Cover Reveal: Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams

Welcome to my cover reveal for today! Darkness Watching is the first novel is a new series by Emma L Adams. Demons and college life seems like a combination I’d love to read!
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Title: Darkness Watching (Darkness #1)
Author: Emma L. Adams
Publication Date: September 30th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Synopsis (goodreads):

Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons still stalk Ash, and their interest in her has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her,  and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be..

 
AUTHOR BIO
Author Emma L Adams!

Author Emma L Adams!

Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, inspired by her lifelong love of the fantastical, mythology, and video games. Emma also writes supernatural fantasy novels for older teens and adults. Her next book,Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and will be published in September 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.

Author Links:
 

Book Review: Ink by Amanda Sun

Ink (Paper Gods, #1)

Title: Ink (Paper Gods #1)
Author: Amanda Sun
Genre: Paranormal, Mythology, Urban Fantasy, Japan
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 2013
Pages: 326
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

My Review:

Japan is the last place on Earth that Katie Green wants to be. But after he mother dies and her grandfather is too sick to look after her, Katie is shipped off to go live with her aunt in Shizuoko. Struggling to cope with the language and culture change, Katie muddles along in the hope that her grandfather will get better and she can flee Japan and live in Canada. And then she sees the ink. Yuu Tomohiro, the school’s badboy and kendo legend, the guy who cruelly breaks up with his girlfriend and pretends to be someone he isn’t fascinates Katie. And there’s his drawings. The calligraphy that’s so lifelike, Katie would almost swear that it moves…

I’ve never read a book which incorporates Japanese Mythology like Amanda Sun did in Ink. The concept of the power of the pen – or the ink – is something new on the paranormal scene. The Kami are dangerous with their medium being writing – something people take for granted – and yet the spirit in the ink is powerful and non-discriminating. I did think that this book had a very strong start but sort of faded as things developed. I was immediately drawn in at the start but towards the end I wasn’t as captivated.

I loved the way Japanese culture was portrayed in Ink, The way the language and the customs were interspersed throughout the novel was great to read. I wasn’t surprised to learn that Amanda Sun had spent quite a lot of time in Japan. As someone who has never been to that part of the world, it felt authentic and real.

As for the characters – I found Katie to be slightly frustrating. Her behaviour was inconsistent and I thought she was slightly illogical. Her selfish nature took me out of the story at times and I much preferred the easy-going nature of her friends Tamaka and Yuki. Yuu Tomohiro was one of those characters that’s mysterious and gorgeous and as a result one I wanted to read more of. I liked his arrogant exterior but the more we got to know him, the more we got to see he had layers and interesting complexities.

This is a great novel with a unique type of paranormal element. The characters are interesting however I liked the supporting cast more than I did the main character. I’m excited to see where Amanda Sun takes her characters in the next book of the Paper Gods series.

Thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia and NetGalley review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon || Book Depository 

Guest Post: Reaper’s Rhythm by Clare Davidson

Today I’m lucky enough to be sharing a guest post by Clare Davidson – the author of Reaper’s Rhythm! She’s written a guest post about why she hopped genres. Don’t forget to check out the tour wide giveaway at the end of the post.

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Why I hopped genres? 

My first novel, Trinity, was a straight up YA fantasy. Other than a couple of short stories I played around with for my degree, it’s all I’ve ever written. But my second novel, Reaper’s Rhythm, is a YA urban fantasy, or a YA contemporary paranormal thriller (try saying that several times quickly!). Yes, they are both subgenres of fantasy, but there’s a massive difference between those two genres and straight up fantasy.

So, why did I genre hop?

For the challenge. I’m a big believe that you should always stretch and challenge yourself. A good way to do that is to play outside of your comfort zone. With Reaper’s Rhythm, not only did I hop genre, I also switched to a first person point of view.

My muse told me to. Seriously. My muse doesn’t care about genres, or the advice that it’s not productive for an author to hop genres, because not all of their readers will follow them. My muse gave me a flash of inspiration, which got so stuck in my head, I had to get it out on paper.

It was fun. Reaper’s Rhythm began life as a “just for fun” throwaway project. It was my experimental project in the down time between finishing the first draft of Trinity and editing it. Only I finished that very first draft in three weeks. Yup, you read that right. The first draft of Reaper’s Rhythm was a very different novel to the one I’ve ended up with. It was lighter and aimed at a mid-grade audience. Honestly, it wasn’t very good, but it was definitely fun to write. So was the very different second draft (but that’s another story).

