Tag Archive | fantasy

Review: Blood & Honey

Title: Blood & Honey

Author: Shelby Mahurin

Date of Publication: September 1st, 2020

Goodreads Blurb:

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.

My Review:

Serpent & Dove was my favorite book of last year so I was pretty scared to dive into this follow up, to be honest! Yes, there were parts that had me mad, buttttttt I loved it!

Reid’s chapters were my favorite. He’s my boy! I think what was harder for me to connect with the most was Lou’s darkness which seemed to come out of no where since there wasn’t much mention of that in the last book. However, I still love her and I still loved her chapters and being in her head. And when she and Reid were on the pages together, they ignited them! Love them!

The world building was beautiful and the writing glorious! I just love Shelby’s dialogue so much! And Ansel is probably my favorite side character but there are so many good ones! Yes, there is a cliffhanger, and yes, I desperately need book 3. And also, my heart is a bit broken!

Do you like witches?

The Celebration Game + Free Book

If you haven’t read Lullaby of Flames yet, it has a new cover and is FREE for the next few days! It’s also part of a new short story stand alone series titled, Campfire Fantasy Tales! Also, just released is the third stand alone short story, The Celebration Game! It was part of the Masks Anthology but now can be read alone! The series is also in KU if you use it as well!

Lullaby of Flames

The Celebration Game

Did you download Lullaby of Flames?

Cover Reveal: Tin (Faeries of Oz)

Hey guys! Today is Tin’s cover reveal day! This was co-written by Amber R. Duell and me and I hope you check out this new world of Oz that we created!

Tin is the most famous fae in Oz for all the wrong reasons. Cursed with a stone heart, he is the perfect assassin: ruthless, efficient, and merciless with thousands of kills to his name. When his old friend, Lion, offers him a small fortune to deliver Dorothy to the South for his lover to wear the girl’s head as her own, Tin doesn’t hesitate to accept the unsavory deal.

Dorothy Gale lost everything—her family to illness, her dog to age, and now her farm to foreclosure. The entire town thought she was crazy for believing in a faerie world called Oz, but even after ten years have passed, she can’t help knowing she was right. So when an emerald green portal opens in her wheat field, she jumps at the opportunity to return to the only place she ever felt like she belonged.

Tin wasn’t expecting a grown woman to step through the portal, just as Dorothy wasn’t expecting Tin to have his stone heart back, but Oz holds more unexpected things than either could have imagined. Magic has hidden dangerous lies behind glamour, trapped innocents in curses, and left the land of Oz in turmoil—none more so than the South. As Tin and Dorothy travel together for the second time in a decade, their lives begin to make sense again. Soon, they must decide who to give their loyalties to before Lion takes Dorothy’s head and Tin’s cursed heart is forever doomed.

Buy link

Goodreads

Would you like to visit Oz?

Cover Reveal: Lion (A Faeries of Oz Prequel)

Hey guys! Today is the cover reveal for Lion by Amber R. Duell and me! A Faeries of Oz short story prequel! This will be a short romantic and murderous glimpse into the villains who will be in Tin!

PRE-ORDER

Langwidere has an obsessive habit—collecting heads. She wears a new one each day, changing them out like she does her ivory dresses. But Landwidere doesn’t have the one thing she truly wants: complete power over the territories in Oz. When Lion—the once cowardly fae—shows up at her doorstep, he offers her an opportunity to achieve her desires. Will he use the courage the Wizard gave him to help her succeed, or will he betray her in the process?

Who is your favorite Wizard of Oz character?

Review: Kingdom of the Wicked

Titled: Kingdom of the Wicked

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Date of Publication: October 27th, 2020

Goodreads Summary:

Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.


Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…
 

My Review:

I’m a huge Maniscalco fan! Love her writing and the stories she spins! I was super excited to see what type of new book she would bring to the table after I finished the Stalking Jack the Ripper series! And she did not disappoint!

