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And can you see?

Seer Book Cover Seer
Titanomachy #1
S E Welsh
Fantasy, Mythology
Luminosity Publishing LLP
May 22, 2020
252

A Seer has surfaced-but she's blind! Chloe Santos is an immortal with a whole world of problems. She's blackmailed into investigating a kidnapping with links to her past. It could put herself, and everyone she cares about, in danger. Chloe Santos is an immortal with a whole world of problems. The victim of an attempted murder that left her blind, horribly disfigured, and stuck with powers everyone thought eradicated, it's safe to say she's at a low point in her life. But then she's blackmailed into investigating a kidnapping with links to her past. It could put herself, and everyone she cares about, in danger. Including her Warrior Soulmate. Phobos has a millennia of blood on his hands. As the son of Ares, he's done horrific things in the name of keeping the continued existence of immortals a secret. Only all of that changes when he meets his Soulmate. Allegiances shift, trust is thin and Chloe has to decide if she should risk everything to make the world a better place. Even if that means sacrificing her own chance at happiness. READER ADVISORY: This Paranormal Romance contains a strong-willed goddess and her protective Warrior Soulmate who don't appreciate the term 'vanilla' when it comes to the bedroom.

Nice to know that the Greek Gods/Goddesses, their forebears, their children and great grandchildren (how many greats here?) are still alive, well mostly, still fighting amongst themselves, and generally being the nuisance they always were.

As for the book, I thought it started well but the impetus slowed down about half-way through and the battle description was muddy and confusing.

I thought there was some nice exploration of Greek mythology but also thought that some readers may not be familiar with all the niceties of who married who, how some came to be born,  and so on , and thus why they were arguing with each other. Some of it got explained, but not enough maybe?

So here is some information that I wrote up a while back for another book about the Greek myths as I was confused and needed to get my head straight. Not sure that all this helped. But here goes….

A very short blog… All about the Greeks and the gods they invented.

Once upon the time there was only Darkness (Erebus) who married Light (Aether) and then things got confused…. This is the Creation Myth according to the Theogony by the Greek poet Hesiod.

Sothen there was Chaos whois the parent of Nix. Chaos also gave birth to Erebus, Gaia, Tartarus and Eros. Gaia being created as the home of the Gods. But also known as Earth.

The Greek myths are far from clear and straightforward as there was a great deal of marrying of siblings and parents so trying to work out familial hierarchies gets very confused. And also, books and researchers will interpret the original Greek myths differently. However, the best available set of family hierarchies can be found at the site www.theoi.com which also has a breakdown of most of the creatures from the myths into different categories.

Nix was the goddess of the Night and was born near the beginning of creation and was the mother of Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death). She is found in the shadows and one can only catch glimpses of her. Her consort is Erebus (the primeval darkness). Note that there was a lot of marrying of siblings and even parents to children (and then they wondered why some of the children were a bit peculiar…)

Gaia was the mother of Uranus (Heaven) and Okeanos (Ocean). Now Uranus married Gaia – yes, his mother… and had children with her, but Uranus asked Tartarus to take the 12 Giants (his children with Gaia and also called the Titans) as he didn’t like them.

Tartarus was the Underworld but also a God.

Gaia was very unhappy about this and thus asked the Titans to kill Uranus. Cronus (one of the Titans) agreed. Cronus then castrated Uranus and threw his penis into the sea. Uranus’ blood created more Giants on the earth but in the sea his penis (as it was cut off his sperm were expelled) created Aphrodite the first deity within the 12 Olympians.

Cronus he then sent all his siblings into Tartarus except Rhea who he married. And they ruled the world and all creation together.

The children of Cronus and Rhea are: Hades; Poseidon; Hestia; Demeter; Hera; and Zeus

Cronus was told of a prophecy that one of his sons would overpower him and rule in his place, so he then ate all his children except Zeus as, when he was born, Rhea substituted a rock for him. Cronus swallowed the rock instead without noticing.

Zeus was smuggled away by Gaia and grew up safely and was raised on the Greek island of Crete. Then Gaia gave Zeus a potion that, with the help of Metis (another Titan), would make Cronus expel all his swallowed siblings, who would now be fully grown.

Having been expelled from Cronus’ stomach, the 5 children fled to Mount Olympus and Aphrodite. Zeus also released everyone from Tartarus.

Led by Zeus, the six brothers and sisters (Demeter, Hera, Hestia, Hades and Poseidon) rebelled against their father against whom they were victorious, throwing Cronus into Tartarus (the dark world under Earth).

After that, the rebel gods of ancient Greece divided the universe between them. Zeus was the supreme god, ruling over all others, and all of them lived on the peak of Mount Olympus in Greece.

But…

Cronus and his sibling Titans then went to war with the gods on Mt Olympus. Zeus et al won and imprisoned Cronus in Tartarus again. The other Titans were put to work. Eg Atlas to hold the skies, and Prometheus was chained to a rock . Zeus was now ruling on Mt Olympus with Poseidon, Artemis, Apollo, Hades and Perseus.

And then there were more….

Mnemosyne is the Titan goddess of memory and remembrance, inventiveness of languages and words. She is the daughter of Ouranos (Heaven) and thus also a goddess of Time. She represented rote memorisation which was required of course before the invention of writing. She was the mother of the Muses who were the patron goddesses of poets and the oral tradition. She presided over the underground oracle of Trophonios.

Hades is the god of the Underworld, the Dead and Riches. He is the brother of Zeus and Poseidon and fought the Titans with them. His hildren are MacariaMelinoe and ZagreusThere were  several sections to the Underworld, including Elysium (Islands of the Blessed), the Asphodel Meadows (for the ‘shades’ of heroes) and Tartarus where the gods kept imprisoning people they didn’t like.

The dead entered the world through the river Acheron, being ferried by Charon who charged the one coin that you placed in the mouth of the newly dead.

There were five rivers in the Underworld: Acheron (sorrow or woe); Cocytus (lamentation); Phlegethon (fire); Styx (hate) and  Lethe  (oblivion) although some traditions also call Lethe the sea of tears

Before the palace of Hades sit the three judges of the Underworld: Minos ,Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus. There souls are judged, returned to Asphodel if they are neither virtuous nor evil, sent to Tartarus if they are impious or evil, or sent to Elysium with the “blameless” heroes.

Some more marriages and births:

Zeus M Hera (women and marriage) = Ares; Hephaestus (Blacksmiths)

Poseidon M Amphitrite (sea goddess)

Zeus M Demeter = Persephone

Persephone: well we all know the story of her and Hades – She is also called Kore. Kore meaning the ‘maiden’.

That said, tradition also has her having relations with her father Zeus and this being the mother of Dionysius. This tradition predates that of the Olympians.

Demeter M Poseidon

Zeus M Leto  (daughter of Titans) = Apollo, Artemis

Zeus M Maia (daughter of Atlas) = Hermes

Prometheus then created the first men out of clay and taught them a civilised life style. Zeus refused to give them fire, but Prometheus gave it to them anyway. Zeus created the first woman in retribution!!!! ie Pandora. Epimetheseus persuaded Pandora to open her jar. Out flew a collection of ailments that Zeus had sent to torment mankind. These included: old age, jealousy, anger, laziness, fear of death, uncontrolled passion, the dangers of childbirth etc. So this is an explanation of how all these bad things came to be.

There are a number of places you can read about these myths eg Ovid’s, The Metamorphosis. This is one of the most substantial of the early works of scholarship, which went about codifying the extant myths, the ones which had existed in the forms of the poems and stories which floated about the Mediterranean basin for a thousand years or more before he wrote them down.

The second is Robert Graves, The Greek Myths. As it was written in the English language you don’t have to rely on someone’s translation.

The third is a modern work Roberto Calasso’s, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony.

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New and Witchy

New Witch on the Block Book Cover New Witch on the Block
(Midlife in Mosswood, #1)
Louisa West
Adult, Paranormal
June 30th 2020

She thought she was running away from her past, not catching up with it.

 

Rosemary Bell just wants to live a quiet, happy life and raise her daughter as far away from her toxic ex-husband as she can get. But when they move into a decrepit cottage in the woods of Mosswood, Georgia, Rosie realizes her life will never be simple.

 

A gang of meddling neighborhood do-gooders want to run her out of town. The vicious laundromat machines keep eating her spare change. Not to mention her buff Irish stalker who insists that he’s a Witch King and that it’s her royal destiny to be his Queen.

 

And to top it all off, strange things keep happening around Rosie when she least expects it…

 

She could deal with it all, but her ex won’t rest until he tracks her down. When her ability to protect her daughter is threatened, Rosie shows them all that nobody messes with the new witch on the block.

