Enter the Magicians

Three Mages and a Margarita Book Cover Three Mages and a Margarita
The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1
Annette Marie
New Adult, Urban Fantasy
September 14th 2018
Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview—to see if I’d mesh with their “special” clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That’s the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they…offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn’t a bar. It’s a guild.  And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I’m exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there’s a good reason no one else wants to work here.

So what’s a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course—with a pay raise.

Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy


In the words of:

Annette Marie

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

The Guild Codex series was spawned entirely from a single idea: a human who found herself working for a guild. What crazy adventures would her magical customers drag her into her? What would they be like? And what would she be like—a girl without magic who could hold a job among the magically gifted?

I couldn’t let the idea go, and before I knew it, the characters had taken form and the world was half built. The Guild Codex offers the same fast-paced, high-adrenaline adventure and complex magic of my other books, but my approach differed a bit. Three Mages and a Margarita is all about fun and sass—a lighter read with as much humor as action.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

Every book and series is different, but in the case of the Guild Codex series, I started planning about two years before Three Mages and a Margarita came out. I was already working on the Spell Weaver trilogy, so the shiny new idea had to take a backseat, but in my downtime, I developed more about the characters and world. I have pages upon pages of notes, both handwritten and typed up.

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

As a fantasy/urban fantasy author, I haven’t often needed to take my research beyond reference books and Google, but I did reach out to a police department with a question about their uniforms. Calling them was too terrifying, so I fell back on Facebook. They answered my question in less than a day. Don’t be afraid to reach out! Most people are happy to help an author with their research.

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

I’ve been influenced by many authors, but the first one to really strike a chord with me was Anne Bishop and her Black Jewels Trilogy. I love her writing style, the depth and complexity of her characters, and the way she can shift seamlessly from dark, poetic prose to laugh-out-loud humor. Her books are ones that stay with you long after you finish reading them.

Author Bio

Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

http://www.authorannettemarie.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8546572.Annette_Marie

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnetteMarie

 

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Please be quiet!

Hush Book Cover Hush
Nights
AM Salinger
contemporary fiction, romance, Adult,
A.M. SALINGER
(16 Oct. 2018)

Tom Sutherland is an arrogant prick. There, I said it. Okay, so he’s also my assistant and I couldn’t survive without him, but that doesn’t make him less of an irritating bastard — Lana 

Lana Keele is a witch. A beautiful, frustrating witch placed on this earth to torment me. Yeah, she’s my boss, but she’s still the most maddening creature I’ve ever had the misfortune to cross paths with — Tom

When Lana Keele, president of Keele Industries and only surviving heir to business tycoon Oliver Keele, wakes up in her devil-of-an-assistant’s bed after a drunken night out, she fears the worst. That is, until prissy Mr. Perfect Tom Sutherland declares that she’s the last woman he’d ever want to sleep with.

After surviving four years in the company of the infuriating woman he’d lusted after since his teens, Tom has had just about enough of the unholy siren that is Lana, especially when she turns up inebriated on his doorstep one night and demands sex. Convinced that Lana will never return his affections, Tom decides that it’s high time to get over his unrequited love.

Except Lana doesn’t quite seem to agree with this plan. Not after she sees him with another woman. Not after she confronts him about it. And most definitely not after he succumbs to temptation and kisses her.

As they finally ignite the fire that has burned so long between them, Tom cannot help but be certain that for Lana, this is just about sex. Will he be satisfied with only having the body of the woman he loves and not possess her heart? Or will Lana convince Tom that she truly means to give him her everything?

 

This was an adult themed book that I quite enjoyed, but overall found it too short. I never quite worked out what the promise was that was made and why the Uncles were allowed to run the company into the ground.

So, for me, there were some obvious plot holes, that a longer book could have explored and which would have enhanced the story. Without a good story you just get mild pornographic literature – this book just missed that category, but came close.

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Enter fashionable Norway?

Love at the Northern Lights Book Cover Love at the Northern Lights
A Christmas holiday romance
Darcey Boleyn
contemporary fiction, romance,
Canelo Escape
17 Sept. 2018
Kindle

‘Climbing out the window in her dress and tiara wasn’t exactly how Frankie imagined her wedding day…’

Runaway bride Frankie Ashford hops a plane to Norway with one goal in mind - find her estranged mother and make peace with the past. But when a slip on the ice in Oslo lands her directly in Jonas Thorsen’s viking-strong arms, her single-minded focus drifts away in the winter winds.

When it comes to romance Jonas knows that anything he and Frankie share has an expiration date - the British heiress has a life to return to in London that’s a world away from his own. But family is everything to Jonas and, as the one man who can help Frankie find the answers she’s seeking, he’ll do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother.

Now, as Christmas draws closer and the northern lights work their magic Frankie and Jonas will have to make a choice...play it safe or risk heartbreak to take a chance on love.

This story gives you arranged marriages for family business and dynastic importance…  where love is not important just prestige and money … so the brides runs away from her over-bearing grandmother and rather weak willed father who arranged the wedding. And her fiancee who doesn’t love her, but thought that they could come to an ‘arrangement’ that suited the families and left him free as long as the heir and the spare were produced.

She runs (by chance) to Norway and finds some surprises.

I thought this a rather hackneyed storyline and found the idea of her settling down in Norway unlikely; the author didn’t convince me that she could forgive her mother so easily.

I also thought the issues of post-partum depression could have been better discussed and been made more central to the story – this would permit the forgiveness of the daughter better.

I was also not convinced about her being able to set up a fashion house with all the necessary manufacturing and shipping etc so easily even if her designs were interesting. She had been sewing each item herself for instance. I think  again, the author, could have made more of this.

Am I getting too cynical?

 

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How the very rich behave

Filthy Rich: A Billionaire Romance
Box Set
Summer Cooper
contemporary fiction, romance, humour,erotic
Kindle

Filled with sizzling hot billionaires and enough heat to melt your e-reader. These sexy alpha males know exactly how to satisfy you. Look inside to meet the billionaires.

Book 1 - Billionaire In Vegas
Cocky. Filthy rich. Hot.
There’s nothing Jude can’t have in life.
But he’s never met someone like Lacey.
Uptight. Pragmatic. Undersexed.
To him, she’s funny and sexy.
If only Lacey felt the same way.
Will a little time in Vegas change things?

Book 2 - Billionaire Hunt 
Erik wants a family. A baby. Not love.
But he doesn’t want just any woman to carry his baby.
When he was introduced to Misha, he knew she was perfect for the job.
If he can convince her to say yes.
If he can resist falling for her.

Book 3 - Billionaire’s Game 
Billionaire. Philanthropist. Florida’s most eligible bachelor.
Magnus Deacon is determined to win a game show for his favorite charity.
But he needs the perfect partner — Lesli Cabot.
She’s not just beautiful, she’s intelligent.
Nothing like the women he usually dates.
But she’s decided he’s not the boyfriend type.

Book 4 - Billionaire Retreat
Boys will be boys.
Griffin knew exactly what his brother’s bachelor party would involve.
Alcohol. Gorgeous blondes. Paradise island.
But he wasn’t expecting to pair up with her — Nina Charles.
He knows how to charm a lady, how to have a good night.
But he has no idea how to handle the rest.

Book 5 - Billionaire On Air
Sexy. Attractive. Rich. And single.
That’s why he was set up and chosen to be on a TV dating show.
Find The Billionaire!
But he’s sick of the lifestyle and the gold diggers.
Could a reality show really change any of that?

Book 6 - Winning Her
Trent is back in town.
He needs to save the family fortune.
He wants to win her heart.
But Jessi won’t even talk to him.
He may be hotter than ever, but can she ever forgive him?

Book 7 - Claiming Her
Mason dates models.
Well, ‘date’ may be a strong word.
He f@cks models. No relationships.
But there’s something different about Laura.
All he wants to do is to protect her and make her his.
For life.
If she’ll let him.
But something is holding her back.

On the whole an enjoyable read, but I do have a couple of issues with the author – Summer Cooper. Now Summer, I don’t know how old you are – I can’t find a photo of you easily – but you don’t sound from what you say about yourself to be ‘elderly’, so I am going to assume that you are under 50. Do correct me if I’m wrong!

But your writing about characters has certainly got the wrong generation feel about those older than 50. So here are some examples I pulled out of this box set.

(Loc 8760) Mrs Mallory was portrayed as ‘small, bent, with silvery-white hair in a loose bun and ‘for an elderly lady was active, fun-loving’. She was 70! Really – this is a portrait of a women of 70 from 70 years back. I am nearly 70 and whilst I’ll admit to the white hair (dyed though to a better and fashionable gray) and so are my friends, none of us are bent or in any other than form than fun loving – always! We also object to being characterised as being elderly. We are in late Middle Age please.

Why should anyone worry about a 70 year old woman cooking? And for a family? We all do that. All the time. And many of my friends are also minding their young grand-children at that.

And then (Loc 10894) we have someone ‘getting on in years, but he still considered himself young and spry. He wasn’t (my bold and caps) EVEN IN HIS SIXTIES yet, and he was retired’. Seriously. Getting on in years? I’ll admit that about myself in another 10 years. I certainly didn’t feel that in any way when 50.

Finally, ‘I’m not exactly young anymore, you know. I’ll be hitting 30 SOON‘. (Loc 13513). Now the only time you should worry about being getting older to have a child, these days, is when you are 40. If you are looking to have children in your 20s then you are VERY young. mid thirties is more the norm.

My final gripe with this book (Loc 4760) you should  n feed bread to either ducks or turtle. They lack the enzymes to break down the nutrients and this is therefore the worst thing you can do to enable them to eat poorly.

So. I have given this book a 3 stars because of its ageism and its not being environmentally responsible to wildlife.

 

 

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Obsession with perfection

Perfect Remains Book Cover Perfect Remains
DI Callanach #1
Helen Fields
Detective and mystery stories
Avon Books
2017
408

'Must read!' Closer 'I love, love, LOVE Perfect Remains!' Reader review 'A superb debut!' Reader review On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing. In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness... Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine's missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he's eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine's killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care. It's not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes ... The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined. Fans of Angela Marson, Mark Billingham and M. J. Aldridge will be gripped by this chilling journey into the mind of a troubled killer.

A very interesting case is told here in this gripping novel as the culprit gradually degenerates psychologically.
Helen Fields writes a nicely paced story. Compact and concise and one that you read almost compulsively (as yet more women die).

This is book 1 in this series about the half-French detective Luc and his move to Scotland. Slowly Luc wins over his new staff as they realise that he is more than his sexy accent and model looks.
Shame about the coffee though, it appears that in police stations no-one instals a Nespresso!

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