**Notice** Due to transfering back from a godaddy hosted wordpress blog back to blogger, reviews published before june 2017 don`t all have a pretty layout with book cover and infos. Our apologies.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Broken by Traci L. Slatton

I've always liked reading historical fiction but personally I've never liked reading books about WWII. There's so many atrocities in that war that I usually can't face a novel set during that time. However, when I read the synopsis of this book, there was just something about it that caught my attention. I don't know if it's the idea of a fallen angel living in occupied Paris or if it's the idea of a novel about a fallen angel in love with two completely different men, but it just felt like I was about to read something special. Although the story was definitely not what I expect, it was truly original. I think it takes a special mind to come up with a story like this one. It shocked me multiple times, brought me to tears, and provided good entertainment.

The main character, Alia, is the fallen angel in question. As a protagonist, she's not my favorite because her carefree attitude in the beginning of the novel makes us feel like she doesn't take the war seriously enough. For her, she's just passing through, telling herself that she's not affected by the lives of the humans surrounding her. She's simply using them for her enjoyment since she has no more obligations as a fallen angel. She does eventually redeem herself multiple times throughout the book, since the book is in part her "transformation" from angel to a human.

Pedro and Josef are the two men Alia gets romantically involved with, that have proven time and time again their worth and their ability to sacrifice their lives for the good of the people. Although I can't really tell you who she ends up choosing without revealing major spoilers I can tell you either man is a worthy choice for any woman (or angel in this case). Traci L. Slatton took a huge risk by adding eroticism to some of the love scenes but personally I think it's a great way to balance out the horrors of war. These opposites are strange because it's unexpected but the love story does provide a way to escape into the story without being overwhelmed by the hostility of the occupation.

One of the aspects that I truly appreciated is the addition of real historical people in the novel. The author included people like Edith Piaf and Coco Chanel, among many others, in her novel and it added some authenticity to the story. Edith Piaf and Coco are the ones that stood out the most for me because they are among some of my favorite French celebrities. Obviously Edith Piaf's music will live on forever because of her unique voice and amazing talent, while Coco Chanel is known for revolutionizing women's fashion and beauty. I could go on and on about Chanel because I'm a huge fan of the fragrances and make-up (I can't afford the clothes so I must fuss about things that are a little less expensive) but I'm not going to turn this post into a beauty/fashion post. Suffice to say, the author certainly got a thumbs up from me for including these celebrities.

I wasn't sure where the author was going with her novel near the end, and although I'm still not sure if it's the perfect ending to the story, I think the conclusion allows the readers to reevaluate human life and to understand why some of us are driven to courageous acts. I don't think BROKEN is so much about how WWII broke the spirits of so many people but about how some were able to overcome so much and still able to piece themselves back together. It's obvious the author researched her subject thoroughly because the historical references seem accurate. I'm no historian, but ignoring the fictional elements, the war elements were very realistic. Please note that the book does contain some explicit scenes and some dark themes that are not suitable for everyone, however I do recommend it to anyone in the mood for something dark yet enlightening. BROKEN left me a bit confused because even though I enjoyed it, it's not your everyday paranormal read. I have nothing to compare it to, and it's hard to define it, but I guess that's what makes it so stunning. It's unlike anything I've ever read.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stacking The Shelves [122]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


Fear not, my daughter was NOT added to my shelves :D



Silver Shadow by Richelle Mead
Promised by Caragh M. O'Brien
Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien
Vampires Dead Ahead by Cheyenne McCray
Evernight by Kristen Callihan

For Review:

Black Ice by Susan Krinard
(not sure I will read that one, I didn't like the first book)

What did you add to your shelves?


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Friday, August 29, 2014

Ante Up by Amanda Carlson

The Sin City Collectors is such a fun series! For those who don't know, it's a series of novellas written and self-published by a bunch of author friends. So far, there are novellas by Amanda Carlson and Kristen Painter, but more authors will join later on. Each novella is set in the same world, and featuring a different pair of main characters.

This time around we meet Diesel, a werewolf who completely looses control on the full moon, and Sofia, a witch hunted by an incubus. Once again a fun installment with great characters! With only 120 pages to build the plot and romance happens pretty quickly, but these two characters already met because they are part of previous novellas so it makes even more sense when the passion unravels.

Diesel was a great alpha male and even though I didn't fall unconditionally in love with him, I liked him just fine. He has an history that scarred him and made him more real and I liked his determination and desire to protect. His affliction also made things interesting. I really, really liked Sofia! I think she's fun, smart and brilliant. I loved how she dealt with Neve (a dhampir from a previous novella) and her attitude issues. She isn't a damsel in distress even though she needed help and I command her for it.

Fun but somewhat predictable, the plot still provided great entertainment. It's hard to build something intricate with such a small number of pages, but the story was well-rounded and the conclusion satisfying.

If I had one small complain it would be the secondary characters name. Diesel's brother is called Luke, and they work with a gargoyle called Jake. Both names were just too similar for a comfortable read, I kept confusing the two of them.

It seems novella #5 will feature Ginger and Luke and I can't wait to read it!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

River tour: Guest post by Skyla Dawn Cameron + giveaway

River Tour Banner

Today we have a guest post from Skyla Dawn Cameron, author of oh, a bajillion different books. :) I'm delighted to have her on the blog as part of a tour organized by Melissa from My World...in Words and Pages. Skyla's here today to promote the re-release of RIVER, one of her older stories and she's written us a great guest post about the joys and hassles of updating an older work.

There's also a tour-wide giveaway with an amazing prize pack for a Canadian or US resident so be sure to stick around for that.


Updating an Older Work

Come. Sit around the fire, boys and girls, for I’m going to tell you a story. A horror story. Something so terrifying, I can barely speak of it.

Once upon a time, there was a writer. She was young and she won things as a teen and then she wrote books. The fourth one was published and people liked it. And then years went by and she wrote more books, and more books—roughly thirty of them—until suddenly over a decade had gone by since that first published novel. Through a magical adventure called “crowdfunding” in the Mountains of Indiegogo, the first novel was able to rise again.

Except the author opened the manuscript to read it.

Her gaze settled on the page.

And then she leapt back in horror, screaming, tripping over cats in her effort to get away.

She was reading An Older Work.


There’s something particularly terrifying revisiting an older book after having written so many. Common wisdom is that if you reread something you wrote six months ago and aren’t cringing, you’re doing something wrong—writers should be constantly growing and improving.

Six months? Try almost eleven years.

I’m sorry, but to properly express my horror at this, I need another gif because y’all can’t see my face.

