Book Review Alert: The Obsidian Son by Shayne Silvers

Reviewed: June 2nd, 2022
Released: October 12th, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy

To do list: Cow-tip the Minotaur. Cure a reptile dysfunction.

My name is Nate Temple, and I’m secretly a wizard. I ride a foul-mouthed unicorn, I drink with Achilles, and I’m pals with the Four Horsemen. I’ve even cow-tipped the Minotaur. I understand the theory of following the rules…I’m just not very good at the application.

Because rules were meant to be broken.

Especially when I find out a monster just murdered my parents. Now all I can hear is the sweet, soothing song of vengeance in my ears, playing on repeat.

But when shifter dragons come to town, I’m forced to step away from hunting down the scumbag murderer. Because I know the cure for a reptile dysfunction, and the dragons aren’t going to like it.

This fight soon opens up Pandora’s Box, and suddenly every flavor of supernatural thug is after me. The only way out of it—to save my city—is to murder my best friend.

I didn’t want, ask for, or start any of this. But I will finish it. It’s time I show St. Louis that magic is very, very real. And that an angry wizard is truly something to see—at least once in your life.

You know, right before he puts you and everyone you’ve ever met in the grave… Read my Thoughts…

Book Review Alert: The Binding Day Truce by Allegra Pescatore & JP Burnison

Reviewed: June 1st, 2022
Released: January 13th, 2021
Genre: Epic Fantasy Short Story

The end of centuries of war is looming. 

Ilyas of Vine, War Leader of the armies of the Mad Queen Maevian Oriset, is sent off once again to hunt the deadliest foe he has ever faced: Willow of Herb. Tired of the fighting, but with too much on the line, Ilyas knows that this will be their last fight. This time, failure is not an option. This time, he will kill that damn monster, or die trying. 

Willow of Herb has fought against Vine all of his life. Ever since the day the Mad Queen’s forces killed his parents, he has revelled in the bloodshed of war. As the only one with a hope of matching Maevian’s power, it is up to him to find a way to put an end to her reign of terror. Only one thing stands in his way: Ilyas.

In a war where neither side is truly good or evil, and shades of grey run rampant, who will be triumphant when these two forces meet again for the final time? Read my thoughts...

Book Review Alert: Accidental Fae by Jessica Wayne

Reviewed: May 29th, 2022
Released: April 5th, 2022
Genre: Fantasy Romance

A life on the verge of death isn’t living.

When the doctors mention hospice, I know it’s time to take my life—or death—into my own hands. Stumbling through a portal into the fae realm wasn’t part of the plan.

But then I see him–the man who claimed my dreams with glimpses of his piercing golden gaze and sculpted body slick with sweat as he fought bloody battles. Seeing him once gave me strength; now, he gives me hope.

The creatures here claim he’s a rebel. A murderer. A traitor to their crown–a crown they say I’m tied to in irrevocable ways. I say he might be my only path to salvation.

I refuse to waste another life waiting for answers to secrets no one dares speak. It’s time for me to break free of my prison and claim the life that was always meant to be mine. My warrior has been broken by circumstance, though, and if I can’t give him a reason to fight, it could mean the end for both of us. Read my thoughts…

Book Review Alert: Thicker Than Water by Laura Quinn

Reviewed: May 27th, 2022
Released: May 27th, 2022
Genre: Historical Fiction

Cape May, New Jersey, 1916: Siblings Danny and Shannon Culligan are trapped under the thumb of their alcoholic father. Danny’s been in love with his childhood sweetheart, Jennie Martin- a wealthy cottager from Philadelphia- for as long as he can remember while her cousin, Hugh, is smitten with his sister.

As the foursome struggles to surmount the class differences between them, the nation is plunged into World War One, changing all of their lives forever. Danny is drafted into the Army and Hugh enlists in the Navy- defending the home front as a lieutenant at Cape May Section Base Number 9. While Jennie works tirelessly on the Liberty Loans campaign in Philadelphia, Shannon finds herself ensnared in a rum ring operation as the temperance movement ebbs closer to its goal of Prohibition.

A sweeping saga of betrayal, lies, and loss on all sides, Thicker Than Water, challenges readers in its exploration of the age-old question about where one’s loyalties lie. Read my thoughts…

Author Interview – Laura Quinn

Author of Thicker Than Water.

Today I am chatting with historical fiction author, Laura Quinn, about her debut novel Thicker than Water, which is an investigation into family ties and a sweeping saga of betrayal, lies, and loss on all sides et against the abckdrop of the First World War.

Helen: Welcome Laura! First congratulations on writing a novel and now publishing it. Such an amazing feeling to publish your first book. Tell us a little about it.

Laura: Titanic meets Boardwalk Empire in this historical fiction set against the picturesque shore town of Cape May, NJ, at the onset of World War One. Siblings Danny and Shannon Culligan are trapped under the thumb of their alcoholic father. Danny’s been in love with his childhood sweetheart, Jennie Martin- a wealthy cottager from Philadelphia- for as long as he can remember while her cousin, Hugh, is smitten with his sister.

