Black Slumber by Helen Scott ~ A Cursed All Hallows’ Eve Author Spotlight Interview



After centuries in the Black Sleep I’ve woken up to find my uncle, the regent, calling himself king. When I rise to the throne will he step back like he’s supposed to or put up a fight?

I get the answer I’m looking for when a mage attacks during a royal court event, cursing me to never be able to feed again. Just when I’m about to give myself to the sun everything changes and I know I’ve been betrayed on the deepest level.

The only question that remains is can these men that saved me from the sun help me take back what is mine?



Once Kyra was around the table and standing behind her seat next to her father, the music changed to something statelier, as though I were an old woman, which I supposed in some ways was true. I ignored the dig at my age and began my own procession through the crowd.
The room was silent as everyone turned to stare at me, like a bride on her wedding day. No applause this time. Just a breath being held by everyone until I entered the room, and then murmurs and whispers spread like wildfire as women and men openly talked about me. It was like they had forgotten I had vampiric hearing just like them. Variations of “Doesn’t look much like a queen to me,” and “She may as well be a child,” and “Look at how beautiful she is,” filled my ears.
Once I was in front of my uncle, I curtsied as was custom and waited for him to release me from the pose. Since the short period of time until I was crowned was the only time he was going to get me to bow to him, I knew he would take advantage of it. That was just the kind of man he was. True to form, he let me hold the pose for much longer than necessary.
“My wonderful niece, how good to see you awake and moving around again! Stand, stand. We don’t need to be on formal behavior here.” He laughed, and the court joined in as though I had just made a complete idiot of myself.
I straightened and tried not to grimace at the mask he’d chosen. A huge smiling sun covered most of his face. There was something about the expression on the mask that seemed slightly menacing though. “Uncle, it’s good to see you again as well,” I said, plastering my best smile on my face. My uncle was a portly gentleman whose salt-and-pepper hair would have given him an air of elegance if it weren’t for his ruddy face. Before I’d slept, he had been a heavy drinker, a fact that his skin reflected even now, though he seemed quite sober. I always found it funny that most members of the royal family had the traditional pale skin that humans thought of as appropriate for a vampire, while other members had cavorted to the point that they looked more like the humans they so detested.
“Come and sit down. We set a special place for you tonight at my right-hand side.”
I didn’t miss the implication. The place was special because he never expected me to sit there again, and he certainly never imagined I’d be able to take his seat. I knew if I drew attention to the remark, he’d brush it off, tell me that I was being paranoid or too sensitive. So I smiled and sat, and quietly reaffirmed the knowledge that I wouldn’t be able to trust anyone in my family.

Where can readers find Black Slumber?

Available exclusively in A Cursed All Hallows’ Eve: Limited Edition Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Reverse Harem Halloween Themed Collection

Grab Your Copy Today!

Available to read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

The veil is thin. Darkness calls. Will you answer?

Halloween curses plague the daring heroes and spunky heroines in this spirited collection of tales. A Cursed All Hallows’ Eve brings you 20+ stories stuffed with everything from dark gods to brooding shifters, delivering hours of decadent, pleasure-filled reading from bestselling and award winning urban fantasy and paranormal romance authors.

If you can’t get enough of those supernatural creatures—vampires, ghosts, witches, demons, and fae—this limited edition collection will alternately thrill you with the spicy and tempt you with the sweet. Delve into these worlds where the living haunt the dead and the undead tempt the breathing.

Answer the call, because this Halloween, not all the costumes are disguises.




Hello and welcome, readers! We have Helen Scott here with us today. Helen Scott, thanks for visiting us.

How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?

I’ve been an author for almost four years, but I’ve been writing for most of my life. I never expected to be an author, I just thought it wasn’t something I could do, I mean who can plan a whole book out let alone multiple books? But then I started taking classes and learning and slowly after a brief stint in the publishing industry itself I decided it was time to jump in.

Tell us about your title featured in: A Cursed All Hallows’ Eve

Black Slumber is the tale of a princess who has been asleep for centuries due to the royal vampires taking turns to be on the throne. It’s all about her waking up and dealing with the new world, and the people who don’t want to take her rightful place on the throne. There are curses and lovers and evil people who just want to have all the power for themselves.

How did you come up with the storyline?

It’s a bit of a twisted retelling of Sleeping Beauty but with vampires.

What inspires you to write?

The characters I day dream about, the worlds I wish I could visit, and of course the drama of falling in love.

Tell us about your other books:

I love mythology so most of my books have some of that running through them with a fantasy twist!

The Siren Legacy was my first series, which is about a group of brothers descended from the sirens from Greek mythology. I also have the Wardens of Midnight series (shifters who run an animal shelter). Both of these are just regular paranormal romance.

I also have the Cerberus series which is a PNR RH, and a Fantasy RH series called Four Worlds.

I’m lucky enough to have done some cowritten reverse harem series with some amazing authors! The first, The Salsang Chronicles, was with Serena Akeroyd (and is a complete series), but I also have a complete series, The Hollow, with Ellabee Andrews, a soon to be complete series with Lucinda Dark called Twisted Fae, and I have a series going with May Dawson called Prisoners of Nightstone, and I have a series called Legends Unleashed Lacey Carter Andersen!

Where can readers find you?

Come on over and join the fun in my reader group:






Don’t forget you can find me and all my books on Amazon: and BookBub:

About the Author: 

Helen Scott lives in the Chicago area with her wonderful husband and furry, four-legged kids. She spends way too much time with her nose in a book and isn’t sorry about it. When not reading or writing, Helen can be found absorbed in one video game or another or crocheting her heart out.

Get more Halloween themed stories like this in 

A Cursed All Hallows’ Eve Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Book Tours: Starter Day Party The Young Vampire’s Survival Guide


I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for horror / paranormal / vampires “The Young Vampire’s Survival Guide”. This tour runs from April 18 to May 2. Enjoy the tour!

Tour Schedule

April 18th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

April 18th: Book Excerpt @ The Young Vampire’s Survival Guide

April 20th: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

April 22nd: Book Excerpt @ The Readers Hollow

April 25th: Book Review @ Recipe Fairy

April 25th: Book Excerpt @ Maari Loves Her Indies

April 28th: Book Review @ PRATR

April 29th: Author Interview @ Compelling Beasts Blog

April 30th: Book Review @ Natural Bri

May 2nd: Book Review @ Illuminite Caliginosus

May 2nd: Guest Post @ SolaFide Publishing Book Blog

May 2nd: Book Excerpt @ The Bookworm Lodge

About the Book

ebook_cover_512Title: Young Vampire’s Survival Guide

Author: Lucy Eldritch

Genre: Vampires / Urban Paranormal / Horror

Within a month of being bitten, it cost the life of Robert James’ best friend. Within a year, hundreds had died. All because of him.

Until Robert was bitten, he was a regular college student. Now he seems to be the reluctant future of vampire kind and his world has been turned upside down. Pursued by the Dawn Warriors – a group dedicated to cleansing the world of evil – Robert’s survival is at stake. Literally.

Author Bio

I’m Lucy Eldritch and I write paranormal-horror-urban-fantasy-vampire fiction set mainly in Manchester (the one in the UK, not the one in New Hampshire) and London. I also love red wine, but I suspect that’s not really something I should mention. Not professional. Something like that. So, consider it un-mentioned.

You can find me here:

And buy the books here:





Mini-Review: The Originals: The Rise, The Dagger in the Desk, Soul Crossed


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 Originals: The Rise

Tite: The Originals: The Rise

Author: Julie Plec

Genre: Vampires, Paranormal, Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Family is power. The Original vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together always and forever. But even when you’re immortal, promises are hard to keep.

Arriving in New Orleans in 1722, Original vampire siblings Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson believe they’ve escaped their dangerous past. But the city is lawless, a haven for witches and werewolves unwilling to share territory. The siblings are at their mercy…especially after Klaus meets the beautiful and mysterious Vivianne. Her impending marriage is key to ending the war between the supernatural factions—and Klaus’s attraction to her could destroy the uneasy alliance. As Elijah works toward securing a piece of the city for his family, and Rebekah fights her unexpected feelings for a French captain, will Klaus’s volatile desires bring their world crashing down—and tear them apart for good?

Review: Whereas the TV-series for “The Originals” focuses on the present life of our Originals family, in particularly Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah, this spin-off book series focuses much more on the past, on their history of the first time when they came to New Orleans in 1722. The book is an enjoyable read, much more so than the Vampire Diaries books that inspired the series to begin with (although, since they’re written by a different author, that probably shouldn’t come as a surprise). The characters are a little different than in the show though: Klaus is in love, for example, and he could destroy an alliance by falling for her. Klaus in love is a different kind of beast. Overall, the Originals seem a lot more hopeful and less angry and bitter than they do in the TV series. An interesting start to the new series.

The Dagger in the Desk (Lockwood & Co #1.5)

Tite: The Dagger in the Desk (Lockwood & Co #1.5)

Author: Jonathan Stroud

Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult, Fantasy, Ghosts

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

A thrilling new case for London’s most talented psychic detection agency—from the global bestselling author of the Bartimaeus Sequence.

In London, a mysterious and potentially deadly ghost is stalking the halls of St Simeon’s Academy for Talented Youngsters. It lurks in the shadows, spreading fear and icy cold – and it carries a sharp and very solid dagger…

The headmaster wastes no time in enlisting the help of ghost-hunters Anthony Lockwood, Lucy Carlyle and George Cubbins.

Can Lockwood & Co. survive the night and save the day?

Review: After solving the puzzle of The Screaming Staircase, our three favorite ghost hunters, Lockwood, Lucy and George, get handed a particularly interesting but potentially deadly case by the headmaster of St. Simeon’s Academy for Talented Youngsters. As usually, the plot is original, has so many surprising twists I can’t count them on two hands, and it holds true to the lore and atmosphere I’ve come to live in the Lockwood & Co books. I’d read anything just to be able to spend some time with this adorable characters and their dark, twisted and entertaining world. The only thing I can say is that it was too short, and that I want the third book soon. Like, now.

