Book Review: No Heroes by Jon Mayo

***I voluntarily received a free copy to give a honest book review***

The Locke twins possess a peculiar power: they can pass pain and injuries to one another. Despite this flaw, Aries Locke dreams of becoming a superhero one day, to the chagrin of his twin, Ezra. But after performing a heroic deed they soon learn why there are no heroes in the world.

With the help of their mother, they run away from the shadow of The Purity Project–an organization devoted in controlling and regulating superhumans.

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I loved this book that was divided into three parts. Part One showed Aries and Ezra living with their mom, Gracie. She turned out to be more than a pill-popping, sad person. She had been hiding a secret forever. Part Two showed the twins as teens, growing up with their foster sister, Caylee. She had a secret of her own. Part Three focused on Barry and Theo of The Purity Project–the villains.

My favorite lines: 1) It looked painful, but he knew that all origin stories began with trauma. Aries just got his. 2) “Suffering is part of life. It is what makes us strong.” 3) It was a murder scene without a corpse. 4) There was a chill that crawled up Aries’ back. 5) One bullet shattered his breastbone. Another popped his right eye open like a squeezed tomato.

I loved Aries and Ezra, and I was really rooting for them throughout the book. It was a wicked scene when Ezra fell from the tree but Aries’s arm got broken instead. I also really enjoyed when Aries saved a cat from a fire. After that, it was nothing but drama. The author did a wonderful job of showing how crappy their life was, always on the run with their mom. I was sad about what happened to Gracie.

I thought it was a cute moment when the twins met Caylee for the first time. I’ll admit in Part two I was asking myself: is this book a super hero origins story or a romance? But, the devastating scene Ezra and his loved one faced broke my heart. This section of the book made sense at the end. Readers needed to feel Ezra’s pain to understand why Aries was gung ho on becoming superheroes.

I really enjoyed the ending, but Part One was definitely my favorite section of the book. It was cool that the book ended on a cliffhanger.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Book Review: Chronicles of Drenyon: The Golden Sword by NLJ

Mystery. Romance. Adventure. Suspense.                
 
 The Chronicles of Drenyon series has the power to show you worlds you have never known. It will whisk you away to adventures that will thrill readers of all ages. Join the journey of a tyrant king, an enchanted tree, a captivating maiden, and a pair of mystical twins as they fight for their one and only home.
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***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

Fantasy isn’t a typical genre I read, but I decided to give this book a try. I’m happy I did. The author did a great job with setting and description. The scenes were quite interesting, showing a lot of action and a lot of interaction between the characters. I loved all the tension between everyone; they all had secrets, and some had a shady past.

Anya was the main character. As a reader, I respected her strong nature. She was one of the heroes in the story, not weak having to always wait for the man to save her. I felt sorry for Anya since she seemed to only have her mom Elina and the tree man at the beginning.

Drenyon didn’t have a king because their king had died violently in war many years ago. Drenyon had twelve years of peace until…an enemy unleashed something horrible. The regular townfolk were turning into monsters.

With the help of the tree man, Anya had to find a way to save her country. My favorite scenes where when they found the young boy in the prison. He and the tree man fought for Anya’s attention, plus they found a set of powerful twins. I loved all the disharmony among the ranks.

My favorite lines: 1) What a lovely tale, she thought. Yet, she was curious…2) Today, there was an unspoken sadness between them. 3) Mother’s smiles were forgotten. 4) “Don’t recite, my love. Dream.” 5) “True goodness comes from unexpected sources.” 6) “Red sparks along the sides of the moon,” she remembered aloud, “and untamed chaos.”

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Real Illusions By Tanya R. Taylor

23784030***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review from the Paranormal & Horror Lovers Goodreads group***

The mansion in the woods holds chilling secrets that have sauntered down throughout the generations. Trent Matheson, a victim of a brutal past he had absolutely nothing to do with is afraid of what lies within him. Struggling to live an ordinary life, he finds that the control he once possessed is slowly slipping away. The money, the power, the newly-found love…cannot subdue what is inherently a part of him. He is entering ‘The Season’ where he will be forced to face the essence of who he is in a fight for his very life.

Real Illusions offers a remarkable  edge where two storylines are intricately intertwined. It’s as if the reader is getting two books in one.

Let me start out by saying, this isn’t typically a book I read (so take my opinion with a grain of salt). I thought it would be more horror than paranormal/fantasy/supernatural (?)–I can never tell the difference between those. The book was okay. The story really didn’t get into ‘The Season’ or Trent going through his changes. I figured that was because the main character was confused and shocked with this new revelation, so readers were learning new stuff when he was. The story was interesting by showing the character’s dynamic with his co-workers and friends. Sounded like he was respected until…you’ll have to read to find out.

My favorite parts included the female main character. I loved her relationship with the little girl and her aunt when she moved to the United States. All this eventually tied into Trent’s life with a cool twist. The ending was my favorite; it was getting suspenseful, then it ended abruptly in a cliffhanger. I really wanted to see Trent find out the woman’s secret, but I guess that’ll be in the next book?

Overall, it was a good story. I just wish there would have been more showing instead of telling. At times the characters told what happened or what was happening, instead of showing it through a scene.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Spotlight–Legacy of Mist and Shadow

6573605LegacyThe Storyteller of Feyron invites you to join her as she shares tales of lore and adventure from the various historical ages of the magical Realm of Feyron.

“The Realm of Feyron has always been. It is the origin of all things magical, the axis point where all the worlds meet…”

The Beginning

The idea for Feyron started with a map, a place for her daughter to tell stories and live out storytelling role-playing adventures with her friends. The lore grew around the map, for every world needs lore if you are going to “live” there. The idea for a series, Tales of Feyron, grew out of the lore, for if you’re going to invent a world, you may as well play there too. The stories are continuing to grow through the various historical ages of Feyron and have just started to ripple outwards to the Worlds Beyond touched by magic. Legacy of Mist and Shadow is the first tale to venture to one of those worlds.

The series, Tales from Feyron, is narrated by a Storyteller who begins her tales in the middle of things, so to speak, with the historical period known as The Age of Awakenings. The first book, The Dreamweaver’s Journey, follows the first Dreamweaver to come of age in over three hundred years on a quest across the four Realms of Light within Feyron. The second book, The Guardian Child’s Return, follows a group of young adventurers beyond the Realms of Light to a place that few knew could even be reached. The newest tale, Legacy of Mist and Shadow, begins to hint at the past during the Age of Fading and explore the Worlds Beyond that are connected to Feyron.

Legacy of Mist and Shadow

Pre-order available October 1, 2014

Live for purchase and shipment December 20, 2014

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NZ7UCXA

Barnes and Noble: http://barnesandnoble.com/w/legacy-of-mist-and-shadow-diana-l-wicker/1120426889?ean=2940046202861

Smashwords: http://smashwords.com/books/view/480227

iBooks: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/legacy-mist-shadows-age-awakenings/id924509719?mt=11

The Box of Melodies was left with Clan Caris by Lady Oyisha, daughter of the mists, for care and keeping. A series of visions revealing the last desperate moments of a forgotten clan – the loss of their gateway to Feyron and the escape of a lone traveler holding the box – spurs a handful of adventuresome youth on a trek through the Lesser Forest where they inadvertently cause a ripple through the mists with unintended consequences.

A few of the youth find themselves on an unexpected journey to a World Beyond, lost in mist and shadow, where misunderstanding and suspicion lead to danger and darkness. Forgotten histories are discovered, clan secrets are revealed, and old alliances are remembered as the families of the lost seek to discover where the youth have been drawn by memories within the Mists of Time.

Excerpt

Through blurred vision, the exhausted girl could just make out the soft glow of the white marble within the jewel-toned alcove. She crawled across the forest floor, every breath a searing pain as she forced herself to move when all she wanted was to drift away, to forget the horror of this day, and rest. She pulled herself up the cold stone, hardly even able to balance on  her knees, until she could just reach across the flat top. Slowly she pulled the cloth bound around her chest and pushed a parcel onto the pedestal, the twisted cloth falling away to reveal a pale, wooden box.

Orabelle sat in the growing pool, the water spreading even farther from the once forgotten spring. Her eyes were misty white and the blue of her water magic nearly reached her elbows as she continued to call the water forth as though she were the little naiad in the vision Neria had called before. Shyamal and Arwyn sat, arms still linked, nearly engulfed by the mists. Neither of them noticed the water beneath the mists creeping towards the alcove, the pool slowly covering Zilya’s feet as she stood in the exact spot where the girl in the projected vision clung to the marble gifting shrine.

Elwynne had been slowly edging forward until he was well past Shyamal and Arwyn. Enthralled by the projecting vision, he felt like he could almost touch the girl. She looked so familiar, like he knew her, but between being all wet and deathly pale from nearly drowning and the odd, shadowy nature of the vision, it was hard for him to make out who she looked like. If she would just crawl away from the shadows, then he could see her better without disturbing Zilya as she shared her magics with Neria.

Oisin stood with his back pressed to the great oak. Something about the solidness of the oak brought him comfort. It was real, and present, and not part of the mists. If he had stopped to think on it, he may have wondered if the oak had witnessed these events when they occurred before, but he had little training in the magics beyond those of clan Caris, having only attended summer academy for the first time last season, and the littlest sparks that make up all of nature were not yet known to him. Something in the back of his mind kept poking him until he was covered in goosebumps and shivering. There was something wrong with these mists. They seemed to flow in from everywhere, but there was nothing to generate them.

‘The mist, it shouldn’t be here at all,’ he thought.

Diana L. Wicker’s Author Bio

Diana is an indie author living in the balmy climate of the US south with family, two dogs, two cats, and a cantakerous rabbit. She enjoys reading, sewing (clothing, costuming, and experimental toy-making), and RPG games. (She grew up with the old school paper/pencil style of gaming, but has transitioned happily to the highly interactive world of video games.) And, as if she had more time to spare, she has recently invested in her first Asian ball jointed doll.

 

 

Interview With Sandra Giles, Author of the Collision Of Worlds Series

I’d like to welcome my special guest Sandra Giles, author of the Collision of Worlds series. Please enjoy her insightful interview.

161241801.  How long does it take you to write a book?

That all depends on how much I procrastinate and whether I’m in a writing mind-set. When I’m working on a novel straight through without distractions, either from another novel or from the real world, it takes me up to a month. Unfortunately this is a rare occurrence as I mostly find my mind elsewhere. If that’s the case then it can take months, years, or maybe even a lifetime. The last is something I might be testing with the novel I am currently working on.

2.  Can you tell us about your challenge in getting your first book published?

I self-published my first novel, so the challenges have mostly been in being heard among the many other writers crying out for attention. Oh, and editing. That’s a massive challenge all in itself. Novels shouldn’t hit the shelves without strict editing and being self-published is no excuse. As someone who has never had enough money to spare for a proper editor, I can definitely be called a hypocrite. But I am working on it. I guess you can say that the biggest challenge is something that I still face and am determined to tackle head-on.

3.  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Oh the usual things writers do. Sit in my room with my characters and gossip about those who aren’t present. We do this with a glass of red wine and surrounded by balls of paper from failed ideas. Okay, I’m not much of a stereotypical writer. I can be a bit of a hermit at times, but mostly I’m with loved ones (who are real, not fictional) and whatnot. I’m a big music fan and love concerts, so I can often be found at venues in various locations. More recently I have entered into a venture with my partner, Aron, that sees us attending local gigs and blogging about them. He takes the photographs and I attempt to write about reality as opposed to fiction. It’s proving difficult but is fun nonetheless.

4.  What does your family think of your writing?

They think I need to be sectioned, or see a therapist at the very least. Those who have read my stuff are slightly fearful of my imagination as I write about some disturbing things, but they seem to think I have talent and have said they enjoy what I write. They have to say that as they’re family, but I think it might be genuine. The fear for my state of mind is, anyway.

5.  How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best in your genre?

I don’t market my work anywhere near as much as I should. I used to do anything from social networking to giving libraries my novels and wearing promotional t-shirts. Nowadays I might blog a bit or send out the odd tweet, but mostly I let my novels fly solo. I’ve noticed a decrease in sales but it’s not significant enough to get me back on track. Especially as I don’t actually know what worked best as I did them all at once and didn’t find the link. I think blogging is quite effective as it shows writers as humans rather than allowing their novels to do all the talking for them.

6.  What do you think makes a good story?

I personally wrote my novels for me, removing the aspects that, in my opinion, ruined stories. I like something with a fast-pace and a good balance of plot, action and humour. The characters need to be developed in a way that is relatable yet intriguing, and there is no fun in reading something where everything is described in excruciating detail. I’m also a massive fan of series, but not so keen on lengthy novels that never meet an end. This is because it’s great to get to know characters, but dragging a plot over hundreds of pages often becomes tedious. Oh, and it needs at least an element of fantasy. I can’t read about things that are too close to reality. To me it defeats the purpose of writing.

7.  Can you tell us about this book?

I’ll answer this as I answer similar questions and act like my series is a book. It’s much easier as I never know which novel to go with. Collision Of Worlds is a contemporary fantasy series focusing on various narrators of varying abilities. From vampires to ghosts and psychics, these novels keep legends alive and deeply embedded in this very ordinary world we live in. There is gore, humour. love, confusion and suspense in every book, or at least from every narrator. But if you really want to know more, read the novels. It’s the only real way of knowing. [Insert evil cackle here].

8.  Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

Are you still out there?

Feeble joking aside, I’d like to thank anyone who has given my novels or even my blog the time of day as it means a lot to know there are people out there (however few) who enjoy reading what I write. And anyone who has gone that one step further and reviewed or commented on something by me, thanks a million. It means the world to have some way of knowing you’re out there, as it often feels as though I am talking to thin air. For the most part I probably am, but it’s good to know this isn’t always the case. I will try to give more than I have been as a thanks, and hopefully some new books are on the horizon.

9.  Social media you’d like to share?

I now have to split this into two parts.

For my novels and whatnot, I can be found at the following places:

And for all things related to VEXtended (mine and Aron’s music blog), go to:

Book Review: The Reflections of Queen Snow White By David Meredith

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

18780192I enjoyed this 14 chapter book. Queen Snow White had a very complicated childhood; her father died and her step-mother tortured her. She was isolated from everyone in the castle because anyone who showed sympathy towards the princess got fired or executed. Of course, she had issues as an adult. One being withdrawn by her daughter’s Princess Raven’s wedding to Prince Edel.

At first, I didn’t understand why the Queen was treating her daughter poorly, but the author did an amazing job of showing her past through flashbacks. I thought it was cool that she came across the magical mirror and found her dad’s soul trapped in there. The catch: the viewer of the mirror sees what they want to see.

My favorite lines: 1) “Why does everyone good in my life leave me? Why does everyone I love abandon me and go away?” 2) “Across all the years and all the struggles, even though decades dead, the evil woman had still found a way to hurt her! What had the hideous witch done?”

My favorite scenes were when the Queen found happiness with her husband Charming. Finally something positive was going on in her life. As the underdog, I rooted for her since the beginning. I could understand why she felt depressed after she lost him. Luckily, she could have a second chance at happiness.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Book Review: Death Bytes By J.S. Frankel

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

Where there is death, there is also life, only in a different form. High school student Sam Benson had to die in order to experience it, and once he did, he found it the most thrilling ride of his life!

Death Bytes, a Young Adult Fantasy of the highest order.

51m9a8BlRiL._AA200_I loved this 13 chapter book. It was told through Sam’s first person point-of-view. The author was great with voice; it sounded authentic like the way a 17 year old guy, who’s losing it all, would think and act. I loved his sense of humor–sarcasm.

I immediately felt sorry for Sam. He and his girlfriend broke up because she wanted to live her social life instead of take care of her dying boyfriend.  He had a fatal illness with no cure or surgery to offer comfort. Plus, Sam’s poor mom. I couldn’t even imagine knowing my child would leave Earth before me.

Luckily, they found a doctor who dabbled in experimental science–the consciousness of a human’s mind would be transferred to a computer program chip instead of a disabled body.

My favorite lines: 1) How would one go to the bathroom here? I mean, what would come out, bytes? 2) Disease didn’t care who it got and death cared even less. 3) So far, I’d died and gone to cyberspace, dodged a cyclops, fought a duel, and decked a king. Real or not, it beat watching television.

Once Sam entered the cyberspace world, the pages were action-packed with adventure. Twists kept me entertained as well as trying to solve the mystery of: Who was responsible for the tragedy at the lab? And, why did Boris and Merlin want Sam dead so badly within cyberspace?

The author painted a vivid picture with cool dialogue, overall setting details, characterization, voice, plot, and description. I could definitely see this as a Blockbuster hit.

My favorite moments were when Boris and Merlin were chasing Sam. I liked that he was proactive in helping himself instead of waiting for help. I also enjoyed that he researched for answers–reminded me of Sherlock Holmes or something. My other favorite moments were when he met a mysterious 17 year old girl in cyberspace. She had a sad past as well, so as a reader, I appreciated that they bonded over that.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby