Tag Archive | Spotlight

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Tooth and Blade
by Julian Barr

Parts 1-3 of the legendary TOOTH AND BLADE series together for the first time!

Tooth_and_Blade_KindleTwo worlds. One destiny.

Dóta has dwelled sixteen years among the trolls. She knows nothing but the darkness of her family’s cave. Her mother says humans are beasts who would slay them all. Yet the gods of Asgard whisper in the night: Dóta is a child of men, a monster unto monsters.

To discover her human side, Dóta must take up her bone knife and step into the light above. Secrets await her in the human realm—beauty, terror, the love of a princess.

Soon Dóta must choose between her clan and humankind, or both worlds will be devoured in fire and war.

A monster sheds no tears.


Norse mythology meets historical fantasy in Tooth And Blade. Step into a realm of haunted meres, iron and magic.

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My Review:

I enjoyed this book, made up of the 3 novellas; Foundling, Between Worlds and Well of Fate. They flowed seamlessly from one to the next.

Dota has been brought up alongside her troll brother, Grethor, by Modor, also a troll, and has been taught that humans are beasts. However, as a human herself she wants to know more about her kind.

When things go wrong during a hunting lesson with Grethor, Dota finds herself living in the human world, and discovers she’s the only one with the magic to stop Grethor.

The writing immersed me in the two very different ‘worlds’ that Dota inhabits and I liked being with Dota as she explored the human world, met some wonderful characters, and came to terms with her new identity.

( I received a complimentary copy of the book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)

 

The Author:

Julian Barr author photoJulian Barr first fell in love with all things ancient and magical in childhood, when he staged his own version of I, Claudius using sock puppets. After his PhD in Classics, he did a brief stint as a schoolteacher, hated being called ‘sir,’ and dived into storytelling. Although he remains open to the possibilities of sock puppet theatre, historical fantasy is his passion. He has published scholarly research on Roman medicine and the gastronomic habits of Centaurs, but prefers to think of himself as an itinerant bard. He is also the author of the Ashes of Olympus trilogy.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

One Green Bottle by Curtis Bausse

One Green Bottle

 

When Magali Rousseau sets out as a private detective, she expects to take pictures of dodgy salesmen and adulterers. Wrong. Her very first case, and it’s murder. Then comes another. And another. Until she finds herself trapped with a killer whose only aim is to make her his tenth – and final – victim.

Set in Provence, One Green Bottle is not just about Magali’s hunt for a serial killer. It’s also the story of a woman recently divorced, in search of a new life. But in a man’s world, she can only succeed by defeating her own doubts.

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My Review:

A well-written page-turner, with action and suspense.

Recently divorced, Magali, needs a new direction in life. As a joke, her daughter-in-law suggests a private investigator and a therapist, and makes her a sign for each.

Magali suddenly has two clients, one for each business – a man seeking therapy and a woman who wants her to investigate her son’s murder.

As more murders come to light, Magali has her own ideas about the crimes, but isn’t taken seriously by the police.

Magali is a strong character who, although she spends some time “in the doldrums”, is intelligent and adapts well to her new circumstances, as well as her career change.

One Green Bottle is a well-crafted and intriguing story, with plenty of twists and surprises.

 

The Author:

Curtis BausseI grew up in Wales, was educated in England and have spent most of my life in France.

I’ve been writing since the age of 10, when my first poem was sent to a competition by my English teacher. After moving to France, I ran a café-theatre till it got demolished, whereupon I scratched my head, wondering what to do next. Eventually I became a university lecturer, specialising in Second Language Acquisition, even though (apart, obviously, from French) I’ve spectacularly failed to learn any languages (I’m currently trying Dutch and can already say ‘The turtle eats the sandwich’, which is very encouraging).

I spent two years in Mayotte, a tiny, unknown island in the Indian Ocean, which France bought for 1000 piastres in 1842.

Magali Rousseau (my heroine) got into a lot of trouble there, but now, like me, she’s back in Provence, where she jogs, paints, and catches murderers.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Flight of the Spark by Evelyn Puerto

Book 1 of The Outlawed Myth series


Duty. Desire. Destiny.

How far would you go to be safe… to be free…to be loved?

Flight of the SparkIskra doesn’t question the rules. The rules are there to keep her safe from those who are deemed unsafe or unfair. Anyone who breaks the rules is taken, never to be heard from again. But that’s the price everyone gladly pays for peace and safety. And no one wants to live like the Riskers–barbarians who reject order and justice, and could kill or be killed at any moment.

