Tag Archives: Fantasy

Book Review: ‘The Time Bender’ by Debra Chapoton

Title: The Time Bender: An Alien Teen Fantasy Adventure

Published: 13th September 2017

Author: Debra Chapoton

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigPineLodgeBooks

Twitter: @Debra_Chapoton

 

Synopsis:

Humor, charm, romance and intriguing characters fill this first book of THE TIME BENDER series.

Marcum arrives on an alien spaceship to search Earth for a girl he’s learned can manipulate Time itself. During a sudden snowstorm he finds Selina. Their connection is immediate, delicate and elusive. This shy and strange girl can slow time to a crawl and make his awkward advances both painful and wondrous. Marcum must abduct her for the good of his side of the galaxy, but he falls for Selina.  Now he’s caught between duty and compassion … or maybe it’s love.

 

Review:

A quirky, humorous, teen love rival, sci-fi mixed read with some aliens on a secret mission in the middle of a war searching for a time bender to help them thrown in for good measure.

Selina has always felt different but it isn’t until two mysterious exchange students come onto the scene that she starts to see things in a different light. Maybe she isn’t as strange as she first thought. Or more to the point maybe it’s just that she needed to go somewhere where she really belongs.

Selina suffers from social anxiety a lot and seems to rely on her best friend Alex just to get through the day. The only person – other than her brother Buddy – who can get her to smile and not feel like such an outcast. He has always been there for her and continues to be her guardian no matter what, or who, comes their way. Her journey starts with her wanting to wish on a star for something new. An adventure would be fun but getting a boyfriend is getting to be the top of the list. She should be careful what she wishes for because it might just come true.

On a dark night, when the lights have cut out, Selina notices someone wondering around her garden in the snow. Thinking its Alex – as he is her neighbour – she calls him over to get out of the snow. She gets a little surprise when Marcum comes through the door instead. No coat so freezing he tries to explain who he is. Really it’s more her saying ‘are you this’ and him saying yes. Thinking he’s just an exchange student – a hot one mind you – she helps him stay warm until the lights come on. When they do however she all but pushes him out the door. Seems she was bold in the dark but as soon as the lights are on reality sets in and her anxiety comes full force. Now one hot exchange student stranger is unusual but two would be unheard of in her little town. So when Coreg makes an appearance at school and tries to get her attention she doesn’t quite know how to act. These two strangers seem to take a liking for Selina and want her to come with them for something. Warning bells for Alex as he doesn’t really trust their motives. Good job too as they both came with the objection of taking her back to their home planet Klaqin to help fight a deadly war with her skill set – not that she knows this yet.

Seems Selina has a gift, one she never noticed before but can seem to use without trying. She can slow down time and not just in her head. She only learns this after Marcum comes to her house again to try to explain things. ‘Do you want to see my spaceship?’ A video game this is not. A trip to space but was it real or not? The fact she was missing for hours would suggest the later. Can she trust either guy with what they tell her? They seem to only have their own interests at heart, not hers, not like Alex always has. Could he be her knight in shining armour when trouble arises? He could lend a hand after finding out a secret of his own. She may not be the only one special in this town.

Now this picks up a bit more at the end when you get a space battle thrown in. What good space battle would be complete without a little romantic drama thrown in for good measure? Where does Selina’s heart truly lie and who will step up to help? A battle may be over but the war is about to begin. Fight to save their planet is key, but which planet will they be on to help.

Interesting story but could have developed the characters a bit more, rest of the series should see to this. Easy to read but I did find that this book is really aimed at a young adult audience though as parts did feel a bit childish to me. The whole ‘cue the blush’, ‘drop head, shrink to nothing’ or ‘hear the crickets’ side comments Selina always seems to add can get a bit annoying at times. I guess it’s sort of a way to see what’s going on in her head but not always needed. The start of a quirky story though where much is still to be explored. Not just with the war coming but emotions too.

3 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Harkworth Hall’ by L.S. Johnson

Title: Harkworth Hall

Published: 1st August 2017

Author: L.S. Johnson

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lsjauthor

Twitter: @ls_johnson

 

Synopsis:

Caroline Daniels must marry, and marry well. But in her remote corner of England eligible suitors are few and far between, and none hold a candle to her closest friend, Diana Fitzroy.

When Sir Edward Masterson arrives, he seems the answer to Caroline’s financial worries, though she instinctively dislikes the reticent, older merchant. Soon Sir Edward has set his sights on acquiring both Caroline and the decaying Harkworth Hall.

Caroline’s future seems secure, save that Sir Edward’s enigmatic secretary hints at a dark secret, and Sir Edward shows an unusual interest in the nearby bay. To discover Sir Edward’s true purpose, Caroline will have to face the horror beneath Harkworth Hall—and the woman who will change her life.

 

Review:

This is a gothic mystery story with a twist, so hold on for an intriguing ride with this one. Just when you think this could be a romance story when a mystery man comes on the scene it turns on its head with a bit of a paranormal mystery. Be wary of birds leaving in hoards as it would mean danger, or evil, is on its way.

Caroline is in for a mysterious journey when a stranger comes to town to take up residence in the equally mysterious Harkworth Hall. Sir Edward Masterson seems quite charismatic and charms most he meets – Caroline’s father being top of that list. So much so that he wants to go into business with him. Well her father also wants something else that could help Caroline, that in the form of a marriage to someone seemingly respectable. Caroline has never really been that focused on marriage, not like her friend Diana, but seems willing to do more if it will help her father in anyway. She knows he needs funds so this would help but isn’t going out of her way to meet Sir Edward Masterson just yet. Seems her father knows her well so brings him and his secretary Mr Jonathan Chase to her – someone else who seems to hold a secret close to their chest. Dinner guests make the house go a little crazy with trying to get everything ready. There is only so much that Caroline and the housekeepers Mr. and Mrs. Simmons can do. Dinner is one thing to get through but her father has invited Edward to stay with them until Harkworth Hall is ready for him. The house has been empty for years and just the looks of it would put the chills in you. Let alone the chills Caroline gets whenever Edward is near. There is something about him she just doesn’t trust but is she the only one?

Maybe not as Mr Chase gives off the impression that she should stay clear of Edward and Harkworth Hall altogether – not that she really wants to get close to either anyway. Mr Chase is a mystery too, Caroline knows there is more than meets the eye and it won’t take her long to uncover secrets hidden. Whether Mr Chase is there to help or hinder her in figuring out what darkness may be upon them is unclear but it’s something she needs to figure out fast with the disappearance of a local girl who was on route to Harkworth Hall.

Caroline is the kind of person that once she has her mind set on something she won’t stop until she figures it all out. She was told to stay away from Edward, something she is fine with really, but knows she needs to go to the house to figure out more of a mystery. It doesn’t help that she has been having bad dreams of late – a clue to what’s coming perhaps? An eye in the sea calling to her and needing something only she can give. Some paper clippings of women going missing and being murdered draws a dark picture on what may be coming and who might be involved. Is Edward who he says he is? Can she trust those she has known for years? Will a stranger be there to lend a hand in times of need? One thing is clear and that’s that she should always trust her first instincts, as they don’t seem to lead her wrong. Just maybe into dangerous situations first before trying to get back out again.

Interesting mystery mixed with a paranormal twist and intrigued with what is really happening at Harkworth Hall. Who you can really trust will be tested and what lies beneath might not be the only danger that draws near.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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Release Tour: Siren’s Curse’ by Katee Robert

SIREN’S CURSE, a dark and haunting standalone novel in the multi-author series, The Sea King’s Daughters is LIVE!

 

In SIREN’S CURSE by NYT Bestselling Author, Katee Robert, a cursed mermaid has lost her powers and her ability to shapeshift and the only creature that can help her reclaim herself is one who may mean her the most harm…

 

Add SIREN’S CURSE to your TBR pile on Goodreads then keep reading to get a sneak peek excerpt and your chance enter the giveaway to win one of TEN (10) eBook copies of SIREN’S CURSE!

 

Title: Siren’s Curse

Author: Katee Robert

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: August 13, 2018

Publisher: Indie

Series: The Sea King’s Daughters

Page Count: 76 pages

Format: Digital

ASIN: B07DJK2HQR

 

Synopsis:

Lorelei Fischer is cursed. A mermaid who can’t shapeshift, can’t create portals, and is no longer fully who she was meant to be. Too ashamed to admit how badly she failed to her sisters, she takes refuge in a small town in northern California and opens a used bookstore. With no way to regain what she’s lost, she resigns herself to a life half-lived.

After nearly drowning under the dark of the new moon, there’s no escaping the truth. She’s being hunted, and this enemy will stop at nothing to take her.

Lorelei must find a way to reclaim her birthright and her abilities before it’s too late. Because the sea holds more monsters than she could have dreamed—and one of them wants her dead.

Look for other stories in this exciting Urban Fantasy series from Philippa Ballantine, Stacia D. Kelly, Lauren Harris, and Asa Maria Bradley.

 

 

Available at:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2syiT2e

 

Enter to win one of TEN (10) eBook copies of SIREN’S CURSE!

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

 

Siren’s Curse Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Katee Robert

 

I start for home, the wind and water turning my hair into blond snakes that whip around my head. Less than a quarter mile to my house and it might as well be on the moon. I pull my jacket tighter around my body and pick up my pace. Each harsh breath makes my chest ache, reminding me about the way this morning started.

I shouldn’t be alive.

There’s no other way to say it. When I closed my eyes, parted my lips, and inhaled… I made my choice. That I hadn’t died. That I woke up on the beach… Someone put me there, though I can’t begin to guess their purpose.

Lorelei.

I jump and spin in a circle, searching for the source of the voice. There’s no one in sight. There isn’t even a single pair of headlights on the road. Just the trees whipping back and forth in front of me and the beach at my back. I turn slowly to face the beach—the water—and squint into the driving rain. No part of me is dry at this point, so I might as well investigate.

Lorelei.

There it is again, barely more than a whisper on the wind. Calling me back to the water.

I take a step before what’s left of my self-preservation kicks in. “No.” I don’t mean to say the word aloud, but it settles something inside me. I am not some weak-willed creature to be drawn in by curiosity. Whatever has the power to reach me here on dry land is something I want no part of. “Get the fuck out of my head.” That’s where I must be hearing him. There’s no way he’s actually speaking to me on the wind.

Whoever he is.

I have something you want.

I freeze. The faintest tugging in my stomach dials it up a notch. It never really goes away, even when I’m sequestered in the bookstore and surrounded by earth instead of sea. That tug tells me the exact direction my necklace—my powers—lay. I never get more than a hint of water that’s such a dark blue, it might as well be black, or an intense pressure that conveys exactly how far from the surface my necklace is kept. Too deep for humans and their machines.

Too deep for me.

I start for the beach before I can think better of it. For over two years, I’ve been missing a vital piece of myself, walking around as only half of a whole. I might not be completely helpless in my current state, but I’m easy pickings for any supernatural creature who decides to gun for me. Last night more than proved that the sea will take me, one way or another

It might as well be on my terms.

Lightning flashes, bright enough that spots dance over my vision for the several seconds of silence before thunder rattles my bones. The storm isn’t directly overhead yet, but it will be soon. I’m a damn fool if I’m still out by that point.

I yank off my boots and socks and toss them onto the beach just out of reach of the waves coming faster and faster. One step, maybe two, and I’ll be submerged up to my ankles. My finding power will spiral out of me, instinctively seeking the one item I want more than anything in this goddamn world.

Not my sisters.

Not even the portal home.

No, what I want more than anything is to be whole again.

I should just turn around and go home. Whoever this voice belongs to, they mean nothing good for me. There’s a proper way to reach out, and it’s not by drawing a finless one of the merfolk into the ocean and nearly drowning her human body. Stepping into the ocean will boost what little magic I have left, and it will create a clear channel for him to speak to me.

I take that first step, and then the second. My power streaks out into the deep and then rebounds, slamming me with a vision of my necklace. It’s different than it’s been in the past. Barely any pressure to speak of. Blue-gray water that stretches for miles and miles and miles around without encountering land. A vaguely fishy taste on my tongue.

Tentacles.

And then his voice is in my head, curling through me in a way that’s just shy of being invasive. Hello, pretty.

Telepathy isn’t one of my skills, but apparently his is so strong that it allows me to fire off a reply. Tell me what you want and get out of my head.

His chuckle is pure predator. More like I have something you want.

Surely not. The Deep Dwellers, sworn enemy to my people, wouldn’t be so foolish as to lose a coup like my necklace. In the endless history of wars between our kind, I can’t think of a single instance when they’ve managed to steal the very essence of what one of the merfolk is—to sever one of us from our power. It’s priceless. They wouldn’t have traded it—would have, in fact, guarded it with their lives. So why does this monster in my head have access to it?

I cross my arms over my chest and tell myself that the shiver racking my body is from the cold. I’m listening.

Come to me.

That surprises a laugh out of me. Pass.

You’d turn down a chance to regain yourself?

I’d turn down a chance to walk into a trap like an idiot. I shake my head. This is a waste of time. I turn for the shore when power slams into me, sending me to my knees. The water rushes in—or maybe I rush out—and the next thing I know, I’m up to my chest.

Don’t be a fool.

This deep, I finally have a sense of him. He must have held himself back up to this point, because he’s positively ancient. Older than anything I’ve ever felt—even my father—and so powerful that pain lances through my head. It would be so easy to give him what he wants, to stop fighting, to…

“Get the fuck out of my head!” I sprint for dry land. This deep, it’s more of a fast wade, but I curse and spit and fight the pull of the magic current trying to yank me off my feet. “No, no, no, no, get your stupid magic off me!

He releases me all at once and I fly the last few feet and land in a heap just past the now-normal waves. I sit up and scrub sand from my face. Even without the water connection, his dark amusement slithers through me. Another time, pretty. His presence recedes faster than any tide, leaving the storm just a normal storm.

It’s official—I’m in even worse trouble than I could have imagined.

 

About Katee Robert

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.”  When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

 

Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| Goodreads | Instagram | BookBub

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Author Interview: ‘A Grave Mistake’ by Alexander Tarler

About the Book:

This is a story about raising a family – from their graves. Thun Timorium, a very young and naïve necromancer, only wanted to get his aunt back to the realm of the living. This resulted in the whole Timorium family rising from their graves, confused but excited. Thun and his undead family must find a way to be left alone from the judging and angered might of the magocracy, which has outlawed necromancy.

 

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

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

I’m a tall, bearded swede who loves tabletop games and writing. My cats are named after devils and I love Rupaul’s Drag Race.

I started writing just to test it out, really. I’ve always loved reading, so I figured, why the heck not try this writing-thingy, and so I did. I am not very exciting.

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

I could lie and tell you that I have this obscure and cool ritual where I make tea, pop on the right music, summon my muse and fight dragons before I start typing, but that seems wrong. I just tell myself to get to it, write 500 words, and just do it. I will occasionally listen to some music, and I do all of this in my guestroom.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I don’t know, daydreaming mostly. A lot of “what if’s”. To me there really is not a magical way to drum up ideas, they just have to pop up and be analyzed. A lot of them, most of them actually, are really, really bad, but you have to cherish those too. You can’t have a good idea without having a few bad ones to compare them too, I think.

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 usually know five to six points that are going to happen in the story, and the ending. I usually know a few scenes I really want to make happen, and then I just traverse the story with my protagonist and let the story guide itself towards these points, and the ending.

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

I’ve only published one book so far, ‘A Grave Mistake’, which is fantasy. I’ve played a lot of fantasy games, read a lot of fantasy books and watched a ton of fantasy movies, and I still can’t really put my finger on what makes it so special to me. Perhaps it’s the magic, or the calming simplicity of it all, or the complex characters.

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

Tom Holland would be Thun, my protagonist and necromancer. He’s just the right amount of nervous and charming. I’d love to have Sam Rockwell as Piditas, the arrogant inquisitor, as well as Lee Pace as Ymerius. I’d also need Jeff Bridges to voice Sobb, the skeleton fighter, and Maggie Smith as Gran.

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

I do! My favorite authors are Terry Pratchett, Patrick Rothfuss, Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams.

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

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. It’s excellent.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

This one’s a tough one, but I’d have to go with ‘The Last Hero’ by Terry Pratchett. The idea of retired, bitter old barbarians that hates the thought of dying of old age is not only hilarious, but genius.

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

Whatever you do, remember that even if what you’re writing is dung, it’s still words on the paper, and it’s still written. Be proud of yourself, and your writing, and always write, write and write. Edit after your first draft is done, realize that most of it is garbage, and then reorganize it and rewrite a lot of it until it’s less garbage. You can’t become a writer if you’re not writing.

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

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlexanderTarlerAuthor

Twitter: @AlexanderTarler

Website: www.captaincomedy.wixsite.com/alexandertarler

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Book Review: ‘Deity’s Soulmate’ by Angelina Kerner

Title: Deity’s Soulmate (The Goddess Training Trilogy Book 1)

Published: 3rd April 2017

Author: Angelina Kerner

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AngelinaKernerFiction

Twitter: @kernerangelina

Instagram: www.instagram.com/angelinakerner

 

Synopsis:

From author Angelina Kerner (Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted) comes an all-new fantasy series about Gardenia, a daughter of Athena, and her 100 years of coursework on how to create whole new worlds and subjects of her own.

A sheltered schoolchild in a realm of condescending gods and goddesses, Gardenia goes to Earth on a dare to witness the unsavory side of mankind for herself. Believing she can do better, she undertakes the formation of an entire galaxy, but without permission from Zeus.

Zeus disciplines her by assigning an epic 13-fold creational lesson destined to take her a century to complete. But he is taken aback once more when she makes an odd choice. She vows to fulfill this knowledge quest by tracking down a lost race of dragons, and discovering the secrets they’ve kept since time began.

Searching the universe to meet even one dragon may be a fool’s errand, but that’s the least of her worries. For ancient wartime resentments linger between the nations of dragons and deities, and some dragons would attack Gardenia on sight!

Yet she ventures out undaunted, learning unexpected things about nomadic life, tender love, and mortal peril along the way. The biggest surprise of all, though, goes by the name of Ri. Ri may be the man of her dreams, the voice in her head, the dragon she’s seeking, or all these things and more…

Meanwhile, the Fates brew sordid plans of their own and Hera jealously sets traps and trials for Gardenia at every chance. What’s a young goddess to do? Flight or fight?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book that made you laugh out loud. Closer to the end that is when pranks start to play a part in the training. Seems karma has a way of coming back around as Gardenia gets a taste of her own medicine.

Gardenia is the youngest goddess at 18 and is soon to start her training in creating worlds, something her mother is Athena is proud of. She always thought Apollo was her father but due to the Fates being able to see more – and because they like to meddle – she finds out that Zeus is really her father. She is none too happy about that fact; neither is her mother. With her training about to start, and thinking her own family now corrupt, she wants different teachers, dragons to be specific. The dragons came first so she thinks they will give her a better view on creation. She just needs to find some to teach her the 13 days of creation – a different dragon for each day. Finding one is hard enough but 13 might be asking for trouble. Lets see how her plan plays out and 100 years of training begins.

So the task has begun to find a dragon and she has multiple universes to search. She just needs to go to one where people have at least heard of them. Her search isn’t in vain as she comes across a human who knows where a dragon might be hiding on his planet. Villam is an Earth dragon who likes to take things at a relaxed pace. Note to self, a dragon’s nap is a lot longer than you might think, but hey at least you would be rested. Seems when the lessons start for day one she figures out how useful wings could be. Time for some creative magic it seems.

Gardenia has the handy ability to be able to change her appearance no matter the planets race – the better to blend in. After completing day one she sets off for another planet, one her aunt created. It’s just going to take six months to get there so she might as well make some friends and more along the way. But a silver headed man with green eyes keeps popping into her mind and dreams. Someone she is destined to meet perhaps?

New planet and new teacher called Wind. It seems they like getting her to recite the 13 days of creation. Unlike Villiam, Wind just needs to say certain words to create the stages in a mini galaxy display for her. Villiam gave her knowledge but it seems Wind wants her to work things out herself as day two is about creating life. So he’s just going to watch so she doesn’t die – nice cheery teacher then! Learning by sleeping seems like an interesting idea but be weary of what you learn. Her family really doesn’t have her best interests at heart – Hera being top of that list! A lesson learned and as a reward it seems dragon racing is the event of the day. Racing round Saturn’s rings sure sounds like fun.

Years seem to pass by quickly with each days training but with only two down she needs to pick up the pace. Having a set of dragon twins, silver this time, Ri and Ra helping her out for days three and four seems just the ticket. Love the back and forth conversations they have, almost as if Gardenia isn’t there. She might be learning more than just the days with these two, her history and Fates plans coming into play. She also learns something new in that dragons have the ability to shift to human state. Once Ri does she gets the feeling she has met him before. Before the day training begins it seems her physical training needs to improve first – hello bootcamp. It also seems that living with these two while training brings pranks coming in thick and fast, karma is a bitch but amusing to see. Trouble is that the longer she views Ri in his human form the more she forgets what he truly is – a dragon. Does she follow her heart or hide it?

Ra’s training isn’t much of a walk in the park either but that’s going to be the least of Gardenia’s problems when the Fates start sticking their ore in. Them and the Gods don’t mix. They seem to have an end game but are they really a step ahead? Trouble might be brewing with her family but it seems dragons were always meant to be apart of her life. Can they help in the days to come? Could a war be brewing? Will she ever get to finish her training? Those, and many more, questions hopefully will be answered in the books to come. It definitely picked up more when she aged as a character. It was good to see the distinction between naive teenager to a more knowledgeable adult. I like the drawings throughout, gives a little visual idea of what everyone is talking about. Fun fantasy read that keeps you hooked till the end. Will be interesting to see where things go from here on out.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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