Sidhe Vicious Reviews

Spoiler Free Reviews & More Book-ish Goings On :)

Cate Morgan – Guest Post


Today we have Cate Morgan, debut author of apocalyptic fantasy here with us at SVR to celebrate the release of her new novella, Brighid’s Cross! She’s written up a hilarious guest post about her ahh… writing process, lol. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. Here are some details about the book first, and then I’ll let Cate take over for awhile. 🙂

Brighid’s Cross

  • Pub. Date: November 2011
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
  • Sold By: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: NOOK Book (eBook) , 87pp (Also available at Amazon/Kindle)

Book Description:

“One woman with a job to do. One gorgeous hacker with a plan. One apocalypse. Any questions?

Aika Lareto is a descendent of St. Brighid in her incarnation of all things fire and warfare in a time when heroes were revered as gods.  In 2025, this means Aika is hunted by all things demon and government.  All she wants is to get on with her work as guardian of the dregs scraping out a fringe existence in London’s blitzed underground—the lost, forgotten and the just plain ignored.

Declan Pryce is the hacker who finds her first. Quite a feat, considering current ruling government conglomerate Dreamtech has issued a bounty on Aika’s head for her ability to bypass their security systems.

When she escapes Dreamtech’s net, the vote is unanimous— Aika is a liability in need of immediate resolution—dead or alive is entirely her choice.

No choice, really. She’ll take death over disloyalty every time. Declan has a plan that doesn’t include falling for an impossible woman in an impossible situation. She has plans of her own that don’t leave room for a love life.

If they’re incredibly lucky, it just might work.

Warning: Contains a hot hacker with a penchant for redheads, battles with demons, a little light torture, explosions and a heroine willing to do whatever it takes to do her job.”

Sounds like a fun read right? I’ll pass my blog over to Cate for a bit. Let’s give her a warm welcome!

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What Stories Are Made Of

Or, Sugar and Spice and Some Things . . . Not So Nice

I’m in love.

Not with my husband. (Well, okay, yes with my husband, but that’s a different, much longer blog post.) But with stories. I’m in love with stories the way certain kinds of  guys are in love with their Little Black Books. In fact, I have a Little Black Book, too. And just like other Little Black Books, mine is full of sexy new possibilities and the occasional Sure Thing. Deep inside, on some unconscious level, I’m really searching for The One. But until I find it, I’m happy to play the field. If some new, interesting detail crops up regarding one of the entries, I make careful note of this fact for future consideration.

You can meet a story anywhere, so it’s best to be prepared. As a case in point, here’s a few examples of reliable places I tend stumble over a sexy new idea:

Dreams
Neil Gaiman
Frightful Weather
My Mom
Books/TV/Movies/Music
Neil Gaiman
The Mailman
The Security Guard at my condo complex (who tells FANTASTIC Irish jokes)
My Grandparents (who’re Irish, and fantastic)
My Barista (who advises me regularly to write about vampires)
My Bartender (who begs me not to give in to writing about vampires)
Neil Gaiman

In short, stories come from everywhere, because everyone has them. In fact, I’m pretty sure Neil Gaiman keeps his chained up in his basement behind an iron door with a dozen sturdy locks and tiny food slot in the bottom, held in check by Cthulhu-like cultists in fezzes until he needs them (the stories, not the fezzes). But, again, that’s another blog post. An investigative one, perhaps, requiring a road trip.

Mainly, I’ve found stories come from dreams. My dreams, your dreams, the dreams of the kid down the street who fries ants on the sidewalk with a magnifying glass (creepy little bastard). Dreams make us strive to make them true, and striving makes us search for the life experiences that will lead us to our dreams.

It’s a vicious cycle.

Characters are no different. They are mirror reflections of ourselves, banging on the other side of the glass to be let out. Sometimes I do; other times I tell them they have to wait their turn, and add them to my Little Black Book. In the writing world, the philosophical question of the age is not so much “What comes first, the chicken or the egg?” but “What comes first, character or plot?” My answer has been, and always will be, character, because that is where the stories live. Plot is the order of events in which a story happens, mastered to a time-honored framework of milestones and plot points when certain, important things happen. But without characters and their stories, there would be no plot.

It’s like catching butterflies. Writers run around with a little journal and a net, swiping madly at beautiful, fluttering and altogether elusive story elements, looking  just a little bit silly in the process, but determined nonetheless. Once we catch enough elements that fit into the framework of a plot, we kill them dead, if humanely, and pin their gorgeous little corpses into the framework. Not for the faint of heart, mind you.

