Category Archives: Blog Tour

Descension

Descension

Descension by B. C. Burgess

Series: Mystic #1

Genre: Young-Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Witches

Published: April 4th 2012

Hosted by AToMR Tours. The full tour schedule can be found HERE.

The Plot.

The Angel
After three years caring for her dying mother, Layla Callaway learns she was adopted under unusual circumstances. Following a cryptic message to seek her birth family in Oregon, Layla uproots her lonely life, quickly finding she descends from witches and wizards. Magic is in her blood, and a handsome family friend is eager to prove it. Through a ring imprinted with her birth parents’ memories, Layla’s enigmatic past comes to light, presenting possibilities and trials more chimerical than her wildest dreams.

The Guardian
Quin’s natural charisma yields plenty of witches, but he longs for the lost witch – the mysterious Layla. He’s dreamed about her his entire life, envisioning the day he would lay eyes on her face and aura. When that day arrives, not only is he breathless, he’s confronted with the challenge of a lifetime – an innate need to keep her safe and forever by his side.

The Hunter
Employing fiendish manipulation and manpower, Agro uses the arcane force of others to elevate his supremacy and wealth. Nothing pleases him more than latching on to a mystical vein, and never has there been a more enticing source. The divine witch will be his.

Descention Tour Banner

My Review.

Descension was undoubtedly a pleasant surprise for me. I signed up to this tour thinking the premise sounded really interesting and was eager to read the book, but at the back of my mind I had doubts about whether I’d like this book. Concerns aside, Burgess captured my attention with Descension and I’m certainly eager to get my hands on the next book in the series. However, I do feel like Descension was a more introductory novel to the series than one filled with action, whilst this didn’t detract from my enjoyment and Burgess maintained my attention throughout the whole of the book with the two entwined romance stories across two time spans, I feel like to keep my interest the next novel will have to kick up the action. Despite this, I was fully invested in the idea and growth of the characters and the love story that Burgess delivered.

I find that the synopsis is rather misleading because at first I believed the novel would be about angels, but in fact it’s witches. Either way it fulfilled my love of the paranormal. I haven’t read a witch novel in a while and I thought Burgess approached the dynamic in an interesting way, but I want to see how she develops the witch dynamic further because we only began to touch on the idea of witchcraft and spells in the present day. I felt more invested in witchcraft in the time jump to the past with Layla’s parents and I feel like we are still left I felt with many questions to the witches and their story as a general. However, I thought they were entirely realistic and believable in their powers that manipulated the earth elements and I liked the community feel of the covens.

“You don’t have to do that,” he said, opening his eyes.

“What did I… I didn’t mean.. Did I hurt you?”

“No,” he answered, “bur it’s an uncomfortable feeling when you’re not expecting it.”

“What did I do?” she squeaked, beyond mortified and so ashamed.

“You used magic on me.”

Burgess splits her novel into two, the present day and Layla’s story which didn’t really move anywhere in terms of actions and the story of her parents who abandoned her as a child (not through their own choices) and that was particularly where we saw more action, but nothing that got my heart racing. Burgess focuses on the relationship between Layla’s parents in the past and Layla uncovering the truth of her life in the presetn. However we don’t really explore much after her parents story is uncovered by Layla and this left me disappointed because I was expecting to see a reaction from Layla and I think the first novel would have benefitted Layla in terms of character growth to explore her response. I however did enjoy the time jump and I think Burgess worked the slip really well into the past and kept my interest, I just wish it had been a little shorter.

There is a strong focus on the relationships in this novel and romance is certainly a focal point, this helped to drive the novels. However I do feel that the characters immediately jump into their relationships rather quickly, the parents of Layla particularly. In addition to this Layla taking to Quin so quickly disturbed me a little when he was a total stranger, I felt she should have been more cautious. Despite the “insta-love” kind of romance, they built up the foundations for Layla’s parents relationship and I hope to see Layla develop further in her romance with Quin since there was very little chance for this. I liked that we also met the majority of characters through Layla’s parents and that these foundations will be useful for the many characters I feel will be coming shortly. The dynamic of the two relationships also gained to give the novel more substance, but I fear Layla’s parents relationship in the end overshadowed her story. However there were some cute moments between Layla and Quin.

“As they walked to her car, he remained remarkably close without touching her, his gaze rarely left her long enough to look where he was going. When they crossed the street, one of his palms lightly touched the small of her back, shooting tingles up her spine and vibrating her shoulders. She was sure he felt her tremble, but he didn’t mention the ridiculous reaction.”

My one disappointment with the novel is the fact of the hunter who I feel I know very little about, and whilst we have met Agro he does not appear to be the main villain. I hope Burgess explores this aspect to strengthen the novel as whilst the romance is incredibly touching and the family bonds in this novel are felt strongly, I feel there needs to be more to the series to sustain my interest. There was a touch on the hunter in the epilogue, but this only left me confused and it needs to be approached in the next novel to keep me on board.

Burgess certainly crafts the idea of a strong family unit and I liked that I really sensed family love and affection because many young-adult novel seem to discuss parents who don’t care. This is where Burgess steps away from the others and focuses on family which fits perfectly with the witch covens. This also builds up a plethora of secondary characters who I hope will be explored more in future novels as they are one of my favourite elements to a novel.

The characters in general I feel like I don’t know them well enough because I didn’t spend enough time with them so I knocked half a star off for that. By the end of I felt disconnected from Layla because her parents story had detracted from our time with her and I felt more invested in them as a couple. Therefore I hope this will be rectified in the next novel and I become more attached to Layla as I don’t feel like I could particularly talk about her character at the present.

Overall I enjoyed Descension but it didn’t blow me away so I struggled writing my review. However, I do recommend trying the book as I think it’s well written, engaging and it’s emotional that makes it an enjoyable read and it sweeps you away to a different place filled with love and family strength. I think Burgess has kicked off a great start to a series and I’m sure lots of people will indeed fall in love with it as I’m looking forward to reading more of her work too!

You can enter HERE to win a chance at a e-copy of Descension and it’s open internationally.

3.5 books

Links:

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 3.5 Books, B.C. Burgess, Blog Tour, E-book, Fantasy, Paranormal Reading Challenge, Romance, Witches, Young Adult

Forty Days Cover Reveal

Forty Days by Stephanie Parent
(Neima’s Ark, Book One)
Release Date:  12th February 2013
Genre: YA
Cover Artist: Najla Qamber
*
The entire
village knows Neima’s grandfather is a madman.
For years the old man has prophesied that a great flood is coming, a
flood disastrous enough to blot out the entire earth.  He’s even built an enormous ark that he
claims will allow his family to survive the deluge.  But no one believes the ravings of a lunatic…
 
…until the rain
starts.  And doesn’t stop. 
 
Soon
sixteen-year-old Neima finds her entire world transformed, her life and those
of the people she loves in peril.
Trapped on the ark with her grandfather Noah, the rest of her family,
and a noisy, filthy, and hungry assortment of wild animals, will Neima find a
way to survive?
 
With lions,
tigers, and bears oh my, elephants and flamingos too, along with rivalries and
betrayals, a mysterious stowaway, and perhaps even an unexpected romance, Forty Days is not your grandfather’s
Noah’s Ark story.
 
Forty Days is approximately 45000 words, the length of
a shorter novel, and is the first installment in a two-part epic story.  It does contain a cliffhanger ending.
Readers looking for a traditional, religiously
oriented version of the Noah’s Ark story should be warned that
Forty Days may
not appeal to them.  The novel will,
however, appeal to lovers of apocalyptic fiction, historical fiction, and
romance, as well as anyone who’s ever dreamed of having a baby elephant as a
pet.
About the Author:
Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block’s WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.
Author Links:

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Crimson Flames Cover Reveal

Crimson Flames by Ashley Robertson

Crimson Flames by Ashley Robertson (The Crimson Series#2)

The Plot.

Half-vampire Abby Tate is determined to learn more about the sorceress powers that were awakened inside her when she was turned into a vampire—making her a whole new hybrid species. There’s a group of rogue vamps banding together and forming a Resistance against the vampire governing body, The Head Council, and Abby’s newly discovered powers are the key to the Council’s victory. Now the Resistance will do anything possible to remove the hybrid threat, and with no other options, Abby is forced to rely on the aid of the Council, yet can she trust the very vampires that hunt for her human lover? And even worse, can she fight the unwelcome attraction that’s growing between her and one of those ancient vampire rulers?

Thoughts on the Cover

I like how the title stands out and seems to burn, it’s really effective. The girl on the cover reminds me of one of those CGI video game characters, which is pretty interesting. And the background blending with the red-ish tint to the whole thing has a pretty awesome effect.

What do you think?

Author Bio:

Ashley Robertson resides in sunny Orlando, Florida and loves reading and writing about everything urban fantasy and paranormal romance. When she isn’t writing you’ll find her spending time with family and friends, training in her home gym, traveling and exploring new places, drinking fine red wines, and making gourmet coffees with her Nespresso machine. Visit her website to learn about her upcoming releases, guest blog posts, and featured giveaways at: www.AshleyRobertsonBooks.com

Author Links:

Lets take a sneak peak at the first Chapter of Crimson Flames

The Deal

MY STOMACH CLENCHED as I sensed the vampire’s approach. He was close. So close I could feel the thrum of his power vibrating along my skin. The hairs on the back of my neck rose, and I knew if I was going to use my power for defense, then I needed to bring it forth now. I closed my eyes, forcing myself to breathe as deeply as I could—which thankfully had gotten easier with practice. I focused on the energy inside me, willing it to the surface, and as I felt it swelling, building like an approaching storm, I threw out my hand, gripped Stone’s shirtsleeve, and urged him to the floor. “Get down! He’s here!”

Stone raked me with a look that told me he was not too pleased, but then fear swept over his face when he realized just how little time we had.

The wooden door to the pub suddenly burst open—bits of wood and dust raining down from the force. Even though Stone should’ve cowered behind me—since his gift of reading blood wasn’t something he could fight with—somehow he’d found some bravery and boldly stood by my side. Though I appreciated it, I didn’t like it, and desperately wished he had listened to me. But I couldn’t think about that and call forth the fire within me at the same time. So I pushed Stone to the back of my mind with the silent promise of dealing with him later. Then I returned my attention to the power building inside me. One last deep breath and my heart shuddered to life inside my chest, making a rhythmic pattern with my faux breathing. A tingling warmth spread from head to toe, then settled on my awaiting hands. Seconds later, there was a glowing orb of fire (about the size of a basketball) cupped inside my palms. And just as the vampire appeared through the settling fog, I called out, “Not another step, Tristan, or it will be your last!”

“I think you should reconsider your threat,” Tristan shot back. “We are on the same side.”

That I sincerely doubted, but I knew killing a member of the Head Council would definitely put me on the “Most Wanted” list. Which I might already be on, since I’d helped the human this vampire was here to claim escape.

“She’s not bluffing!” Stone said through a snarl. I wanted to glare him into silence, but I refused to take my eyes off of the vampire standing in the broken doorway, wearing a black Armani-looking suit—now lightly covered with dust. It was a custom for all members of the Head Council to wear black suits, but each of them would wear shoes and an undershirt of their own choosing. I guess it was a way to express their individual personalities. Yet this one seemed to express himself through his spiked, platinum blond hair, not the basic black undershirt and matching boots—which were much more boring compared to what I’d seen a few of the other Council members wearing. But this vampire was far from boring. He was a tracker for the Council—one of the best hunters on earth. And he was after my human boyfriend.

“You know why I’m here, Abigail,” Tristan bit out. “The human was here.”

I felt my gaze narrow as I carefully took a step forward, the ball of flames growing hotter in my hands. “Yes, he was. It’s my fault he wasn’t captured.”

“That’s not exactly true,” said Stone as he moved up beside me.

I stole a few deep breaths, fighting the urge to throw my fireball at him instead of the blond vampire in the suit.

“Please explain!” Tristan ordered with impatience. But as Stone attempted a reply, he was cut off. “Not you! I want to hear this directly from Abigail!”

“Abby,” I corrected, feeling sweat forming above my brows and pooling between my breasts.

The blond vampire smirked, folding his arms in front of his chest.

“I did not restrain him because I do not believe he will be kept safe once in your hands,” I went on. “And until I can prove his innocence in all of this, I feel it’s best that he stay far away from you.”

A tinge of red formed a ring around Tristan’s irises as he scowled. “That is not your decision. He must pay for his involvement with those rogue vampires, including Bronx. He cannot get away with helping them try to destroy our stronghold.”

“I made an agreement with the other Council members,” I reminded him. “Doesn’t that count for something? Your word is nothing if your actions do not back up what you say.” My voice was getting louder, my patience thinning. And the angrier I got, the more difficult it became to control the fire in my hands.

“Yes. We have a deal,” Tristan assured. “We will not kill him or harm him—just as we told you—but that does not mean he won’t be punished some other way.”

“I don’t believe you,” I snapped.

If you liked the sound of this, you can check out the first novel in the series, Crimson Groves on Goodreads, here

Part of The Bookish Brunette Book Tours.

