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September 20, 2014

Series Saturday: Hunters of Reloria by Kasper Beaumont

by Claire Rees

Elven Jewel
Elven Jewel, book one of the hunters of reloria series, by Kasper Beaumont

We start off the series with two Halflings called Randir and Fendi and their fairies. Whilst out in the fields they overhear an alien species planning to invade their world and kill of the people of Reloria.

They rush to tell Fendi’s father who advises them that they need to travel to tell the elves that they need to protect the elven jewel, the jewel is what keeps them all safe by providing a protective shield over all of Reloria. Here starts the Halflings journey to save Reloria.  Along the way they discover that the elven jewel is not what is seems. They meet some magical creatures and form unlikely bonds, and even in all of this danger they still manage to have some fun adventures.  They become known as the ‘hunters of Reloria’ and they make some great new allies but also some very dangerous enemies. I loved the book and quickly became enamoured with this magical world of fairies, dragons, centaurs and many of mythical beasts/beings and I enjoyed travelling through the many different and wonderful places that make up Reloria. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves magical worlds with mythical beings and lots of adventure and action.

Buy The Elven Jewel at Amazon

Hunter's Quest
Hunter's Quest, book two of the Hunters of Reloria series, by Kasper Beaumont

The journey continues with ‘the hunters of Reloria’ members of the different races of Reloria into their ‘army’ to help them to stop the Vergai from overtaking their land. After a particularly bad loss of one of their companions, Fendi takes it very hard and turns to Sienna for comfort, they start up a romantic relationship and the two are nearly inseparable until Sienna is dragged through a portal on the back of a dragon.  Fendi also becomes an amazing negotiator and even manages to get peace between two races that have been at war with each other for hundreds of years. The hunters manage to gain great forces but also suffer severe losses.  Again this story was very interesting and fun and you get to meet some new characters and explore some new magical places. The author really does have a great talent for description and an amazing imagination for magical races and places.  It is so easy to get lost in this magical world that I was surprised at how quickly I got through the book.

I am very much looking forward to the third book and I do hope that our heroes are victorious and will defeat the Vergai and their leaders once and for all.

Buy Hunter's Quest at Amazon

Dragon's Revenge
Dragon's Revenge, book three of the Hunters of Reloria series, by Kasper Beaumont

Book three finishes where book two leaves off; Ash, Sienna and Daeron have gone through the portal that leads to where the Vergai live to save the Elevn princess, Shari Rose and are now trapped there.  Daeron has been captured by the evil cylops who run the land and rule over the vergai and it is now left to Ash and Sienna to save him and the princess. Meanwhile the rest of the ‘Hunters’ have been helping their newest recruit ‘Violetta’ to take her mage trials to become a fully fledged mage.  The vergai are getting closer and closer all the time and Reloria have suffered many losses of different races. The Hunters and their new found friends are now ready to make one last stand against the invaders and they hope to save their land and people.  Will Ash,  Daeron,  Sienna and Shari Rose going to make it back in time.?

There are some unusual romantic pairings in this book but it works out really well and it is nice that the characters even though are on the way to war still have time to find love. The last battle is intense, sad and full of action with severe losses on both sides. If you loved the first two then you will love this book. The ending is well thought out and ties everything up nicely.

Buy Dragon's Revenge at Amazon

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September 19, 2014

Book Beginnings: The Winter of Dani Lancing by P.D. Viner

by Donna Huber

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader. Post the opening line(s) of the book you are reading and give your first impressions.

The Beginning

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing
Saturday, December 18, 2010
"There's no such thing as monsters." he tells her.

The girl screws up her nose. "Look anyway. Please."


She hugs Hoppy Bunny right as her dad slides sideways off the bed and onto the floor, pulling the duvet to one side and peering into the shadows.

"Nothing there."

"Are you sure?"

Even at five years old she knows that grown-ups can't be trusted with this stuff. They aren't clear about what is and isn't in the dark.

"I am absolutely, totally sure there's nothing under your bed."

"Check the wardrobe."

With an exaggerated sigh, he moves across the room and pulls the doors open quickly. Dresses and coats sway violently, like zombie hordes.


"It's okay." He grabs the clothes. "Nothing to worry about." He pushes them aside and peers into the back of the wardrobe. "Just clothes, no lions or witches."

Her eyes widen. "Did you think there would be?"

"No. No... I was just being silly." He sits back on the edge of her bed. "There's nothing there, darling."

