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Sunday, 30 January 2011

GuestPost: ALLISON PANG & Giveaway

We have the wonderful debut author Allison Pang guest posting with us today! Author of the most awaited book, A Brush Of Darkness... so let's welcome, Allison Pang!!

It started with a poem.

Specifically the poem Thomas the Rhymer, which is the tale of the Scottish poet True Thomas and his adventures with the Queen of Elfland. In the poem, he stands at a crossroads with the Queen, with three paths to choose from. One leads to Heaven, one to Hell and one to Faerie, which is where she takes him.

I used this concept as the foundation for the magic system for A Brush of Darkness, and then branched out from there. I think the key thing to making world building realistic is coming up with believable rules that make sense (and that the author follows). Asking a reader to suspend disbelief is dependent upon this, because once the author starts breaking these rules for the sake of the plot, it’s very easy for the reader to lose faith in the author and the book.

In BoD, I have three realms of magical beings (OtherFolk)– those of Heaven (the Light Path – angels and unicorns, etc.), those of Hell (the Dark Path – vampires and daemons) and those of Faerie (elves, fae and the like). There are some additional layers between that, but that’s the overall core. The OtherFolk can travel between their worlds and ours via a series of silver roads known as the CrossRoads, which are basically ley lines.

However, I didn’t want these OtherFolk to just be able to come and go as they please into our world – there had to be a price. That’s where the idea of TouchStones came in. (And the TouchStone concept came from another legend of a particular vampiric fairy who used to feed on poets. She was their muse…and they lived very short lives. LOL). In my world, the OtherFolk have to form a written Contract with a TouchStone (a human) in order to be able to hang around in the mortal realm for any extended length of time.

The length of the Contract can vary, and since it can be physically demanding, there is usually some sort of reward for the TouchStone at the end of it. A Faery Protectorate oversees these Contracts to make sure there’s at least *some* element of fairness behind it, but there is still a “buyer beware” vibe that mortals need to be aware of before agreeing to it.

There’s a bit more to it than that, but because the world building becomes so complex so quickly, I don’t infodump it onto the reader right off the bat. Which is another key point with suspension of disbelief. If the author overwhelms the reader with too much strangeness all at once, you risk the reader becoming confused and frustrated and much more likely to put the book down. On the other hand, not giving them enough info isn’t very helpful either.

I don’t believe in spoonfeeding the reader everything up front, but my heroine, Abby, is very new to this OtherFolk world. The reader learns with her and even though things may seem a bit mysterious at first, I hope that’s one of the things that will keep people interested.
Allison Pang at Simon & Schuster
Allison Pang at GoodReads
A Brush Of Darkness by Allison Pang

About A Brush Of Darkness:
I had a naked incubus in my bedroom. With a frying pan of half-cooked bacon and a hard-on. And a unicorn bite on his ass. Christ, this was turning out to be a weird morning.

Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and as sexy as sin incubus who shows up searching for his sister—and is convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts.. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invading her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As Abby is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, she realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.
Source: Info in the About A Brush Of Darkness was taken from the author's website at http://www.heartofthedreaming.com/books/ on 15/08/2010.

Buy Link(s):

A lucky commenter will win a copy of this book  :)

Leave a way to contact you in case you win. Giveaway ends on the 6th of February.

Extra Entries:
Spread some love and leave the url where we can verify it.

Amendments (30/01/2011 05:43am GMT):
  • Please make comments relevant to the post.
  • You do not have to be a follower to enter this giveaway but if you are, it is highly appreciated! :)
  • Have questions? Clarifications? Email us at chericenter-allisonpang [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Please read the Disclaimer as it forms part of the giveaway rules.
Thank you to FinePrint Literary Management for hosting this blog tour and giveaway!

Thursday, 27 January 2011


Black Wings by Christina Henry
Book 1 of the Black Wings series

Genre: urban fantasy

About Black Wings:
Escorting souls into the afterlife leaves Maddy little time for socializing-until devilishly handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in her building. But when demons start appearing on Maddy’s front lawn, she realizes there’s more to her new tenant than meets the eye.
Source: Info in the About Black Wings was taken from the author's website at http://www.christinahenry.net/?page_id=43 on 10/01/2011.

My Thoughts:
What do I like about Black Wings? The way Christina took the popular angel christian mythology and made it her own. Although not terribly original as I've seen the same in various other works in 2010, but still I like Christina's spin on the angel angle.

