Monthly Archives: July 2018

Book Review: ‘Spellcaster’ by George Bachman

Title: Spellcaster

Published: 3rd April 2017

Publisher: Sublime Ltd

Author: George Bachman

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialBachman

Twitter: @OfficialBachman

 

Synopsis:

In a turn-of-the century England steeped in steampunk and magic, Christine learns her life-threatening illness stems from her paranormal visions. During the London Season, Allie, her beloved sister and the family heir, seeks a noble match while she searches the occult underground for answers. But the only witch who can help will not do so unless Allie marries her beau, an impoverished aristocrat, so that the illicit pair can share Allie’s wealth.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book involving time travel. Well in a way it does as you have reincarnated souls needing to travel back to their past lives to finish a quest they were on to stop a great evil.

Christine has always felt different, mainly with the things she can do – a witch’s craft growing perhaps? Right from the start she feels the need to search for two people – Rodham and Valerie – though she doesn’t really know why, just that she needs to. She keeps calling on different spirits to help her quest, each stronger than the last, to try to find them. Seems in a way she is also connected to someone Rodham knows. Spirits reincarnates perhaps? So whom have they really gone into? Seems this is where Sir Thomas comes into play – her past life. Seems these past lives have merged with the present ones and might even be able to manipulate them into doing things to help their cause – no matter the trouble it causes.

She also seems to get weird feelings about certain people or situations but doesn’t really know what to do about them when they come about. Could this really be her or is it more to do with Sir Thomas? In his time magic is around more openly and this could be what she is drawing her feelings from. Could bad feelings be because the people she meets have past souls she, or more precisely Sir Thomas, knew.

One of the things that might be more her past self’s doing than her own is helping Lord Serton woo her close friend Allie. The reason isn’t for true love but more to do with what Lady Kinloss can gain and help her with if the match is set. From this moment on Christine has almost been charged with seeing all those close to her wed by her friends and Allie’s sisters. A job she may wish she never agreed to help with. Might get a lot of matches but are they happy ones? Allie’s it seems might not be. Whether she can find a way out of it though only time will tell.

This is where the story becomes a two in one, with reincarnation playing a part and time going forward and back. I found at times though that I was never quite sure whose head I was in. So it might have benefited with names at the top of chapters so you could understand quicker whether you were inside Christine’s head or Sir Thomas’s. The story shifts to focus more on Sir Thomas near the end than Christine. She was almost a means to an end to get him back to where it all started so he could defeat a great evil.

The great evil to be defeated in the past before the future is lost is Hane, a Spellcaster who seems to be ruling by an evil hand. His actions saw a turn of events lead those around into a darker future. His followers seem to have gone into their future selves to try to stop Sir Thomas – aka Christine – and Rodham – aka Edmund – from getting the key back to their time along with an urn. Both needed in taking the spellcaster and his followers down. Once the master fails his kingdom soon crumbles. Let’s see if our time travelling souls can get the job done.

I found this book a bit hard to get into to begin with. Mainly due to the amount of characters being introduced that surrounded Christine. Just when you think the story is going one way it changes course. Now this is actually where the story picked up a bit better. When you go back to the past lives and see how they fair in their quest. Can they save the day to take down an evil ruler? Only time will tell. I feel it could have been split into two books with the first half being closed off a bit better when the stories focus shifts. One had closure but the other is left open. Seems once a mind has merged it’s hard to break completely as they are still plague by what they had to do to get the job done.

3 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Release Tour: Inclined to Scandal’ by Zoë Mullins

INCLINED TO SCANDAL

by Zoë Mullins

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Author Interview: ‘The Unity Game’ and ‘The Woman Behind the Waterfall’ by Leonora Meriel

 

“The Unity Game” is science fiction with philosophy

About the Book:

WHAT IF THE EARTH YOU KNEW WAS JUST THE BEGINNING?

A New York banker is descending into madness.

A being from an advanced civilization is racing to stay alive.

A dead man must unlock the secrets of an unknown dimension to save his loved ones.

From the visions of Socrates in ancient Athens, to the birth of free will aboard a spaceship headed to Earth, The Unity Game tells a story of hope and redemption in a universe more ingenious and surprising than you ever thought possible.

Metaphysical thriller and interstellar mystery, this is a ‘complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel’ from an exciting and original new voice in fiction.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Reviews for The Unity Game

“A complex, ambitious and thought-provoking novel.” ~~ Kirkus Reviews

“Elegantly written, expertly crafted and a moving message. I found this book very hard to put down. Moving and poignant.” ~~ Lilly, Amazon US reviewer

“An engrossing, unique, and totally bizarre tale! I could not stop reading it once I started. Such a beautiful take on the afterlife, and its connection to those still living. A unity game, indeed!”~~ Brenna, Goodreads reviewer

 

☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•

 

“The Woman Behind the Waterfall” is literary fiction and magical realism

About the Book:

Heartbreak and transformation in the beauty of a Ukrainian village.

