Posted in reviews

Never Never by Liz Butcher

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A seasoned detective haunted by her past finds herself drawn into the search for a missing teenage girl, and soon discovers the case has haunting connections to her in author Liz Butcher’s “Never Never”. 

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The Synopsis

More than 20 years after her abduction at the hands of the elusive Pan, Wendy Darling is all grown up and a successful detective. But when a local girl vanishes in the middle of the night, her past comes rushing back.

Grieving the death of her mother, Detective Darling wants nothing more than to throw herself back into work. When the Lord Mayor’s daughter, Rosalie, vanishes, she insists on taking the case, triggering memories of her own past abduction. For years, Wendy struggled with her nonsensical memories of her captor, who she only knows as Pan. Yet the more she uncovers about Rosalie’s disappearance, the more Wendy is convinced her worst nightmare has come true—Pan’s back. Her fears are confirmed when the girl suddenly reappears and Wendy realises she’s walked straight into Pan’s trap…

The Review

One of the best reads of 2021 so far! Liz Butcher has worked her magic once more, bringing a chilling retelling of the classic Peter Pan mythos and putting a series of twists and turns into the narrative to keep the reader invested heavily. The novel does an excellent job of pacing the story, slowly building a relationship between Wendy the protagonist, and the audience as the history of the Darling Family is revealed. 

The character development was some of the best work to emerge thus far this year. Wendy is a force to be reckoned with, fighting her past trauma while trying to find this young girl before it’s too late. Yet the revelation of the girl’s abductor and their ties to Wendy’s own case decades earlier make for some interesting developments. The author has managed to craft a new legacy for Pan himself, marking a dark and villainous turn that will shock and amaze readers. His connection to an ancient mythological being will add an entirely new depth to this rich story, making this something fans of fantasy and horror will not be able to put down.

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, haunting, and highly entertaining read, author Liz Butcher’s horror retelling of the fantasy classic in her novel “Never Never” makes this a must-read novel and a contender for novel of the year of 2021. A book that readers will flock to over and over again, a twist ending that leaves readers hanging off the author’s every word makes this reader eager to see if the author will tackle the narrative again in a sequel. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Liz Butcher resides in Australia, with her husband, daughter, and their two cats. She’s a self-confessed nerd with a BA in psychology and an insatiable fascination for learning. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, Liz enjoys road trips, astronomy, music and knitting.

https://www.lizbutcher.com.au/

Posted in reviews

To Kill a King (A Hollystone Mystery #4) by W.L. Hawkin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A leader and high priest of a powerful coven, Sandolino Estrada must travel to Iron Age Ireland to find and save his friend Sorcha from powerful Druids while still grieving the loss of his beloved lover in author W.L. Hawkin’s “To Kill a King”, the fourth novel in the Hollystone Mystery series.

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The Synopsis

“Sorcha’s fingers flew to the fey butterfly tattooed on the back of her neck. Sometimes the butterfly brought her joy; other times, inspiration, but always a sense of hope. And she needed all three in this moment for her heart was breaking to see her man so broken.”

Sorcha just wanted to warn Ruairí of his fate until she saw him and fell in love. How could she leave him to be ritually murdered and cast in a bog to cure for two thousand years?

Though he’s lost and grieving the loss of his lover, when Estrada realizes his friend, Sorcha, is trapped in Iron Age Ireland, he demands that Cernunnos take him and Dylan back through time to rescue her. The Horned God states the rules: you cannot change history or develop bonds with anyone. How can Sorcha, the spirited archaeologist, survive this prehistoric warrior culture? Assuming she’s fey, Ruairí’s unscrupulous rival wants her power; but worse still, Ruairí’s lover, the wicked Crow Queen, wants her dead.

Can Estrada use his Wiccan powers and skills to defeat Iron Age Druids and bring his friends home?

A spin-off of To Sleep with Stones, book four tells the story of archaeologist Sorcha O’Hallorhan’s deepest desire. Buy this romantic, time-traveling, prehistoric thriller today and find out what it takes To Kill a King.

The Review

A wonderful blend of fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and mystery, author W.L. Hawkin does a marvelous job of crafting a narrative that speaks to the reader and eloquently paces the story so that not everything is revealed at once. The author explores historical fiction as well in this narrative, taking readers into a turbulent and fascinating period of history with the Iron Age of Ireland. The setting becomes just as much a character in the narrative as anyone else, making a memorable and insightful journey for both the reader and the cast of characters.

