Kirsten Reviews: The Shadowed Throne by K.J. Taylor

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Shadowed Throne by K.J. Taylor
The Risen Sun #2

Laela the half-breed raised in the South is now the Queen of the North. The seemingly invincible King Arenadd Taranisaii and his partner, the dark griffin Skandar, are missing. The Northerners blame Laela for Arenadd’s disappearance, but she knows the truth …
With only her griffin partner Oeka to help her rule, Laela struggles to maintain power and tensions mount with Arenadd’s cousin, Saeddryn, who believes she is the rightful ruler.
Laela is forced into a desperate fight to stay queen as the entire North is plunged into a brutal civil war. To win, she will need the help of her new friend, the odd shapeshifter Kullervo, and a surprising griffin ally from the past.
But the true test of Laela’s strength will come when the deadly Shadow that Walks returns …



The Shadowed Throne by K.J. Taylor is the second in the Risen Sun trilogy, and immediately drops readers into the action where the last book left off.

This is not a series that a new reader should start from the mid-point, and with that being said, this book continues to tell the story of Laela, the half-breed daughter of the leader of the Northern people. With her father missing, she is left to rule the kingdom as its queen, and is the one person who is preventing her cousin Saeddryn from declaring war. However, there are dangers beyond family feuds and power struggles, one of them being the fact that the Night God himself is clamboring for Laela’s death. In a world where the gods interact directly with those who worship them, this is more than a figure of speech.

Laela attempts to cope with the demands of ruling a kingdom with the assistance of her partner, Oeka, a griffin. The continued inclusion of griffins in the narrative gives the reader a chance to see the world from their point of view, which is an interesting, if inhuman shift in viewpoint that makes the story more interesting.

While Laela’s story continues in this book, her rule as queen doesn’t take her character development as far as some readers may hope. Instead, there are point of view shifts to other characters, such as the griffins and others, which broadens the scope of the story and gives the audience a reason to care about more than simply the protagonist.

This is especially important with so much going on, and the conflicts that arise because of cultural differences, as well as worship of the various gods. More than a few characters use their religious beliefs to justify their actions, and Taylor strives to make everyone’s reasoning believable, if not ultimately worthy of sympathy.

A final note, the book is the second in a trilogy and does end on a cliffhanger, so readers should be forewarned, as they have a bit of a wait before the next book wraps up the story.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:





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Previous Books:
     1. The Shadow's Heir



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Review: Circle of Blood by Debbie Viguie

, by Kt Clapsadl

Circle of Blood by Debbie Viguie
Witch Hunt #3

Samantha Ryan—cop by choice, witch hunter by necessity—is about to confront the witch who has been secretly manipulating her life. But her search for the truth about her past may end in her death.…

All her life, Samantha Ryan has been haunted by a circle of blood, which she has tried to keep at bay—ever since she escaped a vicious Salem coven of witches as a child. But now her carefully constructed life has given way to the darkness she might have embraced, had she not run away.
Angry, focused, and more than willing to use her powers on anyone who gets in her way, Samantha travels to New Orleans to confront Lilith Black, the witch who has been mercilessly shaping events around her for months.
But little does Samantha know that her own nightmarish past and Lilith’s are inescapably intertwined—and that what Lilith wants most of all is for Samantha to suffer until her final breath.…

Reading this book and watching what has become of Samantha was like watching a train wreck. It's awful, but you can't seem to look away. Don't get me I'm not downing the book, not in the slightest, it's just that for a large part of this book I was so appalled and had to almost force myself to keep reading as she was so terrible that it made it so hard to watch. But that's a testament to the author's skill to so viscerally show this change in Samantha that it affected me that much. Then of course as she woke up, (and I don't consider this to be a spoiler because honestly the book couldn't have really progressed anywhere with her in the state that she was) things started to change, and I once again fell for her all over again. Again, I find this incredibly impressive to have such a range in the character, and as this is the last book in the series only makes me want to check out the author's other books even more.

As much as I enjoyed this series, and this final installment, I can't help feeling just a bit let down by the final reveal of the mystery behind who had been plaguing Samantha. But even more frustrating was the incredibly rushed and quite frankly way too easy resolution of the final showdown. It was more than a bit of a let down after all the build up. Since everything else was pretty enjoyable, I was able to mostly overlook this to be satisfied with the ending, but I felt it was worth mentioning all the same.

I feel like all I have been reading lately is series ending books, many of which either let me down, or leave me feeling rather mediocre in the end. While I can't really say that this series went out with a bang due to the final battle issues, I was largely happy with the way it all turned out. Final battle aside, CIRCLE OF BLOOD was an enjoyable installment that will please fans of the series. Samantha's story is one heck of a ride that you won't want to miss.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:






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Previous Books:
     1. The Thirteenth Sacrifice
     2. The Last Grave


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Early Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
Blood of Eden #3

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

Wow. Just wow. This is how you write a trilogy. So many times trilogies seem to fall flat, but that was so far from the case here. I can't remember the last time I was so enthralled and impressed with an entire series like this. To be honest I'm a bit of a loss at what to say about this book that isn't just sheer fan girling or spoilery things, so please bear with me on this one.

As much as I love the setting and plot line of this series, it is the characters and the dynamics between them that really take it over the edge for me. You have Allison and Jackal with their completely antagonistic yet strong sibling bond that defies reason. I mean the dude is crazy and can't be trusted, or so she thinks. Yet he kept surprising her, all the while keeping her on her toes while he tormented her relentlessly. Then you have the strong fatherly bond from the stoic yet tortured Kanin, who largely puts up with Allison and Jackal's antics, but also isn't afraid to shut them up when necessary. But above all I most loved Allison herself. She's come such a long way and battled fiercely against her inner demons only to fall again and again, yet still finds a way to pick herself back up again. I loved her even more in this book as the roles between her and Zeke changed. I won't say anything more about that than to just say, wow was that a bumpy ride to the end, but more than worth the journey!

From the first page of this series to the very last one, I was completely captivated, THE FOREVER SONG most of all. From the amazing cast of characters to the nail biting plot there wasn't a single dull moment, and i loved every second. The only negative thing I can say about this book is that it ended. This series should be on every paranormal and post-apocalyptic lovers must read list. Five stars just isn't enough.

(Received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley)

Rating:





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Other Reviews:
     Reading Teen
     Petite Ame Little Soul
     The Wolf's Den

Previous Books:
     1. The Immortal Rules
     2. The Eternity Cure

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Kirsten Reviews: The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan
The Riyria Chronicles #2

TWO THIEVES WANT ANSWERS. RIYRIA IS BORN.

For more than a year Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner Hadrian Blackwater from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception --- Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn't realize is what the two are capable of --- but she's about to find out.





The Rose and the Thorn, by Michael Sullivan is the second volume in the Riyria Chronicles and picks up a year after where the first book left off.

After the events of The Crown Tower, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater have become better partners, pulling off more jobs, learning how to work together, and overall, getting to know one another better. Royce has begun to learn that killing people isn’t necessarily the way to fix every problem, and Hadrian is learning not to believe the best of everyone, while still retaining his optimism. The two return to the city of Medford to get in touch with Gwen, who saved them both at the end of the last book.

Unfortunately, while Hadrian and Royce have attained a greater rapport, Gwen has not had such an easy time of it, and she is justifiably distrustful when the two of them show up looking for her. In fact, she refuses to see them, in an attempt to prevent them from seeking revenge on the person who’s hurt her.

This book could focus on solely on this trio, but there is quite a bit more going on, and the storylines of other characters are given attention as well. The antics of the royal family of Medford, Reuben Hilfred, and others are first separate stories, which gradually come together as part of the larger story without feeling awkward.

As this book is a prequel to other books in the Riyria Chronicles, anyone familiar with Royce and Hadrian’s relationship will enjoy seeing them learning to work together and continuing to evolve into familiar characters and friends.

As a whole, the book gives both heroes and villains equal attention, and serves to expand on the world’s politics, characters and, although the background may not be necessary, it will be enjoyed by anyone looking for more interaction between Hadrian, Royce, and their cohorts.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:






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Other Reviews:
     Bookwraiths Reviews
     The Founding Fields
     The Bibliosanctum

Previous Books:
     1. The Crown Tower


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Salvage Blog Tour

, by Kt Clapsadl



*Where did you get the inspiration for Salvage?

Some of my inspiration for Salvage – the portions aboard the merchant crewe ship where Ava lives in particular – came from growing up as a preacher’s daughter in a small, rural church. In the town where I lived, everyone knew everyone, and there were very strict expectations about behavior, especially for girls. I wanted to write about the phenomenon of women simultaneously being put on a pedestal, yet also treated as weak or incapable, but when I tried to write about it in a contemporary setting, it felt tired and flat. I’ve always been a huge science fiction and fantasy fan, though. I believe those are some of the best genres for reframing real-world issues in a different light. So in 2009, I wrote a short story called “Bad Matter” that was published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Part of that story took place aboard Ava’s ship, the Parastrata. When I finished the story, I knew I wanted to keep exploring that world. Salvage grew out of that desire.

* Is this a stand alone? If not, can you give us any hints for the sequel? If so, what's next for you?

Salvage isn’t part of a series, but I do have a companion novel in the works. It picks up the story of Miyole, who is a little girl in Salvage, when she is a teenager aboard a research ship. I have to be a little bit mysterious about it at this point, though.

*If your books were to be made into a movie, who would be your top picks for the cast?

Ooh, I’m really bad at this, but it’s so much fun. Okay, for Ava I’d pick America Fererra. I loved her in Real Women Have Curves and Ugly Betty. For Perpétue, I’d pick Lupito Nyong’o, and for Miyole, Amandla Stenberg, who played Rue in The Hunger Games. (Actually, I think she’s a teenager by now, but this isn’t real and she was an adorable kid.) Soraya would be Gina Torres from Firefly, because nothing is complete without Gina Torres. Now for the love interests. For Luck, I’d pick Richard Madden, who plays Robb Stark in A Game of Thrones, and I think Dev Patel would make a good Rushil. Have you seen how cute he is in glasses?

*Could you tell us a little about the ups and downs you have experienced in publishing?

I haven’t really had any bad experiences thus far. I started out writing short stories in my early 20s, which helped me when I moved on to novel-writing and trying to find an agent. I’ve certainly had my share of rejections and rewrites, but those things are part of the process and ultimately made me a better writer. What I have struggled with is juggling writing, my full-time job as a librarian, and grad school classes.

*What are some of your favorite books in the paranormal genre?

I ate up Rachel Hawkins’s Hex Hall novels, and I also loved Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish MaBride, which I just found out has a sequel. Both of those series have a great mix of creepiness and humor that reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As far as recent titles, I really liked Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, by April Tucholke, and The Madman’s Daughter, by Megan Shepherd.

*If you could tell readers one thing about yourself or your books, what would that be?

I love worldbuilding. I like bringing together music, myths, traditions, clothes, and food to make a believable culture, and I like reading stories in the worlds other people have created, as well.

*What is the craziest or at least most interesting thing you have ever done?

One time I went hitchhiking on the switchback mountain roads of the Alpujarras in southern Spain. My friends and I were trying to make it to the next town over in order to catch a bus back to Granada. The roads there were only wide enough for one car at a time, with a sheer face on one side and a thousand-foot drop on the other. Going around curves usually meant putting your foot on the gas and laying on the horn so anyone coming in the opposite direction could pull off into the ditch. The driver that gave us a ride had a Bristish pickup truck with a steering wheel on the right hand side of the cab, which meant he had almost zero visibility of oncoming traffic. Thankfully, we didn’t die in a horrible crash or get axe murdered, and we caught the bus on time.

*Finish this statement: "You'll like Salvage if...

