Monday, January 14, 2019

Book Review of Born in the Bed You Were Made: One Family's Journey from Cesarean to Home Birth by Brooklyn James


Book Title: Born In The Bed You Were Made: One Family's Journey from Cesarean to Home Birth
Genre: Memoir/Woman's Health
Pages: 255
Author: Brooklyn James
Date Published: 13 December 2018

Synopsis:

What the hell happened?

Not exactly the question one might expect from a postpartum nurse, it echoed in my mind incessantly after birth. Induction, intervention, ultimately cesarean were nothing new to me…until I was the one atop an operating room table birthing my firstborn through an incision in my uterus.

Brooklyn James grapples with her medicalized birth as she undergoes several unexpected health issues—fallout from a medically unnecessary cesarean, secondary infertility, miscarriage. While navigating the work and pleasure of new motherhood, there is also much shock, anger, and disenchantment over birth’s betrayal for her to work through. James finally identifies the root of her struggle: she was not prepared for the birth she might have envisioned. So then begins her exploration of all that is and all that can be in birth. The process leads her to a long overdue conversation with her instinct and her body in an attempt to surrender to, trust in, and accept the inherent wisdom within.

Born in the Bed You Were Made is intimate and penetrating, candid and reflective. It reveals a deeper truth about how disconnected many modern women are from birth. Most of all, it is a celebration of self-discovery found in the most obscure yet obvious, most challenging yet gratifying, role as child bearer and mother.

Review:


Born in the Bed You Were Made: One Family's Journey from Cesarean to Home BirthBorn in the Bed You Were Made: One Family's Journey from Cesarean to Home Birth by Brooklyn James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is fantastic! I am not one who usually reads non-fiction or even memoirs, but having read previous fictional books written by this author, I knew that this book, being more personal, would be an emotional roller coaster ride. It didn't disappoint.

The author explores her emotions and thoughts over several events that shaped her ultimate decision of having a home birth. As I am not American, I don't know how the medical insurance companies work as such, but I believe that women have the right to decide how and where they would like to birth their babies. Unfortunately, most insurance companies are run by men. I don't mean to be sexist, but its the truth.

I am not a mother myself (and due to my advanced age, I may never have children of my own), but what struck me is how much this author's words touched something inside me that resounded within my inner being. She speaks of the instinctual, primitive brain (the part that handles breathing, and old emotional responses like fear, anger, love and knowing things, perhaps at a genetic level like birthing babies) and how she struggled through going against her instincts for a home birth in her first pregnancy because her insurance company didn't allow it. How this led to her having a Cesaerian that may or may not have been necessary, and later a miscarriage that taught her to trust her body and the genetic knowledge within.

The author also explores the role and history of a midwife. I found this aspect of the book interesting and full of words of wisdom, from the author herself, as well as those used by her midwife and the research books the author has used. I highlighted over 70 passages throughout this book that struck a chord within me. I don't usually highlight that many things in books, so that shows how much this book has affected me. Midwives have an important role for women. They act as a library of knowledge for expectant mothers. They also guide women through the hard work of labour and birthing children. They have a unique insight into the primitive brain through observation, and medical training to handle most problems that may arise. Unfortunately, these women have not had an easy ride throughout history. They were highly respected once, but they have lost their place due to vilification (being called witches, flakes and fakes in the not so distant past) and their knowledge depleted.

Hospitals and modern medicine have grown, time is short in today's society. Large pharmaceutical companies push for the use of drugs, hospitals don't have enough staff to give adequate one-on-one care for every expectant mother, and there are not enough beds for a natural birth. Hospitals have become factories - get them in and send them out as quickly as possible - and induced births, Cesareans (some necessary, but most unnecessary) have become the norm. This saddens not only me but the author too.

It has been an honour and a pleasure going on this author's journey. I wouldn't wish what happened to her happen to anyone else, but her journey is inspirational. I believe that women have the right to a support system like midwives along with obstetrics at a hospital, and the freedom to choose between a more economical home birth or an expensive hospital one. Modern medicine should work in concert with the more traditional methods to ensure a healthy birth experience for both the mother and child.