ScullyThere were obvious areas that needed updating; a lot has changed in over a decade. Like in the second chapter, the characters were in a video store (in my head it was Blockbuster but I don’t remember if I mentioned that in the book). Well, where is Blockbuster now? How about any devoted video stores in general? I live in a tiny town out in cottage country, Ontario. We have a tiny local theatre that gets movies months after their usual release dates; there is one screen, so they air for one week, and that’s it.  If any place should have a dedicated video store, it’s us. Not so, though. You can rent DVDs at a convenience store and at a photography supply store, and that’s it.

So right off the bat in River, I knew a lot of stuff had to go. And I’d have to remark upon things like cell phones, because these characters are teenagers and grew up with the damn things (unlike me; I was a teen when we made fun of the kid with the cell phone...I remember *gasp* discmans). I was at least able to dodge working technology into the book because it made little sense for the character.
“Do you have a cell phone so I can text without calling the landline and bothering everyone up?” Daryl asked.

“Cindy wants to get me one but I don’t like the idea of...like...people calling and talking to me. Like you are now. And I don’t like the buttons. What do you want?”

It wasn’t merely the out of date bits that gave me difficulty—again, the real horror came from reading something I’d written so very long ago. I wanted to burn it. And then jump in the canal. Not because it’s a bad book—objectively, what I lacked in knowledge of craft things like structure and plotting, I made up for in at least character and some fun dialogue—but because it’s so far from where I am now.

What did I change rewriting River, you ask? Here.


The blue? That’s the rewrite. Enough people had read the book that I had to leave the basic story intact (and I couldn’t add zombies and car chases, BOO), but otherwise I was brutal. Entire scenes were rewritten, chapters were combined, bits were excised completely when they didn’t add anything. Most of the dialogue in the scenes I kept remained (I always watched a lot of TV; I had a good ear for dialogue) but everything else?

offwithhisheadThe overall result is the same book, just with a bit of a facelift. It’s different from my work now but I appreciate River for what it is and I’m glad it’s available again for the many readers who loved the story.

Unfortunately, my task isn’t over yet: the crowdfunding campaign that revived River met its stretch goal, guaranteeing the release of the sequel, Wolfe, sometime next year. Which means I have another old book to rewrite.



For more Skyla, check out the following links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tour Schedule

Thanks, Melissa and Skyla, for including us in the tour!


Here's the scoop on RIVER:

River by Skyla Dawn CameronDefiant, nocturnal, moody–though River sounds like a typical teenager, she’s anything but. River’s a werewolf.

The life of an alpha female wolf was irrevocably changed the night she was attacked and bitten, and awoke confused, alone, and human. Three years later, thrust into a world where she doesn’t belong and living in foster care, River barely tolerates humanity and still doesn’t know who bit her or why.

But River isn’t as alone as she previously thought; someone’s been watching her, someone who holds the answers she’s been seeking. And though the human who changed her seems to be a step ahead of her at every turn, River is determined to beat his game and return to her pack and mate.

As if being stuck in a world she hates, with a life she never asked for, and faced with a destiny she doesn’t want wasn’t bad enough, River still must find a way to survive every human’s greatest challenge: high school.

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Skyla's Website

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Skyla is giving away an amazing prize pack to a lucky follower from Canada or the US.

Prize PackGinger Snaps

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Skyla Dawn CameronAward-winning author Skyla Dawn Cameron has been writing approximately forever.
Her early storytelling days were spent acting out strange horror/fairy tales with the help of her many dolls, and little has changed except that she now keeps those stories on paper. She signed her first book contract at age twenty-one for River, a unique werewolf tale, which was released to critical and reader praise alike and won her the 2007 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy. She now has multiple series on the go to keep her busy, which is great for her short attention span. She is also a proud Writer of Unlikable Female Characters™.
Skyla is a fifth generation crazy cat lady who lives in southern Ontario, where she writes full time, works as a freelance designer, stabs people with double pointed knitting needles, is an avid gamer, and watches Buffy reruns. If she ever becomes a grownup, she wants to run her own Irish pub, as well as become world dictator.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chantress Alchemy by Amy Butler Greenfield

Chantress Alchemy allows readers to immerse themselves in a world of historical intrigue, magic and romance. This sequel brings back all of the amazing components of the first book in this series, while introducing a slew of new characters and exciting new story-lines.  Amy Butler Greenfield is an extremely talented writer who seems to bewitch readers with her immensely addicting plot-lines that compel readers to continue reading.

The Good:

  • The Historical Aspects: Greenfield recreates the court of King Henry with respect and care by including as much historical context as possible. The history always feels true and well-researched, all of the details seem to enhance the reading experience. This book's plot manages to tie into historical circumstances and never shies from including court politics and affairs of the time period.  The court politics were extremely engrossing and were one of my favorite aspects of the book. In addition, I always love seeing prominent historical figures in YA books and Greenfield's recreation of King Henry is impressive, making him one of the most compelling characters in this book.

  • Magic & Alchemy: Greenfield has created a fascinating, original magical system for Chantress that is extremely in-depth and well-thought out. I couldn't get enough of the Chantress mythology and it was amazing to learn more about these magical beings. Hats off to Greenfield for accompanioning the magic with alchemy, a wonderful combination that was executed so well. I've always had a fascination with all things alchemy related (ever since I read the Sorcerer's Stone years ago) and so, this book really hit the spot.

  • The Writing: Greenfield has a way with words and making everything sound so surreal and elegant. Her writing style is absolutely lyrical and is just as melodious as the songs that Lucy sings.

  • The Characters: The characters in Chantress Alchemy are incredibly interesting and it was amazing to see Lucy in action once again. Greenfield writes Lucy as a insecure, yet brave heroine that manages to make the whole "Chosen One" archetype feel fresh. I love how powerful of a character Lucy is, but how it never gets to her head by making her feel superior.


  • The (Severe) Lack Of Romance: I loved the romance between Nat and Lucy in both books, but their relationship is severely underused in this book. It would've been a nice reprieve from some of the court politics and magic to read about Nat and Lucy's relationship. What little romance that was in this book was excellent, it just needed to become a bit more prominent.

  • The Lack Of Female Characters: The few female characters in this book are bad-ass and powerful, but there are just way too little female characters in this series. The male characters outnumber all of the female characters by a huge margin, which is a shame considering that this series has a feminist feel to it. I truly hope that more female characters are introduced in the third book because it would also allow Greenfield to show different angles of Lucy.

Chantress Alchemy is a thrilling installment in a spell-binding series that fans of Clockwork Angel and Grave Mercy will absolutely love.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"When I'm not writing" with Rod Duncan

Today's guest is Angry Robot author Rod Duncan, who wrote one of the best books I've read this summer, THE BULLET-CATCHER'S DAUGHTER. I'm delighted he was able to accept my invitation to visit the blog and tell us a little bit about what he does when he's not writing.

Welcome, Rod!

"When I'm not writing" logo


Box sets. There is so much good drama being produced for television these days that I can’t keep up with it all. We seem to be entering a golden age. Right now I’m just about to start season 2 of Breaking Bad. I loved Carnivalé and The Hour and Peaky Blinders and Top of The Lake.  And... and...

Walking in the countryside. I live on the edge of Leicester in the English midlands. There is a beautiful area of mixed woodland and heath just a couple of miles away. To go for a walk there with my family is a joy. It is different every season but always beautiful. We’re now starting to find paths between the different parks and woods. I would like to do a walk that connects them all up. But someone will need to be there with a car when I get to the other end because I’ll be exhausted.

Cooking. I can’t eat anything with gluten and my wife can’t eat anything with chilli. So that restricts what I can serve up for the family. But challenges are good. It is a special feeling to see everyone tucking in and enjoying what you have just cooked.

AgricolaBoard games. I really enjoy playing new board games are figuring them out. Unfortunately I don’t get to do this nearly enough. The times when we are all available are limited. Agricola is sitting next to me as I write, just waiting to be played.

Computer games. Gamers I know despair of me for still playing the old turn-based simulation game, Civilization III. I’m also a fan of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask and others in the series. Perhaps that makes me a retro gamer. But compared to playing Spacewar on a PDP computer in the early 70s – which is where I started – I feel bang up to date.

Time with friends and family. I put this last but it could be first or in the middle because it infuses and enriches every other activity.


Thanks so much for visiting us, Rod! For more about Rod and his books, check out the following links:

Website |  Twitter


Here's the scoop on THE BULLET-CATCHER's DAUGHTER:

The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter by Rod Duncan (Fall of the Gaslit Empire #1)

Elizabeth Barnabus lives a double life – as herself and as her brother, the private detective. She is trying to solve the mystery of a disappearing aristocrat and a hoard of arcane machines. In her way stand the rogues, freaks and self-proclaimed alchemists of a travelling circus. But when she comes up against an agent of the all-powerful Patent Office, her life and the course of history will begin to change. And not necessarily for the better…

Jenn's thoughts

Pre-order: Amazon | Book Depository


Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favourite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit  us? Please email me at jenn (at) tyngasreviews (dot) com and we’ll set it up!


Monday, August 25, 2014

The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter by Rod Duncan

It's been a while since I've gotten my hands on an amazing steampunk story so THE BULLET-CATCHER'S DAUGHTER was a real treat. Rod Duncan has created an ultra engaging tale of intelligencing, intrigue, and illusion in this novel and it's pure joy to read.

Elizabeth Barnabus is a great heroine living a double life from her houseboat. Everyone thinks she's a mild-mannered woman who lives with her twin brother but she's actually a quality intelligencer, despite her youth. She's resourceful and talented and uses all of her wits to accomplish her mission, a mission that eventually puts her in contact with her past, which was a fun way to show the reader how she acquired some of her talents. (I don't want to talk about it too much because I want to keep this spoiler-free but I will say that it's quite interesting and helps us see some of what shaped Elizabeth into the woman she is in THE BULLET-CATCHER'S DAUGHTER.

The worldbuilding is also well done. There's a lovely steampunk flavour to THE BULLET-CATCHER'S DAUGHTER but it's not the emphasis of the story. There are lots of neat gadgets but there's also sleight of hand, alchemy, and all other manner of intrigue in the novel. The revisionist history is really well done, too, which makes THE BULLET-CATCHER'S DAUGHTER a delight to read. I love how Duncan's rewritten the UK's history, and added a very menacing Patent Office to the mix. There's also a touch of romance but Duncan keeps the main focus of the novel on Elizabeth's increasingly complicated mission, not on her opportunities to lock lips.

I was completely hooked from the first page and I can't recommend THE BULLET-CATCHER'S DAUGHTER enough. It's a delightful book and I'm truly looking forward to seeing what Duncan delivers in the next part of the story.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

I had high expectation when I started reading this book because it sounded like a wonderful fantasy novel, with a modern twist. I was pleasantly surprised by the expansive fantasy world debut author Emily Croy Barker created. If it weren't for the modern main character that comes from "our world," this book would be lost on the fantasy shelves. What makes it stand out among the other fantasy books is that modern and relatable main character that allows us to discover this fantasy world through her eyes.

Nora is like any ordinary woman living in the United States. She's a grad student that has sort of lost her way with her dissertation topic and like so many 30-something independent women, she's heartbroken because her longstanding boyfriend dumped her to marry his new fling. Somehow, as she's taking a walk in the forest, she finds herself in a new world without realizing it. Attracted by all the splendors her new friend Ilissa offers, she feels prettier and happier than she's ever felt before. The grand parties, the long days of simply relaxing, and the attraction to Ilissia's handsome son allows her to escape her ordinary life and live a grand adventure. However, little does she know that everything is not what it seems and that she's just living some type of illusion. This illusion is really the part I love to hate about the book because Nora is definitely not a thinking woman in this part of the book. She's gullible, allows herself to be pulled this way and that, without any conscious thought. She definitely doesn't have a free thought in her mind at this point. It's almost as if she's brainwashed and you feel like slapping her in the face to wake her up from the fake life she's living.

In comes Aruendiel, a strong magician who's able to shake Nora out of the fake fairy tale and save her probably from an untimely death. Aruendiel is the perfect character, in my opinion. As a magician, he has lived a long time so he definitely has his wise moments, but he's also quick tempered, grumpy, and set in his ways. Having Nora in his life unravels his quiet little life because her modern thinking and her incessant need to learn isn't what her expects of women. In his world, women are usually illiterate, not free thinking and definitely don't see themselves equal to men. The culture is very similar to our world's England 200 or 300 years ago and unprepared for Nora's modernity. The difference in opinions makes Aruendiel and Nora have multiple disagreements since their ways of thinking are definitely not on the same level. So when Nora teaches herself to read and write the complex language of Ors, the magician finally realizes that she may not be as senseless and simple as he originally thought. The dynamics between the two characters is fun to read and Nora seems to know exactly how to get under the magician's skin. Eventually, Aruendiel agrees to take Nora on as his pupil to teach her magic, but little does she know that the art of magic may be her only way to save herself. The hint of romance is definitely there but despite their intelligent minds, the two characters are blinded by social norms.

THE THINKING WOMAN'S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC is a brilliant and modern fairy tale that warns us about things that are too good to be true, and teaches us that whatever we set our minds to, we can achieve if we practice and study enough. Emily Croy Barker's writing is fascinating, thrilling, and makes us live a wonderful tale of magic, suspense and wonder. The intermingling of Nora's modernity and this fantasy world has created a wonderful epic story. I actually love the slow build up because like any great fantasy novel, the details are what allows us to better understand  and live the fantasy world. Hopefully the author will keep writing about Nora and Aruendiel because their story is far from over, especially with this awful cliffhanger.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Stacking The Shelves [121]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


My turn! It's been a while since I've posted a StS. I have a decent amount of books to share with you, but before we get to that, I just wanted to let everyone know that Tynga is still looking for a new reviewer for the blog. Check out this post and fill out the application if you're interested.

Now on to what stacking my shelves.



For Review

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker (Thank you Penguin)


The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Carniepunk by Various Authors

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Some Enchanted Eclair by Bailey Cates

Fragile Destiny by Suzanne Lazear

Visions by Kelley Armstrong

The King by J.R. Ward

What's stacking your shelves this week?


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Friday, August 22, 2014

The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

During the summer Titus and Iolanthe were forced by out of control circumstances to be apart and now that school starts again, they will finally, they hope, be together once more.

The Perilous Sea was quite different from The Burning Sky, because of the stakes, the emotions and all, but particularly because of its format. The narration alternated between the present and the past, starting with a weird present event that filled me with a raw need to know how the hell did this happen. This is the kind of book you simply can't put down because you need to know what is currently happening and how it came to be. Each chapter also ends on a little cliff-hanger, forcing you to read faster so you can come back to this timeline. The plot of this novel simply flew by and it was over before I realized it.

Speaking of the plot, poor Titus lives a heart-wrenching situation, shaking  his entire belief system and forcing him to review every decisions he has made thus far in his life. His troubles really broke my heart and at times I wanted to shake some sense into him because he just wouldn't see what was right in front of him... Iolanthe. She was amazing once again, facing every event -past and present - with focus and pure determination. I hope her good heart will be rewarded in the end, god knows she, and Titus, deserve an happy ending.

An aspect of this novel I particularly liked is that fewer secondary characters are involved, thus allowing focus on some of them. We get to know Wintervale and Kashkari much better and I liked that they played bigger roles this time around. I really liked the latest and I want to know more!

The Perilous Sea does not suffer from the second book curse, thank goodness. It is full of adventure and angst and even though we still have a bunch of questions by the end, many we had after reading the first book were answered. I'm sure the majority of you will find this installment quite satisfying and will crave the last in the trilogy just as much as I do.

The fantasy series has an interesting magic system with an harry-potter like hidden-from-human-world magical status. I'm sure adult and young adults alike will enjoy it intricacy and spectacular adventures.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

A musical worthy performance

Here's my little Lily-Ann singing Let It Go from the Frozen movie. Note that my daughter doesnt speak English, hense the majority of babbling LOL


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Between The Spark And The Burn by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between The Spark And The Burn is the amazing sequel (and conclusion) to Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, one of  my favorite Gothic novels ever. April Genevieve had the challenging task of concluding such an expansive and engrossing story, but the ending to this series is extremely successful and fitting. Readers won't want to let go of the Devil's hand and say goodbye to Violet, River and the rest of the Citizen Kane crew.

River went missing and it's up to Violet and Neely to find him before he harms himself and others. This duo sets out on their journey chasing rumors, but trouble has a way of finding Violet and her friends. Though Neely is supposed to be 'good', he still seems to be hiding so much from Violet. What is Neely hiding and will Violet find River?

Between The Spark And The Burn has a much different feel than its predecessor, this novel is much faster paced and much more intense. Spark brings readers to several different locales and allows readers to experience local legends and myths in such a creative way. Our heroine, Violet is chasing after anything that might lead to River and that means readers get to meet a variety of strange new characters and creatures along the way. Between small, close-minded towns to odd islands, Tucholke creates a number of settings that readers will love to visit and these locations are anything but normal.

I absolutely love Violet and the relationship she has with River and Neely because it allows us to see her in a totally different light. Though Violet may seem like she's perfectly content, her obsession with these boys allows us to see an unhinged, reckless girl who just longs to be loved and appreciated by someone. River and Neely are dangerous, Violet knows that but she needs someone to fill in the gaps in her heart that her parents can't seem to fill. I love a complex, flawed character and Violet is just the type of character that I love to read about.

Tucholke really knows how to write the perfect bad boy and this series has River Redding who is so much better than your average love interest. The bad boy is an archtype that is all too common in YA: the stalking, damaged teen who is angry at the world and quite possibly drives a motorcycle. River might have his fair share of scars, but he doesn't follows the YA cliches associated with this type of character. I shouldn't have loved his character for a multitude of reasons, but it's an ode to Tucholke's talent that she makes such a harmful character so alluring and impossible to resist.

Between The Spark And The Burn is a gorgeously written Gothic novel with an imaginative setting, well-drawn out characters and a plot that will keep readers guessing until the end.  Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea is a superb duology that fans of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl will love and Between The Spark And The Burn concludes this series on the best possible note.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Giveaway: The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton

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We won't be having our usual WINW post today. Instead, thanks to the folks at Random House Children's Books, we've got one copy of THE STRANGE MAID, the second book in Tessa Gratton's United States of Asgard series.  Here's a description of the series from the publicist:

Set in the original, stunning world of the United States of Asgard, where the Norse gods are celebrities in an alternate modern America, the first four books follow different protagonists around the same critical moment—the disappearance of Baldur and the plans of Freya, who controls fate. The fifth and final book brings the protagonists together for a culminating adventure.

 Sounds good, right? Here's the scoop on THE STRANGE MAID:

The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton (United States of Asgard #2)In the United States of Asgard, cell phones, rock bands, and evangelical preachers coexist with dragon slaying, rune casting, and sword training in schools. The president runs the country alongside a council of Valkyrie, gods walk the red carpet with Hollywood starlets, and the U.S. military has a special battalion dedicated to eradicating Rocky Mountain trolls.

Every day, Signy Valborn gets up and puts on a Valkyrie costume to entertain the tourists who travel north to the icy island of Vinland. She also helps Ned Unferth, a handsome young troll hunter, terrify the tourists by putting his tame mountain troll through its paces. Then Baldur’s Night arrives, when the United States’ most popular god, Baldur the Beautiful, rises from the ashes, escaping Hel to live among them for the spring and summer months. But this year, Baldur doesn’t rise.

Amid the confusion, a band of mountain trolls attacks and destroys Signy’s town. Ned and his troll are not among the dead, but they’re nowhere to be found. As Signy sets out to search for them, she leaves behind everything she’s ever known to discover what fate the gods have in store for her.

Wildly entertaining and filled with intrigue and adventure, THE STRANGE MAID is a fast-paced, compelling story. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Maggie Stiefvater, as well as new readers, will embrace the richly drawn, Norse-influenced alternate world of the United States of Asgard.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tessa GrattonTESSA GRATTON has wanted to be a paleontologist or a wizard since she was seven. She was too impatient to hunt dinosaurs, but is still searching for someone to teach her magic. After traveling the world with her military family, she acquired a BA (and the important parts of an MA) in gender studies, and then settled down in Kansas with her partner, her cats, and her mutant dog.

Website | Twitter



Monday, August 18, 2014

Black Arts by Faith Hunter

I was a few books behind on this amazing series until last month, when I went on a Jane Yellowrock binge. Jane's most recent outing, BLACK ARTS, builds on the awesome foundation that Hunter laid in SKINWALKER and then grew with each subsequent novel. The seventh novel in the series, BLACK ARTS takes all of the best elements from the series and puts it into one amazing, exciting package.

In case you're not a reader (yet), you can get the main ideas of the series from my Daring You To Read... post. But here's a quick catch-up on some of the things that have happened to Jane since SKINWALKER (which means spoilers abound from here out). Leo is still the Master of the City but Bruiser is no longer his primo. Instead, he's now Onorio, which means that he's more than human and no longer tied to Leo in the same way. Jane now has business partners, two brothers named Eli and Alex, who've added an awesome family dynamic to Jane's life, filling the void left by the absence of Molly and her family, who have distanced themselves from Jane since the incident with Evangelina. Jane's also now Leo's Enforcer in addition to being a contract employee, which has added some interesting and complicated elements to Jane's life. Rick's adjusting to his life with the were taint and as a member of the law enforcement agency PsyLed. Jane's learned a lot about herself and Beast, and she/they are extremely torn on a romantic level since Jane/Beast is drawn to Leo, Bruiser, and Rick for different reasons.

BLACK ARTS starts up shortly after the end of BLOOD TRADE. Jane is back in New Orleans after her job in Natchez, living  in her loaner of a house with Eli and Alex. The drama and action start on page 1, when Evan (Molly's husband and not Jane's Number One Fan) literally blows into town, looking for his wife. I love Big Evan and I just knew that it was going to be an amazing story once he stepped onto the page, full of desperation and confusion. The Everhearts have been out of the picture for a few novels so it was great to have Molly and the rest of her family as the focus of BLACK ARTS. We finally get to see what's been going on with them since everything with Evangelina happened and, wow, is it every crazy. I don't want to say too much so that you can get really enjoy it but I will say that BLACK ARTS will throw you for a loop. The developments with Molly and the reasons that she went missing truly surprised me and really tie up some lingering questions. BLACK ARTS also forces Jane and Evan to come to terms with each other and discuss the tensions between them. We also find out just how Angie is progressing with her powers (she's scary strong), which is something I've been very curious about.

Another great aspect of BLACK ARTS is Jane's relationship with Beast. Things between them were so hostile at first (at least on Beast's side) but they've been progressing towards a more harmonious relationship as Jane now understands how she and Beast came together. Their interactions in this novel were so fraught with emotion and I love seeing Jane taking care of her spiritual side, not only because we get to see  Aggie One Feather, one of my favourite supporting characters in the series.

To be honest, BLACK ARTS was so good I'm finding it difficult to articulate what I liked most about the book. Everything is Faith Hunter at her finest: great dialogue, fast-paced action, emotional moments. There's no stand-out moment because the whole novel was just so incredibly satisfying. If you're a Jane Yellowrock fan, you definitely need to read this (but only after the others because you can't skip a book in this series). If you're not a fan yet (you crazy kid!), you need to dive into Jane's world. BLACK ARTS is a fine urban fantasy and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for BROKEN SOUL.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Looking for a new reviewer :)

March 4th, 2015: We are still recruiting! Apply if interested :)

I am very sad to announce that due to personal reasons, Helen & Lili are both leaving the blog permanently, after being part time reviewers for some time now. I am very sad that they won't be able to contribute anymore, and I wish them the best! What it means for Team Tynga's Reviews? We are opening recruitment once again.


You love paranormal and dystopian books? Would love to share your thoughts about and be part of a team of passionate reviewers? Well, you are at the right place!

The new reviewer must commit to:

  • Post an original review once a week(may vary for tours etc..)

  • Be involved in the blog’s general functioning and reply to comments

My criteria:

  • Books reviewed must be of the Paranormal Genre (some dystopian and steampunk accepted).

  • You must be 16 + (with parental permission if under 18)

  • You don’t already have a blog of your own (negotiable)

  • You must write fairly articulate reviews, and I’d like to see some you’ve previously written (amazon, goodreads and the likes)

  • If you have a goodreads account, I’d like to see it.

  • I’m not against negative reviews but I’m against bashing and disrespect. I reserve a veto vote on anything we publish.

  • No plagiary tolerated.

  • Must be able to use Wordpress and publish their posts according to the actual template.

What’s in it for you?

  • A platform to express your thoughts on books

  • Being part of a fairly successful blog (this includes your own About Me section, custom sig, wishlist)

  • Interaction with your favourite authors when planning events

  • Possibility to sign up for tours

  • A couple of free books along the line. I want it to be clear though, that reviewing for Team Tynga’s Reviews does not guaranty you a plethora of free books, it shouldn’t be your prime motivation.

I might have forgotten something, so feel free to contact me with any questions you might have =)


If you are interested, please FILL THE FORM


Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

The last book of this trilogy, The Book of Life, was published about a month ago but because I read Shadow of Night so long ago I had a hard time getting into the last book. This series is all about the details, and since there's so many and I didn't want to be confused with The Book of Life, I decided to reread the second book, in order to refresh my memory. Surprisingly, I never posted a review on the blog so this is the perfect opportunity to tell you to read it, because it's full of magic, intrigue, history and amazing stuff. I absolutely love this series so I really hope the last book doesn't disappoint. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

This second book of the trilogy starts off exactly where book one ended, and I mean the exact moment. At the end of book one, the two main characters Diana and Matthew decided to travel back in time for multiple reasons, and that's where Shadow of Night begins. Diana and Matthew are seeking shelter in 1590 since they're being hunted in present day because of of their relationship. Diana being a witch and Matthew a vampire, their romantic relationship is a big faux pas and other creatures are trying their best to prevent them from being together. Other witches also have attacked Diana because of another unclear reason so traveling to the past is a great way of hiding out, according to Matthew who has already lived in the 16th century. However, more trouble arises in the past, such as human suspicion of magical creatures, witch trials and political deceit.

Another reason for travelling back in time is for Diana to find a suitable teacher to learn how to control her magical powers. As a strong and powerful untrained witch, she's seen as a danger, and taking control of her magic is high on her to do list. However, the witch trials of the period prevent witches from openly advertising who they are, which makes it way more difficult than expected for Diana to find someone to help her. Finding the right witch to help her takes a long time and that's one of the things I like less about the book because it takes such a long time to get to that point. I can't really complain because it's definitely worth the wait but I wish there would have been more magic in the first couple hundred pages.

There is a lot of information in this book, which definitely shows in its length but I wouldn't go without all the small details. It's obvious the author is an historian because all the little historical fact embedded in the book, which makes the story come to life. I'm not a historian myself so I take it for granted that the historical details are accurate, but even if they aren't, it sure feels truthful. I admire the author for including so many small details because even if she is an historian, it must have taken a lot of research and fact checking to complete the novel. Especially since she included known historical figures like Queen Elizabeth I, Christopher Marlow, Walter Raleigh, William Shakespeare and Henry Percy to name a few. Including these famous people makes it that much more believable because we know they lived in that time period, and they're manifestation makes the past feel attainable.

Every time I read a love story between a vampire and a witch or a human, I feel like the relationship is doomed from the start because the vampire will certainly outlived the "warmblood." However, in this case, because we travel back in time with Diana and Matthew, their relationship feels timeless and unforgettable. Their love for each other is obviously present, and sometimes I almost forget I'm reading fiction.

I've enjoyed this second book even more than the first. The story keeps building and we learn something crucial in every chapter. I might be a little bit biased because my guilty pleasure is historical romances and when you add paranormal elements to the mix, you get a wonderful surprise. I'm not joking when I say every paranormal reader should check out this series. Obviously you're in for a long read but it's definitely worth it!


Read an excerpt

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stacking The Shelves [120] & An Announcement

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


Before I begin this post, I have an announcement. I (Lili) have been fortunate enough to get an amazing internship opportunity for the Fall semester of my sophomore year of college at a publishing house. I spoke to Tynga and the other members of Team Tynga's Reviews and because of this I can no longer be a part of this blog. I don't have the time anymore since I plan on taking this opportunity seriously. It's what I want to do one day, you know? I have been part of Tynga's Reviews for over two years and I have met so many lovely people and found some AWESOME books because of this blog. Though I am not part of this blog anymore, these ladies and Jon will forever be in my heart and everyone can still find me on twitter @LiliReflects. I will miss you all!

Now, onto STS...A very awesome week, indeed! While I got many books, this following picture of my friend Tabitha (front) and myself (back) sums up what I was most excited for...


Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (ahhhh!!!!!)


Losing It by Cora Carmack

Three by Kristin Simmons


Sister's Fate by Jessica Spotswood

Gifted From my Current Internship

Lick by Kylie Scott (this book is supposed to be HOT!)

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

What did YOU add to your shelves?


[inlinkz_linkup id=435379]

Friday, August 15, 2014

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Back in 2011 Jenn dared us to read Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, and I finally picked it up (better late then never right?). I've had the book in print for years, but there was a recent sale on amazon with each ebook in the series (except the most recent one) on sale for 2$ a piece so I jumped on the opportunity and read it on my kindle (which is much more convenient for middle of the night reading).

Magic Bites takes place in a dystopian set up where we pushed technology so far that it crashed and ancient magic took control. Magic flickers in and out, kicking modern technology out of service randomly, which is quite inconvenient, and eats away the old skyscrapers, leaving destruction in its wake. I have to confess, it took me quite a while to fully grasp the extend of this weird world, but now that I have a picture in my mind, I really like it.

Kate is the perfect urban fantasy heroine, she's strong, independent, foul-mouthed and has some kind of mysterious power. On her quest to find a dear friend's killer, she is confronted with the perfect paranormal romance hero, Curran. He is fierce, stubborn, and scary as hell. No romance has developed thus far, but I'm sure there is some in store in the following novels. I really liked both characters and I can't wait to learn more about them and their bulging relationship.

Ilona Andrews created quite an amazing lore. On one side you have the Pack, a collection of shapechangers lead by Curran, on the other side you have the People, a group of necromancers mind-controlling vampires like they are tools. There are many kind of vampires in literature, but it's the first time I see them portrayed as vulgar mindless puppets. I was quite surprised! Kate also possess some weird magic in her blood (a legacy from her mysterious father) and I'm really curious about the details!

If I had one complain about this novel it would be that there a lot of meaningful secondary characters. It isn't a bad thing in itself, but i have a terrible memory when it comes to characters' names and I struggled keeping track of everyone involved in this murder investigation. That being said, I grew quite fond of Derek, a fun youngster and I'm very curious about Saiman even though he only makes a short appearance in this novel.

The conclusion was full of action and I will pick up the second novel sooner rather than later ^^



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Poisoned Apples by Christine Heppermann

I really don't read poetry and I thought that reading Poisoned Apples would be a chance to expand my reading horizons. A poetry book that addresses real life scenarios using fairy-tales sounded like the perfect kind of book for me. Poisoned Apples is a short, yet interesting collection of poems, but I wasn't overly impressed with it and I found that it wasn't quite what I expected. I think part of my distaste with Poisoned Apples stems from the fact that poetry isn't really my thing and this collection failed to further my appreciation of poetry like I had hoped.

Poisoned Apples is full of extremely short poems that are accompanied by black and white photos. I can't really comment on the photographs because my review copy lacked the complete collection of photos, but I wasn't impressed with the few that I did see; the photos  didn't really add anything to the poems themselves and felt arbitrary. I wasn't a huge fan of the opening poems, but I found that the later poems were crafted better and much more entertaining.  By the time, I became interested in Heppermann's poems, this collection was over and I truly wish this collection was expanded to include additional poems.

The way that Poisoned Apples deals with society and it's issues never really goes beyond a basic level. I understand that societal issues are extremely complex, but I feel like the interpretations given in these poems merely scratch the surface and that these poems aren't nearly long enough to address these issues properly. These poems might be an interesting way to spark conversation about society's emphasis on beauty, but there's no way a topic like that can be breached with such brevity.

Poisoned Apples didn't leave much of an impression on me and I have rather ambivalent feelings towards it. I have a feeling that the average layman won't really enjoy this one despite the integration of fairy-tales. I can't see myself taking the time to read more of Heppermann's poems, but I am glad that I gave this collection of poems a chance.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Curse Awakened by Cecy Robson

A CURSE AWAKENED is a prequel to Cecy Robson's Weird Girls series so you need to go in expecting the girls to be less mature and much more inexperienced. The differences between the sisters in this novel and where we left them at the end of CURSED BY DESTINY are dramatic, particularly when it comes to Celia, so it took me a moment to adjust to the way the girls behave in A CURSE AWAKENED. Don't get me wrong, they're still essentially the same but the differences in maturity are quite noticeable and this is a prequel but I still needed to actually pause and recalibrate my expectations.

A CURSE AWAKENED takes us to the girls' pre-Tahoe days, shortly after Celia and Danny broke up. It's a lot of fun to see Danny and Celia being less harmonious than they are in the series proper, and it's interesting to see how Danny's relationships with the sisters has evolved. Celia being Celia is kindness personified and she agrees to help Danny with his vampire problem even though her sisters are against it. What we get is a tidy adventure that shows us the sisters at a much rawer stage of their personal and magical developments, and see just what leads them into the matters at the start of the first novel (if I remember correctly).

The novella takes place at a time when the girls didn't have as much control over their powers, because they're still under the curse. It was a lot of fun to see all of their abilities backfire, or misfire, as it were, and it added an extra comic level to the story. Robson always does a great job of injecting humour into her writing but A CURSE AWAKENED has more of a slapstick feel to it at times because of the girls' messed up gifts.

You don't need to read A CURSE AWAKENED to follow the series but it's definitely a must-read for fans of the series. Skipping A CURSE AWAKENED won't hurt your enjoyment of the Weird Girls but it's worth checking it out if you like the girls and want to see what they were like when they were a bit younger.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Impossible Cube by Steven Harper

When I picked up this book and started reading a few pages, I started to wonder, "Do I really want to read another steampunk?" The answer was yes but for some reason, I had a hard time getting into this one. Since I thought Steven Harper had created a wonderful world in his first attempt at steampunk in THE DOOMSDAY VAULT, I think my expectations were too high and THE IMPOSSIBLE CUBE kind of fell short. I was expecting more romance, more gadgets and more crazy ideas. Instead I got a decent story of the aftermath of the first book.

It's kind of by chance that I read this book right in the middle of an ebola outbreak since this steampunk world deals with a plague. It really makes you wonder about what would happen if a virus started spreading worldwide and the ramifications it would have on the population. In Steven Harper's steampunk fictional series, a plague is ravaging the whole world and causing most patients to become zombies. A selected few become clockworkers, geniuses with machines, inventions and the comprehension of time and space. (Obviously this is fiction and one should never try to catch a virus in hopes of becoming a genius.) A cure for the zombies has been found but unfortunately clockworkers are still infected and will inevitably die after going insane if nothing is done about it.

Since leaving England to find a cure for Clockworkers, Alice, Gavin and their crew are trying to make their way to China because of rumors they heard. In China, they call clockworkers The Dragon Men and apparently they have come up with a cure but are keeping it a secret. Alice is already a carrier of the zombie plague cure but unfortunately it doesn't cure the clockworkers. Which is sad, because Gavin is  a clockworker and she more or less turned her back on her baroness title to be with him.

So get this. In this book, they never make it to China. Only after departing London do they realize how far China is and how long it would take for them to get there in their airship. Instead, they make their way east by hiding within a circus because they are still being pursued by English authorities. A clockwork circus sounds great in theory but besides travelling with it and Gavin and Alice getting a weird card reading, it doesn't amount to much. In my opinion, the story is just about travelling east, Alice curing as many people as she can throughout Europe and dealing with crazy clockworkers in Kiev. Ok, that last part might be a major issue, especially to enforce the necessity for Gavin to find a cure to his condition.

To say the least, the story wasn't what I expected. THE IMPOSSIBLE CUBE was sort of an interlude, a continuation to the first book but not really getting anywhere besides a little bit further east. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book, and I hope they make it to China this time. Another disappointment is the fact that I was expecting a little bit more romance between Alice and Gavin. Book one concentrated a lot on the developing romance between the two characters, and I expected to see more but maybe Steven Harper is saving that for the next book. Personally, I won't stop reading this series because of these minor setbacks because I truly think there's something special about this steampunk/clockwork world.


Saturday, August 09, 2014

Stacking The Shelves [119]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


Hey guys! sorry for the delay, the person who was suppose to post today apparently forgot, my apologies!

I dont have time to post anything, i was on my way out on a date with hubby when i got a tweet, but here's the code to link yours!


[inlinkz_linkup id=433474]

Friday, August 08, 2014

Love Potions by Michelle M. Pillow

I don't review books I don't finish very often, mostly because I usually stop fairly early in the novel, but I read 60% of Love Potions before I decided to give up and I taught it deserved a review.

Love Potions is about an immortal warlock who falls in love at first sight with Lydia, mortal granddaughter of a self-proclaimed witch, and his terrible attempts at seducing her. I have some big issues with this novel, and the first signs of trouble appeared when Lydia first met Erik. She was all wet and bothered the first time she sees him on the street and she almost gave him a blowjob the second time she saw him, on the same day, albeit this time because of a spell going wrong. None of this felt natural and it bothered me. Speaking of spells going wrong, this one isn't the only one, and the other ones don't sit so well either.

Aside from the falseness of Erik and Lydia's romance, my main issue was the almost nonexistent plot. I'm afraid to say the bit about shadow forces trying to control Lydia to destroys Erik's family is just a sorry excuse to support the shaky romance. Even after 60% read I felt like the story wasn't going anywhere, which is why I stopped altogether. My shelf is full of great books waiting to be read, I just didn't want to invest more time reading this one, unfortunately.

On a positive note, I enjoyed Lydia's personality. She is funny, independent, strong and resourceful. I also liked the light banter the MacGregor siblings had going on and Charlotte's loveable character. Michelle really created a great bunch of characters so it's that much more disappointing that the plot was poorly executed.

Did you finish this book? What did you think? Would my opinion be any different had I persevered?


Wednesday, August 06, 2014

MARY: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

As a child, I played the legendary game of Bloody Mary and I still remember standing by the mirror with the lights off, frightened for my life. Bloody Mary is such a cultural cornerstone and Hillary Monahan brings her to life in such a wonderfully, grotesque form. Mary: The Summoning was a surprisingly scary novel, this is just what readers will want to read to get goosebumps down their spine. Few YA horror novels are as great as Monahan's debut and I'd love to see more novels like Mary: The Summoning on the market.

This is a novel about 4 friends who summon Mary and are forced to face the consequences of their action. Readers will be brought back to their childhood years when they had played Bloody Mary and will revisit this chilling game. This novel takes the famous game and makes it extremely terrifying for the YA audience, I'd be quite surprised if younger readers would even attempt to play the game after reading The Summoning.

Something that bothered me was how Monahan completely warped the story I had heard as a child, I remember Bloody Mary being Queen Mary I, not a troubled American child. I'm aware that Monahan wanted this novel to take place in America, but I feel like this story lost something in translation when Bloody Mary became an American legend. It didn't feel like the Bloody Mary I grew up with because she was American; I did enjoy the inventive, epislatory backstory on Bloody Mary, but the alteration of her story  just didn't sit well with me.

In typical horror movie fashion, The Summoning is quite brutal to its characters and there isn't much character development. Most of the novel is spent on thrills and spooky moments to the point where I felt like I didn't know anything substantial about any of the characters and I couldn't really sense the history that the characters shared because their relationships weren't clearly defined. I wanted to know more about each character, especially about Mary and Jess who the novel didn't concentrate on enough.

I'm not exactly sure why this novel was expanded into a series because this would've worked much better as a stand-alone. Though readers do gets answers, I didn't really feel like this novel had a satisfying ending and I felt like I was left hanging unnecessarily. There wasn't a real need for further books about Mary and the fact that Monahan didn't give readers the answers they deserved, in order to stretch the story out really bothered me.

MARY: The Summoning is a perfect Halloween read and this is the type of that will best be enjoyed under the cover with a flash-light in that classic, spooky way. I will still continue reading about Mary, despite the fact that I feel that this book should've been a stand-alone. I really enjoyed reading Mary: The Summoning and I have a feeling that book will appeal to horror fans who aren't quite ready for Stephen King.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

"When I'm not writing" with Hadley Holt

Hadley HoltOur guest this week is indie author Hadley Holt. She has recently released a young adult e-serial called Wizard Queen at Sixteen, which sounds like it could be quite fun. She's written a nice post for us so please enjoy getting to know Hadley Holt!


"When I'm not writing" logo

When I’m not writing, (or doing financial consulting, or cleaning house), I love to read, to bead, to cook, and to watch movies (or a favorite TV/ cable series). I considered saying read, bead, and feed (myself) because the rhyming really appealed to me, and also, it’s pretty much true. Ultimately, I do love a good story, whether it is writing one, reading one, listening to one, or watching one.

As a writer of fantasy and paranormal fiction, story ideas pop into my head all of the time, but there isn’t enough time to write each one of them. I love to escape into another world – usually a world with magic, hidden mysteries, adventure, danger, and of course, characters that I can forge a connection with.

Every day, I fit in reading time whether it’s on my eReader or listening to audio books when I travel. I’ve always wanted to have a movie or TV series marathon at my house with friends, but I haven’t managed to fit that in (someday, I just know it will happen – please keep your fingers crossed for me).

It’s important to read, watch movies, keep up on current events, and interact with real human beings, because those activities always make the question - what if - pop into my mind and that is where all stories are born.

Writing is an isolating job and we (authors) need to crawl out of our writing caves and interact with real live human beings. I love to make movie dates with friends and family. Sitting down in a movie theater with the smell of popcorn in the air, a huge screen and surround sound while I drink a Coke and munch on a bag of popcorn (and maybe some M&M’s) fills me with anticipation as the theater goes dark and the music and credits begin.

Now, it could be said that I did meet up with a human being (or human beings) only to go into a big dark room and cease interacting with other humans when the movie starts. The thing is I don’t ever feel alone in a movie. I feel as if we (the moviegoers) are experiencing the story as a group. We laugh, or cry, or get frightened together and in the end, if our experience was awesome, we’ll even clap together (and also surreptitiously watch for those individuals who seem to know about the secret scene hidden somewhere in the ending movie credits).

For those two hours, we are all connected by a story and imaginary characters who take us on their journey. Oh how I love a good movie!

Also, I do have one true hobby which is beading. I make bracelets, necklaces, and earrings from crystal or natural stone (like turquoise, jasper, or tiger’s eye). It’s another type of creative activity but this one has an almost instant gratification as opposed to novel writing which takes months from conception to the finished product.

Beading a necklace usually takes me about thirty minutes and I don’t have to think hard. I’ve heard working with your hands releases some kind of endorphin and I believe it. I use creativity, a little concentration mixed with a redundant and relaxing pattern of movement with my hands.

The below is a bracelet I made as a prize for my DESECRATION launch contest. It’s my “heart of magic” crystal bracelet inspired by DESECRATION, Book One of the Wizard Queen at Sixteen Series.

Hadley Holt necklace

I wish I could say that I loved to hike, climb mountains, or jump out of airplanes, but I guess I don’t. I do however like to walk my dog, Berkeley, in the park next to my house. He’s a neurotic Basenji-mix but he’s my canine companion and I love him.



Hadley Holt Berkeley Lastly, I do like to cook and to bake. Like so many people, I love to watch cooking shows and think about making impressive dishes that would amaze any pallet. I want to have a dinner party and serve everyone a delicate and beautiful amuse-bouche in a tiny bowl with a tiny fork and have them rave about the amazing chef that is moi, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

I cook old family recipes and casseroles using things like Velveeta, Ritz Crackers, and lots of butter which due to the mammoth calorie content must be reserved for holiday consumption. I also use good old cake recipes that don’t actually look beautiful but taste pretty amazing. I bake a lemon cake where I poke a gazillion holes in the top and then slowly and methodically cover the cake in a fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar glaze until the whole cake is moist and fragrant with the tangy and sweet lemon juice glaze. That cake means family and springtime to me.


Thanks so much for visiting us, Hadley! For more about Hadley and her books, check out the following links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Here's the scoop on DESECRATION:

Desecration by Hadley HoltBook One of the Wizard Queen at Sixteen Series

In a hidden world of wizards where only men hold the power of magic, one girl arises with the power to change everything, if she isn’t killed first…

Adriana Victoriana Evangelista (Addie), daughter to the High Chancellor of the Wizard’s Council, has always been the perfect wizard girl. She never questions why men possess magical powers and women have no power at all, magical or otherwise. Male wizards blend into the modern human world, leading huge corporations while wizard women are sequestered behind a magical veil in the wizard stronghold.

On her sixteenth birthday, Addie, to her own horror, discovers she possesses magic. Under wizard law, she is a desecration.

An ancient prophecy surrounds the emergence of a girl magic-wielder, the wizard queen or the Queen of Chaos. She is destined to love a half-sorcerer and together they will cause the downfall of the wizard-kin.

Addie has long had a forbidden crush on a human boy who lives in the wizard stronghold, Rory Devlin. In secret, she races to discover more about her magic and her destiny. As she delves deeper and deeper into the dangerous mysteries surrounding her, she suspects that Rory might be more than just human.

Addie’s fate sends her on a collision course with a powerful and evil sorcerer, but the worst danger of all may come from right inside her own home.

Purchase: Amazon


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