Release Day Party In Deep

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We’re happy to celebrate the release day party for contemporary romance “In Deep” today. You can get your copy of the book on Amazon.

We’re also hosting a giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card to celebrate the release. Scroll down to the end of this post to participate!

About The Book

indeepfinalTitle: In Deep

Author: Kella McKinnon

Genre: Contemporary Romance

“I never thought it would go this far… that a man with such terrible secrets would steal my heart and make me want him so much, when his life of danger and lies should have made me want nothing more than to turn and run. I understood him, you see. I knew that beneath all of that money and power, and yes… violence, was a man in desperate need of love. So desperate that he took from me something I wasn’t ready to give: my future.”

Brielle Dalton thought the few months in Vegas she needed to finish her dissertation would also be a chance to have some fun before ‘real life’ took over. But she never counted on meeting Cristos Vicario, the irresistible but troubled owner of the Adagio casino. The attraction was instant and all-consuming, but in the beginning neither knew that their lives had crossed before, and the result had been nothing short of tragedy. By the time Brielle discovers who Cristos really is, and what he has done in a reckless attempt to keep her, it’s too late. She’s already in too deep.

Author Bio

Hello everyone! Let me introduce myself. Though I used to work in Boston in the biotech industry, I’m now loving life on a small farm in New England where my husband and I are raising our three children. Between taking care of chickens and goats and shuttling the kids to dance class and piano lessons, I find the time to pursue my own interest: writing. I relish creating stories and bringing my characters to life on the written page, and each book is a labor of love.

I’m passionate about the romance genre because of the emotional journey a well-written novel can take the reader on, and my goal with each of my books is to do the same for my readers. I would love to hear from you at kellamckinnon.com, or kellamckinnon@yahoo.com.

Links

Website

Amazon

Facebook

Giveaway

There’s a giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card to celebrate the release day party.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Tours: Promo and Excerpt for Finding Our Forever

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About The Book

Finding our ForeverTragedy Strikes Again

Now weaved into Carson Bradley’s web of boundless wealth and pharmaceutical rivalries, Lillian Ly is altering the course of her bright academic future. She’s determined to follow the beat of her devoted heart even after a devastating loss she’d suffered as a result of a deliberate accident.  With two missing researchers whose survival is based on a drug formula that Carson is unable to deliver, he fears the kidnappers will stop at nothing to get what they want—meaning Lillian’s life is also in danger.

Can they find their forever with all the danger that still lies ahead?

Guilt gnaws at his conscience with each passing day, but despite his shame, he still can’t let her go. She is the flame to his fire, the soul of his heart. Without her by his side, he is just a body without a warm pulse.  Desperate to obtain the missing drug components and keep Lillian safe, Carson becomes overbearing and unreasonable.  Lillian’s strong-will tears them emotionally apart, stirring thoughts of doubt for their future. She knows she loves him irrevocably, but can she survive in his volatile world?

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22647616-finding-our-forever

Link to Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/finding-our-forever-forever-2-by-lan-llp.html

 

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-our-Forever-Lan-LLP-ebook/dp/B00NJRJZ3O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1410622825&sr=1-1

Author Info

Lan LLPOver a long year ago, I picked up a pen and wrote the first sentence of a fantasy that I’ve imagined ever since I was a daydreaming little girl—minus the steamy parts of course. That initial sentence was the seed that grew into my flowering romance book, “Beginning with Forever.” With all my heart, I wrote, rewrote, edited, re-edited and now, I’m finally ready to share it with all of you. My one and only aspiration for this book is to have readers embrace my story and characters with their heart. If I can make someone laugh till their gut hurts, hate with vengeance, cry till their eyes dry out, fall in love all over again, drool over the hero or feel any other emotions, than I’ve succeeded my goal.

I’m the sappiest person in the world when it comes to romance. Don’t laugh! I believe in love at first sight, Prince Charming or Mr. Hot Billionaire in my book, and happy endings. In my heart, every women deserves all three, and they will when they lose themselves in my books. Your fantasy can become your reality with just the flip of a page, so come join me.