Brooklyn James has written a story that has touched me deeply. I love her writing style, and the flow was excellent. I am now looking forward to reading more of her other books as soon as I can.

I highly recommend this book, whether you are planning on having children, already have children and are considering having more, or have had children and they are starting their own families. The author references a few books that she used while pregnant, and these may help other expectant mothers too. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

About The Author:

This picture was taken from her Amazon Author Page


Brooklyn James is an author/singer-songwriter inspired by life in the Live Music Capital of Austin, Texas. Her first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me, has an original music soundtrack and was chosen as a Quarter Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. The book provided a platform where it was her honor to serve as a guest speaker with a focus on awareness and prevention of domestic violence and suicide.

When she is not writing books, she can be found playing live music around Austin as part of an acoustic duo. Moonlighting occasionally in voice-over and film, she played a Paramedic in a Weezer video, met Harry Connick Jr. as an extra on the set of When Angels Sing, appeared in Richard Linklater's Boyhood for all of a nanosecond, and was a stand-in and stunt double for Mira Sorvino on Jerry Bruckheimer's Trooper pilot for TNT. Although reading, dancing, working out, and a good glass of kombucha get her pretty excited, she finds most thrilling the privilege of being a mother to two illuminating little souls and a wife to the one big soul from whom they get their light.

Brooklyn holds an M.A. in Communication, and a B.S. in both Nursing and Animal Science. Her nursing career has seen specialities in the areas of Intensive Care and Postpartum. With the publication of her birth memoir, she is available for speaking engagements, readings, signings, and writing workshops on how to put pen to paper composing one's own birth story.

Author Links:

Website ; Amazon Author Page ; Goodreads ; Facebook ; Twitter

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Book Review of Little Astronomer: Once Upon a Sun (Kid Lit Science Book 2) by Julia Stilchen



Book Title: Little Astronomer: Once Upon a Sun
Genre: Children's Reference
Pages: 32
Author: Julia Stilchen
Date Published: 7 January 2019

Synopsis:

Little Astronomer books aim to encourage children to learn about Astronomy and our place in the Solar System and the Universe.

From the Kid Lit Science Book series comes Once upon a Sun (book 2). The Sun, illustrated as an anthropomorphous character, shares his side of the story about his origins and his journey emerging from a Stellar Nebula to becoming the star he is today. Illustrations include kid-friendly concepts of how our Sun makes energy and takes care of our Solar System.

Kids are sure to enjoy learning about our Sun through fun facts delivered with humor throughout the colorful pages. Included is a full cast of the rocky planets, gas giants, dwarf planets and Comet from the previous book.

Celestial objects included are the rocky planets, gas giants, dwarf planets and a comet.

Kid Lit Science books approach early learning by combining kawaii (cute) versions of the celestial objects with comic-style graphics, and humor to present educational facts in a fun way. It makes a great addition to learning in the classroom and at home.

Review:


Little Astronomer: Once Upon a Sun (Kid Lit Science Book 2)Little Astronomer: Once Upon a Sun by Julia Stilchen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fantastic children’s solar system reference book!

This book is an excellent way to teach a child about the solar system. The illustrations are well thought out and clearly show the sun and planets for those children who are not able to read yet, but also has words which explain in a fun way how the sun’s energy is produced. The author has given each sun and planet a personality, and I love DJ-ing Saturn - he knows how to p-a-r-t-y! I’m now looking forward to reading the next book in the series, even though I’m not the intended audience. This book is aimed at children aged from 0 to 9, but older children and adults will love it too.

Julia Stilchen has written and illustrated a fantastic reference book for children. I love that she has used simple words to explain how the solar system works. The illustrations are cute and fun. I have read other works by this author, and I love the way she writes.

I highly recommend this book to children of all ages, and adults looking for a fun, educational book showing how the solar system works. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

About The Author:




Prior to the winter solstice, in the year of the fire dragon, (minutes before the stroke of midnight), Julia was born within the human realm, in a far away kingdom surrounded by the cactus-laden desert of Arizona.

She learned to harness her daydreaming skills, practicing the craft of writing to transmute imaginary worlds into prose. She is a member of magical guilds like SCBWI, CBI Clubhouse, and YARWA.

She passionately embarks storytelling quests with an enchanted wand pen at hand. Along her journey, she enjoys befriending like-minded beings. (Some of which are mermaids, pirates, and aliens! Hee-hee) She loves spending time with her family, exploring nature, and traveling.

Her favorite genres are: fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal. She loves writing and illustrating children’s books: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA fiction categories.

Author Links:



Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Book Review of The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King


Book Title: The Lore of Prometheus
Genre: Military Thriller/Horror
Pages: 294
Author: Graham Austin-King
Date Published: 30 November 2018


Synopsis:


John Carver has three rules: Don't drink in the daytime, don't gamble when the luck has gone, and don't talk to the dead people who come to visit.


It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.

Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive.

Review:


The Lore of PrometheusThe Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story is a fantastic mix of action, danger and magic. I loved it!

John Carver is an ex-soldier and war veteran. I liked this man a lot. He's someone you want watching your back, but he's seen and done things most civilians don't experience. He's faced danger and sacrificed much to protect others. When his squad was killed in Kabul five years before, his life changed forever. Some call it PTSD, others call it crazy, but John's also known to some as The Miracle of Kabul. To find out why you'll need to read the book. In dire need of funds, he finds himself headed back to Afghanistan as a security consultant. But things are not so simple, and as danger threatens, he will have to embrace his inner power once more.

Mackenzie Cartwright is a nurse working in Kabul, kidnapped while heading home after a shift at the local hospital. I liked her a lot too. She has an inner strength that shines through, even when dealing with her capture and subsequent torture.

This story is not for the faint-hearted and told through John's and Mackenzie's point of view. I was riveted to the story from the first page and didn't put it down until I finished it. Having read Faithless in 2017, I was expecting a dark, atmospheric tale, and that's what I got, though it was a little less claustrophobic since its set in a desert rather than an underground mine. I could tell a lot of research had gone into the writing of this book, from the military-speak to the weapons used, and everything in between. None of the violence is gratuitous in any way; it only enhances the realistic feel to the story.

Both John and Mackenzie go through hell, so there's little wonder their psyche becomes fractured. I think it was Lewis Caroll, who's character, The Cheshire Cat, said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "We're all a little insane here." What is reality? What is normal? The author explores this concept and adds a twist to it. We know only a fraction of what the brain is capable of, so who's to say that there's no potential for our minds to evolve to use capabilities such as ESP, telekinesis and other paranormal activity. It would be interesting to find out. But it could be several decades, if not a few hundred years before the human mind is understood enough to know if these powers are latent within everyone. Or if it's our perception of the world around us that creates our reality. I find it intriguing.

There is a lot of action, particularly towards the middle and end of the book, that had me sitting on the edge of my seat. By the time I reached the end of the book, I felt breathless and was left wanting more. I don't know if the author intends to turn this into a series, but I would be interested to see what John and Mackenzie are capable of together in the future.

Graham Austin-King has written an exciting, dark military fiction novel that kept me turning the pages. This book is superb! I think that this book is a lot stronger than The Riven Wyrde Saga and shows this author's growth in confidence as a writer. I love his fast-paced writing style, and the story flowed wonderfully from beginning to end. The characters came alive on the page and felt remarkably lifelike.

Although there is mention of sex, it’s not explicitly shown. Nevertheless, I do not recommend this book to young children or those of a nervous disposition, as there are scenes of violence and gore (battle scenes amongst others) that could be very disturbing to some readers. However, I highly recommend this book to older teens and adults alike if you love dark thrillers, military fiction, and/or paranormal fantasy stories that have an X-Men feel to them. - Lynn Worton

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Purchase Links:


            

About the Author:


Graham Austin-King was born in the south of England and weaned on broken swords and half-forgotten spells. A shortage of these forced him to consume fantasy novels at an ever-increasing rate, turning to computers and tabletop gaming between meals.

He experimented with writing at the beginning of an education that meandered through journalism, international relations, and law. To this day he is committed to never allowing those first efforts to reach public eyes.

After living in the north of England and Canada he settled once again in the south surrounded by a seemingly endless horde of children and a very patient wife who can arguably say her husband is away with the faeries.