The protagonist, Estrada, really is the heart of this tale. While readers are able to delve into the hearts and minds of characters like Sorcha and Dylan, and how they evolve and grow in this novel, it is Estrada that provides the bulk of the emotional and creative aspects of the novel and its themes. The pain of loss and the need to make amends drives Estrada through much of this novel, and his complexity and compelling nature draw the reader in immediately, marking an invigorating protagonist in this memorable series. 

The Verdict

An entertaining, genre-defying, and lengthy yet memorable read, author W.L. Hawkin’s “To Kill a King” is a fantastic spin-off and next chapter in the Hollystone Mystery series. While knowing the history and events of the past books is helpful to newcomers, it is not always necessary as the author writes in a way that speaks to new and existing fans of this heart-pounding series, and makes for a mesmerizing read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

W. L. Hawkin writes edgy urban fantasy with a twist of murder. Described as “intoxicating, lush, magically-edgy, page-turners,” her Hollystone Mysteries series features a coven of local witches who solve murders using their wits and ritual magic with a little help from the gods. Wendy is also a published blogger, book reviewer, Indie publisher, and poet, with a background in Indigenous Studies and English literature. She loves myth and magic, so when she’s not writing, she’s studying Druidry, shamanism, and mediumship. Although she is an introvert, in each book, her characters go on a journey where she has traveled herself.

https://bluehavenpress.com/

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author Kathy Martone

1.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How did you get into writing?

I am a Jungian psychologist, mostly retired.  As such, my specialties have included dream interpretation, shamanic journeys, and women’s spirituality.  I never saw myself as an author and only accidentally found my way into writing.  (However, as a young child, I used to love writing stories especially ones with fantastical themes.)  Once I picked up my author’s pen again, so to speak, I felt compelled to continue and Victorian Songlight was born.

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2.  What inspired you to write your book?

As it says on the cover of my book, Victorian Songlight is based on a true story – my story.  The story of Kate and her love affair with Grandfather, the ghost with the large golden eyes, is loosely based on my own relationship with a disembodied spirit who goes by the same name. It was a relationship that changed my entire life – just as it changed Kate’s life in the book.

3.  What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I think the most important message would be to know that we are all capable of re-imagining ourselves, of stepping into lives that are much bigger and more profound than we could ever imagine, that magic is real.  No matter what our human failings or humble beginnings, we are all spirit beings at our core and thus, we all carry within ourselves Divine Light.

4.  What drew you into this particular genre?

Having a relationship with a spirit or ghost just automatically sets the stage for fantasy.  Beyond that, I have always enjoyed an active imagination and have loved pushing the boundaries of what we call reality.  I have studied shamanism extensively as well, and this spiritual practice easily lends itself to visionary fiction.

5.  If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Well, first of all, most of the characters in my book are based on people I know personally, even though I have changed details and descriptions to hide their identity.  Having said that, I think I would want to ask Grandfather how he feels about the way I portrayed him.  Because he has been, and always will be, the singularly most significant relationship in my life, I would never want to misrepresent him, even in a work of fiction.

6.  What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Gosh, I am not sure how to answer this one.  I am not very savvy with social media and I don’t really know how to determine the extent of social media’s influence on my work.  I do post a lot on Facebook and just a little on Twitter.

7.  What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there? 

I think I would tell aspiring authors that the most important thing is to enjoy what you do.  So if you enjoy writing, you should write, regardless of whether you publish anything.  I would also say that publishing should be an act of joy, not a task. 

8.  What does the future hold in store for you?  Any new books/projects on the horizon?

About the time I published Victorian Songlight, I began another fantasy novel but had to put it down in order to complete the publication process.  And when the pandemic hit, I lost most of my motivation and interest in finishing it.  However, just lately I have picked it up again and I’m looking forward to re-engaging with the process of writing.  I continue to work on art projects as well – pictures of my velvet tapestries whose images are based on my own dreams can be seen on my artist/author Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Kathy-Martone-EdD-2166828393535523/The best way to view my art work on my FB page is to scroll down to “Photos” and then click “See All” in the top righthand corner.