Yeah, writers tend to be a little weird, even if we look normal to the casual observer. Like a mad scientist, it comes of spending too much time in our heads, and being rather too attached to our Little Black Books, and having a propensity for attracting lightning. Be wary of the quiet, thoughtful ones. If we’ve suddenly gone quiet and/or thoughtful, it means we’ve spotted a story in the distance and are working out how to capture it. Be especially careful it’s not your story we’re after.

And while I’m giving out Public Service Announcements, let me just say that life is too short not to have dreams, let alone not to go after them. Whether you’re an aspiring, intrepid butterfly catcher or looking to raise a Great Old One from the murky, leviathan-snuggling depths, no one has any right to tell you that you can’t, or shouldn’t. Especially not yourself. And if your self has the gumption to try it, beat it back with a large stick. Here, borrow mine. Never mind the dried blood, or that particularly worrying gouge at the end.

Now, then. Back to work on pacifying the latest story into submission.

Put the kettle on, Neil. I’ve got a map, a large net, and a Little Black Book, and I’m not afraid to use them.

Let the storytelling begin.

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November 4, 2011 Posted by | Guest Blogger, New Author, New Book Releases, New Releases, Spotlight On... | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Obsidian – Spotlight & Review


 Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armintrout

  • Paperback
  • Publisher:Entangled Publishing, LLC (December 6, 2011)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1937044238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937044237
  • Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Book Description:

“Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is. “

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book! Katy and her mom move to West Virginia to make a new start right before Katy’s senior year of high school and she’s resigned herself to having a pretty boring year. Then she get’s an eyeful when she sees her hot new neighbor! Things are looking up all of a sudden, that is, until he opens his mouth. I absolutely loved the chemistry between these two and the originality of the world-building involved in the crafting of this tale.

My only minor complaint is that I found some of the dialogue a bit choppy, but if you think about it, that is how a lot of teens talk now, so it’s realistic in that sense. The other characters in the book were a diverse group and well-rounded. I was totally absorbed in the story and in the characters’ situations. I found myself laughing out loud a couple of times at the great witty dialogue between Katy and Daemon and touched by the heart warming relationships being developed between Katy & Dee and Katy & Daemon.

Jennifer L. Armintrout has created a really interesting world with amazing characters and I can’t wait for the next book in the Lux Series. Fast pacing and the sparks flying between Katy and Daemon kept me flipping the pages until I was done. I would definitely recommend this series to all fans of young adult paranormal or sci-fi with romance!

     

To find out more about Jennifer Armintrout and what she’s working on, go to her Blog

Check out Obsidian on GoodReads

Pre-Order a copy of Obsidian at:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

 

 

November 3, 2011 Posted by | New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, Reviews, Spotlight On..., Young Adult | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Michelle Hauf – Guest Blog & Giveaway


  Today we are happy to have Paranormal Romance author Michele Hauf here with us to celebrate the release of A Vampire For Christmas, an anthology in which her story Monsters Don’t Do Christmas is featured! Alongside Michele’s story, there are also stories by Alexis Morgan, Laurie London and Caridad Pineiro, so this is one HOT paranormal anthology you won’t want to miss! Here’s the book info.

  • Mass Market Paperback:384 pages
  • Publisher:HQN Books; Original edition (Oct 18 2011)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:0373776446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373776443

Book Description:

“All they want for Christmas is you…

It’s the time of year for twinkling lights on trees and kisses under the mistletoe. Yet the passing of another year means nothing to the stunning immortals who lurk in the shadows of the new-fallen snow.

And they don’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice.

Let four fanged lovers open your eyes to a passion you never dared to imagine. After all, there’s no place like home for the holidays, and these dazzling vampires can’t wait for an invitation.”

See what I mean? Definitely a book to err… keep you warm for the holidays! 😉 Michele has written up a guest blog to tell us about the two books she has out this month. There’s also a giveaway at the end of the post! So I’ll pass the reins over to Michele for a bit.

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What a busy month!  With Halloween just around the corner, as an author, it’s kind of a thrill to have a vampire book out this month.  But I happen to have two books out this month, which is a strangely cool abundance of vampy delight.  Both are novellas featured in anthologies with three other authors.  The first, Monsters Don’t Do Christmas, is in A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS.  I know, a bit early, right?  But it’s never too early to start dreaming about what you’d like in your Xmas stocking, and if it has fangs all the better, yes?  This story introduces two new characters to my Beautiful Creatures world, the hero being a newly-turned vampire who is still struggling with the whole ‘monster-ness’ of what he’s become. 

The second story, Cruel Enchantment, is in CRAVE THE NIGHT, and isn’t holiday themed, but rather most of the stories are set in the authors’ current world.  Mine features Revin Parker and Sabrina Kriss, who appeared in Her Vampire Husband.  I’ve been wanting to write a little more on Bree for a long time, and knew she would eventually get together with Rev, but that it wouldn’t be easy for either of them.  Bree is a faery, and if you’ve read books in my world, you know faeries and vampires don’t really make for the best match, seeing as faery dust is addictive to vampires.  But can you become addicted to a person?  I think it’s possible, and so, explored that as well.