. . . you like character-driven stories or science fiction based in sociology and medicine.

Thanks Alexandra!


Author Info:


Alexandra Duncan is a writer and librarian. Her short fiction has been published in several Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy anthologies and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Her first novel, Salvage, is forthcoming from Greenwillow Books in April 2014. She loves anything that gets her hands dirty – pie-baking, leatherworking, gardening, drawing, and rolling sushi. She lives with her husband and two monstrous, furry cats in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Representation by superagent Kate Schafer Testerman of KT Literary.








Book Info:


Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean, in this thrilling, surprising, and thought-provoking debut novel that will appeal to fans of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, and The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood.… 


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Early Review: Stone Cold by Devon Monk

, by Kt Clapsadl

Stone Cold by Devon Monk
Broken Magic #2

Marked by Life and Death magic, Shame Flynn and Terric Conley are “breakers”—those who can use magic to its full extent. Most of the time, they can barely stand each other, but they know they have to work together to defeat a common enemy—rogue magic user Eli Collins.
Backed by the government, Eli is trying to use magic as a weapon by carving spells into the flesh of innocents and turning them into brainless walking bombs. To stop him, Shame and Terric will need to call on their magic, even as it threatens to consume them—because the price they must pay to wield Life and Death could change the very fate of the world...and magic itself.





It seems impossible, but prior to diving into STONE COLD I had almost forgotten how much I love Shame. As I've said before in previous reviews, he's so broken and really has such a bleak outlook and yet he always tries so hard to not let the Death part of him take over. And when he slips up he's so devastated that my heart only breaks even more for him. It's because of that attachment that a lot of this book made me very angry. Being in Shame's head you see how damaged he is, and just how determined he is to use his abilities for good and not let the dark take over. BUT there's times where his control slips and he tries to get away from the people around them to keep from hurting them. But they never listen, and only make it so much more difficult for him, which led to a few bad, bad slipups, and yet these people wanted to cry foul and act like he was a monster. He warned them, and they didn't listen so they only have themselves to blame, and it really broke my heart to see the suffering and self-hatred he went through. That being said, never fear, there is a good bit of character growth and resolution in this book as it is the last one in the series, so it's not all doom and gloom completely. There's hope, and sometimes that's really all you need.

Speaking of growth and resolution, we saw a little bit of this in the last book, but the dynamic between Shame and Terric plays an even bigger role in this book and I couldn't have been happier. I had been dying to know how these two would resolve their issues and find a way to manage some sort of middle ground and I'm so glad I stayed along for the very long ride between both series to see it. That being said, this book was by far the bumpiest of rides between them, and yet somehow it brought them even closer and that much needed clairity seemed to finally be in reach.

While I'm sad to be saying goodbye to all of these much loved characters between the two series, I'm very happy with the way things ended up. Things aren't all happiness and roses, but I was definitely left feeling a sense of satisfaction and completion that felt true to the story. All I can say is trust me, if you are as big of a fan of Shamus and Terric as I am, this book is absolutely not to be missed. I can't wait to see what Ms. Monk cooks up next!

(Received a review from the publisher)

Rating:







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Other reviews:
     BiblioSanctum

Previous Books:
     1. Hell Bent


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Circle of Blood Blog Tour

, by Kt Clapsadl


*Where did you get the inspiration for Witch Hunt series?

I was speaking at a convention in Salem and I absolutely fell in love with the town and all its fun stores filled with witch-centric souvenirs. The town has managed to turn the dark history of the Witch Trials into a modern day tourist heaven. While I was there I had the sudden thought that if you were an actual coven of dark magic practitioners that this town would be the perfect place to hide. That was the genesis of the idea for the series.


* Since this is the last book in the series, what's coming next for you?

I always have several projects in the works. I’m pleased to announce, though, that I’m doing a trilogy of supernatural books retelling the Robin Hood legend with my friend and co-author James R. Tuck.


*If your books were to be made into a movie, who would be your top picks for the cast?

My husband and I love playing this game. Who would you cast? For the Witch Hunt series I could totally see Amanda Righetti (Grace Van Pelt from The Mentalist) in the lead role of Samantha. Her captain would be played by Jackie Earle Haley because I think he’s a brilliant actor and I’d happily cast him in all the films made of my books. Samantha’s wise-cracking partner would be played really well by Adam Baldwin (Firefly, Chuck)


*Could you tell us a little about the ups and downs you have experienced in publishing?

That’s a very broad question! Every writer has their share (often more than their share) of ups and downs in this crazy business. One of the lows was in 2003 when my co-author and I found out that our publisher didn’t want to publish a fifth Wicked book to resolve the cliffhanger we left book four on. For years they said no until one day they suddenly said yes. The series had surged in popularity several years after it was initially published. That whole thing was a crazy roller coaster and one of the highest points was the day I got the call from my editor congratulating me on making the NYT Bestsellers list for a book that had already been in stores for a little over 6 years!


*What are some of your favorite books in the paranormal genre?

I love anything written by Nancy Holder or James R. Tuck.


*If you could tell readers one thing about yourself or your books, what would that be?

My books are almost always about people triumphing over the darkest of circumstances. I believe that evil exists but that light always conquers the darkness. I write about that all the time.


*What is the craziest or at least most interesting thing you have ever done?

I have to say this one is so incredibly hard to answer because a lot of crazy things have happened to me in my life! I can tell you, though, that I have had a wide variety of cool experiences. For example, I’ve ridden on top of a horse, a donkey, a camel, an elephant, and.... a manta ray! When I was five my parents took me on a trip to Tahiti. My dad and I rowed out into the ocean in a canoe and we were quite a ways out when we felt something bump the bottom of the boat. We looked over the sides trying to see what could have hit us but couldn’t see anything. We were bumped again, harder. We looked over the side and saw only darkness for a few seconds until suddenly we saw this massive flash of white and realized that there was a manta ray directly below our boat and that he had just turned over to expose his underside. He then bumped up under the boat again. He was much larger than our boat and he lifted us clear out of the water so we were just balanced on top of him! It was very thrilling! He carried us along for a little ways before setting us back down and taking off.


*Finish this statement: "You'll like the Witch Hunt series if...

you love picking up a book and not being able to put it down until you’ve finished it.
Thanks Debbie!


Author Info:



Debbie Viguié is the New York Times Bestselling author of over a dozen novels including theWicked series and the new Crusade series co-authored with Nancy Holder. Much of Debbie’s writing has a dark edge to it, including her retold fairy tales, her latest being Violet Eyes, a retelling of The Princess and the Pea. In addition to her epic dark fantasy work Debbie also writes thrillers including The Psalm 23 Mysteries and the upcoming Kiss trilogy. When Debbie isn’t busy writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, visiting theme parks. They live in Florida with their cat, Schrödinger.

Find Debbie Online:






Book Info:


Samantha Ryan—cop by choice, witch hunter by necessity—is about to confront the witch who has been secretly manipulating her life. But her search for the truth about her past may end in her death.…

All her life, Samantha Ryan has been haunted by a circle of blood, which she has tried to keep at bay—ever since she escaped a vicious Salem coven of witches as a child. But now her carefully constructed life has given way to the darkness she might have embraced, had she not run away.

Angry, focused, and more than willing to use her powers on anyone who gets in her way, Samantha travels to New Orleans to confront Lilith Black, the witch who has been mercilessly shaping events around her for months.

But little does Samantha know that her own nightmarish past and Lilith’s are inescapably intertwined—and that what Lilith wants most of all is for Samantha to suffer until her final breath.…
 


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Kirsten Reviews: The Lost Stars: Perilous Shield

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Lost Stars: Perilous Shield by Jack Campbell
Lost Stars #2

New York Times bestselling author Jack Campbell returns with the next chapter in the overthrow of the Syndicate Worlds’ oppression…

Following a successful coup, the leaders of the rebel Midway Star System struggle to forge a government free enough to please its citizens yet strong enough to secure power. But in a world where former rulers have become new foes, an alien threat to humanity may turn old adversaries into uncertain allies.