When a friend is taken because of Iskra, the guilt forces her to do the unthinkable: seek out the Riskers. Iskra’s quest to save her friend quickly entangles her fate with a cryptic prophecy and a young Risker named Xico, who ensnares her heart and is willing to put it all on the line to win her.

With every risk Iskra takes, the closer she gets to true freedom. But every choice carries a consequence. The choices she makes set events she never imagined into motion, and the price of her freedom could very well be her life and the life of the man she loves.

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My Review:

Flight of the Spark is a captivating and fascinating read.

The main populace of the land are ruled by fear and ignorance, and at the start of the book we meet Iskra, a 15 year old, who lives in Gishin. She was an obedient villager until her first trip out of the village goes horribly wrong when she misses the caravan home. Attacked by bandits, then rescued by a trader, Iskra is taken to a Risker camp.

The discovery that Riskers are not the barbarian savages the villagers are taught, sets her on a collision course with the leader of Gishen and changes the direction of her future.

The world building in Flight of the Spark was great and I could see the scenery in my mind. The main characters were multi-demensional and credible. I enjoyed watching Iskra grow from a ‘brainwashed’ teen into someone who questioned her life and started thinking for herself.

An enjoyable read, with plenty of action, intrigue and suspense.

 

Evelyn PuertoThe Author:

Evelyn Puerto reads just about anything and writes in multiple genres. When she married, she inherited three stepdaughters, a pair of step-grandsons, and a psychotic cat. Currently she writes from northeastern Wisconsin, but soon will be heading south for shorter winters.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Behind Closed Doors by Karen J. Mossman

Behind Closed DoorsKerry tries to protect her sister but she can’t protect her mum or herself from Bill, her stepfather. He’s mean and volatile and likes to drink.

When she meets Tommy, they fall in love and she finds out his last girlfriend brought trouble to his nice normal family. Not wanting to jeopardise their relationship and do the same, Kerry tries to keep her secrets behind closed doors.

Eventually, the bruises and the lies tell their own story. She can’t hide the fact Bill is wrecking their family and deeper family issues threaten to destroy the best thing that ever happened to her – Tommy.

A coming of age story set to a backdrop of seventies music and fashion.

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My Review:

An enjoyable and emotional read.

Kerry wants to be a normal teenager with a normal family, but since the death of her father and her mum’s marriage to Bill, it hasn’t been possible.

Kerry has a secret that she’s hiding from everyone!

As she gets closer to new boyfriend, Tommy, and his family, that secret is harder to keep.

This well-written, character-driven tale kept me gripped from start to finish, as I rooted for Kerry to come clean and enjoy what remained of her teenage years!

 

The Author:

Karen J MossmanKaren is a multi-genre author and says she is working her way through as many different types as she can.

However, as an avid reader, she admits to not being as adventurous. “I prefer my stories to have a little romance in them, but then romance on its own is not enough. Throw in some crime, thriller or something interesting into the plot, I will jump on it!”

Besides reading and writing, Karen is an avid book blogger. She reviews every book she reads, both on her website as well as Goodreads and Amazon and you will often find her browsing the shelves of Goodreads to see what other people are reading and doing.

Apart from books, she loves cross stitching and the fact she is ‘retired’ now and can do whatever she wants!

Karen lives on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey off the North Wales coast. She makes time to walk every day enjoying both the countryside and the ocean.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

The DI Sterling Series by Lorraine Mace

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

 

Retriever of Souls

Book 1

Retriever of SoulsBrought up believing that sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim’s souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.

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My Review:

I really enjoyed this great British crime drama. It’s the first of a series and I’m already looking forward to reading the next.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling’s personal life is a mess. He’s separated from his wife and has high hopes of getting back with her, and his teenage daughter, Katy, is going off the rails. His professional life isn’t faring any better. His new partner, Detective Sergeant Dave Johnson, is obnoxious and has no respect for women. Add to that, the fact that someone is murdering prostitutes and dumping their bodies in rubbish dumps and there aren’t any leads.

While we follow Paolo as he deals with his complicated relationships and tries to solve the case, we also get a close look at the murderer. The villain was brought up by a religious zealot who taught him that sex was a sin, and he believes that by killing the women he is saving their souls.

There is much more to this book than the crime and solving of it. It’s a character-driven book and they are well written and relatable… easy to like, or hate. It was interesting to watch them and their various relationships evolve and grow.

This was a gripping, gritty, and, at times, gruesome thriller, with interesting characters, a number of suspects, and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.

 

Children in Chains

Book 2

Children in ChainsDetective Inspector Paolo Sterling is determined to shut down the syndicate flooding Bradchester’s streets with young prostitutes.

When a child is murdered, Paolo becomes aware of a sinister network of abusers spread across Europe, and spanning all levels of society. But Joey, the shadowy leader of the gang, always seems to be one step ahead in the chase.

Has Paolo come up against a criminal he cannot defeat?

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My Review:

Having read and enjoyed the first book of the series, Retriever of Souls, I went ahead and bought book 2, although I was a little wary of the subject matter. Child abuse is not an easy topic to read about. I needn’t have worried, the issue was dealt with sensitively although it was still a dark and disturbing read.

We join Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling and his partner, Detective Sergeant Dave Johnson, as they investigate the murder of an abused child and discover a network of child traffickers and paedophiles.

The cast of characters from book one are back and I enjoyed seeing their personalities and relationships develop further through the book. Paolo’s home life is still complicated and his work made more difficult when one of his colleagues talks to the press.

I can’t say this was an enjoyable read, but like Retriever of Souls, it was a gritty and gripping thriller that kept me turning the pages.

The third book of the series is on my TBR list!

 

Injections of Insanity

Book 3

Injections of InsanityDetective Inspector Paolo Sterling has just six weeks to solve a series of murders by insulin injection, with nothing to connect the victims except the manner of death and a note left at each crime scene.

The murderer, determined to avenge a wrong from many years earlier, gets close to his prey by assuming various identities.

Can Paolo win in his race against the pretender?

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My Review:

The third book in the D. I. Sterling Series has the same gripping and gritty style as the previous two.

We rejoin Paolo and the rest of the cast as they attempt to track down a murderer who is out for revenge.

Paolo is a well fleshed out and realistic character. I like the way he deals with his complicated home life and his work colleagues, as well as investigating a series of murders, where the victims seem to have no connection to each other.

The case has plenty of twists to keep Paolo (and the reader) busy trying to figure it out before someone else is killed.

This series is now a firm favourite of mine and I’m looking forward to the next one.

 

Rage and Retribution

Book 4

Rage and RetributionCan two wrongs ever make a right?

 
A man is found by the side of a canal, comatose and brutally attacked.

It quickly becomes clear that someone is abducting men and subjecting them to horrific acts of torture. After three days they’re released, fighting for their lives and refusing to speak.

 
A councillor is accused of fraud.

Montague Mason is an upstanding member of the community. That is until he’s publicly accused of stealing the youth centre’s funds – an accusation that threatens to rip through the very heart of the community and expose his best-kept secret. But how far would he go to protect himself?

 
Two cases. One deadly answer.

As the two cases collide, D.I. Paolo Sterling finds he has more questions than answers. And, when torture escalates to murder, he suddenly finds himself in a race against time to find the killer and put an end to the depravity – once and for all.

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My Review:

Another dark and gritty thriller from Lorraine Mace, with an opening chapter from Nemesis which is dark and necessarily graphic, but not gratuitously so.

From there I joined DI Paolo Sterling at the opening ceremony of the renovated youth centre, a project Paolo played a major part in making happen. The ceremony goes awry when the plaque is revealed and it has been defaced with an accusation against the local councillor.

Paolo has to discover whether there is any truth to the accusation, as well as find out who is behind it. At the same time, Paolo is called in to investigate the brutal attack on a man who is now in hospital in a coma. Not only that, but Paolo has to deal with his complicated family life, and difficulties within his team of officers.

Rage and Retribution is another gripping character-driven thriller from a talented author. It’s a compelling read, full of tension and suspense, that deals with some difficult issues. Not for the faint-hearted!

Rage and Retribution is the fourth book in the series featuring DI Paolo Sterling, but as with the previous three, it can easily be read as a stand-alone.

 

The Author:

Lorraine MaceWhen not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer’s Abc Checklist (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel Vlad The Inhaler – Hero In The Making, and Notes From The Margin, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Carousel by Chris Turnbull

Carousel

 

Jonathan was supposed to be getting married today, but instead he is in Paris; and what’s worse he is now over 120 years in the past.

Transported back by an old amusement carousel, Jonathan finds his life turned upside down as he finds himself stuck in 1889.

Desperate to return home, he goes in search of the carousel. Although his wish to return is high, he soon learns that his reasons to stay could be just as compelling.

