A MelanieM Review: Magic Wept (The Mages’ Guild Trilogy #2) by Andi Van

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The Mages’ Guild Trilogy: Book 2

Jorget wants desperately to hone his magical abilities, but it’s almost impossible in Archai Castle, where the mad king would kill him if he caught him using his forbidden talents. But a chance presents itself when Jorget’s mentor, the royal priest Denekk, sends him on a quest in search of a magical weapon. While it seems his opportunity to make a name for himself has finally arrived, Jorget has no idea what he’s really getting himself into.

 

In the Mages’ Guild of the Dragon’s Claw, Kelwin Tiovolk and his beloved, guild leader Tasis Kadara, are finally enjoying a peaceful life. Unfortunately, it can’t last—the king has designs on a weapon that can destroy the guild, and in order to protect his home, Kelwin will have to leave it.

 

Saving the guild seems impossible with so many determined to stop them, but if Kelwin and Jorget stand together, they might find the strength to defy the odds and preserve all they hold dear.

The middle book in the trilogy is often the hardest story for the author, and perhaps the reader.  It has to act as a bridge between the first story that launches the saga, where lies the power of introducing us to the characters and universe and then it has to carry us over to a third tale that will triumphantly bring all the many story threads together, answering our questions and, hopefully, giving our characters a HEA they all deserve. That’s quite a story load for any bridge to carry.    Plus it has its own narrative chores to carry out.  It must move a complicated plot forward, expand on existing characterizations, and, even do a little more revelations in the foundation/universe creations (here it’s in the mythology world building here that Van is creating).

Yes, that middle novel can make or break a trilogy.  So I’m so happy to tell you that I was just as enthralled with Magic Wept as I was with Magic Fell.  With everything this story had to accomplish, it did that and more as a compelling fantasy tale I couldn’t put down.  Van enlarged on the mythology started in the first story,  gave the reader many stunning twists here, introduced new characters and expanded on ones we barely met in the first novel, Magic Fell, by bringing them into the main group here.  I’m loving Emlynn the giant who never grew too tall,Jorget who’s mouth runs faster than his brilliant mind,  and many more.  Toddlers, butterflies, and dandelions, oh my!

Andi Van is able to balance the magical, the fantastical, with the ability to horrify in a split second.  And then go back again.

The characters that you find here, all of them, no matter the gender, or gender fluid, or gender identity, are all complicated, living beings.  That they might happen to be dragons, magical cats of a thousand years or a baby who can make butterflies dance about your heads, you take them all into your hearts and embrace them fully.  Which means you are fully invested about what happens every second of every page.

Which is a lot.

There is more world building, action and suspense, and, yes, its setting us up for the final story Magic Triumphed..

For those of you seeking heat in your fantasy, this is not the trilogy for you.  This is a true YA story with no heat at all.  Love, romance perhaps, but no sex.  It’s a wonderfully imagined, deeply satisfying fantasy adventure with great characters and world building.

I definitely recommend Magic Wept (The Mages’ Guild Trilogy #2) by Andi Van and Magic Fell.  Now onto the trilogy finale.

Cover Artist: AngstyG.  These are just gorgeous covers, and work not only for the trilogy but for the characters as well.

Sales links:  Harmony Ink | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 180 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Harmony Ink Press
ASIN B07DKX7TC6
Edition Language English
Series The Mages’ Guild Trilogy #2

A Vivacious Review: Controlled (Hot Flash) by J.M. Snyder

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Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

This is a short story but it is a very good short story. In fact, it is everything a short story should be.

When I came across the book, I was swamped but something about the blurb was so intriguing, that I knew I would make time for it and I am so thankful that I did. It is a short read but it is so good. It is amazing.

The concept of the story really intrigues me. The story focuses on a relationship between a couple who don’t get named throughout the story which just mystifies the intrigue. The story basically revolves around the idea of control in a relationship, is the person in control really in control or does he merely feel that way because his partner wants him to feel that way.

This story opens a whole lot of avenues and I don’t think they are very healthy ones but it makes for an amazing read. The story feels very manipulative and I really wonder about the future of this couple but the way the guy manipulates his partner is amazing in a little creepy way. I really don’t know how to feel.

In a way, I feel that people in relationships do manipulate each other to some degree to get what they want and the fact that you know the other person so well makes it easier to get what you want by pushing the right buttons. In this story, our narrator basically wants his partner’s attention and he plans everything to make sure he gets what he wants but the lengths he goes to will blow your mind.

It is a hot story with a mildly disturbing theme but it is so well written you will find yourself sucked into the story.

This is a genuinely amazing story that will blow your socks off. If that blurb intrigues you read the story it is totally worth it.

Cover Art by Written Ink Designs. Even though the cover consists of a stock photo it fits this story to the tee.

