A Free Dreamer Review: Of Gallantry and Magic by Alex Hintermann

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Sir Tristan, son of a continental hero, is summoned to the court of Schafheim to interview for a novice knight position. After dozens of applications to courts all over the Continent, Lord Schafheim wants to see him. Immediately. But when he arrives for the interview, things start to go wrong: a brash, bearded commoner ties his dragon too close to Sir Tristan’s firebreather and refuses to move it. This same commoner offers to love Tristan in the way he has always desired.

Magic, knights, dragons, and a promise of forbidden love – what could possibly go wrong? Well, for “Of Gallantry and Magic” the answer is a lot. I really thought this book was going to be amazing, but sadly this book was very disappointing.

First of all, I really didn’t like the writing style. It’s supposed to be historical but it just felt so very fake to me. I can’t even say why. From what I can tell, it was mostly accurate and the editing was well done too. But it just really, really bothered me and made it impossible for me to get into the flow of the story. I was constantly distracted and just couldn’t concentrate on the book.

Then, I just couldn’t stand Tristan. He was an ignorant, arrogant, self-important, pompous ass. And whiny. He infuriated me and I just wanted to smack him. Hard.

Because of this, the romance part didn’t work either. I don’t see what that “vexing commoner” saw in the good Sir Tristan. But we don’t learn much about him either. He, like all the other characters, stayed very flat.

The biggest let-down of all was probably the fantasy part. I love dragons. But in close to 200 pages, we only get a couple of scenes with the dragons in them, and not even as the main focus. There was real promise there. The author obviously came up with lots and lots of different dragons, of all shapes and sizes. But instead of really exploring that part of the story, it’s just mentioned in passing and then gets ignored completely for the rest of the book.

As for the actual plot, well, the blurb says it all, really. Not much else actually happens in this story and I’m still not sure what I actually read. I can’t tell you if this was supposed to be a coming-of-age story, an enemies-to-lovers thing or something completely different.

Long story short, I did not like this book. It had great potential but didn’t go anywhere. If you are thinking about buying this book anyway, I’d recommend you to read an excerpt first. If you like the writing style, I think you can like the book.

The cover looks alright. It obviously shows a scene from the book and I think the two men fit the description of the MCs pretty well.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book info: ebook, 196 pages

Published September 15th 2018 by self

An Alisa Review: The Dragon’s Thief by Riza Curtis

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Chester. Magpie shifter, renowned thief.

Chester knows better than to get involved when a dragon requests his services. Anyone who steals from a dragon’s hoard is not to be screwed with. There’s something alluring about Michal though, and Chester’s always loved playing with fire…

Michal. Dragon shifter, first-born son.

Michal knows exactly who’s taken the centrepiece of his hoard—his estranged brother. The one person he can’t touch thanks to family politics. It seems simple enough to hire the little magpie shifter to retrieve what is his. But, Chester is nothing like Michal expected, and in the end he might need to decide whether the last piece of his mother is worth more than the man who could own his heart.

This was a nice story.  Michal wants the piece of his hoard back but it becomes less and less important as he starts to get to know Chester.  Chester wants to get Michal his piece back but ends up giving Michal so much more.

Chester has never really had any close connections to people and the two he is closest to he hardly ever sees and they have a parental connection.  Getting mixed up with Michal throws him for a loop but I loved watching him see that there is a chance for him to be happy.  I really like seeing Michal find something more important that his hoard, which is a common problem with dragons.  The story wasn’t very deep but I thought it was really enjoyable.

The cover art by Riza Curtis is great, I love it.

Sales Link:Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook, 65 pages

Published: July 6, 2018 by Riza Curtis

Edition Language: English

A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: The Wanderer (Chronicles of the Riftlands #1) by Rowan McAllister

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

After centuries of traveling the continent of Kita and fighting the extradimensional monsters known as Riftspawn, mage Lyuc is tired and ready to back away from the concerns of humanity.

But the world isn’t done with him yet.