Author Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22647616-finding-our-forever

Blog: http://forevertruecarsonlillian.blogspot.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/forevercarsonlillian

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LanLLP

Wattpad: http://wattpad.com/LanLLP

 

Giveaway

There’s a tour-wide giveaway for a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: Cameo by Tanille Edwards

cameo_cover_1500Title: Cameo

Author: Tanille Edwards

Genre: YA thriller / romance

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

New Pop R & B Song “Baby Comeback to Me” by Tanille are included. Email us Music@Tanille.com for your songs. Cameo by Tanille is your next sinful beach read. Be 17 again! This page turning who done it is packed with mystery, drama, and steam. Nia is a high school beauty who discovers she’s being stalked by someone in a secret underground society. Everyone is suspect. The pressure is mounting and problems are stacking up. Who is behind all of this? Which one of her friends is connected with this secret society? And why?

Secret underground societies? Count me in. Cameo is an interesting novel that provides a few different elements: suspense, romance, and typical teenage problems. The book reminded me of Gossip Girl: Nia, our main character, is a mix of Selena and Blair from Gossip Girl, which makes for an interesting personality. She’s the school’s beauty queen and seemingly has it all: the popularity, the beauty, the reputation. But she also has her own struggles, like when someone from an underground society starts stalking her. She doesn’t know who to trust anymore, and who is out to hurt her.

The writing was okay, and the pacing was fast, as is required from a thriller. The stalker didn’t come across as scary up to the point of terrifying the reader, but it was certainly suspenseful enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. Nia’s trouubles, from boy troubles to issues with her girlfriends to wondering what she’d wear the next day, make her sound like a real teenager – she definitely behaves and acts like one.

Nia’s voice is down to earth and has some sarcastic jokes thrown in here and there, which I enjoyed. She’s the kind of person who I might not have gotten along with at first, but by the end of the book I was fully cheering for her. She goes through a lot of character development, even in this somewhat short book (at just above 200 pages) and is another person by the end of it.

An intriguing book, recommended to anyone who likes young adult romance and suspense.

Book Review: Troubled Spirits by Teri Lee

troubledspiritscoverTitle: Troubled Spirits
Author: Teri Lee
Genre: YA Paranormal
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Ghosts aren’t real.

That’s what Annie Waters believed before she snuck into the abandoned Caldwell School. Before the dark presence followed her home. Before she realized, her only hope was to believe.

In Troubled Spirits, we meet Annie Waters, a teenage girl who never believed in spirits. She didn’t even buy her Mom’s favorite story, about how the ghost of her grandma visiting her when Annie was born, and gave the newborn her blessing. When her Dad dies in a car accident, Annie starts blaming herself for what happened. Along with her Mom, she moves in with her Grandpa, in another town, trying to make a new start.

When her best friend Harmony drags her along to the abandoned, supposedly haunted Caldwell School, in search for ghosts, Annie hears the ghost’s voice warning her to get out. But even when she rushes outside, an uncanny cold feeling clings to her, unwilling to let her go. Even the next morning, it seems like a dark presence is haunting her. The girl who never believed in ghosts may have to start believing when the dead start chasing her.

The dark presence in the Caldwell School isn’t the only ghost Annie and her friends encounter, but it’s certainly the most vicious one. And for some reason, the ghost seems to have a vendetta against Annie. Along with her friends, she tries to figure out who the ghost is, why he wants to hurt her, and how she can stop him. Meanwhile, she meets a boy who captures her heart – Drew – and tries to come to terms with the guilt she still feels over her father’s passing.

Annie is a bubbly character, and she manages to keep a positive atittude most of the time – and when she doesn’t, it’s perfectly acceptable. I understood her guilt over what happened to her Dad, and I liked how the book didn’t just blink past that, but made it an interesting point for Annie’s character arch. The connection to the past works great as well. Although I figured out what was happening halfway through, I was still very entertained, and I’m sure readers less familiar with the genre will have more trouble figuring out what’s going on.