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AUTHOR BIO

Dr. Kathy Martone is currently an author and artist living in a small Victorian town in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas.  She and her husband also manage two small BnB’s in their charming turn of the century village.

Before retiring in 2015, Dr. Martone was a Jungian psychologist in private practice specializing in dream work, women’s spirituality and shamanic journeys.  Prior to this, she was the director of a small mental health clinic and then she served as company psychologist for Southwestern Bell Telephone.  She taught classes at Colorado Free University, The Jungian Ministries International, Naropa University, and Iliff School of Theology.  For the past 35 years she has studied with Richmond K. Greene, past chair of the New York Jungian Institute.

The magical world of dreams has fascinated and intrigued Kathy for as long as she can remember. Inspired by a dream in 2005, she began making velvet tapestries imprinted with the image of one of her own dream figures and embellished with ribbons, rhinestones, feathers, glass beads, Swarovski crystals, antique jewelry and semi-precious stones.  As a Jungian psychologist and shamanic practitioner, energy and depth of meaning are very important to her.  So frequently she will accent the tapestries with symbolic objects, such as old pieces of jewelry, the lining from a purse that belonged to her grandmother, or a piece of ribbon she wore as a little girl.  Layering these materials into a meaningful image evokes for her the multi-layered realms of dreams, myth and metaphor.  Like the magical nets of ancient shamans, these colorful tapestries ensnare the features of her dream spirits as they stare back at her from their watery dimensions.  Her work has been displayed in galleries in Denver, Colorado  as well as in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

In 2006 Dr. Martone self published her first book titled, Sacred Wounds: A Love Story.  The book chronicles the author’s relentless quest for self understanding and provides a blueprint for other seekers who are looking for spiritual enlightenment while grappling with painful life experiences.  Written in easy to understand language, the book explains how various spiritual and psychological practices were brought together in an alchemical blend to produce a potion of timeless healing.  Weaving its way through such healing practices as psychotherapy, shamanism, Buddhism, Jungian thought and dream work, the reader is given a clear map for psychological and spiritual change.

http://www.dreamagik.com/

https://a.co/2JRuJI2

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/victorian-songlight-kathy-martone-phd/1134222514;jsessionid=55ACE2AF79811832054FE012FFDB1A27.prodny_store01-atgap14?ean=9781947381162

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51054900-victorian-songlight

Posted in reviews

Go the Distance (A Twisted Tale: Hercules) by Jen Calonita Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

After Hercules defeated Hades and saved Mt. Olympus, he was welcomed back as a god. Yet when his immortality threatens to keep him away from his true love, Meg must navigate a treacherous road of untold dangers in a quest to gain immortality herself in author Jen Calonita’s “Go the Distance”, the next entry in the “A Twisted Tale” series.

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The Synopsis

What if Meg had to become a god?

After Hercules proves he’s a true hero and regains his godship, all seems right in the world. That is, until Zeus tells Meg that she can’t be with Hercules because she’s, well, mortal. Luckily, Hera has a solution, offering Meg a chance to prove herself worthy of a spot on Mt. Olympus–as a god. All Meg has to do is complete a mysterious quest.

The mission? Oh, just to rescue her ex’s current wife from the Underworld. The ex-boyfriend she saved by selling her soul to Hades. The ex-boyfriend who immediately moved on to someone else while she was stuck in the Underworld. Can Meg put her past behind her and use her quick-wit to defeat monsters and gods alike, including the nefarious Hades? Will she finally figure out her place and contribution to the world? Or will her fear of commitment have her running away from an eternity of godhood with Herc?

Written by the author of Mirror, Mirror and Conceal, Don’t Feel, Jen Calonita’s latest twist is sure to delight and surprise.

The Review

Thank you to Disney-Hyperion for this arc, because wow this was an incredible journey. As both a major Disney fan and fan of Greek Mythology, this book was the perfect blend of them both. Getting to explore a scenario where Meg and Herc had to fight for their happy ending together was great to see unfold.

Immediately the author delves even deeper into Greek Mythology than the Disney film had done originally, exploring a variety of new monsters and even various new locations that longtime enthusiasts of the mythology will be well aware of. Readers even get a chance to better explore the realm of the gods, as the narrative introduces the gods to Meg along her journey.

However, it is Meg who takes center stage and makes this story shine. The author brilliantly explores Meg as a character and explores why Meg became involved with Hades in the first place. From the tragic past with her mother to the shocking untold truths behind the boyfriend who betrayed her and the near-impossible journey to open up her heart to Hercules and those around her, Meg’s character evolution is the most gripping and engaging aspect of this novel, and expertly adds a new and much-needed chapter to the story began in the film.

The Verdict

A masterful, entertaining, and epic story, author Jen Calonita’s “Go the Distance” is a must-read YA Fantasy and Romance tale. The book is evenly-paced and perfectly captures the magic of the Disney film with the darker side of Greek Mythology and all of the amazing levels to that complex part of history. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I’m Jen Calonita, a MG and YA author who loves what I do because it lets me connect with all of you (and no, I wasn’t intending for that to rhyme!).

I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, but it was fourth grade when I put my “three wishes” for a genie down on paper. They were:

#1. Buy all the Cabbage Patch Kids in the world and give them away for free (because apparently that was how I rolled).

#2. I wanted a mansion, limo, lake house, pool and speed boat (still sounds quite nice).

#3. I wanted to be an author for young readers, which I am!

I love writing novels for teens (and for savvy grown ups who know that YA rocks at any age). My first series was “Secrets of My Hollywood Life” and it followed a teen star named Kaitlin Burke who struggled with the fame game. I have also written the stand-alone novels Sleepaway Girls, it’s companion book, Summer State of Mind and the Belles series.

I’ve been writing middle grade too and am having so much fun with my series Fairy Tale Reform School! The fourth book in this series about a school run by former villains is called Tricked and will be out March 2018. Ever wonder what it would be like if your parents got a job with someone like Taylor Swift? My other middle grade series, VIP, follows super fan Mackenzie Lowell as she tours with her favorite band, Perfect Storm.

I promise to give book updates here, and on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or my website. I hope I hear from you!

xo

Jen

http://www.jencalonitaonline.com/

Posted in reviews

This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman desperate to find her lost brother awakens a long thought lost automaton, and with him the secrets of a powerful country in author Emily Victoria’s YA Fantasy, “This Golden Flame”. 

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The Synopsis

An Ember in the Ashes meets Mask of Shadows in Emily Victoria’s #ownvoices debut YA fantasy, This Golden Flame, in which asexual Karis, a servant to the mysterious Scriptorium, accidentally awakens long-dormant automaton Alix, initiating an epic adventure full of magic, rebellion, and finding where you truly belong.

Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.

In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible?she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father?their nation’s greatest traitor?once tried to destroy the automatons.

Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries.

The Review

What a brilliant fusion of sci-fi and fantasy within the YA genre. The world-building that the author has done here allows readers to witness a world where they can seamlessly see where magical runes and magic itself end and technology and advanced science begin. The fictional setting that the characters find themselves in harkens back to a similar time as Ancient Greece, adapting many of that era’s way of life and the pursuit of knowledge while at the same time observing ancient customs and beliefs. 

The thing that stood out the most for me as a reader was the amazing character development the author brought forth to this read. The protagonists in this story, Alix and Karis, are both fantastic as readers get to see from both perspectives. However, Karis was an especially inspired choice for the protagonist, as her status as one of the heroes of this tale not only gives representation to the asexual community within the larger LGBTQ+ community but inspires young asexual people to embrace their identity no matter what. This is an extremely important territory the author has entered, and it adds to more representation within the YA genre. 

The Verdict

A stunning, engaging, and breathtaking world of magic and wonder, author Emily Victoria’s “This Golden Flame” is a must-read YA sci-fi and fantasy read. The author brilliantly brings an important LGBTQ+ character to the narrative and creates a fascinating world of science and magic that astounds the reader and creates a world that is brimming with possibilities but haunted by corruption. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Portraits

Emily Victoria lives on the Canadian prairies with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, works at her public library, and has just finished her Masters of Library and Information Studies.

BUY LINKS:

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/this-golden-flame/9781335080271 

Powell’s: https://www.powells.com/

book/-9781335080271 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/this-golden-flame-emily-victoria/1134633347 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335080271

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/This-Golden-Flame-Emily-Victoria-ebook/dp/B07ZXCWTYF/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1603379509&sr=8-1 

Chapters: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/this-golden-flame/9781335080271-item.html?ikwid=this+golden+flame&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=3

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/this-golden-flame

https://www.instagram.com/avictoriantale/

https://www.avictoriantale.com/

Posted in Blog Tours, Book Events, reviews

Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay (Narrated by Caroline Holmes) Audiobook Tour and Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A now 15-year old Alice finds herself desperate to escape an asylum her tales of Wonderland landed her in, but upon deciding against an experimental experiment at the last minute, Alice escapes back into Wonderland, only to land in the court of the Queen of Hearts in author H.J. Ramsay’s “Ever Alice”. 

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The Synopsis

Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows – it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure. When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one mad house for another: The court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen. When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block.

The Review

A fantastic deep dive into the aftermath of author Lewis Carrols classic tale, Ever Alice does an amazing job of standing on its own feet while still paying tribute to such an iconic story. The narrator brought a sense of classic English literature to the retelling of this novel, capturing the elegance and grace that the themes of royalty and the setting of the 1800s in her delivery. 

The thing that really stood out to me while reading this book was the way the author mirrored real-life tales of royalty and betrayal. The spiraling nature of the Queen of Hearts and her capturing of the Queen of Spades reminded me of Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I, which as a history buff was a great addition to the fantasy element of the narrative. The way the author delves into both Alice and the Queen of Hearts stories was interesting to see, the complexity of their journeys layered perfectly.

The Verdict

A fascinating, entertaining and engaging journey through Wonderland, author H.J. Ramsay’s “Ever Alice” is a fantastic audiobook. The story is magical and the characters both old and new highly complex and thrilling in their depictions. The surprise ending has me as a reader hooked on this particular fantasy world, and everyone should check out this book for themselves. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: H.J. Ramsay

Narrator: Caroline Holmes

Length: 11 hours 2 minutes

Publisher: Red Rogue Press

Released: January 19, 2021

Genre: Fantasy; YA

Continue reading “Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay (Narrated by Caroline Holmes) Audiobook Tour and Review”
Posted in reviews

Victorian Songlight: The Birthings of Magic & Mystery by Kathy Martone Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young woman goes on a journey of enlightenment as a legend of the Ozarks known as Grandfather emerges to fulfill a destiny for the woman that dates back to her birth in author Kathy Martone’s “Victorian Songlight: The Birthings of Magic & Mystery”. 

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The Synopsis

The birth of a magical child at the time of the Devil Moon sets the stage for heartache and misery, magic and supernatural love. Beset by unrelenting obstacles and bestowed with remarkable psychic gifts, Kate is often accompanied by fantastical black ravens who carry her through time and space. A well known legend in the Ozark Mountain countryside where Kate lives, Grandfather is a ghost with large golden eyes who frequently rides on the back of Pegasus, another Ozarkian legend. Victorian Songlight is a tale of redemption and renewal, death and rebirth, triumph over darkness. But most importantly, it is a love story. Alone and utterly forsaken, adrift on treacherous waters, Kate meets Grandfather for the second time in her life and they become lovers fulfilling a prophecy at the moment of her birth.

The Review

What a powerful and insightful read. The author’s ability to weave in New Age spirituality and practices into the characters and the main plot overall was great to see as someone with a fascination with this subject, as well as the “real world” magic that often goes unnoticed by humanity. The more fantastic elements do a great job of bringing the fantasy genre to life in this tale, while the author’s writing adds an element of powerful imagery that brings the scenes to life with ease. 

The highlight of the novel however is the protagonist and the themes explored through her journey. Kate must deal with a family history that speaks of tragic events that she had to endure as a child, and the fantasy journey she undergoes seems to be a mental and emotional journey as well to understand the trauma she endured. It is a powerful motivator for her character arc and an emotional side to Kate’s story that readers will instantly feel for. 

The Verdict

A powerful, engaging and thought-provoking fantasy read, author Kathy Martone’s “Victorian Songlight” is a must-read novel. The author expertly crafts a narrative that is both heartbreaking and therapeutic at once and handles the more triggering subjects in this narrative with grace. The reader will instantly be hooked by the author’s writing, so be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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http://www.dreamagik.com/

https://www.facebook.com/KateBlackRaven/

Goodreads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51054900-victorian-songlight

Barnes & Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/victorian-songlight-kathy-martone-phd/1134222514;jsessionid=55ACE2AF79811832054FE012FFDB1A27.prodny_store01-atgap14?ean=9781947381162

Posted in reviews

Juniper Forest by Rory Elliot Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two young women find themselves on the adventure of a lifetime as they land in a new and uncharted world in author Rory Elliot’s “Juniper Forest”.

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The Synopsis

Best friend Melody convinces Isobelle to leave her reality to embark upon the most unusual and inconvenient journey of her life. From getting drunk with an unknown tribe to being captured by moronic creatures, Melody and Isobelle face all that Juniper Forest has to offer as they pursue their desperate mission to find their way back to normalcy.

The Review

This was a fun and engaging short story. The author brilliantly dives into the New Adult Fantasy genre, and creates an excellent balance of world building and character growth within a short read. The relationship between Isobelle and Melody instantly stands out for the reader, while the fantasy element takes readers into a rich and entertaining world of magic and wonder. 

The amount of intrigue and suspense the author is able to incorporate into the narrative really stands out. From early on the reader is treated to fantastic characters that both delight and frighten the protagonists, and the narrative overall is richly layered, creating a powerful read that readers can instantly devour within one sitting.

The Verdict

A must-read short story, author Rory Elliot’s “Juniper Forest” is a brilliant world within the fantasy genre. Fast-paced and entertaining throughout, the story does a great job of incorporating a lot of mythology and fantasy creatures into the narrative, making this a marvelous journey for fans of the genre. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Writing stories is something I do to escape for a bit. It is so unbelievably fun to write, I’ve spent hours engulfed by the possibilities of where the story could lead and the experiences my characters could have during their adventure. Juniper Forest is inspired by all of the stories and comical figures that I’ve personally enjoyed.

To those that have shown support for the books, I’d like to say a huge thank you!

Official Website

Goodreads

Amazon

Youtube

Posted in reviews

James Clyde and the Tomb of Salvation (James Clyde, #2) by Colm McElwain Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Three young children must continue a journey of ancient prophecies, faraway lands and dangerous enemies in author Colm McElwain’s “James Clyde and the Tomb of Salvation”, the second in the James Clyde series. 

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The Synopsis

Picking up shortly after the events of the first adventure, James Clyde returns with his best friends Ben and Mary Forester to his grandfather’s house in search of a map that will lead them to the Tomb of Salvation – an ancient shrine, where the three diamonds of Orchestra must be returned with the promise of immortality.

James and his company of adventurers journey through treacherous lands fraught with danger and meet many obstacles along the way – dangerous assassins on board a train, the dastardly Gilbert, also known as the ‘man in black’, and even an unlikely encounter with a fabled lake monster.

If they reach the Tomb of Salvation, James knows they will then face their greatest threat, for the tomb is said to be home to a terrifying demon – an entity that has shown no mercy to anyone who has ever entered its lair.

The second novel in the James Clyde series will lead you on an action-packed adventure full of mystery, suspense, danger, hope – and, yes, salvation.

The Review

While notably a newcomer to this series, I found myself thoroughly entertained and invested in this story from the first page. In a complex fantasy world, the author does a fantastic job of crafting layered and addicting mythology for fans of the genre to gravitate towards.

The author has an excellent balance hereof world-building and character growth, each one complimenting the other to create an engaging story. The friendship between James, Ben, and Mary is a heartwarming one, and the overall message of the novel of love winning out over fear and hatred was inspiring to see incorporated into such a rich mythos. I even had moments of connection with some of the newer character’s backgrounds, such as Professor Shaw and his paranormal researcher status, something I myself have become invested in. 

The Verdict

Overall, this was a powerful story. Engaging, entertaining, and magical in its approach, author Colm McElwain’s “James Clyde and the Tomb of Salvation” is a powerful modern YA-level fantasy novel. Action-packed, full of mystery, and an overall whirlwind tale, this is one book you won’t want to miss, so be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Colm was raised and educated in Monaghan, Ireland. He is a Physical Education and Business teacher and likes reading books, watching films and playing sport. He has always loved storytelling, whether through literature or film. James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra is his first novel and brings a very fulfilling creative experience spanning a number of years to an end.