Blood Bonds by Kerry A. Campbell

Blood BondsLily Myers is living an ordinary life until she meets Quinn Carter. When Quinn turns out to be a century-old vampire, Lily is thrust into a reality where she’s an unwilling believer. But as her fear fades and her curiosity wins out, she finds herself falling for Quinn and learning more about this new world. From hunting down a vampire killer to meeting werewolves, Lily’s life has definitely taken a turn…but whether it’s for the worse or better, she’s still finding out.

 

I’m so excited to finally be able to purchase this book! Yay! It’s a long awaited compilation of short stories by my dear friend Kerry, the face behind the blog The Geeky Book Lady.

After discussions over numerous cups of coffee and in writer’s groups and workshops, I feel like I know these characters. I can’t wait to read Lily and Quinn’s story in print!

Kerry’s writing has always been top notch and she has worked hard to bring the stories that she is so passionate about into book form. 

Vampires, werewolves…if you enjoy reading paranormal or speculative fiction, it is definitely worth picking up a copy. It is a short story collection but all the stories are continuous and connected.

On Friday, I’ll will give a glimpse into Blood Bonds with Book Beginnings and the Friday 56. I’ll follow up next week with my review, so stay tuned!

I don’t post very often, but there’s lots going on lately, so I’ll just say that I also have another post coming up related to short stories. I’m super pumped about it, but you’ll just have to wait…

Till next time, I’d like to know…do you enjoy stories about vampires and werewolves? Leave a comment!

Jo-Ann

 

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Book Review: The Elemental Coven by Kayla Krantz

The Elemental Coven
The Elemental Coven
The Elemental Coven by Kayla Krantz

I was thrilled to see Kayla Krantz released her newest book, The Elemental Coven! It is the second book in the Witch’s Ambitions Trilogy and I’m happy to say it was well worth the wait.

When I had read the first of the series, The Council, I wanted more! Kayla is an excellent writer. She is wonderfully descriptive and draws you in with her engaging characters and captivating world-building.

You can read my review of The Council here.

The Elemental Coven starts off a bit slow, but quickly picks up the pace. Some of the characters and events that were in the first book I had forgotten about, so there were times that I wished I had reread The Council more recently. I think it would be difficult to get what was happening in this story if you hadn’t read the The Council.

Lilith, the main character, is taken prisoner by the Elemental Coven, a band of rogue witches that were believed to be the bad guys. As Lilith learns more about their mission and motives, she looks to solve the mystery of her past, Willow and the secrets of the Council that had been kept from her.

The story is suspenseful and intriguing. She doesn’t know who she can trust or which side is doing the right thing.

An aspect that I love about this trilogy is the world that the author has built. There are five covens, each with their own unique abilities. They are ruled over by the Council, presumed to work for the best interests of all the covens in the Land of Five. There is, of course, a fair amount of political intrigue and all is not as rosy as it seems on the surface.

Lilith, the main character doesn’t know who she can trust or which side is doing the right thing. It is a guessing game that build suspense and leaves the reader questioning everything and wanting more.

The author does a great job of developing the main character as well as the supporting cast and wondering what, if any, their ulterior motives might be.

The story ends on a major cliffhanger. Unfortunately, we now have to wait until 2020 to find out what happens next!

I received an advanced copy of the Elemental Coven in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Proud author of a number of fantasy and thrillers, fascinated by the dark and macabre. Stephen King is her all time inspiration mixed in with a little bit of Eminem. When she began writing, she started in horror but it somehow drifted into thriller. She loves the 1988 movie Heathers. She was born and raised in Michigan but traveled across the country to where she currently resides in Texas.

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Review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Blurb from Goodread:  Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty – especially if they learn of her Sight – and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.
But it’s too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost — regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr’s stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.

As soon as I found this book on another blog and read the premise, I knew I had to get my hand on it!

Aislynn, her mother and her grandmother were all born with the Sight. That means that they see faeries. Everywhere.

The average human is oblivious to their existence and the tricks that they play. 

These are not the cute, magical, Tinkerbell fairies that sprinkle dust to give good luck. These faeries are dark and mischievous. They can be glamorous or frightening. They are not creatures that you want to have hanging around.

Aislynn must pretend that she cannot see the faeries. If they become aware they she can see them, she risks being killed or at the very least, blinded.