Harmony was a great best friend and sidekick. It’s obvious the two girls are the best of friends, and that they’d do anything to help each other. Harmony would go through fire to help Annie. You don’t often find such good friends, especially not in YA books, so this was a great plot point. Mike and Callie were fun too (Annie’s other two best friends) and Drew was all kinds of cute and charming.

The writing was solid, and the pacing worked, with a slow build up at the start and then picking up steadily as the book progressed. Things wrap up nicely in the end, without any loose ends. A great book for anyone who enjoys young adult paranormal.

Mini-Review: The Night She Disappeared, Enduring Light, Drowning Instinct

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Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Night She Disappeared

Title: The Night She Disappeared

Author: April Henry

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.

Review: A dark, unsettling, sometimes creepy mystery that was exactly like I hoped it would be, and more. Usually only supernatural things happen to scare me, but here the idea that Gabie was actually the target, that someone was after her, was enough to scare me. The writing was great and the characters had plenty of personality, especially Gabie.

Enduring Light

Title: Enduring Light

Author: Carla Kelly

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Julia Darling is finally able to marry her Mr. Otto for eternity. But it’s a hard world for a rancher in turn-of-the-century Wyoming, especially a Mormon rancher. And when people start talking, it’s up to Julia to prove she’s her husband’s equal in strength and endurance as she learns to let go of scars on the outside and inside.

Review: No backstory help in case you haven’t read the first book (which I didn’t). It took a while to connect to the characters, and to figure out what’s going on. The romance was dull, there was no conflict, no passion. The love scenes were boring, but the historical fiction aspect was all right.

Drowning Instinct

Title: Drowning Instinct

Author: Ilsa J. Brick

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Jenna Lord’s first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire.

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain… magnetism.

And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.

Review: This book was amazing. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, with a great cast of characters. Main character Jenna has gone through so much that she seems distant, cold, but at the same time as reader you can’t help but connect with her. Jenna’s hardships just about broke my heart. Don’t start reading this one if you’re looking for something light, but if you want a book that’ll change your life, this is an excellent choice.

Book Review: When All Balls Drop by Heidi Siefkas

whenallballsdropcoverTitle: When All Balls Drop: The Upside of Losing Everything
Author: Heidi Siefkas
Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational, Memoir
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon

The true story of a survivor
who through losing everything,
redefined having it all

Heidi Siefkas was a happily married, globetrotting professional who seemingly “had it all”—until a tree limb in New York’s Hudson River Valley struck her down, breaking her neck and leaving her unconscious. Suddenly, life as she knew it stopped. She lost her independence. She lost her career. She watched her marriage disintegrate as she confronted a trail of devastating lies about her husband’s double life.

She had lost all that mattered, but she was a survivor. She fought to restore her health, repair her broken heart, and rebuild herself. Along the way, she gained clarity about her core values, ultimately coming to a deeper understanding of what it means to have it all.

Through down-to-earth, short vignettes, When All Balls Drop shows us how it’s possible to “look up” in spite of pain, deceit, and loss. Heidi’s memoir–rich with hope and humor, inspires anyone who’s had to confront tragedy and reassess their life in the wake of life-altering events.

In short vignettes, Heidi Siefkas tells the story of how she turned from a happily married woman who seemingly had it all to a woman on the edge of despair, in When All Balls Drop.  After being struck down by a tree limb in the Hudon River Valley, she broke her neck. She loses everything – her career, her marriage.

But she didn’t give up. She kept on fighting, not just for her physical health, but also her mental health. She rebuilded herself from scratch, becoming a stronger person along the way. This is an inspiring memoir about confronting tragedy and focusing on what’s really important in life, and on becoming a better person.

The vignettes are about a page to two pages each, making this a quick read. I read it in between breaks, whenever I could, and felt myself drawn to read more and more. The author has an engaging writing style and unique voice. While tragic, the novel is also inspiring, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading memoirs, or anyone who went through a traumatic experience themselves. You’ll find a kindred spirit in Heidi.

