Tag Archives: Fantasy

Book Review: ‘Demons and Destiny’ by Catherine Milos

Title: Demons and Destiny (Angels and Avalon Book 2)

Published: 26th October 2016

Author: Catherine Milos

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatherineMilosOfficial

Twitter: @CatherineMilos

 

Synopsis:

What else are friends for, but to rescue you from a deranged reincarnated dark Viking shaman serving a lazy lesser Celtic god? Ex-Angel Tyrel Hanson is cursed. He must send all demons back to Hell before he can be with the woman he loves. The mission is enough to drive him to darkness. Elizabeth McAllistar discovers she is magic-blind. A dangerous condition which could end up killing her and her best-friend Madison. Madison Porter is a scientist. When she suddenly discovers she has magic and a past-life with Tyrel her world is thrown into chaos. Her magic might be the only thing that can free Tyrel from his cursed destiny and keep them all alive.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book that features supernatural powers. Hold onto your hats as this is going to be another supernatural filled ride with past and present lives colliding.

After failing in her training with the Druids Madigan chose to become a Blue warrior. Well it was either to become a Blue warrior where she might die or be a willing sacrifice to their god Nuada (one she maybe shouldn’t put too much faith in). The Vikings are coming for their land and its up to them to defend it. If the battle turns then one needs to get away to tell their leaders of what comes. She almost does but soon is captured. The Vikings mother tongue is different from her own so she is shocked when one man laughs after she curses the one that caught her.

Tyrel remembers his past life as Angel Tyrryal and because of it has the ability to talk many languages, among other things. With this he needs to find a way to get Madigan to tell him where her leaders are so his people can talk trade. If not then they will kill her and take everything else by force. He feels a connection for her straight away, so claims her to keep her safe. She still doesn’t know if she can trust him but after it seems that her god has blessed them – and by gifting her a dog companion to keep her safe – she doesn’t hold back her feelings for him.

Seems they were both too trusting of Nuada as he was just using them as parts in a game he is trying to control. With the help of darker magic he forces fate in another direction. One that would see heartbreak and death for both and end up binding Tyrel to do his bidding. Seems Tyrel can walk in the Shadow Realm and was once the Angel of Justice where he had to send demonic creatures back to hell. Seems Nuada wants him to be his warrior again. Once all demons are returned to their realm, she will be returned to him. Seems these fallen angels love fiercely and are willing to go through hell (literally) to find their way back to their soul mates.

I think I liked it better that you didn’t spend too long in a past life and got back to the present day. Also liked finding out that before Tyrel fell, and ultimately meeting Madigan for the first time, he spent the time the look for most of Adamina’s children to see them safe. Seems to have worked too as the past lives of Adamina’s children, well most of them, have been reincarnated and found there way back to each other. Remembering their pasts and still having magic in their presence, connected to their souls perhaps? They all seem to work with Tyrel at his PI firm, aka the firm that helps get rid of demons. They need to band together to fight a new evil but you never quite know which direction it will be coming from.

Present day sees Tyrel wanting to get close to Elizabeth’s (Adamina in her past life) friend Madison from the first moment he saw her. I think you can guess why. He might have found his past love but she has no memories of him and danger is never too far away. Seeing her just made him more focused in his task of getting rid of demons because once done he could finally be free and be with her. With his single mindedness though he can be easily led in the wrong direction. All he does is to protect Madison but he can go about it the wrong way.

Elizabeth is feeling lost now she is magic-blind after everything that went down with Lucifer, Uriel/Roger and Gabriel and seemingly in danger because of it. Was good to see Gabriel again as you see more of who he really is and how he acts in his new relationship with his adopted daughter Morgana, who happens to be his and Adamina’s daughter from their past life in Avalon. His gentleman butler Alan was great and played a bit more of a role with being interlinked within the story, which was cool.

Seems everyone has a gift and they are all needed to play their part in what’s to come so they better start practicing because the time for destiny is upon them. The moment Avalon was created a balance was shifted and it needs to be reset. The only ones that can help are the Angels. Seems the fallen ones are soon to be called home. Another fun, creative read with magical elements and soul mates throughout.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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Author Interview: ‘Across the Fourwinds’ by Shane Trusz and Darryl Frayne

The Maidstone Chronicles Book 1

About the Book:

Will Owens is an orphaned teenager with a unique ability that has alienated him in the quiet town of Cochrane: he can see dark creatures emerging from the Arden Forest. And people are dying.

Will is befriended by Morgan Finley, a stunning fencing champion whose dreams of a Yale scholarship are haunted by her family’s secrets. The unlikely friends venture into the Arden Forest where they enter a magical realm in the throes of a brutal war.

Entrusting their lives to a Callum Sage and his rogue companions, Will and Morgan embark on a perilous journey across the Fourwinds to face an ancient evil birthed in a tower known as the Maidstone.

Courage, faith, and friendship are tested at every turn, but the group has yet to realize the full extent of the powerful forces that threaten to destroy the Fourwinds and reach far beyond the town of Cochrane.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

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

Shane: My adventure into the world of writing began just as my life was coming to an end, or at least it seemed that way for a time. When I was 15, I was diagnosed with Recurrent Idiopathic Pericarditis. Overnight, I went from a typical teenager to being laid up in bed for weeks at a time in terrible pain.

I remember being rushed via air ambulance to Toronto and my Ante Linda had sent along a book for me, The Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks. I wasn’t a reader back then, but when I finally succumbed to the boredom (imagine being in a bed for weeks in a world before the Internet), I finally cracked the cover and my world was forever changed.

Darryl: When I was a child, I often thought of becoming either an actor or a writer. I’m intrigued by the possibility of being somebody different for a while, walking a mile in their shoes. Writing allows me the creative space to explore some of those possibilities.

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

Shane: I prefer to write late at night, tucked away with my laptop, headphones on.

Darryl: I like to be at my desk, as quiet as possible, any time of day.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Shane: The scenery and the history found in the backcountry and ancient ghost towns of British Columbia inspire me to no end. I also enjoy working in third world countries and meeting people whose lives are so fundamentally different than my own.

Darryl: The big picture ideas come from Shane! Smaller ideas for characters and scenes come from my own experience and interactions with people mixed with imagination.

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?

Shane: Some people are analytical and need to outline heavily before they start writing. I’m the absolute opposite. If you’re like me, the worse thing you can do is overthink things. I like to sit down with a character in mind and cut ‘em loose. The more real a character is in my mind, the less work I need to do because they take on a life of their own.

Darryl: I don’t need a firm outline, but I prefer to know where the story is going. This helps me understand the characters and setting so I can try to keep things consistent and coherent.

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

Young Adult Fantasy. Terry Brooks is the common bond that brought us together to collaborate on this fantasy series.

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

Will Owens – Ian Frayne

Morgan Finley – Bella Thorne

Rowe – Jack O’Connell

Bremer – Christian Bale

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

Shane: Terry Brooks, Stephen King, Patrick Rothfuss, Tom Clancy

Darryl: Terry Brooks, Patrick Rothfuss, Robert Jordan, Suzanne Collins, Michael J. Sullivan, JK Rowling, Kate DiCamillo

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

Shane: The High Druids Blade (Terry Brooks) Red (Sammy Hagar)

Darryl: The Rose and the Thorn (Michael J. Sullivan), On the Meldon Plain (Pam Brondos), Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo)

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Shane: The first book that came to mind was The Stand by Stephen King. I love giant stories about the end of the world and the characters in this book were beyond memorable.

Darryl: That usually depends on when you ask me. Besides Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, I consistently say it’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Kate DiCamillo). It’s a children’s novel, but it has so much heart and unbelievable adventure that I’m inspired every time I read it. And it’s really fun to read aloud.

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

Shane: Damn the rules and get at it.

Darryl: Don’t write because you want to become an author. Write because there’s no other activity that brings you such joy.

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

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaidstoneChronicles

Instagram: www.instagram.com/maidstone_chronicles

 

 

About the Authors:

Shane:

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had the soul of a gypsy. Having lived in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, and Haiti, I seem most comfortable when there’s change brewing on the horizon.

My adventure into the world of writing began just as my life was coming to an end, or at least it seemed that way for a time. When I was 15, I was diagnosed with Recurrent Idiopathic Pericarditis. Overnight, I went from a typical teenager with great parents, growing up in Cochrane- snowboarding, mountain biking, and playing any sport with a ball- to being laid up in bed for weeks at a time in terrible pain. Living in the deep north, we were 8 hours away from an MRI machine and for a while, things didn’t look so good as doctors struggled to figure out what was happening, and why. The pericarditis would come back a few times a year throughout my teenage years and for a while, I lost my way. I remember being rushed via air ambulance to Toronto and my Ante Linda had sent along a book for me, The Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks. I wasn’t a reader back then, and when I finally succumbed to the boredom (imagine being in a bed for weeks in a world before the Internet), I finally cracked the cover and my world was forever changed.

Life doesn’t always end up the way we think it should, but isn’t that part of the ride? Hard lessons are sometimes necessary to prepare us for the next big adventure as we journey towards leaving this world a little better off than when we arrived.

After finishing the original Shannara Trilogy, I started writing. I can’t remember when exactly I started, but I do remember having a plethora of ideas as I tended to do a lot of daydreaming, especially in school. I spent years writing books that will never see the light of day as I cut my teeth learning this new craft. To this day, if I don’t get my ideas down on paper regularly, I feel out-of-sorts.

My greatest challenge as a writer stemmed from the fact that I loved to write massive stories, and conversely, struggled to no end with the countless tiny details of flushing out something great. Shortly after moving back to Canada from Haiti, I reconnected with an old friend, Darryl Frayne. I knew Darryl was just about the complete opposite of me, in that he loves to mine the gems found beneath the extra words that don’t belong on the page. He works down in the weeds, pruning and clipping and shredding and planting and changing the paths as required to develop great story. The magic that unfolded was…well, I suppose you can be the judge.

In the in-betweens, I married my high school crush back in 1998. Joy has added all manner of color to my life and to this day, makes life an absolute thrill ride. When our son came along in 2004, well, I love viewing the world through his animated features and cannot wait to see how he is going to leave the world better off than when he arrived.

 

Darryl:

As far as I can remember, my journey into writing began when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I had always enjoyed stories, so I experimented with some comic-book style writing. I would draw my characters in small boxes, complete with talking bubbles for dialogue!

My favorite books growing up include The Wizard of Oz, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings. As an adult, some of my favorite fiction writers include Terry Brooks, Patrick Rothfuss, and more recently, Michael J. Sullivan. I also have an affinity for YA stories with believable, endearing characters created by authors like J.K. Rowling, Kate DiCamillo, Rick Riordan, and Suzanne Collins. I could list so many others; there are far too many wonderful stories to read!

I am grateful for my timely meeting, subsequent friendship, and working relationship with Shane Trusz. He has a great gift for storytelling, conceiving grand adventures, and passionately spreading the word about our books. Although we are different in many ways, I am constantly surprised at—and thankful for—the way our gifts unite to form unique, enjoyable stories.

 

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Book Blitz: ‘Kingdom Come’ by Justin Coogle

Title: Kingdom Come

Author: Justin Coogle

Genre: Fantasy

About the Book:

It has been 5 years since Pope Quintus replaced the late Pope and shook the world by forming the DH, Vatican City’s new demon hunting division, changing spiritual warfare forever. The Swiss guard have been replaced by three elite warriors, the Trinitarians. Exuberant funds have been funneled into their weapons division, Section 12. Their new intelligence unit, the Oracles, locate demons with unprecedented accuracy for first strike advantage. All these come together to support the heart and soul of the DH, the very demon hunting teams who hit the ground and take the fight to the enemy.

But Jason Collins is struggling to find his place on his own team, Team Joshua, let alone be the life force of the DH. He doesn’t have the impeccable talent and skill of Maria, the wisdom and faith of Michael, or the courage and cunning of their team leader Rodrick. In his desperate attempts to prove himself worthy to himself and his team, Jason now teeters on the edge of expulsion. But when Team Joshua encounter a pair of witches in a demonic graveyard, Jason discovers a plot set by the ancient demon lord Baal that would change the world order. Jason must wrestle with his failure, friends, and faith to save the Church and the world there after.

KINGDOM COME puts everything on the line and throws its readers into a faith-fueled supernatural adventure unlike any before.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

About the Author:

Justin Coogle was born in Texarkana, Texas. Most of his childhood was spent in Fort Leavenworth, and he went on to attend the University of Kansas to earn an undergraduate in Japanese. He is currently a 3rd year medical student at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, in the hopes of becoming a Pediatrician one day.

Passion was always a key marker of Justin’s life. Every stage of his development can be accompanied by a unique creative outlet that he made his own. From building forts, acting, entering Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments, fervently watching anime, and even almost going professional in League of Legends, he has always thirsted to express himself. It wasn’t until Sophomore year of college did he realize that writing was the ultimate outlet to channel his endless fount of stories. Kingdom Come is the marriage between his love of epic adventure and his faith.

He is a dedicated follower and believer in Jesus Christ and the Bible. He currently lives in Kansas City, Kansas.