As the foursome struggles to surmount the class differences between them, the nation is plunged into the Great War, changing all of their lives forever. Danny is drafted into the Army and Hugh enlists in the Navy- defending the home front as a lieutenant at Cape May Section Base Number 9. While Jennie works tirelessly on the Liberty Loans campaign in Philadelphia, Shannon finds herself ensnared in a rum ring operation as the temperance movement ebbs closer to its goal of Prohibition. A sweeping saga of betrayal, lies, and loss on all sides, Thicker Than Water, marries the historically accurate world building of Ellen Marie Wiseman’s The Orphan Collector with the emotional resonance of Renee Rosen’s works.

Helen: I love writing Fantasy novels because I can make it all up, but you have written a historical novel about real places and real events. This must be so much more challenging. I have been really fortunate to read an early copy, and I loved it – (you can read my book review here) – Your attention to detail is phenomenal. How much research did you have to do for your book?

Laura: I spent two years in research and development before putting pen to paper. With regard to historical events in narrative, I tried to stay as close to source material as possible throughout. A NJ resident myself, making sure the details were accurate was a matter of utmost importance to me from the beginning. Writing about a pandemic while living through one was particularly difficult. My research and outline for TTW was completed prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns. There were times in the last two years where I strongly considered changing these chapters (or eliminating them completely from a reader-sensitivity standpoint). My only hope is that I did justice to those lives impacted in both outbreaks.

Helen: You have chosen quite a dramatic cover, with the monotone colours and the stormy seas. Is there a story behind how you came up with your cover?

Laura: The cover and paperback interior design were done by Elite Authors. As a debut author, I  had many questions and the staff were wonderful to work with. I had some very clear ideas when it came to the cover, and shared samples of photography I’d found on iStock and Unsplash that I felt conveyed the tone of my novel. Without getting into spoilers, I can tell you that a crucial scene occurs in the midst of a nor’easter storm coming ashore. The event goes on to impact all four main characters in different ways, some of which are explored in Thicker Than Water, the others in the two sequels planned.

Helen: It’s great news that there is more to come! Let’s talk a little about how you write. Do you have a specific writing space where you like to work?

Laura: Oddly enough, at my dining room table. I like to spread out, so my “workspace” has plenty of room for me to lay out reference materials on one side of me and notes on the other. The room also has large windows and gets a lot of natural sunlight, so it’s a cozy environment. The back window faces my kids’ play area in our yard, so I can keep eyes and ears on them, too, from where I am. You can usually find our tabby, Tigger, snuggled somewhere close by.

Helen: Writing companions are the best! My cat Alfie is usually the same, curled up nearby. When not writing what do you like to do?

Laura: I enjoy many hobbies outside the bookish variety. Spending time with my family is my favorite, even if it’s just shuffling the kids to-and-from one of their activities. I love watching them perform, be it on the ballet stage or the soccer field. I also love gardening, and just planted my annuals for this season. We can learn so much from nature. It always inspires me.

Helen: Most writers are great readers, do you have a favourite book?

Laura: Little Women. I read a junior edition when I was in third grade for my first book report and fell in love with the story. My late grandmother gifted me a beautiful hardcover to commemorate the event. I’ve read it several times over and it holds an honored place on the coffee table in my living room.

Helen: How lovely! I love it when a book has a story to go woth it, evoking special memories. Thank you so much for spending time with me today. Good luck with your launch and congratulations again on the launch of your debut novel. Just to finish, do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

Laura: Get it down. Whether handwritten in a notebook, typed up on a laptop, or texted from your phone when you can’t sleep. Tell your story. Be authentic and don’t hold back.

About the Author:

Laura Quinn currently resides in southern New Jersey with her husband, two children, and spoiled tabby cat. When not writing or consuming copious amounts of coffee, she enjoys hiking, the beach, and spending time with her family. Thicker Than Water is her debut novel, with two additional books planned to round out the Culligans’ saga.

You can order Thicker Than Water from Amazon:

UK: eBook | Paperback

USA: eBook | Paperback

Papaerback preorder -release 16th September 2022.

As an Amazon Associate I may earn commission from purchases made using these links.

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my books which are available in eBook, paperback or hardcover: Book One: Sentinals Awaken. Book Two: Sentinals Rising. Book Three: Sentinals Justice. Book 3.5: Sentinals Recovery. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next book releases.

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My Author Patreon is live!

I have been writing fantasy books since 2016, published my first book in 2020 and have now published five books in the Sentinal series. I have come to the realisation that I cannot sustain the finances to self-publish and create the audiobook versions without selling a lot more books, or subsidising the costs though an activity like patreon.

So I have created a patreon. Are you Team Arifel, Team Darian, or Team Sentinal? I hope you choose a team and join my writing journey. I have so many books already written, they just need polishing and publishing. I could easily continue publishing two books a year, if not more, it is the cost that is prohibitive.