Fae - The Wild Hunt is his first completed novel and draws on a foundation of literary influences ranging from David Eddings to Dean Koontz.

Visit his blog at http://grahamak.blogspot.co.uk where you can sign up for e-mail updates and be the first to hear about new releases.

Find Graham on facebook at http://on.fb.me/1pMyWmK He loves to chat with readers.

Follow him on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Grayaustin

What others are saying about Graham's books:

"Austin-King's writing is descriptive and layered, full of mystery and tension..." - Sarah Chorn, Bookworm Blues

"The action is great, the suspense is well done and the Fae are truly scary." - Leanne Ellis, Bloody Cake News

"...If you like fantasy books which you can really get stuck into then this one is for you!" - Bodicia, A Woman's Wisdom Blog

"...This is a fantastic fantasy! I loved it!" - Lynn Worton, Book Reviews by Lynn.



Saturday, December 08, 2018

Audio/Book Review of Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness



Book Title: Time's Convert
Genre: Historical Urban Fantasy
Pages: 448
Audio Book Length: 15 Hours 46 Mins
Author: Deborah Harkness
Narrated by: Saskia Maarveld
Date Published: 18 September 2018 (E-Book & Audio)

Synopsis:

From human to vampire ...

Marcus Whitmore was made a vampire in the eighteenth century. Over two hundred years later, he finds himself in love with Phoebe Taylor, a human who decides to become a vampire herself.

But her transformation will prove as challenging now as it was for Marcus when he first encountered Matthew de Clermont, his sire.

While Phoebe is secreted away, Marcus relives his own journey from the battlefields of the American Revolutionary War, through the treachery of the French Revolution to a bloody finale in New Orleans. His belief in liberty, equality and brotherhood challenged at every stage by the patriarchy of the de Clermonts.

What will he and Phoebe discover in one another when they are finally reunited at Les Revenants, beneath the watchful gaze of Matthew and his wife, Diana Bishop?

Review:


Time's ConvertTime's Convert by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story is the first book in an off-shoot of the All Souls Trilogy. I loved it!

I downloaded this book in both the Kindle and audiobook formats, as this gave me the option to either read or listen to it. Saskia Maarlveld narrates the audiobook. Her voice and pacing are excellent, and I enjoyed listening to her bring the characters to life. I would consider listening to other books read by her in the future.

This story is an addition to the All Souls world created by Deborah Harkness and follows the life, death, and rebirth of Marcus Whitmore on the eve of Phoebe's transformation into a vampire. The book, told through several points of view, mostly Marcus's, Diana's and Phoebe's, takes the reader on a journey of endings and new beginnings.

Several characters from the All Souls world make an appearance; Matthew, Diana, their twins, Phillipe and Rebecca, Isabeau, Marthe, Miriam, Phoebe, and Marcus (to name a few). I also enjoyed meeting Freya, one of Phillipe's daughters. She plays a crucial role in the tale as Phoebe's guide through her transformation from human to vampire.

While Phoebe adjusts to her new life as a vampire in today's world, Marcus takes us back in time to his life during the American Revolution and his transformation at the hands of Matthew into the vampire he is today. I became so absorbed in the tale that it felt like I walked alongside the characters, watching events unfold. Not being an American, I am fascinated by the history of that country and the people in it, as well as the country it is today. The author, being a historian, has brought the past to life for me and I am grateful to her for the peek into a bygone era. Marcus's life is not an easy one and contrasts with Phoebe's upbringing. However, these two characters have love on their side, and I enjoyed watching their relationship develop and deepen as the story unfolded.

I reached the end of the book with mixed emotions; sad that the book ended, but glad at how it ended. I am now looking forward to reading more books from the All Souls universe, as there are more than a few characters I would like to know more about next.

Deborah Harkness has written a fantastic tale in the All Souls universe. She has created a world where humans, witches, daemons and vampires all live in an uneasy alliance. I love her writing style, which is fast-paced and exciting, and the story flowed beautifully!
I am looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.

I highly recommend this book if you love your stories to be full of witches, daemons and vampires, or if you love paranormal romance or urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

About the Author:

Photo from Amazon
Deborah Harkness is a professor of history at the University of Southern California. She has received Fullbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships, and her most recent scholarly work is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. She also writes an award-winning wine blog.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Book Review of Aftershock: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies Book 2) by Dianna Hardy @TheWitchingPen



Book Title: Aftershock: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel
(Blood Never Lies Book 2)
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Pages: 201
Author: Dianna Hardy 
Date Published: 30 October 2018

Synopsis:

Aftershock is a companion novel to the Eye of the Storm series and also acts as a PREQUEL to a brand new series to come. You don't have to read Eye of the Storm to enjoy this novel (some background is given). However, we always recommend you do in order to gain full understanding of how the characters have arrived at this point.

Self-sufficient and travellers at heart, Pete and Claire packed bags five years ago and headed on a journey that would change their lives forever.

After the unexpected death of her childhood best friend, Sarah, Claire has nurtured both an open wound, and Sarah's baby - a miracle born on her deathbed.

Pete has been nothing short of a father to baby Jasmine, and partner to Claire, the werewolf in him one of the few things in the world Claire connects with.

However, despite their love for their adopted daughter and each other, fate's about to test the foundation they've built. Jasmine has been having episodes - seizures - the doctors aren't sure exactly what they are, or what triggers their onset, but when a little boy is hurt by Jasmine's hand they can no longer wait for answers. They consider taking to the road once more believing a life of travel might be safer than planting roots.

But there's a Supermoon coming - the first in thirty years - and with it, a total lunar eclipse. Pete can feel the charge in the air, and it seems, so too, can Jasmine. With her terrible, secret legacy threatening to break through the shadows, Pete and Claire have a devastating reality to face.

Can you ever escape what you truly are?

Blood never lies.

NOTES: This is a dark paranormal fantasy novel. Contains some explicit scenes. Written in British English.

Review:


Aftershock: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies Book 2)Aftershock: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel by Dianna Hardy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story is the second book in a new companion novel to the Eye of the Storm series. I loved it! You don't have to read the Eye of the Storm series to read this book, but I recommend that you do, so you have a good grasp of where Claire, Peter, and Jasmine are heading.

Claire (aka Beth from the Eye of the Storm series) now has a new identity. I loved her as Beth, but I think I love her more as Claire. She loved her best friend, Sarah. But when she died in a car accident while pregnant, Claire takes responsibility for her baby. Running for their lives from the danger of exposure from their daughter's unusual birth, Claire and Peter will do anything to protect their new family.

Jasmine is a lovely character. She is only two and a half when she's first introduced in this story, but she stole my heart. I love her innocence and curiosity. Even at that tender age, she has an unusual power. The story skips time, and we get to meet her once more when she is a five-year-old, and a Supermoon is imminent. As the event fast approaches, danger threatens, and their lives hang in the balance.

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book for some time. Told through the eyes of several of the characters, namely, Claire, Peter, and Jasmine, we get to see their thoughts and feelings.

I don't know how to put into words the emotions that went through me while reading this book. For someone who has written many reviews, that is not an easy thing to admit. I found myself smiling at the first scene where Jasmine appears; it was so sweet. However, as the story took me deeper and deeper into its pages, I ran a whole gamut of emotions, from happiness to anger, fear to heart-wrenching sadness. The characters came alive on the page, and I felt every emotion they did. There are some scenes in this book between Pete and Claire that are a little steamy, but amusing. They weren't particularly funny, but the situation of having a young child interrupting was. I think all parents have had to deal with this particular circumstance at one time or another.

A new character introduced into the tale never has his origins properly revealed, so he remains a mystery, though there is a twist I didn't see until I stumbled over it. I had my suspicions, of course, but even then, the reveal surprised me. One thing that did surprise me was Claire’s intuition. Was it an innately human sense, or does she had magic running through her veins? Diego is one of Jasmine’s classmates. There is one scene in this book that ripped my heart out containing him. I won't say what happened because of spoilers. Suffice it to say, keep a tissue handy, you'll need it. I reached the end of the book, and I've now got a severe case of 'book hangover' from reading this tale. Be warned!

As this series is a convergence of two other series - The Eye of the Storm, and The Witching Pen - I loved meeting Pueblo (from The Sands of Time - The Witching Pen Series) once more, as well as Jarrod. Near the end of the book, we get to meet the werewolves from the Eye of the Storm series (and their children), as well as Selena aka Jennifer aka Laura from Blood Shadow, the first book in this companion series. I now can't wait to read the two new series. One following Laura in the Blood Shadow series, and the other following Jasmine in the Aftershock one. Bring it on!

Dianna Hardy is one of my favourite romance authors (she writes both paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romance), she has a way of expressing so much emotion through her written words. Ripping your heart out with them, but will also fill you up with them too. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The flow is fantastic too. Reading her books are a joy, and I will continue to read them for as long as she keeps writing them.

Unlike other books by this author, this book doesn't have many romantic scenes of explicit content, though what scenes there are, aren't as detailed as other series written by her. However, some scenes contain bad language and violence that may offend or upset some readers, so I do not recommend this book for younger readers or those of a nervous disposition. I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love contemporary or paranormal romances, dark fantasy and urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews

Purchase Links:


                         

About The Author:



"Whether paranormal or contemporary, the one thing all my stories have in common is the fight for what you really want from life." (Dianna Hardy)

Dianna Hardy is a UK-based, international bestselling author of The Witching Pen series, and the Eye Of The Storm series. She combines a titillating mix of contemporary and paranormal romance, as well as urban and dark fantasy, into her writing, to bring you stories that are action-packed, fast-paced and not short of heat, with the focus on both character development and the plot. She writes full-length novels and short fiction. She has also written poetry (first published in 1997) and esoteric books and articles. Nowadays, she chooses to concentrate on writing fiction.

In December 2012, Releasing The Wolf hit the Kindle Paranormal Fantasy charts in both the US and the UK, where it stayed for three months, enjoying a highest ranking of #20. The first two books in the Eye of The Storm series have enjoyed success in the top 100 of Fantasy charts on Kindle US and Kindle UK, and all books in the series to date have reached the top 100 of the Fantasy iTunes charts in Netherlands, Norway, Australia and the UK, with Heart Of The Wolf (book 3) reaching #1 in Denmark.

The Witching Pen series, 'Til Death Do Us Part and A Silver Kiss, have also hit the top 100 of Kindle and iBooks charts (Fantasy, Romance and Horror) in a number of different countries worldwide.

Although quite active online, Dianna prefers the quiet company of nature and animals to the hustle and bustle of people. She loves anything paranormal (she doesn't really consider it "para"), organic food, walking barefoot, the smell of the woods after rain, and summer days.

However, she is also sustained by coffee, chocolate and the occasional vodka.

Having graduated from Richmond Drama School (London) in '98, she spent the next few years in a multitude of jobs (both acting and non-acting), studying anything that fascinated her, searching her soul, and finally found her passion where it had always been: at the end of a pen.

She currently lives in South Hampshire, UK with her partner and their daughter, where she writes full-time.

Official site: diannahardy.com

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Book Review of Craved by her Cougar (Cougar Creek Mates Shifter Romance Series Book 4) by Felicity Heaton


Book Title: Craved by her Cougar (Cougar Creek Mates Shifter Romance Series #4)
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Pages: 170
Author: Felicity Heaton
Date Published: 29 September 2018


Synopsis:

For the last twenty years, Cobalt has burned with a need of one female, a beautiful raven-haired cougar who captured his heart the moment he set eyes on her. His position as pride protector has been a blessing at past mating gatherings, keeping females away, but this time it feels like the worst of curses, because the female who has bewitched him so thoroughly is taking part for the first time and all he can do is watch as males battle for her.

As much as she hates the way her mother controls everything in her life, Ember is thankful for it as she constantly turns away suitors, unaware of the pain she’s sparing Ember from with every male she rejects. Every male who isn’t the gorgeous blond with darkness in his eyes and an easy smile she burns for with an intensity that scares her, awakens feelings in her that have her verging on doing something reckless. Damaged goods he might be, dangerous and unpredictable, but with every contest over her that pulls her closer to her doom, she grows more determined to follow her heart, no matter the consequences.

With every fight over the right to Ember, the tethers on Cobalt’s feelings twist and threaten to snap, a torment he cannot bear and one that has him willing to risk it all, because a single kiss would make even the harshest punishment worth it. He would die for one moment with her… his fated mate.


Discover four sexy cougar shifter brothers guaranteed to become your next book boyfriends in this hot new shapeshifter romance series from New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author Felicity Heaton, set in the same rich and addictive world as her Eternal Mates paranormal romance series.
Book 1: Claimed by her Cougar
Book 2: Captured by her Cougar
Book 3: Courted by her Cougar
Book 4: Craved by her Cougar

Review:


Craved by her Cougar (Cougar Creek Mates, #4)Craved by her Cougar by Felicity Heaton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story is the fourth (and final) book in a new shifter series called Cougar Creek Mates Shifter Romance Series, which is an offshoot of the Eternal Mates series (which I love) and based in the same world.

Cobalt is a wonderful character. I liked this shifter a lot, even though he's full of angst and tends to mope around. However, he has reason to sulk. He has loved Ember from afar for more than twenty years after he realised she was his destined mate. He didn't expect her to attend the Gathering, but when he sees her there, he’s torn between his instincts and duty. Will he claim his mate?

Ember is also a wonderful character. I like this feisty female shifter. She has known that Cobalt is her fated mate for many years and she only agreed to go to the Gathering to claim him. Unfortunately, she realised her mistake too late - he couldn't join in the Gathering due to his duty to the pride as a protector. Now she faces a dark future if her mother chooses her mate for her from the males vying for her attention. But can she win the man who holds her heart?

I began reading this story, told through both Cobalt's and Ember's points of view and quickly became hooked. The action is intense from the start. Cobalt's angst has been hinted at through the previous books in the series, so finally getting to read his and Ember's story is a relief in a way. This story goes to the opposite ends of insta-love. These two characters have loved each other for several decades, but due to Ember's immaturity and not reaching 'adulthood' for that period, it has been a slow-burning fuse. Now Ember has reached mating age, the fuse ignites and becomes a conflagration. The story takes the reader through a roller coaster ride of emotions.

The reader also gets to meet the other characters from the previous books: Rath and Ivy, and Flint and Yasmin. Storm and Gabi are on honeymoon, so don't make an appearance. Nevertheless, they have a presence in the book too.

There is another fantastic fight scene or two that gripped me from beginning to end. Of course, I knew who would win; there was no doubt. This author has a fantastic way of describing fight scenes that come alive. I am feeling a little sad that this side series has come to an end, but I am hopeful that we will meet these characters again in the Eternal Mates universe in the not too distant future. There is the connection to Archangel to investigate after all.

I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings. I love the shifter world the author has created but feel let down by the rushed feel to the series. I don't know if the author is putting on too much pressure onto herself to get these books out quickly, or not. I prefer quality over quantity, and this book is decidedly below her best work, even though I still loved it. I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the Eternal Mates series to see what happens next.

Felicity Heaton has written another fast-paced, sexy paranormal romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love her fast-paced writing style, which flows effortlessly from scene to scene. She is still on top of my favourite author's list.

I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the extremely HOT and explicit sexual scenes. However, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love sexy paranormal romances full of cat shifters and other paranormal species. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:


Felicity Heaton


Felicity Heaton is a NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY and International Best-Selling Author writing passionate paranormal romance books and series for adults.

In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons!

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, her best-selling Her Angel romance series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm romance series or any of her stand alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try her Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series. Or if you like hot-blooded alpha heroes who will let nothing stand in the way of them claiming their destined woman then try her Eternal Mates series. It’s packed with sexy heroes in a world populated by elves, vampires, fae, demons, shifters, and more. If sexy Greek gods with incredible powers battling to save our world and their home in the Underworld are more your thing, then be sure to step into the world of Guardians of Hades.

Fans of paranormal romance books by authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter, Larissa Ione, Kresley Cole and Christine Feehan will love Felicity's books too.

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If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:


Monday, October 08, 2018

Audio/Book Review of The Servants of the Storm (The Pillars of Reality Book 5) by Jack Campbell



Book Title: The Servants of the Storm (Pillars of Reality #5)
Genre: Epic Fantasy/Dark Fantasy
Pages: 348
Audio Book Length: 12 Hours 23 Mins
Author: Jack Campbell
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Date Published: 1 November 2016 (E-Book)
1 July 2016 (Audio)

Synopsis:

A Storm that will wreck a world threatens Dematr. Only Mari, one of the Mechanics who control all technology through their Guild, has a chance to stop it. She and Mage Alain have survived numerous attempts to kill them and have gained many more followers, but the Storm of chaos, born of centuries of enslavement, grows ever closer.

Mari leads an army now. She and Alain must fight together to bind back the Broken Kingdom and build a force strong enough to defeat the might of the Great Guilds. But the Storm has many Servants who seek to preserve or gain personal power or wealth, or fear the New Day that Mari seeks to bring to the world.

And Mari knows that victory will mean nothing if the precious knowledge brought long ago to their world is destroyed. In order to save it, Alain and Mari will have to pierce through the heart of their enemies' power and confront once more a place of ancient nightmare.

Review:


The Servants Of The Storm (The Pillars of Reality, #5)The Servants Of The Storm by Jack Campbell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story is the fifth book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

Mari is a fantastic character. I liked her immediately when I met her in the first book. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. A Master Mechanic, Mari has faced many threats to her life from the Guild Masters on the world of Dematr and survived. Foreseen by Mages to be 'The Daughter of Jules' and fated to free the world of Dematr from the tyranny of both the Guilds - Mechanics and Mages - and to unite the Mechanics, Mages and Commons against said Guilds, Mari finds herself fighting for their freedom.

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot from the start. He was one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status at the age of seventeen. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. I love how this character has grown as the series has progressed. He tries to show more emotion, even though his Guild had virtually beaten it out of him. He hides a dry wit under that emotionless mask.

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. MacLeod Andrews once again narrates the story. He does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflexions and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would listen to more books read by this narrator.

The story continues six months from the end of The Pirates of Pacta Servanda and sees Mari and Alain heading a mixed army of Mages, Mechanics and Commons as the action heats up. Mechanic Caylou (not sure of spelling as I listened to the story so have no reference and have spelt it phonetically - it could be Kayloo or another variation) makes another appearance. He is one of Mari's friends from the Mechanics Guild, along with his girlfriend, Ally, who also makes an appearance. I love her constant use of 'Your Daughterness' when speaking to Mari just because it annoys her. Mage Asha also makes another appearance, as does Mage Dov, who is Asha's uncle, and Mechanic Dov (no relation) whose relative had once lived in Marandur. Cien, a princess of Tae, plays a significant role in this story, too. There are a few more characters added, but it would take me too long to mention them all.

I love the world building in this series. It is familiar though strange at the same time. It has a mix of steampunk and modern day technology, but this is due to the way the Guilds restricted people from creating new things. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. In this story, the characters are gathering together for a showdown with the Great Guilds. They also make a dangerous journey back into the Imperial territory of Marandur to retrieve the mechanical texts left at the University. The action is ramping up further as the storyline reaches towards the climax, and I found myself holding my breath more than once as they faced several tricky challenges. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt utterly emersed in it? It happened to me as I listened to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger, which had me eager to listen to the next story in the series, The Wrath of the Great Guilds, as soon as possible.

Jack Campbell has written a fantastic science fiction series. I have added him to my favourite author's list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast-paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

Although there is now some mention of scenes of a sexual nature, it’s not shown. I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:


"Jack Campbell" is the pseudonym for John G. Hemry, a retired Naval officer (and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis). As Jack Campbell, he writes The Lost Fleet series of military science fiction novels, as well as the Beyond the Frontier continuation of The Lost Fleet, and The Lost Stars series (a spin-off of The Lost Fleet). He has also written the Stark's War series and the Sinclair/"JAG in space" series, and has written many shorter stories featuring space opera, fantasy, time travel, and alternate history. Many of these stories can be found in the three Jack Campbell ebook anthologies. He lives with his wife (the Indomitable S) and three children (two of whom are autistic) in Maryland.

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