travels to Olympus in a desperate hope to find a way to stop an unstoppable foe. And while they seek answers – humanity faces the Apocalypse on Earth.

The veil will be torn away. Enemies will become allies to fight a common foe. You’ll walk with uncle and niece into the darkest depths of humanity to discover how low we can sink… and how high we’re capable of soaring. You’ll fly with angels, stand with the old gods, and fight beside humanity in its most desperate hour.

The game draws to a close. Humans, angels, and olds gods face a foe that has planned everything so meticulously, there can only be one outcome: a stunning conclusion to The Exiled Trilogy that will last for Infinity.

‘The Exiled: Infinity’ is the third book in a trilogy of Paranormal Romance novels and is intended for mature audiences.

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Infinity: Review

InfinityIn book three we see a more ‘human’ side to Lucifer, as former enemies join forces to defeat their common enemy.
This book is set five years later than book two, but for me it was as though I’d never left and I was immediately captured by the story.

There aren’t many books that make me cry, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I shed few tears during the ending of this story.

The trilogy as a whole is a roller coaster ride of emotions, as good battles evil and not everything is as black and white as it seems.
The three books were well written and rather than simply reading a story, you are drawn in and experience the action alongside the characters.
Although God and Lucifer, and heaven and hell, appear in these novels, they aren’t ‘religious’ books and aren’t at all preachy.

Scott Borgman is an amazing storyteller and the The Exiled Trilogy is an awesome read!

 
Scott A. Borgman

Indie Author, husband, father, avid reader and lover of books.

Strong, compelling women as many of the main characters is kind of my thing, because let’s face it… the whole knight in shining armor cliché has been overdone long enough.

“I felt it was long overdue that the girls got the spotlight, and the ones who have stepped forward thus far to have me tell their stories can certainly take care of themselves! They’re not standing behind their male counterparts, they’re standing beside them… and often a step ahead of them.”

~Scott         

 

Five on Friday

5onFriday

Five Books – Five Authors – Five Stars

Looking for a new fantasy/paranormal book to read this weekend? Try one of these 5 reads!

 
25658857

Title: Rising Tide: Dark Innocence
Author: Claudette Melanson
Genre: Paranormal

Could Maura’s life get any worse? …turns out it most certainly can.

Isolated and sheltered by her lonely mother, Maura’s never been able to make friends. She seems to drive her classmates away—except for the odd times they pay enough attention to torture her—but she doesn’t understand why. Maura considers herself to be a freak of nature, with her unusually pale skin and an aversion to the sun that renders her violently nauseous. Her belief is only worsened by the fact that almost everyone around her keeps their distance.

Even her own father deserted her before she was born, leaving Maura alone with her emotionally distant mother, Caelyn. Even though Maura is desperate for answers about her unknown parent, Caelyn remains heartbroken and her daughter can’t bring herself to reopen her mother’s wounds. Or is there a more sinister reason Caelyn refuses to utter a word about her long-lost love?

When a cruel prank nearly claims Maura’s life, one of her classmates, Ron, rushes to her rescue. Darkly handsome & mysteriously accepting, Ron doesn’t seem to want to stay away, but Maura is reluctant to get too close, since her mother has announced she’s moving the two of them to Vancouver…nearly 3,000 miles away from their hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

If life wasn’t already challenging enough, Maura begins to experience bizarre, physical changes her mother seems hell bent on ignoring, compelling Maura to fear for her own life. Vicious nightmares, blood cravings, failing health and the heart-shattering loss of Ron—as well as the discovery of a tangled web of her own mother’s lies—become obstacles in Maura’s desperate quest for the unfathomable truth she was never prepared to uncover.

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My review:

This book is one of those you read from beginning to end without stopping.

The story was fantastic and the characters & plot were well developed, with great twists and turns throughout.

I really enjoyed reading it and I look forward to discovering what happens next.
I’ll definitely be reading the rest of this series.

