Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review - Beyond the Veil by Pippa DaCosta

Beyond the Veil (The Veil, #1)
by Pippa DaCosta
Published 2014
244 Pages

Beyond the Veil is an exceptionally well written urban fantasy tale with a perfectly paced plot, and a unique story to tell. The characters are imaginative and vivid, with unusual traits and quirks. The author has genuine talent in storytelling, and in making it appear effortless. This is a fantastic book, and one of my new favorites! 

For the last five years, Muse has been living in Boston under a different name, building up her business, and finding joy in her routine. She believes she has successfully put the past behind her. Of course, you can't run away from who you are, and even though Muse is half human, she is also half demon. So, when a handsome stranger walks into her shop, and calls her by her demon name, she knows things are about to change. 

An explosion destroys the world around her -- the only anchor to her life amongst the humans -- leaving her with few options. She must seek out Akil, the Prince of Greed, who she left behind all those years ago. He is her only hope for survival... but it will not come without a price. 

A beautiful and fearsome full demon, Akil goes by many names, and changes his disguises as he sees fit. But in his human form -- tall, dark, and handsome -- he is hard to resist, even for Muse, who knows his old tricks better than anyone. He and Muse have a history, after all. Still, there is much more beneath the surface... even more than Muse could have imagined. 

Stefan, a hired assassin, has his own substantial role in the world of demons, and he and Muse may have more in common than meets the eye. But behind his fair hair, handsome features, and charm rests an agenda with unfathomable secrets... secrets Muse is about to discover, whether she likes it or not. Trapped between the assassin's plot and Akil's spite, Muse must find out who she can trust, who wants her dead, and how to survive... easier said than done! 

The passages flow seamlessly, and I was swept away into the fantasy. This is a brilliant and original tale, entwined with an exciting element of romance. I am eager to dive into the next book in the series to see what happens with these fascinating characters!

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie 


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Book Review - Shielder by Catherine Spangler

Shielder (Shielder, #1)
by Catherine Spangler
Published 2014
358 Pages

What a great story! Shielder takes us on an adventure through space, where moons are colonized, planets are trading posts, and starships are the general mode of transportation. 

Living on a Shielder colony, and having endured many hardships, Nessa finds herself in a position where day-to-day life feels less than meaningful. She longs to contribute to the community in a way that will make a difference. The Orana virus has plagued her people, and the only hope is a medical facility, far from her colony, where an antidote for the virus may be obtained. Transporting the virus to the medical facility is another story -- the Controllers will block any attempt. 
There is just one way to transport the virus: inside a living host. 

Despite the risks, Nessa volunteers to be injected with the virus, and to travel on her own to the medical facility. But when her starship fails in its mission, she becomes stranded in space. Her only hope rests in the hands of the handsome Captain Chase McKnight. With just a few weeks to get to the facility, Nessa is desperate. She accepts Captain McKnight's offer for transportation, while keeping her identity and true mission a secret. But as she discovers her rescuer is a Shadower -- a bounty hunter, who tracks down Shielders -- a whirlwind of events begin to unfold. 

Making stops on new planets and colonies along the way, Nessa discovers breathtakingly beauty, and exciting new worlds. Still, space travel holds many risks, especially when you're traveling with a Shadower! And Captain McKnight has his own mission. Unplanned detours take longer than expected, forcing Nessa to admit that time is running out. She must come up with an alternate plan if she is to survive the Orana virus, and to secure the antidote in time. But the ship's Captain has other plans. 

Captain McKnight is the ultimate alpha male, with all the gorgeous physical characteristics we would expect from a lead character in a position of power. But he underestimates Nessa. And despite the fact that these two come from different worlds, an undercurrent of attraction is brewing that neither one can ignore. The chemistry is undeniable, and there is no shortage of steamy romance!

I did find Captain McKnight to be harsher than necessary at times. But as we learn his backstory, his behavior makes sense. Nessa is a great character, with endearing qualities, and very likable. This story is full of fascinating secondary characters, and an original plot that will keep you hooked to the end! 

If you're looking for a well written, perfectly paced love story with plenty of adventure, you will enjoy this book! 

Reviewed by Stephanie


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Book Review - Son of Dragons by Andrea R. Cooper

Son of Dragons (Legends of Oblivion, #2)
by Andrea R. Cooper
Published 2014
260 Pages

Having been banished from her Elvin home for looking too human, and separated from her twin brother at birth, Mirhana was raised by witches, and trained to live her life as a warrior. Now, she fights against the undead: deadwalkers, vampyres, wraiths, and more. As the dead rise as soldiers, puppets to a grand scheme by the Warloc, an ancient prophecy is unfolding... and Mirhana will find herself right in the middle of it. 