If you’re new to my world, you can pick up any book and read it, and it stands alone.  You don’t have to read one book before another to understand what is going on.  And if you like a character and want to find out if they show up in other stories, stop by Club Scarlet for all the details and terms from the Beautiful Creatures world.

So tell me, are you wishing for that vampire in your stocking?  Or maybe you prefer something a little more wolfish? 😉

Michele

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  Thanks Michele!! 🙂

Giveaway Details:

Michele Hauf has been gracious enough to supply a copy of her book, A Vampire For Christmas to one of my lucky readers! Contest is open to Everyone. I’m not sure if Michele will be popping by to respond to comments or questions as she’s a super busy lady, but if you have any, I’ll be sure to pass them on.

Question: So tell me, are you wishing for that vampire in your stocking?  Or maybe you prefer something a little more wolfish? Tell us which is your preference and why.

For one entry: Please leave a comment with the answer to the question.  (+1 entry)

For extra entries:

I’m going to streamline this, so for each follow on twitter, facebook, goodreads or subscription to my blog, you can add an extra entry but be sure to let me know in your comment along with your username at each of them.

If you tweet about this contest, post it on facebook or post about it in your blog, for each link you provide, you get an extra entry. Please post all your links and/or info into one comment if you can.

  • Contest is open to Everyone and will run through November 7th until 11:59pm. The winners will be posted here on November 8th.
  • Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won, but please post it like wilmaflinstone(at)boomshakalaka(dot)com so you don’t get any spam. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen on www.random.org  by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone! :)

October 24, 2011 Posted by | Contest, Guest Blogger, New Book Releases, New Releases | , , , , , | 8 Comments

B. Jane Lawson – Guest Post & Giveaway


 

Today we have the pleasure of having debut Paranormal Romance author, B. Jane Lawson here with us at SVR to celebrate the release of her book, To The Cliffside – A Morganna Cork Novel!  She’s written up a guest post about who she thinks are some of the best written supporting characters in paranormal romance today. That’s an interesting topic! I always see lots of conversations online about main characters, so it’s great to see someone showing some love to the ever important supporting characters too. There’s also a giveaway with details listed at the end of the guest blog. Let’s give B. Jane a warm welcome. 🙂

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Supporting characters can add a comedic, or horrific element to a book.  They are the perfect tool to draw someone out of their frame and force an action they may have otherwise been incapable of completing.  They can make worlds created by an author seem all too real.  So I’ve decided to list my favorite supporting characters from paranormal romance / urban fantasy novels.  They are my favorite because of their ability to act as a lever in the plot line as well as their unique, inimitable presence in their respective novels.

 1. Dani O’Malley. The Fever Series. Dani is a dynamo; she’s powerful and seen way more than she should at her young age. That’s because the Fae have taken over most of the world and killed a third of the population.   She’s got super-speed and skill well beyond her years. She reminds me of the little girl that is inside of us no matter how old we get.   Dani endears herself to MacKayla and ***semi spoiler alert*** the perfect plot twist surrounding her is the only reasonable character who can make us question the existence of shades of grey. I was very excited to learn Karen Marie Moning’s next book will be based around Dani.

 2. Sam Merlotte. Dead Until Dark.  Sam is the boss and friend we wish we all had. I’ve always been rooting for him to end up with Sookie (novel Sam, not HBO Sam).  He’s sweet and friendly and Merlotte’s is the perfect southern setting.   Sam is as steady as a rock in a Bon Temps where magical mayhem rules the day.

 3. Sebastian Vioget. The Rest Falls Away, The Gardella Vampire Chronicles. Sebastian is your consummate s***-starter and I love it.  He’s seductive,
handsome and of questionable integrity.  Nothing draws out a male lead better than someone as threatening as a Sebastian and his antics with Victoria are sizzling.

 4. Bump. Unholy Ghosts, Downside Ghosts Series.  Bump is a pimp, a drug dealer and gang leader.  He’s also incredibly tacky.  He’s the only one who holds the leash to the almighty Terrible, the most unlikely, but, to date, the most captivating imperfect hero I’ve read about.  Bump is the perfect pressure point in the book – what he wants to happen, happens.  Or else.  So, while Terrible may be trying to avoid Chess, Bump is the only character with power to overule that desire.

