Tag Archives: Urban fantasy

Hades’ Disciples by Michael West #review

Michael West

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Title : Hades’ Disciples ( The Legacy of the Gods : Book 2 )
Author: Michael West
Published: 2014
Pages:: 301
Format:: ebook

Terrifying creatures exist all around us, hiding in plain sight. Ancient. Deadly. They gather in secret, conspiring, dreaming of nothing less than humanity’s destruction, and their numbers are growing.

Earl Preston knows the danger all too well. After tangling with a horde of mythological sea monsters in Colonial Bay, he has been tasked with finding these beasts and exposing their plans whatever they may be. But Earl is not the only one with a mystery on their hands. At the very top of the world, Carol Miyagi has stumbled onto an artifact from Earth’s past, something magnificent held captive in a prison of ice and snow. Now, Carol and Earl must work quickly to decipher the will of the gods–a plot that defies imagination–and to stop their followers from carrying it out.

They thought the nightmare was over, but they are about to discover that the horror has only just begun.

 

This is a seriously good series that I wish more people knew about. I enjoyed book one which I read ages ago. The only problem I had with reading book two was that some things I had forgotten so reading the two books closer together would have been beneficial. The series continues with mythological and fantasy creatures tied to modern day. We have good guys in a race against time to keep the bad guys from implementing their evil plan. Well written characters that are so fascinating to read about I so want to get my hands on book three. Michael has written what is a super fun and entertaining urban fantasy that gets the reader hooked and desperate for more. You’ll also have a sex scene that will blow your mind. For a man who is arachnophobic Michael sure does go in depth in their sex lives.

Hurry and write book three Michael and put us out of our misery, that was one mega cliffhanger.

Highly recommended.

Michael West

 

Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig #review

Mockingbird

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Title : Mockingbird
Author: Chuck Wendig
Published: 2012
Pages:: 400
Format:: Print

 

Miriam is trying. Really, she is.

But this whole “settling down thing” that Louis has going for her just isn’t working out. She lives on Long Beach Island all year around. Her home is a run-down double-wide trailer. She works at a grocery store as a check-out girl. And her relationship with Louis–who’s on the road half the time in his truck–is subject to the piss and vinegar Miriam brings to everything she does.

It just isn’t going well. Still, she’s keeping her psychic ability–to see when and how someone is going to die just by touching them–in check. But even that feels wrong somehow. Like she’s keeping a tornado stoppered up in a tiny bottle.

Then comes one bad day that turns it all on her ear.

 

I loved Blackbirds the first in the Miriam Black series and didn’t think it could be topped for awesomeness. After reading book 2 its clear one should never underestimate the power of Chuck Wendig. This book blew me away. I simply loved it.

Miriam Black is one of the most appealing messed up kick-ass characters ever put on paper. Mockingbird it a dark, slick engrossing urban fantasy and I can’t wait to read book 3. Miriam sees how people die when she touches them, with a man in her life she’s trying to keep it together and live as normal a life as Miriam can which for her is not remotely normal. Thankfully or the story would be short and sweet Miriam is faced with death of a scale she can’t stand and takes it head on. Fate bites back and the action gets hard and relentless.

I love you Chuck Wendig and if we ever meet at a convention be prepared for the ear shattering fan girl squeal of a lifetime. Majorly recommended as everyone should be a fan girl of Chucks.

Seasons of the Fool by Lynne Cantwell Kindlescout nominee

Season of the Fool is Lynne Cantwell’s latest book which is part of this month’s round on kindlescout. Today’s post is a last push to get the word out and also to share her thank you giveaway with all her readers and you.

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For those of you who are not aware of the kindlescout program, it is a reader-powered publishing platform for new, never-before-published books. We have the power here, because we the readers get to help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will
be published by Kindle Press.

Today I’m hosting Lynne to share an opportunity to not only help out, but get a chance to get a free book! As a way to thank EVERYONE for nominating, each book you nominate, not just this one, will be sent from kindlescout to your reader! Each book, as in can nominate up to three more books after Seasons of the Fool ;). The nominations close on the 26th so with Lady Reader’s Tours, I am helping this push to share this and get more nominations!

There are a couple ways you can help and Lynne has an EPIC cool THANK YOU GIVEAWAY for a KindleHD6 in any color you want.

You can share the post :), you can click and share this pre-made link….

Tweet: Less than a week left to nominate SEASONS of the FOOL by @LynneCantwell for #KindleScout! #amreading http://ctt.ec/94cMy+
Click to Share!

…And you can nominate Seasons of the Fool on kindlescout!

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This is also the reveal of her new cover. Let’s get it nominated!

Seasons of the Fool

By: Lynne Cantwell
Published: kindlescout Oct. 26
fantasy, magic-realism, urban-fantasy, paranormal-romance

A Fool’s journey begins with a single step…

Julia Morton Michaud has fled Chicago for her grandparents’ summer home in Michiana. She believes the cottage near Lake Michigan will be a refuge – a quiet place for her to pursue a writing career while her spirit heals from a string of failed relationships.

But her past keeps intruding. Her ex-husband, Lance, is under investigation for defrauding his wealthy investors, and the specter of having to testify at his trial hangs over her. She begins a new relationship with a man she hardly knows. And her neighbor and former lover, David Turner, is trapped in his own troubled marriage.

Julia discovers a labyrinth in the woods near her cottage. It belongs to Elsie and Thea, the elderly ladies who live at the end of the lane. Julia wants to use it for meditation, but she doesn’t know the risks. For the women have their own agenda, and it’s tied to the rug Elsie is endlessly weaving.

The truths Julia learns in the labyrinth have the potential to change all their lives – if only she will take them to heart.

Goodreads | KindleScout

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lynne-cantwellLynne Cantwell grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan.
She worked as a broadcast journalist for many years; she has written for CNN, the late lamented Mutual/NBC Radio News, and a bunch of radio and TV news outlets you have probably never heard of, including a defunct wire service called Zapnews.
Lynne’s vast overeducation includes a journalism degree from Indiana University, a masters degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University, and a paralegal certificate. She is a contributing author at Indies Unlimited.
She currently lives near Washington, DC.

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | BLOG | GOODREADS | AMAZON

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Across Lake Shore Drive from the beach, behind the multi-million-dollar “cottages” atop the dunes – the ones with views all the way to Chicago – the woods begin.
Old-growth oak and maple tower over the faux log cabins that nestle into the understory – dogwood, sassafras, tulip poplar, and the occasional pine. Most of the houses look vacant. School begins earlier than it used to, and the families who spent their summer days frolicking in the waves and riding bikes along the winding lanes have gone back to their workaday lives on the other side of the lake. But here and there, windows are still open to catch the warm, early September air. The cars in the driveways of most of these homes sport Indiana or Michigan plates, but some belong to the summer people for whom summer hasn’t quite yet ended.
Here’s one on a corner just a block from Lake Michigan. There’s a gray station wagon with Illinois plates parked in the concrete driveway, and a pickup truck with local plates angled in behind it. A couple of guys in t-shirts and worn jeans are erecting a sign in the front yard – “Ames Construction Co.” – while a man with thinning ginger hair signs something on a clipboard.
We turn the corner onto Nokomis Trail and pass a few more cottages, interspersed with vacant lots where wild grapevines twist around neighboring saplings. In a manicured yard that would look at home in any suburb, an elderly man pushes a lawn mower. On the street in front of his house, a wooden mallard stands guard over his mailbox and two others, its whirligig wings spinning lazily in the breeze.
Every now and then, the man pauses to wipe his forehead with a carefully-folded red bandanna; as he pauses, he shakes his head over the cottage across the way, nearly invisible behind a riot of unkempt bushes and vines.
Next to this abandoned house is a vacant lot. Next to that, at the very end of Nokomis Trail, is a tiny cottage that looks like something out of a fairy story. Garden statuary – here a frog, there a nymph on a log – nestle amidst gangly purple mums. A gnome guards the entrance to the stepping-stone walk, and several wind chimes hang from the porch eaves.
The elderly man glances toward this cottage and crosses himself surreptitiously. Then he goes back to work.
****
Inside the cottage at the end of the lane, a plump, matronly woman with a cheerful face hums as she works a loom. The frame takes up most of the living room, leaving only space enough for the fieldstone fireplace, two easy chairs, and a tiny television.
The woman pauses in her work and whistles, long and low. “Well,” she says to herself. “Isn’t that interesting.”
Just then, the back door bangs shut. The woman at the loom looks toward the kitchen, where a tall, thin woman with a narrow face has just come in. Out of habit, she ducks under the herbs hanging from the rafters as she removes her gardening gloves.
“Mind your shoes, dear,” the plump woman says. “I just swept.”
“I’m going back out,” the tall one says as she gets herself a glass of water at the sink. As she waits for the glass to fill, she says, “I saw another dragonfly. That makes seven, just this morning.”
“Was this one headed up the street, too? Toward the Morton place?”
The tall woman nods, then downs half of the water in one long drink. “Looks like things are about to change around here.”
“Yes,” the plump woman says, examining her weaving. “I see that.” She turns back to the tall woman with a sunny smile. “At last!”
****
At the same moment, thirty-five miles across the lake as the crow flies, Julia Morton Michaud sits in her lawyer’s office. Elaine’s firm is small, so their offices in Chicago’s Loop don’t command the sweeping view of the city that a larger firm would have. But as the Haddon of O’Leary and Haddon LLP, Elaine rates an office with a glimpse of the lake.
Julia attempts to maintain a professional demeanor as Elaine goes through the checklist: life insurance, health insurance, retirement accounts. The country club membership. The burial plots. All of the knotted strands that will have to be untangled before her marriage can be dissolved.
All of the legal knots, anyway. The emotional bonds frayed away long since.
“Now, the checking accounts,” Elaine says.
“Equal split,” says Julia. “Same with the savings and money market accounts. And the stocks.” She expects a fight over the stocks, but intends to stand her ground. She needs those investments to live the life she means to live. And she refuses to let Lance get away with everything.
“And the real estate?” the lawyer goes on. “I assume he’s keeping the Gold Coast condo. But you’re going to keep the house in Evanston, right?”
“No,” Julia says. “He can have that, too.”
Elaine looks at her over the top of her reading glasses. “It’s worth several million dollars, isn’t it?” At Julia’s nod, the lawyer goes on, “Well, we have some options. We can ask him to buy you out. Or we can stipulate that the house be put on the market.”
“I don’t want the money,” Julia blurts. “I don’t want any part of that house. He can have it.”
Elaine gives her a look of barely-concealed disbelief. “As your attorney,” she says, “I would strongly advise that that would be against your best interests. But as your friend….” She shakes her head. “Julia, what are you thinking? You’re entitled to half the house, as well as half the condo. And most of your wealth is tied up in your real estate holdings, unless I miss my guess. What are you going to live on, if you give everything to him? For that matter, where are you going to live?”
Julia tilts her chin up. “The house in Michiana. I’m going to live there.”
“In that derelict cottage?” Elaine’s shock is plain.
“It’s not derelict,” Julia says, defensive. “It needs some work, that’s all. And it’s quiet. It’s the perfect place for me to get my head together and do some serious writing.”
The attorney shakes her head. “So you’re really going to lock yourself away in that moldy old place. I thought you were kidding when you mentioned it at dinner last week.”
“Nope.” Julia pulls her chin up higher. “I’ve been giving it a lot of thought. This is exactly what I want to do.”
The lawyer sighs. “Well, I’ll draw up the agreement with that in place and send you a draft by tomorrow morning at the latest. But I think you’re making a big mistake.”
Julia nods – in acknowledgement, not in agreement. She looks past Elaine’s shoulder and out the window, beyond the end of the concrete canyon, where a sliver of Lake Michigan is visible. The waves glitter in the harsh light of midday. It feels like a promise. Or like a release.
Silence draws her attention back to her friend. Elaine is regarding her with a wistful expression. “We’ll miss you,” she says.
Julia waves away the sentiment. “It’s not like I’m moving to the moon,” she says with a laugh. “I’ll only be sixty miles away.”
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Author John F Allen interview – The God Killers

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I’m super excited to share this interview with author John F Allen. John is one of the new authors with Seventh Star Press and as I like to interview all the Seventh Star Press authors I requested one for my stop on the tour. A chance to get to know him better.

Johns book is an action packed urban fantasy, one I’m looking forward to reading.

Thanks to Seventh Star and John for allowing me to take part.

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Book Synopsis: In The God Killers, the first book of The God Killers Legacy, former professional art thief Ivory Blaque is hired to procure a pair of antique pistols and gets much more than she bargained for when several attempts are made on her life.

Her client turns out to be a shadowy government agent who reveals that she is descended from a race of immortals, and that the pistols are linked to her unique heritage and the special psychic gifts she possesses. He uses the memory of her father to guilt her into working for him.