What are your thoughts on genre hopping? Have you followed a genre-hopping author? Have you found a new author’s work because they genre hopped? I’d love to hear your views.

Thanks Clare! I often follow authors I love wherever they go – even when it’s genres I don’t normally read. I’ve discovered new genres that I now adore because of following an author wherever they go. I loved the chance to read about why an author – like yourself – might choose to genre hop.

We’re also lucky enough that Clare decided to share a teaser from her new book, Reaper’s Rhythm.

 

Charley’s lying on the bed, her blond hair fanned out over the pillow. Her arms are spread wide, palms up. Crimson blood drips from deep slashes on her wrists. Her blue eyes are open, staring at the ceiling. But they don’t see. They’re dull, empty.

Dead.

The room spins. My stomach lurches and bile rises up my throat. I swallow and clap my hand to my mouth. Sagging against the doorframe, I can’t tear my gaze from the single lock of hair resting over Charley’s porcelain cheek. What should I do?

Charley would know what to do.

As I stumble down the stairs, my mind clicks into gear. A scream rips out of my throat, eclipsing the pounding music. My foot slips on the beige carpet, sending me tumbling down the remaining stairs. My shoulder and back slam against the wall. I scramble to my feet, screaming, sobbing, then stagger into the hallway, colliding into a young man with the darkest eyes I’ve ever seen.

My own force knocks me backwards. His strong grip clenches my arm, preventing me from falling. I try to scream again, but the sound is trapped within my constricting chest. My sister is dead. A stranger is in my house.

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Title: Reaper’s Rhythm

Author: Clare Davidson

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/ Mystery

Book Description:

When everyone thinks your sister committed suicide, it’s hard to prove she was murdered.

Kim is unable to accept Charley’s sudden death. Crippled by an unnatural amnesia, her questions are met with wall after wall. As she doubts her sanity, she realises her investigation is putting those around her in danger.

The only person who seems to know anything is Matthew, an elusive stranger who would rather vanish than talk. Despite his friendly smile, Kim isn’t sure she can trust him. But if she wants to protect her family from further danger, Kim must work with Matthew to discover how Charley died – before it’s too late.

Author Bio:

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Clare Davidson is an independent writer, based in Lancaster. Clare is a high school teacher, mother and character-driven fantasy writer. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter, a cranky grey cat and an insane white kitten.

She published her first novel, Trinity in July 2012. Trinity is a young adult, fantasy novel, which currently has seventeen five star reviews on Amazon UK.

Her second novel, Reaper’s Rhythm, is due to be released on the 26th July 2013. Also aimed at a young adult audience, Reaper’s Rhythm is an urban fantasy with a dash of mystery.

Ways to connect with Clare Davidson:

Website || Twitter || Facebook || Goodreads

Click Here to join Clare’s new releases mailing list

 

Purchase Links

America:
Kindle || Paperback

UK:
Kindle

Paperback:
Amazon || Waterstone’s

Giveaway:

Click on the rafflecopter link below to enter a tour wide giveaway to win a fantastic swag pack!
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Cover Reveal: Reaper’s Rhythm by Clare Davidson

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Blurb

When everyone thinks your sister committed suicide, it’s hard to prove she was murdered.

Kim is unable to accept Charley’s sudden death. Crippled by an unnatural amnesia, her questions are met with wall after wall. As she doubts her sanity, she realises her investigation is putting those around her in danger.

The only person who seems to know anything is Matthew, an elusive stranger who would rather vanish than talk. Despite his friendly smile, Kim isn’t sure she can trust him. But if she wants to protect her family from further danger, Kim must work with Matthew to discover how Charley died – before it’s too late.

Excerpt from Reaper’s Rhythm

The warm light seeps through the closed sitting room curtains when I step into the drive. The muffled thump of dance music grows louder as I approach the familiar front door. I push the key into the lock, but the door swings open on its own. My breath catches in my throat, but I force it into a growl. Not only has my sister, Charley, not bothered to lock the door, she hasn’t latched it. Whatever she rushed home for must have been important.

I step over the threshold and a blast of warm air hits me, enveloping me like one of Mum’s overprotective hugs. My wind-chilled face tingles, as I close and lock the door.

“Charley, I hope you’ve set the table.” My voice competes with the din of the deep bass of my sister’s music.