As he makes his way through forests and villages, Prince Landon is hiding his identity, searching for a solution to the increasing population of deadwalkers, and a way to protect his kingdom. In a small village, he observes Mirhana from an upstairs window. Is this the warrior who was seen in the forest killing deadwalkers? Their eyes meet. But when Landon loses sight of her, he finds himself swept into a world, more magical than anything he could have imagined, with thoughts of her piercing emerald eyes buried into his soul.  

We are introduced to new and wonderful creatures, and meet up with those we know and love from the first book, as each character's unique role and journey begins to intersect... and each will have a pivotal role in the outcome of an epic battle that is about to take place. Deception, self discovery, and sacrifices will be made, as each character's true role is uncovered... and in these magical lands, nothing is at it seems. 

I was hoping for more romance to play out. Still, the book builds on the last with new and enchanting worlds, exciting creatures, and breathtaking originality. Although the many lands became a bit confusing at times, this book is filled with exciting twists and turns, an interesting plot, and well developed characters. A really fun read, and a complimentary addition to the Legends of Oblivion series! 

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie

Read our reviews for other books in the series: 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Book Review - Cursed in Shadow by Andrea R. Cooper

Cursed in Shadow (Legends of Oblivion, #1.5)
by Andrea R. Cooper
Published 2014

63 Pages

Brock Rashwe, son of the tree elves, and brother to the wind, earth, and water, is known to his Elvin people as the Vaer--the Bringer of Death. Having been bitten by a vampyre, Brock is cursed with a hunger that neither food nor drink will fulfill. And unlike the vampyre, Brock's thirst is not for blood, but for Kajh--the essence of life, upon which he now feeds and is fueled. From a human, Brock may be sustained for no more than a few days, while other magical creatures can satisfy his hunger for weeks at a time. No creature is safe... except for Celeste, who is the only living being known to Brock that he cannot drain by touching.

In the first book we meet Celeste of the Elvin prophecy. This book continues with Brock and Celeste's journey back to Tamlon, the hidden Elvin world, shrouded in a veil that protects it from the prying eyes of the humans. Tamlon is a most magical place amongst the trees, with danger, adventure, and beauty around every bend. And while Celeste is accompanied by Brock, keeping her safe is another story. By nature, no other creature is permitted to enter. But Brock must bring Celeste back to Tamlon as her role is vital to the survival of the land. And the journey that ensues is indeed a magical one!

I loved the first book in the series, The Garnet DaggerCursed in Shadow is equally spellbinding! I was awestruck by the world building, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing where the characters would take us. A fantastic tale, entwined with a charming love story, this is a must read for anyone who enjoys escaping into a fantasy world where anything can happen!   

Reviewed by Stephanie

Read our review for the first book in the series, 

Event - When You Are Mine Giveaway

by Kennedy Ryan

Available June 17th! 

Enter the Giveaway!
in honor of 
Autism Awareness Month

Great Prizes and a Great Cause!

About the Book

Forever is a heartbeat away... Kerris Moreton knows how to make things work. Bounced from foster home to foster home as a kid, she adapted; when opportunity arose, she thrived. Now, about to open her own business and accept a marriage proposal, Kerris is ready to build the life she's always wanted. The only thing missing? A passionate connection with her would-be fiancé, Cam. Kerris wants to believe that sparks are overrated, until Walsh Bennett lights her up like the Fourth of July... but what about love?

As one of the East Coast's most eligible bachelors, Walsh enjoys financial independence, fulfilling work with his family's nonprofit, and plenty of female attention. But lately he's been distracted by the one woman he can't have. Lovely to look at, and even sweeter to know, Kerris is the soul mate Walsh never thought he would find. The problem is, his best friend found her first...

About the Author

Author Kennedy Ryan has had several signs that she would be a writer, and finally circled back after years of gainful employment. She is a mom to a wonderful son living with autism. This is her debut novel, and 25% of her royalties will be donated to families living with autism through her personal foundation, as well as through her charitable partner, Talk About Curing Autism (TACA).