For seven-year old Angela, happiness is exploring the lush countryside around her home in western Ukraine. Her wild imagination takes her into birds and flowers, and into the waters of the river.

All that changes when, one morning, she sees her mother crying. As she tries to find out why, she is drawn on an extraordinary journey into the secrets of her family, and her mother’s fateful choices.

Can Angela lead her mother back to happiness before her innocence is destroyed by the shadows of a dark past?

Beautiful, poetic and richly sensory, this is a tale that will haunt and lift its readers.

 

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Reviews for The Woman Behind the Waterfall

“Readers looking for a classic tale of love and loss will be rewarded with an intoxicating world” ~~ Kirkus Reviews

“The language is lyrical and poetic and, in places, begs to be read repeatedly for the sheer joy of it… A literary work of art.” ~~ Fiona Adams, The Richmond Magazine

“Rich and poetic in detail, it is an often dreamy, oneiric narrative rooted in an exaltation of nature… A lovely novel.” ~~ IndieReader

 

☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•.☆.•°*°•

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’m the author of two novels: The Woman Behind the Waterfall, which is magical realism and The Unity Game, which is speculative science fiction. I am originally from London but I have spent most of my life living abroad, in New York, Barcelona, Kyiv and other cities. I studied literature, but spent several years working on Wall Street and then founding and running my own business before I decided to write full time. Now, writing is my top priority.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

The time is always the morning – as early as possible, but the place can vary. If there is no one at home, then I write in my office or living room. However, if there are people wandering around, I’ll have to go out to a café. I’ll always choose a corner seat where I can observe the room, and one with loud enough music so I can’t hear other peoples’ conversations.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I have a very creative mind and I am almost always turning several ideas round in my imagination at one time. I suppose it comes from being utterly fascinated with everything – with the planet Earth that we live on, with the mysteries of everything we don’t yet know, with the universe around us. I love to discover and delve into new areas. There are so many extraordinary things happening in the world at any one time, and so many stories to be told that should be known about. As a writer, it’s amazing to have the power to combine ideas and stories and “what if” scenarios endlessly in books. So, I’d say the ideas come from a combination of my insatiable curiosity, my vast fascination with everything around us, and a creative mind that likes to play with pieces of information and arrange them in interesting patterns.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I start off with many different ideas in my head, and I simply try writing about all of them. Some story threads fizzle out after a few thousand words and I understand that I didn’t have a very deep interest in the themes behind them. Others expand until a novel starts coming into shape. I often then integrate the smaller ideas as themes into the larger works. A novel has to have a question or a theme so burning, that it will carry you through up to five or even ten years of your life, and thousands of words.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

When I started writing my novels I had no preconceptions of genre. I set out with passions and ideas and let the books emerge from these. It was only when reviews started referring to my work as “Magical Realism” that I accepted this for my first novel; with my second novel there were extraplanetary elements, so it clearly touched on Science Fiction. With the hindsight of two novels, I now understand that I write literary fiction and speculative fiction, however I would never like to set out with a fixed idea of what my novel will be. It’s a journey and an adventure to create and I would not limit this in any way.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

David, the main character of The Unity Game, is an intense and driven New York investment banker, whose world starts slipping away when he has some alien experiences. Christian Bale would be perfect for this, as he self-destructs so brilliantly. There is also an ethereal, non-sexual, highly evolved alien that Cate Blanchett would suit perfectly. She is mesmerisingly beautiful so the lack of action wouldn’t be a problem. The third character is an after-life guide for my London barrister who dies in the first scene, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather show me around the after-life than Tom Hanks.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read as much as I possibly can – probably a book a week on average. I love literary fiction the most, but I’ve started to read more science fiction as well, and I try to keep a balance of at least one non-fiction book per ten fictions. Authors I love start from literary classics such as Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, to current writers such as David Mitchell and Michael Cunningham and Eleanor Catton. I particularly love surrealism and great writing that heads in a strange direction, such as Haruki Murakami and Aimee Bender.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’m coming to the end of American Rust by Philipp Meyer. It’s his debut and it’s absolutely phenomenal writing – huge and beautiful and devastating. I love reading debuts of talented writers because I know just how much they put into a debut – all of their dreams and ideas and passion. It’s also exciting to see the beginning of a writer’s career and imagine where they might go from there.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

That’s a really difficult question! I would have to choose 3 that I return to again and again. The first is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Its themes and language and beauty haunt me. The second is Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. When Michael Cunningham published his personal interpretation of this in The Hours, which also became a favourite. For my third, I would choose Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore as it constantly inspires me to be bold in my ideas, expression of motivations and language. It reminds me that in writing, everything is possible.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

You must take yourself as seriously as possible if you want to write professionally. If you are a short story writer, then set aside an hour each day to write those short stories. If you dream about a novel, then set aside an hour for the novel – more if you can. Take a writing course; subscribe to a writing magazine; enter competitions. There are infinite ways to become a successful writer, but they all involve hours and hours at a desk – writing.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

I am very accessible to readers. I am happy to have direct e-mails at leonora@leonorameriel.com or alternatively I am on Facebook – www.facebook.com/leonoramerielwriter and also Twitter – @leonora_meriel and my website is www.leonorameriel.com. I have a lot of readers contacting me and it is one of the best things about being a writer – after years of creating something in solitude, suddenly you can talk with people who have read and loved your work. It’s very special.

Direct links:

Website: www.leonorameriel.com

Blog: www.leonorameriel.com/blog

Facebook: www.facebook.com/leonoramerielwriter

Twitter: @leonora_meriel

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/15852447.Leonora_Meriel

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Leonora-Meriel/e/B01LYU9KTO

 

About the Author:

Leonora Meriel grew up in London and studied literature at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Queen’s University in Canada. She worked at the United Nations in New York, and then for a multinational law firm.

In 2003 she moved from New York to Kyiv, where she founded and managed Ukraine’s largest Internet company. She studied at Kyiv Mohyla Business School and earned an MBA, which included a study trip around China and Taiwan, and climbing to the top of Hoverla, Ukraine’s highest peak and part of the Carpathian Mountains. She also served as President of the International Women’s Club of Kyiv, a major local charity.

During her years in Ukraine, she learned to speak Ukrainian and Russian, witnessed two revolutions and got to know an extraordinary country at a key period of its development.

In 2008, she decided to return to her dream of being a writer, and to dedicate her career to literature. In 2011, she completed The Woman Behind the Waterfall, set in a village in western Ukraine. While her first novel was with a London agent, Leonora completed her second novel The Unity Game, set in New York City and on a distant planet.

Leonora currently lives in Barcelona and London and has two children. She is working on her third novel.

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Release Tour: ‘Oath of a Warrior’ by Mary Morgan

OATH OF A WARRIOR

Legends of the Fenian Warriors, Book 2

by Mary Morgan Continue reading

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Book Blitz: ‘Refuse to Lose’ by Alison Mello

Title: Refuse to Lose
Series: A Coach’s Love #1
Author: Alison Mello
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: April 3, 2018

Blurb

I thought I was helping a friend, but instead I only managed to get myself in a heap of trouble which left me with two options. Coach little league as part of community service…or face jail time.

So here I am…coaching little league, a project I wasn’t looking forward to—that’s until I see Stella at the field with her son. Unfortunately for me it takes a lot longer than I’d hoped for her to give me the time of day.

Yet, now that I’ve caught her attention, things are much more complicated than I thought. Who knew juggling a struggling friend, community service, a team bully and a girlfriend would be this hard?

But I won’t let it get me down. Someone once told me the secret to success, and come hell or high water I’ll show everyone around me that I…

…refuse to lose.

 

Purchase Links

 

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited

Author Bio

Alison started writing during the early summer of 2015. Her debut book Finding Love (October 2015) was published by Siren Publishing. Her following books Needing Your Love (November 2015), Found My Love (December 2015), and Fighting for Love (January 2016) were also published with Siren to finish the Learning to Love series.

Her desire to see her books on shelves led to her next work Chasing Dreams (April 2015) She submitted it for publication with Limitless Publishing and was thrilled that it was quickly accepted. At the request of her readers she turned Chasing Dreams into the Club Thrive series. Excited to reach that goal, she moved on to the next series she had in mind and wrote Saved By a Soldier (June 2016), My Broken Soldier (July 2016), Forever My Soldier (August 2016), and A Soldier for Bella (September 2016).

Alison enjoyed reading as a child and found her passion for it again in 2011 when E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey was released. Her love of reading was re-ignited and she continued reading other books in the same genre. In the summer of 2015, she decided to give writing a try and two weeks later Finding Love was born. As soon as she finished the first book, she began writing the second book in the series. Her third book was finished by the time Finding Love had been accepted for publication. Alison discovered she has a passion for writing and has spent the last year meeting new readers and sharing the love she has for writing.

Married to her own real life hero, Alison lives with her amazing family in Massachusetts where she was born and raised. She loves having her own personal inspiration right at home and when she’s not writing she enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and football with her son.

Author Links

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