I toss my keys into the wicker basket on the hall table. As I peel my coat off, I see Charley’s in a crumpled heap on the floor. Rolling my eyes, I scoop it up and hang it, then place her discarded boots in the shoe rack beside my own. Why am I the conscientious sister? I’m only sixteen. Charley will be heading off to university next year.

Stomach rumbling, I snatch up the Chinese takeout I’d picked up on the walk home and wander into the kitchen. Frowning, I flick the switch to light up the pristine room. Mum is a clean freak now that Dad doesn’t live here. The table isn’t set, even though Charley promised she would do it before she rushed off ahead.

“Charley,” I call out and then dump the bag on the kitchen table and stomp across the hall to the sitting room, shoving the door open.

The music hits me first, making me jerk my head back, then the smell. An odd odour, metallic and rich, overpowers the air freshener on the mantel.

“Charley?” She must be trying to scare me. “Charley, stop messing around.” I grit my teeth, expecting her to jump out at any second.

My body shudders and my flesh tingles as if an army of ants is marching beneath my skin. I back out of the empty sitting room and bolt upstairs. The smell is stronger, snaking down my throat, making me want to gag.

“Charley?”

I shove her door open, hard.

Charley’s lying on the bed, her blond hair fanned out over the pillow. Her arms are spread wide, palms up. Crimson blood drips from deep slashes on her wrists. Her blue eyes are open, staring at the ceiling. But they don’t see. They’re dull, empty.

Dead.

The room spins. My stomach lurches and bile rises up my throat. I swallow and clap my hand to my mouth. Sagging against the doorframe, I can’t tear my gaze from the single lock of hair resting over Charley’s porcelain cheek. What should I do?

Charley would know what to do.

As I stumble down the stairs, my mind clicks into gear. A scream rips out of my throat, eclipsing the pounding music. My foot slips on the beige carpet, sending me tumbling down the remaining stairs. My shoulder and back slam against the wall. I scramble to my feet, screaming, sobbing, then stagger into the hallway, colliding into a young man with the darkest eyes I’ve ever seen.

My own force knocks me backwards. His strong grip clenches my arm, preventing me from falling. I try to scream again, but the sound is trapped within my constricting chest. My sister is dead. A stranger is in my house.

I writhe against his grip, lashing out with my foot. My toes crumple and sting when they hit his shin. I’m thrown off balance, but he holds me fast.

He raises his thumb to my forehead and applies gentle pressure, as he sweeps his thumb towards my brow and then hooks it back up.

“Sleep.” His quiet voice acts like a sedative.

My head flops forward until my chin touches my chest. A new scent replaces the sickly metallic tang of Charley’s blood: freshly cut grass. Inhaling it makes my head fuzzy and my heartbeat slow.

I want to see his face, memorise every detail. The contours of his cheeks and jaw, the shape of his nose, the colour of his hair. The police want to know those things, don’t they? The only feature I can see for sure is the impossible darkness of his eyes.

My own eyelids droop, my limbs turn liquid. A strong arm loops round my back and lowers me to the floor. I fight against sleep. Each time I force my eyelids open, they flutter shut again.

“Forget,” he says. The word is nothing more than a whisper at the edge of my hearing. “Sleep.”

Author Bio:

Clare Davidson is an independent writer, based in Lancaster. Clare is a high school teacher, mother and character-driven fantasy writer. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter, a cranky grey cat and an insane white kitten.

She published her first novel, Trinity in July 2012. Trinity is a young adult, fantasy novel, which currently has seventeen five star reviews on Amazon UK.

Her second novel, Reaper’s Rhythm, is due to be released on the 26th July 2013. Also aimed at a young adult audience, Reaper’s Rhythm is an urban fantasy with a dash of mystery.

Ways to connect with Clare Davidson:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | New releases mailing list

Book Review: School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Title: School Spirits (School Spirits #1)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Genre: contemporary, paranormal, urban fantasy, witches, ghosts
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: May 2013
Pages: 304 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy’s mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who’s always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

My Review:

As a Brannick, Izzy has a family legacy to maintain – to fight things that go bump in the night. But Izzy, her mother and older sister Finley are the only Brannicks left and after Finley goes missing in the middle of a job things are different. Taking some time off to search for Finley, months go by with no sign of the missing teenager. To try to move on Izzy’s mother decides to get back to the monster fighting business and gives Izzy her first true solo mission – find and stop the ghost haunting a high school. Enrolled as a student and working undercover, Izzy gets to experience for the first time just what life as a typical teenager involves. With an evil warlock trapped in her mirror and the closest thing to teenage life Izzy has ever been is watching Ivy Springs (a fictional teen drama) on DVD, the next experience of high school is a novelty for Izzy. But ghosts with evil intentions stop for no one – not even one with best friends and boys on the mind.

