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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP


A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber
Book 1 of the Stephanie Harrington series
Read by Khristine Hvam
Genre: science fiction YA
Format: hardback, ebook, & audiobookAudiobook


About A Beautiful Friendship:
Stephanie Harrington always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl . . . until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore. It should have been the perfect new home --- a virgin wilderness full of new species of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. But Sphinx is a far more dangerous place than ultra-civilized Meyerdahl, and Stephanie’s explorations come to a sudden halt when her parents lay down the law: no trips into the bush without adult supervision!

Yet Stephanie is a young woman determined to make discoveries, and the biggest one of all awaits her: an intelligent alien species.

The forest-dwelling treecats are small, cute, smart, and have a pronounced taste for celery. And they are also very, very deadly when they or their friends are threatened . . . as Stephanie discovers when she comes face-to-face with Sphinx’s most lethal predator after a hang-gliding accident.

But her discoveries are only beginning, for the treecats are also telepathic and able to bond with certain humans, and Stephanie’s find --- and her first-of-its kind bond with the treecat Climbs Quickly --- land both of them in a fresh torrent of danger. Galactic-sized wealth is at stake, and Stephanie and the treecats are squarely in the path of highly-placed enemies determined to make sure the planet Sphinx remains entirely in human hands, even if that means the extermination of another thinking species.

Unfortunately for those enemies, the treecats have saved Stephanie Harrington’s life. She owes them . . . and Stephanie is a young woman who stands by her friends.

Which means things are about to get very interesting on Sphinx.
Source: Info in the About A Beautiful Friendship was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10894503-a-beautiful-friendship on 21/08/2017.

My Thoughts:
I'm glad I stumbled upon this book because it was a good read! Compelling story telling quality, beautiful world building, and likeable characters. Even though the plot is pretty basic, it was a solid plot. Not one of those flaky plots that require the characters to be "too stupid to live" to create a dilemma. I hate those!! Anyway, several chapters into the book and I was buying the second and third books in this series already. I am only hoping that this "trilogy" would finish and not end up like Robert Jordan's never ending Wheel Of Time. **fingers crossed**

Another plus for this book is the narration. The words are clear. The voice quality is not grating to the ears. And Khristine Hvam's interpretation of the book is just right, in my way of thinking. Kudos!!

So why, 4.5 and not 5?... because this might be a good read, but not up to Ilona Andrews' standards. Or Carol Berg's Lighthouse dou's category. But still, that does not change the fact that this book is a very good read!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 4.5
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Stephanie Harrington Series:


The Author
David Weber
David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.

Many of his stories have military, particularly naval, themes, and fit into the military science fiction genre. He frequently places female leading characters in what have been traditionally male roles.

One of his most popular and enduring characters is Honor Harrington whose alliterated name is an homage to C. S. Forester's character Horatio Hornblower and her last name from a fleet doctor in Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander. Her story, together with the "Honorverse" she inhabits, has been developed through 16 novels and six shared-universe anthologies, as of spring 2013 (other works are in production). In 2008, he donated his archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University.

Many of his books are available online, either in their entirety as part of the Baen Free Library or, in the case of more recent books, in the form of sample chapters (typically the first 25-33% of the work).


The Narrator
Khristine Hvam
Khristine Hvam is an award winning audiobook narrator, director, and voice over actress. Having studied acting for the theater and film, she soon discovered a love of voice over. You will hear her in TV/Radio commercials, video games, animated series, and most notably in over 200 audio book titles. Khristine has been honored with several Audio Publishers Association Audie Award nominations and in the summer of 2012 earned her first Audie Award in the fantasy category for her performance of Lani Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” and a second for “Astray” by Emma Donoghue. Khristine has also received five AudioFile Magazine’s Earphone Awards for her performances. Most recently she has begun directing audiobooks, a journey she never imagined taking, but one she is thrilled to be exploring. Khristine is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA.



FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

BREATH OF FIRE


Breath Of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Book 2 in The Kingmaker Chronicles
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: paperback & ebook


About Breath Of Fire:
SHE'S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD...
"Cat" Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat's tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what's a girl to do when she knows it's her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom...or not at all.
Source: Info in the About Breath Of Fire was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29895106-breath-of-fire on 08/08/2017.

A BREATH OF FIRE
My Thoughts:
"Heavy on Greek mythology, other pantheon not included."

How does one, "slice my head to the side", indicates a final word? Looks like Sourcebooks needs a more robust editing service.

Who the heck decided that Cat should become Xena?? The cover art on A Promise Of Fire was amazing!! Why couldn't they use the same design team or the same model?? I'm talking about the US versions of this series, here. It's kind of a let-down.

I have a hard time wrapping my head around olive-skinned race from the cold, ice-covered north. Humans living for generations in snowy weather would loose all color. It's a simple fact of evolution. Humans living for generations in hot weather would gain color. They would become dark-skinned. It's an adaptation mechanism. But then again, this is a post-apocalyptic world born from the ashes of the old world. So maybe they were evolutionarily correct at the start and then got all mixed up in the process of breaking the old world and the rebirth of the new, current one. Maybe. But it still takes a bit of a will power on my part to suspend disbelief.

Agon Games, a theme that has been popular lately, i.e., The Hunger Games, etc. That's not what's annoying. What's annoying is our femme fatale goes too stupid to live (TSTL) during the fights. Royally annoying!! So everybody is fighting for their lives and it's not going well for our heroes, and she just stands there, and watch!?! WTF!! Cat has never been this dumb before, why the sudden TSTL now??... Then as if that wasn't enough, the plot depended on the characters who are otherwise level-headed to be TSTL to create drama in the story lines... What was that all about?? That brought the rating of this book down a notch or two.


Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 3.5
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 2.5
Pace = 4
Plot = 3

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Kingmaker Chronicles:



About Amanda Bouchet
Amanda Bouchet
Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.

Her first novel, A Promise of Fire, won several Romance Writers of America chapter contests, including the Orange Rose Contest and the paranormal category of the prestigious Golden Pen.

A French master's graduate and former English teacher, Amanda lives in Paris, France. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Blog Tour: INSIDE PHOENIX


What is great about this book?
HA! A tough question to ask any author about her book baby.

I read all kinds of books, and there are many shifter books out there, werewolves, lions, and bears; we’ve all seen them. Shifter books can be a fun read, and I thought I could write a superior one. Now there is nothing wrong with steamy romance, but I always want an exciting plot to accompany it. So, I wrote a book that is more than boy meets girl equals instant lust. There is plenty of lust, but there is also conflict and a mystery. The characters are well developed and they aren’t perfect. They are likeable but flawed and damaged as are all real people. The reader discovers their failings, their strengths, and their motivations. The heated attraction builds as a trusting relationship develops. Meanwhile, the mystery and threat grow as well.

Shifter mythology has been around forever. From Native American shapeshifters to ancient Greek mythology, people have found the concept of changing physical forms fascinating. The concept of changing into an animal tugs at our imagination and pushes our boundaries in ways we would like to accept. This book explains where shape shifters originated and how their powers came to be.

Additionally, these memorable characters come from fantastically affluent backgrounds that most of us enjoy reading about but don’t experience. High fashion models and NFL stars aren’t our usual neighbors, but they make for a diverting read. Phoenix is fluent in smartassery and unimpressed by this football player who wants her. Ian has never met a woman who wasn’t interested in his fame and body, but in Phoenix he has met his counterpart. The problem is, he has to keep her alive long enough to make her his.

Romance, mystery, and a killer on the loose make this a great book you will want to read.


The Book

Inside Phoenix by Roni O'Connell
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Fiction


About Inside Phoenix:
A standalone, full length, paranormal thriller filled with steamy wolf shifter romance.

SHE fled life as a supermodel to reinvent herself as the owner of a coffeehouse.
HE is a renowned NFL player on hiatus for an injury.

HE is an alpha wolf shifter on a secret assignment.
SHE swears never to shift, denying her wolf heritage.

SHE is a virgin, notorious for her icy demeanor.
HE is determined to make her his.

Someone is killing wolf shifters.
Is SHE the next target?

When tragedy strikes, Phoenix Reynolds abandons her high fashion modeling career to open Brown Burro Coffee in a tiny mountain town. NFL wide receiver and wolf alpha, Ian Brody, comes to town to investigate the killings of college-aged shifters but finds his soulmate in Phoenix. Will Phoenix embrace her inner wolf and become Ian’s mate or remain a virgin in denial of her heritage? Or will the killer find her first?