Ivory eventually gives in to his request, and in return, he presents her with her father’s journal, which was written in an unbreakable code. Bishop believes that she is the only one capable of breaking the code and unlocking the plans of the vampire hierarchy. But when the city’s top vampire is a sexy incubus with an attraction for her and she’s assigned a hot new lycan enforcer to protect her, she finds herself caught between two sets of rock hard abs.

To regain her autonomy, clear her name, unlock the secrets of her past, and protect the lives of those closest to her, Ivory must play along with the forces trying to manipulate her. Ivory’s life is rapidly spiraling out of control and headed for an explosive conclusion which she just might not survive.

 

Please tell me about yourself?

I’m an American writer, who focuses primarily on speculative fiction, but I also write poetry, essays, literary fiction stories and I am also a business writer. I studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus on Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force. I was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN where I currently reside with my wife and two children. I’m a comic book fan/collector/historian, movie buff and music fanatic. My debut novel, The God Killers is published through Seventh Star Press.

What is something about you that no one else knows?

That’s not possible, as my wife knows everything about me!

However, in the spirit of things I will share a factoid that is not commonly known by those in my circles…I used to be VERY shy.

What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading Four Til Late by Eric Garrison, Virtual Blue by RJ Sullivan, The Doomsday Vault by Steven Harper, a Seventh Star Press anthology titled Thunder on the Battlefield (Vol I & II) edited by James R. Tuck and another anthology titled Black Pulp edited by Tommy Hancock.

What are some of your favourite books and authors please?

I have far too many heroes to name them all here, but here are a few!

Robert B. Parker, Walter Mosley, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Terry Brooks, Eric Jerome Dickey, L.A. Banks, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Jordan, Laurel K. Hamilton, Charles R. Saunders, Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, Faith Hunter, Kim Newman, Dean Koontz, Tom Clancy, Louis L’Amour, Chester Himes, Terry McMillan, Ben Bova, WEB Griffin, R.A. Salvatore, H.G. Wells, Donald Goines, Piers Anthony, Zane and John Gardner…and this is the short list!

As for book titles, the same is true. Here are a few!

The Catskill Eagle, Tarzan of the Apes, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, Needful Things, Rainbow Six, Amaro, Guilty Pleasures, Odd Thomas, Men in Blue, Split Infinity, Skinwalker, Friends & Lovers, Waiting to Exhale, Game of Thrones, Magic Kingdom for Sale, The Kinsman Saga, War of the Worlds, Wheel of Time, Devil in a Blue Dress, Anno Dracula, Minion, The Sex Chronicles, Last of the Breed, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Whoreson, The Icewind Dale Trilogy and Win, Lose or Die…again, this is the short list!

What is your writing routine and work space like?

Throughout the week I take my son to school, come home eat breakfast and brew some coffee, and then I dive into writing! My goal is anywhere from 500 to 1000 words a day and most of the time I hit right around there. In the evenings, I work at a bookstore. Sunday is family day and I usually don’t write on that day.

I have a space on the upper floor of my townhome I’ve affectionately dubbed, “The Ivory Tower.” I have my desktop PC, printer, drawing board, art supplies, a satellite radio boombox, with an assortment of books, posters, various Pop Culture figurines and knick knacks.

How was the collaboration process for you in creating the art work for The God Killers?

My artist, Enggar Adirasa is a very talented illustrator and I’m extremely grateful to have him assigned to my novel. That said, coming from a visual artist background I was very aware of my vision. This meant that I gave him detailed reference material and even sketches I created. In fact, the initial painting of Ivory’s face wasn’t quite in keeping with my vision of her, so I sketched out how I thought her facial features should look and that became the template for the face on the cover as you see it.

On a related note, I sometimes think of my background as a visual artist as a double edged sword, both a blessing/gift and a curse/burden. I have the ability to write with both words and pictures, in a fashion. I find that it’s the strong visual images in my visual artist mind that lends to me being as descriptive as I tend to be in my writing. It is great for that purpose, but sometimes gets in the way of giving much flexibility to my readers to interpret things as they want in their own mind’s eye. Although ironically, the majority of my readers thus far have said they enjoy my descriptiveness. Overall, I would say it was a pretty good experience.

Are there other genres other than urban fantasy that you are dying to write?

Actually, I have a couple of stories circulating out there I’ve written in different genres. One is with Seventh Star Press in the Thunder on the Battlefield anthology. The story is titled “Forest of Shadows” and is a Sword & Sorcery tale. I also have a Science Fiction Adventure story submitted to another Seventh Star Press anthology. I have a Steampunk adventure and a dark horror story submitted, although it’s way too early to give away any details.

Can you tell me about joining Seventh Star Press?

It was a clear sunny day in Madison, Indiana long ago…

Seriously, I met a young man named Rodney Carlstrom and we struck up a friendship due to our shared interests in reading and writing Speculative Fiction. He in turn introduced me to Stephen Zimmer, RJ Sullivan, Michael West and Chris Garrison. Once I got to know Stephen, I shared that I was a writer and he expressed interest in checking out my work.

I then almost shit a brick!

Once the initial shock wore off and I gathered up the courage, I submitted The God Killers manuscript to him. I expected to get my very first, in a long line of rejection letters. Instead, a miraculous thing occurred…he liked it!

From that point, I was introduced into a family of writers that I don’t really know how I ever lived without.

What do readers have to look forward to in The God Killers?

Readers of The God Killers can look forward to a strong, unapologetic protagonist who evolves as the book progresses. They can also look forward to pulse pounding action, daring adventure & hair raising excitement!

Buy Links for The God Killers:

Print Version / Kindle Version / Nook / Kobo /iBookstore

John F Allen AuthorAbout John F. Allen: John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. John began writing stories as early as the second grade and pursued all forms of writing at some point, throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John’s debut novel, The God Killers was released in 2013 with Seventh Star Press. John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, son and daughter.

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Tour Schedule and Activities

9/23                A Haunted Head                              Interview

9/23                Azure Dwarf                                       Promo Spotlight

9/24                SpecMusicMuse                                 Review

9/24                Come Selahway With Me                 Guest Post

9/24                The Dan O’Brien Project                   Promo Spotlight

9/25                Bee’s Knees Reviews                          Review

9/26                Beauty in Ruins                                  Review

9/27                Readings Sunshine                            Promo Spotlight

9/27                Word to Dreams                                Promo Spotlight

9/27                Armand Rosamilia, Author               Guest Post

9/28                Sheila Deeth                                       Character Interview

9/28                Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews        Guest Post

9/28                Workaday Reads                               Review

9/29                Jess Resides Here                               Author Interview

9/29                Illuminite Calginosus                         Promo Spotlight
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The Quest by Mary Abshire book tour & giveaway

Welcome to The Quest – Project Eve #2 by Mary Abshire book tour. I have a guest post to share and there is a tour wide giveaway for 2 ebook copies. The tour schedule can be found at FMB promotions.

 

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A Touch of Light to Dark Fantasy

The Quest is the second book in the Project Eve series. The series is urban fantasy with action, mystery, violence, suspense, and one hot sex scene. Although the world I created is mostly dark, I have a few elements that add a bit of humor and light. Vampires, werewolves, demons, warlocks, humans, and a shape shifter are primarily the characters/creatures in my books. I created a nasty half gargoyle, half human creature called a garguman. There is another creature/character that one may not expect in the dark world I created. An angel.

When I first started writing the series, I wanted to add a few things to make it a bit more…well, not so dark. I started with a character, a shape shifter named Tabby, who is friends with the two investigators, Jonas and Boss. Jonas is a human and Boss is an old vampire. Tabby brings humor to the story. She’s friendly, down to earth, and jokes around with Boss and Jonas. My protagonist quickly forms a friendship with the shape shifter. Can you guess what Tabby shifts into?

Besides having an upbeat and friendly character, I added an angel named Benny. He pops in and out of the two books and drops hints and warnings to my protagonist. Although his intent is to help, he often leaves my protagonist confused and frustrated. Their conversations are always interesting.

I love dark fantasy and urban fantasy. I love the action and suspense. But it’s nice to throw in something different to enliven the book. At least, that’s my opinion and that’s what I tried to do.

If you’re curious to read more about the Project Eve series, I invite you to read the books.
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Now that she knows her name and what she is, she wants justice for everything shes lost. Though her memories elude her, she takes a job for a half-demon Senator and, aided by werewolves from a local clan, intends to uncover evidence that will convict the Senator of more than thirty murders.
Getting to the Senator and finding the necessary evidence is more difficult than she anticipates, especially when there is a bounty for her death. If that were not enough, the vampire who stole her memories returns and reveals unexpected truths. But shes not going to let anything stop her. Not a sadistic assassin or a servant or Lucifer. Not even her ex-lover, the vampire God of the Underworld. Nothing will stop her from claiming retribution…even if the price is her life.

 

 

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