Sales Links: JMS Books LLCAmazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 12 pages
Published February 6th 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07N49JFZ6

An Alisa Release Day Review: Hidden Powers (Superordinary Society #1) by Tara Lain

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Jazz Vanessen is weird—and not just because he’s a werewolf. For most of his life, he’s felt different from his alpha male brothers and friends. Since he’s adopted, he can’t even blame it on family.

Now eighteen, Jazz meets his idol, the social activist Lysandra Mason, and her breathtaking nephew, Dash Mercury. When Dash is around, even stranger things start to happen, including Jazz falling hopelessly in lust. Not only is Jazz having visions, making people disappear, and somehow turning invisible, but somebody’s following him and threatening to reveal his pack’s secrets to the world.

Together with Dash and Jazz’s equally amazing friends—Carla, BeBop, Khadija, and Fatima—they discover the danger is even more lethal than they thought, and Jazz’s weirdness may save all their lives.

This was a wonderful story.  I didn’t connect that this is following those from the Harker Pack series but I was so glad when I realized it as I loved that series.

Jazz has always felt different than his family and all the weird things that have been happening around him is making it worse.  Dash is way more than Jazz could ever have thought but he is really a lot of help once he decides which side he is on.

I loved Jazz, he is so sweet and while there are some secrets he has to keep, he doesn’t apologize for who he is.  I loved seeing him do what he does best but felt for him when he was confused and everything seemed to be going wrong.  Now Dash, I didn’t like him initially when he came to stay with Carla but once he allowed himself not just follow what he is told he let the real him show and really hope he isn’t gone to his special school too long.  I loved how the friends are all different and have different things that were special about them.  I can’t wait to read more in this series and see what these kids get up to.

I really like the cover art by Reese Dante and think it works well for the story.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 278 pages

Published: March 12, 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64405-154-2

Edition Language: English

Series: Superordinary Society #1

Andrew Grey on Memories, Tours, and his new story Borrowed Heart (author guest blog)

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Borrowed Heart by Andrew Grey
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

DreamSpinner Press

 

 

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andrew Grey here today talking about his new release Borrowed Heart.  Welcome, Andrew.

✒︎

 

When I started Borrowed Heart, I knew it was going to take place on a tour in Europe and since I had travelled in Germany many times, it was the natural choice.  However one thing I didn’t count on, it just crept in, was the fact that much of the story mirrored Dominic and my honeymoon some 23 years ago.  That was a pleasant surprise.  I got to relive some of the things we did through the book and what surprised me even more was the fact that writing the book recalled things I hadn’t thought about on years.  It was a great trip down memory lane.

The first stop on our trip was Freiburg in the black forest.  It’s a beautiful city with a vibrant central business district.  After a few days, before sunset, Dominic and I took a walk out of the town and up into the forest itself.  We past small garden houses and then were engulfed in trees and an umbrella of green.  We got off the beaten path to discover ruins that we climbed over and sat on for pictures.  I remember it as something out of Lord of the Rings, though without the carved faces and stuff.  Dominic and I never passed anyone else, it was just the two of us in the forest.  Irs funny what you remember and how important these little memories become.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Robin, the recipient of a brand-new heart, knows he can’t give it to just anyone….

Robin’s been through his share of upsets recently, from heart transplant surgery to a brutal breakup. But his experiences have taught him life is short, and he’s ready to seize the day and start anew. A job at Euro Pride Tours is just the kind of adventure he’s looking for. He gets to see the world and live a little, but love isn’t on his radar screen. He isn’t sure his heart can endure that again.

Johan might’ve disappointed his family by striking out on his own, but when he meets Robin, he has no intention of letting him down. Each man is just what the other needs to feel whole again, and while Johan might not be the man Robin originally thought he was, he’s exactly what the doctor ordered to make Robin’s borrowed heart beat faster. As the tour through Germany progresses, they grow closer, but when Robin’s ex joins the tour, he could bring their blossoming love to a dramatic halt.

Excerpt:

“Guten Morgen. I’m Robin, and I’m going to be your tour guide for the next eleven days. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the itinerary, and as far as I know, there aren’t any changes that we are expecting. Our driver, Johan—” He paused, and Johan waved quickly before merging into traffic. “—and I will be here to make sure you get where you need to. At any time during the trip, I will be happy to answer questions. Now, for most of our day trips, Johan will lock the bus, so you can feel free to leave your things in the overhead compartment, or we can put them in the locked compartments.”

“Even my laptop?” Grant asked, his hand shooting in the air.

“Yes. Your laptops, sweaters, jackets… all of it. We don’t recommend that you leave things on the bus overnight, because Johan will need to park it and he’ll be at the hotel with us.” Robin gazed out at the faces all looking back at him expectantly. “The drive to Würzburg is going to take about two hours with traffic, so I thought I’d give you a little overview of the country we’re going to be seeing. The country we know as Germany didn’t always look the way it does today. Up until a hundred and fifty or so years ago, it was many different sovereign states—Prussia, Franconia, and Bavaria, to name a few of them. They each had their own rulers and royal lines. You may have heard of some of them.”

“What about East Germany? Was that one of them?” Billy asked, and Kyle nudged him sharply.

“No. That’s because of the war,” Kyle interjected.

“What we know or knew as East and West Germany resulted from World War II. East Germany was the part controlled by the Russians. Germany was reunified in 1990.” Robin took a deep breath and continued. “We are going to see palaces, castles, and Roman ruins, taste wine….”

“And get drunk…,” a couple said together, and everyone laughed.

Robin tried to laugh along with them, but failed, waiting them out instead. Kyle and Billy started talking about beer, and the conversation took off on its own. Popping and hissing sounds followed, and both Kyle and Billy sipped from cans, offering them to others as well. Soon almost everyone was drinking, and Robin wondered how they’d gotten that much beer on the bus right under his nose. He was going to have to keep an eye on those two. Giving up on imparting any more information, he sat down and let the group talk while they rode.

“It is okay,” Johan said from just in front of him. “They need to get to know one another, and this is a good time for them to do it.”

“I suppose. I usually have get-to-know-each-other games,” Robin explained, and Johan snorted. “What?”

“I remember those games. The beer is better.” He returned to his driving, chuckling under his breath. Robin wanted to smack him, but as he turned to look at the rest of the group, he had to agree that the beer was better. They were having a good time, talking and laughing. Robin faced forward, watching the road and scenery out the front window as they entered the Autobahn. He opened the file and reviewed it once again, needing something to do.

About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter @andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: A Chip and a Chair (Seven of Spades #5) by Cordelia Kingsbridge

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A Chip and a Chair (Seven of Spades #5)  by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Riptide Publishing

Cover Art: Garrett Leigh

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Thanks for checking out the blog tour for A Chip and a Chair, the conclusion to the Seven of Spades series!

Just as the Seven of Spades investigation is closing in, an act of terror devastates Las Vegas. In order to save the city they love, Levi and Dominic may need the help of the very killer they’ve been hunting…


About A Chip and a Chair

It’s time to lay all the cards on the table.

Detective Levi Abrams and PI Dominic Russo are reunited and more committed to each other than ever, but they can’t truly move forward with their lives until the serial killer who’s been tormenting them is behind bars. When a secret burial site is discovered in the desert with the remains of the Seven of Spades’s earliest victims, that goal finally seems within reach.

But just as the net is tightening, the neo-Nazi militia Utopia launches their master plan with a devastating act of terror that changes the landscape of Las Vegas forever. As Levi and Dominic scramble to prevent the city’s destruction, they’re opposed by treacherous forces that propel them toward catastrophe. In the end, Levi’s fate may rest in the hands of the very killer he’s been hunting.

The race to save Sin City is on, and these players are going for broke. No matter how hopeless things seem, as long as they’re together and they’ve got a chip to play and a chair to sit in, they’re still in the game.

Now available from Riptide Publishing.

About the Seven of Spades Series

Las Vegas has never seen a serial killer like the Seven of Spades.

The self-styled vigilante is on a mission to cut down the wicked and treacherous, and Sin City has no shortage of targets for their bloody wrath. What happens in Vegas . . . ends with the Seven of Spades’s calling card on a grisly corpse.

Standing against the killer are Levi Abrams, a dedicated homicide detective locked in a constant struggle to restrain his own dark side, and bounty hunter Dominic Russo, a charming rogue with a heavy secret weighing on his shoulders.

The hunt for the Seven of Spades sends Levi and Dominic on a collision course, igniting a passionate relationship forged in conflict and sealed with blood. Together they’re stronger than the sum of their parts, but a wily, elusive serial killer isn’t the only threat that will strain their bond to the breaking point.

Ante up, because the Seven of Spades is all in. Are you?

Check out the Seven of Spades series!


About Cordelia Kingsbridge

Cordelia Kingsbridge has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, but quickly discovered that direct practice in the field was not for her. Having written novels as a hobby throughout graduate school, she decided to turn her focus to writing as a full-time career. Now she explores her fascination with human behavior, motivation, and psychopathology through fiction. Her weaknesses include opposites-attract pairings and snarky banter.

Away from her desk, Cordelia is a fitness fanatic, and can be found strength training, cycling, and practicing Krav Maga. She lives in South Florida but spends most of her time indoors with the air conditioning on full blast!

Connect with Cordelia:


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of A Chip and a Chair one lucky person will win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 16, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!