This was a page-turning world that had me glued to the story at page 1! I loved the twin bone between Emilia and Vittoria! And also the food and the family! Emilia was a strong character and when she met Wrath, I just knew things were going to get awesomer!

Wrath was the kind of book guy I like, where you don’t know if he’s hiding secrets or not but you love him regardless! I wanted to pinch Emilia at times and tell her to just go hug and kiss Wrath, but I understand why it would be hard to trust a prince demon of Hell! There chemistry and bickering was just excellent!

But seriously, I highly recommend to read this book! And yes, there is a dreaded cliffhanger, one that will leave you yearning for book 2, which is a great thing! 

What’s your favorite witchy book?

 

Cover Reveal: SOMETHING IN THE SHADOWS: A Halloween Anthology

covereveal2

For fans of Moon Called, True Blood, and Vampire Diaries.

 You’ve heard their folktales–saw the carnage they left behind–those creatures, the things lurking deep in the shadows, watching and waiting until the right moment to ensnare its prey.

Four authors dared to tell their stories in this unique collection of wonderfully haunting and frightful thrillers, and even dark romance.

Inside, you’ll discover tales of vampires, demons, and humans encountering spirits in these short stories that are sure to keep you up at night!

Purchase

Goodreads

Bookbub

coverreveal

DAA1E66B-1575-4313-B368-8433F98E3B22

What’s your favorite thing about Halloween?

Author Interview: Jessica Julien

87666097_188629825777221_1981355584301039616_n

Caitlyn always thought she was just your average small-town waitress, but she’s anything but average. Suffering from frequent headaches and vivid daydreams, her oddities mask a secret hidden deep within her mind—one that could defeat even the cleverest of psychics.

When a mysterious circus arrives in town, Caitlyn is immediately drawn to it. While visiting the hypnotic show, she meets a seer who warns her of a gruesome future and urges her to stay away. But soon, Caitlyn finds herself ensnared in the show and the Ringmaster himself.

Recognizing Caitlyn’s powers for what they are, and believing they are the ones he has been searching for, the Ringmaster is determined to claim them as his own. Trapped within the circus and the Ringmaster’s devious grip, Caitlyn realizes that to escape the seer’s foretold fate, her only choice is to fight. Banding together with Bevier, an imprisoned psychic, Meg, an eccentric seamstress, and Daniel, a handsome magician, Caitlyn falls into the Psychic Realm to thwart the Ringmaster and stop the show before they succumb to his control and are trapped forever in his spectacle of souls.

Author Interview with Jessica Julien:

How did you come up with the idea for A Spectacle of Souls?

  • I came up with the idea on one of the many nights we were watching The Greatest Showman, and I wondered what the circus would be like if it were filled with different kinds of magic. I felt like ‘magic’ was too expected though and overused but the idea of telekinesis, real fortune tellers, hypnosis, and more would be really exciting. We also happened to be watching Supernatural a few nights later, where they dive into an alternate world, and the two ideas kind of intermingled.

When did you first decide you wanted to be an author?

  • I’m going to give one of those cheesy answers that I’ve always loved to tell stories and write, haha. It is 100% true though; I’ve always been a storyteller. My mom jokes that I would come home from school ready to tell my family the story of my day and she certainly isn’t wrong! It’s just how I view the world! I’m a daydreamer and often find myself awkwardly watching people because I’m thinking of how to use their movements or gestures in different stories or which kind of magical creature I would make them into…yeah, I’m that person.

What inspired you to write A Spectacle of Souls?

  • Whenever I have a really exciting (or at least I think is exciting!) and new idea, I always sit down and write out everything I can possibly think of; a brain dump if you will. Once I have the ideas and thoughts down then I take the concept to my BFF, Julie, and I pitch it to her. Julie is literally the most encouraging person in the universe, but she is my BFF and completely honest with me too, so when she gushes or reaches the same level of enthusiasm as I do, I know it’s worth my time! She was one of the main people who really help inspire me to write the story and get the words out.

