Thursday 27 November 2014

Mortal Gods (Forgotten Pantheon #1) by Alex Manea: Giveaway + Review


Mortal Gods (Forgotten Pantheon #1)
by Alex Manea

Genre: Urban Fantasy 

Number of pages: 183
Cover Artist: Ovidiu Stanciu

Heather, a young American girl, is visiting her college roommate, who now lives in Rome. While partying in a local nightclub, she's picked up by a man who looks like he was created in the image of a Greek god. Her initial impression is correct.

He’s one of the last surviving members of the Greek pantheon. After hooking up with him, Heather is forced to join the culmination of a two-millennium-long war between that pantheon and a clandestine sect of monks within the Catholic Church, itself led by perhaps the most infamous figure in Christian history.

Heather and Apollo embark on a world-spanning effort to collect what remains of the gods to engage in the final battle with the monks opposing them. But the fate of the battle is changed by the intervention of a mysterious military organization…

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About the Author
Alex Manea is a Romanian journalist and writer, author of the Urban Fantasy novel Mortal Gods, the first book of the Forgotten Pantheon series. Alex is a big mythology buff, especially Greek, this being the source of inspiration behind the novel. Alex is currently working on the second novel of the series.


4 out of 5 stars
Mortal Gods is the story of Heather, a young woman who is thrown into the world of the Greek gods and is inadvertently caught in the middle of an age-old war.

I'm a sucker for any story that is based on mythology. My favorite stories, however, are ones that blend the old with the new. In Mortal Gods, I felt the author did an excellent job of incorporating the old gods we know and love into the present day. From their descriptions to their personalities, all of the characters were great. Heather herself was a good female lead, something I was worried about, I admit, with the author being male.

The storyline was creative, the story itself fast-paced and full of action, and the author's writing descriptive and clear. My only wish is that it had been longer. At novella length, I wanted more to the story, which is a good thing! This is definitely a promising start to a new series.

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Wednesday 26 November 2014

Once Upon an Ever After by Angela N. Blount

Once Upon an Ever After
(Once Upon a Road Trip #2)
by Angela N. Blount

YA Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 198 pages
Published 2014 by Artifice Press

Set after the events of Blount's debut memoir, Once Upon A Road Trip, this short story anthology focuses on the unusual courtship of Angeli and Vincent.

When Angeli left Minnesota on a post-high school road trip, all she wanted was to see the East Coast and finally meet some of her online friends. She didn't expect to end up in a long-distance relationship with a computer-savvy Southern boy. Yet Vincent seems determined to defy the odds. To prove his intentions, he sets off on his own quest to visit Angeli and win her family's approval. But along the way he’ll have to contend with her offbeat friends, trigger-happy father, and a few questionable run-ins with Northern hospitality.

South meets North this time around, and "normal" isn't anywhere on the map.With a thousand miles and radically different upbringings between them, can Angeli and Vincent forge a forever-worthy bond? Or are the roadblocks they face too much for either of them to overcome?

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About the Author
Award-winning author Angela N. Blount is a Minnesota native, transplanted to the deep South--where she currently resides with her understanding husband, their two children, and a set of identity-confused cats. A Registered Nurse by trade, she is also a freelance content editor, former book reviewer for RT Book Reviews, a memoirist (though, not much a fan of referring to herself in first-person *cough*), craft blogger, sporadic poet, and webcomic artist.

Angela is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America, and was named a finalist in the 2012 Sheila, Laurie, and Orange Rose contests. She also took first place in the 2012 OKRWA Finally A Bride contest. In 2014 her debut memoir, Once Upon a Road Trip, was an NIEA finalist, a Chanticleer Journey Award finalist, and winner of the silver metal in the Literary Classics International Book Awards.

In her spare time, Angela enjoys reading, coffee shop loitering, and all things geeky. Her latest project is a YA sci-fi series.

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“So, then what did you used to do for fun around here?” Vince asked. He turned his gaze back to me, seeming to pick up on my reminiscence-induced melancholy. “I mean, besides building wigwams in the woods and getting run over by heavy machinery.”

“Smart-aleck,” I accused, cutting him a narrowed glance. He cracked a rascally grin and waited, his lean face smoothing into a look of expectation.

I gestured further down the country highway, pointing out the glint of a roadside stream as I turned into my neighborhood. “I spent most of my time following that creek to the river with an ice-cream bucket and a butterfly net, catching crayfish and tadpoles. They weren’t much for conversation, but they were more pleasant company than the kids around here."
He peered at me as the car bumped and jostled along the gravel, heading through the elevated left side of the valley. “And…what did you do with these buckets full of water creatures?”

“I kept them in a kiddie pool under our deck,” I answered, matter-of-factly.

He nodded, making no attempt to mask his perplexed expression. “Oh, of course you did.”

A small smirk leaked through, tugging at the side of my mouth he couldn’t see. “Some girls took dance or played with dolls… I created an aquatic ecosystem in my backyard.”

“Well,” He cleared his throat, playing up a tone of confused acquiescence. “Everybody needs a hobby.”

I turned left into a small cul-de-sac and eased into park in front of my parent’s house. Painted dark blue and set on a small plateau, it would have blended into the darkened woods behind it if not for the motion-sensing floodlights and glaring-white garage doors. I switched off the engine and turned to look Vince full in the face.

“Last chance to back out,” I offered with forced cheer, taking in a steadying breath as he leaned toward me. “There’s probably a lot more weirdness from here on out—”

Vince bent forward the rest of the way and captured my lips in a sweet, lingering kiss. His hand cupped my jaw, giving gentle guidance as I mirrored his movements without thought. He pulled back first, lips curving into a smile of challenge.

“Bring on the weird.”

Monday 24 November 2014

Made for You by Lauren Layne

Made for You (The Best Mistake, #2)Made for You by Lauren Layne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Made for You is book two in The Best Mistake series. What a follow up to Only with You! Lauren Layne continues to deliver with a fun, heart-warming romance.

Brynn prides herself on being the perfect daughter, sister and career woman. Her to-do-lists have made her what she is today so why isn't Brynn happy. Maybe her perfectly planned life isn't what she needs? Will Thatcher has been part of Brynn's family since their high school years as her sister's best friend, but he has always been a thorn in her side. He has made it his mission to chip at the walls Byrnn has built up. Can Brynn throw aside her lists and need for perfection to give spontaneity and Will a chance?

The chemistry between Byrnn and Will sizzles through the pages of this book. The sexual tension is a slow burn that comes to a blazing fire only to be doused with a cold wet blanket. Why? Evidently it is to torment me! The ups and downs of their relationship had me laughing, screaming and crying. I enjoyed the wild ride and look forward to the next adventure.

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Sunday 23 November 2014

Hunters (Demon Series #1) by Aoife Marie Sheridan: Giveaway + Interview

Hunters (Demon Series #1) 
by Aoife Marie Sheridan

Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Cover Artist: Airicka’s Mystical Creations

, 185 pages

Abigail is nineteen, her job she hunts demons.

Her life so far has been tough, having witnessed her family’s death and her mother’s suicide she’s taken in by a priest, who believes her when she says she sees ghosts. Father Peter trains her as a demon hunter with three other members, one being Daniel, who isn’t what he seems.

But when a possession goes wrong, and ghosts start to attack Abigail, the tight rope she had on her emotions soon starts to loosen.

Abigail draws the unwanted attention of the Vatican, and she finds out a lot more then she was willing to learn.

Knowledge is power, but for Abigail it’s her undoing, and the only thing keeping her together is Daniel.

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Aoife Marie Sheridan has loved reading from a very young age, starting off with mills and boon's books, given to by her grandmother her love for romances grew, by the age of 14 she had read hundreds of them.

Aoife had a passion for writing poetry or in her eyes her journal entries. It was something she did throughout her teens and into her twenties. Aoife won first place for two of her poems and had them published at a young age of just nineteen. Realising she needed to get a real job (What writing isn't) she studied accountancy and qualified working in that field for many years, until her passion for reading returned and she found Maria V Snyder. Poison study one of her favourite books has been read and re-read countless times.

Aoife's first book Eden Forest (Part one of the Saskia Trilogy) came to be after a dream of a man and woman on a black horse jumping through a wall of fire and the idea of Saskia was born. Now with her first novel published and taking first place for Eden Forest with Writers Got Talent 2013, Aoife continues to write tales of fantasy and is currently working on her third book for the Saskia Trilogy amongst other new works.

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Q & A With Author Aoife Marie Sheridan

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
A:  My main Character in Hunters is Abigail Thornton and she is a tortured soul. Abigail is only nineteen and she has a drink problem, it helps her function on a daily basis. Her life so far has been sad, as she lost her family at a young age. Abigail now keeps everyone at arm’s reach including Daniel/Zee the guy she loves but will never tell him for fear of losing anyone else she loves.

Being a demon Hunter is something Abigail is good at, that’s until they start to attack her, her life takes a downward spiral and she can’t stop it.

Q:  Describe your ideal writing spot.
A:  Really wherever I am comfortable, it could be my bed a couch, a seat on a bus, really anywhere, I’m not fussy as long as I can write.

Q:  Who designed the covers for your book and what was that process like for you as the author?
A:  The cover was designed by Airicka's Mystical Creations. To be honest the process was easy and Airicka did a great job, I was very impressed with her ability to understand what I wanted and I will use her in the future for more of my books.

Q:  What is the best advice you have been given?

 A:  “Write a story that you always wanted to read”. I hold this close to my heart, it may not impress everyone but I write stories that I would love to read.

Q:  How do you keep busy when you're not writing?

 A:  I work unfortunately and I also review books so time is rare and precious for writing.

Q:  If you could have any superhuman ability, what would you choose and why? 

A:  I would love to be a mind reader, but I would also love an on/off switch with it.

Q:  Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
A:  I always loved paperback but now since I have a kindle it would be e-books. But still I love the smell of a new book.

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Friday 21 November 2014

Karma by Donna Augustine: Review + Giveaway

Karma (Karma #1)
by Donna Augustine 

Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Publisher: Strong Hold Publishing  
Number of pages: 344  
Cover Artist: Donna Augustine

People say karma's a...well, you know. Personally, I don't think I'm that bad. It's not like I wanted this job. I wasn't even in my right mind when I accepted it. 

Now, I'm surrounded by crazy coworkers like Lady Luck, who's a bit of a tramp, and Murphy's Law, who's a bumbling oaf.  

But the worst is Fate. He's got a problem with transfers like myself and I have to see him constantly. It's unavoidable, since we're hunting the same man, my murderer.

Available at Amazon

About the Author
Donna Augustine’s lifelong ambition was to become the crazy cat lady. Unfortunately, when family allergies cut short her dream of living in a house full of furries, she turned her ambitions toward writing. Combining her love of fantasy, scifi, horror and romance, she tries to string together interesting twists on urban fantasy.

A native of New Jersey, when she isn’t writing, or overdosing on caffeine, she can occasionally be spotted in disguise at the local dog park.

4 out of 5 stars
Karma is searching for her murderer.  How many people can say they were given that opportunity?  A lawyer in life, after her death she is given the opportunity to work helping others...or rather bringing down Karma on others.  Things don't always turn out quite as she planned, though, and as she learns her new position she must also deal with the hardships of it.

Karma is a great character.  She is spirited and tenacious, never backing down from what she believes, all the while grieving for her lost life.  During the course of this story we meet a great cast of characters, including (but not limited to) Murphy, Luck, Cupid, Death and of course Fate.  Karma and Fate...What can go wrong?  There is a lot of tension between the two of them, in a most delicious way.

The pace of the story was great and the plot original and fun.  I will be looking for more from this series and this new to me author. 

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