While traveling with a merchant caravan, Lyuc encounters Yan, an Unnamed, the lowest caste in society. Though Yan has nothing but his determination and spirit, he reminds Lyuc what passion and desire feel like. While wild magic, a snarky, shapeshifting, genderfluid companion, and the plots of men and monsters seem determined to keep Lyuc from laying down his burden, only Yan’s inimitable spirit tempts him to hang on for another lifetime or so.

All Yan wants is to earn the sponsorship of a guild so he can rise above his station, claim a place in society, and build the family he never had.

After hundreds of years of self-imposed penance, all Lyuc wants is Yan.

If they can survive prejudice, bandits, mercenaries, monsters, and nature itself, they might both get their wish… and maybe even their happily ever after.

I really enjoyed The Wanderer. It ticked a lot of boxes for me and I just couldn’t put it down.

I liked both Yan and Lyuc immediately. They’re very different but make a wonderful couple. I really enjoyed their relationship dynamic and it was pretty obvious that they cared for each other. I really enjoyed watching their relationship blossom and especially Yan changing and growing in character.

But my favourite character by far was Lyuc’s traveling companion and friend. He’s so cool and he really added to the story.

The fantasy part has all the potential to become truly epic. It’s not exactly a brand new idea, but the author definitely made it work. The world building was well done and I immediately fell into the universe. It had me intrigued and I definitely want to find out more. This is just the beginning, after all.

There weren’t all that many sex scenes. While I don’t always need tons of sex to enjoy a book, I think this could have used a bit more. It’s implied that Yan has had some not so great experiences in the past and that he’s used sex as a favour to get out of trouble. It felt like he immediately went from “sex as a favour” to “sex out of love”. There was no slow change over time and that’s a bit of a shame. But that’s all I have to complain about.

Long story short, I absolutely loved “The Wanderer” and I can’t wait for part two. This really has the potential to become a really epic fantasy story with a wonderful relationship. I just hope the author will keep the current couple and won’t introduce a new one. I really liked our trio.

I really like the cover by Stef Masciandaro. It makes me smile and fits the story perfectly.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640802360
Series Chronicles of the Riftlands #1

L. Rockwood In The Author Spotlight on his release ‘Defiant Revival’, Writing, and Much More (Author Interview)

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Defiant Revival by L. Rockwood
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reamspinner Press
Cover Art by Angsty G
Release Date October 28, 2016

Sales Links

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have L. Rockwood here today to talk about his latest release from Dreamspinner Press, Defiant Revival, world building, writing and much more.  Welcome to STRW, L, tell about about Defiant Revival’s and yourself as a author:

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I was able to come up with my own universe and a whole new humanoid species, but for some reason I struggle writing about myself. It’s as if my creativity tap just gets turned off when I go to write about writing. That is… without a prompt! I love answering questions and so I will do my best to hit them all.

Q: Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?

A: Death and rebirth are huge for me, not only in this series but also in my works in progress. I have always been the macabre sort, but it’s more than that. In my teens and young twenties I lived through numerous near death experiences, a good half of them my own fault. Surviving these are not what I count as my rebirth, however. It was when I picked myself, chose to live and started to embrace all of myself. Oh, and Dragon Ball Z definitely showed me heroes never truly die.

Q: Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And  why?

A: Totally pants. I have tried outlining stuff in the other story I’m working on, but it just doesn’t flow for me that way. I will write whole chapters in my head during long car rides, though.

Q: Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?

A: I wrote fantasy, but I don’t think it was the genre that drew me. I feel like the story drew me to that genre, instead. I don’t exactly know which is my favorite, yet, but it has to be both dark and funny.

Q: If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?

A: I have kind of fought within myself about my portrayal of Loretta. After finally presenting as male and now knowing the profound pain, firsthand, of having to act like or identify as the name and sex assigned to me at birth because of what my legal records say, I can hardly stomach making her shed her identity. But then I remind myself she is in a different universe where no one knows what being trans is, nor is there a word or any protections for it. I also see her as selfless and caring enough to sacrifice herself for her friends, but I don’t know if her doing it so nonchalantly is really the best portrayal. I no longer have to treat her in a sexually fluid way in the third book, at least, and Ari is no more. Yay!

