Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Review + Giveaway for "Sons of Gods" by Arthur J. Gonzalez

Sons of Gods 

Arthur J. Gonzalez

Publication date: January 25th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult

Long ago, the wrath of the three God brothers marked the onset of the Great War. The other Gods watched in horror, until they, too, were forced to take sides. Their beloved Mt Olympus collapsed, ruin was brought to all Divine, and the Age of Darkness gripped the world in its clutches. But a group of Gods was wise, and before their impending deaths, they had crafted a pact, committing to one day rebuilding the Territories – the Heavens, Seas, and the Underworld. It would usher in the world they protected and honored out from its darkness. And from it would rise the new Greats: the Sons of Gods.

Cienzo has always had an affliction for metal and fire; never did he anticipate it would one day translate to wielding dormant powers. It is during a journey to fulfill a promise to his dying sister, that he is plunged into a dark and magical world, and where great responsibility is bestowed upon him.

Is he worthy of assuming the throne of the Territories? Can shattering steel and splitting fire change his mind?

My Review

5 of 5 Stars

In a world and time apart, Cienzo is a young man desperate to save his little sister. He is just about willing to do whatever is necessary to heal her, no matter the cost. Little does he know he's about to dive headfirst into the myths that surround his life and maybe lead him to answers that are the key to his past.

From the premise of infamous Greek gods battling over something so simple as familial love, I was hooked. In this mythological re-imagining, the gods lose their war as lines and alliances blur, until there are none left. Or so the world believes. The author made a brilliant move altering the legends we know, allowing for a brand new canvas to paint something refreshingly new. The greatest strength of this novel, for me, lies in Cienzo's devotion to his sister. While I loved the other characters, Cienzo continued to keep me invested. 

I love Greek mythology, no small part due to the Hercules and Xena television shows I gobbled up as a child in the 90's. While this genre has had some resurgence thanks to Clash of the Titans and Percy Jackson in the last decade, it's rare to find such well-written and compelling re-telling's today. Heartfelt and imaginative, with characters that leap off the page, Sons of Gods finally gives us the mythological fantasy we didn't know we'd been looking for. 

Author Bio

Arthur J. Gonzalez is a Young Adult author of the Photo Traveler series. Originally born in Miami, FL, you can now find him living on the West side in Los Angeles. If he’s not drinking coffee or playing with his adorable Schnoodle, Sookie, then he’s probably enjoying a nap. Also, he forgets the lyrics to nearly every song.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



Sunday, April 15, 2018

Book Review: The Unsound Theory by Emilia Zeeland

The Unsound Theory

by Emilia Zeeland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Unsound Theory takes place in the distant future, but its themes and characters feel accessible to us today. Yalena's mysterious origins leave her with an innate thirst for knowledge. So when she's given her invitation to the STAR Academy, she chooses to accept. Soon she's swept in a sea of spacey intrigue and unexpected relationships, while seeking the family that left her behind.

At first, I had a hard time catching up with Yalena's whirlwind induction in STAR Academy. Soon as her friendship with Chris begins and the truth behind her invitation is revealed, I was hooked. I've read several "space academy" stories before, but the world building Zeeland gives us is expertly layered and truly unique. Earth is given a believable past (our future) in which humans' misuse of natural resources causes unimaginable cataclysms. Desperate to preserve the species, humans migrate to colonies in our solar system and eventually, re-stabilize Earth. Advanced technology is presented with cleverly wove scientific theory. While I'm as much a fan of space opera as the next Star Wars fan, I appreciated the technicalities Zeeland gave us. It made Yalena's future world all more believable and immersive.

This novels greatest strength, however, lies with its characters. Classmates who begin as typical YA poster tropes soon unveiled their deeper true colors. Every time I thought I had a character's motivations pegged down (with a couple of obvious exceptions) they surprised me. What I loved most about this novel was how the author showed duality, the face we show the world verses the person we're afraid to reveal. The handsome cocky guy is ugly beneath the surface while the beefy quite type has emotional depth. Yalena soon learns not to judge anyone by their skins or pedigree. Whether Martian, Mooney or Earthling, all her classmates band together in face of a greater threat of the unknown.

Filled with plenty of action, adventure and unexpected twists, The Unsound Theory will make you long to explore the stars.

