Book Review: Song of Secrets


Shifting was weird.

Transformation always felt like being hit in the forehead so suddenly that her consciousness fell backwards out of her body.

There was a dizzying minute while she got her bearings. She’d learned not to move during that time. Theo thought the shift ought to make a vibration like a bell being struck, but without sound. It didn’t, but the tingle of ionization, like the sensation and smell that preceded lightning, followed her through from whatever magic space her body travelled. That was that: Theo was human again.

She blinked, feeling overwhelmingly thirsty and itchy. She rubbed her face with her hands and then brushed her palms over her shoulders and down her arms, already chilly. Clothing didn’t change with her body, so she was bare as the day she was born.

Above, in the house, an alarm clanged.

Oh shit! Motion triggered? She should’ve known better. She’d been in houses where the alarm wouldn’t register the cat but would pick up a human.

Cold adrenaline shot through her blood and she grinned. Time to grab and run.

Against one wall was a long walking stick with a cloth wrap on a peg. She grabbed the stick and swung it at the nearest cases, shattering the glass. Taking the cloth wrap, she doubled it up and made a pouch of it, then walked carefully amid the shattered cases, trying to avoid the broken glass and grab what she could.

The door swung open and the older man stared at her in shock. Theo returned the favor because his pupils were no longer a cloudy gray but red and slit like a cat’s.

Wait, what?

What was he? A demon?

He opened his mouth and said a few words in a language Theo didn’t recognize. Magic?

If magic was going down, the time to book it was long passed.

Theo darted across the room, shouldered him out of the way, and sprinted up the stairs.

Over the last few days, she’d cased the place well so she knew her exit: through the garden to the place where broken bricks made the wall easy to scale. It was early spring and the ground felt spongy under Theo’s bare feet. The cool air brought goose pimples to her skin. She had tiny wave of guilt as her feet trampled the newly planted garden, but that feeling evaporated when she saw how quickly the old man moved. She figured he’d be spry and fit, but something about his movements were… unnatural. Theo didn’t have the luxury to really examine him, but it was almost as if, instead of a natural run, the old guy leaped forward in too-long bounds, almost like an animal, but even then, unnaturally so as it was more jerky than graceful.

Shit. That was creepy.

Theo made for the wall as fast as she could. The bricks were rough on her hands and feet, but she’d done this sort of thing enough—even in the dead of winter—that she had hard callouses for palms and soles.

Yep, demon or magic of some kind.

Unknown (2015-03-11T05:00:00+00:00). Song of Secrets-eBook (Kindle Locations 88-116). Level Up Press. Kindle Edition.

Booke Review

Everyone has their problems, but when those problems are multiplied by the sudden revelation that magic is real, the three young women and the young man brought to a special school where their particular talents will be explored and enhanced, they find out their not alone in their misery and that they may just need each other if they’re going to survive the challenges ahead. A cabal of humans who want to dissect those they do not understand is hunting them while they are forced to come to grips with their own tragedies and the reality of their new existence.

THE GOOD

The characters in this book are fabulous. Their flaws and talents are doled out with a pace that does not overwhelm the reader, but makes the characters feel so very human and familiar despite their supernatural gifts. The tension between them, both sexual and emotional, is perfect and enhances the story without becoming a dramatic focus that takes away from the adventure. The villains are despicable and the supporting characters are unique without overwhelming the story. The pace and telling of the story is well done and does not come off as herky-jerky despite the constant changes in point of view. The sex scenes are erotic without being erotica. There is a definite sense of the passion without taking it down a road where titillation is the end result.

THE BAD

There’s not much to complain about with this book. I wish it were a little longer, but it is obviously the first book in a series and I suppose it would be too much to ask for a complete resolution of issues in the introductory novel.

THE TAKEAWAY

This is a very good book. If you like urban fantasy or paranormal romance novels then you should definitely enjoy this book. I would definitely recommend giving it a read, but be warned, you’ll be stuck waiting for the sequel and that seems almost cruel.

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as two new titles from Rachel Calish–we’re calling them the Calish Couple—tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either a $50 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of Song of Secrets by Tate Hallaway and Rachel Calish, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, The Demon Gabriella by Rachel Calish. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Calish Couple tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: Sing a song of secrets …
A shape-shifter with a penchant for breaking and entering …
A homeless boy struggling with hallucinations that could turn out to be all too real …
A monster in need of a rescue …
And a mathematical genius with a real demon of a mother …
Fate draws Theo, Gabe, Erin and Kitty to a place they jokingly call “The School for Wayward Demons.” There they learn that sinister forces threaten to invate the city of San Francisco and plot to overthrow the powers that be. Now they must choose whom to trust: the witches, the demon, or the Shaitans. Or each other.Get Song of Secrets through Amazon.

About the authors: Tate Hallaway leads a double life. By day, she’s Lyda Morehouse, a mild-mannered science fiction author of the Shamus and Philip K. Dick award-winning AngeLINK series. By night, she’s the bestselling para- normal romance and urban fantasy writer, Tate Hallaway. She’s written and published over a dozen novels (five as Lyda and nine as Tate), and together her two identities have over a decade of professional publishing experience.
Connect with Tate on her website, Twitter,or GoodReads..
Rachel Calish lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota because it’s so cold you just have to sit inside and write novels. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Writing degree by writing stories about sexy demons. A fan of games of all kinds, you can find her playing anything from the lat- est video game releases to Checkers with half the pieces missing. Under the name Rachel Gold, she writes LBGTQ Young Adult fiction.
Connect with Rachel on her website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..

Learn more about Song of Secrets‘s tour mate HERE.

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Short Story Review – Dead Girl


Celebrate the release of DEAD GIRL by Pavarti K Tyler by spreading the word and entering the giveaway at the bottom of this post!

Get it now for $0.99 on Amazon.com or FREE if you’re on Kindle Unlimited.

VAMPIRE EROTICA LIKE YOU’VE NEVER READ BEFORE

When two boys find a body in their childhood hang out, they decide to have some fun, but get more than they bargained for.

DeadGirl

REVIEW

THE GOOD

This a twisted little bit of erotica and I loved it. At Fourteen pages long there is not a lot of room for anything extra, but somehow the author manages to cram in enough detail about the two main characters that you get a sense of who they are and what they are about before they even get their hands on the living dead girl in their favorite hangout,

THE BAD

There’s not much to complain about this story as long as you like erotica that does not conform to the simple formula of two or three people having sex. There is definitely some twisted stuff in here that is not for everyone, be even that is a matter of perspective.

THE TAKEAWAY

It is a quick read, but for $0.99 it is well worth it. It is not for the meek or those who don’t like erotica or vampires, but if you like them both, this is the perfect story for you. I just hope that there is something more to this that the author will share with us further down the road.

Brought to you by Hot Ink Press, DEAD GIRL is boundary pushing, it’s sexy, it’s violent, it’s of questionable taste, and I think you’re going to love it.

Get it now for $0.99 on Amazon.com or FREE if you’re on Kindle Unlimited.

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pavartiktylerAward-winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature, Pavarti K. Tyler can be found with Doc Martens strapped on over fishnets, but a girlish giggle as easily and likely as a throaty guffaw.

Keep in touch with Pav on her website or various social media sites. www.PavartiKTyler.com

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Book Review – The White Dress, The Autumn Leaves


In the dream, she was in a dark place. She was with a man, tall, like Jack, with dark hair. The man left her for a time, and other rough men surrounded her where she sat. It was confusing; they began touching her, prodding at her. She was frozen with a sharp stab of fear. She felt fragile like glass, tried shifting to the side, wishing they would just stop. Wishing that the man with her would save her.

In the dream, she hated their awful touches. She knew she could do nothing if they attacked her. She was frightened, wondering what she should do. The man like her Jack stepped in, and all hell broke loose as he fought off the men around her. She was dizzy, disoriented; was she hitting the men trying to grab her? Was she screaming? She couldn’t recall.

In the dream, one of the men rushed into her and she fell back against the wall. She turned, she saw the man with her—her lover—and she saw another man about to stab him.  She shoved at him in abject terror. Another of the men knocked her forward and into the knife that sliced right into her belly. There was no way to turn aside. She felt it go into her. She heard a voice that said, “And so she who was the only one he had ever loved died in saving him.”

In the dream, she could not speak to him. She could not tell him she loved him, and it was her only wish in that moment that to tremble, the pain too great. But she would have endured all of that acid agony again if she could merely reach out and tell him she loved him, and when he looked at her…

In the dream, they shared that last long look and she drifted, releasing into the cold gray paleness, sliding into oblivion. The pain in his eyes; he looked like he was about to shatter.