Soul Crossed (Of Demons and Angels, Book 1)

Tite: Soul Crossed (Of Demons and Angels, Book 1)

Author: Lisa Gail Green

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

One Demon.

One Angel.

One Soul.

Josh lived a reckless, selfish life, so upon his death, escaping the eternal torments of Hell by assuming the role of a powerful, soul-corrupting demon is an easy choice. His first soul assignment doesn’t seem too hard: the mortal Camden is already obsessed with weapons, pain, and torture. If only Josh wasn’t distracted by Cam’s beautiful friend, Grace.

Grace never expected to die violently at age sixteen, but now she’s an Angel, responsible for saving a soul. She can already see past Camden’s earthly flaws, so the job should be be easy. If only that handsome, playboy Josh would stop getting in the way.

It’s forbidden for an Angel to be with a Demon, so if Josh and Grace stop resisting each other, the results would be disastrous.

And only one can claim Cam’s soul.

Review: I loved the cover – seriously, how gorgeous is it – and so I wanted to give this book a shot. Uhm. Well, it didn’t turn out the way I expected at all. There’s insta-love (I hate insta-love), the main character is a total Mary Sue, the ending is predictable, the characters are mostly egocentric and their “love” isn’t real love at all, and the first few chapters consist of several time jumps, which makes it impossible to connect to the characters. Wouldn’t recommend.

Author Interview with S.G. Redling

22817397I’m interviewing S.G. Redling today, author of “Ourselves”, a book which brings a new twist to vampire lore. Welcome to my blog, and thanks for visiting!

1)      How long have you been writing?

I’ve tried my hand at writing on and off since college. I only began to write in earnest, with an eye for publication, in my late thirties. Once I began writing, I never stopped. I think I needed to reach a level of maturity to get out of my own way.

2)      What is your favorite genre to write?

            I write thrillers, mysteries, sci-fi, and urban fantasy. I can’t say I have a favorite; it’s more like I have a six-second attention span. Being able to write different kinds of books is a luxury I don’t take for granted. Hopping from genre to genre keeps ideas fresh; I don’t ever feel like I’m grinding out the same book. That said, I do love playing around with the rules of reality so if I HAD to choose, I’d probably say urban fantasy.

3)      Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I would love to try my hand at a graphic novel. The storytelling is so tight in them, plus you have the added dimension of such cool visuals. (This is a plus since I loathe describing scenery.)

4)      Please tell us about your book.

OURSELVES takes us into the hidden world of the Nahan, a secret culture that lives among us. They’re human; they look just like us. They work in our offices, they live in our neighborhoods, their kids go to school with ours. They’re just like us with one important exception – we are their prey. They’ve managed to hide in plain sight among us for centuries by diverting our fear and attention with legends of monsters. The Nahan are the truth behind the myth of the vampire.

In this first book, we follow Tomas and Stell, two young Nahan who are trying to find their place in the outside world as well as navigate their path within the Nahan culture. They learn that each of them has a particular –and unusual – skill set which they’ll need to fight a dangerous conspiracy threatening their community.

5)      Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

My favorite and easiest to write was Stell. She’s ‘a blacksnake of a girl,’ wild and blunt but really innocent in an animal-like way. With Stell, we get to learn the world of the Nahan Council since it’s all new to her as well. Plus there’s just something so freeing about getting into the head of a character with such a wild moral compass. She’s ferocious and gets to say all the blunt things we don’t get to say in real life.

As for my least favorite, I don’t think I can name one. There are some bad folks in the book, very bad and easy to dislike, but one of the challenges of creating believable villains is that I have to get all the way into their heads. I have to understand their point of view. Good villains believe they’re doing the right thing; they can justify their actions and they really believe in them. That means I have to be able to believe in them too while I’m writing them. Once I do that, in some weird way I actually root for them. The better they are, the bigger the challenge for my protagonists and the better the story is. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy watching them go down for their misdeeds of course.

6)      What was the hardest part about writing your book?

The hardest part of Ourselves was clarifying Tomas’ quest. As I mentioned earlier, Stell is an incredibly easy character to write – she’s blunt, she’s honest, she’s unsocialized. Tomas, on the other hand, is shy and very polite. He’s introverted and hides things even from himself. Where Stell gets to go on this kick-ass violent spree, Tomas goes deep into a very strange, dark, mind-swirl. He’s got a really hard challenge ahead of him but he’s still the product of his environment. I didn’t feel it would be authentic for him to suddenly become this wild rule-breaker. That was a hard narrative line to straddle – to keep him true to himself while his reality is blown to pieces.