I also like the author's "voice". It's easy to read with humour between the pages. It makes the reading pace quick and the reading experience enjoyable. It makes the story telling quality very compelling. The author also incorporated modern slang which at times were slightly self-deprecating and often humorous monologues. This added a depth to the character of the main protagonist which made her likeable to me. Besides, humour always makes good reading :)

Bloody good for a debut novel! I think this will be one of those great urban fantasy series on par with the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Can't wait to read the next book, Black Night... roll around July already!

And of course I like the little sassy side kick :) ...here is a nice Beezle image when he is being closed-mouth and ornery to Maddy...

What don't I like about it? Mmmm... I'll let you know when I could think up of one.

In short, here is what I think about this book in empirical terms:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

Other Books In This Series:

Black Night (Black Wings Book 2)
Publication Date: 26 July 2011

I would like to thank Dear Author for hosting the contest "2010 Winter ACE/ROC Giveaway" which made it possible for me to win Black Wings by Christina Henry!!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


A chance to showcase your favourite!
  • First you grab our Wicked Wednesday pic.
  • Then you grab a book. Turn to page 28. Take the first sentence. And then you post it in your site with a link back to WW28.
  • Come back to Cherry Mischievous - WW28 and give us the url of your post (in a comment at a WW28 post) so that other WW28 readers can find your WW28 offering.
WW28 book offering : Lady Of Light And Shadows by CL Wilson
Page 28, 1st Sentence:
It was a tasty brew, to be sure, but nothing that made him want to sit up and purr.
Males are males, no matter the species...

About Lady of Light And Shadows:
Book 2 of the Tairen Soul series
Since her earliest memories, Ellysetta Baristani has feared magic, even as she has been inexorably drawn to all things Fey, especially the poetry and legends of Rain Tairen Soul. Now claimed as Rain’s truemate and no longer able to deny her own magic, Ellysetta is swept into the very center of a struggle filled with the magic and darkness she has always feared. The High Mage of Eld wants to capture her. The most murderous dahl’reisen who ever lived wants her dead. And her enemies will corrupt even the people she loves most in their quest to claim her magic for themselves.
Source: Info in the About Lord Of The Fading Light was taken from the author's website at http://www.clwilson.com/books1.htm on 13/10/10.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Magic Slays Trailer

Being a Kate Daniels uber-fan, can't help but sharing this with you. I love what Ilona Andrews did with the book trailer for Magic Slays :)

Monday, 24 January 2011


This week's loot:
I would like to thank Carolyn Crane of The Thrillionth Page for hosting the Crazy Release day ACTION! Plus international contest which made it possible for me to win Skin Heat by Ava Gray!

Skin Heat by Ava Gray

About Skin Heat:
More wild thing than man…
Zeke Noble has escaped from a secret facility; he has no idea why he was abducted, but the experiments were cruel, soul-killing, and they changed him forever. Now free, his natural affinity with animals has evolved into a dark and dangerous instinct, a curse that costs him too much of his humanity. But he has to rebuild his life, or his tormentors win. To that end, he goes looking for work and finds so much more.

Born to be wild…
Veterinarian Geneva Harper finds herself reluctantly drawn to the lean, mysterious young man to whom the wild is second nature, but she has troubles of her own. She’s the black sheep in an old moneyed Southern family, and she never had any interest in learning the family business, or being the good debutante daughter.

Though Zeke’s wanted Neva for as long as he can remember, their attraction can never go anywhere. They both know that for different reasons. But when a killer starts leaving behind a trail of victims, Zeke’s need to protect her is as fierce as his desire to claim her as his mate. And love may be the only thing that can save them both…
Source: Info in the About Skin Heat was taken from the author's website at http://www.avagray.com/books/skin-heat on 22/01/11.

Escape Between The Pages
I would also like to thank Lori of Escape Between the Pages for hosting the contest Book Promo & Giveaway Pleasure Me which made it possible for me to win Assassin's Honor & Assasin's Heart by Monica Burns!!

Assassin's Honor by Monica Burns

About Assassin's Honor:
Archeologist Emma Zale sees the past when she touches ancient relics. It’s how she uncovered evidence of an ancient order of assassins—the Sicari. When a sinfully dark stranger shows up on her Chicago doorstep demanding an ancient artifact she doesn’t have, he drags her into a world where telekinesis and empaths are the norm. Now someone wants her dead, and her only hope of survival is an assassin who’s every bit as dangerous to her body as he is to her heart.