Shauna Aura Knight (2014-06-22T05:00:00+00:00). The White Dress, The Autumn Leaves (Kindle Locations 32-48). Jupiter Gardens Press. Kindle Edition.

Book Review
The White Dress, The Autumn Leaves

Being awkward and shy can be hard enough, but add to it a sensitivity to the supernatural and it is easy to see why Meredith wouldn’t be comfortable approaching Jack at a Pagan festival. When he introduces himself there is an immediate connection, and it is not long before they are making plans for the future, but the future has something different in store for them unless they can change their fate.

THE GOOD
The story focuses on Meredith and Kevin and they are very well written. In a short span the reader is given a real sense for who they are and what motivates them. So often novellas fall short in this regard and the reader is left with a story without depth, but this book does not fall into that trap. While I am not personally knowledgeable in the ways of modern Pagans, the story is so well written that I could not help but feel that the author is speaking from a place of knowledge.

THE BAD
There is not much to complain about with this book, but there were moments, specifically when the characters are fumbling their way towards intimacy, where the dialogue felt a little stilted, but it may well have been an intentional effort to communicate their awkwardness with the intimacy and the emotions at play.

THE TAKEAWAY
This is a wonderful little novella. It is erotic, romantic, spiritual and touched with the supernatural, but it is not overloaded with any one of these. The genre bending of this story is wonderful and a testament to the author’s skill that it comes off so naturally. If you are looking for a quick, enjoyable read, this novella is worth picking up.

Shauna Aura Knight
An artist, author, and presenter, Shauna’s work is inspired by the mythic stories of heroes, of swords and magic, and of the darkness we each must overcome. She’s a fantasy artist and author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy including Werewolves in the Kitchen, A Winter Knight’s Vigil, and The White Dress, the Autumn Leaves. Her mythic artwork and designs are used for magazine covers, book covers, and illustrations.

She travels nationally offering intensive education in the transformative arts of community leadership, facilitation, and personal transformation, and is the author of numerous articles and books on those subjects including The Leader Within, Dreamwork for the Initiate’s Path, and Ritual Facilitation.

http://www.shaunaauraknight.com

Fiction Blog: https://shaunaknightauthorartist.wordpress.com

Is Fantasy Dead?


Fantasy genre

Fantasy

The biggest argument I have had in the last year or so was over whether the fantasy genre was “over.” The person I was arguing with pointed to the rise of paranormal fiction and the popularity of vampires and zombies as evidence that the genre of fantasy is passé. I pointed to the popularity of the TV show Game of Thrones as evidence that it’s not.

But really, who cares? Why does it matter if something is popular or not? Why does it matter if someone is “jumping on a bandwagon” because they like vampires or zombies? Or don’t? The point of genre media isn’t to be “the next big thing,” it’s to give voice to something that people think is important. I use fantasy fiction to show how important connections are, and how strong people who stand together can be. I know other people who use fantasy fiction to point to lessons that our culture has forgotten, to illustrate history in a different light.

Writers use fantastic tales—whether they’re set in an ancient civilization or a thousand years in the future—to show people their hearts and souls. To reflect a greater truth that they see in their deepest being.

This is one of the reasons I love crossover genres. I think bringing new elements into a genre can refresh the genre and bring in new fans, people who may not have read a particular genre before. Plus, you’re able to play with a whole new group of tropes, things you may not have tried before. Paranormal romance often uses tropes from fantasy books alongside romantic tropes, and gives both new twists and turns that bring fans of both genres together.

I think that all the fighting over which genre is more important or more popular is silly. I think everyone should have the right to enjoy their favorite book without worrying about whether they’re going to be condemned for jumping on a bandwagon or sneered at because they’re not ‘doing it right’ as a fan. I am an unapologetic fan of the things I love, but I don’t turn my nose up at someone else’s enjoyment of something. Indeed, I am glad I don’t—I would have missed some wonderful things that I’m “not a fan” of if I had!

I know it’s Pollyanna-ish to think we’ll all magically get along, but if someone is making you feel bad because you love a particular genre or type of story, I’m sorry. I hope you’ll take this random internet stranger’s permission to heart: love what you love. It’s all good.

About the Author
Fantasy Author Kara Owl
Kara Owl and Roo
Kara Owl writes fiction and nonfiction. Her nonfiction focuses on spirituality and health, particularly dealing with chronic pain in practical and spiritual ways. Her fiction runs the gamut from erotica to epic fantasy. 

She lives in Tallahassee, Florida with cats, a dog, and an amazingly tolerant husband. She spends her days writing, reading, playing video games, working with the dog, and occasionally herding cats. She is a comic book geek, loves horseback riding and all things equine, and is addicted to saving the world, or at least trying.
 
She is currently on an epic quest to find a good replacement for her beloved City of Heroes, and to turn her feisty puppy into a good dog.

Kara Owl’s Author Page

Guest Post: Between the Genres


I know it has been a while since I have posted anything because I have been so focused on getting my next book finished, but that is going to stop. I thought I would kick things off with a guest post by Jupiter Gardens Press author, Shauna Aura Knight.  So without further ado, I present to you, Between the Genres.

Genre
Shauna Aura Knight

 

One of my challenges as a writer has always been genre, or more specifically, genre rules. All of my fiction writing fits into the general category of “speculative”—my work is always either fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal romance. The problem comes in with the specifics within the genres, in particular that line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

One of the biggest roadblocks I faced in my own writing was the question of what genre my work was. Because the genre you write in determines what publishers you can send your writing to, and it also controls a lot of what’s in your story. When I was taking writing workshops, I got completely overwhelmed hearing about some of the rules of various genres and even specific publishers.

Here’s kind of how it went. Continue reading “Guest Post: Between the Genres”

Book Review

Book Review: Skylar Wishes


Here is my book review of Tina L. Hook’s, Skylar Wishes. Read it, then buy the book.

 Skylar-Wishes-Cover-450x700

Have you ever wished that you could be someone else? What if your wish was granted? Would you live your life in their place, or would your personality change the life you wished to have?  Sometimes getting what you asked for is not nearly as enjoyable as you imagined. When three women with a gift for magic become entangled in one another’s lives, even the removal of their power cannot protect themselves or their desires.

Author Tina H. Luck gives us an interesting view into the lives of three women, each with their own unique power, and the desires that drive each of them. When one of the women discovers that she can swap bodies with one of the others, the fun really begins. What are the consequences for living someone else’s life and what happens when love comes calling and you are not yourself?

THE GOOD

This is an interesting novel with a clever take on walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. The story is well written and the characters are well defined, which is an absolute must in a book where perspectives and bodies are exchanged constantly. The way the author handles the body swaps is clever and inventive, which keeps it from being a boring retread of a well used concept.

THE BAD

The settings are a little non-descript with the exception of the Kentucky farmhouse. The different locales were distinct from one another, but a simple name change could have moved the locations without much of an impact on the story.

THE TAKEAWAY

I really enjoyed this book, and it does not fall within my normal reading list genre’s.  It is not high on action, and even the romance felt a little lacking at times, but it is clever and a good read worth adding to your shelf.

 

skylar ecover 3d 

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of Skylar Wishes! Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Skylar Wishes tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck! About the book: Grace is the only one who remembers the truth—that comets are the source of extraordinary destinies. Since their last night together, all memory of their comets and their old powers has abandoned Skylar and Alina. All that is left is Alina’s enduring envy for everything Skylar touches, and Alina’s sudden ability to wake up inside of Skylar’s body, if only for a few minutes. After Alina finally forces her will and switches bodies with Skylar, harsh realities surface. The holes in Skylar’s relationship with Darren are exposed, and Skylar herself becomes seduced by the idea of living two lives at once, and loving two men at once. Grace might be able to save them, but everything Skylar and Alina know about love has to change. When their comets return, these three women must choose their fate once more.Get Skylar Wishes through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. About the author: Tina L. Hook grew up in Orlando, Florida where she graduated from Rollins College. Her debut novel, Enchanted by Starlight, was honored as a Finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Science Fiction/Fantasy. She lives in a small town near Nashville with her husband. When she is not daydreaming over a blinking cursor, she is blogging at GirlwithaNewLife2.com. Connect with Tina on her website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads.. EMBED CODE can be found at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YzE3YzI0YTkzYTJkODQ0ODQxZDUwNTUwMTQ3OTkxOjk5/ a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

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