Friday, 28 November 2014

Beast of Burden - book release!



BEAST OF BURDEN

(Book Two in The Hidden Blood Series)By A.Z. Green Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance320 pages (approx)






Pack Leaders who were allies at the time of the Vikings, had rings made to remind them of who they were and what they stood for. Weremen of peace, justice and loyalty. We try to stand by that principle.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Brew

Brew (Salem's Revenge #1)

by David Estes

4 out of 5

Synopsis
Salem’s Revenge strikes without warning or mercy, ravaging the powerless human race under the forces of united gangs of witches, wizards, and warlocks. During the slaughter, Rhett Carter's foster parents and sister are killed, and his best friend and girlfriend are abducted by a gang of witches calling themselves the Necromancers, who deal in the dark magic of raising the dead. Rhett’s sword-wielding neighbor with a mysterious past saves Rhett from becoming another casualty of the massacre and teaches him the skills he needs to survive in this new world.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Indie Christmas Time!

Now I'm a bit of a bah-humbug-scrooge at this time of year.  I'm the type of person that plugs my ears up whenever those same old songs come on while you're shopping; shutting my eyes to block the constant toy adverts that feel five hours long; an eye-roll reaction every time people panic that over work rotas and how they're going to cope (come on, it's a couple of days people, even shorter than the Easter weekend!).  In fact, a couple of years ago when I was living in London, I basically stock-piled so I didn't have to leave home for the week leading up to the big day (have you seen how violent people are with metal shopping trolleys in the final countdown?).

The day I look forward to, is actually Boxing Day.  Our tradition is to go on a pub-crawl on horseback, and dress up like this:
(Don't we look lovely and scruffy!)
(And yes, that is my posh dressage horse wearing antlers!)

Yes, this is a thing.  It's not a Hunt, it's just a gentle hack around the Yorkshire countryside with about 40 riders singing and drinking.  I've been doing it every year since I was 14 years old.  No matter where I was living (London, Bristol, Wales, Ireland...) I always make sure I get back for it.

Luckily, I have found a group of people that will help me be more positively festive between now and Boxing Day.
I have been a lucky participant in the #IndieBooksBeSeen movement since it's conception earlier this year.  Mark Shaw, the creator, is a lovely chap that is brimming with ideas.  You might have seen the day we took over Twitter with a deluge of Indie writers and their book covers on July 1st.  Or heard about the booktuber incentive to read and review Indie books.
#IndieBooksBeSeen is not about pushing sales of one author or another (although let's face it, that is a bonus), it is about spreading awareness to readers around the world that there are hundreds, even thousands, of fantastic books, that you might otherwise discard because they didn't come through traditional publishing.
Sure, there are a few crap ones out there - anyone who has read my blog can attest to my opinion on that!  But only as many crap traditionally published books anyway.  I've often said that the reason I started writing, and thought I had a chance as a writer, was because I was bored with all the tosh on the bookshelves.

Ok, I'm getting distracted.  Back on topic.
As those of you who have been stalking my blog will have noticed, there is a big Christmassy-looking box wrenched in at the top right corner --->
a) I haven't worked out how to make it look cleaner fiddling with the dimensions yet, so let's just pretend it looks perfect.
b) If you haven't been stalking yet - why not?

So basically, D.B. Nielsen, writer of the Keeper of Genesis series (review coming in the next couple of months), and a firm supporter of #IndieBooksBeSeen, has set up a competition for all you lovely people to enter.
It is a raffle where you have the chance to win one of over 70 paperback or ebook copies.
These include fantastic books like The Summer Solstice; Deceived (which I am reading and loving at this very moment); along with many others you can see in full at the #IndieBooksBeSeen website.

So get to it, you have until the 15th December to enter!

The Winners list has now been emailed out to all who have won - go check your email inbox and junk tray!!!

Congratulations to Michelle Buxton for winning a paperback copy of The Shadow Rises!


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Dark Prophet

Dark Prophet (The Chronicles of Koa #2)

by K.N. Lee


4 out of 5

Synopsis
Not all vampires are created equal...
Koa is a half-blood vampire with not only the ability to fly, but survive in the sun's light. She will do anything to protect her mother, and break her curse. The demon, Bund, wants more than her mother's life. He wants something from Koa, a power that she doesn't even know she has, and will rip through as many humans as he can to get her to surrender.

Agent Koa Ryeo-won, and her boss, Halston, formed a crew of supernatural agents to stop Bund. But is a prophet, a temptress, a War-Breeder, a half-blood with an enchanted sword, and a few angels enough to stop what Bund has planned?

In the midst of a war between the humans of the mortal world, and the creatures of the Netherworld, Koa discovers the truth of her past. She finds herself torn between two men, and in the center of everything. Faced with all of her returned memories, Koa also finds herself more powerful than ever. Being a half-blood is hard enough, but what exactly is Koa's other half?

The truth can save...or destroy everything.

Will the Netherworld Division stand behind Koa once they learn her secret?


Review
((Click to have a peek at my review of Netherworld, The Chronicles of Koa #1))
Koa and her non-human allies are all that stand in the way of vampiric King Greggan, who is ready to unleash the Netherworld demons to enslave the human world.  This is deliciously dark, with graphic violence throughout.

Dark Prophet picks up right where that frustrating cliff-hanger in the first book left off.  In the middle of a battle in the Netherworld, with Koa awakening memories that she didn't know she had lost.
That first realisation - wow.  The first book leads you to believe that Koa is the Princess to vampire royalty, Jax.  A young, handsome Netherworld vampire and one of the good guys (relatively speaking).  ((spoiler)) But to find out that Koa was actually the 12 year old bride, forced to marry Jax's sadistic father, King Greggan; in a political move orchestrated by none other than Halston??? Good move Ms Lee, very good move.

It then follows in a wild ride to discover allies and stop Greggan, and the unpredictable demonic Bund, who tear through England's population of humans and vampires alike.  They must also find out how to remove the curse from Koa's mother, after all, no one wants their most powerful weapon stuck as a cat.

I did enjoy this book, although not as much as the first one if I'm completely honest.
From the start, the story splits off in several different directions, to follow Koa; to follow Halston; to follow Alice and Raven; to follow King Greggan...  After the first book just following Koa's story (for the main part), I found it very hard to get into.  I will say the second half is better than the first, when the stories all begin to merge and tie together.

I think my favourite character in this book was probably Halston (or Ian, Ian was cool).  It very much follows his journey and his choices, and how far he's willing to fall.
It was a shame with Koa - in book one I loved her, she was a spunky, kick-ass fighter in every sense of the word.  In Dark Prophet, I felt that she held back a lot.  Of course, it's understandable when you've just had a hellish new history dumped on you, but I missed the old Koa.

Anyways, a good story.  Netherworld and Dark Prophet are simply two halves of a story, both need to be read to complete it.  I imagine these can be read as a "two-part-standalone" (yes, I know I made that up) within the rest of the series.

I'd give this a 3.5 out of 5; but I guess I'll round it up to 4 for tidiness.

Goodreads link
Amazon.co.uk