Review – Awakened

Awakened

by Dot Caffrey

AwakenedSeries: The Power Trilogy, Book 1
Genres: Fantasy, Magic, Sorcery
Release Date: August 31, 2018 (Re-release)
Pages: 326
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | KoboiBooks
My Rating: ★★★★★

Power and Prophecy!

Seventeen-year-old Regnaryn grew up in an idyllic land among mythical beings. She believes she is the last surviving human.

Her world begins to shatter when Evil invades her dreams, demanding she relinquish unknown powers foretold by her long-deceased mother. When Graeden, a young human male, arrives, he further disrupts her once-orderly life. Her emotions in chaos, Regnaryn flees the only home she’s ever known, only to be captured by the servants of Evil from her dreams. Now she must take a stand, confronting her late mother’s prophecy while also attempting to survive and protect those she loves.

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Review – Madam Love, Actually

Madam Love, Actually

by Rich Amooi

Madam Love, ActuallyGenres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Humor
Release Date: March 29, 2018
Pages: 246
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Lance Parker is an arrogant know-it-all. As author of the bestselling book Your Soulmate Doesn’t Exist, he says love is for losers. Madam Love is a fortune teller and matchmaker who has brought hundreds of couples together.

When the two clash during a radio interview, she admits even someone as irritating and impossible as Lance has a soulmate. He says she’s delirious and a fraud. Then the gauntlet is laid down: Madam Love has two weeks to prove Lance wrong and find him a soulmate.

When Lance meets wonderful Emma by chance, he doesn’t know what to think anymore. But Emma has a secret. She’s Madam Love, actually. And it’s going to take a whole lot more than a crystal ball to get her out of this mess.

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Review – When Life Gives You Demons

When Life Gives You Demons

by Jennifer Honeybourn

When Life Gives You DemonsGenres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Demons
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Pages: 272
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | KoboiBooks
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Some people have school spirit.

Shelby Black has real ones.

Shelby Black has spent the past six months training to be an exorcist. Her great-uncle Roy―a Catholic priest―has put her through exorcist boot camp hell, hoping to develop her talent, but ohmygod, he still doesn’t trust her to do an exorcism on her own.

High school is hard enough without having to explain that you fight demons for a living, so Shelby keeps her extracurricular activity to herself. The last thing she wants is for her crush, Spencer, to find out what she does in her off time.

But Shelby knows how to keep a secret―even a big one. Like the fact that her mom left under mysterious circumstances and it’s all her fault. Shelby is hellbent on finding her mom, no matter what it costs her―even if what it ends up costing her is her soul AND a relationship with Spencer.

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Review – Pulse

Pulse Vampire Series Omnibus Vol. 1

by Kailin Gow

Pulse OmnibusSeries: Pulse, Books 1-4
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: March 1st 2018
Pages: ~ 988
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (First book only)

This Omnibus contains 4 Full-length Novels in the PULSE Vampire Series, now in development as a Film starting with its Prequel, Mysterious Teacher.

17 year-old Kalina didn’t know her boyfriend was a vampire until the night he died of a freak accident. She didn t know he came from a long line of vampires until the night she was visited by his half-brothers Jaegar and Stuart Greystone. There were a lot of secrets her boyfriend didn t tell her. Now she must discover them in order to keep alive. But having two half-brothers vampires around had just gotten interesting….

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Review – Dark Goddess

Dark Goddess

by Amalie Howard

Dark GoddessSeries: Alpha Goddess, Book 2
Genres: Fantasy, Hindu Mythology, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Pages: 376
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★★

After an epic struggle that unseated the Azura Lord of Death and placed Serjana Caelum’s best friend, Kyle, on his throne, the Mortal Realm is peaceful and the balance between good and evil—which Sera is sworn to protect—has been restored.

But signs of a new threat to the world of men quickly begin to appear: A scourge of demons descends on the Mortal Realm, and Sera is beside herself trying to locate their source. She sends word to the gods for help, and their answer comes in the form of Kira, the living incarnation of Kali, goddess of destruction.

Stunning and dangerous, Kira plans to protect the heavens at all cost, even if it means destroying the entire Mortal Realm. Soon Sera and Kyle find themselves fighting not just the demon plague, but Kira and her twin. But when an even more sinister threat arises—putting not just the human world but all planes of existence in jeopardy—they must all learn to work together or lose everything they sacrificed so much to save.

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Review – Alpha Goddess

Alpha Goddess

by Amalie Howard

Alpha GoddessSeries: Alpha Goddess, Book 1
Genres: Fantasy, Hindu Mythology, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Pages: 408
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★★

In Serjana Caelum’s world, gods exist. So do goddesses. Sera knows this because she is one of them. A secret long concealed by her parents, Sera is Lakshmi reborn, the human avatar of an immortal Indian goddess rumored to control all the planes of existence. Marked by the sigils of both heaven and hell, Sera’s avatar is meant to bring balance to the mortal world, but all she creates is chaos. A chaos that Azrath, the Asura Lord of Death, hopes to use to unleash hell on earth.

Torn between reconciling her past and present, Sera must figure out how to stop Azrath before the Mortal Realm is destroyed. But trust doesn’t come easy in a world fissured by lies and betrayal. Her best friend Kyle is hiding his own dark secrets, and her mysterious new neighbor, Devendra, seems to know a lot more than he’s telling. Struggling between her opposing halves and her attraction to the boys tied to each of them, Sera must become the goddess she was meant to be, or risk failing, which means sacrificing the world she was born to protect.

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Review – Chosen by Grace

Chosen by Grace

by Alicia Rades

Chosen By GraceSeries: Divine Fate Trilogy, Book 1
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Release Date: February 23, 2018
Pages: 226
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating: ★★★★☆

She thought the demons were in her head… until the night they attacked.

Ryn Tyler didn’t intend to kill a demon when she moved to Eagle Valley—or to become the hero of a divine race of angels. She just wants to be a normal teenager, but fate has other plans.

While discovering the secrets of the supernatural, Ryn navigates a complicated relationship with Marek, the guy who can’t stop saving her life. But Marek knows more about Ryn’s magic than he’s letting on.

Only Ryn has the power to stop the coming apocalypse. But there’s a demon in Eagle Valley who wants that power for himself—and if Ryn wants to survive, she’ll have to fight back.

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Book Blitz – Animus

Animus

by Kindra Sowder

Animus

Genres: YA Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Purchase From: Amazon

General Quinn Ragnarok is a lot of things. Fierce. Dedicated. Intelligent. Skilled. And one of the only women to become a General within the Sentinel of Hydra, sworn to serve the Dominion of Archer’s State as a warrior against those who would dare rise against them. Her beloved dragon, Apep, is bonded to her not only in battle, but in their existence. A bond not taken lightly, for dragons from beyond the Long Realm of the Channel are among the most intelligent, extremely powerful, and do not bond easily with humans.

Betrayal is just around the corner, with the conspirator being one of her own, and war is imminent as proof of betrayal must be presented to the Council. She must rise to the Council’s wishes to fight against the Royals of Paderborn alongside her lifelong friend, Private Victor Shroud. Not only a soldier, but her trusted ally.

Will Quinn have the ability to lead her garrison to war, ensuring victory? Or will she fall to their sword?

Animus is a new high fantasy novella from award winning author, Kindra Sowder. Delve into this new tale and immerse yourself into a realm where war is coming, Halflings are controlling the forests with swords and arrows, and the skies are filled with dragons.

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Cover Reveal – Animus

AnimusThank you to Lady Amber’s PR for letting me be a part of the cover reveal of Animus by Kindra Sowder. You can find and contact Kindra via her websiteFacebook page, InstagramTwitter, and Goodreads author page.

Animus is a YA Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy, due out on April 10 from CHBB publishing, edited by Edd Sowder.

Before we dive into the book, let me just take a minute to offer Rue Volley some praise for her stunning cover design.

About Animus

General Quinn Ragnarok is a lot of things. Fierce. Dedicated. Intelligent. Skilled. And one of the only women to become a General within the Sentinel of Hydra, sworn to serve the Dominion of Archer’s State as a warrior against those who would dare rise against them. Her beloved dragon, Apep, is bonded to her not only in battle, but in their existence. A bond not taken lightly, for dragons from beyond the Long Realm of the Channel are among the most intelligent, extremely powerful, and do not bond easily with humans.

Betrayal is just around the corner, with the conspirator being one of her own, and war is imminent as proof of betrayal must be presented to the Council. She must rise to the Council’s wishes to fight against the Royals of Paderborn alongside her lifelong friend, Private Victor Shroud. Not only a soldier, but her trusted ally.

Will Quinn have the ability to lead her garrison to war, ensuring victory? Or will she fall to their sword?

Animus is a new high fantasy novella from award winning author, Kindra Sowder. Delve into this new tale and immerse yourself into a realm where war is coming, Halflings are controlling the forests with swords and arrows, and the skies are filled with dragons.

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Friday Reads #6: Harry Potter

Welcome back to another installment of my Friday Reads series, setting you up for a great weekend of reading. If you haven’t already, take a look at last week’s installment on Pride and Prejudice.

