Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Narine of Noe

28044904

Narine of Noe (Faerie Tales from the White Forest – 4) by Danika Dinsmore

Narine of Noe should have had her whole life to train to take her father’s place as High Sage. But when a mysterious force falls from the skies, sending the world into elemental chaos, the fate of every living being lands on her shoulders . . . even that of the Eternal Dragon. Without the Dragon to maintain the Balance of All Things, an elaborate plan to save Faweh must be hatched, and Narine is forced to take charge in a world gone mad.

Before the White Forest was born, before the Great World Cry, the story that started it all …

fantasy-books-picture

My Review

4 Stars

We start the story at an initiation ceremony where Narine is chosen to be a keeper and the future high sage of Faweh. But then an alien substance falls down to earth and those plans are quickly changed. Although she is not ready, Narine must learn the hard and fast way to protect her world.

Narine is headstrong and doubts herself, which impedes here growth into her role as keeper and high sage. One she gets past that, she becomes the savior that her people and world need. I liked how she was very realistic, I could see part of my own stubbornness in her. But I liked that she did her best and although she didn’t save everyone she tried her best for those that are there.

Narine of Noe is the fourth book in the Faerie Tales from the White Forest but it is actually the prequel to the series. I was hesitant to read this book since I have not read the other books in the series but being a prequel it gave me a good layout to the rest of the books.

The only thing that was challenging was the fact that there was an index in the back of the book. Since I read an ebook I didn’t know this until the end. I think it would have been easier in the beginning of the book so I knew it was there and I could skim before and during reading.

Beyond this, I really liked Narine of Noe. I am really curious to read the rest of the series and see what happens next.

To purchase Narine of Noe make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Danika Dinsmore’s website.

821c75fa-7d45-41d4-ae84-abd67431b831

I received Narine of Noe for free from eBooks for Review in exchange for an honest review.

The Golden Owl

29974118

The Golden Owl (Clockwork Calico Book 1) by Lana Axe

Calico Cogg is a cat like no other. Rescued from the streets of Ticswyk by esteemed inventor Lionel Cogg, she has been fitted with implants to enhance her natural feline abilities. When Lionel is kidnapped, Cali must put her skills to the test to free him.

Dark schemes are in the works—a plague of tiny clockwork spiders are wreaking havoc on the city’s inhabitants. Only Cali, with help from her trusted mouse friend Emmit, can get to the bottom of it all. With a criminal mastermind planning a major heist, Cali must race against time to unravel his plot before he escapes with the city’s greatest treasure.

fantasy-books-picture

My Review

5 stars

Cali is a cat that has been tinkered on by the master tinkerer Lionel Cogg. Cali is friend with both Lionel and her mouse friend, Emitt. But then nefarious Jameson Morcroft kidnaps Lionel. It is up to Cali and Emitt to rescue Lionel. But there is much more to this plan than just a kidnapping. It is going to take Cali, Emitt, and all of their friends to stop Morcroft from using his clockwork spiders from stealing the Golden Owl from the museum.

Cali has been altered to improve upon her natural talents. You can tell she has a wonderful friendship with both Lionel and Emitt and I love how she will go out to help rescue both Lionel and to stop the clockwork spiders.

I love cats and do like the steampunk genera. This book was a great story of unlikely friends, lots of suspense, and action. The story is for mid-grade readers but it will easily become a favorite of all ages. I will definitely be looking for book two in this series.

To purchase The Golden Owl make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Lana Axe’s website.

821c75fa-7d45-41d4-ae84-abd67431b831

I received The Golden Owl for free from eBooks for Review in exchange for an honest review.

Author James Dashner and his Editor Krista Marino talk THE SCORCH TRIALS

Tomorrow, Jul 27, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Hangouts On Air – Broadcast for free
Make sure to join James Dashner and Krista Marino to talk about The Scorch Trial. Follow this link.
Then, submit your questions in advance by clicking on the “play” button above and toggling to the “Q&A App” using the keypad in the upper right hand corner of the Hangout window! Even if you can’t join for the live event come back here afterwards to fast forward directly to the answer to your question.

Join author James Dashner and his editor, Krista Marino, for a discussion about THE SCORCH TRIALS as part of the DASHNER DASH BINGE READ! Bring your questions (or submit them in advance here) as they talk about all aspects of the book, and delve into the first two chapters of THE FEVER CODE, too.

Defiance

25487343

Defiance (Regina Shen – 3) by Lance Erlick

Abrupt climate change melted ice caps, flooded coasts, and expanded deserts. Outcast Regina Shen is a fugitive the World Federation believes has DNA that can stop human extinction. Rival Federation agents fight over capturing Regina to gain power amidst turmoil over who will become the new World Premier. Regina has to flee from Virginia through desert and wilderness to Alaska to hunt a treasure big enough to barter for her freedom and that of her sister. Can she find allies and tools to remain free long enough to find something to trade?

Lance Erlick

He was raised by a roaming aerospace engineer, growing up in various parts of the United States and Europe, as well as traveling through Asia. He took to stories as his anchor, including the works of Asimov, Bradbury, and Heinlein, and has been writing since age eleven.

Growing up, he was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future.

In an ideal world, Lance would find time loops where he could step out for a week at a time to read and write. Then he would return to the moment he left, without life getting in the way. Of course, since everyone would have the same ability, he suspects life would still sneak in.

Lance is also the author of short stories and novelettes.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads

fantasy-books-picture

My Review

4 stars

It has been two months since we left Regina. She is still on the run from DeMarco and Volpe. She has been in hiding with an outcast group but it’s time for her to head to Alaska to save Colleen. There are also rumors of a vault that has genetic samples that may stop the fertility crisis without Regina becoming a lab rat. If only Regina and Ester make it to the vault and solve the puzzle before getting caught or locking in the vault.

As I read Defiance I didn’t think it really flowed as well as the last two books. The first part of the book seemed a little disjointed as Regina and Ester are trying to make their way to Alaska. There are a lot of close calls where both girls almost get caught; thankfully they had a lot of help. Now, when they make it to Alaska and Regina has to puzzle through the vault, then we had the old Regina back. But one thing I really liked is seeing that most of the country has turned into a desert since we have been in the swamps on the coasts.

Along with Regina we also have Ester. You could tell that Regina does love her in her own way and protects her like she would have Colleen. But Ester seemed to be a bigger hindrance at times than she was worth. Also, Regina’s mother is back. If I didn’t like the woman before when she abandoned Regina and Colleen, I sure the heck am not impressed with her now.

Defiance didn’t feel as strong of a book as Resilience or Vigilance but it was still a good story. I can’t wait to see how thing work out in Endurance.

To purchase Defiance make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

iRead Website new logo

I received Defiance for free from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Scared Witchless

Mystery, Cozy Mystery 
Date Published:  June 28, 2016
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
A witch. A murder. A wedding dress?
Dylan Apel is having one heck of a summer. She knows her hand-made clothing is special, but magical? Discovering that she’s a witch is bad enough, but when Dylan realizes there are folks who’ll kill to possess her witchy powers— that’s enough to make a girl want to hide out in the back of her boutique. Only problem is, Queen Witch is in town, itchin’ to make sure Dylan learns to cast spells, and this witch won’t take no for an answer.
Dylan must learn fast—someone just killed her best client with a poisoned gown meant for Dylan. Was it the tall, mysterious hottie in black, who’s suddenly everywhere she goes? After all, the first thing Roman Bane says is he doesn’t like witches. Is he here to save her, or kill her?
Dylan is barely getting a handle on her new powers when she finds herself surrounded by witches bossing her this way and that, local police nosing about, and wary clients—death by clothing is not good for business. And the solstice is coming … a time when witch powers are at their peak. Can Dylan survive the chaos long enough to figure out her new life?
EXCERPT
CHAPTER ONE
“If that ain’t the other side of stupid, I don’t know what is.”
Reagan Eckhart, all platinum-blonde ninety-eight pounds of her, shoved a newspaper in my face. I winced, barely avoiding a massive paper cut to the nose.
“Those idiots put you in Arts and Leisure. You should have been on the front page of the Birmingham News.” She tapped the newspaper with a single red fingernail. “With as much business as you do, Dylan Apel, you should have been the main story of the day.”
“Don’t you think technically they should have put me in the business section?” I said.
Reagan fluffed the foot of hair teased up at her crown. At least it looked like a foot. Okay, it wasn’t a foot—only six inches. But those were a tall six inches. Big enough to practically be their own person. “Whatever,” she mumbled.
The debutante was in rare form today. Reagan was dressed to the nines in a black halter top and pants that resembled Spandex. Personally, I was waiting for her to break out into the chorus of “You’re the One That I Want,” à la Olivia Newton-John. Harry Shaw, her fiancé—a smallish, bald financial advisor—definitely wouldn’t join her if she did. His idea of playing John Travolta probably resembled hot-and-heavy talk about how gross grease and lightning were and why would you want to put the two together?
I grabbed the paper and scrutinized the picture of me and my sisters, Seraphina and Reid. Bright, beaming smiles on our faces, we stood in front of our side-by-side stores—Perfect Fit and Sinless Confections. Seraphina, tall and slender, her hair shimmering like glass in the sunlight, looked absolutely perfect. Even Reid, my eighteen-year-old baby sis, looked cherubic and innocent, her doe eyes and cheeky smile radiating youthful exuberance.
Then there was me. I sighed. It had taken two hours to smooth my hair, and it had still frizzed on the edges. I wasn’t as tall or slender as Seraphina. But what I lacked in athletic build, I made up for in curves. Good for me. I might not look statuesque and perfect, but I could put on a slutty dress and have enough T and A to get noticed.
Was that a zit on my cheek?
“When I realized you had this store, Dylan,” Reagan said, “and I saw how beautiful the dresses were, I told Harry—I said, ‘Harry, that’s who’s going to design my wedding dress.’ Didn’t I, hon?”
Harry, nose-deep in the business section, remained silent.
Reagan kicked him.
“Ow!” Harry rubbed his ankle. “What’d you do that for?”
“Didn’t I, Harry? Didn’t I say that?”
Harry shrank a little, his bald pate looking even balder under the fluorescents. “Yes, of course you did, dear.”
Poor guy. He probably wouldn’t last a year in the marriage. He’d be whipped, beaten down and likely castrated after two months.
Did I say that out loud?
“Anyway,” Reagan continued, flitting about the room. “I told Harry, Dylan Apel and I were best friends in high school—”
“Mortal enemies,” I corrected.
“—and of course she’s going to be the one to design my dress.” Girlfriend didn’t miss one beat. I don’t think Reagan listened to what people said. Did she even hear them when they talked?
From the corner my assistant, Carrie Dogwood, snickered. I shot her a look of warning. She turned a deep shade of red and pretended to straighten a rack of sequined gowns.
“Reagan, do you want to see your dress again?” I asked.
“Of course,” she squealed. “I can’t get enough of it.”
Carrie crossed to me. She leaned over, kept her voice low. “Wonder what she’ll complain about this time.”
I turned away from Reagan. “Hopefully nothing,” I whispered. “Can you grab the dress?”
“Sure thing.”
An unfinished blue gown caught my attention. The color of a robin’s egg, the dress would be the envy of the Silver Springs solstice banquet, what with its deep vee neckline and overlay of chiffon. I needed to finish it before the dance, which was barely two weeks away.
I sighed. I’d been working a lot lately, thanks to Reagan’s never-ending changes to her gown. There was less than a week until the wedding, and after that I’d have plenty of time to work on my own dress. That is, if I survived Reagan for a few more days.
I stared vacantly at the gown until a bodiless hand thrust the newspaper into my face once more. Reagan popped up in front of me and wiggled the now crumpled article. “But this reporter nails it. She absolutely gets it right. I could have gone anywhere for my dress, but there’s just something about your gowns and your sister’s food. It’s like I’m transported to another place. I don’t know how to describe it.”
I had heard the same mantra over and over from clients. There’s something about your clothes that I can’t put my finger on. It’s almost like they’re magical.
Yeah. Right. Not that I didn’t appreciate the compliment. Believe me, I did. So did Sera. If it weren’t for the folks in our lakeside community of Silver Springs, Alabama, we’d be beggars. Hoboes maybe. Vagabonds most likely. And not the good kind. Not the sexy kind you see on the covers of romance novels.
Wait. There weren’t hoboes on those. Well, anyway, we’d be dirty, covered in rags that smelled of oil and sweat, with grit under our fingernails that not even the best manicure technician could lift.
“Here’s the dress,” Carrie said.
Reagan’s smile vanished. “Oh.”
My dreams, my hopes, my wishes for a beautiful future crashed and exploded like a car careening off a cliff in a 1970s B movie. What could possibly be wrong this time—the hundredth time? I swear, every occasion this girl saw her dress, she found something to criticize. It was a wonder I hadn’t strangled her before now.
I smoothed the lines of frustration that were forming on my forehead. “What’s the problem?”
Reagan wrinkled her nose. “It’s just…well…that’s a lot of sequins.”
I took a deep, cleansing breath and thought happy thoughts. “Last week you wanted more sequins. You said it didn’t have enough bling.”
Carrie bit back a giggle.
I flashed her a seething look. I mean, seriously. I knew it was funny, but it was only good service not to laugh at the customer while she’s standing right in front of you. At least wait until the door hits her backside as she’s leaving.
“Well,” Reagan said, “last week there weren’t any sequins. What were there? Like five on the whole thing?”
I steepled my fingers beneath my chin. “There were two hundred.”
“Oh. How many are there now?”
“Five hundred.”
“It’s too many. Listen, Dylan, just because we were best friends in high school—”
“Mortal enemies,” I said.
“—doesn’t mean you can take advantage of me. If this dress isn’t to perfection by Saturday, then I’m getting it for free. Right?”
Whoa, Nelly. “I’m sorry?”
Reagan batted her fake eyelashes. “That’s just plain old good business. The customer is always right. I mean, we go way back. Too far back to let a little disagreement over some sequins ruin what we had.”
I poked the air with my index finger. “Once again, we were mortal enemies. Reagan, you have brain damage when it comes to what high school was like.”
A tittering laugh escaped her throat. It sounded like a thousand butterflies taking flight. That was right before I lifted my imaginary rocket launcher, aimed high and fired, sending the beauties crashing to the ground in a blazing explosion.
“You’re so melodramatic, Dylan. We had a little disagreement about prom; that was all.”
I crossed my arms. “Reagan, let me remind you of exactly what happened in high school.”
“Why don’t you do that, since you’re so convinced we had nothing to do with each other.” Reagan pulled one of her eyelashes. Ouch. Didn’t that hurt?
I shook my head and said, “You had Colten Blacklock ask me to prom for the sole purpose of standing me up the night of.” I pointed to her and then to me. “You and I—we were never friends, and I’m not giving you this dress for free. We’ve done a dozen fittings, and you’ve found something wrong with each and every one. You can either take it or leave it.”
Reagan’s mouth fell. She swung to Harry. “Are you going to let her talk to me like that?”
Harry squashed the grin on his face and cleared his throat. “Ahem. Well. You have tried the dress on a lot, and Miss Apel has been more than accommodating.”
Reagan stomped her foot. “You,” she said, wagging a finger at him. “You wait until we get home.”
Oh no. I didn’t want Harry to be in the dog house because of me. I reached out and rubbed Reagan’s arm, trying to soothe the savage bridezilla. “Reagan, I’ll lose some of the sequins. Stop by tomorrow and see what you think.”
She flashed a tight, bitter smile. “What you have better be good, or I’m taking my business elsewhere. And that means your sister won’t be doing the catering, either.” She squared her shoulders, swiveled on her heel and stormed out of the shop. Harry gave me an apologetic smile and followed. The little bell above the door tinkled as they left.
“Do you think she’ll back out?” Carrie asked.
I shook my head. “Of course not. Not unless she wants a dress off the rack and a cake from Walmart.”
Carrie laughed. “She’s something else, isn’t she?”
“She’s certainly something.” I rubbed my neck. Tension latched to the cords of muscle. I’d have a headache pretty soon if I didn’t take an ibuprofen. Extending my palm, I gestured for Carrie to hand me the wedding gown. “I guess I’ll alter her dress.”
Carrie stuffed the layers of silk in my hands and nodded to the blue cross-necked dress. “But when are you going to finish that one?”
I peeked out from behind the mass. “I don’t know. We have, what? Two weeks until the summer solstice? I’ll work on it soon.”
The bell above the door tinkled. Seraphina crashed in, a whirlwind of flour following her. Her blue eyes sparkled with delight. How I envied those eyes. Mine were poo brown. Some said chocolate, but I knew better. Those folks were just being Southern polite.
“Oh my God! Did y’all see the article?” She waved the paper like a flag of surrender.
“I did!”
“It’s incredible. The reporter went so far as to say our work is, and I quote…” She scanned the article. “Where is it? Where did that passage go? Oh, here it is.” She jabbed it. “She said our work is ‘inspired by the gods themselves.’ Ha! You couldn’t pay for better advertising.”
“You probably could,” I said.
Carrie flipped the ends of her chestnut hair. “Listen, y’all, I just got this new gel manicure machine in the mail. Do you mind if I go freshen up these bad boys?” She wiggled her perfect coral nails. To my eyes, they needed no refreshing. But hey, every girl has some sort of vice. Carrie’s happened to be that she was ADD about her nails. In the three years she’d worked for me, I’d never seen one chip. Ever. Mine, on the other hand, looked like Godzilla had tried to paint them—there were broken wedges of color that Carrie would have deemed unforgivable.
“Go ahead. We’ll be here,” I said. She picked up a shipping box and exited to the back.
I hung Reagan’s wedding dress on a rack and brushed my hands of any rogue sequins that hadn’t been sewn on properly, which was actually impossible since I’d done the work myself. But my grandmother had always taught me to be humble, so that was my attempt.
Sera chewed her bottom lip. “The reporter says, ‘Dylan Apel’s dresses will transport you to another time and place. A claim I can attest to personally, for I experienced this peculiar phenomenon first-hand when I tried on one of her gowns. When I saw my reflection in the mirror, for a split second I was taken back to the cotillion ball where I met my husband thirty years ago. If that wasn’t enough to put a spring in my step, one bite of Seraphina’s baked treats and I was back in my grandmother’s kitchen as she created confections on the stove. Truly a magical experience.'” Sera paused, looked up at me. “Seriously. That’s some good stuff.”
“Yeah, it’s good,” I said. But the reporter’s description about trying on my clothes bothered me. I shrugged off the uncomfortable feeling and smiled. “Though I have been accused on occasion of drugging my clothes.”
Sera frowned. “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”
The bell tinkled. I stepped forward, my most welcoming smile on my face.
My sister glanced at me. “You look like a piranha. Tone it down.”
I settled into a half smile. “Good morning! Welcome to Perfect Fit.”
A towering redhead sauntered into the store. Bangles covered both her arms, clinking pleasantly as she walked. Emerald-green eyes fixed on me and Sera. I squirmed. Couldn’t help it. At five-five I wasn’t short. Not by any means. But this was a tall woman. Five-ten easy. And all that hair. A cloud of silky crimson and honey curls cascaded down her back. I don’t even think she had any product in it. It was a totally natural head of hair.
I hated her.
Kidding. But envy did surface.
She smiled brightly. My envy turned into instant like. “Mornin’. I wanted to try on some clothes,” she said in a throaty voice, the kind that drove men mad. I’d never seen her before, and Silver Springs was a minuscule town. From the look of interest on Sera’s face, I guess she hadn’t seen this woman before, either.
I stepped forward. “Absolutely. What are you looking for?”
“Just some regular day-wear stuff.”
My time had arrived. I had a knack, a sixth sense really, about clothes and people. In one try I could create an entire body-fitting wardrobe and not even know the size of the person. What can I say? It came naturally to me.
“Are you looking for sportswear or business?”
“Both.”
Cha-ching! “Let me pull a few items and see what you think.”
“I’m gonna head back,” Sera said. “I’m sure there’s something I need to make.”
I waved. “Bye.”
She waved back and left, leaving me to focus on my client. Five minutes later I had two armfuls of pants, jackets, and blouses. “Let me get you in a dressing room. After you’re done, come out and see what you think in the three-way mirror.”
None of my dressing rooms had mirrors. People thought it weird, but I wanted to be around when my clients saw themselves in my clothing for the first time.
The woman disappeared behind the door, a roomful of clothes at the ready. Two minutes later she reappeared in a pair of jeans and a loose blouse.
“Take a look.”
She stepped forward. The air contracted as if the very atmosphere had been sucked away. The mirror shimmered, and the woman’s image bowed and straightened. It happened fast, so fast no one ever noticed. No one except for me.
So, this is where I tell you what that’s all about. I would if I could. The easiest explanation is that my clothes make people feel great. From what Sera’s told me, putting on one of my garments reminds you of an amazing time in your life. For instance—you’re a fifty-year-old woman buying a dress for your daughter’s wedding. You try something on and poof, you’re transported back to the wondrous feeling you experienced at senior prom. Of course, that would be you, not me. My prom stank thanks to Reagan Eckhart.
At least, that’s what I’d always thought. It’s also why the reporter’s story bothered me. She saw her younger self in that mirror. That had never happened before—at least not that I knew of. My clothes blanketed clients in a wondrous feeling. They didn’t make anyone see visions.
Sera’s baked goods do something similar. Every time I eat something she’s made, I feel amazing, like I could take on the world. One bite of a buttery croissant and I’m totally superwoman. Minus the red cape. And the tights. Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t be caught dead in that outfit.
But why are we like that? We’re gifted; that’s what our grandmother always called it. We have a gift.
“What do you think?” I asked.
She stared at her image. After a long moment her lips curlicued into a smile. She licked the bottom one, her eyes shining.
“Your clothes are breathtaking.”
Thirty minutes and three hundred dollars later, I placed the last package in the redhead’s hands.
“How’d you hear about us?” I asked.
“I saw the article in the paper.”
I clicked my tongue. “Wow. News travels fast.” Sweet. Today might be a crazy, busy day.
She smiled, her eyes glittering. “You don’t even know the half of it.”
“Oh?”
She pinched her brows together, giving her a dark, ominous expression. “In one week I guarantee you won’t recognize your life.”
An awkward laugh escaped my lips. “Oh. Ha-ha. I hope it’s all good.”
She shook her head. “That little article that came out about you? The one that was supposed to help your business? Well, you just did the opposite. You stirred up a bed of fire ants.” She leaned forward and gave me a stern look. “And in case you need remindin’, the sting from a fire ant lasts a long time. Take this as your warnin’.”
I was so confused. “What do you mean, a warning?”
“Watch your back.”
With that she left, her cloud of hair billowing behind her. I stood stone still. Numb shock tingled over my body, filtering down into my fingers and toes.
What the heck just happened?
After living in Chicago, Louisville and New York, Amy Boyles finally settled in North Alabama with her husband.
Along with writing, she has a passion for cooking ridiculously fattening food and complaining about weight gain. She loves to connect with readers.
Contact Links
Purchase Link
 photo readingaddictionbutton_zps58fd99d6.png

Vigilance

25182782

Vigilance (Regina Shen – 2) by Lance Erlick

Abrupt climate change melted ice caps and flooded coasts. Outcast Regina Shen has unique DNA that the World Federation believes can prevent human extinction. Not trusting them, Regina jumps the barrier wall into the Federation to hunt for her sister, kidnapped two years earlier. She reaches the well-guarded university near where they’re holding her sister. Two rival inspectors close in on her. With time running out, can she escape campus and rescue her sister from an obvious trap?

Lance Erlick

He was raised by a roaming aerospace engineer, growing up in various parts of the United States and Europe, as well as traveling through Asia. He took to stories as his anchor, including the works of Asimov, Bradbury, and Heinlein, and has been writing since age eleven.

Growing up, he was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future.

In an ideal world, Lance would find time loops where he could step out for a week at a time to read and write. Then he would return to the moment he left, without life getting in the way. Of course, since everyone would have the same ability, he suspects life would still sneak in.

Lance is also the author of short stories and novelettes.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads

Book

My Review

5 stars

It has been two years since we last saw Regina. Regina has been under the guidance and protection of Mo-Mere. But Mo-Mere feels it is time for Regina to jump the Barrier Wall and join the University. But this is a challenge for Regina, how is she supposed to act docile when she has had to fight for everything up to this point. And how is she supposed to find her sister, Colleen when there is clearly marked path to get to the fertility clinic. Plus it doesn’t help that DeMarco is still searching for Regina. But DeMarco is not the only one looking for Regina to get ahead in this world.

Regina is such a strong character that I initially thought she was going to have more trouble fitting in at the University. But thankfully she has some professors helping keep her out of the line of those looking for her. But besides seeing how Regina has grown and how she is better prepared for this fight was seeing how the Federation is run. Here Regina is told all of these stories and everyone thinks that it would be better than stuck in the swamp. But the inside is not any better than where Regina came from.

I love how this series is progressing. I really cheered for Regina and hoped that she rescue Colleen even though everything was stacked against her. I am definitely excited to start reading Defiance.

To purchase Vigilance make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads.

iRead Website new logo

I received Vigilance for free from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Loreena’s Gift

26113777

Loreena’s Gift by Colleen Story

A BLIND GIRL’S TERRIFYING “GIFT” ALLOWS HER TO REGAIN HER EYESIGHT–BUT ONLY AS SHE FERRIES THE RECENTLY DECEASED INTO THE AFTERLIFE.

Loreena Picket thinks she knows herself. A blind young woman who lives with her uncle, a reverend at a small-town church, she’s a dutiful niece and talented pianist for the congregation.

But they’re both hiding a terrible secret. Loreena can kill people with the touch of her hand.

While her uncle sees her as an angel of mercy, helping usher the terminally ill members of his flock into the afterlife, Loreena has her doubts.

Torn between doing her uncle’s bidding and the allure of the fleeting moments when her eyesight returns on the journey to the other side, Loreena cooperates with her uncle until her troubled older brother returns to town. When she reveals her power by saving him from a local drug dealer, she is drawn into a sinister and dangerous world that will test the true nature of her talent and force her to consider how far she is willing to go to survive.

An exciting debut that crosses fantasy and literary fiction, Loreena’s Gift is a thought-provoking meditation on life and death and what ultimately lies beyond this world.

Colleen Story

Colleen M. Story writes imaginative fiction and is also a freelance writer, instructor, and motivational speaker specializing in creativity, productivity, and personal wellness. Her latest novel, “Loreena’s Gift,” was released with Dzanc Books April 12 2016. Her fantasy novel, “Rise of the Sidenah,” is a North American Book Awards winner, and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection (Young Adult). She is the founder of Writing and Wellness (writingandwellness.com) a motivational site for writers and other creatives.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~ Twitter

Book

My Review

5 stars

At the age of 9, Loreena lost her parents and her sight in a car accident. Her and her brother, Saul are sent to live with their Uncle Don, a preacher. Years later Loreena finds it strange that her palms always smell like sulfur, even after a lot of scrubbing. But when she accidently kills her friend and takes him to the afterlife. Loreena’s uncle convinces her to help terminally ill people cross over. But then her brother shows up and the head of a biker’s club learns of her gift/curse, Loreena is forced to use her gift to save her brother’s life.

Loreena is such a strong young woman. She has the ability to kill and take a person to the afterlife, during this time she regains her vision. But in our world she is blind and helping her uncle to help those suffering. And after she is discovered, she still does what needs to be done to save both her and her brother’s lives.

This book sucked me in and I could turn the pages fast enough to see what was going to happen to Loreena next. I really liked how although Loreena is blind she didn’t let that defeat her. Also, even though she has a gift/curse depending on how you look at it, she does her best with everything she faces.

This is a great story and hard to tell that it is Colleen Story’s first book. I absolutely loved this story and I will be on the lookout for future books from Story.

To purchase Loreena’s Gift make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

iRead Website new logo

I received Loreena’s Gift for free from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

26113777

Guest Post

3 Things Novels and Cats Have in Common

 How fun to discover Jessica’s three cats on her “about page.” DC is a beauty and reminds me some of the male cat I used to have, “Myra.” I actually used to have three cats—all strays that I had “rescued” over the years—but I’m down to only one, now.

Myra was with me for nearly 14 years, and was a master bug catcher and laser light chaser. Sam, my Halloween cat (she showed up all bones around Halloween time) and my wild warrior queen, was with me for about six years before she passed.

I’m left with Rikki, a little black and silver tiger I found beat up along the side of the road when she was less than a year old. She is about the sweetest cat I’ve ever known and extremely well behaved.

Having been raised on a ranch, I’ve had cats all my life, and even though they all have their own unique personalities, there are some characteristics they have in common.

It could be said that novels, as well, share some of those same characteristics.

  1. They don’t really need you.

We authors like to feel possessive of our stories. We like to think that without us, the characters would never come to life, never experience their journeys, never triumph (or not) at the end.

When things get rough, we like to remind ourselves of this fact. No matter what happens with sales or reviews or whatever, we think, without us, this story and the people in it never would have seen the light of day.

Truth is, though, that the novel and the characters in it don’t really care. It’s like the cat when you get home. A dog will come greet you tail wagging, but a cat is just as likely to look at you like, “Yeah, so you got anything for me or not?” Or maybe more commonly, “Yeah, I know, I’m beautiful and you missed me.”

I have a feeling that the characters in my novels, if I’m really honest with myself, are somewhat similar. They have their lives to live, and whether or not I look in on them or find a way to share their journeys with others is neither here nor there. Really, if I do dive in and do the hard work of bringing their story “to life,” they’re glad to remind me that the benefit is all mine.

And in my better moments, I have to admit it’s true. I’m the one who benefits from getting to know them, and being allowed to join them on their journeys. They’d do just fine without me. But when I’m willing to move into their world, I get a chance to experience other lives, other settings, other personalities. It’s better than any virtual reality experience, that’s for sure.

  1. Out of the blue, they’ll tear around the house 90 miles per hour.

You’ve seen cats do this.

But you probably didn’t know why.

Out of the blue, Rikki will spring from wherever she’s sitting and fly around the house, so fast that I hardly see her blurred body moving. Down to the basement, around and back up, across the living room and through the kitchen and back down to the basement, the sound of her claws gripping the carpet a percussive accompaniment to her mad dash.

Novels can do that, too. I can be writing along, working on a particular scene, and all of a sudden it will take off. Characters will do things I didn’t expect, something new will appear, a disaster will occur, or something, and suddenly I’m just along for the ride, typing as fast as my fingers will go.

Unfortunately, it often ends as fast as it began. Rikki screeches to a halt and sits by the window with a nonchalant look on her face, like the last three minutes of spazzing out never occurred. A novel, too, will quiet down and then a writer is back to the hard work of crafting the next scene.

But hey, it was fun while it lasted.

  1. They’re both finicky.

Myra was all about eating. Still, he had his tastes, and some brands of food he’d turn his little white nose up to until I relented and found something else he liked.

Rikki isn’t disagreeable, but she will just as soon leave the dish untouched if she doesn’t like what’s in it.

If you’ve had cats, you know how finicky they can be. A novel is often the same. Try to set your characters down a road they don’t want to go on, and they’ll let you know right quick. Suddenly their voices disappear, and the muse leaves you behind. You sit at the computer with the cursor blinking and your characters are nowhere to be found.

Time to go back and see where you went wrong. Sometimes, it takes a long time to find just where that occurred. The whole process can cause writer’s block for awhile, until usually you walk away from it, go do something else, and suddenly it breaks through.

Of course! She wouldn’t have done that. She would have done this!

And you’re back in the game—as long as you’ve made a choice your characters can live with.

It’s kind of like finding the right food. Until you do, expect your feline to give you that look, like, “Really, do I have to spell it out? R-E-A-L M-E-A-T. I mean, duh.”

Thank you Colleen, I couldn’t have said it better. Make sure to check out Colleen’s book Loreena’s Gift.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38 other followers