Mini-Review: Interrupted, Solitary House, Silent Witness

minireview

Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Interrupted

Title: Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words

Author: Rachel Coker

Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Christian Fiction

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Can love really heal all things? If Sam Carroll hadn t shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie s heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved.

Review: Allie, our main character, isn’t very pleasant. After losing her mother, she becomes a bitter, sometimes even cruel person. Even when Sam, and old childhood friend movies in, and slowly, Allie lets her guard down. She no longer hates christianity, and with World War II raging around them, the world has begun to change, and so has Allie. While the book isn’t very upbeat, it does have a happy ending and was overall enjoyable.

The Solitary House

Title: Solitary House

Author: Lynn Shepherd

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Lynn Shepherd’s first acclaimed novel of historical suspense, Murder at Mansfield Park, brilliantly reimagined the time of Jane Austen. Now, in this spellbinding new triumph, she introduces an unforgettable duo of detectives into the gaslit world of Dickens.

London, 1850. Charles Maddox had been an up-and-coming officer for the Metropolitan police until a charge of insubordination abruptly ended his career. Now he works alone, struggling to eke out a living by tracking down criminals. Whenever he needs it, he has the help of his great-uncle Maddox, a legendary “thief taker,” a detective as brilliant and intuitive as they come.

On Charles’s latest case, he’ll need all the assistance he can get.

To his shock, Charles has been approached by Edward Tulkinghorn, the shadowy and feared attorney, who offers him a handsome price to do some sleuthing for a client. Powerful financier Sir Julius Cremorne has been receiving threatening letters, and Tulkinghorn wants Charles to—discreetly—find and stop whoever is responsible.

But what starts as a simple, open-and-shut case swiftly escalates into something bigger and much darker. As he cascades toward a collision with an unspeakable truth, Charles can only be aided so far by Maddox. The old man shows signs of forgetfulness and anger, symptoms of an age-related ailment that has yet to be named.

Intricately plotted and intellectually ambitious, The Solitary House is an ingenious novel that does more than spin an enthralling tale: it plumbs the mysteries of the human mind.

Review: A mash-up between “Bleak House” and “The Woman in White” that never matches the greatness of either of those novels, but does offer an intriguing book. Charles Maddox is an intriguing protagonist, and the mystery at hand is complex and interesting. The book is a bit pretentious though, with stiff Victorian dialogue that could’ve flowed better. I did enjoy it, and I wouldn’t mind reading more books by this author.

Silent Witness

Title: Silent Witness

Author: Shirley Wells

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

After his ex-wife bled to death in a bathtub covered in his fingerprints, the case against Aleksander Kaminski seemed open and shut. Though sentenced to life in prison, he swears he’s innocent, a claim supported by his current wife.

Private investigator Dylan Scott finds himself drawn back to dreary Lancashire in a search for justice. The evidence against Kaminski is damning, but having been unjustly jailed himself, Dylan is compelled to pursue the case; if there’s even a small chance the man is innocent, he has to help. The other obvious suspect—the victim’s second husband—has a watertight alibi. But Dylan has a strong hunch that as usual, there’s more going on than meets the eye in Dawson’s Clough.

The deeper Dylan digs, the more secrets he unearths. The question remains: If Kaminski didn’t murder his childhood sweetheart, who did?

Review: Dylan Scott is one of my favorite private investigators, and Lancashire is a great background setting for the investigator to do his work. The mystery has a great plot, interesting to the last minute, and the writing is solid as well. Ideal for mystery fans, and I certainly enjoyed it.