About the Author

Emilia Zeeland is a Young Adult sci-fi writer and author of The STAR Academy Series. Even though she holds an international business degree and two Masters, Zeeland’s heart is full of love for speculative fiction.

Her own stories include coming-of-age tales, detailed worlds, unimaginable consequences, deep friendships, and romances that sneak up on you. She’s not afraid to push her characters to their limits and give them a depth that firmly plants them in readers’ hearts. In Zeeland’s writing, readers will be transported to another world, where they are not alone, but part of a tightly-knit, perfectly imperfect family.

Behind the Emilia Zeeland pseudonym, Em (as her friends call her) speaks six languages, loves to try on—and, sadly, also buy—dresses, and is a bit of a foodie.

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Guest Post & Tour Giveaway for "The Soldier's Homecoming" by Patricia Potter

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Soldier's Homecoming

(Home to Covenant Falls #5)

by Patricia Potter

Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
April 1st 2018 by Harlequin Superromance

He’s looking for roots. She won’t be tied down.

Army ranger Travis Hammond needs to heal physical and emotional wounds. A job in Covenant Falls checking out equine therapy programs for veterans is a start, but it’s only temporary. And he doesn’t need a partner, especially some reporter with the persistence of a terrier and irresistible green eyes. Like Travis, Jenny Talbot’s just passing through town. Unlike Travis, Jenny knows exactly where she’s going next—back to the Middle East, as soon as she recovers from her own war injury. But there’s a bend in the road for both of them.

Guest Post with Patricia Potter

When I started my first Covenants Falls book, I envisioned two books. I had no idea it would grow into a third, then a fourth, and a fifth, "The Soldier's Homecoming," now available in both e-book and large print paperbacks. The fifth and sixth are on the schedule in a special Summer Harlequin western series rather than SuperRomance. I hope you will look for it.

My heart just couldn't let the town and characters go. Apparently readers couldn't either, because they've stayed with the series and I'm ever so grateful. They have grown to know the town and its incoming veterans as well as I do.

I'd didn't start the series with any intent to focus on the healing needs of many in the military today, but one story led to another. Now that the military is a career rather than a two or three year duty, there are new problems.

Soldiers are away for year-long deployments multiple times. Their fellow soldiers become their family and when they leave the service, they no longer have the support of others who know what they experienced. The Covenant Falls series tells some of these stories.

Since Covenant Falls is a western town in which most residents own horses and/or grew up riding, horses took a stronger and stronger role in the stories, particularly the tale of an ex-Navy Seal in which a Pinto named Jacko and the birth of a foal were major in helping him cope with a painful past. It was that power to heal that turned me to making equine therapy programs a driving theme for the remainder of the series. I read several books and combed the internet for available programs.

One book, "Riding Home, The Power of Horses to Heal” really influenced me. "Horses," writes author Tim Hayes, 'help us discover hidden parts of ourselves. They help all of us become better people, better parents, better partners and better friends. Horses can be our greatest teachers because they have no ego, they never lie, they're never wrong and they manifest unparalleled compassion."

I hope you follow the rest of the series as the journey to heal continues.

― Patricia

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Patricia Potter is the USA Today Bestselling Author of more than fifty books. She has received numerous writing awards, including RT Storyteller of the Year, its Career Achievement Award for Western Historical Romance and its Best Hero of the Year Award. She is a seven-time RITA finalist and three-time Maggie Award winner. She has served as president of Romance Writers of America. The Soldier's Homecoming is her fifteenth book for Harlequin.

Prior to writing fiction, she was a reporter for the Atlanta Journal and president of a public relations firm.

Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally
- 1 winner will receive signed print copies of of THE SOLDIER'S PROMISE, TEMPTED BY THE SOLDIER, A SOLDIER'S JOURNEY, and THE SEAL'S RETURN (US only)
- Ends April 18th

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Author Interview: Annette Marie "The Shadow Weave" Blog Tour

The Shadow Weave 

(Spell Weaver #2)

by Annette Marie

Publication date: January 12th 2018

Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Clio might be a nymph living in exile among humans. And she might possess the rare ability to mimic any magic she sees. And she might have just seriously ticked off the most powerful family of spell weavers in the Underworld.

But she is not in love with an incubus.

Lyre is the rebellious black sheep of said weaver family, and he’s the only reason she survived her recent Underworld “vacation.” He’s also the sexiest thing she’s ever seen. Together, they have to track down a catastrophically dangerous magic—a magic he created, she sort of stole, and they both lost—before his family gets their hands on it. And that means fighting alongside him in a desperate attempt to avert complete disaster.

But she is definitely not in love with him. At least, she’s pretty sure she’s not.

Mostly sure. Maybe sure? …Crap.

Interview with Annette Marie

SS: Hi Annette, thanks so much for sharing The Shadow Weave with us. Shadow Weave is second in your Spell Weaver series. Could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind your series?

AM: The Spell Weaver trilogy was directly inspired by my Steel & Stone series, which features the mysterious, sexy incubus Lyre as a secondary character. He sparked my imagination right from the get-go, and readers love him too. The Spell Weaver trilogy is his origin tale-- a standalone adventure that begins with the event that changes everything for him: the day he meets a nymph named Clio. ;)

SS: Shadow Weave features elements of mythology. What drew you to exploring your own take on these classic creatures?

AM: I love mythology and take inspiration from mythos and folklore from around the world. The Spell Weaver trilogy is actually much lighter on the mythology than my Red Winter trilogy, which is deeply immersed in Japanese folklore.

SS: Love how you borrow various mythos from around the world. As an author, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit Animal?

AM: A dragon! All my series have dragons in some form, and I have no intention of breaking that trend.

SS: Dragons are the definition of epic! Speaking of epic, you mention your home in Alberta, Canada. How has your location influenced your writing?

AM: Alberta is bordered by the Rocky Mountains, so when it comes to wild landscapes, I often draw on my experiences in the mountains. I’m also very good at writing about how it feels to freeze your butt off in bone-chilling cold!

SS: That sounds beautiful and inspiring, despite the chill :) What first led you to become a writer and what continues to drive you today?

AM: I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a young teen. As a child, I was always daydreaming and inventing stories, and I started writing for fun when I was fourteen. I never get tired of dreaming up new characters and discovering their stories!

SS: Did you know from the beginning this would be a series or did it the story grow organically?

AM: I planned Spell Weaver as a trilogy right from the start.

SS: Are your characters based on people you know, or do they live solely in your imagination?

AM: The characters come from my imagination alone, which I’m sure my family and friends are very happy to know.

SS: Besides your Spell Weaver series, are there any upcoming projects on your
radar you would care to share with us today?

AM: Now that the final Spell Weaver book is finished (The Blood Curse, released March 30), I’ll be talking more about a sequel series set in the same world. Right now, I’m in the planning stages of a new urban fantasy series that’s going to be overflowing with magic-- and starring a super spunky heroine who’s about to get herself in big trouble with a few sexy mages.
(Check out my website for more info!

SS: Sounds exciting! We'll definitely be on the lookout for your next series. Thanks again for visiting with us today, Annette and best of luck with the rest of your tour! Keep reading for more about the author, plus a tour-exclusive giveaway below.

Author Bio

Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling Steel & Stone series, which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat— Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Review + Giveaway for "Lady Helena Investigates" by Jane Steen

Lady Helena Investigates by Jane Steen

Publication Date: March 14, 2018
Aspidistra Press
eBook; 359 Pages
Series: Scott-De Quincy Mysteries, Book One
Genre: Historical Mystery

A reluctant lady sleuth finds she’s investigating her own family. Step into Lady Helena Whitcombe’s world with the first novel in a series that will blend family saga and mystery-driven action with a slow-burn romance in seven unputdownable investigations. 1881, Sussex.

Lady Helena Scott-De Quincy’s marriage to Sir Justin Whitcombe, three years before, gave new purpose to a life almost destroyed by the death of Lady Helena’s first love. After all, shouldn’t the preoccupations of a wife and hostess be sufficient to fulfill any aristocratic female’s dreams? Such a shame their union wasn’t blessed by children . . . but Lady Helena is content with her quiet country life until Sir Justin is found dead in the river overlooked by their grand baroque mansion.

The intrusion of attractive, mysterious French physician Armand Fortier, with his meddling theory of murder, into Lady Helena’s first weeks of mourning is bad enough. But with her initial ineffective efforts at investigation and her attempts to revive her long-abandoned interest in herbalism comes the realization that she may have been mistaken about her own family’s past.

Every family has its secrets—but as this absorbing series will reveal, the Scott-De Quincy family has more than most. Can Lady Helena survive bereavement the second time around? Can she stand up to her six siblings’ assumption of the right to control her new life as a widow? And what role will Fortier—who, as a physician, is a most unsuitable companion for an earl’s daughter—play in her investigations?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

My Review

5 of 5 Stars

I haven't enjoyed historical fiction this much in years. While I was once a voracious reader and watcher of all things period and historical romance, I've since abandoned it for fantasy and it's many sub-genres. This year I decided to pick up historical titles again, which led me to Historical Fiction Book Tours and Jane Steen's Lady Helena Investigates.

From the beginning, Steen paints the era and imagery of the English countryside in beautiful shades, yet with air of mystery. I found it easy to step into Lady Helena's heeled boots as she suffers through the death of her husband, due to a tragic accident. Her large family attempts to micro-manage her life, as a woman naturally must need help managing such a richly-endowed title. Only now, with the freedom of widowhood, Helena chooses to assert her independent wealth. As she steps into her husband's shoes and begins an active role in her estate, unexplained questions arise surrounding her husband's death. An enlightened and mysterious French doctor aids her investigation, which soon leads them to places she never expected.

Jane Steen is a master storyteller, weaving the heartaches of grief with familial affairs and new relationships in a way which truly transcends time. Lady Helena Investigates challenges conventional period tropes while transporting the reader to a time as complex as ours, yet rife with the nostalgia modern audiences crave. Beautiful language and sensual prose, Jane Steen has gifted us with a modern classic.

Praise for The House of Closed Doors Series

"I cannot praise Jane Steen enough for her ability to build a world that captures every essence of an era. She was able to take the singularly focused plot of an unwed teen and wrap her journey with the social, political and cultural values of the day. Within this framework the reader is given an eyewitness experience into the daily realities of homemaking, transportation, fashion, society's value of women and those less fortunate as well historical events such as commerce, war and the Chicago fire."

"I loved this book. It was well written and well edited. The story captured me on the first few pages and held my interest to the last page. I forced myself to close the book at midnight! Moves nicely along from scene to scene. Some of the heroine's choices were not what I expected and when I thought I had unraveled the whole mystery, I hadn't. Just an overall satisfying reading experience! Loved it."

"Engrossing historical fiction that really stays with the characters (who are well-crafted) and doesn't go for the obvious cliches. I loved Nell, the protagonist, and so many others...Martin and Tess especially. I admit I kind of wanted it to end a certain way, but the ending the author chose was a braver one for Nell, and more true to who she'd been throughout the novel. The historical backdrop was interesting, but it was the character work that really drew me in, and the mystery."

"Extremely well written story! I couldn't put it down, and pulled an all-nighter reading it. I was mesmerized by this story, and captivated by the depth of characterization."

About the Author

Jane Steen was born in England and, despite having spent more years out of the British Isles than in, still has a British accent according to just about every American she meets. Her long and undistinguished career has included a three-year stint as the English version of a Belgian aerospace magazine, an interesting interlude as an editor in a very large law firm, and several hectic years in real estate marketing at the height of the property boom. This tendency to switch directions every few years did nothing for her resume but gave her ample opportunity to sharpen her writing skills and develop an entrepreneurial spirit.

Around the edges of her professional occupations and raising children, she stuck her nose in a book at every available opportunity and at one time seemed on course to become the proverbial eternal student. Common sense prevailed, though, and eventually she had the bright idea of putting her passion for books together with her love of business and writing to become a self-published author. Jane has lived in three countries and is currently to be found in the Chicago suburbs with her long-suffering husband and two adult daughters.

For more information, please visit Jane Steen's website.

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 12
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, March 13
Feature at To Read, Or Not to Read

Wednesday, March 14
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, March 15
Feature at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Friday, March 16
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Feature at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, March 20
Feature at Donna's Book Blog

Wednesday, March 21
Review at Rachael's Ramblings
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, March 27
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Wednesday, March 28
Feature at Susan Heim on Writing

Friday, March 30
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Tuesday, April 3
Review at Based on a True Story

Wednesday, April 4
Review at SilverWood Sketches

Thursday, April 5
Feature at A Bookaholic Swede

Wednesday, April 11
Review at What Cathy Read Next
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, April 12
Feature at Teaser Addicts Book Blog

Friday, April 13
Tour Wrap Up at Passages to the Past


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two eBooks of Lady Helena Investigates by Jane Steen! 

To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules 

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.  

– Giveaway is open to US residents only.  

– Only one entry per household.  

– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.  

– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Book Reviews: Entombed in Glass & Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke

Entombed in Glass

(Unfortunate Soul Chronicles, #2)

by Stacey Rourke

Publication date: March 29th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Mirror, mirror on the wall.
What’s behind that fated call?
He’s the seer of present, future, and past,
Yet remains a nameless face entombed in glass.

Raised as a servant in the underwater kingdom of Atlantica, Alastor worked his way up to a regal member of the Royal Guard. Only as a decorated soldier did he stand a chance of winning the hand of the woman he’s loved since childhood … Poseidon’s only daughter, Princess Vanessa. But, when the war against humans rages, dark magics are evoked to give the mermen a fighting chance. Temporarily granted legs, they charge from the sea into a doomed battle. 

Doing the bidding of his masters as a trusted pawn,
The claims of his loyalty couldn’t be more wrong.  

Waking on land, with bodies all around, Alastor’s lone goal becomes returning to the ocean and the only life he’s ever known. A plan that is quickly diverted when Hades, Lord of the Underworld, appears with a twisted agenda all his own. Cast to a land far from the lapping comforts of home, Alastor’s sole companion is a troubled misfit named Sterling that soon comes to depend on him. Trained to be a hero, how far is Alastor willing to go to return to the woman he loves? And can he live with the sacrifices he’s forced to make? 

Each day he schemes to break free from their thrall,
and honor a self-made vow … to kill them all.


Rise of the Sea Witch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rise of the Sea Witch

Rise of the Sea Witch is the cheekier and fabulous alternative to The Little Mermaid.

I've always been a fan of villain origin stories and Stacey Rourke weaves Ursula's tale with the perfect blend of comic tragedy and Disney nostalgia.

I haven't had so much fun reading a book since the Throne of Glass series.

Entombed in Glass 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Entombed in Glass (Unfortunate Soul Chronicles, #2)

Fairy tale retelling with a swashbuckling twist!

I loved Rise of the Sea Witch for its sass and obvious love of classic Disney. While there were hints of a much larger, inter-connected world in the first book, we didn't venture much further beyond under the sea. So I was excited to read Entombed in Glass and discover where Alastor's story would take us.

Alastor, the Sea Witch's childhood best friend and true love, is separated from her at the end of Rise. Rather than recount his perspective of events from the last book, Stacey Rourke begins his story from the point of his separation from Vanessa and carries us from cursed queens to the Never Land. Soon we are drawn into an exciting world of magic and adventure, led by Alastor's innate sense of duty and honor. With each trial he is tested beyond his limits, until he begins to question what he's fighting for anymore.

The Unfortunate Souls Chronicles takes beloved fairy tale characters and gives us the ugly truth behind legends. Answers to questions I had in Rise of the Sea Witch are revealed in this excellent sequel. I loved the inclusion of Hades, as well as a hilarious, albeit sympathetic re-imagined Mad Hatter. Entombed in Glass explores the lands above the sea, with a colorful cast of familiar fairy tale characters. A world worth exploring, I dare you to read Rise of the Sea Witch without craving more Unfortunate Souls.

Author Bio

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel 

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012 

Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013

Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015 

Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 


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Book Review for "Immortal Descent" by Carolyn M. Walker

Immortal Descent

by Carolyn M. Walker

Deep in the caves of rural Western Germany, the truth about immortality has remained a secret for centuries, but now that secret is about to break free...

Ethan West knows what it means to be different. With a haunted past and a strange sixth sense he sometimes can’t control, Ethan’s in search of a better future. Instead, he’s brutally attacked. Narrowly saved by the beautiful and mysterious Rue, Ethan quickly learns the world is darker and more bizarre than he had ever imagined. And sparing his life comes with a price: being reborn immortal. Now, a dark faction of ancient, cursed immortal beings known as Lorns are after him. And they want his rare, newly awakened soul.

Descended from the mythological Nephilim, Lorns are bound by either the divine force of order or the mortal force of chaos. Ethan is a rarity, bound by neither, yet he is ruled by both. Now, wielding an ancient and volatile power, Rue and her Alliance work to keep Ethan from spiraling out of control. At the heart of a terrifying underground war between Lorns, Ethan becomes the target of one side and a savior to the other. Amid everything, Ethan struggles to understand his own purpose and power—an ordeal that tests his loyalties, beliefs, and sanity in ways unimaginable. And the greatest danger is yet to come.

Amazon Link

Book Excerpt

The memory tore through him and had him shuddering on the couch. Ethan didn’t realize he was screaming until he felt Rue shaking him. His eyes flew open and he stared up at her face and into those bright silver eyes. For the briefest instant, all his fear melted away when he looked up at her. He remembered the shadowed eyes of the woman from the alleyway. These eyes were so different. Never had he seen eyes as hers before, so intense—so bright, so capturing. He held her gaze, almost afraid to look away. If he looked away, what would he see?

“Ethan, are you alright?” Rue asked in a quieter voice. It was soothing, so calming he couldn’t believe he hadn’t noticed it before. “Can you speak?” she asked. He shook his head and he felt the anxiety wheedle its way back into his mind. The attack.

How could he have forgotten all of that?

“The woman—no, that thing…she tried to kill me,” he whispered at last. He felt his heart continuing to speed up.

“It’s just the memory now,” Rue assured. “It’s not happening to you anymore.”

Despite her words, Ethan glanced around the room, still paranoid. He tried to quiet the quickened breaths, afraid the memory might become real again if he made a sound any louder than a sigh.

“Just a memory,” he repeated and took a deep breath. Rue nodded and placed a hand on his shoulder. He reached up and took hers in his, squeezing it. “So that’s what happened to me—what I couldn’t remember.”

As much as he wanted to deny it, he couldn’t refute what he’d just seen. He couldn’t explain it; he couldn’t justify it. All he could think of in that moment was it was all real. What he’d just seen in those memories had been real.

“The woman—what was she?” Ethan asked, still speaking just above a whisper.

“It was a Lorn.”

My Review

4 of 5 Stars

An unexplained encounter with a dangerous woman turns Ethan West's world upside down. Soon he is swept up into an action-packed underworld beyond human imagining. Lorns are the descendants of Biblical Nephilim and the source behind many an immortal legend. It all seems too bizarre to believe, except for the fact Ethan might be one of them, with a terrible destiny wrapped in the fate of all immortals. 

While I enjoyed the pacing and sheer creativity of these beings and their world, I had a hard time diving in at first. There are many players in this epic tale, with many fully-fledge back stories. Everything happened to Ethan so quickly without the reader getting a full grasp of his character, then followed by many conversations explaining the rules of the game. However, I was hooked somewhere in the middle, once I had time to absorb the sheer brilliance of what Carolyn M. Walker has done.

This is clearly an origins story novel, setting the scene for many future installments. As each layer is unveiled and Ethan is drawn deeper into the secrets and wars within Lorn society, the book truly shines. Now I'm dying to learn what happens to Ethan, Rue and company in the sequel. An visionary re-imagining of Biblical proportions.

About the Author

Carolyn M. Walker is a California native and lover of all things literary. As an avid reader, she always enjoying new and exciting reads. Now as an avid storyteller, it is her mission to bring that same joy to her beloved readers. After earning her Bachelors in English Literature and Psychology, Carolyn went on to pen the draft for her first fiction novel and hasn’t looked back since. Aside from writing, she is also passionate about art, food, travel, history, and music. Carolyn has a soft spot for holiday cooking and loves experimenting with new recipes and treats. She also loves the beach, snorkeling and diving. Carolyn now lives in sunny Florida with her husband and daughter.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads

Review & Giveaway for Ashley Pagano's "Never Fear the Reaper"

Never Fear the Reaper

Never Fear the Reaper Series: Book One

by Ashley Pagano

In a world filled with darkness… can true love spark just enough light to save it?

She’s been to the other side and back again . . . But she’s never met anyone like him.

He can see things no one else can . . . But he only sees her.

From the moment he witnesses her do the impossible . . . he is obsessed. 