 

 Practical Magic meets  Bridget Jones’ Diary

  • in this fun, heart-warming short novel about starting over, putting family first, and finding love when you least expect it

Guest post

An Interview With My Author

By Rosemary Bell – Heroine of New Witch on the Block

What made you decide to write my story?

As someone who has spent time as a single mum, I am fascinated by the plight of women who are striving to slay it in their everyday lives: mums who work full-time, mums who are at home full-time (because that has a whole other set of challenges), mums who are in-between, or run their own businesses… the list goes on! I knew I wanted you to be a witch, and that I wanted moving to have to be a difficult experience for you. Giving you a downright reprehensible ex-husband whose influence you needed to overcome so that you could bloom into the woman you always were deep down inside meant I got to see your grow throughout the book. Adding the witchery on top of all that seemed like a logical step – but you needed to believe in yourself before you could believe in magic!

I see. Randy sure is a piece of work, so thanks for that I guess? Moving on – why Mosswood?

I’ve always been fascinated with the United States, ever since I was a little girl. A few failed attempts at visiting has meant that for the short-term future at least, my experiences of the US will need to happen through books, TV shows, and movies. I love the pictures painted of places like Bon Temps (Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series) Mystic Falls (L. J. Smiths’ The Vampire Diaries series) and New Orleans in general – so it made sense to set my series in the South. My editor is Southern and is an incredible source of real-life info, helping me adapt my language. And then once I knew I wanted a really tiny town surrounded by woods, I got my ten year old daughter to draw me a map! Kids are so inventive, and she thought of things that I never would have thought of. I loved collaborating with her on the project, and the story is so much richer for it. 

That’s actually adorable, bless her! But for real now – was the palmetto bug really necessary? And the biceps? Were the biceps really necessary? And the laundry machines? The skunks?! Actually nevermind, we aren’t speaking.

Stop being overly dramatic, it was just a bug? And sexy biceps. And… well okay, the skunks probably didn’t need to scare the crap out of you, so I’m a teeny bit sorry for those. 

Did you feel even remotely bad for any of the hurdles you threw my way during the course of the book?

Not really! The scene with the eggs was difficult to write, because I was actually imagining it happening to myself and my daughter as I was writing it and I shed a tear or two, I can’t lie! But everything that made it into the book was totally necessary for your growth and development as a character, so I can’t be too sorry! And I mean, sure Declan is annoying, but could you really call him a ‘hurdle’? Heh.

What about the naked magic casting? Did you feel bad about that? Because that was just unfair.

Not in the slightest, and I will do it again in a heartbeat. You needed to come out of your shell, figuratively and literally – and those scenes really demonstrate your transition from Randy’s Rosie to your own person in so many ways. In fact, the last of those scenes might just be my favourite scene in the whole book!

What’s in store for me in Jealousy’s a Witch? The title sounds ominous.

There will be a huge raft of new characters, and new places in Mosswood to explore in-depth! The plot definitely takes a turn – you discover that Declan’s been keeping a pretty big secret from you that makes you re-think your whole association with him. Maggie will experience a lot of growth in the book too, and the main plotline revolves around some dangerous situations for her. It’s gonna be a wild ride!

That makes me worried for Maggie! Will she be okay?

Absolutely – but it wouldn’t be the type of book I write without a little drama! She will come out of Jealousy’s a Witch with a rather cool experience of her own – but I don’t wanna spoil it for you!

 Author Bio

 Author by day, Netflix connoisseur by night.

 Louisa likes Pina Coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain. Determined to empty her brain of stories, she writes across several genres including fantasy, speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, and romance.

 She lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, and drinks more coffee than is good for her. When she’s not writing or researching projects, Louisa enjoys spending time with her family, and Harriet The Great (Dane). Hobbies include playing video games, watching copious amounts of tv, and various craft-related initiatives.

 She strongly believes that the truth is still out there.

http://www.louisawest.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16738794.Louisa_West

https://www.facebook.com/louisawestauthor

ttps://www.instagram.com/louisa_west

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A World of slavery and …

House of Earth and Fire Book Cover House of Earth and Fire
Crescent City
Sarah J. Maas
fantasy, romance. sci-fi
Bloomsbury Publishing (3 Mar. 2020)
Pub Date 3 Mar 2020

Perfect for fans of Jessica Jones and True Blood, this is a blockbuster modern fantasy set in a divided world where one woman must uncover the truth to seek her revenge.

Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. Every night is a party and Bryce is going to savour all the pleasures Lunathion - also known as Crescent City - has to offer. But then a brutal murder shakes the very foundations of the city, and brings Bryce's world crashing down.
Two years later, Bryce still haunts the city's most notorious nightclubs - but seeking only oblivion now. Then the murderer attacks again. And when an infamous Fallen angel, Hunt Athalar, is assigned to watch her every footstep, Bryce knows she can't forget any longer.
As Bryce and Hunt fight to unravel the mystery, and their own dark pasts, the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the deepest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir ...
With unforgettable characters and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom - and the power of love.

 

I was given an extract of this book through NetGalley – now I don’t usually bother with extracts, but this one looked intriguing. And it was.
I’ve never read Sarah Maas before, and this is apparently her first venture into writing for an adult rather than YA audience. And for me it worked. I have read some comments where people who have read her YA books thought that this one had faults – yes of course we had Alpha aholes and a kick ass heroine. After all, this is the trope in which this book was written. Nice to see also that the angels weren’t all bright and light and good – plenty of grey and nasties.
I thought it was good universe building – yes we had the MidGard planet and a continent called the Pangera (see Pangea – the real land mass on Earth) and other references to these universes/worlds built in other books in this genre – but still the mix of technology and magic in this one was different.
And I so far haven’t come across a universe where there are angel slaves. Which I thought was a nice touch and permitted new storylines to emerge.
For me, this was a good read – it could have stopped at many points and been a much shorter book and left stuff for the next – but instead Mass carried on with a new twist and more highs and lows. The twists and hidden secrets kept coming right until the end – hints of these secrets only realisable after the action – which is good writing and means good plotting took place.
I liked the extract enough to buy the full book which means I wanted to find out more in the story… so a good read for me. I hope to read the next one in the series and that it is as long and complex in plotting as this one.

I was given an extract of this book through NetGalley – now I don’t usually
bother with extracts, but this one looked intriguing. And it was.

I’ve never read Sarah Maas before, and this is apparently her first venture
into writing for an adult rather than YA audience. And for me it worked. I have
read some comments where people who have read her YA books thought that this
one had faults – yes of course we had Alpha aholes and a kick ass heroine.
After all, this is the trope in which this book was written. Nice to see also that the angels weren’t all bright and light and good – plenty of grey and nasties.

I thought it was good universe building – yes we had the MidGard planet and a continent called the Pangera (see Pangea – the real land mass on Earth) and other references to these universes/worlds built in other books in this genre – but still the mix of technology and magic in this one was different.

And I so far haven’t come across a universe where there are angel slaves.
Which I thought was a nice touch and permitted new storylines to emerge.

For me, this was a good read – it could have stopped at many points and been a much shorter book and left stuff for the next – but instead Maas carried on with a new twist and more highs and lows. The twists and hidden secrets kept coming right until the end – hints of these secrets only realisable after the action – which is good writing and means good plotting took place.

I liked the extract enough to buy the full book which means I wanted to find
out more in the story… so a good read for me. I hope to read the next one in
the series and that it is as long and complex in plotting as this one.

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and the dragon plays.. rock

Kaps Book Cover Kaps
(Angelbound Offspring #5)
Christina Bauer
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
MonsterHouseBooks
Publication date: June 30th 2020

Meet Kaps: renegade, dragon shifter, and general pain in her parent’s backsides. Although born a royal, Kaps loves hunting down dragon artifacts. Too bad L’Griffe, the shifter mafia, wants the same stuff. Kaps gets in their way and ends up with a price on her head. A bounty hunter named Mack comes to collect. Although he’s human, Mack knows all about shifter ways. And what he lacks in shifting power, Mack more than makes up for with a lethal combination of looks, strength, and smarts. After luring the princess away with an epic kiss, Mack slaps some supernatural handcuffs on Kaps, tosses her in a van, and heads off to L’Griffe headquarters with his quarry. The fact that Kaps is really dragon royalty doesn’t bother Mack in the slightest. That kiss might be a problem, though…

Or she hunts down antiquities – and steals them! Which is her prime reason for the tour places I wonder?