General Artur Drakon knows three words describe someone who confides in a Syndicate CEO: Stupid. Betrayed. Dead. Despite his misgivings, he partnered with another former CEO to overthrow Syndic forces. Now, with an enigma fleet menacing their hard-earned independence, he can ill afford to trust her—or lose her support.

President Gwen Iceni believes Midway is humanity’s defense against the enigmas. Syndicate training taught her self-preservation in a crisis, yet she’s determined to fight for the star system’s fate…even if it means joining forces with Drakon—and an officer of the hated Alliance.

Their plan places the Midway flotilla at great risk in hopes of greater reward: recruiting the personnel necessary to man warships against the enigmas. But before facing the alien advance, Drakon and Iceni must survive hidden dangers closer to home: all-too-human threats that could jeopardize Midway’s freedom…and their own lives.

The Lost Stars: Perilous Shield by Jack Campbell, the alias of John G. Hemry, a retired United States naval officer is the second in The Lost Stars series. This series is actually a spinoff from the other ten books in his Lost Fleet continuity. Suffice to say, if a reader hasn’t read any of the previous novels, this is not where they should start. Unfortunately, it’s also not a very strong installment in the series.

Campbell’s books are, as whole, great for anyone who wants the drama of intergalactic battles but doesn’t want to waste much time with learning about the characters that populate the stories. In Perilous Shield, the decreased number of space battles means that the lack of character development is painfully obvious.

The first book in this series introduced readers to a group of ex-Syndicate Worlds officers. They come from a culture that excels at Borgias-esque behavior. Paranoia, assassinations and conspiracy are the norm, but somehow they all pulled together in order to build an independent star system and that could withstand their enemies. This premise would seem ripe for rich characterization against a political and intergalactic landscape.

However, characters such as Colonel Rogero, officer of the ground forces, President Gwen Iceni and Alliance liaison officer Captain Bradamont, who has a romantic history with Colonel Rogero are little more than cut outs and move through the story without having much effect on it, or each other.

This issue is later compounded with an operatic turn that would fit in well on daytime television, and two of the women take on the sort of rivalry that only seems to crop up in books written by certain male authors, and the book loses whatever credibility it sought to build for this series.

Space battles are all well and good, but nobody should have to put up with such ridiculous and unnecessary drama all for a few exploding spaceships.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:






Order Links:



Other Reviews:
     PG's Ramblings

Previous Books:
     1. The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight


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Stone Cold Blog Tour

, by Kt Clapsadl




*At what point in the Allie Beckstrom series did you know you would write Shame's books?

I think it was somewhere around book six when I knew Shame would be fun as a point of view character. But I also knew his path was leading toward pretty dark things, and I wasn't sure readers would be interested in a flawed, but (I hope) loveable character going through some of the hardest times of his life. When one particular reader (and Shame fan) asked me a particular question, Shame's books snapped into focus for me. That was probably when I was writing book #8 in the Allie series: Magic Without Mercy.

* Since this is the last book in the series, what's coming next for you?

House Immortal, book one of a new trilogy comes out September 2nd! My editor calls it "Allie Beckstrom meets Firefly" and I hope I have captured the essence of that. I call it my Frankenstein farm girl, near-future, gently dystopic, steampunk-light, not-quite urban fantasy, save-the-world fantasy series.

*If your books were to be made into a movie, who would be your top picks for the cast?

Oh, man. I suck at this question because I don't keep up with movies stars like I should. So...I'm going to say....cool people. Cool people should totally be the characters from my books. Or just one really cool person with a lot of wigs and costume changes.

*Could you tell us a little about the ups and downs you have experienced in publishing?

I started my publishing career writing short stories, which are a very different beasty than novels. After somewhere around six pounds of rejections, and several dozen sales, I decided to give novel writing a try. My first novel, in fact, is based off of a rejected short story.

I came into the urban fantasy genre when it was just picking up steam, and I feel very lucky to have had a chance to write the nine-book Allie Beckstrom series and the two-book Shame spin off series. I also have written three steampunk novels which blend magic, steampunk, and the old west, and now I'm writing a not-quite-urban fantasy near-future fantasy. So to say I'm a fan of the rise of cross-genre work is an understatement.

When I started in novels, ebooks were a fairly new thing, and we were all wondering if anyone would really read for pleasure on a hand-held screen. I've seen the fall of Borders, the closing of excellent genre magazines, the decline of mass market print orders, the rise of self and epublishing, the growth and death of various social media platforms, plus many, many other ups and downs in the industry.

But one thing that has remained constant is that good stories will always find their reader, and writers will always find a way to get those stories in their reader's hands.

*What are some of your favorite books in the paranormal genre?

I love Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series and Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series. I also think ML Brennan's American Vampire books are a great fresh take on vampires.

*If you could tell readers one thing about yourself or your books, what would that be?

That I am always unprepared and panic when people ask me this question. Um: kumquats! For some reason I have never found a way to work kumquats into my books.

*What is the craziest or at least most interesting thing you have ever done?

Maybe not all that crazy, maybe not that interesting...is silly okay? I recently spent one night gnome-bombing my friends and family. Basically, I snuck to all their houses in the middle of the night and anonymously left random gnomes in their yard.

*Finish this statement: "You'll like the Broken Magic series if...

You like dark heroes who are flawed but doing their damndest to make sure their loved ones stay safe in a crazy world filled with crazy magic that is trying to kill them. Or maybe you'll like it if you are tired of reading books with all those kumquats in them.

Thanks Devon!


Author Info:

Copyright Diane Beals Photography 2010-2011
Devon Monk spent her early childhood tucked behind couches or any other place with low light, “ruining her eyes” and reading. Her love of fairytales turned into a love of adventure, magic, future science, romance, mystery, humor, noir, and anything else she could get her hands on.

Devon has sold over fifty short stories to fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, and young adult magazines and anthologies. Her stories have been published in five countries and included in a Year’s Best Fantasy anthology.  In 2010, Fairwood Press published twenty-two of her short stories in a collection titled: A Cup of Normal.

She is currently writing two series.  The Allie Beckstrom books (Magic to the Bone, Magic in the Blood, Magic in the Shadows, Magic on the Storm, Magic at the Gate, Magic on the Hunt)  are urban fantasy set in modern-day Portland, Oregon where magic is the new technology.  The Age of Steam books (Dead Iron) are steampunk set in the 1800′s American West.

Devon has one husband, two sons, and a dog named Mojo. She lives in Oregon and is surrounded by colorful and numerous family members who mostly live within dinner-calling distance of each other. When not writing, Devon is knitting strange things, remodeling the house-that-was-once-a-barn, or hosting a family celebration.

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Book Info:


Marked by Life and Death magic, Shame Flynn and Terric Conley are “breakers”—those who can use magic to its full extent. Most of the time, they can barely stand each other, but they know they have to work together to defeat a common enemy—rogue magic user Eli Collins.

Backed by the government, Eli is trying to use magic as a weapon by carving spells into the flesh of innocents and turning them into brainless walking bombs. To stop him, Shame and Terric will need to call on their magic, even as it threatens to consume them—because the price they must pay to wield Life and Death could change the very fate of the world...and magic itself.
 


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Waiting on Wednesday (190)

, by Kt Clapsadl



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release we are greatly anticipating.

Our pick this week:



Rebel - Reboot #2
by Amy Tintera
Publication Date: May 13th, 2014
Pre-Order:



The sequel to the action-packed Reboot is a can't-miss thrill ride, perfect for fans of James Patterson, Veronica Roth, and Marie Lu.

After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn't what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren's instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake . . . he's underestimated Wren and Callum.

The explosive finale to the Reboot duology is full of riveting action and steamy love scenes as Wren and Callum become rebels against their own kind.

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