A MelanieM Review: Lord of Hearth, Lord of Hollow by Sera Kane

Standard

Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

LordofHearthFSCulinary school is hard enough for Aimes Cully without mixing in an utterly underwhelming physical appearance—too small, too delicate, too red-haired, too freckled, too human—added with the inability to magically improve the food—still too human—and facing the too beautiful, too fae-looking Aleksi’s teases and taunts. When rumors surface that Aimes’s older brother’s success is a lie, Aimes is determined to prove them wrong and show that pure-blooded humans are the equal of anyone with mixed blood.

But things get worse after Aimes is caught in a faerie ring and transported to the fae hollow of Lord Keanewyeth Ordioral. As the attraction heats up, it becomes obvious that there’s something wrong in the magical home. A cursed creature appears, and everything becomes jumbled as the secrets of their lives collide into a painful concoction of Aimes’s past and Keanewyeth’s present. But if they can meld their talents, they might be able to save each other.

 

Sera Kane is a new author for me but if Lord of the Hearth, Lord of the Hollow is any indication of her writing, I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us readers.  I do love fantasy fiction and its clear from the world building going on here that Sera Kane loves it too.  The author has amassed a wealth of details and general information about the fae, magic, spells that her vision of the universe here comes through with sparkling clarity.  To this she added the intense atmosphere of a culinary school, a interspecies romance and so much more.  And did so with humor.

Even the dialogs here with its mixtures of slang and more formal language of court I felt worked well within the storyline. However the wealth of vision here and wonderful plot was a little too weighty, in my opinion, for the length of pages allotted by the author.   Its length could really have been tripled to deal with all that went on and still not have covered it all to the depth indicated by parts of this narrative and universe.

At 52 pages, you will whip through this story in no time.  Its fun, sexy and a lovely fantasy romp.  Pick it up, if you are a lover of fantasy fiction and chef’s competitions gone fae!

 

Cover art by Paul Richmond is right in tune with the story and characters, a real plus.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe |  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 52 pages
Published April 20th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163477132X (ISBN13: 9781634771320)
Edition Language English

A Stella Review: Old Town New by BA Tortuga

Standard

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Old Town NewDanny Avers is a teacher in small town Colorado. Back in the day, before high-speed Internet, social media, smartphones, or streaming anything, Danny’s just trying to live down his wild teenage years and carry on the only way he knows how: one day at a time. The last person he expects to see back in town is Harlan Quinn, his old best friend and former consummate bad boy. And when he finds out Quinn is the new sheriff and his new neighbor, it’s even more of a shock.

Quinn knows there’s more to his old hometown than meets the eye. There’s more to Danny than old memories and quiet living too. But as in the past, stirring things up is Quinn’s specialty, and he sets out to do that, in more ways than one, pushing Danny to admit there’s more to life and that their old town just might manage to be new again. That’s if old town thinking doesn’t get them both killed.

I always feel sorry when I have to write a bad review, this time more than ever cause it’s about BA Tortuga, an author I really like and whose style I enjoy so much. Problem is I had a very hard time reading this new book, Old Town New. At the end it simply didn’t work to me, at all. And I was surprised because the author has always been a winner for me.

I picked this story not just for the author but because from the blurb I understood it was a second chance at love story and I’m a fan of this kind of plot. I have to say I was soon caught up in the book. The author didn’t give me all the facts at the start of what Quinn and Danny experienced in their pasts. It was kept a welcomed mystery with well defined characters and likeable since their first introduction. Most of all adult characters with a baggage on their shoulders, not light ones, just how I like them to be.

Then I don’t know what happened, still something happened because they became boring, childish and unreal, all they did was having sex but believe me, the sex scenes were too many, and if I say so it means they really were too many.

What particularly I didn’t like were the dialogues, unbelievably unrealistics.  I was reading them with my eyes wide open cause I was so shocked this was written by the same author who wrote The Term of Release or Ever the Same. The story had potential but it fell very pointless and repetitive.

I was able to finish Old Town New but it was a struggle, I didn’t DFN because I gave myself two duties when I review books, read them wholly and be honest. If it hadn’t been an ARC, I’m sure I wouldn’t have finished it.

The cover art by Anna Sikorska could have easily worked cause it’s well done, i like the colors and the font, but it’s appear false and it doesn’t respect how I picture Dan and Quinn in my mind.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

Ebook, 3rd Edition, 161 pages
Publication Date April 20th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published 2006)
ISBN 163476823X(ISBN13: 9781634768238)
Edition Language English

Fall into the Fantasy World of Sera Kane with ‘Lord of Hearth, Lord of Hollow’ (release day author guest blog and excerpt)

Standard

LordofHearthFS

Lord of Hearth, Lord of Hollow by Sera Kane
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Art by Paul Richmond

Buy Link:  Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sera Kane here today to share her thoughts about her new release, Lord of Hearth, Lord of Hollow.  Welcome, Sera!

✍✍✍✍✍

Whom shall we meet upon this road?  Spiritkin or stranger-friend, welcome all with giving hands, open smiles.