It was well written supernatural book for readers all ages

 

40694055Title: Souls of the Never
Author: C.J. Rutherford
Genre: Fantasy

In Belfast, Northern Ireland, 20-year-old Katheryne dreams. Her dreams are killing her. Each night she sleeps, the beast comes closer to taking over and crossing into her world.

On Sanctuary, a world at the heart of the Never, the Liberi warrior, Derren, searches desperately for the face from his dreams. His soul cries out for her. She is the saviour, and only he can find her.

At the edge of the universe a dormant evil awakens. His slumber is over as the Veil that hides his source of power slowly collapses, allowing magic to trickle back into his malevolent grasp.

This is a battle of light against darkness. If darkness wins, we can only hope we die. The alternative is too terrible to imagine.

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My review:

Wow! Never a dull moment in this interesting and thrilling blend of fantasy and science fiction.
The storyline is complex and attention grabbing.
All the characters were well-rounded, not just the main ones.
The world building was creative and the author puts his own twist on the idea of alternate/parallel universes. He must have a vivid imagination.
There are dragons, faeries, brownies, a horrifically evil bad guy, plus love, romance, trust, and betrayal all wrapped up in an amazing story.
I’m looking forward to reading Worlds of the Never.

 

25690556Title: Blue Moon
Author: Pat Spence
Genre: Paranormal

Forget vampires,” he laughed dismissively.

“Who wants to drink blood for eternity? What we have discovered is far more seductive and a great deal more dangerous…”

When 17-year old Emily Morgan meets beautiful but strange Theo de Lucis, there is an immediate attraction between them. But what is his secret? What ancient link ties him to Emily? And what is the significance of the Blue Moon Ball?

As Emily is drawn irrevocably into the glamorous and mysterious world of the de Lucis family, so she is forced to change every perception she has ever had about life, love, aging and death. The truth is terrifying and the consequences unthinkable… in this supernatural horror story, based on society’s obsession with aging and the desire for eternal youth…

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My review:

An entertaining and interesting read. Well written with an original and unique storyline. A great start to the trilogy.
It started off slowly, but gained pace soon enough.
It captured my attention with vivid descriptions and awesome characters, and kept me on my toes with the mystery and unpredictable twists.

 

25477431Title: The Rise of the Elohim: The Spirit of Iris
Author: Rocky Rochford
Genre: Fantasy

Set in a world much unlike our own, on a lonesome planet at the end of the universe, an epic battle between good and evil is about to come to pass. Living in a medieval era, the inhabitants of the world find themselves up against the dreaded Shanzi, vile creatures of pure darkness who seek one thing, the annihilation of that which is good. There is only one who can stop them, a young boy by the name of Zach who must Rise up against the forces of darkness and drive them back to the shadow existence from whence they came.

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My review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was well written, very descriptive, and easy to read.
The story pulls you in and doesn’t let go even on the last page.
Rocky Rochford has a great imagination and is a wonderful storyteller.
He has created an entirely new and unique world with its own history and legends.

I also read The Rise of the Elohim: Hour of Darkness which gives a brief look at events following The Spirit of Iris but from a different perspective

 

23148767Title: Deceived
Author: L.A. Starkey
Genre: Paranormal

They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principal, the actuating cause of an individual life.

But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?

The soul mate principal states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.

But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?

What if your choices had eternal ramification?

Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what’s to come.

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My review:

Deceived is the first book In The Soul Keeper series, and I’m pretty certain that it’s going to be fantastic series.
Deceived is a wonderful book that kept me interested until the end and left me wanting more. I will certainly be reading the next book in the series.

The mix of mythology and modern teenage life means there’s a lot going on, but it all flows well.
Wonderful storytelling of an incredible story, with many multi-faceted characters and multiple perspectives.

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

Saturday Spotlight

Northern Witch by K.S. Marsden.jpg

 
Winter Trials and Awaken
Books 1 & 2 of Northern Witch by K.S. Marsden

 

Winter Trials

Winter Trials

 
With Midwinter just around the corner, Mark’s Nanna decides that it is time he learnt more about his family heritage. Learning witchcraft shouldn’t be too difficult, right?