7)      What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I try really hard not to have too many necessities to write. I have this fear that I’ll say “I absolutely have to have M&Ms and blue Bic pens to write” and then M&Ms and blue Bic pens will be discontinued. Besides the innate horror of a world without M&Ms, I worry about being reliant upon touchstones or habits to write. But of course I have some routines. I always carry a black composition notebook; I number them and keep them and load them up with all the brain junk that can clog my writing. Whenever I’m really despairing about getting stuck in a story, I can go back and see that I always panic at the same point in every book. Plus before every writing session, I free-think in the notebook; I just do a quick pep talk to myself and go over what I want to achieve in the next writing session, nothing detailed, just a focus moment. They’re fun to go back over at the end of a book – but I have made my sister promise to burn them all should something happen to me. There’s a lot of crazy in there.

But no matter what happens, I would never, ever attempt a book without coffee. I’m not a madwoman.

8)      How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

This book took the longest of all of them. “Ourselves” is actually a much-rewritten version of the very first book I ever wrote. I wrote it many years ago. It was horrible and needed to be hidden away but I never gave up on the story. Years later, I tried it again, and I loved it but I was still learning how to write a novel. I didn’t put any restrictions on myself; I threw everything into it. That story meandered and roamed and frolicked and napped but it finally came to a conclusion and I really loved it. So the first draft of Ourselves took nine months to finish and it was a whopper. Then came the chopping. Oh the chopping.

9)      Can you tell us about your editing process?

I don’t do much editing as I’m writing. It only took a few times of correcting some plot point multiple times to learn that I work best if I edit after I’m done with the whole story. I don’t outline so my plots tend to go astray in the first draft. The more I write, the better I get at corralling them on the first pass but I feel freer knowing that I can always go back and fix something rather than worrying about getting it right as I go. It’s not at all unusual for my manuscripts to have notes that say something like “Timeline is correct from here.” For example, in my Dani Britton thriller, “Redemption Key,” I started the story happening at night but then realized it all had to happen in the middle of the day. A third of the way through the original manuscript, there was a yellow sticky that read “Now it’s day.”

Once I’m done with the first draft, I read it over quickly, just pounding through to see if any of the dialogue or plot points snag me or drag me out of the story. I write cryptic notes like “Stuff here” and “make thicker” that I rarely understand when I go back to them. Most of my editing is really just chopping, cutting extraneous words and unnecessary actions. When I write, I go a little nuts with body actions (gestures, expressions, movement) – they help me see the story as I write  – but in rewrites they’ve got to go.

I actually enjoy editing. I consider it the do-over we don’t get in real life.

10)   Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

It is book one of a series that I’m so excited for. I love this world! I love these people. The next two in the series are already completed and Book 2 might be my favorite book I’ve written. The working title is The Reaches and it’s a dual timeline story in which Stell tries to unearth her mother’s history while we watch her mother grow up and move across the country.

There’s so much to discover when I’m writing in this world; I can’t see ever getting tired of it or running out of material.

11)   Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write. Just write and write and write. It’s so horribly simple that it’s almost unbearable. Write. Don’t worry about what people are going to say; don’t worry if the story is dreadful. Write it. Finish a story. I always say you learn more from dragging one craptastic manuscript over the finish line than you do from starting and abandoning a hundred potential masterpieces. Write what you want to read and keep on writing. Write a lot and read more.

And don’t listen to anyone’s advice like it’s gospel. As Somerset Maugham said “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.”

12)   Why should everyone read your book?

Because I’m super nice? Kidding. Everyone should read my book in the hopes of seeing their day-to-day world with fresh eyes. What’s hiding in plain sight? What ‘facts’ do we take for granted that might really be manipulations by forces beyond our understanding? OURSELVES and the whole Nahan series is about humanity – what makes us human, how broad can that definition get, and is there a pecking order? Plus there’s a lot of action.

13)   If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

In no particular order:

Dorothy Parker. I would love to sit down and have martinis with her to get her take on any topic she chose. She was so funny, so intelligent, so hard to outwit.

William Shakespeare so I could put to rest once and for all who actually wrote all those plays.

Gloria Steinem, so I could thank her for opening my eyes to feminism at an early age.

14)   What inspired you to write your book?

I wasn’t so much inspired as compelled to write this book and to create this world. I grew up LOVING vampires. From Bram Stoker to Anne Rice, from “Lost Boys” to “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” I couldn’t get enough of them. But one thing always bothered me: why did they feel so guilty? I just couldn’t get my head around it. Sure they were killing people but they had to; they were hungry and they needed blood. Then the idea started to grow – what if they weren’t monsters? What if it wasn’t a curse but just an evolutionary diversion? Who would they be? How would they live around us without us destroying them? Who would they be to themselves? What would their mythology be? How would they use the rumors of their existence to their advantage?

Answering those questions and others not only helped me create a broad and complex world but it also forced me to examine my own world and my own biases.

15)   Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it? 