Follow Justin on Facebook: www.facebook.com/justin.coogle.1

 

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Book Review: ‘Angels and Avalon’ by Catherine Milos

Title: Angels and Avalon (Book One)

Published: 2nd September 2015

Author: Catherine Milos

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatherineMilosOfficial

Twitter: @CatherineMilos

 

Synopsis:

Fed up with the antics of gods and their wars, the Archangel Gabriel takes refuge in a secret paradise. The only condition, he must protect Goddess’ treasure. Driven by pride and darkness, Lucifer aims to dethrone God. Avalon is the perfect place of power and Adamina is the key. Reincarnated, Adamina and Gabriel desperately try to find each other and stop Lucifer. But a soul can only take so much. Elizabeth McAllistar wants a new life free of Angels and Avalon. Will she be able to overcome the tragedy and the past that haunts her?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set in the future. It starts in a distant past on a world created by Goddess and goes forward in time through reincarnation with the characters. A book of two parts with Avalon and then forward to present day, two very different worlds where only a few of the same people are found in both. Mainly when reincarnated, whether they remember the past lives is another thing entirely.

Goddess has grown tired of the games and politics of all the Others (Fates, Time, Balance, Death, Birth, Darkness, Light, Justice, Hope, Agony and God himself). She longs for a tranquil place to call her own. But to create a new world, as she can so easily do, without the Others is now forbidden. The last time Goddess and God created without them was when the Angels came into existence. Not created by all, so not bound by the same rules. This doesn’t stop her from creating Avalon though. A place made from the very heart and soul of her but a world that must stay hidden. On another of her worlds, one that is dying and will soon cease to exist is a girl, someone who holds a piece of her own light within her. She knows she shouldn’t but can’t stop herself from saving her and taking her to Avalon. Naming her Adamina she enlists the girls love and asks her to become her Priestess and protect Avalon. She now has a calm existence from the terrors she grew up with but is lonely. Connecting with animals and the world around her is one thing but she longs to connect to a person, to have a friend. So Goddess lifts a veil for a ship to sail through and with it brings Pagan.

Pagan is given the same request to worship the Goddess as she would worship a mother. To teach Adamina the ways of people and care for the land with those that came with her, but her own request is what changes Avalon the most. To have the shipping port left open so trade can come and go. The island has stories attached to it to stop people venturing too far inland, well that and a little help from Gabriel. Only those worthy pass and soon a family of women and young children become the Priestesses of Goddess. To honour her whether she is near or far. It’s when she is away that things start to change. Mainly by the arrival of Angels, something she always feared.

Gabriel had grown tired of his existence and longed for a place to retire. He went to his mother, Goddess, and she sent him to Avalon as long as he would keep it secret and watch over Adamina. To protect her as she grows, keeping her safe. He stays hidden from view for many years. Watching and helping along the way until he hears rumours of God sending out Angels to look for Avalon. His time away leaves Avalon and Adamina open to danger. Said danger in the form of Uriel, an Angel so easily manipulated by others. He makes her a deal to keep Avalon safe from other Angels if she will become his wife. A deal she may soon regret when she sees his true nature and finally accepts her true feelings for Gabriel when she meets him. Years pass and with them come children. All gifted in their own way but all girls. Uriel wants a son, someone to mould in his image and it seems willing do whatever it takes to get one, whether it leads to the destruction of Avalon and Adamina in the process.

I think that part two should have started with the most present day reincarnation of them all rather than jumping around others a few hundred years apart. Or had that as a mini part between the two. This second part is like another complete story following Elizabeth, who was Adamina in her past lives. She is still followed closely by those who would seek to use her power – Lucifer being at the top of that list closely followed by Uriel who just turns out to be crazy. Gabriel just wants to find the other part of his soul but even he has his stupid moments where you are like ‘what are you playing at she is your soul mate stop messing about!’ Everyone is still connected and Elizabeth still has power but something hides her true strength. She is going to need that strength again to take down Lucifer before he strikes. His greed for power will be his downfall and Uriel will soon follow suit.

I would have liked to know what happened to all of Adamina’s children. You know they escape but then you just start jumping through time following her and Gabriel. Can they find their way back to each other and if they do will they be stuck in the past or live in the present? Interesting read with creating a wealth of worlds and characters, all interlinking with each other in their own way to get to one final showdown. Good vs. evil lets see who wins.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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Author Interview: ‘Afterdeath’ by Benoit Chartier

About the Book:

Death is a country we see through the tiny keyhole of an immovable door. Raised by their grandmother after their parents’ death, Chloe and Olivia Borders are now in mourning for Rose. The Alzheimer’s that forced them to be split into separate foster homes has taken their last living family member. As a way to rekindle their friendship, the twins commit to a road trip— which spells their demise. Now the question is: What comes after, and how will they get back to life?

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

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

I’m a French Canadian who shares his time between his home country and Japan, where my wife is from. I have two kids, one born there and one born here. I got into writing very young, when an author came to our school and it finally clicked that all the books in the library came from somewhere.  That week I wrote my first book. It was thirty pages long. I still have it.

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

Morning, at my computer in our room, when there’s no one in the house. I’ll drink green tea and plug away at the computer for four or five hours. I’m getting ready to leave for Japan again, so I’ll probably work on my new novel over there for a spell.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Out of the blue, mostly. They’re an amalgamation of everything I think about, and the new stimuli that comes knocking on my brain, out of nowhere. I once got the idea for the currency in the land of the dead from kids playing with pennies at a table a the restaurant.

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 the ending before I start the long slog. I changes sometimes, but I have a fairly solid stick in the sand to aim for.

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

I like to write cyberpunk, fantasy and paranormal (for now). I was heavily into fantasy as a kid (Piers Anthony, Tad Williams, Robert Asprin). My father was more of a sci-fi nerd, so I started picking up his books from his shelf. A lot of Isaac Asimov, if I remember correctly. Then I got into more newish stuff, Orson Scott Card, Isaac Asimov, Jeff Noon. I really like weird fiction at the moment, and my favorite publishing house is out of Toronto: Chizine Publications. I’ve found everything they publish is gold.

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

In my latest, I would love to see up-and-coming young black actresses playing the twins. Maybe Fallon and Felisha King?  I can easily picture Morgan Freeman playing Toussaint, Idris Elba playing the Baron Dimanche, Sigourney Weaver as Larunda and Emma Watson as Angelina. Yeah. That would kick ass.

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

I try to read as much as possible. Right now, my favorite authors are my friends who are breaking through in the writing world. People like Meghan Negrijn and Craig Munro. They’re the best. Otherwise, I very much enjoy William Gibson, Robert Shearman, Helen Marshall and Neil Gaiman.

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

The Bones of the Past, by Craig Munro

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Sure, make me pick my favorite child. Okay, let me tell you about my favorite-book-as-artifact. It’s called “S.”. It is the most wonderful thing I’ve ever encountered in the literary world. Let me tell you about it. It comes in a box, so you can’t see what it looks like. It was written as a collaboration between J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. When I got it, I had no idea what I was getting into. I asked for it for Christmas. So I open the box, and inside, is a book that looks like it was printed in the 1950s. The book itself is an artifact. It’s made to look as if it’s a library book that’s been borrowed for years. There are stamps at the back, it has the Dewey Decimal sticker on the spine; the whole nine yards. The book itself says that it is called “The Ship of Theseus”, written by V.M. Straka. Inside the book, you will find, written in the margins, conversations between two people, for the duration of the book. Back and forth, back and forth, written in different penmanship and color, (making it easier to identify the writers). These two are a man and a woman who go to the same College. The man was kicked out, and sneaks back in sometimes to study the book. The woman is a student trying to figure out her life, who also likes Straka (as an author). Now, there is a mystery surrounding this book, and who the author is. The “original” story was written in German, and so there is a translator who leaves footnotes. The two readers discover more and more about the book, and a very present danger by secret societies still extant, and must figure out together what’s going on. Throughout the book itself, which, on its own, is beautifully written, there are clues. The translator points to them, and eventually the reader must figure them out him or herself. As well, the two leave each other little odds and ends inside the book (pictures, postcards, napkins with hidden messages, little newspaper clippings, obituaries, etc.), which add to the authenticity of the thing. You’ll never find this book in a library, just because of the bits of memorabilia that will get lost. It is the most wonderful little jewel, and the most complicated, that I’ve ever had the pleasure of wrapping my head around.

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

Read a lot, write until the thing is finished. Take the criticism. Improve. Learn. You’ll make it.

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

Website: www.trode.ca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/calumnist

Twitter: @chartier_benoit

YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCfopDTGimofA7OAXoyu69zA

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7030391.Benoit_Chartier

 

About the Author:

Benoit Chartier is a Science Fiction, Fantasy and Paranormal author who also does a podcast called Adventure In Your Ear and writes a philosophy blog. He lives in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada with his wife and two sons. He shares his time between Canada and Japan.

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