I’ve not read Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins and had no idea School Spirits was a spin-off. That said – there’s no assumed knowledge of the world and before I knew it I was swept away in the characters and story in this novel. Izzy is an engaging main character who for all her naivety of “regular teenagers” and life outside of monster hunting is surprisingly relatable. Her mother managed to be both mentor and caring parent. And the members of the Paranormal Management Society (PMS) are delightful. I accepted and loved the team of misfits the way they embraced Izzy – without abandon. Romy, Anderson and Dex are equal parts fun, zany and  supportive.

Plot wise I thought it was dramatic and interesting. Paced perfectly, I enjoyed seeing Izzy go from nearly killing a boy in dodge-ball on her very first day to a more confident young woman who is trying to live up to the Brannick name. Torin – the boy in the mirror, is cocky and confident and I’m a little undecided as to whether I love or hate him. He’s just one of those characters that I desperately want to know more about.

Watching Izzy discover boys – specifically Dex – made me smile. She’s awkward and all she knows about romance and relationships with the other sex is from a teen drama. I loved it! And Dex is perfect. He’s quirky and geeky – and the opposite of athletic – and that just made me like him more. He’s an unconventional love interest but somehow it works.

The magic and ghosts are rampant and I liked the supernatural element in School Spirits. There’s drama and excitement with a lot of room for this series to grow in future novels. This is a great book for fans of Rachel Harkins but also anyone who loves a good young adult novel with engaging characters and things that go bump in the night.

 

Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Hyperion for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon
Book Depository 

Book Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Paranormal, Dystopia, Vampires, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 2013
Pages: 428
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
In Allison Sekemoto’s world, there is one one rule left: Blood Calls to blood.
Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire, Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie’s birthplace in New Covington, what she finds there will the change the world forever – and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There’s a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago – deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries. If Allie can get to him in time…

My Review:

Allison Sekemoto is on a quest to save her creator, Kanin, who needs help. What she doesn’t expect is when her blood tie brings her to a blood brother and the town she thought she had left behind in her past to come crashing into her present. The boy she left, the monster who stabbed her and the Fringer whose life she saved – they all play a part in her attempt to save Kanin and the world from the new threat its facing and the slightly unhinged Sarren.

I enjoyed The Immortal Rules but The Eternity Cure has completely sold me on Julie Kagawa. I loved how she brought humanity to the monsters and showed how inhumane the humans can be. That’s not to say the vampires can’t be villainous. Allie is still struggling to deal with her new and eternal life with the pressures and cravings life as a vampire brings. She’s grown since the first book and continues to do so throughout this second instalment of the Blood of Eden series.

Relationships in this book were a strong point. There’s a romantic relationship is heartbreakingly bitter-sweet. I loved seeing how the mentor/mentee dynamic between Allie and Kanin has shifted as Allie grows more comfortable and confident with her place in the vampire world. And then there’s Jackal – he’s surprising in many ways. The humour and banter that Jackal provides is a highlight of this novel.

The Eternity Cure is fairly fast pasted – there is a lot that goes on in a short period of time but the pace is at a speed that feels right. It’s exciting and dramatic at times. The characters are fascinating – flawed but fantastic in their own ways.   I loved the journey Julia Kagawa took me on. I am looking forward to the third book in the series and in the meantime I will definitely be reading Kagawa’s Iron Fey series!

Thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Natural Born Angel by Scott Speer

Title: Natural Born Angel (Immortal City #2) 
Author: Scott Speer
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Angels, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 23 April 2013
Pages: 360
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Life turned upside down for Maddy Montgomery when she found out she was half-Angel and was catapulted into the scene of flashbulbs, paparazzi, and the fervent adulation that comes with being in the celebrity Angel world. She’s trying to juggle her ordinary life—high school, family, friends—with the intense demands of being in the public eye as heartthrob Angel Jackson Godspeed’s girlfriend.

And now Maddy must face the most difficult choice of her life. She’s been offered the chance to become a Guardian. This means entering into dangerous and high stakes training, with no guarantee that she can succeed. But more than that, it would mean leaving her mortal life behind—forever—and allying with the Angels at a time when their relationship with humans is heading for war. . . .

