Tag Archive | Series

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Battle Ground Series by Rachel Churcher

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.

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(I received complimentary copies of the books for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)

 

Battle Ground

Book 1

battle-groundSixteen-year-old Bex Ellman has been drafted into an army she doesn’t support and a cause she doesn’t believe in. Her plan is to keep her head down, and keep herself and her friends safe – until she witnesses an atrocity she can’t ignore, and a government conspiracy that threatens lives all over the UK. With her loyalties challenged, Bex must decide who to fight for – and who to leave behind.

My Review:

I enjoyed this first book of this new series. A dystopian story set in the not too distant future of the UK. It’s aimed at Young Adults, but perfectly suitable for older readers too.

Bex Ellman and her friend, Dan are conscripted into the army, while their other friend Margie has disappeared along with a teacher to join the ‘terrorists’. As recruits Bex, Dan and other teens are put through a harrowing training regime, merely to be shown off to the public to prove that they are safe from attack.

With propaganda, misinformation and rumour it’s difficult for the teens to decide what the truth is and whos side they should be on.

The characters are well-rounded and most have a back story which helps you get to know them. They’re not perfect, they’re flawed and make mistakes like all teenagers.

The story moved along at a good pace and in today’s climate the plotline was plausible and believable! I look forward to reading the second book of the series.

 

False Flag

Book 2

False Flag Rachel Churcher coverKetty Smith is an instructor with the Recruit Training Service, turning sixteen-year-old conscripts into government fighters. She’s determined to win the job of lead instructor at Camp Bishop, but the arrival of Bex and her friends brings challenges she’s not ready to handle. Running from her own traumatic past, Ketty faces a choice: to make a stand, and expose a government conspiracy, or keep herself safe, and hope she’s working for the winning side.

My Review:

In Battle Ground, the first book of the series, Ketty Smith was Bex Ellman’s nemesis and not a particularly nice person. However, there are two sides to this story.

Instead of following on from book 1, as I expected, this book revisits the same events only this time from Ketty’s point of view.

Although we already know what happened during this timeframe, the shift in viewpoint added depth and showed new aspects of the events.

I now understand Ketty as a person, although because of the ambiguous political backdrop to the story, I’m still unsure which side I should be rooting for!

I am enjoying this fascinating and plausible series and I’m looking forward to reading book 3.

 

Darkest Hour

Book 3

Darkest HourBex Ellman and Ketty Smith are fighting on opposite sides in a British civil war. Bex and her friends are in hiding, but when Ketty threatens her family, Bex learns that her safety is more fragile than she thought.

My Review:

In book one of the series, Battle Ground, we witnessed a sequence of events as experienced by Bex Ellman. Book two, False Flag, saw the same events but from Ketty Smith’s point of view. This book follows on from those events and this time we get alternating chapters from Bex and Ketty.

I like the strong and loyal female characters that take the lead in the books. Whether rebel or army neither side has much control over their own life. Both girls are simply trying to do their best to protect their friends and/or accomplices and fight for their beliefs.

Darkest Hour is my favourite book so far, of this fascinating series, and I’m looking forward to reading the next instalment.

 

Fighting Back

Book 4

Fighting BackBex Ellman and her friends are in hiding, sheltered by the resistance. With her family threatened and her friendships challenged, she’s looking for a way to fight back. Ketty Smith is in London, supporting a government she no longer trusts. With her support network crumbling, Ketty must decide who she is fighting for – and what she is willing risk to uncover the truth.

My Review:

Fighting Back is the penultimate book of the five book Battle Ground Series. The story continues on from book three and once again we get alternating chapters from Bex and Ketty.

Both girls are still struggling to come to terms with their losses, and trying to do the right thing, while realising that they have no control of the events or their part in them.

This series goes from strength to strength as the story reaches its climax. While, once again being well-written and steadily paced, this book had a feel of being the lull before the storm and I’m looking forward to reading the final instalment.

