#Review #Booktok The Black Chalice by Lauretta Hignett

I thought it might be fun to randomly pick books to review that come up on my #fyp on TikTok, so here we go: #Booktok

About the book

My name is Eve, and I’m cursed. – It’s just a theory, but I’m sure I’m cursed.  In every other way, I’m a completely normal, ordinary girl. There’s just one thing. Every time I get close to someone, they go crazy and try to kill me.

It’s happened more times than I care to count. And whenever I think I’ve found a new safe haven, violence always smashes through it. I’ve come to accept that there is nowhere safe on earth. Because it’s me. It’s my curse.

I’ve been doing okay lately. I even have a normal job – I’m night receptionist at Revelations, the most exclusive, isolated and top-secret hotel resort in the entire world. Only the richest people can afford to stay here, and they’re more interested in themselves than they are in me. It’s beautiful. I feel safe here.

Until last night, when I had a vivid dream about an angel and a demon.  It felt so real, it unsettled me. The angel was the most heartbreakingly handsome thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

I just can’t shake the dream. Which is too bad. Because the angel just walked into reception. And he’s standing right in front of me.

Review

Eve has a troubled past and finds comfort in the secluded nature of her place of employment. It caters only to the most privileged and wealthy, which can at times be quite frustrating. Eve also sometimes finds it hard to control her temper when confronted with arrogance, rudeness and disgusting behaviour.

Lately dreams and reality have started to merge into one and into the world as she knows it. Where hunky angels and demons go from vivid dreams to stirring up things for Eve in real time.

It has slight echoes of the First Grave series, well with urban fantasy there will always be an a semblance of something, and it is on the cusp of something, but not quite there yet. There is a lot of information in the angel, demon world-building – all thrown out there within a chapter or so. There is an imbalance between the lackadaisical interactions, and the potential between Eve, and the angel and demon. And, I might add, one can be a chalice without becoming a high-stakes assault target (sa).

It has plenty of potential though.

Buy The Black Chalice at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Follow @laurettahignett, Visit laurettahignett.com

#BlogTour Sorcery Reborn by Steve McHugh

Sorcery Reborn BT Poster

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Sorcery Reborn by Steve McHugh.

About the Author

Steve’s been writing from an early age, his first completed story was done in an English lesson. Unfortunately, after the teacher read it, he had to have a chat with the head of the year about the violent content and bad language. The follow up ‘One boy and his frog’ was less concerning to his teachers and got him an A.

It wasn’t for another decade that he would start work on a full length novel, the result of which is Crimes Against Magic.

He was born in a small village called Mexborough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and three young daughters in Southampton.

About the book

He doesn’t need a weapon. He is the weapon.

After losing his powers in an epic battle between good and evil, former sorcerer Nate Garrett finds himself living as a humble human in Clockwork, Oregon. While the world thinks Nate is dead, his friends continue to fight against Avalon and the evil it’s intent on spreading.

Avalon’s forces turn up in Clockwork, and Nate’s frustration grows with every passing day his magic doesn’t return. He finds himself trying to stop Avalon’s plans while hiding from enemies who would destroy everything in their path to see him dead.

Avalon’s darkness begins to threaten the people Nate cares about, and an old nemesis returns; magic or no magic, he has no choice but to fight. But will Nate see his magical powers reborn before the entire town—and everyone he loves—is destroyed?

Review

I think it’s fair to say that the Rebellion Chronicles are part of a larger picture, world-building on a much bigger scale. To understand the complexity and finer nuances of said world and the characters it might be a good idea to go back and read more by McHugh.

The Avalon and Hellequin Chronicles help readers to get the gist of things. Saying that, Sorcery Reborn can absolutely be read as a standalone novel and by a McHugh noob.

For those that have been waiting for a continuation of the Nate and Layla saga, they may be slightly disappointed that the two of them actually dance at two different parties in this book. Each one wanders off on their own storyline, which was quite refreshing in a sense that both of their stories were interesting, but also confirmed that neither one needs the other to draw readers in.

Nate awakens from a long state of unconsciousness to find he has no magic and it will take quite a long time to regain his powers. So technically he is a mere mortal. A mortal who is supposed to keep his head down, but can’t resist socking it to the occasional bad guy.