My Review:

After slaving away at her uncle’s diner and studying hard to get the marks required to get into college, Maddy Montgomery is faced with a choice. Her dream school or the chance to train at the top-secret Guardian school. Going from the anonymous high school student to being the world’s number one It-Girl in less than a year, Maddy also has to navigate her new-found popularity and balance her new professional life with her relationship with the oh-so dreamy, Jackson Godspeed. Life will never be the same and Maddy needs to work out what she wants and where her allegiance lie before the war between Angels and Humans decides for her…

Natural Born Angel has so much going on – it’s fantastic! We get to see some Guardian training, the rise of a new dangerous enemy and the fantastic Former Angel, Detective Sylvester, is around again trying to save the world (this time with some help from Mark and Jacks). I loved the way that this novel managed to be describing a fantastical concept (like Angels on Earth) and have it mirror modern-day life – prejudices, terrorism and elitism. This book reminded me of a film in terms of  how it is set up and in some ways I think this would make a better film than novel. There isn’t a lot of emotion evident and I think had I been watching actors they would have been able to bring the intensity that these characters in the novel couldn’t.

I had high hopes for this novel. I loved the concept of Immortal City and the dark underbelly of the Angelic world. This book is a breath of fresh air with regards to the action. There is no chance of getting stuck in a characters thoughts because this book is about what’s happening now – happening to Maddy, to Jacks and to the world in general. And whilst I liked the different style of storytelling I felt like it was a missed opportunity. We skip a year from where the first novel ended to a time when Maddy is well established in a relationship with Jacks. She’s almost come to terms with her new-found Angelic state and she’s handling the fame like a professional.

What disappointed me most about Natural Born Angel was the romance. I don’t need romance to enjoy a good book and this is one of those stories that I think was trying a bit too hard with the relationships. Maddy and Jacks have lost any sort of chemistry they shared in the first book and there’s a new element that made this book go from a suspenseful action fantasy novel to just another clichéd teen romance… but even then the romance was unbelievable and flat.

Overall – there are some great things about this book and some not-so great things too. IF you loved the first book I think you’ll enjoy where Speer takes Maddy and the others in this instalment. Will I be reading the next Immortal City novel? Absolutely! But I think I’ll go in with slightly lower expectations than I had for Natural Born Angel.

 

Thanks to Penguin Teen and netgalley for the digital review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Tuff Girl Legion: Astarte’s Wrath by Trisha Wolfe

Tuff Girl Legion Presents Astarte’s Wrath

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Title: Astarte’s Wrath (Kythan Guardians #0.5) 
Author: Trisha Wolfe
Genre: New Adult, Mythology, Urban Fantasy 
Publisher: self-published
Publication Date: March 2013
Pages: 215
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
A tragic love story.

Two thousand years before Dez Harkly developed her secret powers, Guardian Astarte was vowed to protect by the binds enslaving her to the Egyptian pharaohs. Discover the prophecy that originated from a very different time, and spans generations to link two very different girls.

This is the beginning.

Set against the backdrop of the Battle of Actium, in the city of Alexandria, Star struggles with her guardian duties as her feelings for the newly named pharaoh of Egypt grow deeper. Not only is Caesarion her duty, he’s the son of Cleopatra, and he’s human. All of which makes their love forbidden.

But when a conspiracy linked to Caesar creeps into Alexandria, Star must choose between helping her fellow Kythan free themselves of their servitude, and protecting her charge—the last pharaoh—while Egypt burns around her.

New Adult/Mature YA: sexual content, drinking, drugs, violence, language, death, and other mature content intended for readers 17 and older. Astarte’s Wrath is a companion novel to Destiny’s Fire, but can be read as a standalone novel.

 

Review:

Trisha Wolfe has created such an amazing world inhabited by characters that I love to read about. As a companion novel to Destiny’s Fire, Astarte’s Wrath can be read independently and still pick up on the intricacies of the realm these books are set in.

Astarte (Star) is a Kythian – a race created to be unstoppable defenders of Egypt. In particular to guard and protect the Pharaoh, Xarion who also happens to be Star’s childhood friend. He is new to his position and believes that a man should make his own fate rather than just deal with what the Gods decide. In addition the new responsibility he has messes with the easy friendship he has always shared with Star. With a new race of magical beings on the scene, the threat against the Pharaoh is more real than ever.

I love the mix of Egyptian mythology, action and romance in this book – it’s fun and interesting. There’s always something happening but at the same time it always feels like a natural progression. I was entirely absorbed in the story from the first page until the last.

The characters are fantastic – from Star and Xarion to Phoenix. They’re well-rounded and flawed in the way that I love the characters I read about to be. The romance, the friendships – all of it. Bittersweet but beautiful to the end. The novel kept me hooked and I loved it.

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a well written story with well thought out plot, fantastic characters and a great mythological angle different from what I’ve read before.

And NOW…. here’s a bonus from Trisha! 

Sneak Peek: Bath Scene from Xarion’s POV

Star narrows her eyes at me, her full, bottom lip puckering out the way it does when she’s in serious thought—and though I’m listening to her words, all I want to do is trap that bottom lip between my teeth. Nip it and caress it with my tongue.

“I knew you’d say that,” she says. “And that is precisely why I didn’t want you to know.” She raises her hand from my chest and swipes the wet hair from my forehead. Her body subtly moves against me with this action, and it drives me wild. “A possible retaliation by the guardians is just one more weighted burden on top of the many you already carry. You don’t need the added strain. Let me deal with Candra and the Kythan. They’re my kindred. As long as I’m their equal—in both power and status—I can protect you.”

This woman—the woman I’ve loved my entire life—is my protector. She not only guards against physical threats, but watches over my mental wellbeing. But I cannot allow her to carry all my problems alone anymore. I want to be her guardian, to be the one to comfort her when she’s fearful, and protect her against this world.

I tilt my head and suck in a deep breath. “This is why you won’t be with me.” I want her to admit it. If she finally confesses that our titles and her battle with the right course of action have been the only reasons for her kept affections, then by Gods…help me from laying her out on this tile and taking her—making her mine. I won’t stop.

She nods.

“This is the only reason.” She nods again, and that is all the conformation I need. “Then I refuse to let them keep us apart for one more moment.” I grasp her face between my hands and claim her lips with mine.

Her lips are soft and warm as I achingly coax them into a fevered kiss, unable to hold back my desire for her. I had planned for our first kiss many times, imagined it over and over. The way I would caress her lips slowly and lovingly, conveying my affections. But every emotion I have ever felt for Star rushes to the surface all at once, and I can’t slow. I won’t. I won’t allow her a moment to question our actions, to reconsider us. I’m going to kiss her senseless—kiss the reason right out of her infuriatingly rational head.

Help Trisha and the Tuff Girl Legion get to 50 reviews on Amazon for the full scene release of the “Bath Scene” on Trisha’s blog! You can bookmark the bonus material here!

Bio: Trisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY’S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), the NA Historical/Supernatural ASTARTE’S WRATH, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. Her NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013.

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She’s the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies. Check out www.TrishaWolfe.com for more on her books and bonus material. Follow Trisha on Twitter @TrishWolfe and like her Facebook page for updates.

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Book Review: My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling

Title: My Ex From Hell (Blooming Goddess #1)
Author: Tellulah Darling
Genre: Contemporary Romance; Humour; Mythology; Urban Fantasy;
Publisher: Te Da Media
Publication Date: April 2013
Pages: 272
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Bloom wishes she’d been taught the following:

a) Bad boy’s presence (TrOuBlE) + teen girl’s brain (DraMa) = TrAuMa (Highly unstable and very volatile.)
b) The Genus Greekulum Godissimus is notable for three traits: 1) awesome abilities, 2) grudges, and 3) hook-ups, break-ups, and in-fighting that puts cable to shame.

Prior to the Halloween dance, Sophie figures her worst problems involve adolescent theatrics, bitchy yoga girls, and being on probation at her boarding school for mouthy behaviour. Then she meets bad boy Kai and gets the kiss that rocks her world.

Literally.

This breath stealing lip lock reawakens Sophie’s true identity: Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She’s key to saving humanity in the war between the Underworld and Olympus, target numero uno of Hades and Zeus, and totally screwed.

Plus there’s also the little issue that Sophie’s last memory as Persephone was just before someone tried to murder her.

Big picture: master her powers, get her memories back, defeat Persephone’s would be assassin, and save the world. Also, sneak into the Underworld to retrieve stolen property, battle the minions of Hades and Zeus, outwit psycho nymphs, slay a dragon, rescue a classmate, keep from getting her butt expelled from the one place designed to keep her safe …

… and stop kissing Kai, Prince of the Underworld.

