Enter the Creatures

All Souls Trilogy Book Cover All Souls Trilogy
All Souls
Deborah Harkness
fantasy, ghosts, witches, occult
Penguin Books; Reprint edition
(26 May 2015)

It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.

Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew in the stunning first volume of the No.1 internationally bestselling ALL SOULS trilogy.

A world of witches, daemons and vampires.

A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future.

Diana and Matthew - the forbidden love at the heart of it.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires.

Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist.

Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels...

You might be watching this on Sky One – A Discovery of Witches – or may never have heard of this series, but if you like Outlander, then you’ll like this set of 3 books.

I loved them and I’m going to list my reasons why:

  1. The historical accuracy – in clothing, sights, smell and books;
  2. Libraries and Books. The clear descriptions of old books, the way they were bound, the way they were printed, the colours and te illustrations;
  3. How difficult it is to write with a quill – and write clear and clean hand-writing;
  4. Descriptions of Alchemical experiments as described in the books, and as they are to be understood in modern chemistry terms;
  5. ‘Meeting’ historical characters in Elizabethan London. The philosophical discussions. The political intrigue;
  6. Details of Elizabethan witchcraft which ring very tue;
  7. Length of the books – like Outlander, the books are long and rich in descriptions and details. You feel that you are really obtaining full value for money;
  8. The move from country to country and time to time with all the different customs and languages.  And the reminder that Langue D’Oc was the language of most of Southern France and the Occitanie and the County of Toulouse, and that Paris was the capital of France which was not the ruler of this area, except by remote access.
  9. The author is an historian and has actually visited the places she writes about from the Bodleian to the Yale Library;
  10. And finally, they hooked me and I just couldn’t put them down. They were a very good read, well written and clean and clear stylistically, and engrossing. The characters grabbed you and you wanted to find out what came next….

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When Angels get Angry

Blessed Fury Book Cover Blessed Fury
Angels of Fate #1
C. S. Wilde
Fiction, urban fantasy
Independently published
September 3, 2018
332

Once you face the devils, there's no going back. Guardian angel Ava Lightway has spent a century watching over her charges, whispering the words of the gods in their ears. But her peaceful existence ends when she's assigned to Liam Striker, a supernatural detective with no memory of his past. Liam might be Ava's biggest challenge yet. Stubborn and dangerously captivating, he'll stop at nothing to find the demon who murdered his father. Even if it costs him his life. Keeping death away from her new partner is an impossible task. And even if their investigation doesn't destroy Ava, succumbing to Liam's smoldering touch just may. Read the sizzling, breath-taking tale of angels gone bad! Note to readers: If you like fast-paced adventures and toe-curling love stories, this book is for you!

This is a book where the standard fantasy characters appear – angels, demons, vampires, werewolves. but we also have some Archangels and multiple gods – and it would appear a multiple Demon at the top of their hierarchy too. So some differences in hierarchy and behaviours, especially as the main female protagonist is a Guardian Angel and therefore not expected to fight.

But there the differences stop.

The female has hidden powers that she finds when she does fight. She is someone that even the Vampire Queen and Alpha werewolf want to protect as well as one of the major Angels.

It is quite a nice read – damned by faint praise? It did not really make need to see what was on the next page and in the next chapter. And in fcat there were several points in book 1 where I thought it should have stopped – and then we would have really wanted to read book 2 to find out what happened next. I think an editor would have been useful to sharpen it up and  make Ava more intense as a character. And Liam was still rather shallow as a character even by the time we got to the end of the book.

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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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Railways and Engineers

Steam and Rust
Elemental Web Tale
Anne Renwick
urban fantasy, Victorian, short story, steampunk
Anne Renwick
Kindle

In the very different urban Victorian landscape of clockwork and steam driven mechanicals we have delicate females who need protection.

But Anne Renwick provides us with heroines who are rather different. Who are self taught science and engineering, who become spies (!) and who are also rather lusty and happy about it…

Nicely written and satisfactory as a complete story despite its length.

Anne Renwick knows her craft.

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Funny memory when you’re drunk?

The Wolf's Secret Bride
Howl's Romance
Eve Langlais
paranormal, mythology, romance, humour
Eve Langlais
(26 July 2018)

This lone wolf gets the shock of his life when he gets a bill for his wedding in Vegas.

 After a soap opera of a week where Rory meets his real father, attempts a hostile business takeover, torches the family business, and almost gets arrested for attempted murder, he decides a relaxing weekend is just what he needs.
 Vegas has a way of making a man—even one who’s part wolf—forget his troubles. Rory does such a good job of wiping his mind he doesn’t even remember the wedding he receives an invoice for.
Did he do the unthinkable?
 Rory sets out to find his blushing bride only to discover the one thing he never expected. Love. But can a wolf have a happily ever after with a mate who is on the run from danger?

This is a paranormal series of romances where there are wolves involved – well werewolves anyway.

And here we have one who is not really a very nice guy. It seems he ran away from Canada and lots of crimes, and then runs away again to Las Vegas, where he gets rather drunk and forgets what has happened.

And we have a heroine who has been captures by a Lion shifter group (think bad boys and motorbikes) and was held in the Canadian Woods until she escapes and ends up in Las Vegas.

And so we have a meeting and rather nice story.

I enjoyed this and thought Eve Langlais was on form here.

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