My First Thoughts

This book kind of got lost in my TBR pile. I think it is going to be heart wrenching as it is about a college student that is kidnapped and brutally murdered. The family lives on, but how does one move on from that? I love these kind of stories. They usually give me hope that even when the worst happens people can and do live through it and become stronger because of it.

I will officially start this book when I get home tonight.

Buy The Last Winter of Dani Lancing at Amazon

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September 18, 2014

What to Write About

by Donna Huber

Last week I wrote about what to do when you didn't feel like writing. Another reason bloggers don't post is because they don't know what to write about. As a book blogger, our main topic is book reviews. But there are times when there isn't a book ready to review or you're an author not writing book reviews.

It is a good idea to keep a list of topics you can fall back on when you want (or need) to post and not sure what to write about. I'll share my list with you, and for authors I have a few suggestions for you too.

1. Themed list
This is always my go to topic when I don't know what to blog about. It works for both my tips posts as well as book posts. Numbers in post titles do well so that is a bonus. 5 books to read before watching the movie, 10 hottest book boyfriends. But you don't have to have a number and can do any theme - specific genre, writing tips, top blogging organization apps, favorite blogs to read, etc.

2. A game
You might think a game would be difficult to come up with, but it can be pretty simple. Post the first few lines of books and ask for people to guess the story. Guess the character - give descriptions of characters. Crop portions of book covers to have people guess the title. It doesn't have to have a prize for people to play.

Check out Goodreads or Pinterest boards to find famous quotes. You can either just post the quote as is, create a graphic with the quote (you can make them pretty easy with something like PowerPoint), write why you like the quote or what it says to you.

4. Feature a book or author
Pull a book that has been waiting a while in your TBR pile - what made you choose it?. Or highlight a favorite author - why do you like the author? What books have she/he written?

For Authors:

  1. Share a snippet from your work in progress
  2. Give background on a character from one of your books
  3. Write a deleted scene or a scene from another character's point of view

September 17, 2014

WWW Wednesdays: This week's books

by Donna Huber

This weekly meme is hosted by Should Be Reading and requires you to answer 3 questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you'll read next?

What I'm Currently Reading:

The Bleiberg Project
The Bleiberg Project by David S. Khara

An adrenaline-pumping ride to save the world from a conspiracy straight out of the darkest hours of history.

Are Hitler's atrocities really over?

1942, Poland. The head of the SS meets secretly with a scientist in charge of a major Third Reich project.

Present day. After another late night with yet another woman whose name he doesn't remember, self-pitying golden boy trader Jay Novacek learns that his long-lost father has died, precipitating events that lead him to board a plane to Zurich. He's got a Nazi medallion in his pocket, a hot CIA bodyguard next to him, and a clearly dangerous Mossad agent on his tail. What was his father investigating? Why was his mother assassinated? Why are unknown sides fighting over him with automatic weapons? Far from his posh apartment, he races to save the world from a horrific conspiracy. Can it be stopped?

Buy The Bleiberg Project at Amazon

The Selection
The Selection by Kiera Cass 
(Narrated by Amy Rubinate)

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Buy The Selection at Amazon

What I Recently Finished

The Amber Room
The Amber Room by Steve Berry 
(Narrated by Scott Brick)

The Amber Room is one of the greatest treasures ever made by man: an entire room forged of exquisite amber, from its four massive walls to its finely crafted furniture. But it is also the subject of one of history’s most intriguing mysteries. Originally commissioned in 1701 by Frederick I of Prussia, the Room was later perfected Tsarskoe Selo, the Russian imperial city. In 1941, German troops invaded the Soviet Union, looting everything in their wake and seizing the Amber Room. When the Allies began the bombing of Germany in August 1944, the Room was hidden. And despite the best efforts of treasure hunters and art collectors from around the world, it has never been seen again.

Now, two powerful men have set their best operatives loose in pursuit, and the hunt has begun once more. . .

Life is good for Atlanta judge Rachel Cutler. She loves her job, loves her kids, and remains civil to her ex-husband, Paul. But everything changes when her father, a man who survived the horrors of World War II, dies under strange circumstances—and leaves behind clues to a secret he kept his entire life . . . a secret about something called the Amber Room.

Desperate to know the truth about her father’s suspicious dealings, Rachel takes off for Germany, with Paul close behind. Shortly after arriving, they find themselves involved with a cast of shadowy characters who all claim to share their quest. But as they learn more about the history of the treasure they seek, Rachel and Paul realize they’re in way over their heads. Locked in a treacherous game with ruthless professional killers and embroiled in a treasure hunt of epic proportions, Rachel and Paul suddenly find themselves on a collision course with the forces of power, evil, and history itself.

Buy The Amber Room at Amazon

Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli

On the eve of World War II, young Ella McGee sits on a bus bound for her Southern hometown. Behind her in Washington, D.C., lie the broken pieces of her parents’ love story—a black father drafted; an activist mother of Scotch-Irish and Cherokee descent confronting racist thugs.

But Ella’s journey is just beginning when she reaches Hopewell County, and her disappearance into the Georgia mountains will stir up memories long suppressed. As the secrets of Ella’s family history unfold in a vivid generational saga, Glow transports us to the Blue Ridge frontier of 1836, where slave plantations adjoin the haunted glades of a razed Cherokee Nation. Ron Rash’s Appalachia cascades into Alice Walker’s Georgia red clay in this lushly written debut announcing a major new voice in Southern fiction.

Buy Glow at Amazon

What I'll Read Next

The Elite
The Elite by Kiera Cass
(Narrated by Amy Rubinate)

The selection began with 35 girls. Now, with the group narrowed down to the Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's love is fiercer than ever. The closer America gets to the crown, the more she struggles to figure out where her heart truly lies. Each moment she spends with Maxon is like a fairy tale, filled with breathless, glittering romance. But whenever she sees her first love, Aspen, standing guard, she's swept up in longing for the life they'd planned to share.

America is desperate for more time. But while she's torn between her two futures, the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.

Buy The Elite at Amazon

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing
The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P.D. Viner

Twenty years ago, college student Dani Lancing was kidnapped and brutally murdered. The killer was never found, and the case has long gone cold. Her parents, Patty and Jim, were utterly devastated, their marriage destroyed. While Jim fell apart, Patty was consumed by the unsolved case. She abandoned her journalism career and her marriage to spend every waking hour searching and plotting. She keeps contact with Tom, Dani's childhood sweetheart, who has become a detective intent on solving murders like Dani's. When he finds a lead that seems ironclad, he brings Patty in on it. After years of dead ends, her obsession is rekindled, and she will do anything for revenge, even become a killer herself-dragging her whole family into the nightmare once again, as lies and secrets are uncovered.

Buy The Last Winter Dani Lancing at Amazon

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September 16, 2014

Review: Night Watchman Express by @AlisonDeluca

by Donna Huber

Night Watchman Express
I have wondered for a while about the Steampunk genre. It seemed to spring up overnight and everyone was talking about it. I knew that the stories were set during steam locomotive times - Victorian era. And I remember someone saying people something about combat boots. I got the picture that it was a fantasy genre and I'm super picky when it comes to fantasy.

Then I ran across my friend's book for FREE! So I couldn't pass it up.

And I LOVED it! And I think my niece and nephew will enjoy it as well.

Crown Phoenix: Night Watchman Express by Alison DeLuca is a middle grades/young adult fantasy series set in Edwardian England.  Miriam is a bratty orphan (reminiscent of Mary Lennox of The Secret Garden) whose new guardians are up to no good. They take over Miriam's home, going as far as giving their son Simon and his friend Neal Miriam's bedroom.

Buy Night Watchman Express at Amazon

Much as our sympathies for Mary Lennox makes us like her, I think in the beginning I only liked Miriam because you knew she was getting a bad deal. But her character grows, particularly under the tutelage of Mani, and I come to like her for her. But the character I really liked was Neal and he actually plays the biggest role in the Night Watchman Express.

The characters are very rich. DeLuca does an excellent job bringing them to life. And though the story clearly is fantasy, it reads like a historical novel - like it is real. Kind of like reading Harry Potter.

Night Watchman Express is full of adventure and intrigue. Plenty of entertainment for kids and adults. There is a mystery that has put Mani, Neal, and Miriam in danger. Simon is in danger, too, but it looks like he may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. But it is unclear if that will make a difference.

The book ends with some resolution, but there is still plenty of story left and I can't wait until I can pick up The Devil's Kitchen.

Book info
format: ebook 
# of pages: 323 (paperback)
published: October 2012 by Myrddin Publishing
ISBN13: 9781939296160 (paperback)
Source: Barnes & Noble
Genre: Steampunk, fantasy middle grades & young adult fiction
Read: August 2014

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September 15, 2014

Meet Genevieve Scholl

by Heather Kirchhoff

Hi, Genevieve. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. What made you decide to start writing? Was this something you always thought you’d do? 

I was bullied in high school, so writing was my escape. Eventually, I just came to love it so I branched out to happy stories vs the teen filled angst I wrote. Although, even as a child I wrote little stories, so I suppose it was always inside of me.

How do you come up with your characters or story ideas? 

There's no one way to come up with stories or characters. It's hard to explain, but it just sort of happens. One day your brain is like BAM! an idea.

How do you get inspired to write? 

Being inspired to write is difficult. Usually the inspiration comes at odd times. There's no way to FORCE yourself to be inspired to write. It's just something that happens when it happens.

As you say inspiration can't be forced, what do you do while having writers block?

Walk away.

You said in your high school days you wrote a lot of teen angst, what kind of stories do you write these days? 

Until Death Do I Part
I write mostly romance, but I am going to be branching out.

Who are your favorite authors? 

Sandra Love, Theresa Marquerite Hewitt, Crystal Grozek, Morgan Kearns, Darynda Jones, and many many more.

How long have you been writing?

Six years, though only published for one and a half.

What are your stories about? 

Love Claus: Cindy Gingerman loves the Christmas holiday, but sometimes she feels like she’s the only one. Her parents don’t celebrate, her best friend would rather be in Tahiti than watch the snow fall, and Cindy’s been single for a while. What a depressing Christmas.

Until, Trent shows up at her door dressed like Santa and holding a tree. Something draws her to him and she lets him into her home and her head…

Now, the only question is, will she let him into her heart as well? Trent Claus knew that Cindy was his destined bride. From the moment he saw her, there was no denying it. The only challenge he had to face was getting her to believe it as well. Can he do it? He believes he can, until his father falls ill and he has to move his plans along a lot faster than expected. What will Cindy think of his little town and the truth of who he is? Will she run like his ex-girlfriend had? Or will she stay and make him the luckiest, and happiest, man on Earth?

Buy Love Claus at Amazon

Hired for Christmas: Holli Day had really screwed up her life when she had called her ex-boyfriend crazy and stormed off; never talking to him again, until she came running to the North Pole to beg for him to give her a second chance. When he declared his love for Cindy, Holli thought her heart had shattered into a million pieces at her feet. But, that’s what she got for not believing in him. Now, he’s marrying Cindy and Holli isn’t invited. Except, Trent’s best friend, Garrett, needs a date to the wedding and he’s desperate; desperate enough to ask Holli and risk the wrath of the groom. The last thing that she wants to do is see Trent get married, but then Garrett offers her something in return that she can’t refuse; money to get her home for the holidays. What will happen when she walks into that ceremony on Garrett’s arm?

Buy Hired for Christmas at Amazon

Novel Desire: She wrote a plot, that she never expected to come true.

But then...
David Wilkinson, the head jock of her High School, walked into one of her book signings and he not only read her book, but wants to know if it's based on him. Vivienne Miles doesn't know what to say. What would he say when he found out that she has had a crush on him since eighth grade? When Viv finds out that she accidentally wrote a love spell in her book and it was activated on David, she worries that his feelings aren't real. So now, she has to find a way to break the spell and find out his true feelings... before her heart falls in love and shatters.

Buy Novel Desire at Amazon 

What are you currently working on? 

Until Death Do I Part, out in August, is about a woman who is dying of cancer and has made a decision to have the one thing she's always dreamed of. A wedding. Even though she doesn't have a fiance, she is determined to have the wedding of her dreams. Essentially, she's going to marry herself. But her best friend has other plans.

What do you do when not writing?

I am a very creative person. I do several different creative things. I write, photograph, design, draw, etc. I'm almost always creating something.

About Genevieve Scholl
I'm just a small town girl with a heart for the country life. I'm very shy and pretty much a loner, but my writing helps me be more outgoing and talk to various people that I would otherwise have a hard time approaching. I don't write for the money or the fame, but rather to tell a story that needs to be told; whether that is my story or a character's story. As a lot of people know, from my various interviews, I started writing to express my anger and hurt over the bullying that I experienced in High School, but eventually I just realized that I loved to tell stories. I was born in Texas, grew up and still live in Upstate New York, and want to retire in Ireland.
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