 

Victory Day

Book 5

Victory DayBex Ellman and Ketty Smith meet in London. As the war heats up around them, Bex and Ketty must learn to trust each other. With her friends and family in danger, Bex needs Ketty to help rescue them. For Ketty, working with Bex is a matter of survival. When Victory is declared, both will be held accountable for their decisions.

My Review:

Victory Day is the final book of the five-book Battle Ground Series, and what a great way to finish.

The final battle is coming, but not quick enough for Bex and her friends. They need to fight now, to save the government prisoners from execution.

Ketty and Bex meet face to face during the final battle, and while Ketty prevents Bex from being killed, she still has an agenda. She needs to survive the outcome, no matter who wins.

Victory Day is action-packed and thrilling, keeping me in suspense from start to finish.

I have enjoyed the series and will keep my eye out for future books by Rachel Churcher.

 

The Author:

Rachel ChurcherRachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR! You can also just share what you are currently reading. It’s very easy to play along, as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Grab your current read
  2. Open to a random page
  3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • -BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

Victory DayOur crates of armour sit just inside the door, and we’ve pushed our guns under our beds. I didn’t think the Scottish government would let us take them when we left, but they’ve told Fiona that they’re backing the invasion, and they’ve sent guns and armour for all of us

~Victory Day (ARC) by Rachel Churcher

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Nite Fire by C.L. Schneider

Books 1, 2 & 3

 

Flash Point

Flash PointSlated for execution, shapeshifting assassin, Dahlia Nite, flees her world to hide in the human realm. As payment for the shelter they unknowingly provide, Dahlia dedicates herself to protecting humans from what truly lives in the shadows. Moving from town to town, she hunts the creatures that threaten an unsuspecting human race; burying the truth that could destroy them all.

But the shadows are shifting. The lies are adding up. And when Sentinel City is threatened by a series of bizarre brutal murders, light is shed on what should never be seen. The secrets that have kept humanity in the dark for centuries are in danger of being exposed.

Wrestling with a lifetime of her own deceptions, Dahlia investigates the killings while simultaneously working to conceal their circumstances. But with each new murder, the little bit of peace she has found in this world begins to crumble. Each new clue leads her to the one place she thought to never go again. Home.

Flash Point is the first book in The Nite Fire Series.

Amazon

 

My Review:

An amazing start to a new series by C.L. Schneider.

I loved the multi-dimensional characters, the humans, the dragons and the half human/half dragon like Dahlia. Dahlia is a strong and complex female character, and completely believable.

The plot was original and well thought out. The story is fast-paced, easy to read and kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this outstanding series.

 

Chain Reaction

Chain ReactionIf anyone can tell the difference between monsters and humans, it’s Dahlia Nite. For nearly a century, she’s hunted one to protect the other; safeguarding humanity from the creatures that slip through the torn veil between the worlds—creatures like her. But the lines are blurring. As people begin mutating and combusting on the streets, Dahlia realizes a strange affliction has descended upon Sentinel City. The mysterious ailment strikes all walks of life, from the posh, high-end nightclub district to the homeless community. Its victims, driven to random acts of savagery, are drawing attention too fast to cover up.

Assigned to the case, Dahlia and her human partner, Detective Alex Creed, investigate the deaths. But all they have are questions and bodies, and a public on the verge of panic. Working behind the scenes with her self-appointed sidekick, Casey Evans, Dahlia struggles to discover what, or who, is behind the alarming transformations. As the violence spreads and the mystery unfolds, she wonders: are the victims still human? Were they ever?

Chain Reaction is the second book in the Nite Fire Series.

Amazon

 

My Review:

The second book in the Nite Fire series is another great book from C.L. Schneider.

Lyrriken (half human/half dragon), Dahlia Nite, is back along with her partner, Detective Alex Creed and side-kick, Officer Casey Evans.

Once again, the story is gripping and filled with action, as the trio investigate the strange transformations and deaths caused by a new drug, while trying to keep the existence of other worlds from the public.

The plot is original and well thought out, the world-building is fantastic, and the characters multi-dimensional.

I’m going straight into book three, Smoke & Mirrors.

 

Smoke & Mirrors

Smoke & MirrorsSecrets are a dragon’s best friend. Deception is a close second. Both provide a sturdy armor, allowing half-dragon shapeshifter, Dahlia Nite, to live undetected among the humans. Walking in two worlds, belonging in neither, she wraps herself in a shroud of lies to hide in plain sight. But nothing stays hidden forever.

When dismembered bodies of multiple species are dumped on the riverbank, the case falls to Dahlia and Detective Alex Creed. Backed by Sentinel City’s new task force, the pair find themselves urged along by clues that seem too good to be true. Bouncing from one crime scene to the next, they hunt for a clear motive in a murky sea of conflicting evidence. Already on edge from the recent string of unexplained crimes, the city begins to unravel.

Drowning in missing creatures, slaughtered remains, masked men—and the search for her sidekick’s missing sister—Dahlia burns the candle at both ends. Seeking answers, she employs her empathic abilities, and uncovers something deeper and more sinister than a simple serial killer’s web. As the dots connect, and worlds collide, she struggles to shields her friends from the truth. But secrets can be deadly. And Dahlia’s not the only one who keeps them.

Smoke & Mirrors is the third book in the Nite Fire Series.

Amazon

 

My Review:

Another enthralling, action-packed read, instalment in the Nite Fire series.

It’s becoming harder for Dahlia, and her friends and colleagues, to keep the existence of other worlds a secret, as multiple body parts turn up in Sentinel City, and they’re not all human.

C.L. Schneider’s world-building is amazing, and I am transported to Sentinel City and the other worlds with Dahlia and the others, as they investigate the case.

This is the third book in this series and I enjoyed it from start to finish. I love the characters and really hope we get another book before too long!

Meanwhile, I’m hoping to find time to read the author’s other series, The Crown of Stones.

 

The Author:

C.L. SchneiderC. L. Schneider was born in a small Kansas town on the Missouri River. Growing up in a family of readers, all with diverse interests, she developed an early and avid love for the written word. Her fascination with science fiction stories and anything supernatural, as well as a keen interest in the Middle Ages, drew her to fantasy. At the age of sixteen, she wrote her first, full-length novel on a typewriter in her parents’ living room. While her primary focus is adult epic and urban fantasy, she dabbles in the occasional science fiction or post-apocalyptic story.

​Schneider’s debut novel was The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price, the first book in her epic fantasy trilogy. The Crown of Stones is a gripping account of one man’s struggle to accept who and what he is. It’s the journey of a flawed hero, a fallen race, and a land at war. A page-turning tale of prejudice, betrayal, secrets, and lies.

“The Crown of Stones Trilogy evolved from the creation of my protagonist, Ian Troy. I wanted to construct not just a character, but a person that I, as a reader, would want to get lost in. One that would embody the characters I’d come to love from the stories I read in my childhood home, so many years ago. My goal was to develop a character that was capable of being both a cowboy and an outlaw, a detective when he needs to be, a monster when he can’t help it, and a hero even when he tries not to be.”

Her new series, Nite Fire, is a gritty, action-packed, urban fantasy featuring shapeshifters, dragons, parallel worlds, and various creatures of myth and legend.

​​C. L. Schneider lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and two sons. An active member of the indie author community, you can often find her on social media chatting about the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram

 

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR! You can also just share what you are currently reading. It’s very easy to play along, as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • -BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Origin of Shadow
Vincent responded by slowly wiping the knife across his chest, marking his shirt with a streak of her husband’s blood. “Karla Nienna, leader of the so-called Children of Light, I believe?”

