Sunday, October 25, 2020

eARC Review: Air Storm (The Elements of the Storm ep. 2) by Kay L Moody

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Air Storm

(The Elements of Kamdaria #10)

by Kay L Moody (Goodreads Author) 4.72  ·   Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  17 reviewsTo win the war, Talise needs help.

After improving life in the Storm, the citizens would probably jump at the chance to join Talise against her enemies.

But their lives are far from perfect. Food is still scarce and skirmishes between cities still happen weekly. When a storm wreaks havoc on the land, many citizens are left with a horrible illness.

Talise’s only hope is with the amulet. She must use extreme caution during each training both because of the power it wields and because of the people she trains with.

Nothing goes as planned.

But with the war getting worse each day, Talise is determined to win. If she can’t build a new army with citizens from the Storm… she’ll use the amulet.

No matter what the cost.

Review:
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Published: October 21st 2020
Publisher: Marten Press


*I received an eARC from the publisher. This does not affect my review.*

As it’s nearing the end, I’ll keep this short per usual. I’ll start by saying if I loved these characters before, that fondness has only grown in the last two installments, and I’m sure will continue to grow in the next two! I also noticed a new depth and level of detail to the characters and their personalities and choices that really stood out and showed both character growth, and development as the author learns her characters and how to better hone her writing, which I love on both accounts! This series really feels like one of those that not only do the characters grow with the series, pulling readers in more and more with each new addition to the story, but also a series that allows the author to grow as well. Maas’ ToG or the Percy Jackson series that started out good, but just ask any fan and it’s clear that by the end it often ended up on their list of favorite reads, this has that feeling. I am so excited to be on this journey with Talise and her friends, and also with Kay L Moody as she learning more about this world and her characters right along-side us as readers! It’s always such a special feeling to read a series as it’s published and getting to see the progression and growth over time, compared to reading it all at once only when the last book is out. Both ways are fine, but I find for the quick releases especially, I enjoy getting to read them as they are ready, and eagerly getting to talk to the authors and cheer them on at times as they work on the sequels!



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Friday, October 23, 2020

(Interview) Meet: M.H. Elrich (@mhelrichbooks)

Copy of my Monday (1)

Hello everyone! Today I have something special for you all! I got the chance to talk with Gracie @Magnifying_Reader on IG, and she agreed to an interview! It’s been a while since I included an interview other than a couple for blog tours, so I’m really excited to bring this feature back!

(I will note, Gracie is in the UK, and I chose to leave the her answers in the UK grammar form, instead of changing them, so any spelling differences are likely due to that differences in US/UK grammar)

INTERVIEW:

1. Hello, and thank you for letting me interview you!
First off, can you briefly introduce yourself?

Sure! And thank you for e-interviewing me! My name is M.H. Elrich and I am a YA Christian Fantasy author. I work full-time as a teacher, part-time as an editor, and part-time as a writer as well. I am a big anime nerd as well as pet lover. When I’m not working, I’m spending time with my husband watching T.V.

2. Okay, so you’re an author, can you share a little about your books and your writing process?

I currently have two books published: Toothbreaker and Etania’s Worth. Etania’s Worth is about a teenager named Etania who must learn to master her powers in order to save her family and friends. Toothbreaker is about Sage, a man who betrayed his people, who must decide whether to surrender to God or follow his current path. Both books I really felt like were inspired by God and he really worked through me when I wrote them. As for my writing process, I have a couple of things I do. I usually create a very basic outline before I write about the major events in the story. If I haven’t written about the characters yet, I also create character profiles. Then, I write the story, usually improvising the details. I will turn it over to my editor, who gives me feedback. Usually this means, unfortunately, that I have to gut the story and start over again. This is because I am a discovery writer and don’t always know what I want until I’ve written it. I have many rewrites before the final product and I have to remind myself that this is part of the process, and it’s okay if the first draft isn’t great.

3. Did you always want to write and what is your favorite thing about writing?

I always want to write. My greatest difficulty is making time to write, especially since teaching is a full time job and can take up some of my spare time as well. However, I make do by scheduling times when I can write for an hour or so.

However, I make do by scheduling times when I can write for an hour or so. My favorite thing about writing is creating the emotional tension between characters. I like a good romance, and so my books generally have romance subplots. I think I enjoy writing romance because it brings that emotional component to the forefront, but I will also write about the emotions of loss and grief.

4. What genre do you write, and what draws you to that genre?

I write fantasy primarily. I’ve always wanted to write fantasy since I was a young girl, just starting out in the field. I think I like fantasy because there aren’t that many rules, I don’t have to do a lot of research, and I can create my own worlds from scratch. I also can’t help but stick in something fantastical-like superpowers or dragons or fairies.