Contact the Author

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Congratulations to the Winners!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Featured Author Interview - Ioana Visan

Featured Author
Ioana Visan

About the Author

Ioana Visan has always dreamed about reaching the stars, but since she can't, she writes about it. She made her debut in English with a short story published by Every Day Fiction, and also has one included in Evolved Publishing's "Evolution: Vol. 2" short story collection. After fighting the apocalypse aftermath in "Human Instincts", she played with shapeshifters in "Blue Moon CafĂ© Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks", and then she dealt with vampires in "The Impaler's Revenge", before tackling longer works like a fantasy trilogy and a science fiction series. 

The Impaler Legacy Series
(Books #1-#3)

Check out Our Reviews!
The Impaler's Revenge


Ioana Visan was kind enough to join us for an interview! We are excited to hear more about her novels, what inspires her to write, and any future projects.

MBB: How long have you been writing, and what were your earliest inspirations?

Ioana: I think I’ve always known in the back of my mind that I would become a writer, but for a long time it was only a goal for sometime in the future. Then, when I turned 28, I decided to take two more years to play before getting serious about it. I had my first short story published the day of my 30th birthday.

MBB: What is the approach you take to begin writing a new book or series?

Ioana: I usually know from the start how a story begins and how it ends. Granted, the ending might change on the way if I come up with a better idea, but it’s good to have a clear purpose in mind. The most enjoyable part is figuring out how to get from point A to point Z and dealing with all of the obstacles on the way. When I get to the actual writing, I’ve thought about the story for a while, and have at least a third of it planned already. Then I plot ahead as I write, so I always know in advance what happens in the next four or five scenes.

MBB: Please tell us a little about the Impaler Legacy series. 

Ioana: The Impaler Legacy series consists of three novellas connected by short stories. The omnibus edition also includes a bonus short story that hasn’t been published before. The premise is simple: sometime in the present, when vampires walk among us, Romania is the safest place left in the world because no vampires are allowed in the country. The Little Council and its army of pandurs make sure of that. Of course, everything changes when the President himself orders Liana Cantacuzino, also a member of the Little Council, to bring in Maximilien Hess, a-thousand-year-old vampire. Liana needs to protect him and figure out why he is there and what is going on. This isn’t a YA story and not erotica either. The readers often called it a political thriller with vampires as it has plenty of action.

MBB: Was there any special research or preparation required?

Ioana: A big part of the story takes place in New Zealand, so I had to browse a lot of travel sites to get a feel of the atmosphere and find the locations I needed for the plot to unfold.

MBB: What do you like most about the paranormal romance genre?

Ioana: The interaction between humans and paranormal beings intrigues me and the ways they manage to get along, too. The Impaler Legacy isn’t technically paranormal romance because the romance factor takes a back seat while the story focuses on the conflict between the species, but there is romance too, as no story is complete without it.

MBB: What are your plans for future projects?

Ioana: I’m working on a novel in the upcoming Broken People series. It deals with a heist and a crew of very special circus people. I’m having a lot of fun writing it!

MBB: That sounds fascinating! I always love stories that involve the world of the circus! What advice do you have for other writers who are just starting out?

Ioana: The best advice I received was to read a lot, write a lot, receive feedback from people who are not your family or friends, and don’t give up.

MBB: Sound advice. If you were stranded on a deserted island with all the published works of just one author, who would you choose and why? 

Ioana: You see, I’m a writer. I can make up my own stories so I’ll never get bored. Can I have a maid, a cook, and a carpenter instead?

MBB: Haha! Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Ioana: Thanks for having me, and I hope your readers will find The Impaler Legacy series interesting enough to give it a try! 

MBB: We hope so, too! And we wish you all the best in your writing endeavors.
Learn More About
Ioana Visan

Interviewed by Stephanie

Book Review - Order Restored by Ioana Visan

Order Restored (The Impaler Legacy, #3)
by Ioana Visan
Published 2013

102 Pages

This series started off with a bang! I was instantly invested in the possible love interest of the stoic Maximilien Hess and the leading lady, Liana Cantacuzino. I was really hoping for more in this third book of the series, Order Restored

A new breed of vampires is being created that is superior to average vampires. The home base seems to be located in New Zealand, so Romania's Little Council member Liana travels there with her army of pandurs, along with Maximilien Hess, Dr. Jesse Carver, and Radu Basarab, to find their makers and to stop the production of these new and improved vampires. The job is very difficult because this enemy is vicious and always seems to be one step ahead of Liana and her crew.

Liana has to lead her troops toward this seemingly unattainable task, and goes to any length to achieve her goal. 
The story lacked the passion I love to get swept away in. Still, Liana is a refreshingly strong female character, who never wavers in her strength and determination! 

Reviewed by Kelli