Hello, everyone.  My name is Sera Kane and I’m beyond thrilled to be here to greet you all!  Why?  Of course you’ve already guessed it, to introduce you to my novella, Lord of Hearth, Lord of Hollow!  Join Aimes as he turns up the heat on his own competitiveness to make it as a chef so he can search for his brother.  Meet Keane as his enforced solitude suddenly comes to an end and he’s faced with the delicious dilemma of what to do with his visitor.

As I wrote, I was faced with the undeniable problem that Aimes is definitely a cook, a chef in training.  And I?  Well.  One time I was unable to boil water.

Yeah.

Fortunately, I’ve spent my entire life overburdened with imagination and with the aid of someone who does know how to cook—thanks again, spouse!—I was even able to add a recipe to the end of the story!  No, it’s not my recipe.  I can’t cook.  My spouse encourages you to try it out, however, and I definitely suggest using the excess as a dip!  Maybe I should ask for him to make it tonight to celebrate…

Besides not cooking, my days are filled with writing and obsessing over words.  And plots.  And characters.  Fantasy is my preferred genre, so everything having to do with Keane, an Elfaegaardian lord, flowed fairly easily.  Actually, the entire world bloomed as though it had merely been waiting for my fingers to touch keyboard and thus open the gates.

I would certainly love to do more in this world and have some very vague bubblings of a human prince meeting an El lord himself.  Perhaps, if you, the travelers of our world, wish to learn more, I could be persuaded to do so.  Hint hint: please let me know!  I not only love to answer questions, but I love to know what the readers think!

So, please!  Read and enjoy the story of Aimes and Keane, and smile as you know that every cooking reference was blatantly stolen from my spouse.  Thank you!

Blurb

Culinary school is hard enough for Aimes Cully without mixing in an utterly underwhelming physical appearance—too small, too delicate, too red-haired, too freckled, too human—added with the inability to magically improve the food—still too human—and facing the too beautiful, too fae-looking Aleksi’s teases and taunts. When rumors surface that Aimes’s older brother’s success is a lie, Aimes is determined to prove them wrong and show that pure-blooded humans are the equal of anyone with mixed blood.

But things get worse after Aimes is caught in a faerie ring and transported to the fae hollow of Lord Keanewyeth Ordorial. As the attraction heats up, it becomes obvious that there’s something wrong in the magical home. A cursed creature appears, and everything becomes jumbled as the secrets of their lives collide into a painful concoction of Aimes’s past and Keanewyeth’s present. But if they can meld their talents, they might be able to save each.

Special Excerpt

Step and hop on cloudy night,

Out again afore moon’s soft light.

Else a price that must be paid;

The lord’s commands are all obeyed.

A molasses pause filled the room, thick and oozing. It was a silence that spoke of the dark curse: Double. Dog. Dare.

Aimes held his breath, eyes focused firmly on Aleksi’s grim and angry face. He knew better than to push the teacher’s pet. He knew better than to open his big, stupid mouth and do the one thing his older brother had warned him against doing ever. You could never be too careful when you were too human. Those with fae blood would always come down harder on those without, so the Cullys had to be better. Be smarter, braver, and more creative. That’s why Markl had kept trying until he was accepted at the palace. That was why Aimes had to make it to the palace, too.

“If you’re such a know-all-fae,” Aleksi announced with all of the dramatic flare of a ringmaster about to bring out the dancing flame wraiths, “then you can just go get some fairy mushrooms tonight. And then you can make your ‘oh, so famous’—” Aleksi punctuated the words with air quotations so sarcastic that a few of their fellows grimaced at the taste of them. “—Faerie mushrooms for Madame LeBanch tomorrow.”

Aimes took in a swift, tremulous breath. He could still get out of this. All he had to do was cut in with a scathing remark now, something that would cut Aleksi’s legs right out from under him, before he had a chance to invoke….

“I double-dog dare you.”

The curse settled over the class like a blanket. Aleksi’s cronies tittered in delight while his rivals watched in disgusted shock. It was a waste of a curse, especially on a nonentity like Aimes. Humans didn’t have the innate magic to effectively challenge a curse, and especially not one as complex as a named dare. Aimes wouldn’t be able to turn the curse back on Aleksi because fae blood always trumped human blood. The reminder of his ineptitude stung.

Aimes clenched his fists, and his pale chin came up sharply. “All right,” he said, trying to pretend that this high-pitched thing was the normal sound of his voice. “I accept.”

About the Author

Sera Kane has loved the written word for essentially forever, in this particular case, somewhere in the range of thirty years or so.  She writes to share the fantastical things that go on in her mind on a daily basis.  Her secret-but-not-so-secret desire is to write pieces that are impossible to put down.  And, also, to kill off a beloved character.  She has not succeeded at either of these things, but be warned that she wants to!

She currently lives in southern California, but she’s been quite a few places in her day!  Her favourites include Washington– the state, not DC– Texas, and Japan.  Her house is filled by an exceedingly tall husband, a very swift son, a derpy German Shepherd, and a grumpy yet loving Shih-Tzu.  If she ever won the lottery, she’d have houses in all three of those places and breed Shepherds in at least one of them.

Sera Kane’s Social Media: