Review: GENRENAUTS: SEASON ONE by Michael R. Underwood

GenrenautsSometimes, you find a published story that incorporates major elements of an idea you had once upon a time and you’re disappointed, because now it’s already “taken.” But other times, you stumble across a story that’s very similar to a vague idea you had back in high school and you’re thrilled, because someone has already put all the work into your half-baked idea and you can just sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Genrenauts is definitely the latter for me, and I had a blast reading this collection of novellas.  Continue reading

Book Spotlight & Review: BITE SOMEBODY ELSE by Sara Dobie Bauer

Happy book birthday to an excellent sequel! Yesterday, I interviewed author Sara Dobie Bauer about her paranormal romance Bite Somebody. Today, I’m pleased to review the sequel, Bite Somebody Else. #Imogene4Life!


bite somebody elseABOUT THE BOOK

Imogene helped her newbie vampire friend Celia hook up with an adorable human, but now Celia has dropped an atomic bomb of surprise: she has a possibly blood-sucking baby on the way. Imogene is not pleased, especially when a mysterious, ancient, and annoyingly gorgeous vampire historian shows up to monitor Celia’s unprecedented pregnancy.

Lord Nicholas Christopher Cuthbert III is everything Imogene hates: posh, mannerly, and totally uninterested in her. Plus, she thinks he’s hiding something. So what if he smells like a fresh garden and looks like a rich boarding school kid just begging to be debauched? Imogene has self-control. Or something.

As Celia’s pregnancy progresses at a freakishly fast pace, Imogene and Nicholas play an ever-escalating game of will they or won’t they, until his sexy maker shows up on Admiral Key, forcing Nicholas to reveal his true intentions toward Celia’s soon-to-arrive infant.

World Weaver Press | Amazon | Kobo | Nook | iBooks


REVIEW

Disclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this novel from the author, whom I consider a friend, in exchange for an honest review.

I was surprised by how much Bite Somebody delighted and entertained me, and in retrospect, that had a lot to do with the how much main character Celia went against the grain as a vampire. I wasn’t sure I was up to an entire novel inside her best friend Imogene’s head, because Imogene is definitely the quintessential vampire. Stuck in a time period that she remembers fondly, obsessed with sex, and badass to the core.

Over the course of Bite Somebody Else, though, these things turned into positives instead of negatives.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Shaun Hume

Shaun Hume reached out to me a few weeks ago regarding a possible review for his book (he complimented me on my book covers, which is the fastest way to this author’s heart) (other than salty black licorice). Unfortunately, I was unable to fit him into my schedule, but I was still intrigued enough that I had to know more!


ewan pendle and the white wraithABOUT THE BOOK

Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal.

Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real Creatures that inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like him, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.

Paperback | eBook


Since your reviewers bring up the Harry Potter connection, I think the most important thing potential readers might want to know is how are your books different from the Harry Potter universe?

Maybe the most important world difference between Ewan Pendle and Harry Potter is the lack of magic. Magic does exist in the world of Creatures and Lenitnes, but it’s a relatively new discovery. While it certainly is an emerging aspect (hence the rather newly formed Witch Clique), few people understand it, and even fewer can perform any magic at all.

The other main difference would be the number of strong and unique female characters. I’m a massive HP fan, and love it dearly, but there really aren’t many girls within the story who take on much of a narratively propelling role. In my story it was a conscious choice to create more female characters, purely because I find them more interesting to write. This, I think, gives much more scope to the story and its characters.  Continue reading

Book Spotlight: A LIFE OF DEATH trilogy by Weston Kincade

ABOUT THE BOOKS

Ghosts are speaking to Alex, but can he bring them to justice?

Alex has a checkered past, a broken home, and a surprising ability. But who will believe a troubled teen, especially when murders implicate the town’s founding family?

If you like amazing supernatural stories that are intense, powerful, and fraught with emotion, then you’ll love Weston Kincade’s suspenseful coming-of-age trilogy, A Life of Death. Ghosts are speaking, and they want answers. Heed the call.

Book 1: A Life of Death
Book 2: Golden Bulls
Book 3: Sacrifices


Weston - Close-UpABOUT THE AUTHOR

Weston Kincade writes fantasy, paranormal, and horror novels that stretch the boundaries of imagination, and often genres. His current series include the A Life of Death trilogy and the Priors. Weston’s short stories have been published in Alucard Press’ “50 Shades of Slay,” Kevin J. Kennedy’s bestselling “Christmas Horror” and “Easter Horror,” and other anthologies. He is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association (HWA) and helps invest in future writers while teaching English. In his spare time Weston enjoys spending time with his wife and Maine Coon cat, Hermes, who talks so much he must speak for the Gods.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Con Report: Balticon 51

balticon logoSince Balticon is my “local” convention, I was thrilled to finally be invited to participate as a panelist this year. I hadn’t been back since 2006, but the convention was just as great as I remembered, filled with fantastic panels, extraordinarily nice people, and amazing hall costumes.

FRIDAY 

Since I work in a nearby part of Baltimore, I headed over to the hotel after work. Checking in to the con was very easy, and I wandered the dealers room(s) for a bit, catching up with friends.

Later in the evening, I moderated a panel on world building in SF/F. Everyone on the panel was lovely, and the audience asked great questions. Main takeaway: Research, research, research (but be careful of whacking your readers over the head with it).

Afterward, I met one of my best friends for dinner and we had a lovely time catching up before I headed home.  Continue reading

Review: BITE SOMEBODY by Sara Dobie Bauer

bite somebody

Disclaimer: I acquired this novel at a convention through a book trade with the author, whom I consider a friend.


Not gonna lie — I probably never would have picked this novel to read without outside influence. But I met the author at a convention and we hit it off immediately, and I knew based on her personality alone that I had to read the book that had come out of her brain.  Continue reading

Review: “My Name is Markham” (A Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story” by Jodi Taylor

My Name is MarkhamThis short story is very different from anything else in the Chronicles of St. Mary’s series specifically for what is says on the tin: The narrator of this story is security officer Markham rather than historian Max. Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened (see “The Very First Damned Thing”, narrated by none other than the esteemed Dr. Bairstow). But while a glimpse into the history of St. Mary’s was a special trip into legend, Markham’s story is very much in the present.  Continue reading

Spotlight & Review: MEMORIES OF MAGIC (Fay of Skye #3) by Cara McKinnon

Once I fell in love with the Fay of Skye series, I could no longer claim to dislike romance, historical romance, or paranormal romance. But I definitely fell in love with this series because of the incredible twist McKinnon puts on her tales, setting them in an alternate universe and focusing on both diversity and strong characters.

Today I’m pleased to present the newest installment on its release date. Memories of Magic is my favorite of the series yet!


memories of magicABOUT THE BOOK

Her visions could save English magic…if he can teach her to control them.

Olivia Seward never developed the magic of her elder siblings, but now she’s plagued by visions of the past. Etta, Duchess of Fay, asks her to use those visions to discover the source of the drain on English magic. Unfortunately, the visions draw too deeply from Olivia, leaving her weak and vulnerable.

Savitendra Reilly, a half-Indian, half-Irish historian, is hired by the duchess to research the origins of the Aegis Spell, but it is the magic of his birthplace that Olivia needs to learn to control her visions.

The only problem: Savit is an ascetic, performing magic by honing his mind and ignoring the needs of the flesh. Olivia is a hedonist, and accesses her power through pleasure. And every time they do magic together, Savit’s desire for her grows.

If he succumbs to their mutual passion, he believes won’t be able to protect her from the ravages of her unpredictable gift. But Olivia is convinced the only way to access the truth of the past is to immerse themselves in each other–sharing bodies, minds, hearts, and souls.

Amazon


REVIEW

Disclaimer: I read an early draft of this novel prior to publication. I fully intend to purchase a hardcopy version of the book to add to my collection of this series.

Often, fantasy-romance novels (or romantic fantasy novels) are romance novels with a dash of the magical or fantasy novels with a more-or-less strong romance subplot. Memories of Magic blends genres seamlessly by using the relationship, including the sexual aspect, between the two main characters as a basis for the magic without ever crossing that thin line into straight-up “sex magic” for the sake of titillation.  Continue reading

Participants needed for STEEL BLOOD blog tour this July

Steel-Blood-Jacket.inddAre you a book blogger and/or reviewer? Would you like to be part of a blog tour this summer to promote the next book in the Steel Empires series, Steel Blood?

Please use this Google form (no registration required) to submit your contact information, availability, and interest in the following:

  • Spotlight (book and author info)
  • Short excerpt
  • Author interview (questions provided by me or you)
  • Guest post (topic to be mutually determined)

I am also looking for book reviewers who are interested in receiving an advance electronic copy in exchange for an honest review, to be posted at your convenience sometime this summer.

Thanks!