It’s urban fantasy with the intricate world-building of a high fantasy. McHugh brings together magic, mythology, paranormal, shifter worlds and every element of fantastical worlds and genres he could combine to create a captivating read.

Here and there McHugh leaves a trail of breadcrumbs to hint at what’s to come. Building the tension and leading readers to what I can only presume is going to be the culmination of all the world-building that has gone before.

Buy Sorcery Reborn (The Rebellion Chronicles #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: 47North; pub date 21 Nov. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BookBirthdayBlitz Lure of Obsession by Lisa Kessler

Today it’s the Book Birthday for Lure of Obsession by Lisa Kessler. It’s paranormal romance with plenty of magic and action to boot.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally)

About the Author

Lisa Kessler is a Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She’s a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best Paranormal.

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

When she’s not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.

Stay up-to-date on new releases and giveaways by subscribing to Lisa’s newsletter here: https://goo.gl/56lDla, You can learn more at http://Lisa-Kessler.com

Follow @LdyDisney on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Pinterest, on GoodreadsBuy Lure of Obsession

About the book

Fated Mates meets Clash of the Titans!

Melanie Jacoby is the human vessel for the Muse of Tragic Poetry, but she isn’t prepared for the tragedy of finding her roommate dead at the bottom of the stairs.

Nate Malone is the detective assigned to the case, but as the evidence points to an accidental fall, the visions begin. He sees a killer in a gold Kronos mask.

Mel is the next target, but Nate’s determination to protect her is almost as strong as his desire for her. And tragedy isn’t part of his plan.

The Prophecy – “Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse.”

Review

This is the first book in the Muse Chronicles, which is a paranormal romance series with elements of Greek mythology. The nine muses have been given human vessels and live among the mere mortals. Each of them also has a guardian to protect and keep them from harm.

They are unaware of who their guardians are initially, so each book tells the story of each muse and guardian. Kessler steps the stories up a notch by adding a vicious and violent antagonist to the mix. It takes the story from romance, an instinctive connection to a more action driven read.

Whilst guardian and muse are connecting there are dark forces at work in the background. A group of fanatics determined to stop each muse in their tracks. Even if it means killing them off one by one.

It’s paranormal romance with plenty of magic and action to boot. Kessler gives readers beautiful romantic relationships with sizzling moments of passion. The series will probably appeal to readers who like their romance with a little more spice and adventure.

I would have liked to have seen Kessler develop the whole mythology aspect more, mainly because the rebirth is such a brilliant idea with plenty of potential. Saying that, she gives readers exactly what they want from a paranormal romance.

Buy Lure of Obsession (The Muse Chronicles #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Lisa’s Lair; pub date 11 Dec. 2018. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally)

Click here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.*

#BlogTour Stars Descend by Kara Jaynes

Today it’s my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Stars Descend by Kara Jaynes. It’s paranormal urban fantasy with a flair of sci-fi.

About the Author

Kara Jaynes is a fantasy and children’s book author. She loves rainy days, long walks, and fairy tales. She’s been writing since she was very young, and has more stories in her head than she could possibly write.

Follow @KaraJaynes on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Bookbub, on Amazon com, Visit karajaynes.com

Buy Stars Descend

Join Kara Jayne for the Stars Descend Facebook  Party on June 12th

Calling all book readers! Join author Kara Jaynes as we chat about her urban fantasy novel STARS DESCEND on June 12th from 8 PM to 10 PM EST (5 PM PST and 6 PM MDT).

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with Kara, games, and giveaways.

Special guests Janeen Ippolito and Sarah Ashwood will also be sharing their books and joining in the fun. Follow this link to join the party – Stars Descend Facebook Party

About the book

The elves have come down from the sky in their ships, their countenances full of light and their bodies, power. But they rule over us humans with iron fists, and without mercy.

Vampires stalk the streets, lurking in shadows and the cover of darkness. Their lust for blood is never sated, and the nights are filled with the screams of their victims.

I’m just a street rat, a trash picker. I didn’t expect him to choose me. The Prince of Elves could have anyone, so why me?

Even as my heart sings at the elf’s close proximity, I still love the boy who left me, disappearing into the city’s corrupt underworld. I don’t even know if he’s still alive.

Stars reign. Rebellion brews. And with my already uncertain future disintegrating into chaos, I don’t know who to turn to, or who to trust.

