Books/book review/Fantasy

Cinderella goes to the Moon

Lunar Chronicles – A Series of 4 + 1


Marissa Meyer.

Do you sometimes get urges to read whole series? Even when there are 6 or 7 books in the series? And some are 800 pages long? But you really must just find out what happens to the characters as the story progresses?
In my view a true reader of sagas always wants to get to the finale... but never the end, and thus we are very lucky when we find out that yes, a new book will be published in...(usually 2 year’s time but heh, who’s counting?)
Well even if you don’t read these series all in one sitting – or over a week or so, I do. And thus began my Xmas reading.
I get these emails from book reviewing websites – I get Buzzfeed and BlogLoving and they lead me to sites where people review books etc and at the end of the year, we seemed to be getting a lot of lists – the best of and so on. And one list I was led to was the best of fantasy books come out last year.
Now I  don’t necessarily read the ‘best of books’ as indicated by other reviewers as I don’t often purchase books for myself as a rule as I get the NetGalley feed, and are offered books by authors,  and am on several publishers/blog-tour listings (including being in the Brash Priority Circle) and thus get offered more books than I could ever read and review on a regular basis. But at this time of year I was interested to see what other people were reading, and of course, what they thought of the books. And who reviewed the same books as me, and whether or not they agreed.
So I read the list and many didn’t appeal, but one book stood out because it was based on traditional fairy-stories but updated to a fantasy time in the future, where we had a colony, long established on the moon, and had improved our surgery levels to supply people missing limbs etc with artificial limbs that came with batteries and power and pockets for stashing tools and... now this really appealed to me as I have 2 artificial knees and I have always wanted to have batteries/motor power installed in them so that they could carry me along without my effort.wellwrittenbookpileADDICTIVEmust-readoutofthisworld
But this was actually the fourth in the ‘real’ series – there is another which is a side story which also came out last year. So having scouted around the fourth book, I decided I needed to read the first, the second, and the third! And then the fourth properly. So Amazon got my money again (see the reviews to come on the St Mary’s Chronicles – there were yet more these books but they were cheaper per book).
Anyway. Here we have a set of books based on fairytales, reworked as fantasy – science fiction. So what’s not to love?
We have cyborgs, space ships, computers hackers (white and black hat), lunar colonies, mind control, DNA manipulation, wolves, a deadly disease, wars and more fights, miraculous rescues, androids with a sense of humour and sarcasm – have I missed anything? Ah yes, the equivalent of a Wicked Witch. Possibly more, but it’s all there in these books. Richly imagined in a new world that makes sense and is consistent across the books – but do make sure you start with Cinders – number 1 – or you might find yourself lost as the stories are complex and the villain is often changing coat!
I definitely agree that is one of the best fantasy/science fiction series to come out recently. One of the best in the genre altogether. Not quite a classic like Arthur C. Clark’s stories but great fun to read and you really do get hooked and what to know what happens next.
Davis says that great stories have 5 parts – the introduction where you discover what the story is about and the main characters – the action – the classic crisis where everything falls to bits but – the part where it is resolved and you can take a breath that we are getting there – and finally the lessons we can learn to pass on.
If you look at the original stories such as Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and so on, you can see these 5 sections very clearly. Here parts 2, 3, and 4 happen in not just one book but all of them combining as the characters don’t go away when their story is finished but help tell the next story and the next and the next. So Cinders appears in all books and indeed, her story is the link and hook that brings in Scarlet, Cress and Winter to complete  Cinder’s story.
5 stars for all these 4 books. I still have to read the Wicked Witch’s own story – Fairest – but will get to this later in the year.
cress winter scarlet

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The World is Collapsing

State of Destruction
Summer Lane
(Collapse #7)
Publication date: January 29th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