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Book Blitz: Darkness Haunts

Darkness_Haunts_full_book_cover (Custom) (2)

Darkness Haunts by Susan Illene

Expected publication: January 15th 2013 

Melena Sanders faced her fair share of danger with insurgents and terrorists when she served in the U.S. Army, but now she is about to go up against a new threat. Her best friend, Aniya, has disappeared while on a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska—a supernatural haven. Most humans have no idea darker races lurk amongst them. Mel has always known better. If she wants to get her friend back, she’s going to have to go in alone—but not unarmed.
Melena has a few special skills the Army didn’t provide, but the odds are still against her. She’s got to come up with a plan fast that doesn’t involve her, or her friend, dying. But danger likes to play it rough. A war for power is about to rise in Fairbanks and if she wants to get Aniya back, she’s going to have to step right into the middle of it.

Author Bio:

Instead of making the traditional post high school move and attending college, Susan joined the U.S. Army. She spent her eighteenth birthday in the gas chamber — an experience she is sure is best left for criminals.  For eleven years she served first as a human resources specialist and later as an Arabic linguist (mostly in Airborne units).  Though all her duty assignments were stateside, she did make two deployments to Iraq where her language skills were put to regular use.
After leaving the service in 2009, Susan returned to school to study history with a focus on the Middle East. She no longer finds many opportunities to test her fighting abilities in real life, unless her husband is demanding she cook him a real meal, but she’s found a new outlet in writing urban fantasy heroines who can.

Author Links:

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Guest Post: Laura J. Williams

Guardian of the Moon Pendant

I’m hosting the tour of Laura J. Williams Guardian of the Moon Pendant today, unfortunately my review will be delayed until tomorrow due to unforeseen circumstance, however this book is one to keep an eye on! Until then, you can enter a giveaway at the bottom or find this on amazon or barnes and nobles for $O.99 for the duration of the tour!

Dream Cast:

imageAnabel: Deborah Ann Woll

Ms. Control freak is torn between her perfect life with her fiancé Edgar and a sexy Highlander, Blane. Will she choose love or will the Moon Pendant’s power corrupt her?

 

imageIzzy: Katy Perry

Ms. Rebel Yell herself, the wild child with a pure heart, always fighting for survival, hoping her family will hear her voice and see her for who she really is. Will she finally find love and someone who can believe in her?

 

imageBlane: Chris Hemsworth

Blane is a Highlander and a Sentinel of Light guarding Dunvarghan Castle and protecting the boarders between the realm of the Fae and the realm of Man. Is he truly in love with Anabel or is he secretly in love with someone she reminds him of?

image

 

Fergus: Alex Pettyfer

The scruffy Scotsman who never runs from a fight, but will he run from true love?

 

imageVyx: Tom Hardy

Mr. Meat-Head, the Neanderthal himself, hides a secret past, a love that binds him forever. Will he find what he is looking for and secure his eternal love’s heart?

 

imageGranny: Judi Dench

Granny, the devoted Guardian, must secure the bloodline and help the MacAlpin women to see the truth in themselves and close the Portal before it’s too late.

image

Harriet: Kathy Bates

Harriet is the skittish mother who’s always fearful of the past. Will she gain the strength and finally face her worst fears?

 

imageEdgar: Christopher Gorham

Mr. Nerd is lost in a world of ideas and the perfect woman.

 

imageHamish: Michael Gambon

Fergus’ drunken father, whose childish dreams of the Baobhan Sith, the vampiric faery, quickly transforms into his adult nightmare.

 

imageLainahwyn: Angelina Jolie

Lainahwyn is the Baobhan Sith, the vampiric faery, who uses her seductive voice to hypnotize men into her lair, but her true desire is to destroy the MacAlpin clan and open the Portal into the Otherworld.

 

♦♦♦

Carrying on with the film theme, we have a list of Laura J. Williams top 10 favourite 80’s movies!

My All time Top 10 80s Movies:

1. Goonies (The first rejects)

2. Lost Boys (The hottest vampires at the time)

3. Raiders of the Lost Ark

4. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (My Hero)

5. Eddie and the Cruisers (The original Jersey Shore)

6. Ghostbusters

7. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

8. The Changeling (Not the one w/ Angelina Jolie – This one is a horror movie – such a great one too!)

9. Back to the Future

10. The Princess Bride.

♦♦♦

The Fae

Ankou:

In Celtic folklore, the Ankou is considered to be the equivalent of the Grim Reaper. He rides around on his smoldering motorcycle with his skeleton sidecar, collecting the bodies of all who have been touched by the Otherworld.

Baobhan Sith:

[baa’-van shee] A vampiric faery from Scottish folklore. She uses her seductive voice to hypnotize men into her lair, using her razor-sharp fingernails to suck out her victim’s blood. But, if she injects her prey with her toxic venom, they turn into a Màrmann.

Dryads:

[dri-adz] Dryads are beautiful tree nymphs. They are spirits dwelling within the trees, groves, and forests of Scotland.

Fachan:

[fah-shan] A Fachan is a faery from Scottish folklore. He has one bulbous eye, one arm, one leg, and is covered in bristly hair and dark blue feathers.

Ghillie Dhu:

[gil-ee-du] A Ghillie Dhu comes from Scottish folklore. He is the guardian spirit of trees and harnesses the elemental of earth.

Heather Pixies:

Heather pixies are speedy winged faeries, covered in blooms of purple heather. They have the ability to spring vines from their hands and feet, making them able to carry and restrain anything a hundred times their size.

Leigheas:

[lay-huss] Leigheas is a faery who has the ability to heal men and the Fae. Once her powers are used, she’s helpless and can only regain her powers from the rising sun.

Màrmann:

[mar-mhen] Zombie-like warriors whom the Baobhan Sith’s has inflicted her poisonous venom into, changing them from regular men into her undead army.

Nuckelavee:

[knog-gul-vee] Nuckelavee is a creature from Scotland’s Orkney Island folklore that is known as the devil of the sea. A vile hybrid of half-man and half-horse, its skinless body is covered in raw living flesh. Its horse’s head has only one eye. Centered on its back is a thin rider with no legs, but has long ape-like arms.

Red Cap:

A Red Cap is a murderous faery found in Scottish folklore. He is an old hunch-backed man, carrying an iron-pike, donning iron-clad boots, who is fast as lightning. He dwells in castles and towers, killing travelers regularly to keep his red cap drenched in blood, for if his cap dries out, he will turn to stone.

Stone faeries:

Stone faeries are ethereal angel-like faeries trapped within the MääGord standing stones, waiting for a chance to break free from their cold monolith prisons.

Trows:

A small goblin-like faery from Scotland’s Orkney Island folklore. They’re only about a foot tall and will immediately turn to stone when a person from the realm of man gazes upon them. Only those who have been touched by the Otherworld can see a Trow move freely about.

Will-o’-the-wisp:

Ghostly firelights seen by travelers at night trying to lead them astray.

♦♦♦

To finish off, there is a sneaky peak look at the prologue!

♦♦♦

Prologue

I lay there sprawled out on a cold stone slab, tucked away deep inside the demon’s lair, spread-eagle, face-down, blood trickling from my mouth. The Màrmann hovered over me like vultures, swooping in, their mouths drooling, poking me with their sharp claws, testing to see if their prey was dead or alive, itching to get a taste of my most precious blood.

I doubt the Màrmann ever had female blood before, let alone a MacAlpin; most of their food was wayward travelers, local Scots men or the naïve backpacker, lured by their demon’s hypnotic voice.

I felt their hesitation, their boots shuffling side to side, lips smacking, even salivating, not knowing if I was as delicious as they thought I’d be. If only the Bloody Baron were here to let them know that indeed, my nectar was the sweetest of the sweet.

But, seriously, it didn’t matter anymore.

I was dead.

Toast.

End of the line.

Kicked the bucket.

Kaput!

Lights out.

Six feet under.

It’s over, buddy.

The End!

The Grim Reaper had arrived, and he didn’t look like he was stopping by for crumpets and tea.

So who cares if the Màrmann throw back a couple of pints of my blood? I didn’t need it. Drink up, I say! Follow it back with a beer chaser and a couple of nips of whiskey and we’ll make it my last happy hour! A final fare thee well party!

Except now… I was the beverage of choice.

Isn’t it funny how quickly things change?

♦♦♦

I hope you enjoyed that jumble of different tit-bits on the tour of Guardian of the Moon Pendant. Check back tomorrow to see my review, until now you can enter the giveaway to win a chance of one of five signed copies of Guardian of the Moon HERE. Open only to US entrants.

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Blog Tour: Tania L Ramos ~ Be Still

Tania L Ramos

I’m taking part in Tania L Ramos’ blog tour to support the publication of her new novel Be Still. On July 20th I’ll be hosting the blog tour for the date. You can find her novel on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. Check out her facebook page here.

To accompany this I’ll be reviewing a copy of “Be Still” shortly which is general fiction, having an interview with Tania and hosting a giveaway which will start on July 20th!

These are the tour dates for the blog below:

19th July: Katherine Nader

20th July: ME!

21st July: Teresa McCluskey

22nd July: David McGowan

23rd July: Michelle Prolux

24th July: Hosted by Tania L Ramos

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