Ares DeLuca comes from an ancient Roman bloodline of telekinetic assassins. A Sicari, he’s honor bound to kill only in the name of justice. But when the woman he loved was murdered, Ares broke the Sicari code and used his sword for revenge. Love cost him dearly once before, and he’s not willing to pay the price again. At least not until hot, sweet, delectable Emma walked into his life. Not only does she hold the key to a valuable Sicari relic, she might just hold the key to his heart.
Source: Info in the About Assassin's Honor was taken from the author's website at http://www.monicaburns.com/BookshelfAssassinsHonor.htm on 22/01/2011.

Assassin's Heart by Monica Burns

About Assassin's Heart:
The truth of the soul.

Lysander Condellaire never understood why he had telepathic and telekinetic powers until the night his Praetorian father tortured him and left him for dead. Now, the half-angelic, half-demonic face he sees in the mirror is a reminder of the monster he must keep hidden or face expulsion from the order of assassins know as the Sicari. But his dreams of Ancient Rome hint at a destiny he finds hard to accept, especially when it involves the woman he loves, but can never have.

The consequences of desire.

A gifted healer in the Order, Phaedra DeLuca witnessed her mother’s murder when she was just a little girl. The haunting memory makes her loathe everything Praetorian. When she travels to Rome in search of an ancient artifact, she must work alongside a man who once cruelly rejected her love and healing touch. But her dreams of Ancient Rome tell of an irreversible and possibly dangerous future. For the distant past and present are about to collide--with the one man she is destined to love.
Source: Info in the About Assassin's Heart was taken from the author's website at http://www.monicaburns.com/BookshelfAssassinsHeart.htm on 22/01/2011.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Small pleasures

One of the small pleasures in my life which I like to indulge in once in a while is reading in a corner at a coffee shop with a nice mug of brew... Today, is payday with the agency work am with and I thought I'd indulge myself. I shouldn't really, what with money so tight at the moment. But I've worked long and late hours this week... I thought I deserved a little indulgence :)
This is is my cuppa and the view outside the window directly in front of me...



Legacies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

Genre: YA, urban fantasy

About Legacies:
Legacies is the first book in the Shadow Grail series.

Who—or what—is stalking the students at Oakhurst Academy?

In the wake of the accident that killed her family, Spirit White is spirited away to Oakhurst Academy, a combination school and orphanage in the middle of Montana. There she learns she is a legacy—not only to the school, which her parents also attended, but to magic.

All the students at Oakhurst have magical powers, and although Spirit’s hasn’t manifested itself yet, the administrators insist she has one. Spirit isn’t sure she cares. Devastated by the loss of her family, she finds comfort with a group of friends: Burke Hallows, Lachlann Spears, Muirin Shae, and Adelaide Lake.

But something strange is going on at Oakhurst. Students start disappearing under mysterious circumstances, and the school seems to be trying to cover it up. Spirit and her friends must find out what’s happening—before one of them becomes the next victim...
Source: Info in the About Legacies was taken from the author's website at http://www.mercedeslackey.com/books/shadow1.html on 28/12/2010.

Friday, 21 January 2011


Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews
Book 2 of the Edge series

Genre: urban fantasy romance

About Bayou Moon:
The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.
Source: Info in the About Bayou Moon was taken from the author's website at http://www.ilona-andrews.com/books/bayou-moon/ on 26/12/2010.

My Thoughts:
Superb story telling quality as per usual with Ilona Andrews. Book is relatively quick to read despite the fact that the book feels thick for a paperback (462 pages). The main female protagonist is a real kick-ass chick with her head screwed on right. No irritating stupidity there. Then I get to revisit some beloved characters which is always a plus. And of course it has a happily-ever-after (HEA) ending. Well, all the books I read usually have HEAs, probably got something to do with how I choose a book ;) ...so we know it's HEA anyway... but, it is how they get there and how the HEA happened that makes a difference... and Ilona Andrews tends to deliver with a flair... I like that!!

What I don't really get though is the title. The "Bayou" bit I could understand seeing that 90% of the story happened in a swamp. A swamp, mind you, which none of the characters ever called a "bayou", by the way. But the "Moon" bit... I could not relate to the story at all... maybe one of you readers could enlighten me... what the flippin' "Moon" in the title got to do with the story??

Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = 4

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

Other Book(s) In This Series:

DisneyI would like to thank Disney for hosting a contest which made is possible for me to get a copy of this book from the winnings! Then would you believe it, after I got the copy from Disney's, I won another copy from The Eclectic Reader! Thank you!!!
Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog