Monday, September 30, 2013

Book Review: The God of Mischief by Paul Bajoria

(Sequel to The Printer's Devil)
Blurb: Sent to live with their nearest living relative, Sir Septimus Cloy, the eccentric widower of their late mother's cousin, Mog and Nick spend a lot of time on their own. They explore the Cloy mansion, with its towers and turrets, staircases leading nowhere, and forbidden rooms. Two elderly manservants, Melibee and Bonefinger, guard Cloy like malevolent ravens. Then sinister things begin to happen: a falling gargoyle misses them in the churchyard, a flagstone collapses beneath their feet, and their governess is found hanged in her room. References in old documents point to some dark secrets in the history of the house, and the village is rife with rumors. Is the mysterious Damyata, a villian from Mog's past, at large once again? And can the twins discover the truth behind the family mansion and its secrets, before their own lives become endangered?

I give it 4 stars

My Review: Mog and Nick have been whisked away from London to live in the dilapidated estate of a distant relative. But Mog's insatiable curiosity once more pulls the twins into the midst of a dangerous mystery.
This YA adventure novel is both darker and more exciting than The Printer's Devil, with plenty of on the edge of your seat thrills to keep your heart racing. Who is the mysterious Damyata and what does he want? What secret is Sir Septimus hiding about his past association with the twin's mother? Who did Bonefinger bury in the woods, and is he responsible for the 'accidents' threatening the twin's lives? Is there a curse on the Cloy family?
I highly recommend you read the book and find out.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn Train Blog Hop


Do you have a favorite fall memory linked to a train? What do you imagine you would see if you were riding a train in the fall? Join the authors of Wild Child publishing and Freya’s Bower as we Take an Autumn Train Ride through our blogs.

Prizes will include


  • Four $50 gift certificates (two for Wild Child and two for Freya's Bower)
  • An awesome swag package that includes:
    • Bookmarks
    • Books
    • Wild Child T-shirt and mug
    • Wild Child and Freya's Bower bags
    • Four handmade, crochet coasters by Kit Wylde
    • An autographed copy of Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
    • A rare DVD copy of the Matheson/Furst classic "Up The Creek" (lovingly used)
    • One ebook copy of Nita Wick’s short story, The Dream (previously published as part of a Freya’s Bower anthology.)
    • Book trading cards
    • Signed Dangerous Waters poster
    • copy of "Battle for Blood: The Blood Feud"
    • the winner’s name as a character in Kissa Starling’s next sweet romance story.
    • A Yankee Candle
    • and more...

See Bottom Of Post To Enter To Win
Short story (flash fiction)
By Kyra Dune

I sat on the train staring out the window at the trees. Reds, oranges, and golds; the trees in their fall clothes waiting for winter. Like me, though my own clothes were not so bright and festive. But then, I felt neither bright nor festive so the dull browns and grays suited me fine.
I hated the trees for facing the coming snows brightly arrayed like young girls at a party. I was a young girl, but no party waited for me at the end of my long and winding journey. A journey that had begun in death.
My mother was a nurse. She was all the family I knew. I often worried about her going to the sick camps with all those diseased people. "Don't worry so, Anna," she would say with a smile. "Nurses don't get sick." Only she was wrong. Nurses do get sick. They die and leave their teenaged daughters to board trains to strange lands to live with relatives they never even knew existed.
On the platform under the trees, groups of people were bidding goodbye to their loved ones. Hugging and crying and carrying on as if it were the end of the world. I hated them too. What did they know of the end of the world? Of sorrow? Of goodbye? Goodbye was not a hug farewell at a train station, it was watching your mother's coffin being lowered into the ground while the gray Autumn skies poured misery.
Other passengers began to board the train. Chattering, smiling, even through their tears, they took their seats with faces eager for the journey ahead. I wanted to jump up, to scream, to tell them they had no right to look to winter with anticipation while my life was disintegrating around me. 
I remained in my seat, looking out the window at the trees as the train began to roll.
By Kyra Dune
YA fantasy
Micayta's world has long been gripped in the thrall of an endless winter that has grown worse with the passing of time. Life is a constant struggle. Then catastrophe strikes the small town in which she lives, thrusting Micayta and her brother Pytaki alone into the snow laden countryside. To keep herself and her brother alive will take all the strength that she has.
Then a mysterious stranger appears to complicate matters. Tech has an amazing story to tell, but is any of it true? Old wounds and betrayals make Micayta slow to trust, but without Tech she and her brother will never make it across the countryside alive. Through bandits, wolves, and snowstorms, the three struggle their way to the city of Phadra. But the real danger lies within the city walls, where Micayta becomes a player in a deadly game with a dark-eyed mage.
Nothing is what it seems.
As the truth unravels, Micayta finds herself drawn into a struggle much bigger than she ever dreamed. Choices must be made and sides taken. But the question of who to trust is one not easily answered. Micayta will have to open her heart and find a way to let someone else in, or the flames that destroyed her home will consume the world.