Balancing school, magic, and the distractions of the gorgeous new guy, should make this a very interesting winter.

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Winter Trials is available for free – at this time

 

 

 

My Review:

Winter Trials is an entertaining quick read, and a great start to the series. It’s a sweet and spooky short story, with a lot of content – action, danger, and romance!

The book is well written and the author breathes life into the characters.

We get to know Mark (and his friends), as he begins learning witchcraft from his Nanna, the head of a coven, and meets Damien, the gorgeous new boy at school.

With the support of his best friends, Harry and Sarah, and his nanna’s coven, Mark tries to help Damien overthrow the demon which wants to possess him.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and moved straight on to book 2, Awaken.

 

Awaken

Awaken

 
Mark has everything he ever wanted. He is training to be a fully-fledged witch; and he is dating the hottest guy at school.
But events from last winter have set things into motion that he is not prepared for.

Witches, demons, and danger come together to prove that this… this is only the beginning.

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My Review:

The second book of the series picks up where book one finished. This book has a darker feel to it than the first.

Mark has a hard time coping as his boyfriend is possessed by a demon that causes trouble as it gets a stronger hold on Damien. Misunderstanding causes a rift between Mark and his friends, Harry and Sarah. On top of which, the other students and residents are scared of him, as they think he’s using dark magic.

All in all an exciting read that doesn’t let up until the last page – which left me wanting to know more!

 

 

The Author:

35486042_602790366769190_1403381745084006400_nKelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life – books and horses.
Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has several successful series under her belt.

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Five on Friday

5onFriday

 

Five Books – Five Authors – One Reviewer

Looking for a new fantasy to read this weekend?
Try one of these books, reviewed by Suzanne Rogerson

 
I finally have space to bring back my Five on Friday feature and I’m kicking off with a guest reviewer:

Suzanne Rogerson is a self-published author of epic and heroic fantasy, who loves reading books almost as much as she love writing them.

“When Rainne asked if I would like to take part in her Five on Friday, I was excited to have a go and share some book love. But after many false starts, I just couldn’t work out which books to showcase. It’s so difficult to pick just five. In the end, I’ve opted for five fantasy books I’ve loved but never reviewed on my blog. Here they are…”

 

Title: Dream-weaver
Author: Jonathan Wylie

2030986As civil war threatens the land of Ahrenia, Rebecca is thrust into a central role in the momentous drama that is engulfing her home. Yet, as the armies of nightmare draw closer, she discovers that war is not the ultimate evil.

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Suzanne’s Review:

This was the first true fantasy book I really remember reading. I was about 17 and I was blown away by the magical world. It was at a time when I was struggling to decide what direction I wanted my own writing to take, so I feel Dream Weaver is partly responsible for me choosing fantasy as my genre.

It’s a YA fantasy (at the time I didn’t even know this term) and follows Rebecca as she learns about her dream weaving abilities whilst her land is thrust into civil war. Even if I can’t fully remember the story, I remember Rebecca and hope one day to enjoy her adventure again.

 

• • •

 
Title: Firebrand
Series: Rebel Angels #1
Author: Gillian Philip

8433024It’s the last decade of the 16th century: a time of religious wars and witch-hunts in the full-mortal world. The Sidhe are at peace until their queen determines to destroy the protecting veil. But exiled brothers Seth and Conal have vowed that they will survive and return to reclaim their fortress and save the veil.

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Suzanne’s Review:

I loved the beginning of this book! It starts with a terrible event – Seth preparing to watch his brother burnt for witchcraft, while in his hand he holds a crossbow. Will he kill his brother before the fire does?

Before the answer is revealed, we switch back in time to see how the two brothers got themselves in the terrible predicament. I spent the whole time reading it wondering what would happen and dreading finding out as Seth’s brother, Conal, quickly became my favourite character.

The writing is excellent and it’s a real page-turner. I love the premise of the veil between worlds and the adventures it offers the reader.

I introduced my son to the Rebel Angels series this year. He’s already read all four books, while I still have to find the courage to read on past book 2! He assures me it is worth continuing.

 

• • •

 
Title: Bloodsong
Series: Raven’s Shadow #1
Author: Anthony Ryan

13569581“The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm.”

Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the unified realm. Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright and dropped at the doorstep of the Sixth Order like a foundling knows no bounds. He cherishes the memory of his mother, and what he will come to learn of her at the Order will confound him. His father, too, has motives that Vaelin will come to understand. But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the realm, but the world.

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Suzanne’s Review:

As I read this book, I found myself thinking ‘here is the new David Gemmell!’
We follow the story of Vaelin Al Sorna as his father leaves him in the care of a secret organisation – the sixth order. He trains with them through his childhood and learns many harsh lessons, before growing up to become a feared killer dubbed Hope Killer by his enemies. This is an addictive epic fantasy and I loved every moment of it. I hope to finish reading the Raven’s Shadow series this year.

 

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Title: Assassin’s Apprentice
Series: Farseer Trilogy #1
Author: Robin Hobb

77197In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

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Suzanne’s Review:

She is a living legend. I fell in love with Robin Hobb’s story telling and her worlds, especially the later books The Rain Wild Chronicles. Assassin’s Apprentice was the first book of hers that I read and it was a revelation for me early on in my own writing journey.

I loved one of her characters in particular – Nighteyes the wolf. In fact, Robin Hobb started my obsession with all things wolf!

There is the amazing magic called the Wit, where people bond with animals, though it is forbidden. People are drawn to a certain species and as Fitz grows up, he bonds with first a dog and then a wolf.

There are other magical abilities he must learn to harness and control, and he learns to be an assassin. Some of the relationships Fitz forms, in particular with Burrich, Chade and Verity are brilliantly portrayed.

These books have everything you could want in a fantasy – assassins, love, friendship, heartache and even dragons! This series has certainly made me shed more than a few tears – always the sign of a good book!

 

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Title: Sword in the Storm
Series: The Rigante #1
Author: David Gemmell

62292Fierce and proud, the Rigante dwell deep in the green mountain lands, worshiping the gods of air and water, and the spirits of the earth. Among them lives a warrior who bears the mark of fate. Born of the storm that slew his father, he is Connavar, and tales of his courage spread like wildfire.

The Seidh–a magical race as old as time–take note of the young warrior and cast a malignant shadow across his life. For soon a merciless army will cross the water, destroying forever the timeless rhythms of life among the Rigante.

Swearing to protect his people, Connavar embarks on a quest that will take him into the heart of the enemy. Along the way, he receives a gift: a sword as powerful and deadly as the Seidh who forged it. Thus he receives a name that will strike fear into the hearts of friend and foe alike–a name proclaiming a glorious and bitter destiny . . .

Demonblade.

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Suzanne’s Review:

I could choose any David Gemmell book and tell you how much I loved the characters, the setting, the magic and the story. He will always be the first person to come to mind when someone asks me to name my favourite author.

I read Sword in the Storm years ago and loved it. All four books in the Rigante series are brilliant, but this is probably the only one of Gemmell’s novels that I can’t bring myself to re-read, and I have tried.

I know what is going to happen to the characters and I’m not brave enough to face all that heartache and pain again.

It’s an amazing read following Connavar’s story, but it is a harsh world and he makes choices that are hard to swallow. This book ripped my heart out and then some.

If you haven’t read any of Gemmell’s books yet, firstly why not? Secondly, read the Rigante series!

 

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Suzanne RogersonSuzanne Rogerson lives in Middlesex with her hugely encouraging husband and two children. She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. Suzanne discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave Suzanne the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she’s lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she should get a proper job.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

Suzanne collect books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography. She’s interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all Suzanne likes escaping with a great film, or soaking in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

To read more of Suzanne’s reviews, or to find out more about Suzanne and her books visit her website.

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