The destruction of California is at hand.
Cassidy Hart and Chris Young have survived a dangerous mission into the heart of Sky City, a secret Omega base hidden deep in the mountains, but their vengeance has come with a price. The dark, ominous cloud of nuclear war threatens to destroy everything they love, and they are forced to make one final stand against Omega’s western invasion force.
San Francisco.
 Cassidy and her friends retreat to Alcatraz Island, regrouping with their lethal strike team, the Angels of Death. Their mission: infiltrate the most important Omega base on the west coast, and assassinate everyone they find there, including a new and dangerous enemy, the ruthless Omega leader Veronica Klaus.
The clock is ticking.
 Ashes rain from the sky. Cassidy Hart must make a choice.
 What is more important? Victory, love or revenge?
Omega is the enemy’s name.
 Survival of the fittest is their game.
Cassidy Hart will not stop until she has saved California…but will she be too late?
Book #7 of the Bestselling Collapse Series by Summer Lane
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
The dark, dank smell of the cave seeps into my bones and chills my soul. Dim, flickering firelight crawls up the walls, throwing a shadow across my face. I hug my blanket tightly around my shoulders, shivering. It is painfully silent.
There are people everywhere—about thirty of us—but there is no talking. No whispering, no laughing. We are too tired to talk. Too cold. Small fires have been lit here in the cave, but it is hardly enough to remedy the cloying chill of the winter storm.
It is all sharp angles and rocky slopes in here. There is no soft surface, no privacy. Most people are asleep right now. It has become the only way to make the time pass quicker. Waiting, as we are, for the storms to end. For this harsh winter to be over.
But it is not getting better.
It is getting worse.
I cough and shudder. We have been trapped here for weeks. I feel as if the walls are falling down around me, devouring me. I close my eyes tightly, brushing my calloused fingers over the familiar, worn grip of my rifle.
Soon, this will all be over.
Soon, we will all be dead.

Interview with Summer Lane
 Where Collapse is Headed: And What Happens After!
This is your seventh installment in the Collapse Series! When is the series ending?
The Collapse Series will end at the tenth installment, but that does not mean that the characters are going away forever. The Collapse Series does exactly what it’s name suggests: it follows the collapse of society and civilization. After I’m done with that, I can move to what happens after.
When is Book 8 releasing?
Summer 2016. The next book will take Cassidy somewhere she has never been before – far away, to a place full of surprises. I can’t say too much, because I don’t want to spoil State of Destruction! Let’s just say it will be pretty cold where she’s going.
Any other books?
I announced that I’m working on releasing another series this year, The Bravo Saga. This series follows the adventures of the fierce and loyal Bravo, the German Shepherd companion of Elle Costas in the Zero Trilogy. He’s one of the most popular characters – if not THE most popular – that I have ever created for readers, so I’m excited to share his story next.
How do you write so many books a year?
Hmm. I’m not really sure. I’ve been so incredibly busy for three years – I haven’t stopped to think or breathe. It’s definitely a positive thing, but I will probably start to roll back to 2-3 book releases a year after the Collapse Series has finished. Just so I can have a little downtime between books. It’s important to rest your brain when you’ve been creating non-stop for such a long period of time.

Author Bio:

Summer Lane is the #1 Bestselling Author of The Collapse Series and the compelling tie-in novella books of The Zero Trilogy, as well as the upcoming Bravo Saga (releasing Spring 2016).
She is also the author of Collapse: The Illustrated Guide, a #1 bestselling graphic companion to her phenomenal original series.
She is the owner of WB Publishing and Writing Belle, an online magazine. Summer is also an accomplished journalist and creative writing teacher.
Summer lives in the Central Valley of California, where she spends her days writing, teaching, and writing some more. When she is not writing, she enjoys leisurely visits with friends at coffee shops, movie dates, reading and spending the day at the beach or mountains.