Content Warning: Contains strong sexual themes/language and is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
Source: Info in the About Inside Phoenix was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):


Follow The Tour


October 31st – A Teaspoon of What’s Hot – Review/Guest/Promo Post
October 31st – Cherry Mischievous – Guest Post
October 31st – Cabin Goddess – Review/Recipe/Guest Post
November 1st – Pixie Vixen Book Reviews – Guest Post/Promo Post
November 1st – An Unconventional Librarian – Guest/Promo Post
November 2nd – Bookish – Promo/Excerpt
November 2nd – A Reader’s Diary – Author Interview/Guest Post
November 3rd – Christine Abee – Review
November 3rd – Bookhounds – Guest Post/Promo Post
November 3rd – Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm – Playlist/Guest/Promo Post
November 6th – Jerre McNeill – Review
November 6th – The Vagaries of Us – Review
November 6th – Heather Ann’s Book Reviews – Review/Guest Post
November 7th – Forbidden Reviews – Review
November 7th – Jessica Belisle – Review
November 8th – Anita Tuggle Lawrence – Review
November 8th – Journeys & Life – Review/Promo Post
November 8th – Book Lovers Life – Playlist/Promo Post
November 9th – LRB – Karin Baker – Review
November 9th – All About Book Divas – Promo Post
November 9th – Cymia Moss – Review
November 10th – The Book Worm Pirate – Review
November 10th – The Power of Three Readers – Review/Promo
November 10th – LRB – Patti Baker – Review/Promo


Meet The Author

About Roni O’Connell:
Roni O’Connell is the author of Inside Phoenix, a sexy shifter romance/thriller for adults, Chameleon’s Spell, a dystopian paranormal romance/thriller, Float, the first paranormal thriller in the YA series Chronicles of D.E.A.D High, and 3rd Degree Secrets, the second paranormal thriller in the series.

Addicted to books from infancy, Roni says, “I love books that explore fantasy worlds and the paranormal—books that push the edges of my imagination. As a child, I spent many of my best hours immersed in books and that passion morphed into writing them. I taught English literature for many years and found some of my students felt underrepresented in the books they read. That is why Float has a Hispanic heroine.

“I live with my husband and three dogs high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. A California native, I find inspiration in the forest, wildlife, and lakes around my home. When I’m not writing, I can usually be found out on my kayak or swimming in mountain lakes. I love good wine and great coffee, and people with my similar wicked sense of humor. I love animals, and I’ve become known locally as the Animal Whisperer as I can get birds to land in my hands and foxes and deer come to me to be petted.”

To learn more about Roni O’Connell, like her author page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. To show you care, leave your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.


Giveaway


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Thursday, 5 October 2017

A PROMISE OF FIRE


A Promise Of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Book 1 of The Kingmaker Chronicles
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: paperback


About A Promise Of Fire:
Catalia "Cat" Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he's ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.
Source: Info in the About A Promise Of Fire was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27015399-a-promise-of-fire on 06/08/2017.



A PROMISE OF FIRE
My Thoughts:
For a minute there I thought I was reading a Harlequin Romance! But no, just a fantastic epic fantasy with a strong romantic bent. This book anyway. I'm not sure if there would be another couple in the next installment. Might or might not be. From the impression I got in this book, this series is about our leading couple and their epic journeys with magic and dragons and evil villains. And, oh... a prophecy. Don't forget the prophecy! Formulaic... eh?! Its not the formula, it's how the tale is told, that wins the game! And this one did! Win, I mean. So why not a five, then? That's because it ended in a cliffhanger. Although I expected that, I was still sour about it. Though the book did end the plotline in the book, it also left a tantalizing beginning of the next book which continues on the main story arc for this series. Which of course how serieses goes. But that don't mean it's still not irritating!


Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 4.5
Plot = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Kingmaker Chronicles:



About Amanda Bouchet
Amanda Bouchet
Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.

Her first novel, A Promise of Fire, won several Romance Writers of America chapter contests, including the Orange Rose Contest and the paranormal category of the prestigious Golden Pen.

A French master's graduate and former English teacher, Amanda lives in Paris, France. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.


 
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