When Chase hires the mysterious ghost exterminator, Ryder, to cleanse his house from a pesky poltergeist he gets way more than he’s paying her for… There’s just something about Ryder that has him mesmerized.

Is it the fact that he’s witnessed her do the unexplainable? Or the fact that she’s absolutely breathtaking? Or perhaps it’s that eerie familiar feeling that they’ve met before, perhaps in another lifetime. 

Chase desperately tags along with Ryder on a whirlwind of life threatening adventures in exchange for a few precious moments of alone time with her. With the Grimm Reaper’s Scythe as their defense, Chase developing some supernatural gifts of his own, and an intense crush developing between them what crazy supernatural force will target them next?

Amazon  |  BN   |  Kobo   |  iTunes


Suddenly, from behind me, a calm, raspy voice breaks the silence. “Are you Chase? I’m Ryder,” she asks rather firmly, extending her long fingers for a professional handshake.

Oh God, please don’t be her, please don’t be her, please don’t be her, I repeat over and over again to myself. This girl is too young and far too beautiful to be a ghost hunter. Inconveniently, she is literally my definition of perfection, dressed all in black. Long, dark brown hair, perfect bronze skin, bright green eyes that are surrounded by the longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen, a gorgeous pearl-white smile, and a slim yet slightly muscular build. I can’t help but let her catch me looking her up and down. Her appearance makes me even more uncomfortable with my situation. I even notice a colorful, feathery angel-wing tattoo that creeps down her left arm, which is ironic, given her profession. Come on, this girl cannot be doing a job like this.

She smirks in response before I can conjure up an excuse for my gawking.

“Not at all what you expected, huh,” she says, while gesturing to the hostess with two of her fingers.

“Honestly, no you’re not…not really.” I figure it’s better to be honest with her right now. Finally, I build up enough courage to return her handshake. I’m embarrassed when my clammy palm touches her soft, cool skin.

As we follow the hostess to a booth at the far end of the dining area, she responds, “Don’t worry, no one ever does. They expect some older, more spiritual looking woman who’s all decked out in crucifixes.”

 My Review

3 of 5 Stars

Ghosts, Poltergeists and Demons abound in our world and a pair of reckless humans are determined to either help them move on, or make them. While this isn't my usual genre, Pagano deftly delivers a fun mashup of paranormal horror with witty banter.

Perhaps the strongest aspects of this novel, besides the fun you can expect with hunting bad spirits, are the lead characters, Ryder and Chase. I loved Ryder's origin story and her perfect blend of kick-ass confidence tempered with hidden vulnerability. She's very much an alpha heroine and while very much the focus, we see her through the eyes of the "heads-over-heels" guy who falls for her.

Chase is our window into this paranormal world and is often cheeky as he is capable. He's also hilariously unprepared for the challenges of reaping. As the pair form a partnership, Chase serves as Ryder's perfect foil, the charm and brains behind her muscle in a fun gender-bending twist.

Never Fear the Reaper is a non-stop action flavored romance, perfect for fans of Joss Whedon and Supernatural.

About the Author

Ashley Pagano has always dreamed of being an artist both figuratively and literally. Her love of art was instilled by her mother who always inspired her to be creative either with a paintbrush or with a pen and paper. As far back as she can remember her life was always centered around introspection, storytelling, and imagination.

Because she is so artistic, she took to the idea of creative writing very passionately. Her ability to describe a scene, person, or place, she compares to painting a picture, where she can describe every detail vividly in order to make the reader feel like they’re truly living in the story. Her works of writing usually center around a powerhouse female protagonist (which reflect her own personality), who progresses through many wild and extreme obstacles.

Ashley loves to write stories that end with a cliffhanger, that leave the reader begging for more and questioning what happens next. Her most recent novel sets the stage for the paranormal romance of the century and includes ghosts, poltergeists, and demons who just love to get in the way of true love. Ashley has won awards for her design, art, and writing.

Ashley doesn’t believe in down time whatsoever and actually loves having a full “To-Do”list. Ashley is a wife to her wonderful husband, Eric and a mother to a beautiful little baby girl named Dakota. She is also a Graphic Designer and a health and fitness coach. Her husband and daughter inspire her to be the best person she can be and encourage her to pursue any of her dreams (no matter how extravagant they may be).