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Books/book review/fiction/Romance

Make No Promises: And Don’t Hide in the Cupboard

This is a well written and quite amusing romance with a hunky paramedic and a slightly geeky awkward girl as the protagonists.
No Promises is what the (ex) paramedic has tattooed on his arm and the story of why he did that is heart wrenching but is also the main thing health professionals should never do – promise something that they can’t guarantee to deliver – but then no-one should ever make a promise that they make break. This book explores some of the work that the emergency services and paramedics are involved in as well as the type of Veterinary services that are provided for abused and injured animals in the US. Here in the UK it would be the Blue Cross that undertakes this see They re-home, undertake medical procedures for a very small charge and generally take care of animals that are not ‘owned’.
One rather funny piece of advice for us anyway, is about keeping a cat warm in the winter – even if they aren’t impressed. Our problem is more with persuading our cat to go out... once the temperature drops below double figures (centigrade) she snuggles up on our bed and sleeps there and sleeps there and sleeps there – sometimes even forgetting to get up for food!
This is not our cat but a cute one I meet at a cat cafe in London where they have 18 rescue kittens! This one was a cross between a chinchilla and a Scottish folded ear cat and was very young and very playful. I fell in love with the Snow Bengals and seriously want one...
Nona Raines warns you that her books are Hot Contemporary Romance -Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic.
And she certainly fulfills her promises!
She says she is a former librarian living in upstate New York with her many pets. She has cats who like mine like to sit on the computer, but she also has dogs to walk! One interesting point is that she works and writes about many genders and is a member of Nice Girls Writing Naughty and is a Diva of Desire – blogs and FaceBook pages/groups about these ‘naughty’ writers…

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Just what DOES it take?

Whatever It Takes
Lindsey Pogue
(Nothing But Trouble, #1)
Publication date: January 22nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Four years ago, I thought my life was pretty normal for a teenager. Three years ago, my world was shattered, and now I’m just trying to hold the pieces together. But regret and anger aren’t so easy to ignore.
I just need to catch my breath … for it all to go away …
I thought I might finally be ready to move on from that horrible night, but then he decided to come back.
He can’t come back … he’ll ruin me completely.
One horror-filled night changes the course of Samantha’s seemingly normal life. She’s ruined everything. Despite her determination to keep the family ranch up and running, her guilt makes it impossible to completely move on or forget.
Sam takes comfort in her quirky, endearing friends as she tries to balance between the girl she was and the woman she wants to become. Just when she thinks she’s finally making amends with her past, someone she never thought she’d see again returns, and Sam’s life is once again turned upside down. Both her head and her heart want different things, so she’s lost when, once again, she’s forced to make a decision that will inevitably change her life.
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Light Excerpt WIT
Fun Fact 1 Fun Fact 3 copy

Author Bio:

Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, wrote her first YA manuscript in high school, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing.
Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her—whether she’s traveling, people watching, or hiking. When not plotting her next storyline or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey’s wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man.

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Books/book review/Fantasy/Romance

Up and Away: Leave that planet in the dust

A Review of Horizon


Tabitha Lord


This is a story that combines Star Wars with a fantasy story about empaths and those with extraordinary mind powers including healing.
I found it rather clichéd for exactly those reasons. It as though the author read her favourite sci-fi / fantasy stories and wrote her own combining both. It is rather short but is intended to be the starting point of a series clearly as it ends with an unresolved climax.
I thought at first, as the chapters were allocated to different characters that we would hear different voices, but we didn’t, just slightly different actions. The perspectives remained the same and this I thought was a shame as there was the opportunity here to contrast the soldier in the Star War with the Empath and the non-violent race.  Basically some good ideas not fully carried out.
Perhaps being a first time author she needs more practice and the following books will improve. I often find that when an author starts writing with a series, the first book is either amazing and the rest fall short; or the opposite, the first book disappoints but the author improves with practice. I hope that this is the case here as the ingredients could be there if treated right.
2 stars maybe 3 if you are a real Star wars fan!scifioutofthisworld
ISBN: 978-1940014791 
 Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing 
 Date of publish: December 2015 
 Pages: 320 
 S.R.P.: $15.95

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