~Origin of Shadow by D.M. Cain

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR! You can also just share what you are currently reading. It’s very easy to play along, as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

 

  • -BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

The Sentinel's Alliance
The island hummed with magic and it seeped into her being, filling her with energy. She marvelled at how different the two islands were and yet their magic felt so similar.

~The Sentinel’s Alliance by Suzanne Rogerson

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Ice by CG Blade

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Title: Ice
Series: The Ninth Novel In The Pseudoverse Series
Author: CG Blade

 

Screen Shot 2019-09-13 at 11.00.07Thirty years after Pseudosynths were produced as robot slaves, they are now revered by the human race as heroes. Humanity is living a dream existence side-by-side their new artificial intelligence counterparts, Robokopias, which look, act, and talk like anyone or anybody you choose. Only the Pseudosynths remember the time shift to set the planet on the correct course in 2075 and the warning that went along with it before the Robokopias were produced. Why is this warning so important?

In Ice, if you or one of your family members die, it is your choice is to have your thoughts and memories transferred into one of these ‘Robokopias’ so you can continue to live. Almost a billion Robokopias live, work, and play next to humans around the planet with the ‘Ten Commandments of Robotics’ keeping them in line. These commandments cannot be modified, erased, or overridden. Nothing can go wrong, ever.

In the wildest artificial intelligence story that is not too far away according to experts, America finds itself wishing that they had never heard of the word “robot” as millions of Robokopias are purposely turned against their owners by a strange pyramid that may not be of this world.

Join Jaesa, Ray Nelson, General Cooper, Athana, the Xanthes, and some surprise artificial intelligence characters with a brand new cast of unique Robokopia characters who will join the fight in the most chilling and icy Pseudoverse novel. This is a novel filled with fantastic technology. Harmony’s stolen MOTT time transference plans and new pair of glasses called “Looking Glass” that allows you to look one hour into the future are used against the human race. Could this new technology eventually be used to right the wrongs done to the American people?

If you loved the Pseudoverse Series novels, which pit humans against robotics and artificial intelligence, you will love Ice and the follow-up novel, Fire. Once this ride starts, it does not stop, and we guarantee you will not be able to put it down. This “coming to a life near you soon” saga, which is positively and negatively prophesied by hundreds of scientists, transhumanists, scholars, theologians, and robotic engineers, is a chilling reminder of the upcoming “Singularity.” Which side will you be on once the war starts?

Amazon

Excerpt:

“A toast to a brave new world and the future it brings,” Hollyann smiled, raising her glass up as three of the four scientists’ clanked glasses with her.

“Ah, the ever indelible and misunderstood, Adelous Huxley,” Chilton said, staring into Hollyann’s eyes, “are we the Alphas?”

“Yes, outstanding Mr. Blaze. You are schooled in the ways of the literary world very well.” Hollyann told him, wrapping her tongue around the rim of her wine glass.

“I don’t give a fuck about Huxley!” M.J. blurted out at the top of his lungs, “I must admit you are one gorgeous whore, but I don’t do work for Russian assholes who kidnap me. Where is my wife by the way?” M.J. gave her an evil stare huffing and puffing, refusing to acknowledge her toast looking away from her.

“She is at home safe with you,” Hollyann told him, smiling. The bartender poured her another glass of wine.

“You replaced me, didn’t you, bitch?” M.J. was red-faced and angrier than a nest full of whacked hornets on a hot Georgia day. “I don’t work for your dumbass, you cunt, and I am not about to start for some artificial intelligence you bow down to. I am a teacher, and I will be dammed if I start lying in bed with dogs who assisted the very assholes responsible for the global massacre thirty years ago. They will find out that is not me in Georgia and the cops will begin a massive manhunt. You and your people are nothing but primates and animals, and I hope they put a bullet between those baby blues of yours. Better yet maybe they’ll take your head off and put it on ice for a while.” Taking a huge swig of beer M.J. was sweating. He was waiting for a response from Hollyann, but none came his way.