Book Tours: Promo and Excerpt The Governess Club

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Book Excerpt

Louisa looked at him, her lips pressed together in displeasure. “None of that, thank you very much.” Her words belied her interest. Sitting on his lap, she could not help but be aware of the solid body beneath her. Her footmen experiences had been well-built, but slender, and she could feel the full-bodied strength of the man she was sitting on. He was big, but any doubt she had in regards to his muscles was now banished. She had to fight from leaning into him and reveling in that physical power. She was thankful the padding around her breasts prevented him from noticing how tight her nipples had become. His free hand brushed some of her hair away from her face, the long ends trailing along her bared shoulder. “Ladybird, luv. We must act our parts. I am just demonstrating the advantages of a darkened pub.” She was distracted for a moment by noticing a small faint scar that ran from the corner of his lip and disappeared under his beard. She never would have seen it if their faces weren’t so close together. “This is –” “Don’t be alarmed, but I am going to kiss you now. The wench will be back at any moment and I don’t want my manhood questioned.” His hand slid into her hair, holding her head in place. “You –”

About The Governess Club: Sara

SaraSweet Sara Collins is one of the founding members of the governess club. But she has a secret… She doesn’t love teaching. She’d much prefer to be a vicar’s wife and help the local community. But this quiet mouse doesn’t want to upset her friends, and she resolves to help in whatever ways she can.

Nathan Grant is the embodiment of everything that frightens Sara. Which is why she can’t understand why the handsome but reclusive and gruff man is so fascinating to her. When Sara decides it’s time to take a chance and experience all that life has to offer, Nathan is the first person she thinks of.

Will Sara’s walk on the wild side ruin her chances at a simple, happy life? Or has she just opened the door to a once-in-a-lifetime chance of passion?
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22056725-the-governess-club?from_search=true

 

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Governess-Club-Sara-Ellie-Macdonald-ebook/dp/B00K53802M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1407070787&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Governess+Club%3A+Sara

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-governess-club-ellie-macdonald/1119443763?ean=9780062292261

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-governess-club-sara

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-governess-club-sara/id874398049?mt=11

About The Governess Club: Louisa

LouisaLouisa Brockhurst is on the run – from her friends, from her family, even from her dream of independence through The Governess Club. But sometimes it’s easier for her to hide from those she loves in order to escape the secrets of her past.

Handsome but menacing John Taylor is a former prize-fighter turned inn-keeper who is trying to make his way in society. When Louisa shows up at his doorstep he’s quick to accept her offer to help – at a price. He knows that she’s hiding something and he can’t help his protective instincts around the beautiful woman.

Their attraction grows, but will headstrong, fiery Louisa ever trust the surprisingly kind John enough to tell him the dangerous secrets from her past that keep her running? Or will the power of her feelings scare her into running yet again?
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22056682-the-governess-club

See the SERIES on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/107899-the-governess-club

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Governess-Club-Louisa-Ellie-Macdonald-ebook/dp/B00K537ZXW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1407071103&sr=1-1&keywords=the+governess+club+louisa

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-governess-club-ellie-macdonald/1119443764?ean=9780062292285

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-governess-club-louisa

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-governess-club-louisa/id874396700?mt=11

Author Info

EllieEllie Macdonald has held several jobs beginning with the letter t: taxi-driver, telemarketer and most recently, teacher. She is thankful her interests have shifted to writing instead of taxidermy or tornado chasing. Having travelled to five different continents, she has swum with elephants, scuba dived coral mazes, visited a leper colony and climbed waterfalls and windmills, but her favorite place remains Regency England. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada. The Governess Club series is her first published work.

 

Author Links

Website: http://www.elliemacdonald.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EllieMacdonaldAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/elliemacdauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7034029.Ellie_Macdonald

 

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/the-governess-club-sara-governess-club.html

Giveaway

Win Two Digital Sets of The Governess Club Books One and Two: CLAIRE & BONNIE)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: Defender of the Flame by Sylvia Engdahl

DOTF 196x300Title: Defender of the Flame
Author: Sylvia Engdahl
Genre: Science Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Defender of the Flame is about the first steps toward the next phase of human evolution — the development of so-called “paranormal” powers such as ESP. Starship pilot Terry Radnor’s life is transformed by the discovery that he possesses these powers, and that others are working to spread them throughout the worlds of humankind. But they face danger. Most people don’t want to know that such powers exist; they have a deep innate fear having to admit that their conception of reality is false. And some of those people will go to any lengths to suppress their emergence. Some will even resort to terrorism.

