Sidhe Vicious Reviews

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

The Way – Reviewed by Tori


The Way by John Whelan-Curtain

  • Format:Kindle Edition
  • File Size:225 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage:Unlimited
  • Publisher:Wolfspear Publishing; 1 edition (August 12, 2011)
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services
  • Language:English
  • ASIN: B005H7LO1K

Book Description:

“Gray’s normal life is about to be shattered. Well… normal may not be quite the right term when you consider that he is the sixteen year old son of the world’s most powerful criminal overlord.

From this “normality” Gray finds himself descending into a world conspiracy and murder and as he spirals into a world of vampires, devastating powers and reincarnation.

The impossibly intense pace of the book follows Gray’s rise to power in a world dominated by what may be the founders of civilization and religion as we know it.”

My Thoughts:

As I have said before, I am not a big fan of short stories.  I find they are rushed and you don’t get a lot of details.  I gave this book every chance, but  I just could not get into the story.  The author jumped around so much in the book and I just couldn’t follow the story.  I didn’t really understand what was going on until the end.  I was getting very frustrated with the book and thought I would be unable to finish it.

The author had a good idea with the story line but it just wasn’t exciting or very interesting to me.  Maybe if the book would have been longer, with a lot more detail, a lot of action, and less jumping around, I would have enjoyed it.

Tori

 

Find out more about John Whelan Curtain’s books.

Buy a copy of The Way at:

Smashwords

Amazon.com

 

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November 7, 2011 Posted by | Reviews, Spotlight On... | , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Tori Reviews – Blood Calling


Blood Calling by Joshua Grover – David Patterson

  • Format:Kindle Edition
  • File Size:394 KB
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services
  • Language:English
  • ASIN: B005MGBD4E
  • Genre: Paranormal

Book Description:

“When Lucy Leary turned 18, her life fell apart.  She crashed her car, her best friend abandoned her, her parents divorced, and her grandfather passed away, leaving her a single possession: A vampire slaying kit with a note that said, “THEY’RE REAL.  FIGHT THEM.”

Now Lucy must stop the oldest, most dangerous vampire in history, before it can kill her family.”

My Thoughts:


I found this book very interesting.  I love how the author portrays the vampires in this book. Instead of portraying them as the blood thirsty demons that are out to kill everyone, he portrays them as vampires trying to take the pain away from someone who is dying.  There were still some bad vamps in the book that just killed whoever they wanted to.

I love all the characters in the book, especially Lucy, who I thought was a very strong character.  Her home life was difficult and she just didn’t seem to fit in at school.  You could also tell how much she loved her grandfather and when she finds the kit to kill vampires, she pursues the truth despite the danger and warnings.

I also loved Washington and Emma.  I thought the author could have made both characters a lot stronger than they were portrayed, especially Washington but  I really liked his character.  I loved the chemistry that he and Lucy shared.  I wish the author would have pursued that a lot more than he did.  I felt that he loved her, especially when he chose to change her to save her life.  Washington was very protective of her I thought.  I thought the author didn’t bring out those emotions enough to the reader.

Emma was also an interesting character but I though she could have been a lot stronger too.  She seemed like she was very hard on Lucy at the beginning but then her attitude changed towards her.

I feel like the author could’ve had more emotion and bonding between the characters than what he did.  I just felt like that was missing from the book.  I like Lucy telling the tale from her point of view.  It made the story feel real and believable.  I did enjoy the story and I loved reading the book.  I found it most enjoyable.  I would like to see the author write other books but put more emotion into them.

Tori

   

Find out more about Joshua Grover – David Patterson at his Blog!

Buy a copy of Blood Calling at:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

 

October 17, 2011 Posted by | Reviews, Spotlight On... | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Tori Reviews – Retribution


Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon

  • Hardcover:432 pages
  • Publisher:St. Martin’s Press; First Edition edition (Aug 2 2011)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:0312546599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312546595
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance

Book Description:

