Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Spotlight & #Giveaway - The Deepest Well (Age of Gray #1) by Juliette Cross!

 





The Deepest Well
Age of Gray, Book 1
Juliette Cross

Genre: historical paranormal romance

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Date of Publication: Feb. 2, 2016

ASIN: B016XTOQIS

Word Count: 85K

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Tagline: Love can stand the test of time. Can it rise above the taint of Hell?

Book Description:

Lady Katherine Blakely is married to a monster. On the same night she witnesses how low her husband can sink, she meets a charming stranger, a gentleman from top to toe. Yet even her gallant rescuer is possessed of a dark side.

Lord George Draconis Thornton, commander of the Dominus Daemonum, is on a mission to expel the demon prince Damas back to the underworld. But a golden-haired beauty derails his plans and stirs an attraction he’s never felt before, not even for his centuries-dead wife.

Discovering Lord Blakely is in league with Damas, George sweeps Katherine away from the chaos and devilry threatening her life. With every touch, their love grows by joyful leaps and bounds.

Sensing his enemy’s vulnerability, Damas kidnaps Katherine to his hellish lair, where he wages a sensual assault on her defenses. As George tears at heaven and earth to find her, he is painfully aware of only one way to save her soul. The cost will break her heart…and destroy his own.

Warning: Contains wolves in gentlemen’s clothing, a precipitous descent into Hell, and a frightening glimpse of a post-apocalyptic world where angels and demons wage war for dominion on earth.


Excerpt:

How do you know about the world of demons, George? How did you move as they did? I thought I had fainted by the pond and awakened beside the barn, but I didn’t, did I?”

Had she imagined being transported from the horses to the barn in a long blink?

No, you didn’t faint. It’s called sifting. A power of the angels, to move from place to place at will.”

But they weren’t angels.”

They were once.”

Fallen angels. Could this be possible? What did that make the man standing before her? He inhaled a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Perhaps I should define the two realms for you.”

That would be lovely.”

His mouth quirked at her sarcasm, though he chose not to comment. “There is the Flamma of Light and the Flamma of Dark.”

Flamma?”

Fire, in Latin, which is the common tongue between the heavenly and demonic hosts.”

She pulled her hand from his and stood, staring into the flames. “Why fire?”

He joined her and removed his wet coat. “I asked the same question once.” He winced as he peeled the coat off his right arm. A pool of red had soaked through his undershirt.

Oh God, your arm, George. You’re bleeding.”

It’s nothing.”

It’s not nothing.”

Just as he had unbuttoned her jacket, she swiftly unfastened his waistcoat, then his shirt and peeled them off him. Steering her gaze away from his finely sculpted chest and broad shoulders, she examined the cut more closely. She bent over and, with a quick rip, tore a long strip from her shift.

You needn’t do that, Katherine.”

Be still and let me mend you as best I can.”

He held his arm straight so that she could wrap the fabric around his arm.

Why fire?” she asked again, busying herself with the makeshift bandage.

Flamma are all touched by fire, an otherworldly power given to each of us.”

She remembered the way he moved, the way the demons moved, with supernatural speed and agility. A drop of rain dripped from his tousled hair, landing on his shoulder before rolling forward. She followed its path as it slid down and over his pectoral. Trying to regain her composure, she inhaled a deep breath, which was a mistake. She breathed in the heady scent of rain and beautiful man, her agitation amplified by his proximity and the undeniable power surging through his body. She longed to touch him, to know what all that strength would feel like under her fingertips, but she was paralyzed by her own desire and wavered on a dangerous precipice. When she’d cinched the bandage into a neat knot and finally chanced a glance at him, his smile nearly buckled her knees.

There,” she whispered. “That will stop the bleeding.”

I’m not so sure.”

What do you mean?”

His shoulders went rigid as if he were holding himself in tight control. Katherine knew his thoughts had wandered away from the wound in his arm. She asked again, “What do you mean, George?”

His eyes slid closed. “I love to hear my name on your lips.” He opened his eyes again, his jaw set in grave lines. “What I mean, my lady, is that I am bleeding inwardly, and I know of only one way to stop it.”

Katherine was well aware of the tension filling the room, of the rise of her heart rate, of the longing in his gaze, which surely matched her own. She realized she was tumbling over that cliff. And she didn’t care, quite content to drown in his aquamarine gaze.

How can I stop it, George? Tell me.”

I’d rather show you.”



Juliette is a multi-published author of paranormal and urban fantasy romance. She calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home, where the landscape curls into her imagination, creating mystical settings for her stories. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance--brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. Even then, she not only longed to read more books set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own. 




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Monday, February 1, 2016

[Coffee Shop Talks] Which Fantasy Novels Would Make Binge-Worthy Netflix Series?

 

 


I'm sure I could make a list of 10 or 15 fantasy series that I would love to see as TV adaptations, but there is one in particular that I think would be amazing and that's C.L. Wilson's Tairen Soul series. The romance between Elly and the Fey king, the giant Tairen beasts, the intense battles, and the threat of the High Mage of Eld would make an addicting, binge-worthy Netflix series. 



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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review: Nova (Nova #1) by Margaret Fortune



Release date: June 2, 2015
Published by: DAW
Source: Provided by publisher
Author links: Twitter | Site


Lia Johansen was created for only one purpose: to slip onto the strategically placed New Sol Space Station and explode. But her mission goes to hell when her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown with just two minutes to go. With no Plan B, no memories of her past, and no identity besides a name stolen from a dead POW, Lia has no idea what to do next. Her life gets even more complicated when she meets Michael Sorenson, the real Lia’s childhood best friend.
Drawn to Michael and his family against her better judgment, Lia starts learning what it means to live and love, and to be human. It is only when her countdown clock begins sporadically losing time that she realizes even duds can still blow up. If she wants any chance at a future, she must find a way to unlock the secrets of her past and stop her clock. But as Lia digs into her origins, she begins to suspect there’s far more to her mission and to this war, than meets the eye. With the fate of not just a space station but an entire empire hanging in the balance, Lia races to find the truth before her time—literally—runs out.




Wow! The last half of this story was fantastic! It's just too bad the first half was so incredibly boring. There were several times that I considered giving up, but I'm really glad I stuck with it and I'm even excited about reading the sequel.

As Nova begins, we're introduced to Lia, a human bomb who has arrived at New Sol Space Station with the purpose of destroying it. She has no memory of who she is, how she got there, or what she accomplishes by exploding inside of a station filled with hundreds of people.

While I love a good mystery, I also like a little action to go along with the story and Nova just didn't deliver. Lia is living life on New Sol, spending time with a boy named Michael, and occasionally having nightmares or memories that answer very few questions about her life or mission. It was all very dull and I just kept waiting for something ...anything... exciting to happen.

The romance isn't really worth writing about. Michael is just a boy who likes a girl. Nothing special going on there. But that's okay with me because I wasn't in this for the romance. I was intrigued by the girl who was a prisoner of war and a genetically engineered bomb and was far less interested in the girl who was developing a crush on the kid who was her childhood friend.

I was roughly 200 pages in before Nova really picked up the pace and became the book that I had been hoping for. The mystery begins to unravel, the world becomes more interesting, and the story finally gets exciting. It all wraps up in a sad, but fascinating, ending that had me immediately checking for information on book 2.

If you're in to young adult sci-fi stories and don't mind a novel with very little action, then I would recommend giving this a try.




Monday, January 25, 2016

[Coffee Shop Talks] What's On Your February Reading List?



My reading list for February is light. There are only 4 books that I plan on reading and I've actually started on one already because I received an early copy from the publisher. As soon as I'm finished, I'm catching up on the Charley Davidson series. This is the first time I haven't read any book in this series as soon as it was released. I need my Charley & Reyes fix! 


Series: Charley Davidson Series, Book 9
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 
Publication Date: January 12, 2016


Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 
Publication Date: February 2, 2016


Devolution #1: Digital Exclusive Edition
Digital Release Date: January 20 2016
2015 Dynamite Characters,llc. 


Series: Rowankind, Book 1
Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: DAW 
Publication Date: February 2, 2016



Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: Kushiel's Dart (Kushiel's Legacy #1) by Jaqueline Carey


Release Date: March 15, 2002 
Published by: Tor Books 
Pages: 912
Source: Purchased at Amazon 
Author Links: Site | FB | Twitter
A nation born of angels, vast and intricate and surrounded by danger... a woman born to servitude, unknowingly given access to the secrets of the realm...
Born with a scarlet mote in her left eye, Phédre nó Delaunay is sold into indentured servitude as a child. When her bond is purchased by an enigmatic nobleman, she is trained in history, theology, politics, foreign languages, the arts of pleasure. And above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Exquisite courtesan, talented spy... and unlikely heroine. But when Phédre stumbles upon a plot that threatens her homeland, Terre d'Ange, she has no choice.
Betrayed into captivity in the barbarous northland of Skaldia and accompanied only by a disdainful young warrior-priest, Phédre makes a harrowing escape and an even more harrowing journey to return to her people and deliver a warning of the impending invasion. And that proves only the first step in a quest that will take her to the edge of despair and beyond.
Phédre nó Delaunay is the woman who holds the keys to her realm's deadly secrets, and whose courage will decide the very future of her world.
Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel's Dart-a massive tale about the violent death of an old age and the birth of a new. It is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. A world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, deposed rulers and a besieged Queen, a warrior-priest, the Prince of Travelers, barbarian warlords, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess... all seen through the unflinching eyes of an unforgettable heroine.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/528997.Kushiel_s_Dart

 


Kushiel's Dart was too lengthy. The politics were often difficult to follow. There were too many characters to keep up with and I struggled with the pronunciation of their names and various locations. Despite this novel's numerous flaws, I loved it. And I'm not sure I can explain why...but I'll try.

Phédre isn't the female lead that I'm used to. She's a spy, of sorts, but her strength lies in seduction. She gains information and an advantage over others by using sex. But it's not just any type of sex that her targets find appealing. Phédre's sexual pleasure comes from pain and there are many patrons who pay handsomely just to be able to inflict it upon her. Initially, this concept made her seem like a weak character to me. She was always the submissive and allowed others to hurt and humiliate her. But the more I got to know her and was able to see how this worked in her favor, the more I liked her. I'll admit to being fascinated by her sexual encounters and was curious as to what each patron would request of her. It was often very entertaining and I was a little disappointed as the story progressed and these scenes became less and less frequent.

I also enjoyed several of the secondary characters. Both the good and the bad. I did find myself unimpressed with
Phédre's love interest. I understood his dedication to his sworn oaths, but his reactions were a bit over the top at times and he often came across as weak and a bit whiny.

The fantasy elements of Kushiel's Dart are surprisingly subtle. The story focuses more on the political maneuvering, plotting, and backstabbing. It all builds toward a war that wraps up quickly near the end and delivers a happily ever after for
Phédre nó Delaunay. I do realize that this is one book in a series, but this easily could have been a standalone and I would have been just as pleased.

I can't exactly say who I would recommend this to. I was captivated by
Phédre's story, but I also understand the many negative reviews I have read. It's not an easy story to follow and it seems unnecessarily lengthy. I don't mind admitting that I did quite a bit of skimming. Although I've failed to properly explain why, I feel it's entirely deserving of 4 stars and I'm glad I took a chance on it. If you've had this on your TBR list for ages, like I have, I would encourage you to give it a try.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Spotlight & #Giveaway - City of Light by Keri Arthur!


 The first in an all-new futuristic fantasy series from Keri Arthur—the New York Times bestselling author of the Souls of Fire novels.

When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between this world and the next, they allowed entry to the Others—demons, wraiths, and death spirits who turned the shadows into their hunting grounds. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay....

As a déchet—a breed of humanoid super-soldiers almost eradicated by the war—Tiger has spent her life in hiding. But when she risks her life to save a little girl on the outskirts of Central City, she discovers that the child is one of many abducted in broad daylight by a wraith-like being—an impossibility with dangerous implications for everyone on earth.

Because if the light is no longer enough to protect them, nowhere is safe...





 Keri Arthur, author of the New York Times bestselling Riley Jenson Guardian series, has now written more than thirty-three novels. She’s received several nominations in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards and has won RT’s Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy. She lives with her daughter in Melbourne, Australia.



 

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Monday, January 11, 2016

[Coffee Shop Talks] What's Your Reading Goal?


I failed miserably at my 2015 reading goal. This was mostly to blame on my lack of listening time. I normally listen to one or two audio books a month in addition to reading, but life was hectic and I just didn't have the time. So I've set this year's goal at 55 books and I hope to exceed it. What's your goal this year?