Do you have a favorite character you’ve written? Why?

  • If I had to pick one it would be Vanessa. She is the MC’s best friend who is flirty, sassy, and not afraid to be who she is. I think she was my favorite to write because I had a friend just like her in college that I was constantly rolling my eyes at and telling her to “just stop” as Caitlyn often does to Vanessa.

What genre do you consider to be your favorite to write in?

  • YA is easily my favorite and where I am most comfortable, however, it is often a bit darker and weighted (especially in my newest project) because I love the dark and twisty things! Some of my newer projects really focus on emotions and reactions we have to certain events so they’re heavy and lingering.

Have you based any of your characters on real-life people?

  • In A Spectacle of Souls, no one is based on anyone in particular. I pulled quirks or inspiration from people around me and some specific features from actors or actresses but no one in particular. I love to cast my characters before getting too deep into the story though to help ensure I’m keeping their “looks” consistent. Book 2 will have a character who is based on a real-life person though but I’m not spoiling it yet!

What are you currently working on?

  • I am actually juggling a few projects currently! Three Drops of Blood is a dark Snow White retelling with vampires and I’m almost ready to get beta readers for it. Memoirs of a Reaper, my after-life series featuring the life of a reaper trying to move into Heaven or Hell, is growing dusty as it awaits my post-beta rewrites. I’ve also drafted an entire anthology of fairytale retellings featuring themes of major emotional struggles and overcoming illnesses and a three-part short story sequence featuring each son of Hypnos; Morpheus, Phobetor, and Phantasus. Let’s just say there is an entire folder of projects waiting to be finished!

What authors and books have influenced you?

  • Ellen Hopkins, Gena Showalter, P.C Cast, Edgar Allan Poe, and others have all been major influences in my writing. I would be lying if I said the Harry Potter series was not influential in my writing as it was a story I grew up with and a place I found comfort in times of need and even though there is a lot of controversy about the author right now, the story and the escape of going to Hogwarts will always be a major influence in my life.

What goal would you want to achieve from your writing and/or book?

  • Other than wanting people to love them as much as I do it would be that people find an escape with my words. I always used books as a way to find a place where I could truly place myself in the company of its characters or setting and immerse myself in it completely to get away from whatever is going on in the universe at the time. I hope someone can feel the same way with at least one of my books.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

  • I would tell other writers that there is no “right way” to write and publish your book. Every story needs to be told in its own unique way and even if you get rejections from agents or publishing houses that it just means you haven’t found the perfect home for your book yet. Do not give up! People need your stories; sometimes it just takes a little extra digging and love to find them.

68770669_907413682970419_8103169455669903360_n

Born in the picturesque state of Washington, Jessica Julien is the marketing director of a boutique publishing company, a stay at home mom, wife, and wanderluster. When not drafting marketing plans or doing laundry, she spends her time writing young adult and new adult novels focused on the paranormal and supernatural inspired by her love of all things dark and twisty. With her vivacious imagination, witty personality, and ability to bring sarcasm to a new level Jessica creates unique worlds and characters that readers can’t help but hate to love and love to hate.

In her free time, Jessica can be found enjoying a cup of dark roasted coffee while snuggling under a blanket with a good book. When the weather is right she hops in the car with her husband, son, and dogs to road trip across the country where she delights in eating red vines, drinking iced lattes, and singing loudly in the passenger seat.

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Amazon

Goodreads

DAA1E66B-1575-4313-B368-8433F98E3B22

What was your favorite part about the author interview?

Author Interview: Leslie Rush

etetgwr

The danger isn’t walking into a dream. It’s escaping the nightmare.

Between working in her mom’s Tarot shop and trying to graduate before her nine-year-old genius brother beats her to it, Vivian Night Hawk has only one escape from her tiny New Mexico town: the ability to control her dreams, a gift she inherited from her Apache father. But lately that control is slipping, stranding her in a nightmare that seems to follow her even when she’s awake.