5. Is there anything else you’d like to share? And how can readers follow or reach you on social media?

I’d like to share that I am always trying to find ways to connect with other readers. I love the bookstagram community, which has enabled me to find great books and enjoy the company of authors and readers. The best way to follow me is to join my newsletter or to follow my Instagram page @mhelrichbooks. I have Goodreads and Facebook under the same username, but I’m not as active on those pages. I also have a blog at https://mhelrich.com/category/elrichs-expressions/ where I interview other authors and list out great books.

I wanted to thank you again for joining us, M.H. Elrich! It was such a pleasure getting to interview you, and hope to work together again in the future! Below is a little more about her book, Etania’s Worth, for more info check out her website: HERE

Etania’s Worth

Etania’s Worth

eBook: $2.99Author:M.H. Elrich
Genre:YA Christian Fantasy

Etania’s new apprenticeship as a librarian is shattered when she fends off an attacker with Neuma, the hidden power she didn’t know she had. When her father discovers Etania’s gift, Jakin wants to use her as a weapon to stop a threat rising over Tamnarae. Etania despises the idea of being used as a weapon, but the death of a family member forces her to act before it is too late, setting her on a journey leading to love and an acceptance for her newfound gift.More info →



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Sunday, October 18, 2020

eARC: Water Storm by Kay L Moody

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Water Storm

(The Elements of Kamdaria #9)

by Kay L Moody (Goodreads Author) 4.83  ·   Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  26 reviewsIn the most dangerous part of the empire, Talise’s survival has never been in greater jeopardy.

And her heart has never been broken so completely.

When she discovers something is poisoning the land, the pursuit of it provides ample distraction from her aching heart. But the conflict in Kamdaria is only just beginning. Now she must choose whose side she’s really on.

Choosing one side could mean treason but choosing the other could mean death.

Review:

Rating:

Published: September 30, 2020

Publisher: Martin Press


*I received an eARC from the publisher.*

After that last cliff hanger, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Water Storm, but even before I realized where things were headed, I was hoping to see more of the storm. There are so many things going on in Talise (and her friends’) life and many of them point to the Storm, or at least that is where many answers and the beginning of many of the problems they hope to eliminate lie. Plus, I’m loving these characters, I loved them before, but after the last few installments, I love them with a whole new appreciation, and highly recommend fans of the series pick this one up! If you haven’t started the series yet, you can do that too with Ice Crown, they are super quick reads, so you’ll be caught up in no time!



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ARC Review:

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Midnight Maiden

(Midnight Duology #1)

by Kathryn Marie (Goodreads Author) 4.68  ·   Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  18 reviewsA noble. An assassin. A girl with a past…

Christiana isn’t your average Marchioness. Living a double life, she is known in the dark shadows as Midnight Maiden, the vigilante assassin. Using skills she’s honed for years, she helps the abused to regain control of their lives. But when the Royal Family summons her to the palace for a summer filled with gossip and eligible bachelors, she must conceal her illicit alter-ego while rebuilding relationships lost. But she is forced to decide between her safety and her integrity when Prince Alekzander, the next King, attempts to hire her to take out a powerful man at court: Chancellor Julian Marlow. With her head, and her heart, on the line, Christiana must decide what type of future she is truly meant to lead.

“The Selection’s political intrigue and heart-pounding romance meets Throne of Glass’s cutthroat justice in this breakout indie debut by Kathryn Marie. Like Christiana, you’ll find this read is a summer whirlwind you’ll never forget!” R. Dugan, Author of The Chaos Circus and the Starchaser Saga

Disclaimer: This book contains a few semi-graphic scenes of assault. Please be advised.

Review:

Rating: 4.5 stars

Published: August 4th 2020

Publisher: Indie


*I received an early digital copy from the author. This does not affect my review.*

Rating: Really more of a 4.5
Favorite Character:…must I choose? I loved all of Christiana’s friends and both her mentors (well we don’t actually meet one, but..still) Favorite if I must choose, Zander or Dorina….for different reasons 😉
Read Next Book?: Yes!
Something different I liked about this story, and something the same as other books I’ve enjoyed?:
The first part is easy, this one deals with abuse and mental health in a way both relevant and beautifully handled. I loved seeing both the MC’s strength and weaknesses as the story progresses, and seeing her find ways to use both in different measures to connect with others who have struggled in tragic ways.
The same, it still has an almost fantasy feel, while being much more of a historical fiction style, (Stalking Jack the Ripper) comes to mind solely for the setting and society setup in the story. I read a lot of fantasy and assassins and characters with tragic or dark pasts aren’t new, so as mentioned I loved that it’s a common theme but with a strong new element added to the story!

