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Book Review: The Raven Tower by Emma Miles

Title: The Raven Tower

The Raven Tower coverSeries: Fire-Walker, Book 1

Author: Emma Miles

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Pages: 485 pages (Print)

Blurb: What price will Kesta and the fire-walkers have to pay to keep their people from enslavement? The raids were more ferocious, more desperate and much earlier in the year. When Kesta sees in the flame who is really behind the attacks the Independent islands of the Fulmers seem doomed to fall. Their only hope is to cross the sea to seek the help of the King of Elden and his sorcerer, the Dark Man.

 

Review:

Life-like characters, beautiful world building, epic battles, political intrigue, a mysterious man, and masterful storytelling. What more could a girl ask for? A map, but I just love to nerd out and look at maps. This was an exciting read for me, and now one of my new favorite fantasy series. Emma Miles did such a great job on showing me the different cultures and letting me get to know the different characters introduced, I had no confusion when switching to a different character’s perspective either, which is a huge bonus. There were twists I couldn’t see coming and now I’m craving more, I have to know what happens next on Kesta’s adventure. I definitely be watching for book two of the Fire-Walker Series.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for a fair review.

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Book Review: An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson

Before we get into the spoiler free review here are the details:

An Artisan Lovestyle - Hi-resTitle: An Artisan Lovestyle

Series: The Lovestyle Series, Book 2

Author: Kiltie Jackson

Genre: Chick-lit, Paranormal Romance

Publication Date: June 28, 2018

Pages: 349 pages, Paperback

Blurb:

Are you ‘living’ your life or just living your life?

Elsa Clairmont was widowed barely five years after marrying her childhood sweetheart. She has struggled to come to terms with the loss and, six years later, has almost ceased to live herself. She does just enough to get by.

Danny Delaney is the ultimate ‘Mr Nice Guy’. He’s kind, caring and sweet. A talented artist in his teens, his abusive mother ruined his career in art and he turned his back on his exceptional gift. Now, he does just enough to get by.

On New Year’s Eve, both Danny and Elsa die in unrelated accidents.

Thanks to some poker playing shenanigans, Elsa’s husband Harry, and Danny’s old Art teacher, William, manage to orchestrate a deal with Death that allows Danny and Elsa to live for one more year on the condition they both agree
to complete three tasks.

They have until the last chime of Big Ben on the 31st December to fulfill their quests.

If they succeed, they stay in the world of the living.

If they should fail however…

‘An Artisan Lovestyle’ is a story of personal growth and self-discovery as two people find themselves forced to make overdue changes in their lives, changes in other people’s lives, and all with the added challenge of
finding true love before their time runs out.

Will they do it?

Can they do it?

After all, it’s a matter of Life or Death…

Review:

I’m officially a “Lovestyle Series” fan. I’m always worried when another book comes out in a series when I really loved the first one. Well this author has done it again and I loved so many things about it. I feel like these characters are so well rounded and life-like, that it feels as if I could bump into them on the street. You really get to see Elsa and Danny grow throughout the book and transform. I loved how we got to pop in on occasion and see how Pete and Sukie were doing, from book one in the series. In all honesty I was biting my nails right up until the end with the way these characters interacted with each other. I cannot wait to read more in this series and delve deeper into some other characters. I could keep going but then I would be revealing all spoilers. If you love chick-lit mixed with some paranormal romance elements, this is a must read. Also, I do recommend reading the first one, “A Rock ‘N’ Roll Lovestyle”, you can find the review and details of that one HERE.

 

Disclaimer: I did receive this as an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) in exchange for a fair review.

From the Author:

Hi there,

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Lovely to meet you. I’m Kiltie Jackson. I spent my formative years growing up in Glasgow but when I was old enough to do so, I high-tailed it down to London.

I spent thirteen wonderful years in the Big Smoke before relocating once more – this time to the Midlands. Those London years gave me many interesting experiences, many of which are now finding their way into my novels.

I now live in Staffordshire with one grumpy husband and five cats who kindly allow us to share THEIR house. We’re allowed to stay as long as we keep paying the mortgage!

Our little home is known as Moggy Towers – plenty of moggies but no towers!

I like reading, watching movies, and eating things I shouldn’t! I really dislike going to the gym! I’m hoping that one day I can give up the day job and write my stories for a living.

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Book Review: The Date by Louise Jensen

The Details

The DateTitle: The Date

Author: Louise Jensen

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publication Date: June 21, 2018

Length: 320 pages (print)

Blurb: 

One night can change everything.

‘I know it as soon as I wake up and open my eyes… Something is wrong.’

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognizable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her.

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her…

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Sister, The Gift and The Surrogate, The Date is a gripping page-turner that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep.

Review: 

Wow! What a ride! I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat with this thriller while biting my nails. I thought I knew where the story was going and I was pleasantly surprised, and wrong when the twist hit me. Big props to books that I don’t guess where the plot goes. I will definitely be reading more by Louise Jensen as I loved how real the characters felt along with their relationships. I had to take a two day reading break to really think about the book and let it all sink in.  I definitely recommend “The Date” as a must read for any thriller lover.