The Summer King has chosen to court Aislynn. Most girls who are courted by him fall head over heels, but Aislynn sees through his glamour, and her fear of faeries demands that she stay as far away from him as possible.

She is unwillingly pulled into the Faery world, conflicting with her friendship and the beginnings of romance with Seth. Aislynn was a strong character who stands up for herself even when she is afraid to.

I absolutely loved the way the relationship between Seth and Aislynn grew. Aislynn fought any romance with him for fear of jeopardizing their amazing friendship. It developed as a slow burn that I found it touching and warm.

I would liked to have seen more background on Aislynn’s mother and her role in the story. It was a great start, but then the reader was left hanging about what happened, her connection with the Summer King and why she died.

I enjoyed the writing, though it was a bit confusing at times and I had to go back and reread. I did like the way it was written with multiple POVs. I enjoy getting into the heads of the other characters.

I was completely captivated by the story and wouldn’t put the book down until I found out how it ended. What was going to happen to Aislynn? To Seth and the Summer King? 

I enjoyed the ending, but I wonder if it wouldn’t have been more interesting if it things hadn’t worked out quite so perfectly.

 

 

 

The Suspenseful Collection

Congratulations to Didi Oviatt and Kim Knight on the release of their compilation book of short stories!  

Click to be taken to Amazon.com
The Suspenseful Collection by Kim Knight and Didi Oviatt

These two very talented and lovely suspense authors have the most interesting way of putting their stories together.  One author starts the tale, the other finishes it.  How cool is that?  They live on opposite sides of the Atlantic, which makes it even more fun.

 

I’ve been intrigued by these stories since before they released it.  Confession: I did try to preorder but my Amazon account was all wonky that day and because well, life’s distractions, I just never got back to it.

I did enter their Rafflecopter contest however, and guess what!  I won a copy and I’m so excited to read this!  I’m mean…look at that cover.  It’s gorgeous!

Thank you so very much, Didi and Kim for the opportunity to win this and read your book!

I will be posting my review soon but I do hope everyone will go ahead and check this book out for yourself.  It’s already gotten some great feedback!

Here is the blurb from Amazon with a little summary of each of the short stories:

For Mature Readers Only:

A suspenseful novel with a twist. Eight short stories, by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With just creativity and the use of writing prompts, to craft one tale, with two different writers. This anthology of suspenseful, fast paced and engaging tales covers multiple genres. From heart felt romance, crime, fantasy, and steamy historical fiction. There is a story for everyone!

Steamy Historical Crime Fiction: It was The First Time I Killed A Man.

It’s 1972 and New York’s first female serial killer Lisa Vanacilli is in the hot seat again, ten years after her conviction of murder to the first degree and innocent plea. The ruthless but sexy reporter Tiffany Low cracks Lisa for a confession… at a price. Lisa is strong, courageous and says it how it is. This story has been extended due to reader’s demand. And is only for adult readers.

Psychological Fiction: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement.

George appears to be harmless. The local neighbourhood geek on the outside, married to Jolene. In reality, he’s a very disturbed man. His path crosses with Dana, the local check out girl. This is a psychological suspense story with a twist.

Crime Fiction: The Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out.

Juan is a wanted man, and an ex-gang member on the run from Atlanta to Mexico. With a hundred grand in cash stolen from his ex-boss, he meets an unlikely fate in Mexico. A fast-paced crime fiction story.

Contemporary Romance: When His Hands Run Up My Thighs I…

Love has no time limit, age limit or use by date. Sarah now in her fifties is reunited with her long-lost love Joshua. They last had contact in 1961. In the present day, thanks to the advancement of technology their paths cross. A heart-warming and modern tale, about long distance love, that will leave you warm inside.

Suspense: We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times:

In 1963 Russian Femme Fatale Mila Petrov is London’s top Madam. Her entertainment house is booming, she has a team of London’s strongest women behind her. Unfinished business from her past creeps up and haunts her. It’s nothing she can’t handle. A suspenseful historical tale, with a strong femme fatale.

Fantasy: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To The Surface.

A beautiful coming of age story, featuring sixteen year old Zoe and her mother May-Li. Myth becomes reality, as Zoe finds out who and what she really is. Her mixed descent reveals more than what meets the eye. This fantasy story is set against the backdrop of a Greek island and Hong Kong, China.

Suspenseful Crime Fiction: Guilty As Charged, In Self-Defence

California’s sassy, tough, and likeable defence lawyer Catherine has taken on a case so high profile, if she wins she’ll become a partner of Martin Law Firm. Defending forty six year old Mrs. Chevelle. An ex Las Vegas show girl, now a Hollywood wife, on trial for the murder of her high-profile husband. She claims she’s innocent. Readers are taken on a fast -paced journey on a mission to seek the truth.

Contemporary Fiction: It’s A Man’s Man’s World:

A beautiful modern tale showing the love and appreciation of a woman. James Brown said it right when he said, “it’s a man’s man’s world, but it would mean nothing without a woman or a girl.”The Suspenseful Collection by Didi Oviatt and Kim Knight

New Review: The Council by Kayla Krantz

The Council by Kayla Krantz

The Council follows in a similar vein to the Divergent series. There are separate covens and each coven has a primary ability in which they can do magic.  There is a also a ruling group (the Council) and a rebel group.  The main character, Lillith, is a strong character, just discovering her own unique and unexpected abilities.

LIillith is a witch who is powerful enough to overcome her disability, a childhood injury to her leg that had been caused by magic.  The daughter of Unequipped parents, she is not expected to have any magical abilities  That all changes at the Arcane Ceremony, where she and everyone around her are shocked when five goblets light up, each relating to a different power.

Mysteries about why she has these magical powers when she comes from Unequipped (non-magical) parents, her parents refusal to give her information on her injury, and the strange witch that shows up at the ceremony lead the reader into wanting to know more.

I love the idea of witches living in this dystopian world of separate covens being able to harness separate powers related to their individual element.  I found Kayla Krantz’s writing drew me in and I found it hard to put down.  I was dying to find out what was really going on and what was going to happen next!

I would have like to have seen more development between the characters Clio and Helena. I am excited to read Book 2 when it comes out

I received The Council as an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I’d like to thank Kayla for the opportunity to read this awesome book!

You can receive your own copy of The Council here: The Council at Amazon.com.

Kayla Krantz

Fantasy Fiction: Low Fantasy vs. High Fantasy

Who doesn’t love getting into a good fantasy fiction?

There are oodles and oodles of different types of fantasy genres in literature, and they can  be broken down into their own subcategories.  Fantasy almost always involves some form of supernatural magic.–Wikipedia defines Fantasy as”

Fiction with strange or otherworldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality 

Fantasy falls under the umbrella of Speculative Fiction, defined as any narrative fiction with supernatural or futuristic elements.  Fantasy is then broken down into categories by Setting and Theme.

High fantasy, a subgenres of fantasy, is set in a fictional fantasy universe with it’s own set of rules and physical laws, or by the epic stature of its characters, themes, and plot.

Low fantasy stories on the other hand, are usually set in a fictional but rational world.  A lower emphasis is placed on traditional fantasy elements.  There is a tendency for less magic and a less fantastical, more ordinary setting.

According to Bestfantasybooks,

Common thematic elements include struggles for power, moral ambiguity, and cynicism about society and the flawed nature of the human condition. Moral Ambiguity and a flawed humanity are perhaps the biggest contrasts to High Fantasy and are key to creating a grittier, more realistic world. Magic is also a point of divergence: magic envelopes the worlds of High Fantasy, but in Low Fantasy, magic is not the focus or in some more extreme cases, might not even be present in a Low Fantasy world (example, Jennifer Fallon’s Second Son’s trilogy).

A Review

Speaking of low fantasy, I recently had the pleasure of reading Lady Blackwing by Devorah 

Fox.  It was an advanced reader copy in exchange for a fair and honest review of this science fiction mini. This was my first time reading any of Devorah’s books and I enjoyed this light fantasy very much.

Lady Blackwing is about a young barista, Mercedes, an interesting and kind character. She’s a hard worker, at school and at the coffee shop though she still enjoys making time for writing. After a strange but minor accident, she finds that she is able to control situations, and make them happen as she saw fit.

I found Devorah’s writing to be fresh and fun. I liked that the story was a quick read, and at the same time, I found myself wanting more!  Well written and entertaining.  Please click on the links to check out more of Devorah’s work.

Devorahfox.com

Goodreads

Twitter

On May 10, Lady Blackwing will be launched on Amazon.