This year, namely this summer, has brought forth so many amazing Indie titles by some incredible female indie authors! And quite a few have been exceptional debuts like this one! I had a list of around 10 that I HAD to read this year, most published over the summer months here in the US. Well this one was on that list, and well deserved! I found this one different in a couple ways that most I’ve read lately, but that made me move it all the more. How was it different you ask? Well let me try to explain without spoilers, this is definitely one you want to ‘go into blind’ as I call it and know very little about it so the story can tell you itself as it unfolds!

As I’ve mentioned in past reviews, I’m a mood reader, and often crave that emotional connection to stories that takes a reader by surprise and pulls them along…I didn’t really have that with this one, and in fact in this case I almost preferred that. While I did clearly care for the characters, even suggesting a certain ship, and mentioning to the author how much a dear character deserved a happy ending of their own, it wasn’t the rush of infatuation or a new favorite whatever I can’t stop gushing about. No, it was like coming home to the comfort of an old friend, one who’s trusted and has stood the test of time again you. Many of my favorite classics tend to leave me with this feeling, but rarely do newer books, and I loved it! Most especially for this story!

I really can’t go in to detail much more, but will add that I loved this one, but saw a few openings what still weren’t resolved, and I’m excited to see what answers and promises Midnight Revenge holds! Definitely high on my list of sequels to pick up!


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Friday, October 16, 2020

Blitz: Nargis by Hermit Pen




About The Book

The book is a collection of 8 short stories, each unique and different from others, covering various facets of life, inspired by real-life characters and incidents.

The stories address contemporary social issues like loneliness, binge dating, domestic abuse, social media addiction, celebrity worship, and also contemporary environmental issues like pollution, dwindling water resources, declining fertility rate, chemical warfare, etc. 

The stories also attempt to illustrate the pain and wounds of contemporary political issues like lynching, conflicts, refugees, etc

All the characters seem very familiar and we can easily relate to them.


Book Purchase Links

Amazon India | Amazon USA



Book Excerpt


Nargis

It is 2030 and most of the water on earth is polluted.


In the beginning, it was industrial pollution that rendered most of the water beyond human usage, and then the water wars that followed resulted in the extensive use of chemical and biological weapons, which further left the remaining water sources toxic.


In less than 10 years, water had become the currency, and owners of non-toxic water source the new age kings, with their own militias, protecting their wells and supply chain.


Water trading was the most lucrative business now.


Namita


Namita had stopped thinking about resistance or confrontation long back. Domestic abuse and sometimes physical abuse had become part of life for her. She had accepted it. It was no secret either. Most people around her knew. It’s difficult to hide the scars, especially the physical ones. 


Lybched


Since that fateful day, he had wished for only two things. To meet the family of the boy he had killed and the people who had killed his brother. 


He couldn’t make up his mind as to what will give him the closure he needed. 


The atonement of his sin or revenge. Guilt and vengeance had been consuming him.


Neha


All she could manage was “Why are you good to me Shoeb? Why do you still stick around when everyone else has given up on me, and now you brought my child to me”.


Neha could not control anymore, tears started rolling down her cheeks. 


Shoeb softly spoke almost in a whisper to Neha “We have taken him out of the shelter and legally adopted him. We will raise him as our own now”


Banaras


He had plans of getting married next year. An arranged marriage. His parents in Hyderabad had already selected the bride for him. He knew nothing about the girl and was not interested to know either. He believed that arranged marriage will ensure that his parents will be taken care of in their old age, which was his prime responsibility, being the only son, as has been repeatedly hammered into his head, by the society, since childhood.


Lipsticks


The night was beautiful, a bit cold though to be sitting in the balcony in only a t-shirt, this had been her ritual, night after night. 


The silence at this time of the night is addictive. It calms the volatile souls and tames the inner demons. 


TikTok


Finally, she read out Waheed’s post aloud “I respectfully decline The Smith Award, which is considered no less than Noble prize, awarded to me for my thesis “Impact of Social Media on the Psyche of Celebrities”, due to the sad and unfortunate demise of a subject during the course of an experiment.”


Oh Syria!


Qasim, on the other hand, was sad, very sad. He had this foreboding that his days on his homeland were numbered and he won’t be able to return, ever. 


This was the home of his ancestors. Their graves were here. His father used to tell him that for centuries his family had lived in this town. 



About The Author



The author Mr. Hermit Pen is a regular contributor to short stories and articles for various anthologies, magazines, and own blog. 


Mr. Hermit Pen is a Business Consultant by profession with a degree in Engineering and an MBA. He is well-traveled, having spent half of his life outside India; he is presently based in Gurgaon, India.


He is a movie buff, music connoisseur, and a cricket fanatic.  He also closely follows politics and current affairs. He is a vocal advocate of education, human rights, and equality, and he occasionally dabble in social activism.


At the cusp of reinventing himself once again, Mr. Hermit Pen with all humility showcases his debut book, Nargis.


Catch up with Hermit Pen On


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