We know something about Kaps from her sister’s book – see the list below of the books in order. She has a rock band – and seems not to turn up when expected to sing . But it seems – from this story – that she has something else going on too – something she has been doing since she was really young – treasure hunting. And being a dragon she hoards! All the old and magic and apparently lost items she finds, she hides away in a room only she knows the location of. And always has.

There’s just one small problem – the items she wants, she has to steal, and other people want to stop that from happening.

So this book concentrates on her stealing for her horde and the rock band gets little mention – which I did think was a shame, as her story was so bound up with it. But the rock band it seems is just a cover for her other activities.

Her sister Huntress, is really concerned for her though, as she is getting into deep water, with her parents who want to lock her up so she is protected and safe, and with the people she is stealing from. We learn more about huntress – the last Glass dragon, in the next book in the series.

I would have liked a longer story line and a little more complexity but then I am not really the main audience for this series – for its intended audience I think it works.

Angelbound Offspring
1. Maxon
2. Portia
3. Zinnia
4. Rhodes
5. Kaps
6. Huntress

About the Author

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/546812.Christina_Bauer
https://www.facebook.com/authorBauer/

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Nasty Chimera returns – or does he?

Zinnia Book Cover Zinnia
Bk #3 of Angelbound Offspring
Christina Bauer
Young Adult Fiction
Monster House Books
July 30, 2019

"YOU HAVE TO READ ZINNIA! This book definitely surpasses my expectations ... which were pretty high because Bauer's novels are just that amazing. Grab this book. You know you wanna!" - Haddie's Haven As the last dragon shifter, I live alone, hiding in one of Earth’s sacred deserts. My human handlers tell me that I have no parents, no name, and no purpose other than to train for battle and one day become a vessel for the reincarnation of Chimera, the greatest dragon shifter of all. Sadly, Chimera’s rebirth will mean my own death. But my handlers say this sacrifice is a noble fate that will rebuild the dragon shifter world. I shall die on my seventeenth birthday. That’s five days from now. Then I hear music thumping across the desert. I take my mortal form, follow the sound, and find humans dancing in what they call a rave. There is a stage and a rock band. One thing quickly becomes clear: Unlike the audience, the musicians are dragon shifters, just like me. And one of them, the guitar player Rhodes, makes my knees turn watery. The lead singer, Kaps, has something strangely familiar about her. It all adds up to one conclusion: My handlers lied to me. I’m not the last of my kind. Memories reappear. I had parents once. Portia and Tempest. I even had a name. Zinnia. Perhaps I have a reason to live as well. I step past the dancing humans to confront the players. I will find out the full truth, no matter what. "Sweet mother of mercy ANGELBOUND is beyond fabulous!" - For Your Literary Pleasure Blog Angelbound Origins In which Myla Lewis kicks ass and takes names. Nuff said. 1. Angelbound 2. Scala 3. Acca 4. Thrax 5. The Dark Lands 6. The Brutal Time (Fall 2019) 7. Armageddon (already here, long story!) 8. Quasi Redux (Fall 2020) Angelbound Offspring The next generation takes on Heaven, Hell, and everything in between 1. Maxon 2. Portia 3. Zinnia (Summer 2019) 4. Kaps (Summer 2020) 5. Huntress (Summer 2021) Angelbound Lincoln Angelbound Origins as told by Prince Lincoln 1. Duty Bound 2. Lincoln 3. Tricksters Also From Christina Bauer - Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, a series of modern fairy tales with sass, action, and romance - Beholder, where a medieval farm girl discovers necromancy and true love - Dimension Drift, a dystopian adventure with science, snark, and hot aliens Don’t Miss Out Get your FREE copy of Christina’s novella, BEVERLY HILLS VAMPIRE, when you sign up for her personal newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/bauersbooks ***Not available in stores***

As often happens this book was published out of order – as further/later books in this series have already come out. But it was worth waiting for as it I found it better than some of the others in this series – right up to last 20% where it began to ‘fail’.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed Zinnia as a character – her confusion about the outside world, her general character trained as it was by her captors, and her interaction with the band. Her sister was less interesting and seemed to be a very clumsy treasure hunter considering how long she had been undertaking it.

Bauer is an author who is inconsistent in her writing quality – some is excellent and some lacks that pazzazz that makes you want to read more – which was how I started with AngelBound – the Offspring have often been a little lacklustre. This one less so, so 4 stars.

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