Q: Can a author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?

A: Of course! My favorite is hands down Micah. Why? He is actually loosely based on my wife! There isn’t too much direct correlation (besides them both being tiny and cute), but the way he and Billiam love each other is completely inspired by our own relationship.

Q: If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?

A: Kurt Vonnegut is my all time favorite, especially Slapstick, so I’d want his catalogue. I’d need some manga too, so I pick Kuroshitsuji. I’d have to get pigeon mailed the new chapters though.

Q: How early in your life did you begin writing?

A: Kindergarten maybe? I know I won a school writing contest in second grade for my short story Gumbelina. It was a retelling of Thumbalina except she was made of gum and got eaten by a frog.

Q:Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?

A: My mom read me Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs so much that I memorized it. I could repeat it word for word before I was even able to read it. I was hitting the chapter books right outside of kindergarten though.

Q: What question would you ask yourself here?

A: Why have you qnot written any unicorns into your series yet? What is wrong with you!?

Q: If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?

A: The Bear and the Princess

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About Defiant Revival

To free the kingdom from the depravity of Cardinal Aldrious, Prince Micah Helvendeere must take his rightful place as ruler.

Unfortunately, the prince has been dead for a year.

Billiam Grimhart, former page to the prince, knows Micah’s assumption of the throne is the last chance to purge Casperland of the cardinal’s corruption. And for that to happen, the prince must be revived. Only one person stands a chance of achieving the nearly impossible: exiled enchantress Shemmy DuBois, a raunchy bog witch with an affinity for corpses and a heart of gold. Billiam sets out to coax Shemmy to their cause, despite what wading through piles of bodies will do to his favorite shoes.

If he can accomplish it, Billiam might finally get to consummate his love for the prince—something Shemmy is keen to witness. But first, they’ll need to steal Micah’s body, brave a land inhabited by vicious faeries, and accept the help of accomplices as vile and perverse as their enemies. They might be far from typical heroes, but sometimes those are the only people who can get the job done.

If you like dark and edgy high-concept fantasy that’s not for those with delicate sensibilities, join Billiam, Shemmy, and their Faelock allies as they stage their revolution.

About L. Rockwood

L. Rockwood is survived by his artist wife, Rae, and their three adorable but stupid cats. He is also quite alive however terribly morbid. It is thanks to this macabre fascination (and likely his Scorpio moon) that death and rebirth is the central focus of all his works. L. definitely has a lighter side, usually manifesting in hot pink or glitter, as he is just as obsessed with all things kawaii.

L. is an out and proud pansexual, transgender man. He draws from his own experiences, striving to celebrate the various and beautiful ways love and sexuality can manifest through his characters. His time is split between the Central and Lost Coasts of California. He has yet to spot his favorite animal, the unicorn, in his travels, but he will never give up hope.   

https://facebook.com/L.rockwoodwrites

https://pinterest.com/cupcakehell

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Its Face Off Time! Check in Here for Lexi Ander’s Special Guest Post for Sumeria’s Sons#5 (guest post, special excerpt and contest)

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Dragon’s Eye (Sumeria’s Sons #5) by Lexi Ander
Release Date: October 7, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: LT3 Press
Cover Artist: London Burden

Buy the book: Less Than Three Press

Face-off: Marduk verses Ashur

I’m not a fan of Marduk. In the Sumeria’s Sons, he has been set up to be one of the villains because he is the one who holds the lock to the chains shackling the children of Tiamat. To me, Marduk is like a strutting peacock full of his own importance. He doesn’t go out and perform his own heroic deeds but steals them from both Enlil and Enki. As one of the lesser gods, Marduk’s background is pretty sketchy (non-existent) until he’s proclaimed the patron god of Babylon. The creation myth, Enuma Elish, which includes the battle against Tiamat (or as it’s called in Sumeria’s Sons, the Igigi War) was written to tell the story of Marduk’s heroic deeds, propaganda for the era and ruling civilization. The text was modified from an older epic replacing Enlil with Marduk as slayer of Tiamat.

Through the subjugation of the Tiamat’s children, Marduk used magic to transform them into protective charms used at the doorways to palaces, temples, and sometimes bedrooms. The only real threat to Marduk in his reigning era was the Assyrian god Assur (Ashur). As the supreme deity of Assyria, his popularity threatened Babylon and Marduk. Responding to that popularity, during the reign of Hammurabi (the king best known for the Hammurabi Code, the earliest surviving codes of law in recorded history) Marduk was elevated to the level of supreme god. He even took on Tiamat’s symbol of the snake-dragon.

Historically, the God Assur’s origin was much like that of Marduk, rising from obscurity. First becoming the equivalent of Sumeria’s Enlil and absorbing both Enlil’s consort and children. Then later after Assyria conquered Babylon, Assur became associated with Anshar, Sumeria’s sky god. Anshar’s name literally means “whole heaven” elevating Assur to the head of the Babylon pantheon. As such, Assur took the place of Marduk in the creation myth, slaying Tiamat and becoming king of the gods.

The author in me loved the competition between Marduk and Assur, but I also nitpicked what I wanted for the god’s history for Sumeria’s Sons. Anshar is and elder god called the skypivot, the God of the Horizon of Heaven and balanced by his consort Kishar the earthpivot, Goddess of the Horizon of the Earth. Together they make up the celestial poles and that balance coincides with the Twin Flames theme of Sumeria’s Sons. I used that animosity between them in the plot that further drew that line between good guy/bad guy between him and Marduk.

There is also a something else that I used after coming to understand the competition between the two cultures. These two gods derived their power from their worshippers. The more popular and widespread the god, the more powerful they became and I made that a physical manifestation in the series. I coupled that with the Marduk’s prophecy. Oh yes, he had his own prophecy stating that one day he would return and bring salvation to Babylon and wreak a terrible revenge. He-he. How could I leave that alone?

A huge thank you for allowing me to be a guest on the blog today! Throughout the blog tour for Dragon’s Eye, I hope you enjoy the behind the scenes look at the gods and mythos, and how they play a part in Sumeria’s Sons. For a visual representation, please visit my Pinterest page. (https://www.pinterest.com/lexiander1/sumeria-sons-inspirations/) During the tour I discuss the Sumerian pantheon, about who and what the Gods/Goddess are, and how I use them. Make sure you stop by the other blogs to get a complete look at the Gods and Goddess the Lycan’s follow.

Also, Less Than Three Press is running a special sale on Sumeria’s Sons from September 23rd  through October 7th (dates inclusive).

Twin Flames is $0.99.

Amazon () LT3 Press ()

25% off Songs of the Earth

Amazon () LT3 Press ()

25% off Dreams of the Forgotten

Amazon  | LT3 Press

25% off Surrounded by Crimson

Amazon |LT3 Press

Thank you for stopping by and reading!

RC

Blurb

In the wake of birth and betrayal, Ushna takes the God Ashur to Tristan in a last desperate bid to save Tristan’s life—and is helpless to do anything but watch as Ashur instead buries him in a grave. Though he has no desire to go on living, having now lost Brian and Tristan, Ushna has no choice. Not only do their children need him, the mysterious Simurgh has come out of hiding and forces him to continue on—for there is much to do and little time to do it, especially with treachery and danger closing in on them from every side.

Pages or Words: 98,000 words
Categories: Fantasy, M/M Romance, Menage/Poly, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Exclusive Excerpt #9

Prowling through the trees, I dared not use the new path that had been created with all the recent foot traffic. Sticking to the deepest shadows until the storage shed came into view, I crouched down, waiting and watching. Occasionally I scented the wind to make sure no one was around before I moved from the gloom. The darker patch of soil called to me. After so long, the dirt no longer appeared freshly turned and the fall leaves blanketed the area, partially hiding the spot where Ashur had placed Tristan. Even if snow covered the ground, I’d know the exact spot.

Dropping the bag to the side, I moved around the outer edge. Here the scent of magic was so sharp I sneezed several times. Ashur’s energy still lingered, faint with the passing of time, but that wasn’t what caught my attention. There was the trace of another’s power, heavy and bitter, and the scent clung to the back of my tongue. The soil hadn’t been physically disturbed but the magic permeated the ground.

Panic clawed at me. Why was someone casting spells over Tristan—unless, like me, they knew he was merely resting? I began to dig, the softened soil flying behind me as I envisioned discovering a dozen terrible things.

The embroidered hem of the red tunic Tristan had worn that day was revealed. After I changed back to my human form, I hastily put on my clothes. I hadn’t worn shoes or socks when I slipped away from Nathan’s and now the frosty ground quickly chilled my feet, but I didn’t care. Climbing down into the hole, I gingerly brushed the dirt away from material until I came to the edge where Tristan’s body should’ve been.

I didn’t understand; where was Tristan?

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About The Author

Meet Lexi Ander
Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.

Where to find Lexi Ander:

Web site: http://www.lexiander.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexi.ander.9
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LexiAnder1
Blog: http://lexiander.blogspot.com/
E-mail: lexi.ander.author@gmail.com

Contest

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize:
• Prize offered: Prize offered: $20 Amazon Gift card, $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Dragon’s Eye, swag (pens, bookmarks)
• $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Dragon’s Eye, swag (pens, bookmarks)
• hard copy of Dragon’s Eye, swag (pens, bookmarks)
• e-book copy of Dragon’s Eye
• e-book copy of Dragon’s Eye

Must be 18 years of age or older. Link and prizes provided by the author, and Pride Promotions.

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Tour Dates & Stops:

24-SepAndrew Q. Gordon, Christy Loves 2 Read

25-Sep Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews: http://wickedfaeriesreviews.blogspot.com/2015/09/dragons-eye-by-lexi-ander-blog-tour.html

Dawn’s Reading Nook: http://dawnsreadingnook.blogspot.com/2015/09/book-spotlight-and-giveaway-for-dragons.htm

Bayou Book Junkie: http://bayoubookjunkie.blogspot.com/2015/09/virtual-tour-mm-dragons-eye-by-lexi.html

28-Sep Hearts on Fire: http://heartsonfirereviews.com/lexi-ander-dragons-eye-sumerias-sons-5-deleted-scene-excerpt-and-giveaway/

Decadent Delights: http://machurch00.blogspot.com/2015/09/pride-promotions-presents-dragons-eye.html

MM Good Book Reviews: https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/dragons-eye-by-lexi-ander-blog-tour-guest-post-exclusive-excerpt-giveaway/

29-Sep Amanda C. Stone: http://www.amandastonebooks.com/2015/09/lexi-anders-dragons-eye/

Jessie G. Books: http://wp.me/p5wi3H-FO

The Novel Approach: http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/2015/09/29/guest-post-excerpt-and-giveaway-the-dragons-eye-blog-tour-with-lexi-ander/

30-Sep The Jena Wade: http://www.thejenawade.com/blog/book-blast-dragons-eye-lexi-ander

1-Oct Louise Lyons: https://louiselyonsauthor.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/new-release-dragons-eye-book-5-of-sumerias-sons-by-lexi-ander/

Lee Brazil: http://leebrazilauthor.blogspot.com/2015/10/crawl-in-bed-with-lexi-ander.html

BFD Book Blog: http://wp.me/p5fGQT-2BO

2-Oct Love Bytes: http://lovebytesreviews.com/2015/10/02/blog-tour-guest-post-exclusive-excerpt-giveaway-lexi-ander-dragons-eye/
Chris McHart: http://chrismchart.com/2015/10/02/blog-tour-guestpost-giveaway-dragons-eye-by-lexi-ander/

TTC Books and More: http://www.ttcbooksandmore.com/2015/10/sumeria-sons-by-lexiander1-blog-tour.html

5-Oct   Molly Lolly, Wake Up Your Wild Side

6-Oct   Three Books Over The Rainbow, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, GGR Review

7-Oct   Inked Rainbow Reads, Prism Book Alliance, Crystal’s Many Reviewers

 

A Stella Review: Family of Lies: Sebastian by Sam Argent

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Family of Lies coverSebastian Orwell did the only thing a smart wizard could do when he stumbled upon the wounded Crown Prince: he healed him and dumped him in a tavern where he could continue not being Sebastian’s problem. Unfortunately, the prince isn’t content with just being alive, and he hunts Sebastian down to thank him personally. Not only is Sebastian stuck with the prince’s unwanted affections, he’s also confronted by growing evidence linking the assassination attempt to someone from his father’s past.

Lord Orwell is a lot of things: thief, liar, drunk, and all around horrible father, but Sebastian knows he’s no murderer. In order to prove it, Sebastian has to keep the prince alive long enough to discover the truth—a task made considerably harder because the idiot prince prefers wooing Sebastian over securing his own survival. On top of everything, Sebastian needs to save the day without revealing his magical powers and the real reason he hides his appearance.

 Sebastian had no intention of playing the hero, but whoever is stirring up shit in his country will pay for destroying his quiet life.

Family of Lies: Sebastian by Sam Argent was really great! A well done debut book. I couldn’t find a lot about this “new to me” author. I suppose Family of Lies: Sebastian is his/her first published work. To me it was love at first sight with the cover but the plot is good too, with a great development of the story and a lot of funny moments. I can’t believe how I found myself caught in the story untill the end.

Sebastian is the younger (and smarter) son of Lord Orwell, a not so good father of a big and messy family. He wears a strong magical cloak, an enchanted item that hides him totally. Sebastian is arrogant, mysterious, with no tact at all, stubborn and smartass. He annoys everyone, but everyone loves him. He is the lead character, everything and everyone revolves around him and his mysterious ability.

Turren, Prince of Larnlyon, has been in love with Sebastian since forever, even before he burned the first edition of a book very precious to Sebastian, becoming hated by him. He’s determined to woo Sebastian in every way he can, following him around and forcing him to save the Prince more than once.

The book is set in a magical world, of which (sadly) we know very less about. This is the only negative note I can talk of. It’s high fantasy but when I was expecting some explanation on how it works or on the various breeds we meet, I got almost nothing. It was hard at the beginning but I tried to just follow Sebastian in his (dis)adventures and I can assure you the story flowed amazingly good.

There is a HUGE cast, a lot of people considering Sebastian’s family and all the royal members plus the various guards and wizards. Of course they weren’t well defined and in this case I appreciated. It was confusing at the start but as soon as I started to get familiar with them, then it was okay. I’m pretty sure it would have been almost impossible for me to know a little more about each of them and the lack of characters’ description helped me to focus more on Turren and Sebastian. Especially because there is a plot to follow, intrigues and mysteries to solve, wizards to defeat and two young men waiting for their HEA.

Most of all this story is a funny reading, almost real in the banter between all the Orwell family. They brawled at each other in the same way we do with our parents or brothers/sisters everyday. Dysfunctional and crazy and mouthy as mine.

You can’t miss this book if you are a fan of the fantasy genre, you won’t be disappointed. But I’m going to recommend to everyone who wants to read a well written and funny story. I am very happy to have discovered this new author. I can’t wait to read more about Sam Argent, maybe more of these amazing characters I met in Family of Lies: Sebastian. So… next book on Kevin and Luke? Please?

Cover art by Anne Cain. I’m in love with this cover. It is so magical and mysterious and it sparkle!! I couldn’t resist it.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press     All Romance (ARe)     Amazon      Buy It Here

Book Details:

Published March 18th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ebook, 324 pages
ISBN13 9781632166814
Edition language English

 

A MelanieM Review: A Curse on the Mountain by Missouri Dalton

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

A Curse on the Mountain CoverLong ago the god Cai  was torn from the mortal woman he loved by Death and his fellow gods refused to let them reunite.  In a rage born of loss and pain, Cai cursed a city and watched his curse doom generation after generation of humans who live on a mountainside made almost inhabitable by Cai’s curse.