My Ex From Hell is a romantic comedy/Greek mythology smackdown. Romeo and Juliet had it easy.

My Review:

In the past year I’ve read a few retellings of the Persephone myth but I think My Ex From Hell would have to be my favourite.

Snarky, sneaky and oh-so sarcastic Sophie Bloom has enough drama trying to keep herself out of trouble without adding a gorgeous greek god ex without adding a past life and magical powers in to the picture. But when a prank on a mean girl goes wrong, Sophie finds herself thrown into a world she’d never believed existed.

I love Tellulah Darling’s style. She manages to write characters that I’m interested in, fabulously snarly dialogue, a plot that intrigues with many twist and turns and throws in hundreds of pop-culture references at the same time.

“Our story starts back on Mt. Olympus sixteen years ago,” he began.
“Nice try,” Hannah interrupted. “I may only know Mythology 101 but those gods predated New Kids On The Block.”

Greek Gods, magical powers and a NKOTB reference? Seriously.. I’m in love.

Sophie is one of those character that I think you’ll either hate her and her egocentric teen attitude or you’ll love her cantankerous nature. I thought she was a good character to have leading the drama and action in this book. She’s not fearless nor is she super self-sacrificing like many heroines I read about. But she’s got an element of real to her that I found endearing and enjoyable to read.

The supporting characters are an interesting bunch. Interesting in terms of I’m not quite sure what to think. Ky – the Ex that the title refers to – is a bit of a cad and his motives are murky from the start. BFFs Theo and Hannah, the chocolate to Sophie’s peanut butter, are the kind of sidekicks that every teen goddess wishes she could have. Loyal, intelligent and desperate to help Sophie’s cause – these are two that I really enjoyed reading about. And what novel set at a boarding school would be complete without the Queen B who is just as dangerous as any lord of the Underworld. I would have loved to have seen more of the mythological gods but considering the length of this book – there’s a lot going on and any more characters would probably be a little too much.

This is just the start of Sophie Bloom’s journey into goddess-hood and there is still so many unanswered questions and mysteries. I’m hooked on Tallulah’s books and will definitely be reading the second book in the series, My Date From Hell, when it comes out next year.

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon


Book Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott

Title: The Collector (Dante Walker #1)
Author: Victoria Scott
Genre: Urban Fantasy, paranormal, demons
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: April 2013
Pages: 368
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
He makes good girls…bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

My Review:

Dante Walker is so bad he’s good. Good at his job working for the Boss Man ‘downstairs’, good at training fellow collectors and good with the ladies. He gets in, gets the job done and gets out. Until Charlie Cooper. With her gawky smile and limping leg – it shouldn’t be a problem to get her to be bad with him. Ten days to claim her soul? Piece of cake!

Except Charlie is nothing like anyone Dante has ever met before. She’s just so… good! The challenge gets even tougher when Dante starts falling for the plain jane and Dante is faced with a dilemma more difficult than anything he’s faced in life – or death.

I’ve been hearing a lot about Victoria Scott’s Dante Walker for a while now. The man’s man, ladies man, man about town whose swagger is to die for. He’s one of those characters that grew on me. At first I thought he was entertaining but about as deep as dishwater. But the more I read and the more involved I got with Dante and Charlie’s story – he surprised me on a number of levels. This character has a lot going for him – and not just the sex appeal and charm that he is oh-so-well aware of. He’s got heart.

Charlie Cooper. I’m a fan of alliterative names and Charlie is one character that I was shocked to like so much. She’s one of those people who are perfect. Perhaps not physically (and lets face it flawless appearances are a bit of a turn off for me so many be that’s another point in her favour) but she’s a all-round do-gooder. There’s no one she wouldn’t help even if it was at a disadvantage to herself. She’s just that nice! When tragedy and adversity had the chance to make her bitter and twisted, Charlie took the high road and tried to be the best person she could be. Sounds like she could be sickeningly sweet but when meeting and getting to know her through Dante’s eyes – she’s just adorable.

Plot wise – there’s a lot going on. Some twists I expected, some I never saw coming but they worked well with the rest of the drama unfolding. There were a few surprises and I have to admit the ending has left me so very curious as to where Scott is going to take Dante, Charlie and the rest of the crew in the next instalment of the Dante Walker series.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository