The Fever King by Victoria Lee #bookreview #LGBT #fantasy

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

I’ve read some good reviews of this book and seen it on lists of highly anticipated releases.  Considering that and the beautiful cover, I requested it on NetGalley.

The different take on magic in this novel is intriguing.  Magic is a virus, and only a slim percentage of people survive after being infected.  If they are fortunate enough to survive, they become a witching and possess magic with varying powers.  A lot of time and creativity were put into the world-building – it’s complex and politically charged.  The treatment of undocumented aliens is brutal and heart-wrenching, but also timely, and Noam finds himself straddling two different worlds.

Initially, the pacing is on the slow side, and it took me a while to get into this story.  On the flip side of that, the ending is exciting, full of twists, and moves at an astounding pace.  There are conflicting opinions on the world-building in other reviews I’ve read.  Some readers wanted more, some thought it was more of an information dump.  I’m with the group that’s unsure if they understood all the political angles.  I found it a little confusing at times.

The Fever King is filled with political intrigue, characters who possess powers along the lines of X-Men, and a wonderfully diverse cast.  Overall, it’s an enjoyable read, and more for the older YA crowd.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Devouring Gray (The Devouring Gray #1) by Christine Lynn Herman #bookreview #YA #fantasy

On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…

Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?

When I saw the cover of this novel, I wanted to read it without even seeing the description.  Comp titles like The Raven Cycle and Stranger Things are the equivalent of leaving a trail of chocolate to lure me in.

What a dark, atmospheric story this is, with spine-tingling moments, complex, flawed, fully-realized characters, and layered secrets intermingled with lies.  Small towns always hold the most secrets and lies.  Occasionally when I read, I’m skimming the pages and getting the gist of the story.  With this book, I was completely absorbed from page one, and read every single captivating word.

These characters – oof.  Complicated relationships, a diverse cast, and a few different POVs.  All of them are compelling, but with a tragic, mysterious past, Isaac is the character that most intrigued me, and it looks like more about his past will be revealed in the next book.

The Devouring Gray is an enticing blend of YA fantasy and horror.  It’s not a fast-paced story, but more of a slow burn – and what a tantalizing burn it is, with all those secrets and lies slowly coming to light.  The second book in this duology will be on my wishlist for next year.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

Analiese Rising by Brenda Drake #bookreview #YA #fantasy

When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how Aongto save the world—from herself. 

The beautiful cover first caught my attention, but the mythology theme clinched it for me – I needed to read this book.

Along with Analiese and Marek, I enjoyed trying to figure out the obscure clues left by Marek’s grandfather, and the beautiful and sometimes dangerous locations where those clues lead.  The pacing is brisk, with little downtime between action scenes.  As a mythology fan, the numerous gods and goddesses thrilled me – but so many of them are mentioned, I quickly lost track.

Analiese is likable, and finds herself in many intense, life-threatening situations, but her internal thoughts about Marek’s smile or how he looks at her during these moments pulled me out of the scene more than once.  Until almost the end of the book, I never got the feeling he considered her more than a friend.  Flying across the world with Marek, someone Analiese has known only a couple of days, then successfully hiding that fact from her mother requires a sizable suspension of disbelief.

If a fast pace, nearly non-stop action, quests, and puzzles are your thing, you may enjoy Analiese Rising, but I’d recommend jotting down the gods and goddesses names to keep them straight.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.  I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Atonement in Bloom by Teagan Riordain Geneviene #bookreview #urbanfantasy

“Atonement in Bloom” continues the urban fantasy from the point where “Atonement, Tennessee” ended. The quaint town was stranger than Ralda Lawton could have imagined. The local population included supernatural beings of the fae variety. Although only she and a few others knew about that. In a past life, Ralda ― Esmeralda had been involved in something with those supernaturals and it had carried into her present life. In Atonement, Tennessee, that almost got her killed. Now she has new problems, and new supes to complicate matters.Atonement in Bloom continues the misadventures of Ralda, her friends, and neighbors in the small (but far from peaceful) town of Atonement, Tennessee. Her old house and cemetery are still there, along with Lilith the cat, quirky townsfolk, and assorted supernaturals. Now Lilith the calico sniffs out a strange beast. Fae foolery backfires. A friend is abducted. On a cold December day, Atonement, Tennessee comes into bloom.

Boy, did I miss these characters (especially Lilith, my favorite fictional calico cat) and this quirky little town.  When the author offered me an ARC, I jumped at the chance.

If you’re a regular reader of Geneviene, whether it’s her books or blog, her vast imagination comes as no surprise.  If this is your first encounter, you’re in for a creative treat.  With charismatic characters, both human and magical, glowing pigs, and an engaging mystery, this novel will easily persuade you to curl up in your favorite reading spot and spend a few delightful hours in the town of Atonement.

This is the second book in the series and could be read as a stand alone, but for maximum enjoyment, I’d advise reading Atonement, Tennessee first.  I’d highly recommend this series to fans of magical characters, eccentric towns, creative mysteries, and highly intelligent felines.  I’m still hoping Lilith gets her own book.

I received an ARC from the author.

#BadMoonRising: Visions by K. Matt #horror #urbanfantasy

It’s Monday….but to brighten up your day, I present you with K. Matt!  She makes a darn good argument for why it’s in your best interest to travel with a close combat weapon and some silver.  Garlic doesn’t hurt either – well, not the humans, anyway.

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I’m probably the killer. That gives me the highest probability of making it through to the end.

Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, or zombies – which would you least want to meet in a dark alley?

A ghost. One can be held at bay with garlic or a stake (or in some cases, silver), another has the whole silver weakness, and the last one can be taken out with  sufficient head trauma.

You’re home alone, but you hear footsteps in your house–what do you do?

I go for the ginormous Sherlock Holmes book and grab a utility knife or two…possibly an X-Acto knife. But I will not engage unless the door to my room opens. In which case, I have every intention of defending myself.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Description! That always trips me up.

What’s your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Well, I’m usually drawing while I’m writing. So things can get pretty chaotic. Wake up, dive into it, try to keep focused, inevitably get distracted, get back to work, work long into the night… And yes, there are points where I’ll eat.

What are you working on now?

All sorts of things! I’m working on the 3rd story arc of my book series, a prequel, I want to create a coloring book for my series (though I may have gotten that at least sketched by the time this is posted)…

Dr. Spencer Abbot has been searching for the ideal anniversary gift for his wife. When he and his friend Travis meet a woman that claims she can help, they accept.

The pair are led to Visions Studios. But instead of the boudoirs photos they’d intended to get, they stumble upon something far more sinister: snuff films.

Before long, it’s up to Travis to resolve their situation, no matter what tries tog et in his way.

This first installment of the Hell Bent series blends urban fantasy, sci-fi, horror, a bit of humor, and plenty of action.

Buy Links:

Visions: https://www.amazon.com/Visions-Hell-Bent-Book-1-ebook/dp/B010YG2MMI/

Retribution: https://www.amazon.com/Retribution-Hell-Bent-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01387TIEU/

Destruction: https://www.amazon.com/Destruction-Hell-Bent-Book-3-ebook/dp/B0186GZ220/

Deception: https://www.amazon.com/Deception-Hell-Bent-Book-4-ebook/dp/B01LTASC36/

Apparition: https://www.amazon.com/Apparition-Hell-Bent-Book-5-ebook/dp/B072Q1WSGP/

Obsession: https://www.amazon.com/Obsession-Hell-Bent-Book-6-ebook/dp/B078R61NKR/

Protection: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H7LCD5B

 

Author Bio

K. Matt is both an author and illustrator, who feels just plain wrong without at least ten projects going at the same time. Caffeine is her lifeblood. When not writing or drawing, she spends time with her dog.

 

 

 

Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/HellBentBookSeries
https://www.facebook.com/TravisHalfMonkey
https://www.patreon.com/KMattIllustration
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00U5GLUNU
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/k-matt
https://kaylamatt.wordpress.com
https://www.goodreads.com/KMatt_HellBent

#BadMoonRising: The Grimhold Wolf by Deby Fredericks #paranormal #urbanfantasy

Well- it’s officially fall, finally.  It’s near freezing here, and I’m more than ready for it.  Today’s author has a precise understanding of why she’d be the first to die in a horror movie.  Too bad the people in the horror movies aren’t that self-aware. Welcome Deby Fredericks!

You’re home alone, but you’re hear footsteps in your house – What do you do?

This actually happened to me. It was my first night in a new house, my husband had gone back for a second load from the old place, and I heard what sounded like footsteps in the upstairs room. I went to look and no one was there. But it was windy, so perhaps the house shifted in the direction of the wind.

You’re in a horror movie. Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

First to die. I would stand there flat-footed and be stabbed. Also, as demonstrated above, I would hear a strange noise and go look for the cause instead of running.

Are you superstitious?

Not really. I believe supernatural things can happen, but I don’t spend much time worrying that they will happen to me.

How do you develop your plots and characters?

I am a panster rather than a plotter, but I do look for interesting angles, especially on characters. How I get there is to start writing ideas down. The first idea will be really obvious and boring. The second idea will also be obvious. By the third and fourth attempts, I’m coming to more interesting concepts.

What I end up using will be some combination of the obvious with the less-obvious. Because there are those readers (like my husband, who always beta reads) who like to start guessing right away about who the bad guy is, etc. The obvious things there are to fake them out. Then I surprise them with something beyond what they expected.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

Role-playing games taught me a lot about plotting and motivation. You have to design characters that will work in session after session, and play is more satisfying when the characters are involved in more than a “go get the gold” way. I especially like Champions, an older super-hero game where you literally have disadvantages to balance your powers.

What are you working on now?

My latest project is a dystopian/swords and sorcery fantasy novella called “The Tower in the Mist.” By the time your readers see this, I will be deciding how to market it.

Madeline — cursed by her former lover to live as a wild beast, yet driven to rescue their son from a legacy of evil. Thomas — so obsessed with werewolves that he was ordered to retire, now the only hope for a desperate village. Charlie — forced to choose between his father’s power and his mother’s love. These three must battle through a maze of lies, where demons may be the only true victors. 

Purchase Links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Biography

Deby Fredericks has been a writer all her life, but thought of it as just a fun hobby until the late 1990s. She made her first sale, a children’s poem, in 2000.

Fredericks has six fantasy novels out through two small presses. The latest is The Grimhold Wolf, released by Sky Warrior in 2015. Her children’s stories and poems have appeared in magazines such as Boys’ Life, Babybug, Ladybug, and a few anthologies. In the past, she served as Regional Advisor for the Inland Northwest Region of the Society of  Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, International  (SCBWI).

Fredericks also has a blog called Wyrmflight (wyrmflight.wordpress.com) that focuses on dragons. She has self-published a few of her fantasy novelettes and a collection from the blog.

Social Media:

Website:                     http://www.debyfredericks.com
Facebook:                  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDebyFredericks/
Blog:                           https://wyrmflight.wordpress.com
Draft 2 Digital:         https://www.books2read.com/ap/nzkBJ8/Deby-Fredericks

 

Atonement in Bloom Book Launch Party Bus! #newrelease #urbanfantasy #supernatural

Atonement Blog Party Bus Loaded

All aboard! Beep-beep, yeah! The party bus is here. (Click here for theme music Magic Bus!) Our first stop is in Connecticut to pick up Dan Antion, who has a handy guided tour of Atonement, TN. Dan agreed to be a relief bus driver too, since bus-driver-Lilith the calico, sometimes has to take a break to give Deme or Honeybell a head bath.

Where “atonement” begins

It’s best if you read the first book first. So, for the launch of “Bloom,” Atonement, Tennessee is on sale for 99¢ (e-book). Click Atonement book covers for purchase links.

Residents of my fictional town might be of any race and from any ancestry. So author and translator Olga Núñez Miret translated the debut novel to Spanish! For that language I changed the title to Expiación y Magia!

Cover Expiación y Magia ― Una Fantasía Urbana
Atonement, Tennessee in Spanish

Speaking of the otherworldly pigs, I should mention the order of the Atonement stories. Your first visit to the town is Atonement, Tennessee. It’s an urban fantasy — set in our present-day, real world but with magical elements. Aside from the heroine and her neighbor-friends (or as Diana Peach likes to call them, the gall palls (Diana’s review here), you’ll meet the grumpy sheriff, Robin Warden.

Includes the prequel

The first “snort” in The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee is about a very young Deputy Robin. (Review by Dr. Phuong Callaway here.) That particular story is tied to the novel I’m launching today, Atonement in Bloom.

Long awaited sequel to Atonement, Tennessee

Here’s the blurb!

The quaint town was stranger than Ralda Lawton could have imagined. The local population included supernatural beings of the fae variety. Although only she and a few others knew about that.

In a past life, Ralda ― Esmeralda had been involved in something with those supernaturals and it had carried into her present life. In Atonement, Tennessee, that almost got her killed. Now she has new problems, and new supes to complicate matters.

Atonement in Bloom continues the misadventures of Ralda, her friends, and neighbors in the small (but far from peaceful) town of Atonement, Tennessee. Her old house and cemetery are still there, along with Lilith the cat, quirky townsfolk, and assorted supernaturals.

Now Lilith the calico sniffs out a strange beast.

Fae foolery backfires. A friend is abducted.

On a cold December day, Atonement, Tennessee comes into bloom.

The Unfolding Of An Orange Rose Bud

I don’t know why the party bus is stopping. Oh! It’s a delivery of flowers in honor of the book launch from Kirt Tisdale of The Wall Gallery! Wow… beautiful blue roses. Thank you, Kirt. The blue rose of the impossible is an important element of Atonement in Bloom.

We’re back on the road, and Dyanna at Ravenhawk’s Magazine has plenty of music for our road-trip. Lilith, slow down. I see Melissa from Today You Will Write at that bus stop up ahead.

Hang on to your seat-belt. Lilith just took a sharp curve and we are magically in Kentucky. Deme wanted to check out Teri Polen’s October horror and suspense book fest, Bad Moon Rising! You’ll find 31 authors and their books there!

Welcome to Atonement, TN! Everybody in town is taking part in the fun. Annie’s Antiques is hosting an exhibit of Art by Rob Goldstein.

My Blue Heaven

What’s that on the next table? It looks like an Aladin’s lamp. And a puff of colorful smoke! Oh, it’s the Lamp Magician. Welcome, Magician. I’m glad you could join the party bus!

My stomach is growling. Thank goodness Carol Taylor and Gerlinde de Broekert have catered the book fair. There are delicious foods at every booth! However, Deme and Honeybell love to read, so they ran straight to the Atonement, TN Book Fair. They’re in hog heaven with so many great books!

Heartfelt thanks to everyone for supporting this Bloomin’ Party Bus. Click the author names for more info.

(If anyone wants to share a link to a review of your book, or anything about yourself, please leave a comment with the link.)

D. Wallace Peach

Image result for legacy of souls d wallace peach

Chris Graham (for Agnes Mae Graham)

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

Olga Núñez Miret For this book see here.

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters Now available as an audio book too

D.L. Finn

Image result for dl finn the button

Jan Sikes

Image result for jan sikes flowers in stone

Mary J McCoy-Dressel

Mary J McCoy-Dressel, western romance author, Book Three Canyon Junction: Hearts in Love Series, Blog Post Cover Reveal

Sally Cronin

Jacquie Biggar has a sheriff too…

jacquiebiggar_thesheriffmeetshismatch_800px

Valentina Cirasola will help you tour Atonement, TN in style.

The Road To Top Of The World: Short Stories In The Land Of Puglia

Barb Taub will keep you laughing the entire way.

Resa will help you find the right thing to wear. She’s a costume designer. She would have enjoyed helping Ralda, Bethany, and Lacey search through the antique clothes in Sunhold’s closets (scene in “Bloom”).

Staci Troilo

Tortured Soul

Mae Clair

Book cover for End of Day, mystery/suspense novel by Mae Clair shows old dilapidated church with bell tower and a cemetery in the background overgrown with weeds

John W. Howell

Annette Rochelle Aben

Image result for booku Annette Rochelle Aben

Robbie Cheadle

Image result for robbie cheadle while the bombs fell

Chuck Jackson

Image result for chuck jackson what did i do

Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Teri Polen

Image result for teri polen sarah