“Thanks to Professor Chilton Blaze no one is searching or looking for anyone in this tower or this compound including the several thousand technicians, engineers, and rocket scientists working here except Miss Reynedropolous, who cannot be imitated precisely or replaced due to the hundreds of Transhuman circuits running through her incredible body. Professor Blaze knows how easy these replacements can be duplicated and put into place over six weeks, or perhaps four weeks, don’t you?”

Why are rocket scientists here in Madagascar? Reyne thought hard about those words.

“Yes, she is correct,” Chilton, replied as the three scientists stared at him for answers. “I had no knowledge of any of this, but due to Robotica’s NDA, I currently cannot share with you what I know about the Robokopias. I am bound by Robotica’s legal obligations.”

“He is telling the truth. Now, I would like to share something with all of you,” Hollyann told them pulling a modified non-standard Vidset out of a pocket from her dress. “This is something that the Russian scientists came up with from their MKUltra trials during the 60s and 70s.” Swiping a couple of screens, her fingers were dialing a circular icon on her home page. She did not attempt to hide the Vidset from any of them as M.J. dropped his beer on the floor. It smashed on the tile in pieces. Cold-brew flew in all directions, including Reyne’s dress and Chilton’s pants. All of them backed up as M.J. became stiff as a board. Blood dripped from his nostrils. Trying to wipe the blood off his face, his hands were suddenly paralyzed as if he were in the middle of a stroke. He pissed down his own leg creating a yellow puddle on the white tile floor around his shoes.

Doctor Suleka Matthew screamed aloud. “Stop it!” She held her face in shock, not knowing what to do.

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Author Bio:

CG BladeAuthor, creative writer, Transhumanist, Pseudosynth, and former robotic engineer and programmer, CG is an avid science fiction reader and lover of twisting, ever-turning plots. Taking the reader down many thrilling cyber roads and mysterious paths, his narratives rely heavily on past and present scientific, historical research, and the human condition. Melding the past, present, and future, these stories are carefully mixed and stirred with music lyrics, real people, historical fiction, and the potential of artificial intelligence run amok. Fused with satirical commentary and the first musical “Grindhouse” intermissions in novels (Including poetry), he continues his fiction writing with Amaranth, Gold, Amber, Copper, Radium, and Turquoise, and Granite.

He currently lives in Ohio with his wife Jackie, and their two rambunctious but lovable cats, Jeri Boo, and Bullet.

Website • Facebook • TwitterInstagram • Amazon

“Science fiction’s message should be subtle. Like a robotic finger pushing through your skull, poking around, waking you up.” CG Blade

Other Books by CG Blade:

The Pseudoverse Series Novels

Website

Cobalt: The First Novel In The Pseudoverse
Crimson: The Second Novel In The Pseudoverse
Emerald: The Third Novel In The Pseudoverse
Onyx: The Fourth Novel In The Pseudoverse
Heliotrope: The Fifth Novel In The Pseudoverse
Chrome: The Sixth Novel In The Pseudoverse
Indigo: The Seventh Novel In The Pseudoverse
Ash: The Eighth Novel In The Pseudoverse

Heart Of A Robot

A short Children’s Story

In The Path Of The Beast

An Old Greek Love Story Passed Down Through The Centuries

Although Electric Eclectic have chosen Ice, the ninth book for our media launch, in fact the whole of the series will come under the Electric Eclectic banner.

Join the wonderful world of Pseudoverse Series

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. The weekly Meme wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading.

  • Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    -BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

strangers-she-knows-by-christina-dodd-coverWaves swamped the small vessel; Max and Rae disappeared from view, and Kellen found herself on her toes, straining and screaming at them to come back, come out. As if her shouts lifted the SkinnySail, the boat rose, wobbled at the top of the wave, and finally thrust itself out of the surf and into the rough, grey seas beyond.

~Strangers She Knows by Christina Dodd