“Harm no human…
A hired gunslinger, William Jessup Brady lived his life with one foot in the grave. He believed that every life had a price. Until the day when he finally found a reason to live. In one single act of brutal betrayal, he lost everything, including his life. Brought back by a Greek goddess to be one of her Dark-Hunters, he gave his immortal soul for vengeance and swore he’d spend eternity protecting the humans he’d once considered prey.
Orphaned as a toddler, Abigail Yager was taken in by a family of vampires and raised on one belief—Dark-Hunters are the evil who prey on both their people and mankind, and they must all be destroyed. While protecting her adoptive race, she has spent her life eliminating the Dark-Hunters and training for the day when she meeting the man who killed her family: Jess Brady.
A gun in the hand is worth two in the holster…
Jess has been charged with finding and terminating the creature who’s assassinating Dark-Hunters. The last thing he expects to find is a human face behind the killings, but when that face bears a striking resemblance to the one who murdered him centuries ago, he knows something evil is going on. He also knows he’s not the one who killed her parents. But Abigail refuses to believe the truth and is determined to see him dead once and for all.
Brought together by an angry god and chased by ancient enemies out to kill them both, they must find a way to overcome their mutual hatred or watch as one of the darkest of powers rises and kills both the races they’ve sworn to protect.”
My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed listening to the audio version of Retribution.  It was very entertaining and funny at times.  The author did a wonderful job with all the characters in the book, as each of the characters had their own stories to tell .  They each had made mistakes in their human lives and they try to make up for what they did.
I really like Jess and  Abigail together and I loved the strong connection they had to each other.  They were both very strong characters who had been through a lot.  Despite their pasts and the fact  that Abigail wanted to kill Jess at first because she thought he killed her family, she later learns the truth and finds herself falling for him.  Jess is an amazing character.  Despite everything he went through, he had a wonderful sense of humor throughout the book. He was an amazing fighter and protected Abigail despite her killing one of the dark hunters.  We later find out there is a reason for their connection.
Sherrilyn is an amazing writer.  She has a way of bringing her characters and story to life.  I would recommend the Dark Hunter series and any of her books to anyone.  I can’t wait to read some more of her books!
Find out more about Sherrilyn Kenyon and her books at her website!
Buy Retribution at:
(My apologies for the bad formatting of this post. I attempted to put the “book description” in block quotes, and that didn’t work. No matter what I do, I can’t get the formatting to cooperate with me on this one. 😦 I figured it was better just to get it posted rather than not having anything to post.)

October 7, 2011 Posted by | Reviews, Spotlight On... | , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Queen Of The Dead – Spotlight & Review


 Queen Of The Dead by Stacey Kade

  • Reading level:Young Adult
  • Hardcover:272 pages
  • Publisher:Hyperion Book CH (May 31, 2011)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1423134672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423134671
  • Genre: Paranormal

Book Description:

“After being sent back from the light, Alona Dare – former homecoming queen, current Queen of the Dead – finds herself doing something she never expected: working. Instead of spending days perfecting her tan by the pool (her typical summer routine when she was, you know, alive), Alona must now cater to the needs of other lost spirits. By her side for all of this – ugh “helping of others” is Will Killian: social outcast, seer of the dead, and someone Alona cares about more than she’d like.

Before Alona can make a final ruling on Will’s “friend” or “more” status, though, she discovers trouble at home. Her mom is tossing out Alona’s most valuable possessions, and her dad is expecting a new daughter with his wicked wife. Is it possible her family is already moving on? Hello! She’s only been dead for two months! Thankfully, Alona knows just the guy who can put a stop to this mess.

Unfortunately for Alona, Will has other stuff on his mind, and Mina, a young (and beautiful) seer, is at the top of the list. She’s the first ghost-talker Will’s ever met—aside from his father—and she may hold answers to Will’s troubled past. But can she be trusted? Alona immediately puts a check mark in the “clearly not” column. But Will is – ahem – willing to find out, even if it means leaving a hurt and angry Alona to her own devices, which is never a good idea.

Packed with romance, lovable characters, and a killer cliffhanger, Queen of the Dead is the out-of-this-world sequel to The Ghost and the Goth.”

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in Stacey Kade’s Ghost & The Goth series and Will and Alona’s story continues on from the first book.  I really enjoyed it. Alona is a “mean girl” who really has a good heart. I love the developing relationship between her and Will. A fun and fast paced ride through the world that the author has created with wonderfully contrasting characters who play well off each other. Great plot line, pacing, mystery, danger, paranormal elements and a totally unexpected but intriguing cliffhanger at the end!

I highly recommend this series/book to anyone who loves a fun paranormal YA read with ghosts, a goth, some ghost hunters, a developing romance and a fascinating twist to keep things exciting.

– Sidhe –

     

Find out more about Stacey Kade and what she’s working on at her website!

Buy The Queen Of The Dead at:

Chapters/Indigo

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

September 29, 2011 Posted by | On My Bookshelf, Reviews, Spotlight On... | , , , , , , | 1 Comment