I’m currently working on a psychological thriller about a woman who is rebuilding her life after a horrible tragedy. She thinks she’s found a safe, quiet place to go to ground to heal and winds up framed for murder. It’s different than anything I’ve written before. For one thing, it’s my first book based in my home state of WV; it’s also my first novel told from the first-person point of view. I’m loving this story so far- it’s dark and tense and looks like it’s heading for real mayhem. It’s set for release in January of 2016.



by S.G. Redling

The first in a captivating new series from bestselling author S.G. Redling, creator of Flowertown and Damocles

S.G. Redling burst onto the scene with Flowertown, a high-octane conspiracy thriller that earned her fans around the globe and was followed by bestsellers including the space adventure Damocles and techno-thrillers The Widow File and Redemption Key. In her latest novel, Redling charts new territory – and puts a fascinating new twist on vampire lore – in telling the story of the Nahan, a human race who live among, but are startlingly different from, “common” humans. OURSELVES (47North; January 27, 2015) is our first peek into this hidden world, a world the Nahan have protected by cultivating the myths of fanged, bloodsucking monsters that haunt legends.

The Nahan have always been among us: working in our offices, attending our schools, living next door. Polite but private, they are also efficient and extremely protective. Young Tomas lives a sheltered life in the Nahan community, his future secured by the long arm of the Council that protects their people throughout the world. But when he meets Stell, a wild, beautiful girl outcast from a Nahan cult, they ignite in each other a desire for a different path.

Soon, Tomas is training with the elite and bizarre order of Storytellers, while Stell uncovers her own skills as an assassin. When they unearth corruption within the Council and a dangerous plot that has already cost one young Storyteller his sanity, they must test their new skills and, teaming up with other young Nahan, challenge the most powerful organization in their world.

Darkly sensual and remarkably detailed, OURSELVES introduces readers to the compelling, sensual, and imaginative world of the Nahan, a secret society hiding in plain sight.


S. G. Redling hosted a morning radio program for fifteen years before turning to writing. A graduate of Georgetown University, she was a finalist in the 2011 Esquire Short Short Fiction Contest. She is the author of The Widow File, Redemption Key, Damocles, Flowertown, and Braid: Three Twisted Stories. She currently resides in her home state of West Virginia.


S.G. Redling

On Sale: January 27, 2015 · Amazon Publishing/47North · 334 Pages

$14.95 Trade Paperback · ISBN:  978-1-4778-2039-1

$4.99 Kindle Price · ASIN: B00LOXDISI


Mini- Review: Fractured Lights, Touch of Power, Enter Night


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.

Fractured Lights

Title: Fractured Lights

Author: Rachel McClellan

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

I’m dying, I thought. This was unexpected and not at all how I envisioned my death. I was supposed to die gardening in a flowerbed as a hundred-year-old woman, not as a seventeen-year-old trapped in a lake beneath inches of ice.

Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. She can’t take any chances. But when she starts to make friends for the first time in her life, she gets careless and lets her guard down. Big mistake.

As an Aura, Llona can manipulate light and harness its energy. But if she wants to survive, Llona will have to defy the Auran Council and learn to use her power as a weapon against the Vyken whose sole desire is to take her light. Now she’s caught in something even bigger than she can understand, with a power she can’t wield, and no one she can trust, except, just maybe, a mysterious stranger.

In this breathtaking and romantic adventure, Rachel McClellan delivers a truly mesmerizing story that will keep you guessing to the very end.

Review: Fractured Lights had a lot of potential, but ultimately it falls short. The characters are okay, and have their own special quirks. Plot is good, original up to some point – I liked the Auras and Vykens. But the writing was ‘blah’ and needs to be improved.

Touch of Power

Title: Touch of Power

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

Rating: 4,5 stars


Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince, the leader of a campaign against her people.

As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for.

Review: Touch of Power reminded me of Graceling. The writing is excellent, the plot is original, the heroine is kick-ass awesome. This is a YA Fantasy the way it should be. The book is amazing, and I’d recommended it to anyone who enjoys YA Fantasy.

 Enter, Night

Title: Enter, Night

Author: Michael Rowe

Genre: Paranormal, Vampires, Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Welcome to Parr’s Landing, Population 1,528… and shrinking. The year is 1972. Widowed Christina Parr, her daughter Morgan, and her brother-in-law Jeremy have returned to the remote northern Ontario mining town of Parr’s Landing, the place from which Christina fled before Morgan was born, seeking refuge. Dr. Billy Lightning has also returned in search of answers to the mystery of his father’s brutal murder. All will find some version of what they seek – and more. Built on the site of a decimated 17th-century Jesuit mission to the Ojibwa, Parr’s Landing is a town with secrets of its own buried in the caves around Bradley Lake. A three-hundred-year-old vampire is slumbering there, calling out to the insane and the murderous for centuries, begging for release – an invitation that has finally been answered. One man is following that voice, cutting a murderous swath across the country, bent on a terrible resurrection of the ancient horror… plunging the town and all its people into an endless night.

Review:  A great debut. If you thought vampires couldn’t be scary anymore, then think again, because Michael Rowe shows vampires are definitely terrifying. The small town setting causes an almost claustrophic feeling. The terror creeps up slowly at the start, and then turns into full-on horror.