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My Review:

After being jilted at the altar by his wife to be, Jonathan finds himself far from his Jersey home, in 1880’s Paris. Although desperate to find his way back home, he starts to build a life for himself in Paris. When the opportunity to return to his own time finally appears, he’s in two minds whether or not to go.

A sweet and charming story. The likeable characters, and the attention to detail, made Carousel an absolute pleasure to read.

 

The Author:

13781487Chris was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire in England.

The eldest of two sons Chris originally wanted to become a dog groomer and trained in this field before working on a farm in the grooming room as well as helping with the dog hydrotherapy.

After a few years, Chris moved on and found a job at Bradford University working with PhD students in the Biology labs. Chris enjoyed nearly 7 years here before moving over to York University to take on a similar, be it more senior role.

Chris now lives on the outskirts of York with his partner and their Jack Russell terrier.

Chris has always been a keen reader and writer, he loves the feeling of being drawn into a good book and the escapism into another world after a long day at work.

In 2013, after finishing his first full story Chris decided that he wanted to get it professionally edited in the hope to print it out for himself. After very little persuasion Chris finally released time travel story The Vintage Coat on Amazon and had a successful book launch in Leeds.

With the publishing bug now set, Chris is enjoying writing more than ever and has plenty of projects up his sleeve.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

The Case of The Spectral Shot by T.G. Campbell

(Bow Street Society #3)

 
The Case of The Spectral ShotWhen Miss Trent is paid a late night visit by a masked stranger the Bow Street Society is plunged into its most bizarre case to date. New faces join returning members as they encounter unsolved murders, the contentious world of spiritualism, and mounting hostility from the Metropolitan Police. Can the Society exorcise the ghosts of the past to uncover the truth, or will it, too, be lured into an early grave…?

 
The Case of The Spectral Shot is the third mystery to feature the Bow Street Society. The first two instalments are The Case of The Curious Client and The Case of The Lonesome Lushington consecutively. Both are available to buy from Amazon as eBooks and paperbacks, alongside the short story collection, The Case of The Shrinking Shopkeeper & Other Stories.

 
The Bow Street Society is a fictional group of amateur detectives, operating in Victorian London. Each of its civilian members has been enlisted for their unique skill or exceptional knowledge in a particular field derived from their usual occupation. Members are assigned to cases, by the Society’s clerk, Miss Trent, based upon these skills and fields of knowledge. This ensures the Society may work on the behalf of their clients regardless of their client’s social class or wealth; cases that the police either can’t or won’t investigate. From an artist to an illusionist, from a spiritualist to a journalist, the Bow Street Society’s aim is to provide justice by all and for all.

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My Review:

The characters in this series are becoming good friends of mine. I love getting to know them all a little better as we learn more about them, their circumstances, and family life, with each case they become involved in.

In The Case of The Spectral Shot, the Bow Street Society are called in to discover the cause of two murders, possibly committed by a possessed doll.

As well as assigning team members to investigate the deaths of the two men, Rebecca Trent, the society’s clerk, has to deal with the malicious interference of the local police inspector, who detests the society.

The third book of the series was another captivating read which once again had me living alongside the society in 1890’s London.

 

About The Author:

6af07c396b9dfcfbc82b1406bbcc4cf5Tahnee Georgina (T.G.) Campbell wrote her first crime fiction story at the age of sixteen as a gift for her best friend. At only 40 pages long it fell considerably short of a “novel” but it marked the beginning of a creative journey that would eventually spawn the first of the Bow Street Society mystery novels; The Case of the Curious Client. During that time she attended the University of Winchester where she acquired her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Studies and wrote a dissertation on the social and cultural importance of the works of Agatha Christie.

She also became a volunteer member of staff on an international text-based gaming website where she was responsible for creating, and facilitating, storyline-games in a Victorian Era setting. The historical content of the reference pages for this setting were therefore researched, collated, and maintained by her.

It was as part of her work for this site that she came up with the idea of The Bow Street Society. Though The Case of the Curious Client is a project independent from the website the time she spent as a member of staff there helped her better understand character formation/evolution, effective use of description, and clue-puzzle mystery plot mechanics.

More recently, she attended her very first book signing event in the form of the UK Indie Lit Fest in Bradford on the 28th July 2018. She’s currently planning a schedule of similar events in 2019, to give her readers even more opportunities to meet her and have their Bow Street Society books signed. The second and third instalments of the Bow Street Society mysteries The Case of The Lonesome Lushington and The Case of The Spectral Shot are on sale now. There are also two published volumes of the Bow Street Society Casebook: The Case of The Shrinking Shopkeeper & Other Stories and The Case of The Peculiar Portrait & Other Stories. T.G. Campbell also writes monthly features for Fresh Lifestyle Magazine and releases new Casebook short stories in the monthly Gaslight Gazette. The fourth Bow Street Society mystery is due to be released in 2019.

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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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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

The Coven Queen by Lily Luchesi

The Coven Series Book 5

CovenQueenLilyCoverBecome the witch you were born to be.

Harley Sinclair has had more than her share of heartbreak, and now she’s all alone once again, trying to hold her life together and move on from the tragedies and the losses of both the dead and the living.

However, she cannot indulge in grief over heartbreak nor death.

Bodies are being found all over London, and then one turns up in the Coven’s confines. Someone is hunting witches and wizards, and with the Coven leaderless, they are more vulnerable than ever.

In order to escape the memories haunting her, she agrees to fly to Chicago to find the source of the murders before everyone she knows is killed.

Discover the magic, mystery, and mischief in the final installment of the #1 bestselling Coven Series!

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My Review:

The final book of the Coven Series by Lily Luchesi is another awesome read.

Once again I joined the characters who I’ve come to regard as friends. I feel their sorrow and joy, their fear and bravery, and their anger and delight.

In this instalment I’ve been by their side as they’ve grieved for Salem, hunted the hunters, fought their enemies, and much more.

As is the norm with Lily’s writing, she grabbed my attention at the start and I couldn’t stop reading until I’d turned the last page.

This is a brilliant series from Lily Luchesi, and I am sad to see the end.

Thank you, Lily, for taking me on an amazing adventure with wonderful friends. I will miss them all!

( I received a complimentary copy of the book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)

 

The Author:

LilyNewPhotoLily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.

Her Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon’s Hot New Releases list consecutively.

She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing’s Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction.

She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Arizona. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

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Saturday Spotlight

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The Maura DeLuca Trilogy by Claudette Melanson

 

Rising Tide: Dark Innocence

Book 1

Rising TideARE YOU A FAN OF VAMPIRE LITERATURE?
Rising Tide will sink its fangs into you, keeping you awake into the wee hours of the night

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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Undertow: Death’s Twilight

Book 2

 

UndertowMaura finally found the truth she was always seeking…or has she?

After being left in the dark for all of her life, Maura’s father, Maxwell, has finally returned to reveal sinister family secrets Maura could never have dreamed possible—including his revelation that she is one of The Born. But his daughter soon discovers both he and her mother are keeping pieces of her reality hidden, still. As Maura struggles to unravel the mysteries surrounding her new existence and discover every piece of the cryptic puzzle, life appears intent on casting stumbling blocks across her path with every step forward.

Tragedy seems to stalk Maura, and those around her, as she stumbles along, altering the young changeling’s family, just when they have all come back together. The changes left in its wake could be for the better, or may threaten their existence, entirely.

With the arrival of Christmas comes the opportunity for Maura to draw close to everyone she loves—and finally reunite with Ron, her long-distance boyfriend. But permanence has always eluded her, and in her current state of flux this pattern endures, as fate seems intent on snapping the threads that bind her to those she holds most dear. Maxwell’s good intentions pave a road for Maura, littered with misery, while her mother, Caelyn’s, desire to shield her family from pain may tear her away from them, altogether. The perfect happiness in the young vampire’s grasp is so easily swept away and dragged under, out of reach. Can Maura erupt from the darkness and confusion to break the surface and find the life she’s always dreamed of?

In the midst of chaos, assistance materializes in the form of another of her kind—ephemerally beautiful, yet explosively volatile, this new vampire may prove capable of unlocking the puzzle-box Maxwell seems intent on securing from her sight. Maura will discover the darkest parts of herself in her quest to understand the being she is destined to become. Her newfound friend has some shady intentions of his own—such as thwarting the love that has grown between Maura and Ron. Following in the wake of the impulsive vampire’s misguided instruction may further pull a naive Maura down into the depths of ultimate despair, heartbreak…and even destruction.

Undertow: Death’s Twilight is the second book in the Maura DeLuca trilogy and the sequel to Rising Tide: Dark Innocence. In this dark, urban fantasy, readers will discover a world full of uncommon vampires, troubled romance and a splash of blood—and uniquely devoid of werewolves. The rollercoaster that is Maura’s life continues in this YA, paranormal novel that fans of the Twilight series, Vampire Diaries, and Vampire Academy will love. Reminiscent of the classic Fairy Tale, the characters introduced in this series are at the other end of the spectrum from the vampire found in the age of Bram Stoker and his famous Dracula. Although there are ties to the myths created by Stoker and his timeless novel, the Maura DeLuca story possesses a sprinkle of magic, coupled with ‘monsters’ that—in most cases—retain the majority of their humanity.

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Riptide: Betrayal of Blood

Book 3

RiptideMaura has never felt so alone in her life…nor has her existence ever been so overshadowed by peril …

Not only do both her parents—her distant but loving mother and recently- returned father—remain absent from her life, but due to the hideous error in judgement executed in collusion with her best friend, Valdamir, and adoptive sister, Susie, Maura has been cut off from the pair’s friendship and support, forbidden by both her father and the fallout from the dire outcome to see either of them. The heartbreak she suffers, brought on by the weight of these estrangements, is only intensified by the continued mysterious absence of her supernaturally-destined mate, Ron…whose disappearance delivers grave consequences Maura would have never dreamed possible…

Despised by her vampire cousin, Aldiva, for reasons Maura cannot yet comprehend, the young changeling will be forced to guard her back with every step, as she comes to realize this member of her vampire family would love nothing more than to bring about her demise. Aldiva’s wrath calls forth other members from both Vancouver covens, forcing them to rush to Maura’s aid—even though her father, their king, has expressly forbidden the other vampires to initiate contact with his daughter. Will her extended family on Vancouver Island obey, abandoning Maura to her doom, or will they instead rebel against Maxwell’s wishes in order to save her life?

In addition to the menace personified in her unsolicited enemy, the unlikely vampire princess will find herself drowning as she is pulled down into the depths of a far more devastating crisis…one which may condemn her to a fate she considers much more undesirable than death. But in order to tear herself free from the deadly pull which is drawing her under, Maura must enlist the help of her preternatural family, exposing her newfound friends to a danger none of them have ever had the misfortune to face before. Can she be saved or will the riptide drag Maura under…along with those she loves the most…

In this third and final book of The Maura DeLuca Trilogy, the reader will delve even deeper into the secrets guarded by Maura’s father, the mystery of Ron’s role in her life and the identities of the mysterious Vancouver Island Coven members who have, up until now, remained hidden in the shadows. This trilogy rounds out the segment of Maura’s life during which she discovers she is a member of The Born—a human destined to complete her transformation into a vampire! This series of young adult fantasy novels has been enjoyed by readers of nearly every age and are found by them to be dramatically different from any other vampire books they have read in the past. Discover a magical world filled with fae, angels, elves, pixies and other enchanting creatures in addition to two families made up of some of the most likeable vampires—for the most part—to ever exist.

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Boxset also available

The Maura DeLuca Trilogy

The Maura DeLuca Trilogy

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My Review:

This trilogy is one of those that you want to read from beginning to end without stopping.

The storyline is fantastic and flows seamlessly from one book to the next. The plot is well thought out, with great twists and turns throughout, and I loved the multi-dimensional characters.

I really enjoyed theses books, and am looking forward to reading the first book of the follow-up trilogy, The DeLuca Vampires.

A well-written supernatural series for readers of all ages.

 

The Author:

Claudette MelansonClaudette Melanson writes dark fantasy in Kitchener, Ontario with seven bun babies: Tegan, Pepper, Butters, Beckett, Sansa, Daenerys, & Caramel. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English, BS in English Education and an MA in Literature. Harboring a deep admiration of vampires since the age of five left her with the desire to eventually become one, and now fuels the creation of her favorite paranormal characters. She hopes to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many stories playing out inside her head.

In her very scant spare time, she enjoys watching Japanese Anime and reading vampire stories…along with other genres of great fiction, as well as riding every roller coaster she encounters in both her hometown and away at signings. An advocate for good health and ketogenic eating, her favorite foods are bulletproof coffee, cashew-flour crust pizza and treats made with xylitol and almond, coconut or cashew flours.

Future dreams include a cabin boasting a roaring fire, isolated inside a snow-filled wood in the Yukon—the perfect writing spot—and the completion of dozens of future novels and stories. A Rabbit Rescue fanatic and loving bunmom, she also hopes to help rescues all over the world save many innocent lives.

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