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 Thanks B. Jane! 😀

Giveaway Details:

B. Jane Lawson has been gracious enough to supply two digital copies of her book, To The Cliffside for a couple of my lucky readers! Contest is open to Everyone.  I believe that B. Jane will be popping by to respond to comments or questions as she’s able, so feel free to ask her questions as well.

Question: Who are some of your favorite supporting characters in paranormal romance or urban fantasy and why?

For one entry: Please leave a comment with the answer to the question.  (+1 entry)

For extra entries:

I’m going to streamline this, so for each follow on twitter, facebook, goodreads or subscription to my blog, you can add an extra entry but be sure to let me know in your comment along with your username at each of them.

If you tweet about this contest, post it on facebook or post about it in your blog, for each link you provide, you get an extra entry.

  • Contest is open to Everyone and will run through November 2nd until 11:59pm. The winners will be posted here on November 3rd.
  • Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won, but please post it like wilmaflinstone(at)boomshakalaka(dot)com so you don’t get any spam. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen on www.random.org  by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone! :)

October 19, 2011 Posted by | Contest, Guest Blogger, New Author, New Book Releases | , , , , | 9 Comments

Mortal Obligation – Spotlight & Review


Mortal Obligation by Nichole Chase

  • Format:Kindle Edition
  • File Size:792 KB
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services
  • Language:English
  • ASIN: B005F9YGN8
  • Genre: YA, Paranormal

Book Description:

“Ree will face the darkest form of betrayal before the year is out.

Seventeen year old Ree McKenna has three goals: get through high school, convince her crush she is more than his best friend’s little sister, and save money for college. Fate, though, has other plans for her. After the
untimely death of her older brother, Ree is haunted by dreadful nightmares and terrifying visions. To make matters worse, Ree has started to suspect that something dangerous is stalking her from the shadows.

A night full of frightening surprises leaves Ree with unsettling news. Gifted by the gods with unusual powers, she must devote herself to a battle that could very well lead to not only her death, but the demise of everyone she knows and loves. After all, Ree is the only mortal standing between the Earth and utter darkness.

Set in Savannah, Ga, Mortal Obligation is the first book of The Dark Betrayal Trilogy.”

My Thoughts:

I quite enjoyed this book and I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the trilogy! An interesting take on Gods, Immortals, supernatural powers and vampires. Ree, Payden and their circle of friends embark on a roller-coaster ride of a journey in discovering who they are, what they can do and what they could very likely have to do to save the world as they know it. I really liked the characters, the plot, the pacing, the dialogue came naturally and the paranormal twists were great! The little bit of a romantic triangle between Ree, Payden and Roland is really intriguing and I can’t wait to see what comes of it. Nichole Chase is a terrific new author with lots of potential.

The only things I can think of that could have made the story even better for me was that there could have been just the tiniest bit more in the “fleshing out” of the characters, and a tiny bit more written about the characters’ reactions and ramifications of the huge changes in their lives. It could be that the author has spread this information throughout the three book arc and I’ll be eating crow if that’s the case, lol. The second book is titled Mortal Defiance and I’m not clear on the release date right now, but I’ll be keeping an eye on Nichole’s blog for updates. 🙂

     

Find out more about Nichole Chase and what she’s working on at her website & her blog!

Buy a copy of Mortal Obligation at:

Barnes & Noble paperback or nook

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

The Book Depository

Smashwords

 

October 10, 2011 Posted by | New Author, New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, Reviews, Spotlight, Spotlight On..., Young Adult | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nichole Chase – Guest Blog & Giveaway


 

Today I’m happy to have debut YA Urban Fantasy author, Nichole Chase here with us at SVR to celebrate the release of her book Mortal Obligation! This is the first book in the Dark Betrayal Trilogy and I’ve just started reading it so look for a review soon. Nichole’s written up a great post about where she finds her inspiration. I don’t know about you guys, but I always find it fascinating to know an authors’ thought process when it comes to writing. So grab a coffee or tea and get comfy so you can read Nichole’s guest blog and make sure you stick around for the giveaway at the end of the post! 🙂

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Hi! First and foremost, I would like to thank Judi for inviting me to her blog today! I love meeting new readers and bloggers. My name is Nichole Chase, and I am the author of Mortal Obligation, Book One of The Dark Betrayal Trilogy. Mortal Obligation is a YA urban fantasy set in Savannah,Ga.

Since publishing, I have been asked hundreds of questions,but the one that I hear the most often is, “What inspired you?” or “Where do you get your ideas from?” The honest truth, is that Mortal Obligation began with a stray thought and my over active imagination.

I believe Nora Roberts once said that there is a story in everything; that is exactly how my mind works. One random image or normal scenario can snowball into a story idea. The mailman carrying a package wrapped in hot pink duct tape? Maybe it’s a gift from a little girl to her divorced father. He now lives a few states away and is at work, so the mailman left the package with her father’s new neighbor, the attractive woman that keeps odd hours. What will she think of the package wrapped in hot pick duct tape? Will she think it’s adorable? Will they have a “cute meet” that leads to something else? Or will it be a little darker? When she brings the package over, is she attacked by a creature but saved by the father who hears the commotion on his porch? Now I have to know why she has been attacked, what attacked her, and how she is going to deal with her unsuspecting knight in shining armor.

This is exactly how Mortal Obligation was born. I had the mental image of a girl walking through one of the lush squares that litter the downtown area. She was looking over her shoulder and right away I knew that something was following her. It was obvious from her expression that she knew she was going to have to do something about it. I was hooked at that point. I had to know what was following her and how she was going to save herself. And boy, have I not been disappointed! I spent a lot of time meshing the images in my head with the research I did on the different mythologies of the world. I took a lot of pains to try and include little details that would ring true for people, but keeping them fresh and new. The Dark Betrayal Trilogy was born from a single, random thought, but encompasses all of the things that I would want in a book. Since I love all things paranormal and urban fantasy, it was only natural that my book would fall into those categories.

I love the characters that developed with this story. They are fun, spunky, and so very brave. I also have to admit to having a teensy tiny crush on a couple of the guys, but I ‘ll let you guys figure out which ones I am referring to. Right now I’m working on book 2, Mortal Defiance, and thoroughly loving the chance to spend more time with my characters. I will be wrapping up this book in the next few weeks and then it’s off to my editor, Anne. It will be available in early December, and I can’t wait for everyone to read what happens to Ree and the gang.

Thanks again, Judi, for allowing me to take over your blog for a little while. I hope everyone enjoyed learning a little about my creative process.

Nichole Chase

Nichole’s Blog & Nichole’s Website

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Thanks so much Nichole! It was great to hear about your inspiration and thought process, as well as a pleasure to have you here. 🙂

Giveaway Details:

Nichole Chase has been gracious enough to supply two digital copies of her book, Mortal Obligation for a couple of my lucky readers! Contest is open to Everyone. I believe that Nichole will be popping by to respond to comments or questions as she’s able, so feel free to ask her questions as well.

Question: Do you ever people watch at the mall or some public place and wonder what kind of life those people lead? Or do you make up fantastical stories in your mind about people you see?

For one entry: Please leave a comment with the answer to the question.  (+1 entry)

For extra entries:

I’m going to streamline this, so for each follow on twitter, facebook, goodreads or subscription to my blog, you can add an extra entry but be sure to let me know in your comment along with your username at each of them.

If you tweet about this contest, post it on facebook or post about it in your blog, for each link you provide, you get an extra entry.

  • Contest is open to Everyone and will run through October 18th until 11:59pm. The winners will be posted here on October 19th.
  • Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won, but please post it like wilmaflinstone(at)boomshakalaka(dot)com so you don’t get any spam. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen on www.random.org  by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone! :)

Please leave your links in one comment if possible. Thanks!

October 4, 2011 Posted by | Contest, Contests, Guest Blogger, New Author, New Book Releases, New Releases, Young Adult | , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Tori Reviews – Symphony Of Blood


Symphony Of Blood by Adam Pepper

  • Pub. Date: July 2011
  • Publisher: Adam Pepper
  • File Size: 622 KB
  • BN ID: 2940012772657
  • ASIN: B005E8S6AE
  • Available in: eBook formats
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy

Book Description:

Hank Mondale, a rough-around-the-edges P.I. with a small drinking problem and a large gambling problem, needs a break.  With his landlord threatening eviction and his bookie threatening worse, things look bleak. 

Until real estate mogul Thomas Blake calls with an incredible story: a monster is trying to kill his daughter.  Hank figures she’s probably some whacked-out spoiled brat, but desperate, Hank takes the case to track down the supposed monster.  It seems that people around Mackenzie Blake are disappearing.  It’s obviously no coincidence.  Was Hank hired to unwittingly aid a wealthy murderess?  Or is there really someone…or some thing, trying to kill Mackenzie Blake?

A symphony plays that only It can hear.  But there will be a special performance, just for her.”

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading the story, but it felt like something was missing from it.  It just wasn’t long enough for me. I am a big fan of reading longer books. I don’t feel like enough information and background were provided about the story in short book format that it is written in. I feel like the author needed to add more details and back ground about the murderer.

A drunken and gambling detective is hired to find, stop and kill the person who is trying to kill a rich man’s daughter.  As the detective investigates, he finds out about several other murders.  Some of the victims either worked for the Father or knew the daughter.  Who is the murderer?  The truth may shock you.

I feel that the author should have provided more information on the murderer, and there should have been some more background provided on the other murders that were done.  I just felt like there could be more to it, something was just missing.  Although, I like the author’s idea and did enjoy the book but I didn’t think it was fantastic.

Tori

   

Find out more about Adam Pepper and what he’s writing at his website!

Click here to read the first chapter!

Buy a copy of Symphony Of Blood at:

Amazon.com

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

October 3, 2011 Posted by | New Author, New Book Releases, New Releases, Reviews, Spotlight On... | , , , , | Leave a comment

Robert Louis Smith – Guest Post


Today we have YA Fantasy author, Robert Louis Smith here at SVR to celebrate the release and official debut at NYC ComicCon this weekend of his novel, Antiquitas Lost: The Last Of The Shamalans! He’s written up a wonderful guest post about how he came to write this book. The book also contains over 70 full page illustrations by Marvel Comics legend Geof Isherwood!

Here’s a bit about the book itself & the author:

“Description
From American cardiologist Robert Louis Smith comes the unique fantasy novel Antiquitas Lost, peppered with more than 70 eye-popping illustrations by Marvel Comics legend Geof Isherwood. This epic fantasy tells the story of a 15-year-old boy named Elliott, a bullied kid with deformities on his hands and feet who is uprooted from his home after his mother falls gravely ill. When they move to New Orleans so his grandfather can help care for her, Elliott learns that the old man’s eighteenth century mansion hides an ancient secret. From a dungeon-like basement far beneath the estate, Elliott strays through an ancient doorway into Pangrelor, a tumultuous parallel world full of bizarre creatures and warring races. Unable to return home, he discovers wondrous abilities he never dreamed he possessed, and an abiding connection to the primitive, alien world that will forever change him.

But he must proceed carefully. For he soon learns that his actions in the ancient world will impact the upcoming battle for Harwelden, Pangrelor’s mightiest civilization, and will also resonate all the way back to New Orleans, perhaps deciding whether his mother lives or dies.

Author Bio
Robert Louis Smith, author of Antiquitas Lost: The Last of the Shamalans, has numerous degrees, including psychology (B.A.), applied microbiology (B.S.), anaerobic microbiology (M.Sc.), and a Medical Doctorate (M.D.). He serves as an interventional cardiologist at the Oklahoma Heart Institute. He is married and the father of two young children. He began writing Antiquitas Lost in 2003 while studying at Tulane University in New Orleans.”

And here’s Robert’s guest blog!

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Smackdown: Pangrelor vs. Middle Earth
By Robert Louis Smith,

In 1954, J.R.R. Tolkien published the first of a breathtaking series of books that would go on to become some of the most influential novels of the 20th century. As anyone who has ever read The Lord of the Rings knows, Tolkien’s books are so imaginative and unexpectedly powerful that his fantastic tale still captures our imaginations more than a half century after its original publication. These stories gave birth to the modern fantasy genre, and it is perhaps inevitable that so many contemporary fantasy books replicate aspects of Tolkien’s writings. So pervasive is Tolkien’s influence that the Oxford English Dictionary offers a word for it: Tolkienesque. Perhaps this is why we see so many fantasy tales that feature elves, dwarves, wizards, magic rings, and magic swords. The presence of these features is, in many ways, what we have come to expect from a modern fantasy novel.

But over the course of 57 years, these constructs of classical Northern European (or Tolkienesque) fantasy fiction have been imitated to the point of monotony. In tome after tome, we see elves and dwarves wielding magical swords or speaking in Northern European conlangs (fictional languages) as they follow some particular heroic quest. And let’s be honest. Although there are many wonderful and imaginative novels that feature these elements, no one has done it as well as Mr. Tolkien.

When I sat down to write Antiquitas Lost, I promised myself there would be no magic rings, magic swords, elves or dwarves. A major goal was to create a fantasy novel where the creatures and setting were fresh. Pangrelor, the fantasy world described in Antiquitas Lost, is envisioned as a pre-industrial, medieval society with beautiful artistic accomplishments set in a savage and magical natural environment — the Renaissance meets the Pleistocene, with magical beings and crypto-zoological creatures. Devoid of elves and dwarves, Pangrelor is inhabited largely by creatures that we are familiar with, but different from the usual fantasy fare — gargoyles, Bigfoot creatures, Neanderthal types, Atlanteans and dinosaurs, to name a few. These differences give Pangrelor a much different feel from Middle Earth and the countless, adherent worlds that have followed. Hopefully the reader will find this refreshing. Over time, I have come to think of Antiquitas Lost as more of a “North American” tale, with many references to new world mythologies, as well as a hint of Native American influence.

Although Antiquitas Lost is not immune to Mr. Tolkien’s sweeping influence, it is unique in many ways. When you take your first journey to Pangrelor, it is my sincere hope that you will experience a hint of the joy that accompanied your maiden voyage to Middle Earth, and that you will connect in a meaningful way with this unprecedented new cast of characters as you explore an altogether unique fantasy destination.

© 2011 Robert Louis Smith, author of Antiquitas Lost: The Last of the Shamalans

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Thanks so much Robert! I just recently received my review copy, so look for a review soon. 🙂

September 30, 2011 Posted by | Guest Blogger, New Author, New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, Spotlight On... | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jessica Sorensen – Guest Blog & Giveaway


   

Today we are happy to have debut YA author Jessica Sorensen here with us at SVR to celebrate the release of her second book in The Fallen Star series, The Underworld! She’s written up a great scene between some of the main characters in the series which had me laughing. This is a good way to get to know some of the characters and have a taste of Jessica’s writing.

Jessica has generously offered up print copies of both The Fallen Star and The Underworld to one lucky commenter! Giveaway details will be at the end of the post. Let’s give Jessica a warm welcome!  🙂

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Being in a jail cell sucks. Especially when you’re locked in one with a very annoying faerie/Foreseer, an overly emotional witch, a Keeper/vampire who just recently discovered his thirst for blood, and a Keeper who can make your skin heat in ways you didn’t even know were possible.

“What are we going to do?” Aislin whined with tears streaming down her cheeks. “This can’t be happening.”

Alex rolled his eyes. “Aislin quit crying.”

She wiped her tears away. “I can’t. I mean, this is so bad—us being locked up in here.” She pointed at Alex and me. “And you two—you can’t be this close to one another.”

She was probably right. Alex and I were sharing a bench with one another. Plus, it was awfully electric in here. That was when I realized Alex’s hand was on top of mine. We both pulled away.

“It smells like feet in here,” Laylen suddenly said, looking over at Nicholas.”Really, really bad.”

Nicholas gave Laylen a dirty look. “It’s not my feet.”

I laughed. “Yeah, his feet probably smell like flowers.” Everyone looked at me and I furrowed my eyebrows. “Sorry, I have no idea where that came from…Well, actually I do. It’s because he smells like flowers.” I was being rude—I knew that, but I didn’t know why.

“It’s so hot in here.” Aislin fanned her hand in front of her face. “And Laylen looks really hot today.”

Awkward silence filled the air.

“Oh my God,” Aislin said. “I don’t know why I said that.”

“You said it because he does look hot today,” I told her and then felt my face heat.

Laylen looked back and forth between Aislin and me. “As much as I love the fact that both of you think I look hot, I think there might be something wrong.”

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s my feet that smell,” Alex said with his nose scrunched up.

Aislin and I gave Alex a grossed out look and Laylen shook his head and said, “Too much information, dude.”

“If this is what you guys sit around and talk about all day,” Nicholas said, “then I’m a little bit relieved I’m evil and don’t have to listen to it.”

“This is not what we talk about all day,” I informed him. “Mostly we just lie to each other about our feelings…well, that’s me and Alex. Laylen and I actually have very nice talks.” I slapped my hand over my mouth. Why did I say that out loud?

Alex looked both confused and hurt, and then suddenly, he was jumping to his feet. “Hold on a second.” He climbed up on the bench and peeked through a vent on the wall. “Crap.” He turned to us. “There’s a truth tank in there. The room is being ventilated with truth gas.”

“Great!” Aislin cried, nervously twirling her hair around her finger. “Now Laylen’s going to know I still have feelings for him.” Her green eyes widened and she looked down at the floor.

“We already knew that.” Alex gave me an angry look. “But what we didn’t know is that Laylen and Gemma have feelings for each other. At least, that’s what I think.”

“It’s true,” Laylen said, and then his eyebrows dipped down.

Alex looked at me, waiting for me to respond.

I tried to keep my mouth shut, but apparently, the truth gas was stronger. “Sometimes I think I do…I mean, have feelings for Laylen…But I have a lot of feelings for you too, and it’s all really confusing.” I wanted to shrink myself into a little ball and hide. This was so bad.

“You know, when I was little, I wanted to be a ballerina,” Nicholas said.

Okay, so maybe mine wasn’t that bad.

“A boy ballerina,” Nicholas clarified as everyone stared at him.

Alex cocked an eyebrow. “So you wanted to wear a tutu.”

Nicholas crossed his arms and looked over at the wall. “No, I just wanted to dance.”

“That’s great, Nicholas.” Alex gave Laylen an “okay” look.

“Boy’s can be ballerinas, Alex,” Aislin said. “I mean, when you were little, you begged me to teach you how to tap dance.”

“I liked the noise the shoes made,” Alex gritted through his teeth.

Laylen held back a smile. “Was that the only reason?”

Alex shot him an angry look.  “No, I—”

“How about we all just stop talking,” Aislin interrupted, “before something really bad slips out of one of our mouths.”

“Like the fact that you once kissed Nicholas,” Alex said, and Aislin glared at him. “That one was for the tap dance remark.”

“You kissed Nicholas?” Laylen’s bright blue eyes widened with shock. “When?”

“Don’t worry,” Nicholas told him. “It wasn’t when you two were dating or anything.” He paused. “And it wasn’t that great of a kiss…not like when I kissed Gemma.”

I shook my head. “That’s great, except I hated our kiss.” Before I could stop myself I added, “the only person I want to kiss is Alex…well, and sometimes I think about kissing Laylen.”

It got really quiet.

Awkward,” Nicholas muttered.

“Yeah, I think about kissing you too,” Laylen mumbled with a perplexed look on his face.

“And sometimes I think about punching you,” Alex snapped, stepping toward Laylen.

“Same here,” Laylen bit back.

“Please make it stop,” Aislin wailed, looking up at the ceiling.

“Yes, please do,” I agreed, looking up at the ceiling too, wondering who she was talking to.

Suddenly there was a loud buzz, and then the cell door swung open.

“Times up,” a guard said.

Thank God.

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Thanks Jessica! That was awesome, lol. If you’ve already read the first book, then you know just how great this scene was. 😀

Giveaway Details:

Jessica Sorensen has been gracious enough to supply one print copy of each of her books The Fallen Star & The Underworld! That’s right, one winner will receive both of her books! Contest is open to Everyone. I believe that Jessica will be popping by to respond to comments or questions as she’s able, so feel free to ask her questions as well.

Question: Have you ever had a really awkward moment with someone you were really attracted to? Fess up and give us some details!

For one entry: Please leave a comment with the answer to the question.  (+1 entry)

For extra entries:

I’m going to streamline this, so for each follow on twitter, facebook, goodreads or subscription to my blog, you can add an extra entry but be sure to let me know in your comment along with your username at each of them.

If you tweet about this contest, post it on facebook or post about it in your blog, for each link you provide, you get an extra entry.

  • Contest is open to Everyone and will run through October 12th until 11:59pm. The winners will be posted here on October 13th.
  • Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won, but please post it like wilmaflinstone(at)boomshakalaka(dot)com so you don’t get any spam. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen on www.random.org  by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone! :)

Please leave your links in one comment if possible. And yes I know I should get that Rafflecopter everyone’s using, lol.  Thanks!

 

 

September 28, 2011 Posted by | Contest, Contests, Guest Blogger, New Author, New Book Releases, Spotlight On..., Young Adult | , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Tori Reviews – The Paladin


 The Paladin by Ken Newman

  • Paperback:272 pages
  • Publisher:Sunbury Press, Inc. (May 2011)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1934597449
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934597446
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy

Book Description:

“Larry is an angel of the Lord… retired. To avoid final judgment and a rather warm room without a view he seeks to make amends by helping humanity against spiritual darkness. Unable to directly interfere, he must use a human to do his dirty work, or as he calls them… Paladins.

A lonely kindergarten teacher, Harriet Smith, dreaming of romance and an exciting life of high adventure, has no idea that she has been chosen… that is until she is kidnapped by a five-year old, and reborn as the sultry, Maggie Black.

 Maggie is about to find that the world is a far different place than she could have ever imagined as she faces shape shifting hit men, psychotic witches, and a four thousand-year old living weapon of mass destruction. Fortunately, Maggie isn’t alone, as Silas Cole, a deceased Paladin, comes to her aid, possessing the body of his murdered great-grandson. Maggie soon falls in love with the dashing Silas, but finds that to save humanity, she must sacrifice the man she loves.”

My Thoughts:

I didn’t know what to expect when I started to read The Paladin but to my surprise I really enjoyed reading the book.  The author had a lot of action, suspense and even some romance.  It was a very fast read for me and I really enjoyed the book.  I loved all the characters especially Maggie who goes from being a school teacher to a tough fighter.  It was as if she was meant to be in the role she was chosen for. I found her character very fascinating and found her to be a strong character who was truly alone until she met Silas Cole.

Maggie and Silas fall in love, but I felt that the author rushed their romance and some parts of the story a bit.  I thought that he could have slowed the story down some and even given more details in the book.  Overall though I really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading future books by this author.

Tori

     

Find out more about Ken Newman and his books at his website.

Buy The Paladin at:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

 

September 26, 2011 Posted by | New Book Releases, New Releases, Reviews, Spotlight On... | , , , , , | 2 Comments