Book Review: The Lair (The Farm #2) by Emily McKay

16250637Title: The Lair (The Farm #2)

Author: Emily McKay

Genre: Young Adult, Vampires, Dystopian, Paranormal, Horror

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

In the battle against the vampiric Ticks, humanity was slowly but certainly headed for extinction. For months, twin sisters Lily and Mel had been “quarantined” with thousands of other young people being harvested for their blood—food for the Ticks. Finally escaping with a few friends, the twins are separated—and must continue the fight on their own . . .

After making it to a resistance base camp in Utah, Lily learned to survive at all costs. But when a Tick attack decimates the fighters, Lily and her pregnant friend, McKenna, decide to make the hard trek north to Canada—and safety.

Meanwhile, Mel is being taught how to survive by the very vampire that turned her. Living without her sister is hard, but dealing with the fact that her autism was cured by the vampire bite is an even bigger challenge.

But when a monstrous betrayal places Lily in mortal danger, Mel must set out to find her, save her, and begin to unravel the empire of destruction that the Ticks have built.

After reviewing The Farm, I thought it was time to dive into the sequel, The Lair. My one main issue with the first book in the series was Carter, the main love interest. I was hoping there’d be less chapters in the sequel told from Carter’s POV, and that the book would focus more on Lily and Mel, the two protagonists I did like. Unfortunately, Carter plays an even larger part here.

I want to know how this series ends, because seriously, the plot is engaging, the characters – minus Carter – are enjoyable, and this book ends on a cliffhanger, and I want to know what happens next. But Carter makes it really hard for me. In the first book, I could forgive some of his flaws. But here…he turns from a slightly-controlling person into a self-righteous, controlling alpha male (or at least, he acts like an alpha) who tries to control Lily’s every move. When Lily gets hurt, he starts acting like a raving maniac. I understand freaking out because someone you love is in danger, I do, but he’s just over the top. Lily would be so much better off without him. If he acts this controlling so soon in their relationship, that only predicts trouble for the future.

Also, I’m not sure what it is with YA literature, and with controlling, sometimes even abusive boyfriends. There’s nothing even remotely fun about having a person around who controls your every move. So why do these heroines seem to find that endaring?

I found Lily and Carter’s story rather boring here. We find out a bit more about the Ticks, about who is behind all this, and life in camp. Those are the interesting tidbits. There’s a few tick attacks, some action moments, but all in all, the book falls for the same trap a thousand other books have fallen into before: the love trap. Suddenly the Lily/Carter romance is more important than how the world has gone to hell, and than surviving in a world full of Ticks. Right.

Mel and Sebastian now, I found their story a lot more intriguing. I was afraid Mel would become a dull, run-down-the-mill character now she lost her autism thanks to changing into a vampire, but luckily that wasn’t the case. Vampires here are pretty terrifying, and that’s just about the best part about them. Sebastian was still awesome because I had trouble figuring out his endgame, which made him about ten times as intriguing as the rest of the characters.

I’m going to read the third book for completion’s sake, and because I want to read more about Mel, Sebastian, and maybe even Lily. Carter is a douche, and I wouldn’t mind if he got killed off in a random Tick attack.

Writing was okay, as usual, but there’s a lot of switching between first and third person POV, and present and past tense. Overall, the book didn’t flow that well.

Book Review: The Farm (The Farm #1) by Emily McKay

13542868Title: The Farm (The Farm #1)

Author: Emily McKay

Genre: Vampires, Dystopian, Young Adult, Paranormal

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…

I wanted to enjoy The Farm more than I actually did. I picked up the book after heading home from university, and I craved a good read. The Farm was all right, but mostly it was meh. Surprisingly, considering the book had the super-awesome premise of two girls escaping a farm where people are kept for their blood, which is being fed to vampire mutants.

Lily and Mel, our two main characters, live in a world overrun by mutant vampires called Ticks. They’re stuck inside a blood farm, along with several other kids their age, because their blood is most appealing to the Ticks. However, they need to escape fast, because they’re reaching the age of maturity – and no one knows what happens to people who do. They just vanish. Lily doesn’t want that to happen, so she and her mentally handicapped sister Mel, need to escape. Except that’s not as easy as it sounds. Even letting Mel in on the escape plan is a hassle.

The best part about this book, no doubt, was the relationship between Mel and Lily. They have an unique connection. Lily is often frustrated with Mel, who has all kinds of quirks, but she loves her sister despite all that, and Mel loves Lily too, although she doesn’t always understand why Lily does the things she does. I enjoyed the chapters from Mel’s POV the most. The author obviously did her research, and she told Mel’s side of the story in a clever, interesting way.

What was not that convincing though, was the male love interest. Carter. He’s apparently all that, and then some, and Lily has fallen for him ever since she first met him – and apparently the insta-love is mutual. But Carter, if anything, is just ‘meh’. He’s not interesting. He’s not alluring. And he hides way too many secrets. Why Lily trusted him even after he admitted to keeping secrets from her, is beyond me. Also, the chapters from Carter’s POV bordered on being boring. His POV seemed repetitive, and not necessary at all – he didn’t offer anything new to the table.

I would’ve preferred if the story had focused on Lily’s and Mel’s POV only. I disliked Carter, and I found him a liar, who kept things for Lily ‘to protect her’, which never works, and the book owuld’ve worked better without him. Sebastian was all right though, at least he had a reason for being a pretentious jerk (which I won’t explain, because it would be a spoiler).

All in all, not as enjoyable as I hoped, but an okay read nevertheless.

Mini-Review: Unspoken, Covet, The Enchanted Truth


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.


Title: Unspoken

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

Review: Kami Glass has always talked to a boy in her mind. This was an unique premise, and the book delivers easily on its unique plot. There was a lot of mystery, and it was rather complicated, which I enjoyed. I’m not sure if everyone is who they’re pretending to be, and I love that about a book.


Title: Covet (The Clann #2)

Author: Melissa Darnell

Genre: Vampires, Witches, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Dangerous to be together. Painful to be apart.

Savannah Colbert knows she broke up with Tristan Coleman for the right reasons. Most of all, to keep from killing him with her new vampire abilities. But try telling her heart. Now, lost in a sea of hostile Clann faces, Sav tries to come to terms with what she's becoming and what that means for her future. And that someone is doing their best to bully her into making a terrible mistake.

Tristan can’t believe Sav won’t even talk to him. If being apart is her decision, fine. Just don't expect him to honor it. But even as he prepares to fight for the girl he loves, forces beyond their control take them both in directions neither could have foreseen or prepared for.

A reckoning is coming, and not everyone will survive.

Review: I didn’t really like Crave, the first book in the series. I thought most of it was hilariously stupid,  but I decided to give Savannah another shot in this sequel. The book isn’t much better than the first one though. The pacing was agonizingly slow, Savannah is ridiculous, whiny, and pathetic. Tristan isn’t much better. Not recommended.

The Enchanted Truth

Title: The Enchanted Truth

Author: Kym Petrie

Genre: Short Stories, Fairytales, Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

In this humorous and insightful tale, a modern day princess finds herself single and asking for magical intervention to change her sorry love life. Rather than casting a spell to bring Prince Charming to her rescue, a savvy fairy godmother gives the tenderhearted damsel an unexpected gift. By entrusting her true thoughts and desires to an unlikely confidant, the young royal soon discovers that the person who could make her life everything she dreamed it would be has been with her all along.

As author Kym Petrie herself realized, every woman needs a froggy friend and a secret journal—and enough adventures with the girls to keep her heart pounding and her mind racing. Life is meant to be about happy beginnings . . . you can never have enough of them.

Review: A princess asks her grandmother for magical intervention to change her sorry love life. But things don’t work out like the princess expected. The tale is short, insightful and humorous. It’s inspired by the Frog Prince story. It’s funny at times, and a short read, so it’s over fast. An enjoyable book for everyone who loves fairytales.


Book Tours: Starter Day Party Valentina and the Haunted Mansion


Well, this is something different. I’m hosting a starter day party for a tour for my own book this time around! My picture book, “Valentina and the Haunted Mansion” will be touring from October 1st to November 1st. There are still some empty spots during the tour, so if you’d like to participate in the fun, please comment or get in touch.

Tour Schedule

October 1st: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

October 2nd: Book Review @ Muse Unleashed

October 3rd: Book Excerpt @ Rose and Beps Blog

October 4th: Book Review @ Brooke Blogs

October 5th: Author Interview @ Froggarita’s Bookcase

October 6th: Book Review @ Deal Sharing Aunt

October 7th: Book Excerpt @ One World Singles Blog

October 8th: Book Review @ The Readers Hollow

October 9th: Book Review @ Books, Books and More Books

October 10th:  Book Review @ Spiced Latte

October 15th: Guest Post @ Runaway Pen

October 19th: Book Excerpt @ Margo Bond Collins’ Blog

October 23rd: Book Review @ Sweet Southern Home

October 27th: Book Review @ Rambling Voices In My Head

October 27th: Guest Post @ Sylv Jenkins’ Blog

October 28th: Book Review @ Must Read Faster

October 31st: Book Review @ Book Suburbia

Valentina and The Haunted Mansion

Valentina_Haunted_Mansion_300dpi_2x2p9_CompValentina isn’t thrilled with her parents’ decision to move into an ancient, gigantic mansion in the middle of nowhere—filled with dark, unsettling rooms, and far away from civilization, where they don’t have to worry about hiding who they are. Sure, it may be perfect for a vampire family like hers, but moving here meant leaving her best friends behind.

The new house has some perks, though. Valentina gets to choose her own room, and when she explores the mansion on her own, she discovers a trophy room, a museum room, a music room, and much more.

From the moment Valentina started exploring, however, she’s felt someone watching her. Strange things start to happen all around her: footprints appear in the dust, a disembodied voice sneezes….

…and just because Valentina is a vampire, doesn’t mean she doesn’t get scared like any other little girl.

Release Date: May 20th, 2013goodreads-badge
Format: eBook, Paperback and Hardcover

Evolved Pub | Amazon (US) | B&N | Smashwords | Sony | iTunes | Kobo |Amazon (UK)

Book Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

8667848Title: A Discovery of Witches

Author: Deborah Harkness

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 0.5 stars

Purchase: Amazon, B&N

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

A Discovery of Witches did absolutely nothing for me. The book starts out so promising, but as soon as the romance enters the picture, the book turns from potentially intriguing to downright boring, bland and some kind of twisted Twilight rip-off that probably started out as fanfiction.

Diana Bishop, our main character, is a scholar with an impressive IQ and the ability to summon a manuscript the entire paranormal world wants, but nobody has seen around in years. When she needs the manuscript for her research and asks it from the library, the manuscript, a book talking about alchemy, appears. Instantly this makes her the target of the Stalker Army, or, in other words, an entire army of demons, vampires and witches who want nothing more than to get their hands on the manuscript. Problem? When Diana asks for it again, the manuscript appears as lost as it has been for the last three centuries. Diana is the descendent of a powerful line of witches, but she’s been hiding her witch abilities ever since her parents were murdered, so the last thing she wants is the Stalker Army at her back – and who blames her?

But then Matthew Clairmont walks in, an enigmatic and supposedly charming, aristocratic vampire who’s been around for the last thousand-or-so years and for some reason unknown to mankind, thinks Diana is the most amazing woman he’s ever laid eyes upon.  I’m willing to understand his point at the start of the book, because Diana was pretty cool in a nerdy, scholarly way, but as soon as Diana and Matthew meet, her personality goes entirely downhill. Diana isn’t fond of Matthew’s attention at first, mostly because she doesn’t want to communicate with vampires. But then she begins falling for him. Even if he’s a stalker of the sort that makes Twilight-Edward seem like a harmless kid.

Matthew breaks into Diana’s apartment and follows her everywhere, all in the name of protecting her. Right, I’m sure all stalkers in the world would agree they’re just “protecting” the person they’re stalking. The worst part is that Diana, who was clever, intelligent and down-to-earth at the start of the book, quickly turns into a mumbling, agreeing, head over heels in love, older version of Bella. All the more annoying is this change because Diana was a likeable character at the start. She had personality. In walks Matthew, gone is personality.

Matthew is extremely controlling. He starts to decide every aspect of Diana’s life. Even worse than that, he binds her to a huge commitment without her knowledge. But she’s okay with that. He’s acting all powerful and bossy, and she’s fine with that. At least in the Twilight books there was a logical reason behind this – Bella, who was human, was a much easier target than Edward. But here Diana has powers of her own, quite impressive powers to say the least. If she unleashes them, there’s no foe who could stand against her. Yet instead of using the powers she inherited, she turns to Matthew for help. Every single time. Like she has no mind of her own. She becomes the epitome of a damsel in distress.

The plot isn’t really that spectacular either. Diana summons the manuscript – pretty cool – and the entire supernatural population wants it, although have of them have no idea why. A war is about to start between the supernatural races, all because of this manuscript. That’s a nice idea, but it never develops into a full plot because as soon as Matthew and Diana fall in love, their romance becomes the plot, and everything else is pushed to the side.

Also? The entire book seems to span about a week. So Diana falls head over heels with Matthew in a week, they move to his castle, and they’re willing to risk their life for each other. Yeah. I’m totally buying that story.

Compared to this, Twilight should’ve won an award.

Diana is the most annoying character in history. She quickly becomes a total Mary Sue, with every possible witch power you can think of, making the Charmed witches look like amateurs. Yet she constantly screams for help and waits for Matthew to come rescue her. She has no more mind of her own, everything he does is all right for her, even if he’s a controlling freak.

Matthew isn’t a love interest – he’s a psychopathic stalker. He makes every decision involving Diana without her consent, controls her in every possible way, and keeps secrets from her to protect her. He’s obnoxious and annoying, hangs on to ancient beliefs and constantly wants to be an alpha male.

Then there’s the sheer length of this “gem”. The book is a whopping 600 pages, and about 200 or more of these could’ve been easily chopped. Nothing happens for dozens of pages except boring, supposedly romantic conversation that completely falls flat. A lot of stuff feels repetitive. Diana sleeps, drinks herbal tea, waits for Matthew to return, sleeps again, and repeat. There’s also a lot of wine drinking, begging for sex (yes, Diana really begs Matthew for sex at some point) and a lot of sitting around and doing nothing. Nothing really happens until at the end, and then the action is over in a heartbeat.

There were only two things slightly redeeming about this book. One was the academic setting. The libraries and academic buildings were very well described, and I could imagine myself walking there. Two, was the house of Diana’s aunt. The house almost had its own personality. It could add rooms whenever more guests arrived, kept out the bad guys, and changed by will. Pretty darn awesome.

Unfortunately, that’s the only thing remotely awesome about this book.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone, unless you feel like Twilight didn’t give you enough reasons to pull your hair out.