So this is where you wonderful people come in. Supporting me and my writing, means you get them quicker! And access to early sneak peeks, deleted chapters, extra stories, character interviews and more.

Thank you once again for your interest in my books, and for joining me on this journey. Welcome to the wonderful world of Remargaren and many others I can’t wait to introduce you to.  I hope you stay for all the exciting adventures that are surely coming your way.

And don’t forget…

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

Check out my Author Interview on the Scribbled Notes Podcast

I had such fun chatting with Jahmil Effend on his podcast Scribbled Notes.

We chat about my writing journey, my books, world building and the sheer joy of writing.

You can find it on:

Spotify

Youtube

or iTunes

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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Realm of Darkness Author Spotlight – Fight for Darkness by Susan Stradiotto

We continue to reveal some amazing covers in the run up to the launch of the Realm of Darkness Anthology on October 4th, 2022. I am delighted to share Susan Stradiotto’s Fight for Darkness.

Exclusively available as part of the Realm of Darkness Anthology.

Have you preordered your copy yet for the insane price of 99c/77p?  I can’t wait to read these wonderful books. See all the covers revealed so far here

If you order via Apple iBooks or Barnes and Noble during May – you can claim three free books – find out more here!

Fight for Darkness

He must feed his beast. She is bent on revenge.

On the way to the club after the big fight, Kane MacLeod stumbles upon a fight in the depths of a dark alley. But he’s never seen a fight like this. What are they using? Mirrors? Lasers? Magic? No way! He tries but can’t turn away. Sure, the small woman is holding her own, but how can he leave her at the mercy of the three large men attacking her? What if that was his sister?

Malin has one purpose, to destroy the beast who took her sister. Every night she enters the Daylight realm to hunt. She walks among the humans unseen, searches for the slime who betrayed her, and slips back into Darkness before the Light. Her mother and her friends beg her to accept her sacred duty to the coven, but she owes her dead sister for the worst betrayal possible. She carries the burden. She’s been on this mission for years, and until she slays Godric, she cannot, will not, rest.

Preorder Realm of Darkness Boxset

Only available as part of the Realm of Darkness Boxset available for preorder now on Amazon and other retailers for only 99c/77p!


About the Author:

My life in Eden Prairie, Minnesota revolves around my husband, three children, and our calamity, a Bernese Mountain Dog named Delaunay. I’ve been a Technology Project Manager for more years than I’d like to admit, but stories are my passion. I have always been a voracious reader, lover of worlds, and a “werd nerd.” My infatuation with well-developed characters sometimes rivals my relationships with real people. My free time is spent writing, networking with other writers, and occasionally camping “up-north.” If you’re from Minnesota, you’ll get the reference along with “hot dish” and “grey-duck.” If you’re not from Minnesota, you probably don’t want to ask. I’m originally a Texan, and that just never leaves you!

My writing is typically Fantasy. One of my fans called it Social Science Fantasy, and I think that’s about the best way to describe it. I’m a huge fan of all things world building and what that entails…the people, the creatures, the politics, the language, the maps, and more. My major work still focuses on The Caeteran Tales, but there are other ventures in my near future as well. Stay tuned!

Also by Susan Stradiotto:

The Serpentine Throne series

Call of the Storm Sorceror

Call of the Syrensea

Call of the Ryu Dragon

Call of the Scorched Empire

Call of the Maelstrom

Anthologies

Once Upon a Name

Twice Upon a Name

Book Review Alert: When We Were Sea and Stars by Elen Chase

Reviewed: May 18th, 2022
Released: August 7th, 2020
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance

Under the summer sun, in a small seaside town in South Italy, nineteen-year-old James meets the man of his dreams. Roberto is gorgeous, fun, sweet… and very taken. James has no delusions about their friendship; he knows love couldn’t possibly happen to him.

Roberto is full of doubts about his relationship. He knows something is missing in his life and he’s not expecting to find that something in James, his new American neighbor.

But if something were to happen, only the sea, the sand and the stars can know. Read my thoughts …

Book Review Alert: Steal the Wind by Jocelynn Drake

Reviewed: May 12th, 2022
Released: October 29th, 2021
Genre: MM Fantasy

Everything Caelan knows about his world is a lie.

A war is brewing. As the crown prince of Erya, it’s only natural that Caelan is sent on a secret diplomatic mission to support one of the kingdom’s allies. With his advisor, his bodyguard, and his best friend as traveling companions, what could go wrong?

Everything. 

Everything goes wrong. 

Now they are on the run, dodging assassins, setting secret meetings, and even making deals with a sleeping god. 

So this is probably a really bad time to cave to feelings he’s been fighting for his best friend. But Drayce has owned his heart for more years than he can count, and if he’s going to die, shouldn’t he have just one kiss? 

The fate of the world is on the line, and only Caelan holds the power to save them all. Read my thoughts …