An Aurora YA Review: Of Dreams of Fire and Gods – Gods by James Erich –

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Rating: I give this book 5 out of 5 stars:

A Harmony Ink YA Novel

 

Dreams of Fire and Gods: Book Three

GodsLong ago, two factions of gods, the Stronni and the Taaweh, nearly destroyed the Kingdom of Dasak in a great war. The Taaweh vanished when their queen was imprisoned, and the Stronni declared victory. A thousand years later, a young nobleman named Sael and his lover Koreh have rescued the Taaweh queen. In the process Koreh was killed, and now an injured Sael struggles to heal from both injuries and grief. Unknown to him, Koreh embarks on a journey across the land of the dead, trying to make his way back to Sael—and to life. But time moves differently in the underworld, and decades pass while Koreh travels.

In the living world, tensions between the emperor and Sael’s father, Vek Worlen, who is regent of the eastern kingdom, have soured beyond repair. Worlen conspires with the assassin Donegh to break into the imperial palace and challenge the emperor to a duel to the death. But the goddess Imen has chosen a young priest named Gonim as her champion. Through him she discovers the Taaweh have returned, and her enraged king threatens to destroy Dasak and all its human inhabitants. Sael must save his world, must confront the gods and persuade them not to destroy humankind. But it seems hopeless. If only Koreh were at his side…

First, I would like to say that I loved this book! Often times, epic books aren’t exactly my cup of tea, and I tend to prefer shorter, more modern-fantasy type stories, but I had an amazing time reading this book, regardless. The only difference between this book and any of my favorite books was that it took me a little while longer to read, but once I’d finished it, and as I was reading it, it was a great experience.

There was great depiction of bigger things while still keeping the characters and problems ‘real’, which is what I loved so much about it and what kept me interested. The author also did a great job of keeping things from getting too confusing while still being on a big scale. I know that this book is one of a series and I haven’t read the others so there are probably some things that I didn’t necessarily appreciate that I could have, but even only reading this book out of them all, I didn’t find myself ever scratching my head and being drawn out of the story.

I would definitely read this again, and I plan to read the rest of the series, and I would recommend it even to people like me who usually reach for shorter books, because it is worth it.

Cover Artist: James Erich. I think this cover is beautiful, and it’s one of the few times I would actually probably favor a photo-edited cover over the exact same premise, but drawn, because it just seems more realistic, and is able to have more details. Because it’s simple, I think it works really well.

Sales Links:   Harmony Ink Press eBook & Paperback         All Romance (ARe)        amazon            buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published October 17th 2013 by Harmony Ink Press (first published October 16th 2013)
ISBN 1627983783 (ISBN13: 9781627983785)
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com
seriesDreams of Fire and Gods #3

Books in the series include:

Dreams (Dreams of Fire and Gods, #1)
Fire (Dreams of Fire and Gods, #2)
Gods (Dreams of Fire and Gods, #3)

A Sammy Review: Ben Raphael’s All-Star Virgins by K.Z. Snow

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Pride that depends on the approval of others is a false pride, layered on from outside yourself like gold leaf. When the leaf begins to flake and chip, you see the base material beneath it. When you see the base material, the shiny deception exists no more. What are you left with?

Soul-crushing disillusionment. A sorrow that seems absolute.

All Star Virgins coverThere’s something about youth that is so wonderful and yet so sad. This is displayed perfectly in the story of five young boys who attend Ben Raphael Academy, a boarding school, together. They’re more than friends, they’re family, but in the midst of a chaotic world filled with typical teenage drama, they’re virtually invisible.

When one of them comes up with a plan to change that, to make them become noticed and to highlight their “mystique” as virgins who aren’t trying to chase tail, a rare breed among boys their age, the rest go along. What starts out as a simple act to try and make a quiet, forgotten group noticed and desired winds its way into a far darker journey of discovery, loss, and love.

I forced myself to look at the sky. The stars wheeled thickly overhead. This night, they seemed like a gateway to infinite possibilities, not a glittering veil over a dark, suctioning void.

I went into this thinking it was going to be a fun, cute Young Adult story. I’m not typically one for that genre, but this sounded interesting.

Well, I can say for certain that cute and light were not quite what I got out of this. It speaks volumes about the thought process of youth and how they seek to be seen, but more than that seek acceptance. It was all a very sad reality to me. And while there is an element of romance in this between Rider and Jake, I feel the heart of the story lies more in the group of boys themselves.

Reading the blurb again, I think it sounds a bit cheesy toward the end in regards to an unspeakable tragedy, and when I read what this tragedy was, it may have at first seemed over-dramatic and far-fetched, but the more I thought about it, the more realistic it actually was – and that thought made me incredibly sad.

*POTENTIAL SPOILER REGARDING POSSIBLY TRIGGERING TOPIC: I was also surprised at the heaviness of a certain topic in this. I will say that if anyone has a hard boundary line when it comes to relationships between minors and adults of the more manipulative nature, you should steer clear of this. For some reason, I didn’t expect it to happen. Granted, this isn’t a long book, but it still surprised me when the initial idea was hinted at and then fleshed out.

I do think that the tragedy aspect of it, as well as the taboo relationship part, would’ve been more impactful in a book of novel length. With this being 134 pages, everything was quick, and the brief glimpses we got of this issues being dug into were quite nice, but just not enough given the weight of them.

In general a good story, but certainly not something I’d suggest if you want a quick, light read. Quick, yes, but light, not so much.And although I’m not an expert regarding the classification of a young adult story, this does depict teenage boys going through life. While there are several references to sexual activities, and times when we see what leads up to it and the aftermath, there are no explicit sexual details. As such, I’d say it does fall pretty well into the Young Adult category.

Cover Artist: Maria Fanning provided a simple cover that at first seems quite basic in regards to the type of story. Boys in a boarding school – thus a boy with a uniform on the cover. Yet, when you get into the story, the backdrop of the cover comes to have a great meaning, and really highlight a beautiful element of the story.

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink eBook        All Romance (ARe)          Amazon            Ben Raphael’s All Star Virgins

Book Details:

ebook, 134 pages
Published September 25th 2014 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN139781632162571
other editions
None found

Cover Reveal for Unicorns and Rainbow Poop by Sam Kadence (contest)

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Need a little wonder in your life?  Check out the new cover for  Sam Kadence’s Unicorns and Rainbow Poop!  There is an excerpt to read and a contest to enter! Now on to  our cover reveal…

Book Name: Unicorns and Rainbow Poop
Author Name: Sam Kadence

Author Bio:

Sam Kadence has always dreamed about being someone else, somewhere else. With very little musical talent, Sam decided the only way to make those dreams come true was to try everything from cosplay at the local anime conventions to writing novels about pretending to run away to become a musician.

Sam has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing, sells textbooks for a living, enjoys taking photographs of Asian Ball Joint Dolls to tell more stories, and has eclectic taste in music from J-pop to rock and country. All of which finds its way into the books eventually.

Author Contact:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008292783586&fref=ts&ref=br_tf
https://www.facebook.com/SamKadence
@parisbvamp

10722326_10204675409863614_1859204750_oPublisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist:  Aaron Anderson
Sales Links for Dreamspinner Press:  eBook    Paperback

Unicorns and Rainbow Poop Blurb:

Ex-boyband member Dane Karlson is struggling to overcome an eating disorder and a body dismorphic disorder. His fall through a glass table puts him in rehab and on the road to recovery. Then a friend dies. When depression causes him to lose ground, he calls for the only person he trusts–former bandmate Tommy. But Tommy doesn’t know how to help. He begs his friend Sebastian “Bas” Axelrod to aid them through the emotional struggle.

Bas, an openly gay high school student who’s recently lost his grandmother, is trying to survive his last few months of school before escaping to Stanford. Having just lost the only person in his family to care for him, he is victim to the cruelty of the others. His younger brother bullies him, and his parents are suing him for his gran’s inheritance. When Tommy calls, Bas can’t help but run to his side.

Together Dane and Bas find a middle ground, supporting each other through the lows, dancing together during the highs. They build friendships and plan for the prom and graduation, thinking positively as long as they are together.

Categories: YA, Contemporary, m/m

Unicorns and Rainbow Poop Excerpt:

“So I was thinking since you and I both care about Tommy, we have something in common. See, Tommy is stressed, and I thought we could do something nice for him.”

Dane sat but glared at the man suspiciously. “What sort of nice thing?”

Bas motioned to the bags. “We’re going to make him cookies.”

Dane gulped. “I don’t like food.”

“You won’t be eating it. Tommy will. He canceled a class to come here. Did he tell you? He was taking a theater class at the community college back in Minnesota. Had to withdraw to be here. And with college, you know that means giving up any money paid. Not that money matters much to you guys. Though as young as you all are, I hope you’re well invested.”

Bas shrugged at him and began taking things out of the bags. Flour, eggs, sugar—both white and brown—food coloring, butter, vanilla, and lemons.

“I didn’t know,” Dane said quietly. He’d thought Tommy would be the least affected by his problems. Of course he’d been wrong about that too. Couldn’t he do anything right? “I don’t know anything about cooking.”

“That’s okay. I got this recipe online. It’s pretty easy. We’re making unicorn poop cookies.”

“What?”

“They are sugar cookies with food coloring in them to make them all rainbow-like. Unicorns are good luck and all that. Supposed to be the embodiment of goodness and purity.” Bas picked up his tablet, tapped the screen, and flipped it so Dane could see. The cookies really did look like a big pile of rainbow poop.

“Looks tasty,” Dane grumbled.

“We shall see, right? Think you can measure for me?” He pulled out a couple of cookie sheets and turned on one of the many ovens. “I got permission to use the kitchen here, but we can’t get too rowdy or they’ll kick me out.” He winked at Dane. “I’m pretty sure the orderlies outside are to make sure I’m not burning the place down.”

Dane got up and moved around the counter to stare at the list of ingredients. Bas plugged in a big mixer and took the mixing bowl out of it, bringing it to the counter for them to fill.

“This is really for Tommy?”

“Sure. We can send some to Ru and Adam too if you’d like. I heard they are only an hour or so away.”

“I don’t want Ru to know I’m here,” Dane said immediately. He didn’t need to mess up anyone else’s life.

“No worries. We need tell them nothing other than that they are from you.”

RainbowBadgeTour Dates: October 6, 2014

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Andrew Q. Gordon, Amanda C. Stone, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, BFD Book Blog, My Fiction Nook, The Hat Party, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Foxylutely Book Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Cathy Brockman Romances, Fallen Angel Reviews, Rebecca Cohen Writes, The Blogger Girls, Cate Ashwood, A_TiffyFit’s Reading Corner, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Smoocher’s Voice, Will Parkinson, Love Bytes, Multitasking Mommas, Twinsie Talk, Iyana Jenna

Contest: Rafflecopter Prize: $20 Amazon Gift Card. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Use the Rafflecopter link provided to enter and for all additional contest details.

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