Review

Stella is a trash rat. A human reduced to sifting through garbage to make ends meet for herself and brother, after their parents died. They live in a world run by elves, who have deemed the earth redeemable and they are the ones to do it. Humans spend all their time fighting each other, so it is up to them to help humans get back on the right track. How helpful of them.

It’s the elven rules that dictate the actions of others. From when they can roam the streets to whether they can rummage in skips. Stella has no choice though, she has to break the rules to keep Quinn safe. He doesn’t function well in this altered world and it is up to her to make sure he stays healthy and happy.

The real problems start when she encounters the prince of elves, under less than fortunate circumstances and ends up in a twisted situation. She finds herself inexplicably draw to this rude snob. He on the other hand finds himself with a bit of a conundrum, because having the hots for a trash rat human – well it just isn’t the fae way.

I’d like to see Jaynes develop the more complex and creative ideas she brings to the table with A game of Stars and Shadows. It’s easy to fall back on the tropes of paranormal urban fantasy, but going beyond those and developing new ideas and following through on them is a wee bit harder. This author has plenty of ideas to bring to the table.

This is paranormal urban fantasy with a flair of sci-fi. Tell us more about the space elves, their world and their culture. Hopefully that will happen in the second book Shadows Grow.

Buy Stars Descend (A Game of Stars and Shadows #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Jumble Sale by Lily Rose

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Jumble Sale by Lily Rose. It’s urban fantasy and magical realism for both young and old.About the Author

Lily Rose enjoys world building and creating characters for these unusual worlds. She enjoyed creating the misfit monsters world, and is looking forward to writing more of their adventures.

Follow Lily Rose on Goodreads and @LillianaRose2 on Twitter, and on AmazonFollow The Misfit Monsters Adventures on Facebook, Visit misfitmonstersadventures.com

Buy The Jumble Sale

About the book

Zadi is part zombie, part fairy with a little bit of robot, which makes her a misfit monster. She lives with other misfit monsters, with their quirky parts in their makeshift town. They survive by hunting at the nearby hunting grounds taking items discarded by humans and making them into something useful. Hunting is risky because they could be captured by humans. Zadi is an excellent hunter and maker, but now she’s finding it difficult.

Something unusual has happened. There have been no new deliveries to the hunting grounds. This means there are no new items which can be used to recycle into something useful, and they are beginning to worry and fight with each other.

Can Zadi come up with a plan which will help the misfit monsters and bring them together as a community?

Enter the world of the misfit monsters, their quirky lives, and be part of their fun and adventures.

Review

I wish this book had been around when my children were younger. My youngest son struggled with the UK school  reading system and their approach to teaching children to read. He just didn’t get phonics and couldn’t get his head around the whole non-words, real words and sounds. I reverted back to Ladybird books and taught him to read myself, but he always remained a reluctant reader.

To encourage him to read I always looked for books, illustrations and premises that were perhaps outside of the norm. Something that would capture his imagination and create interest in the written word. This is one of those books.

Zadi is a misfit monster, she is part zombie, part fairy with a little bit of robot. In fact each misfit monster is a combination of many things. They live not far from where humans dump their rubbish, which is excellent news for the monsters, because what they love to do the most is hunt. They hunt for thingmajigs, bits and bobs, whatsamacallits and stuffs. Anything they can use or make into something they can use has to be salvaged and reused.

Zadi decides it’s time to shake things up a little in monster town. Items are becoming scarce and competition is fierce, so they all need a solution. A jumble sale. It sounds like such a simple idea, but these monsters are protective of their treasures and don’t like to share. Will her idea work?

The Misfit Monsters absolutely fit into the category of stories that captivate and inspire. I adore the whole concept and love the way the author has integrated important social and environmental topics of our era into such a creative and fun story.

It teaches us mere humans a lot about consumerism, recycling and reassessing what we think we need, what we have and how we just throw things away. One person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure. Not everything belongs on the rubbish tip or landfill.

This is a children’s book, about middle grade age, which I would also recommend for advanced readers from six years and upwards and for older readers too. I would love to see a version for really young readers with illustrations of all the different misfit monsters.

It’s urban fantasy and magical realism for both young and old. I absolutely loved it.