When she finds a jacket she suspects belonged to her dead father, Vivi steps beyond her usual lucid dreaming and discovers the electrifying secret of Dreamwalking—the power to control the dreams of others. But with it comes a deadly menace: a top-secret CIA plot that threatens her brother, Brian.

Sought out by fellow-dreamwalker Lucas, who is convinced their fathers are still alive, Vivi ventures deep into Dreamland to find a way to protect Brian. As the bond between Vivi and Lucas ignites, the conspiracy linking them together closes in, and Vivi must unlock the darkest power of all–a power that begins with her father’s quiet words: Walk with me.

Pre-order Dreamwalkers

Publisher: Filles Vertes Publishing

Author Interview:

How did you come up with the idea for Dreamwalkers?

Originally, I thought I wanted to write a romance where the lovers could only meet in their dreams. Conversations with Apache friends and some of my students from the Tigua and Dine (Navajo) nations about the significance of dreams in their cultures sent me in another direction. Some of those same Native students were from military families, and their resilience in the face of uncertainty and loss inspired me. I wanted to speak to that. Plus, as corny as it sounds, I started dreaming about it!

Who is your favorite and least favorite character from Dreamwallkers and why?

I love them all, even the bad guys! My favorite besides Vivi is probably Brian, her little brother. He was the easiest to write, because he’s so pure and open in his motives and feelings. Jackson Connor was hard to write, because he’s the opposite. I wanted him to have more depth than just the Charming Menace. He wasn’t always so cold blooded!

If you could put Dreamwalkers into three words, what would they be and why?

Love conquers all. The love of a parent, the love of a sibling, and the all-in chemistry of first love can transcend everything we know—time, consciousness, and even death.

What is your writing process like?

I like to imagine a scenario, a “what-if” situation, and then let the main character grow from that. I write a brief outline, which gets filled in more as we go. As soon as I hear that MC’s voice, it’s time to write. Vivi was so compelling to me, I was dreaming about her before I’d drafted the first chapter! I’m a slow drafter, because of the time constraints of teaching, but I’m a quick editor.

Do you prefer stand alones or series?

I like to read standalones, mostly. I do love a series where each book is connected but is its own story. I like writing that too, because I’ve already created a world that surely has more than one story in it! But I hate cliffhangers!

Name three books you could read over and over again.

When I had more time to read, I reread Jane Eyre and To Kill a Mockingbird every few years. I’ve reread Ann Rice’s The Witching Hour several times. The imagery and atmosphere of New Orleans through several generations is completely immersive. Even if it is the first in a series!

If you could take one character from any of your books and bring them to life, who would it be and why?

Lucas Wolfsong. The amount of anguish and loneliness I heaped on his strong shoulders broke my heart! I’d like to apologize and let him to know that the love he finds with Vivi will make up for most of it.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I was pretty pantsy writing Dreamwalkers. I had about six plot points on a bullet list, and that was it! Pacing is my challenge, and I realized that refining the list into a flexible map in the beginning means a tighter draft and slightly easier edits. So I’m a bit more plotty writing book 2!

If your writing could be described as a color, what would it be?

Purple. The color of twilight skies and the entrance to Dreamland.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t do this all alone. Find a trusted partner or a writers’ group to trade words with and bounce ideas off of. Above all, don’t give up!

afewe

Leslie Rush grew up near Philadelphia, spending much time at the Jersey Shore. She moved to El Paso and fell in love with the desert Southwest. Disguised as a history teacher, she spent years eavesdropping on her future readers. When she’s not in her classroom, Leslie can be found on the road with her husband, exploring the desert and the world of dreams.

Connect with Leslie:

Website

Email

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

DAA1E66B-1575-4313-B368-8433F98E3B22

What did you like best about the author interview?