Terry vows to defend the world that is spearheading the spread of new human capabilties, a world where for the first time in his life he has found happiness. He has no idea of how far that aim will take him from everything else he cares about — his promising career as a Fleet officer, his wife and soulmate, his unborn child. Torn away against his will, he is forced into exile from all that has previously mattered to him, seeing no chance to fulfill the commitment he has made. Yet a mysterious and extraordinary destiny has been predicted for Terry, and fate leads him to an even stranger one than anybody could have imagined.

This is the first book in the Rising Flame series, to be followed soon by Herald of the Flame. It does not depend on having read the Hidden Flame series, which precedes it, since although set in the same world it is a separate story, complete in itself, that takes place 200 years later.

Terry Radnor, the hero of Defender of the Flame, has some rough times ahead of him. When he discovers he possesses so-called “paranormal” powers, such as ESP, his entire life is turned upside down. While some people would do whatever it takes to spread these powers through the different worlds of humankind, others would stop at nothing to keep humanity from finding out these powers exist.

As a starship pilot, Terry gets to play a large role, protecting the world that is leading the spread of these powers. Unfortunately trying to protect this world may lead him to lose just about anything else. But destiny has some strange things in store for the space pilot, stranger than he might have ever imagined.

This is my first book by Sylvia Engdahl, but I seriously hope it won’t be the last. She’s managed to craft a convincing, unique character with a complex personality, goals and emotions. Terry is not always equally enjoyable – he can be moody too, a little headstrong – but he’s definitely entertaining and intriguing. The world the author has crafted, with various worlds inhabited, with “paranormal” powers, is well-developed and complex, with a rich history and background. The book isn’t afraid to touch upon questions of science vs. the paranormal, intuition vs. loogic, and so on.

An interesting, captivating, fast-paced start to a brand new series.

Book Review: Bellman and Black: A Ghost Story

18243288Title: Bellman and Black: A Ghost Story

Author: Diane Setterfield

Genre: Historical Fiction, Gothic Mystery, Paranormal, Horror, Ghosts

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Bellman & Black is a heart-thumpingly perfect ghost story, beautifully and irresistibly written, its ratcheting tension exquisitely calibrated line by line. Its hero is William Bellman, who, as a boy of 11, killed a shiny black rook with a catapult, and who grew up to be someone, his neighbours think, who “could go to the good or the bad.” And indeed, although William Bellman’s life at first seems blessed—he has a happy marriage to a beautiful woman, becomes father to a brood of bright, strong children, and thrives in business—one by one, people around him die. And at each funeral, he is startled to see a strange man in black, smiling at him.

At first, the dead are distant relatives, but eventually his own children die, and then his wife, leaving behind only one child, his favourite, Dora. Unhinged by grief, William gets drunk and stumbles to his wife’s fresh grave—and who should be there waiting, but the smiling stranger in black. The stranger has a proposition for William—a mysterious business called “Bellman & Black” . . .

I feel cheated. When I saw Bellman and Black: A Ghost Story at our local book shop, it was in the “horror” section. When I looked it up, the title mentioned “a ghost story”, so of course I had to ask for a review copy, because I absolutely freaking love ghost stories.

Alas, this is not a ghost story.

What is instead is an atmospheric, but slow, slow, utterly snail-like slow, story that shows little development for the first hundred-or-so pages and even then, barely picks up the pacing.

It all starts with our protagonist, William, who shoots a bird with his catapult when he’s eleven years old. This event haunts him for the rest of his life, and offers disastrous consequences later on. A nice idea, and it might’ve worked well, if this book hadn’t been so…you guessed it, slow.

The characters are paper-thin, and even the protagonist lacks personality. He feels like only half a person, something quickly mixed together for entertainment purposes, but only half-finished. The suspense is lacking, both because I couldn’t care about the characters due to their lack of personality, and because the pacing is too slow to build up any real tension.

There’s no fear, no excitement, no horror. Instead, it’s a bland read from start to finish. I hadn’t read the author’s first book, but although it has rave reviews, I will probably skip it based on how boring “Bellman and Black” proved to be.