It only seems right to discuss what Harry Potter means to me on September 1, 19 years later. I’m sure I’ll be writing more posts at some later date, discussing what the individual books mean to me, but for the moment I’ll focus on the series as a whole. And I’ll attempt to be brief, as I could probably talk about Harry Potter forever.

The series apparated into my life when I was in the hospital in 7th grade. My mother bought me a paperback box set of the first three books as something to keep me busy. If I recall correctly, I finished them in two days.

Goblet of FireThen came the wait. You know, the horrible wait between books. I re-read the first three as I waited for the fourth book. When the publishers announced its release, I begged my mom to preorder it for me. She said no, not seeing the reasoning behind doing so, so I badgered her into going to a midnight release. I was determined to read it as soon as possible. She stood in line with me and all of the other kids and parents, desperately waiting for Barnes and Noble to let us buy it. Granted, I’m sure her eagerness had a different cause than mine.

I read Goblet of Fire by streetlight as we drove home, with my mom badgering me about how bad it was for my eyesight. I stayed up until I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore to read as much of it that night as I could. First thing in the morning, I went back to reading.

And when I was done, I had to wait again. I re-read the series during the wait. See a pattern here? I read them all so many times that Goblet of Fire fell apart. Do you remember the scandal with the bad batch of glue? Everyone’s book 4 fell apart. But at least large books are easier to carry in pieces.

Order of the PhoenixThen came Order of the Phoenix. My mom had learned her lesson. She preordered it for me; I made sure we picked it up the afternoon it came out. It disappointed me, though. Order of the Phoenix was, and still is, my least favorite of the books. I can’t put a precise reason to it, but it didn’t speak to me in the way so many of the others did. Perhaps because Sirius dies. Maybe it’s just that bitch Umbridge. Or maybe it’s because I’d started to grow up, and had a new appreciation for what was going on in the books.

Regardless, I read it each time I re-read the series waiting for book 6. My mom also bought me a new copy of Goblet of Fire during the wait, as my original copy (that I still have) had degraded into about 8 pieces.

Half Blood PrinceWith Half Blood Prince, my mom bought me a special edition. It came in a box and had some full page illustrations. I devoured that book, as I had the others. It’s a good thing, too, because I avoided the spoiler scandal about Dumbledore dying. I already knew. I also knew that the last book was going to be hell. Each book got progressively darker, and I doubted the trend was going to stop.

Once again I re-read the series while I waited for the last book. I even read the side books – Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Deathly HallowsAnd then came Deathly Hallows. The book that broke millions of hearts. I’d preordered it on Amazon, as had half of the apartment complex where I lived during college. I watched the DHL delivery people crisscross the paths in front of my apartment, pushing countless dollies laden with identically sized boxes. I was desperate to have my copy, and thinking I’d made a huge mistake by not going to a midnight release, or a bookstore first thing in the morning.

But finally, finally, there was a knock on the door, and my copy was delivered. I spared a brief moment of pity for my roommate who was also waiting for her copy before tearing open the box and plopping down to read. A reading marathon ensued. 10.5 hours straight. I didn’t stop reading to use the bathroom or to heat up food. I’d learned to multitask while reading as a young child, and it certainly came in handy that day. I laughed, cried, raged. I was bereft.

It was over. No more books. I wouldn’t ever go back to Hogwarts again. Of course, even then, us Potterheads had no idea what all we’d be blessed with over the next ten years. If I’d known there would be theme parks, studio tours, another whole movie series, etc. I might not have been so sad. But at the time it was like I’d finally finished childhood, and I didn’t want to let go.

Of course, over the years I’ve reread the books, watched all the movies, visited one of the theme parks (the one in Hollywood), been to the studio tour (and I’m going again in December), cosplayed, and made some of the treats from the universe (hot butterbeer is REALLY good). I have my own wand and a Marauder’s Map. I even read The Cursed Child (if you haven’t read it, don’t. Really. It’s not the 8th book, it’s a travesty.).

But today, 19 years later, it’s all ending again. And many of those same feelings I experienced ten years ago are back, accompanied by a sense of sadness that this time, this time it really is over. We’re here. We’re at the end of the series. It’s done.

But then this morning I saw a tweet from Ms. Rowling.

We went to Hogwarts. And that means we can go back again, whenever we want. So if you haven’t read the series, what better time to start then on the day it ends? If you have read it, go back to Hogwarts with the next generation, and relive the joy, wonder, tumult, sadness, bravery, and magic.

What does Harry Potter mean to you? Have you read all the books? Watched all the movies? Done all the things? What house are you in? Leave me a comment and let me know. And come back for next week’s installment of Friday Reads for another book that has had a strong impact on me.

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