Buy The Jumble Sale by Lily Rose (Adventures of the Misfit Monsters #1) at Amazon Uk or the Paperback version at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogBlitz The Raven Coven by Emma Miles

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Raven Coven by Emma Miles. It’s paranormal fantasy with intricate world-building.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 3 x Paperback copies of The Raven Coven (Open INT)

About the Author

Emma Miles: ‘I presently live in the stunning county of Dorset where I’m a cat slave to Wolfe and Piglitt. I spend as much time as I can outside in nature and love exploring and learning about new cultures and languages. I’ve visited Greece, Serbia, Transylvania, Sicily and Norway as well as making several road trips around our beautiful United Kingdom. I paint, sculpt, dabble in photography and do a little archery but most of all – whenever I get a chance – I write.

My writing started from a very young age when I often found myself being the one taking charge of and entertaining all my younger cousins. They loved to hear my stories and although they mostly called for ghost stories it was fantasy I fell in love with when I read The Lord of the Rings when I was ten. I went on to write stories and short ‘books’ for my friends through school and college; then one evening whilst I was waiting for my aunt and uncle to visit an image came to my mind of a boy sitting beneath a bridge. I didn’t know who he was or why he was there, but from exploring those questions ‘The Wind’s Children’ trilogy blossomed and grew with roots going back into his far history as well as stretching out to his future. The boy’s name was Tobias.

I have since left Tobias’s world of ‘Naris’ to explore the Valley with Feather in the ‘Hall of Pillars’ which is now available through Amazon. I am now presently finding my way through Elden, the beautiful Fulmer islands, the ravaged Borrows and haunted Chem with Kesta Silene; a shamaness of sorts with a big journey ahead of her. I hope you come along to share her story and join her adventure; she needs you and you won’t regret it.’

Follow @EmmaMilesShadow on Twitter, on Facebook, on Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit emmamilesauthor

About the book

Kesta had left her heart across the sea. They were at peace, her people saved from slavery, and yet… her soul was uneasy.

Chem lies in chaos, its people suffering as a result of the death of the ruling sorcerers. Refugees flee the cursed Borrows, begging for help from those they had made their enemy. A Queen unknowingly makes a dark, deadly pact, and new powers rise to fill the seats left empty by the Dunham necromancers.

Review

This is the second book in the Fire-Walker series, and I would definitely recommend reading the first book The Raven Tower. It has quite complex world-building, a lot of storylines and characters, which may seem unclear if you don’t read the first. The fact the second begins with a series of correspondence between said characters speaks even more to the need to read the first book.

Kesta makes the ultimate sacrifice by leaving the man she loves behind, but in this book it becomes clear that her sacrifice may have been a lot of hot air. Saying it is one thing, doing it is something else entirely. When she reunites with Jorrun they both realise that neither of them can bear being apart. So the trick is being able to find a way to be together, despite the opposition and obstacles.

Miles has incorporated important topics such as the oppression of women, the prejudice, fear and discrimination against those who hold elemental power and the people who appear to be the enemy. Sometimes there are grey areas, and Kesta and Jorrun have to navigate these difficulties to find a way for everyone to coexist.

It’s quite interesting how the two of them find it hard to balance the fact they are powerful in their separate universes, however when one of them steps into that of the other one of them becomes less powerful, which is probably the real reason they find it hard to agree about certain matters along the way. In this case it’s Kesta, because she finds it hard to be relegated to a secondary position, hence the real reason for her inability to understand her adopted nation.

It’s paranormal fantasy with intricate world-building. Although Miles brings everything together at the end there is always an opening to take the story forward from that point. It has a paranormal aspect to it, however I do think this has more of a high fantasy feel to it. Again, I recommend reading the first book in the series to get the full flavour of the story.

Buy The Raven Coven (Fire-Walker #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 3 x Paperback copies of The Raven Coven (Open INT)

Click here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

#BlogTour Karma by S.C. Cunningham

Today it’s the BlogTour Karma by S.C. Cunningham. It’s paranormal urban fantasy with a flair of Brit attitude.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a Signed Copy of Karma by S. C. Cunningham (Open Internationally)

About the Author

Author of The Fallen Angels Series, Cunningham creates adrenaline-charged paranormal crime rom thrillers, with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes. Having worked in the industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.

Abducted as a child she survived. Every night for months afterward she prayed to the heavens asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Fallen Angels Series.  First in series The Deal is free. Standalone Book II, Karma is her latest release. She is currently working on Book III, Calling.

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of music, film, sports, celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the British Police (Wanted & Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Investigations Hub).

She supports Veterans, MH and Animal causes, is the proud mother to Contemporary Artist Scarlett Raven, loves coffee, chocolate, Prosecco, shabby chic’ing and beach walks, and is owned by three soul-soothing dogs.

Follow@SCCunningham8 on Twitter, on Amazon, Amazon com, on Facebook, on Instagram, LinkedIn, on Goodreads,

Visit sccunningham.com, about sccunningham, subscribe to sccunninghams page,

Buy KarmaAbout the book

At the age of four, Amy was taken… She survived. A week later, another little girl was taken…She didn’t.

Angry that a bad man has gotten away with murder, feisty young Amy Fox makes a deal with the heavens.  When she dies, if she’s been a good girl, would they let her sit on a cloud for a while, invisible, and get the bad people who slip through God’s fingers?

Her deal and God long forgotten, career girl Amy mysteriously dies. Her lifeless body is found beneath a London underground commuter train.

She awakens in the afterlife to discover an international network of like-minded souls who’ve all made the same deal. A sophisticated MI5-esque justice machine sits in the skies. The only evidence they leave behind during their earthly visits is a small white feather sashaying to the ground.

Amy hates rules, she may be a new Angel but for how long?  Abusing her powers, lusting after her partner, avenging personal scores, protecting the underdog, dishing out unauthorized karma on terrorists, traffickers, abusers, hunters, bullies, bitches and competing Warlords will have her thrown below ground.

In a chaotic world of vendettas, jealous ex’s on her heels and powerful adversaries trying to close her Unit down, Amy has never worked so hard in her entire earthly life. She has to wonder if making the deal was a mistake.

Review

This is the second book in The Fallen Angels series. It can be read as a standalone novel, although to be completely fair the author has included plenty of information about the first book, the characters and the plot at the beginning of Karma, that it’s easy to catch up on the story. (Perhaps just a wee bit much info)

The myth or folklore of the feathers or white feathers being a sign of a visit from heaven or from an angel is a widespread one. I am sure plenty of people think there is divine intervention behind every event that looks like a miracle or lucky save.

That’s where Amy and her elite group of angelic interventionists (good name for them, eh?) come in. Amy and others of her ilk dispense a sort of justice among the living, but in a way that nobody notices. A whisper here, a suggestion there, a shove or an intervention at the right time. It makes all of the difference to those still in the realm of the living, and it just seems as if karma is happening.

I think every time Amy uses her powers to help someone in trouble she eases the nightmares hidden inside her. The dark dreams that rip her from sleep and keep her awake at night. Her childhood fears and the moments that determined her destiny.

It’s paranormal urban fantasy with a flair of Brit attitude. It’s a combo of lusty romcom and supernatural adventure written with gusto. A bawdy game of justice with every tier of the hierarchy reaching from the top of the clouds to the bottom of hell along for the ride.

Buy Karma (The Fallen Angels #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com. Buy via Books2read.

FREE at the moment: Buy The Deal (The Fallen Angels #1) at Amazon UK or Amazon com

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a Signed Copy of Karma by S. C. Cunningham (Open Internationally)

Click here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.*

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

discoveryThis is the first in the All Souls trilogy and has just been made into a major Sky television production, so if you haven’t read the books yet the show might entice you to read all about Matthew and Diana.

Diana, who is a witch reluctant to use her magic, inadvertently calls up an influential magical manuscript, which in turn sets a series of disastrous events in motion. It is also the event that brings her together with a suave vampire called Matthew.

I know her reluctance to use magic is a major part of the plot, but man I really wanted to shake Diana at times. A lot. Come on woman zap someone, drown them, fly or cast a freaking spell. Enough with the virtuous witchy spiel. Surely being all sanctimonious and non-witchy gets tiring when someone is trying to spell you to death?

I was a little surprised by the strong focus on the romantic side of the plot, especially because the rest of the premise is very interesting from a magical perspective. It has elements of quite a few popular urban fantasy series including time travel, conflict between demons, witches and vampires, and a fateful connection between soulmates.

Harkness delivers to the romance and urban fantasy readers in equal measures, which is probably why the series is so popular. It’s full of drama and tender moments of craving mixed with the new throes of passion and love. It isn’t exactly what I expected, but I am interested to see where it goes.

Buy A Discovery of Witches (All Souls #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @DebHarkness @headlinepg on Twitter

The books have been made into Sky TV series, which aired September 14th in the UK follow @ADiscoveryofWTV on Twitter.

Buy Shadow of Night (All Souls #2)

Buy The Book of Life (All Souls #3)

Publisher: Headline Books

The brand new book by Deborah Harkness was released on the 18th September 2018 it’s the story of Marcus (progeny of Matthew de Clermont) and Phoebe Taylor. Buy Time’s Convert here.

#SpotlightTour Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova

Today it is my turn to turn the spotlight on Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova. It is the second book in the Bruja Born series which started off with the fast-paced and volatile Labyrinth Lost. It’s a powerful premise with plenty of potential.

About the Author

Zoraida Córdova is the award-winning author of The Vicious Deep trilogy and the Brooklyn Brujas series. Her short fiction has appeared in the New York Times bestselling anthology, Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, and Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women and Witchcraft. She is a New Yorker at heart and is currently working on her next novel.

Follow or tweet @Zlikeinzorro

Follow zoraidazolo on Instagram

Follow ZCordovaBooks on Facebook

Visit zoraidacordova.com

Buy Bruja Born

About the book

Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back…

Review

This is the second in the Brooklyn Brujas series, which deals with the fallout of the dark volatile and life-changing events of Labyrinth Lost (the first book in the series). Lula spends the majority of the time trying to control a bellyful of anger and taking her lack of control out on her loved ones. She resents her sister for putting her in danger and for destroying her physical appearance.

When you’re equipped with more power than you can handle the danger is not being able to control it or possibly using it for the wrong reasons. As a witch one of the golden rules is what you put out into the universe you get back tenfold, especially when it is something negative. I think trying to intervene in life or death scenarios fits into this category. Lula doesn’t hesitate to use her power to take back what Death has already claimed, which sets a series of dangerous events in motion.

Córdova likes to explore the emotional and physical limitations and boundaries of magic. What happens when you break the written and unwritten rules? Does Lula really feel as if she is above the rules and immune from the possible consequences of breaking them. There is also a focus on the tight relationship between the sisters, and why they are willing to risk their lives to satisfy the selfish needs of their sister.

The Brooklyn Brujas has a lot of potential, especially when it comes to the sisters developing their skills and powers, so it will be interesting to see where the author takes the series. Brujas aren’t a common feature in urban fantasy, there tends to be an overall focus on bog-standard witches. This allows for a more in-depth look at the cultural meaning and myths surrounding them.

What I really want to know is whether something else other than fate or the auto-schedule of Death happened on that bus. Was it just a coincidence that Lula was in the middle of an emotional upheaval? Just putting that out there into the universe.

Buy Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Kindle pub date 5th June 2018, Hardcover pub date 1st July 2018

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Buy Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) at Amazon Uk Goodreads

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Excerpt of Bruja Born

They say El Corazón has two hearts:the black thing in his chestand the one he wears on his sleeve.

—­Tales of the Deos, Felipe Thomás San Justinio

This is a love story.

At least, it was, before my sister sent me to hell. Though technically, Los Lagos isn’t hell or the underworld. It’s another realm inhabited by creatures, spirits, and wonders I’d only read about in my family’s Book of Cantos. The place where I was kept—­where my whole family was imprisoned by a power-­hungry witch—­that was as close to hell as I hope I’ll ever get.

But that’s another story.

“Lula, you ready?” my sister Alex asks.

I stare at my open closet and can’t find the socks that go with my step team uniform. I riffle through bins of underwear and mismatched socks and costume jewelry.

“Lula?” Alex repeats, softly this time.

For the past seven or so months, Alex has been extra everything—­extra patient, extra loving, extra willing to do my chores. She means well, but she doesn’t understand how suffocating her attention is, how the quiet in her eyes drives a sick feeling in my gut because I’m trying to be okay for her, for our family and friends. I think I’ve gotten pretty good at faking it. But sometimes, like now, I snap.

“Give me a minute!”

I don’t mean to snap. Honestly. But everything that’s come out of my mouth lately has been hard and angry, and I don’t know how to make it stop. That’s not who I am. That’s not who I was before—­

Rose, our younger sister, walks into my room wearing long sleeves and jeans even though there’s a heat wave and it’s mid-­June. Rose has the Gift of the Veil. She can see and speak to the dead. Spirt magic runs on a different wavelength than the rest of our powers, and being so tuned-­in to that realm means she’s always cold. Rose takes a seat on my bed and picks at a tear in the blanket.

“Can I go to the pregame with you and Maks?” she asks me. “I’ve never been to one before.”

“No,” I say.

“Why not?” When she frowns, her round face gets flushed. Sometimes I forget that underneath all her power, she’s just a fourteen-­year-­old kid trying to fit in.

“Because,” I say, digging through my dirty laundry. “It’s just for the team. You can drive to the game with Ma and Alex.”

“And Dad.” Rose’s voice is a quiet addendum.

Right. Dad. After seven years of being missing and presumed dead, he’s in our lives again. It’s an odd feeling having him back, one we all share but haven’t talked about. He has no memory of where he’s been, and even if we can’t say it out loud, maybe we’ve moved on without him. Alex was always the one who said he was gone for good, and perhaps deep down inside, I thought that too. But I always corrected her. I was the one who believed he’d return, because sometimes false hope is better than being completely hopeless. I believed in lots of things once.

“And Dad,” I say.

The three of us exchange a look of unease. There are too many things that are unsaid between us. I wish we could go back to being loud and rowdy and something like happy. But it’s taking longer than I thought.

So here are the things we leave unsaid:

One, we’re brujas. Witches. Magical BAMFs with powers gifted by the Deos, our gods. A house full of magic is bound to cause some friction, and after what Alex did, there is plenty of friction.

Two, my sister Alex cast a canto that banished our entire family to a realm called Los Lagos. She got to traipse across its magical hills and meadows with Nova, the hot brujo we never talk about, and her now-­girlfriend, Rishi.

Meanwhile, I was trapped in a freaking tree. A big, evil tree. I was surrounded by all-­consuming darkness, and even though we’re home and safe, I still feel that pull, like something is sucking at my soul and my light, and this house is too small and crowded, and I don’t know how to make this fear stop. I don’t know how to get over it.

Three, I can’t stand looking at my own reflection anymore.

I took all the mirrors in my bedroom down, even the one that was on my altar to keep away malicious spirits. They don’t need it. One look at my face, and they’ll be scared off.

“Ready when you are,” Alex says again, her guilt radioactive.

Technically, technically, the attack that left my face hideously disfigured with scars was Alex’s fault. I’m a terrible sister for thinking it. Forgive and forget and all that. But the maloscuros that came looking for her attacked me. Their vicious claws raked across my face. Sometimes, when I’m alone, I can smell the rot of their skin, see the glow of their yellow eyes, feel their presence even though they’re long gone and banished.

To be fair, Alex has scars from the maloscuros too. Right across her heart. But she can cover them up. I can’t.

Not naturally, anyway.

Having a sister who is an all-­powerful encantrix has its benefits. There are a million problems going on in the world, and here I am, worrying about scars. But deep down, I know it’s more than the scars. I’ve been called beautiful my whole life. I’ve been aware of the way men’s eyes trailed my legs since I was far too young. The way boys in school stuttered when they spoke to me. The way they offered me gifts—­bodega-­bought candies and stolen flowers and handwritten notes with yes/no scribbled in pencil. My aunt Maria Azul told me beauty was power. My mother told me beauty was a gift. If they’re right, then what am I now? All I know is I left fragments of myself in Los Lagos and I don’t know how to get them back.

So I turn to my sister, because she owes me one. But before we can get started, my mother knocks on my open door, Dad trailing behind her like a wraith.

“Good, you’re all together. Can I borrow you guys for a minute?” Ma asks. She rests a white laundry basket against one hip and waves a sage bundle like a white flag. “I want to try the memory canto on your father before we leave. The sun’s in the right—­”

“We’re busy,” I say, too angry again. I don’t like talking to my mother like this. Hell, any other time I’d catch hands for speaking to her like that. But we’re all a mess—­guilt, anger, love, plus a lot of magic is a potent mix. Something’s got to give, and I don’t know if I want to be here when it does.

Mom throws the sage stick on top of the clean laundry, scratches her head with a long, red nail. Her black-lined eyes look skyward, as if begging the Deos for patience. She makes to speak, but Dad places his hand on her arm. She tenses at his touch, and he withdraws the hand.

“We all have to pull our weight around here,” Ma tells me, a challenge in her deep, coffee-­brown eyes that I don’t dare look away from.

“Dad doesn’t,” I say, and feel Rose and Alex retreat two paces away from me. Traitors.

“He’s trying. You haven’t healed so much as a paper cut since—­”

I widen my eyes, waiting for the her to say it. Since Los Lagos. Since the attack. But she can’t.

“You have Alex,” I say, turning my thumb toward my sister. “She’s an encantrix. Healing comes with the package.”

“Lula…” Ma pinches the bridge of her nose, then trails off as my father tries to be the voice of reason.

“Carmen,” he whispers, “let them be. It’s okay.”

But my mother doesn’t fully let up. “How much longer will you keep having your sister glamour you?”

Alex looks at her toes. All that power in her veins and she can’t escape being shamed by our mother. I might be just a healer, but I match my mom’s gaze. We share more than our light-­brown skin and wild, black curls. We share the same fire in our hearts.

“Until it stops hurting,” I say, and I don’t let my voice waver.

We share a sadness too. I see it in her, woven into the wrinkles around her eyes. So she just hands me a black bundle—­my uniform socks—­and says, “We’ll see you at the game.”

#BlogTour Nature of the Witch by Helen T. Norwood

Today is my stop on the BlogTour for Nature of the Witch by Helen T. Norwood. A venture into urban fantasy with a lot of potential for future development. At the end of this post you have the chance to win a signed copy of Nature of the Witch by Helen T Norwood (Open to UK only).

About the Author

Helen lives in the UK with her husband, two children and one diva-like cat called Tiger. Helen, like many others, was captivated in her childhood by books from the likes of Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton and any books which took her to new worlds and showed her places of magic and mystery. She has enjoyed writing and creating her own magical worlds from a young age. She is currently writing the second book in the ‘Nature of the Witch’ trilogy which will be out soon.

Follow @ThinkFitFoodFam (Helen Norwood) on Twitter or Helen T. Norwood on Goodreads

Visit thinkfitfoodfamily.com

Buy Nature of the Witch

About the book

Many years ago, magic prevailed in Britain. It was a time when chosen women followed a path forged by Mother Nature herself; a time of witchcraft, of the brotherhood of the Gwithiaz and of the terrifying Creatures.

This has all passed from memory a long time ago. But now, magic has returned. Kiera is the first witch the world has seen in centuries, while Jack must learn the ways of the Gwithiaz. They must not only master their crafts, but also overcome their differences and work together if they are to survive the dark enemy that lurks in the shadows.

In the rugged Cornish landscape where it first began, the two face the dreaded Kasadow: an ancient evil that has awakened and is ready to destroy them, and their magic, once and for all.

Review

The epilogue introduces a fairly complex premise of witches, the brotherhood of the Gwithiaz and bloodthirsty Creatures. The Gwithiaz are sworn to protect the witches, who are selected by Mother Nature as her daughters on earth and given powers to boot. The Creatures are set on destroying, actually more or less eating, every single witch.

Fast forward many centuries and the last Gwithiaz is tasked with waiting for and finding the last witch, and everything is love, peace and harmony. Oh wait, maybe not because it turns out there are still a few Creatures running around looking for some crunchy delicious witches to snack on.

Nature of the Witch is about trust, friendship and learning to control your own power. Mother Nature and the natural ability we all have within us, and the way we can use it.

The premise allows for more books to follow in this story. The reader will want to know where Kiera goes from here. Are there any more of her kind out there? Will she learn to control and use her powers? Are the Gwithiaz completely trustworthy and do they really have a fatal Achilles heel?

Norwood presents an initially intricate epilogue and then eases into a story that is undemanding and yet intriguing, which is an interesting contrast and one that equates to more readers. A small cast of characters puts the focus on dialogue and the storyline. It’s a read with a lot of potential.

Buy Nature of the Witch at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of Nature of the Witch by Helen T Norwood (Open to UK only).  To enter the giveaway click on the link below

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