Micayta shrank back from the flames, retreating as far up the alley as she could go. Behind her was a twelve-foot stone fence, with a ten-foot drift of snow pushed up against it. No
way out forward or backward. No doors in either building leading from this alley. No place to run.
“Don’t panic,” she whispered. There was a knotty feeling in her stomach and her hands were shaking from more than the cold. Part of her just wanted to curl up in a little ball and give in, but that was no option. She had to get to her brother.
The bakery was nothing but a blank brick facade, but the old temple had a single window about ten feet up the wall. If she could somehow get to it, she might have a chance.
She looked from the snow drift to the window. They were the same height, but the window was maybe a foot closer to the entrance of the alley. To reach it, she’d have to jump sideways and catch hold of the edge of the windowsill.
Glancing over her shoulder at the rising flames, Micayta decided to take the chance.
The snow was packed tight, but still soft. She’d have to be quick to keep herself from sinking in. Micayta backed away, intensely aware of the fire at her back. She took a breath, focused, and burst into a sprint.
She raced up the snow drift so fast her boots barely left a print. At the top, she kicked one foot against the fence to give her something to brace against, then sprang sideways and caught hold of the windowsill with one hand.
She hung there a moment, breath frosting in the chill air, then gripped the windowsill with her other hand and pulled herself up and over.
It was dark inside the old temple and the air filled with a stale, musty scent. Micayta stepped cautiously. There must be stairs leading to the first floor and she had no desire to fall down them.
The outside sounds were muffled, but she still felt the occasional vibration beneath her feet. It was like a nightmare, but real. Too real. Dragons were supposed to be fairy tales, stories, not real fire breathing monsters. How could this be?
“Focus,” Micayta told herself, “must focus.” At the moment the how and why of things didn’t matter. What mattered was getting out of this building and finding her brother. A creaking sound made her pause. It seemed to be coming from directly below and growing quickly from a slight noise to a groan. The floor shifted and before she could decide which way to move, it dropped out from beneath her feet.

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Please visit these sites for more chances to win, the more you visit the more chances you have to win. We have 46 participating authors. You can stop at as many or as little blogs as you wish. At each stop, you will find two chances to enter per blog to win some awesome prizes. If you visit all, that’s 92 chances to win! There will be five, lucky winners.


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Character Interview: Zara Itani (Double Helix Series)

Double Helix series 4

Today, on our character interview, we're pleased to welcome Zara Itani, from the seven-time award-winning Double Helix series. Her author, Jade Kerrion, has insisted on sitting in on the interview. It's not quite the norm, but we've agreed to Jade's request. Let's start with some easy questions, Zara.

How did you first meet Jade Kerrion? Want to dish about her?

Zara: I think Jade was having a midlife crisis when we met. She was growing older, and realized that she was going to live out her life in the frantic corporate rat race of America, while being a mom with husband, two kids, and a mini van. She probably felt that she needed to live vicariously through someone else, namely me.

Jade: I am not having a midlife crisis!

Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

Zara: I'm a mercenary, and I own an agency of mercenaries. No, I do not crave the spotlight or expect to make headlines, at least not with my name in print next to my unfortunate victims. Jade, however, appears to be a strong proponent of full disclosure. It's amazing, though how her novels are full of people who never disclose anything to anyone else. And she decided to get my name out there.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the Double Helix series.

Zara: My favorite scene from the first three books takes place in the second book, Perfect Betrayal. It's an intimate moment with Danyael Sabre. It's especially memorable because, if you know Danyael, then you know that Danyael doesn't do intimate often. Danyael, of course, swears the encounter never took place. He's lying, of course. We have a daughter and five genetic tests to prove it. (smiles) Of course, I have many favorite scenes in Jade's upcoming novel, Perfection Challenged. The closing scene is particularly memorable.

It sounds like you have a complicated relationship with Danyael. Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters?

Zara (arching a perfectly tweezed eyebrow): They're charming, like black mambas are charming. Still, we've gone through a great deal together, and on a good day, I'd trust them, but not too much.

What do you like best about Danyael Sabre? What do you like least?

Zara: Do we have to talk about Danyael?

Well, your name is frequently mentioned in conjunction with his name and Galahad's. How do you choose between two men who look alike?

Zara: Danyael is Galahad's physical template, but in every other way that matters, they are nothing like each other. Galahad, the lab-created perfect human being, is eager and impatient to seize the world. On the other hand, Danyael, after a traumatic childhood as an undiagnosed alpha empath, wants nothing more than to be left alone to do his job as a doctor in a charity clinic. I used to think Danyael was evasive and a coward, unwilling to face his past or embrace his mutant powers. He isn't really. He's both courageous and compassionate, but most people don't see him for what he is.

And what about you? What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they've known you for a while?

Zara: Ideally, they'd know me as a practical, levelheaded person who isn't afraid of doing what it takes to get things done. After they've known me for a while, I hope they'll continue to say the same thing.

Jade (in a stage whisper): Ask her about that compassionate streak.

Zara (shrugs an elegant shoulder): Not there. It doesn't exist, and you can't prove it.

Ladies, please. Zara, what would Danyael say about you?

Zara (flashes an amused smile): Ah, he's much too polite to say anything, but if he did, I imagine he would say that I'm more abrasive than steel wool, and that I have a cruel and ruthless streak several miles wide. He wouldn't say anything about compassion.

Jade (scowling): He wouldn't have fallen in love with you otherwise.

Jade, if you don't mind, I'm interviewing Zara here. Zara, if your story were a movie, who would play you?

Zara: Kate Beckinsale would do a great job. She's beautiful, and she knows how to kick ass. She's not Lebanese-Venezuelan, but nobody's perfect.

Will you encourage your author to write a sequel?

Zara: She's already written four Double Helix novels, five, if you include the Young Adult spinoff, When the Silence Ends. She insists that Perfection Challenged is the end of the Double Helix series, but that's not to say that there aren't other stories to be told about the world of the Double Helix. Knowing her, she'll be back with another fascinating story about my world and the people who live in it.

What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?

Zara: You already know what I do for a living; I find ways to keep busy to pay the bills. I also have a two-year-old daughter, Laura. She's learning her alphabet by reading Dr. Seuss and gun catalogs.

Jade (pulls Zara to her feet and drags her away): I am so sorry. This is why I don't let my characters out unsupervised. I think they say stuff like that just to embarrass me.

Ah, okay, and that brings to an abrupt end our interview with Zara Itani today. Thank you for joining us for this character interview, and we hope you'll take the opportunity to get to know Zara better in the DOUBLE HELIX series.
The best of the four books. The perfect ending to an amazing series.
Perfection Challenged, the thrilling conclusion to the multiple award-winning, bestselling DOUBLE HELIX series, is finally here. Grab your copy today. If you've never picked up the DOUBLE HELIX series, keep reading for a special offer on the six-time award-winning novel, Perfection Unleashed.

perfection-challenged-600x800PERFECTION CHALLENGED

An alpha empath, Danyael Sabre has survived abominations and super soldiers, terrorists and assassins, but he cannot survive his failing body. He wants only to live out his final days in peace, but life and the woman he loves, the assassin Zara Itani, have other plans for him. Galahad, the perfect human being created by Pioneer Labs, is branded an international threat, and Danyael is appointed his jury, judge, and executioner. Danyael alone believes that Galahad can be the salvation that the world needs, but is the empath blinded by the fact that Galahad shares his genes, and the hope that there is something of him in Galahad? In a desperate race against time and his own dying body, Danyael struggles to find fragments of good in the perfect human being, and comes to the wrenching realization that his greatest battle will be a battle for the heart of the man who hates him. E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple iTunes / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK


"Higher octane than Heroes. More heart than X-Men." Recipient of six literary awards, including First place in Science Fiction, Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and Gold medal winner, Science Fiction, Readers Favorites 2013. FOR A LIMITED TIME, E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR JUST $0.99 (Discounted from $2.99) E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository Connect with Jade Kerrion: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Book Review: The Printer's Devil by Paul Bajoria

Blurb: The notorious inhabitants of London's criminal underworld are all in a day's work for Mog, the young printer's apprentice, who prints their WANTED posters. But then a real-life meeting with a genuine convict entangles Mog in a secret scheme that has all the crooks of the city at each others' throats.
An ingenious theft, a series of mistaken identities, and a chilling murder all connect to a ship just docked from India, and Mog's own mysterious past.
I give it 4 stars
My review: This is not the sort of book I usually read, but one day while digging through a bargain bin I came across The Printer's Devil and it's sequel, The God of Mischief. They were cheap, so I picked them up. Now, I'm very glad I did so.
The Printer's Devil takes place in 19th century London. It's a YA adventure story about 12 year old Mog Winter, who gets involved in a dangerous plot involving thievery, deceit, and murder. The point of view is, for the most part, Mog's. Mog is a charming character whose adventures make for an enjoyable read.
Why is there a camel in London, and what makes it so precious people are willing to kill to get their hands on it? Who is the man from Calcutta, and what truth does he know about Mog's past?
You'll have to buy the book to find out.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Book Review: The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill

Blurb: The Icemark is a kingdom in grave danger. Its king has been killed in battle, its enemy lies in wait, and its fate rests on the shoulders of one girl. Thirrin Freer Strong-in-the-Arm Lindenshield, a beautiful princess and an intrepid warrior, must find a way to protect her land from a terrible invasion. She will forge an extraordinary alliance of noble Snow Leopards, ancient Vampires, and ferocious Wolf-folk. She will find unexpected strength in her friendship with a young warlock. And she will lead her allies to victory with her fierce battle cry: "Blood! Blast! And Fire!"
I give it 4 stars
My Review: From the moment 13 year old Thirrin Lindenshield punches a werewolf in the face, this book rolls along at a brisk clip as the young queen seeks out allies in a coming war. From her homeland of Icemark, through the Land of Ghosts, and on to the Hub of the World, Thirrin's adventures bring her into contact with a myriad of wondrous creatures including valiant werewolves and snooty vampires.
Thirrin is a heroine with fierce pride and valor, but in many ways she is still only a young girl thrust too soon into her role as queen. With the undefeated Polypotan Empire threatening her borders, she must seek her allies in the unlikeliest of places, including among those who were once her land's greatest enemies.
At the beginning of the book there are a few times when the king tells his daughter things she should already know simply for the reader's benefit. But aside from those brief moments of info dumping, this is a highly enjoyable book full of adventure and emotion. I don't usually like head hopping, but in this case it's handled so well I was never confused as to whose point of view I was looking through.
If you enjoy YA medieval fantasy with a Norse flavor, I highly recommend The Cry of the Icemark.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Book Review: Night Chills by Dean Koontz

Blurb: Designed by top scientists and unleashed in a monstrous conspiracy, night chills are seizing the men and women of Black River--driving them to acts of rape and murder. The nightmare is real. And death is the only cure…

I give it 1 star

My Review:

I was very disappointed by this book because I usually really like Dean Koontz. Night Chills started out okay in the first couple of chapters, but after that it went downhill. To begin with, the second half of the blurb is bogus. Except for in one instance, the people in Black River don't really do anything much at all. And after those first few chapters, the biggest chunk of the book is dedicated to an in-depth explanation on how subliminal messaging works.

Most of the time when I write a review, I try hard to put positive comments along with negative ones  no matter how much I dislike a book, but I have no positive comments for this one. I didn't care about the characters, the writing was flat, and I was completely bored.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Book Review: The Stranger by Caroline B. Cooney

The moment Nicolette lays eyes on the mysterious boy in art class, she knows there’s something different about him

At Nicolette Storm’s high school of over two thousand students, everyone has to belong to a group or they are nothing. Nicolette’s place is happily in the Madrigals choir, where she and her friends wear beautiful costumes and sing like angels. But at the beginning of the school year, Nicolette is unexpectedly ousted from the group in favor of a new girl, and feels totally lost. When she signs up for art appreciation as a replacement elective, she meets a dark, mysterious boy.
She can’t understand why she is so intensely drawn to the silent, beautiful boy. On the afternoon of their first class together, she finds herself so mesmerized she is inexplicably compelled to follow him home. Or rather, home is where she thinks he is going, until he walks past the town’s houses, past the roads, and into the forest. There is something so innately powerful about him—it’s as if the trees and boulders of the forest rise up to greet him. He is so different, so beautiful, and so . . . inhuman. Will an extraordinary love help Nicolette find herself?
I give it 2 stars
My review:
The main reason I didn't like this book is because it kind of reminded me of Twilight. There are no vampires or werewolves though, just a boy who is cursed into being a... Well, I'm not really sure what he is. Anyway, the instantly obsessive feelings that Nicolette has for Jethro, are very like Bella's feelings toward Edward. Also, there is a love triangle, but that didn't bother me at all.
I bought this book in paperback and it has a different blurb. A blurb which led me to believe I was picking up a light YA horror with some romance, when really it is strictly a YA romance. I'm not sure whether it qualifies as paranormal or not, though. I don't like books where the romance is the main plot, which the secondary reason I didn't like this book.
The writing isn't bad at all. The two best friends almost seem like they could be the same girl, but the rest of the characters, even the minor ones, are fully fleshed out individuals. And there are some truly wonderfully described scenes that really pulled me into the story.
If you liked Twilight you might want to give this one a try.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cover Revel: Perfection Challenged by Jade Kerrion

Perfection Challenged, the thrilling conclusion to Jade Kerrion's multiple award-winning, bestselling DOUBLE HELIX series, will be released on September 17th and will be available in paperback and all electronic formats. Beta readers have declared Perfection Challenged "the best of the four books...the perfect ending to an amazing series." If you've never picked up the DOUBLE HELIX series, keep on reading for a special offer on Perfection Unleashed, the book that launched the DOUBLE HELIX series.


An alpha empath, Danyael Sabre has survived abominations and super soldiers, terrorists and assassins, but he cannot survive his failing body. He wants only to live out his final days in peace, but life and the woman he loves, the assassin Zara Itani, have other plans for him. Galahad, the perfect human being created by Pioneer Labs, is branded an international threat, and Danyael is appointed his jury, judge, and executioner. Danyael alone believes that Galahad can be the salvation that the world needs, but is the empath blinded by the fact that Galahad shares his genes, and the hope that there is something of him in Galahad? In a desperate race against time and his own dying body, Danyael struggles to find fragments of good in the perfect human being, and comes to the wrenching realization that his greatest battle will be a battle for the heart of the man who hates him. perfection-challenged-600x800


Recipient of six literary awards, including first place in Science Fiction, Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and Gold medal winner in Science Fiction, Readers Favorites 2013. "Higher octane than Heroes. More heart than X-Men." Danyael Sabre spent sixteen years clawing out of the ruins of his childhood and finally has everything he wanted—a career, a home, and a trusted friend. To hold on to them, he keeps his head down and plays by the rules. An alpha empath, he is powerful in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, yet his experience has taught him to avoid attention. When the perfect human being, Galahad, escapes from Pioneer Laboratories, the illusory peace between humans and their derivatives—the in vitros, clones, and mutants—collapses into social upheaval. The abominations, deformed and distorted mirrors of humanity, created unintentionally in Pioneer Lab’s search for perfection, descend upon Washington D.C. The first era of the Genetic Revolution was peaceful. The second is headed for open war. Although the genetic future of the human race pivots on Galahad, Danyael does not feel compelled to get involved and risk his cover of anonymity, until he finds out that the perfect human being looks just like him. FOR A LIMITED TIME, E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR JUST $0.99 (Discounted from $2.99) E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository To be the first to receive news of Jade Kerrion's latest book releases, sign up for her New Release Mailing List. If Perfection Challenge makes it to the bookstores before September 17th, you'll be among the first to know. Connect with Jade Kerrion: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Review: Fire-Starter by Stephen King

Blurb: First, a man and a woman are subjects of a top-secret government experiment designed to produce extraordinary psychic powers.

Then, they are married and have a child. A daughter.

Early on the daughter shows signs of a wild and horrifying force growing within her. Desperately, her parents try to train her to keep that force in check, to "act normal."

Now the government wants its brainchild back - for its own insane ends.

I give it 5 stars
My Review:

This has always been my favorite Stephen King novel. I guess I've read it at least three times, maybe more. This time, it had been many years since I read it so I went into it wondering if it would be as good as I remembered. It was.

The story centers around an eight year old girl named Charlie and her father, who are on the run from a government agency known as the Shop. Charlie can start fires with her mind, and ability that sometimes gets out of her control. Her father, Andy, has what is referred to as the push, the ability to mentally force people into doing or believing whatever he wants. But it has serious side effects for both Andy and the people he pushes. The Shop wants father and daughter for the potential as proof of the effects of Lot Six, an experimental drug which gave Andy his extraordinary powers. But when the Shop finally get what they want, it proves to be more than they can handle.