About the Author: 

Louise Jensen photo

Louise Jensen is a Global No.1 Bestselling author of psychological thrillers The Sister, The

Gift & The Surrogate. To date Louise has sold approaching a million books and her novels have been sold for translation to nineteen territories, as well as being featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award.

Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at http://www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction and writing tips.

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Book Review: Furyborn by Clair Legrand

Before we get into the spoiler free review here are the details:furyborn cover

Title: Furyborn

Series: The Empirium Trilogy (Book 1)

Author: Claire Legrand

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Publication Date: May 22, 2018

Pages: 518 (print)

Blurb:

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable—until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world—and of each other.

Review:

To start off I would like to say that while this is categorized as a Young Adult I feel that it would be more appropriate for older teens (10th grade and up) due to the sex scenes. I was excited to read this book after just the first chapter, grabbed my attention and I was ready for more. After I grasped that each chapter was going to bounce back and forth I easily fell into understanding just how much time had passed and the points of view I could expect next. One thing I loved is at the beginning of each chapter is a bit of text from the world of Aritas relating to the era you are about to read for that chapter and also giving more lore to the story. It really helped me realized just how much time has passed between the characters to see the dates of the small bits of text at the start of each chapter. However, I felt there could have been more explained in the way of world building with the cultural changes and technology along the way. I did find myself more enamored with Rielle’s story rather than Eliana. I felt that Rielle’s story was more flushed out and believable than to Eliana’s story and romance, and enjoyed the moral tests that went along with her magical trials. While the first half of the book was a slow burner, the last half I felt was a wildfire. I will give Claire Legrand this, she really knows how to leave a chapter on a cliffhanger. While I wished there was more time taken on some world-building and character development on Eliana’s part I found the story was great (but I did guess a few plot points) and cannot wait to see what happens next and that maybe book two in the Empirium Trilogy will give more details into the world of Aritas and more character development so I can really be immersed in the story world. Overall, I would recommend this for readers of the fantasy genre as the story overall was an interesting concept with the magic system and a refreshing new take on angels.

About the Author:

Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now she is a librarian who writes novels for children and teens. Legrand is the author of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, The Year of Shadows, Winterspell, Some Kind of Happiness, and Foxheart. She is also the author of the upcoming YA epic fantasy Furyborn, the first book in The Empirium Trilogy (May 22, 2018), and Sawkill Girls, a YA horror novel (October 2, 2018). She is one of the four authors behind The Cabinet of Curiosities, an anthology of dark middle grade fiction. She lives in New Jersey. Visit her at claire-legrand.com and on Twitter @clairelegrand.

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Book Review: Write A Novel In 30 Days

Before we get into the book review here are the details:

Title: Write A Novel In 30 Days: The interactive writers guide to finishing your novel in 30 days 

Author: Megg Geriwrite a novel in 30 days cover

Genre: Non-fiction/ Creative Self-help

Publication Date: January 18, 2018

Pages:

205 Pages (eBook)

227 (Paperback)

Blurb:

This book walks you step by step through planning your novel to writing your novel. It even has a section to read about where things will go wrong and what to do when they do. This is more than just a book about writing, this is a book about surviving the writing process.

THE BOOK IS DIVIDED INTO FOUR MAIN SECTIONS:

01 | THIS IS YOUR DREAM

This section is all about discovering yourself within the writing world. It’s about getting over your insecurities and creating your dream writing life.

– Show Up

– Inner Critic

– Take A Leap

– It’s All About You

– Start To Think Like A Writer

– Be Curious

– Start A Journal

– Take Care Of Yourself

– Think Happy Thoughts

02 | PLAN IT ALL OUT

This section teaches you to plot and plan your book. From time scheduling to discovering ideas and writing applications and resources.

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Quote found in Write a Novel In 30 Days

– Before NaNoWriMo

– Writing Apps And Resources

– Choose A Genre

– 100 Ideas

– Planning Is Important – How To Prepare

– Set Deadlines

– Routine

– Create A Process

– Follow The Process

– Keep Track Of Your Writing

– Time Yourself

– Write Faster

– The Quick Start Method

– Organize Your Book

– Plot Formulas

– An Outline

03 | WRITE IT OUT

This section covers the actual writing process that happens.

– Characters Are Important

– Imagine Describing Everything

– You Still Have So Much To Learn

– Take In As Much As You Can

– Find What Works For You

– The Most Important Rule

04 | WHEN THINGS GET TOUGH

This is a survival guide to writing. This section of the book handles everything from writers block to loss of inspiration and when you’re getting yourself down too.

– Honour The Process

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Quote found in Write a Novel In 30 Days

– You Have To Be Persistent

– Avoid The Overwhelm

– Remain Constant

– Check In With Your People

– Don’t Carry Your Failures With You

– Where You Might Get Stuck

– Survival Tips

– What To Do If You Fall Behind

– The Most Important Rule, again

BONUS MATERIAL

This is not called an interactive book for no reason. This book comes with access to a resource library of downloads like; word trackers, worksheets, charts, and checklists.

And you will get a 28-day course to get you ready for writing.

Review: This book is great for aspiring authors and those already published. It is extremely motivational to keep you going when you feel like you’re stuck. I really like how this book breaks it down into manageable tasks and sets you up for success. Also there is bonus material you can download and print out along with emails you can sign up for that will be sent everyday to help you on your way to writing that novel in a month. While repetitive at times it is repetitive for a good reason and it can help a nasty habit that can hinder your word output. While not every author and writer wants to write a book in a month it does help you find your creative process and if you find that writing a book a month doesn’t fit your process it can be adapted to fit you. Plus there are journal prompts, which I absolutely love! Overall I would definitely recommend this book to writers and those who don’t know where to start but want to write.

About the Author:

Megg Geri, author of WRITE A NOVEL IN 30 DAYS also writes fiction and owns Megg & Co Editing Boutique. She specializes in novel editing and coaching by day and by night she reads, a lot. She also runs an online international book club for women who love to read.

Megg loves interacting with writers on Twitter and Instagram (where she shares her favorite writing tips).

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Hello Again!

Hello everyone!

I’m so sorry I was gone for the extended period of time, I had personal stuff going on that took up some time. Which reminds me that no matter how much I have a plan and like to plan for the future, sometimes life sets us on a different path on our way to achieve our goals. But, now I’m working out a new writing and blogging schedule to get myself back on track. I look forward to be back at my keyboard to finish “The View” – a least a few more parts in the works.  I have also found a book that has ripped me from my reading slump and that means more book reviews. Stay tuned for more features to come.

Happy reading and writing all!

LIfe is full of

Photo Credit: kareni


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Book Review: ‘Mists of the Miskatonic’ by Al Halsey

Before I begin this spoiler free review here are the details:

Title: Mists of the MiskatonicMists of the Miskatonic

Author: Al Halsey

Genre: Horror, Occult

Publication Date: April 23, 2016

Available in eBook and Paperback (235 pages)

Blurb:
Tremble as the ordinary becomes terrifying and deadly. Humans turn into monsters and monsters are reality.

These stories of past, present and future will take you through sleepy small towns, then to the edge of space, time and madness. Danger lurks as the end of the world approaches, concealed by organizations and institutions whose goal is a semblance of order until the end.

So lock your door, find a comfortable easy chair and set sail into the realms of terror that twist space and time. The ending is not the end: this is only the first book in the series Mists of the Miskatonic…

 

Review:

I had to show off the cover of this 1st Edition copy.

Going in I wasn’t sure what to expect as I have never read any of H.P. Lovecraft’s work. After reading Al Halsey’s ‘Mists of the Miskatonic’ I’m enamored with the mythos and need to read more. While I haven’t read any of Lovecraft’s work I was still able to get immersed inside this world of horror.

While reading these stories I found myself feeling the hot grit of sand between my toes in ancient Egypt, the frozen snows of a treacherous Tibetan mountain, then out of our own atmosphere to Mars, and back to Earth and locations throughout the beautiful and rugged Pacific Northwest. It was fun to puzzle out while reading to see if I had my guess for the correct time period for each story. The final story in this anthology was great finish as it connected each story with a promise of more to come.

After closing this book it made my mind wander. Wander into unknown depths of how far this ancient foe has wrapped it’s tentacles of fear, and how far powers are willing to go to keep order in a world full of vile peril.

 

About the Author: 


When most everyone fawned over prancing, sparkling vampires, Al toiled away writing about zombies. Fantasy zombies, western zombies, zombies and more zombies. To say that zombies are an obsession of his is an understatement. Very few zombie movies have escaped his cadaverous eye. A little known secret: when he was 12, he thought he was HP Lovecraft reincarnated.

A lifelong resident of Lewiston, Idaho, Al graduated from Lewiston High School and Lewis-Clark State College in his hometown. He spent the last twenty eight years working with children with emotional and behavioral problems and training other professionals to do the same. Two years ago his career path switched from non-profit residential treatment to a state juvenile correction facility.

In his free time Al trains in martial arts, plays paintball, tells his rescued cats to get off of the counter, is a wargame/roleplay nerd, consumes large quantities of Thai food unapologetically, and is a connoisseur of fine dining: Arby’s. He loves music and regularly attends concerts. Favorites include Tantric, Theory of a Deadman, Rob Zombie, Nickelback, and the Offspring. Montana and the Oregon coast are frequent destinations.

His biggest accomplishment is his 18 year old son.

Considered by some to be the neighborhood curmudgeon, he wears this title as a badge of honor. He hates writing autobiographies.

Al is the author of the Permuted Press paranormal thrillers Hellgate, Montana and Retributor: Hellgate, Montana Book 2. He also penned Salt Lake City: Hellgate, Montana Book 3, The Chronicles of Dorian Christianson: Nephilim, Empires of the Dead: Son of the Sea, and coauthored Kinemortophobia: Zombie Dreams for Sleepless Nights with John Reed.

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