The Guild Codex Spellbound Series by Annette Marie was the first series of her books that I read. I immediately gobbled up the rest of her series in that world, and then those in other worlds. Now I have read all her books. For the reasons why, watch the video. https://youtu.be/eDOwPWgOhMk Buy now on Amazon The Guild Codex: Spellbound (8 book series) by Annette Marie (Author) From Book 1: Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.It went downhill the moment they asked for a trial shift instead of an interview—to see if I'd mesh with their "special" clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete jerks, and I was an asshole right back. That's the definition of fitting in, right?I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they ... offered me the job?It turns out this place isn't a bar. It's a guild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a … [Read more...]
Delightfully unusual metaphysical fiction: Review
‘The Commons: The Journeyman’ is a delightfully unusual book that spans multiple genres. It takes place in the Commons, a place between life and death, something like purgatory for Christians and the Bardo of Becoming for Buddhists. On the surface it’s fantasy, but, like my own work, it’s also metaphysical fiction and, because of the psychological symbolism, magical realism. “We are the stories we tell ourselves,” is one of the metaphysical gems. This is an example of the best of indie fiction; it’s a bold, brilliant work at the forefront of an exciting new direction in contemporary fiction that is so far out of the box that mainstream publishers would likely see it only as a risk. Books with this mix of metaphysics, fantasy and magical realism are becoming more prevalent—the indies are way ahead of the mainstream here—but few of these books are as well executed as this one. The story follows Paul, a teen, Zach, an autistic five year old and his mother, Annie, after their deaths in a … [Read more...]
Excellent YA urban fantasy: ‘Sacrifice’ by Jennifer Quintenz
'Sacrifice’ by Jennifer Quintenz is the third in the young adult Daughters of Lilith Series and it is every bit as good as the previous books. Quintenz knows how to hold a reader and keep them turning the pages to find out what will happen next. It’s a hard book to put down. The story revolves around a girl who though a succubus herself (a daughter of Lilith) she stands on the side of the sons of Adam in an age-old battle that, unknown by most humans, has been raging since the beginning of human history. She loves a boy that she cannot have without risk of draining his life-force, and this adds a bittersweet touch to a powerful story. This series has the vitality that makes the characters and the world they inhabit as real as our own. There’s plenty of action, but there’s also plenty of character development and growth that together deliver a very satisfying whole. The plot is gripping and often surprising, and the characters face moral dilemmas and terrible challenges that … [Read more...]
An Awesome Historical Fantasy: ‘Cliff of the Ruin’ by Bonnie McKernan
Cliff of the Ruin by Bonnie McKernan is an awesome historical fantasy with complex undercurrents, spiritual depth and many surprises. It takes us from post revolution America, across the ocean to Ireland and into the lair of the Shee (the Sidhe). The story begins like a straight historical novel. Mae lives with her aunt and uncle, and their children, Aaron, a young man, and Charlotte, still a child. All of them are keen to find a husband for twenty six year old Mae, but after a broken engagement, she isn't particularly interested in taking the risk of opening up again. Until she meets the man on the riverbank. Kieran the fisherman was so beautiful, that I suspected some other worldly intervention, but the full truth of what was to become a mystery around this man only became clear at the end. The influence of the Shee grew as the story progressed, and I found myself gradually drawn deeper and deeper into a world where spaces dwelled within spaces and time had a different … [Read more...]
Fascinating Dystioian fiction: ‘Future Prometheus: Emergence & Evolution’ by J.M Erickson
Future Prometheus: Emergence & Evolution by J.M Erickson is a fascinating dystopian story about a world after a virus has sent all sexually active men on a violent rampage that ends up with most of them, and a large proportion of the female and child population, dead. The events in the book occur 140 years after this event and follow Melendez, a soldier, who, along with some APs (androids) wishes to re-establish a society based on the values of the old USA. He's been in stasis in a cyrogenic tank since the disaster, though he was supposed to be under for only four months. A group of androids find him and bring him back. They become his friends, and he develops a program to bring them to sentience and eventually to sapience. He finds himself in a matriarchal, lesbian society. The women keep their boy children only long enough to harvest their sperm when they reach maturity, after which the women take them outside their megastate and kill them. Some girls are also discarded - the … [Read more...]
An interesting metaphysical premise: ‘The Problem with God’ by Evan Geller.
The Problem with God takes an interesting premise: what if we could prove the existence of an afterlife. Should we share it with everyone? If you think about the ramifications for our world—as the book stimulates you to—you may come to the conclusion, as characters in this book have, that things are better left as they are. When someone does try to share such proof with the world, certain people from the Catholic Church and the Mormans take notice and make moves to intervene. The story revolves around a Jesuit priest, who rescues a woman from the river after she fell/was pushed off a bridge, and the woman, Grace, who has returned to earth after death to try to destroy the evidence. She must find a way to die again so that she returns to the same realm she was in, not a random one as is possible. In order to do this she needs to pass through a physical gateway and when someone bricks up the one she was planning to use, she has to go to New York to find another. The priest, Julius, … [Read more...]
Diamond Peak Series Book Tour: An awesome review of Stalking Shadows.
Here's a review of Stalking Shadows that really made my heart sing. This is the best reward for an author; readers who love what you write. Not everyone does, but those that do make the struggle worth while. Kayla says, among other things: 'Wow! I have to say that although I really, really enjoyed reading Lethal Inheritance, book one in this series, I think I enjoyed the sequel even more. That isn’t something that really happens for me that often and it only makes me wonder what more could come in the rest of the series.' Pop over and see Kayla's wonderful book blog and read the rest of the series. http://caughtbetweenthepages.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/blog-tour-stalking-shadows-by-tahlia-newland/ Don't forget the Special Series Seal If you buy book one, Lethal Inheritance, and send the receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org before the 15th of December, I will send you book 2, Stalking Shadows, for free and enter you in a draw to win the rest of the series. You can also pick up two … [Read more...]
Action packed YA superheroes: ‘Super Nobody’ by Brent Meske.
It was clear from the first sentence of this book that the author knows what he's doing. Super Nobody grabs your attention straight away and holds you there in a fast moving action packed story about super villains, superheroes and a not-super reluctant teenage hero. There's a few YA superhero books about, but this one has a particularly real central character who isn't so super and not such a hero, at least to begin with. The story begins with Michael being bullied. It seems a normal enough situation, but things soon start turning very strange. Kids are turning into Actives, the name for super beings, and soon everything goes pear-shape. Michael may be a nobody, but he's just the kind of nobody the town needs to save it from a madman, or is he? If plan A fails, there's no plan B. Mr Meske doesn't just deliver a great action story, he delivers on the characterisation as well. Michael, Charlotte and his mother are very real people, and Michael grows through his experiences as … [Read more...]
A beautifully crafted, unique and powerful YA story: ‘Western Desert’ by P.J Sharon
Western Desert is the second in the Chronicles of Lily Carmichael by P.J Sharon and it’s as excellent as the first (See my review of it here). This dystopian/post-apocalyptic series should be as popular as the Hunger Games; it really is one of the best YA dystopian books around. The only reason it isn’t on everyone’s lips and on everyone’s Kindles is because as an indie author, P.J Sharon does not have the backing of a big publisher, and that’s all the more reason why you should read this book and shout about it far and wide. It’s beautifully crafted, well-polished and a unique and powerful story. Books like this make liars of those who say that indie books are of lesser quality. This is far better than many mainstream books I’ve read. The human race has pretty much stuffed the planet in Lily Carmichael’s world. Radiation is so high that you have to stay inside in the middle of the day and the level is climbing, extreme storms wreck havoc and a virus has wiped out a large number of … [Read more...]
Top science fiction with a light touch: ‘Have Wormhole, Will Travel’ by Tony McFadden
Mr McFadden knows how to tell a jolly good story, and he does it with skill and a light touch that is most refreshing. Have Wormhole, Will Travel is the story of two aliens stationed on earth to make sure that we don't develop the scientific expertise to travel to their planet and cause a problem. Callum and Jason have been here for two hundred years and were responsible for discrediting the cold fusion experiments to prevent humans going down that path. Since then, every time they've popped home via wormhole, they have nothing to tell. The humans are plodding along at a slow pace, nothing to worry about - until Callum discovers that Sam, a research scientist and tutor at Sydney University, has discovered the same technology as they use to skip back to their planet. Okay, the alien bosses say, time to evacuate, we have to blast earth with gamma radiation, burn everyone to a crisp and set life on the planet back a billion years. Jason gets ready to depart, but Callum likes Manly beach … [Read more...]
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