Perched on a mountaintop surrounded by a frigid swamp, the rain never stops in the cursed city of Var Eldore.  Here a former pleasure slave Myr lives in hiding, trying to stay a step ahead of his captor. But Myr is far more than he realizes, and fate has other plans for him. Reunited with his mate Ryall and their daughter Quinn, Myr and  his family gathers together a group of disenchanted soldiers, spies, nobles, and wizards  to oppose the king and all he stands for.  This includes certain nobles and their houses who perpetuate slavery   Myr and his following intend to fight for the freedom of their land. As they uncover secrets and conspiracies, each more tangled than the last, Myr also discovers he has unique abilities to aid their cause—the Redeemers.

As the strength of the Redeemers grows, so does the number of enemies they must face. Each member of their alliance has his or her own demons to battle, and Myr must confront the truth about himself and become the leader they need. Alongside his lover Ryall and the people who have become his family—as well as some unlikely friends—Myr and the Redeemers must prepare for war. If they fall, the city in the rain will follow.

I fell in love with Missouri Dalton when I discovered her Guidebook series (a must read that included Necromancy and You) as well as her Night Wars (The Hanged Man’s Ghost..)series.  Both are exceptional supernatural series which can always be found high on my Recommendations lists.  So I was thrilled to see a new story from Dalton from Dreamspinner Press and gobbled it up with  a certain amount of anticipation and glee.  But what I found didn’t live up to my high expectations for this author and book blurb.

What was amazing about The Curse on the Mountain was Missouri Dalton’s world building.  From the vengeful god Cai to the denizens of Var Eldore, Dalton brings alive a city dark, icy cold and constantly wet from the endless rains and snow.  Life is perilous unless you are weathy and on the right side of the King.  For those who are poor, out of favor and just unfortunate enough to block someone’s ambitions or path to power, well, then death would be favored over the imprisonment, slavery or torture that follows.   The author’s descriptions can give the reader a good case of the shivers based on the people and places that appear in her narrative.

Even Dalton’s characters hold out such promise for a suspenseful and rich story.  Myr, Ryall, and fierce adopted daugher Quinn are terrifically realized people and I would have loved to have seen a story that truly focused in on them, their past history, their love and fight for freedom.  Had that happened this would have been a different review.

But instead, Dalton starts piling on more characters,  more relationships (old and new) as well as couples who meet, come together, mate, part so quickly that they mimic the life of a mayfly.  Here and gone in a blink of a moment.  Or if they reappear, its as sudden and short lived as their first appearance.  Relationships and people age in a flash as time moves swiftly by as the Redeemers rebellion gains in power and strength and then we flash back to the past and prior events.  And along with that ever changing time line the author gives us side stories with Cai, foul supporters of the King, evil creatures, back to Myr and Ryall, past and present, all starts to cram together until it has all the density of a 10 year old fruit cake.  Yo can tell it is comprised of many different elements you would enjoy but it’s become so dense and unwieldy that it has become inedible. For me, that’s The Curse on the Mountain.

Dalton just piled on too many characters, plot threads, and elements that all get lost amidst the jumble of timelines, storylines, and relationships that keep folding back on each other.  Even if you start to get a glimmer of feeling and interest in certain beings and events, the focus moves away to another part of the story and the power of those characters is lost.  It makes it nigh to impossible to feel a connection to any of these people and their situations and the frustrations build as the reader tries to make sense of some of the events and happenings that occur…some threads I never did untangle in my mind. I mean I just take a look at my notes on the story and after a while all I see is a list of names and places and question marks.  It’s never a good sign when you feel you should have to storyboard a novel to make sense of it all.  Sigh.

Still because of the promise of the world building, the terrific mythology Dalton creates and the largess of the scope of her story, The Curse on the Mountain deserves a 3 star rating.  If you are a Missouri Dalton fan, you might want to pick this up and enjoy the elements I have talked about.  But if you are new to this author, I would recommend you start with her other series that I mentioned above.  They are marvelously addicting and will give you a true taste of this author’s many talents  as a storyteller and her wonderful writing skills.  Just thinking about those stories prompts me to pull them up on my Kindle again.

Cover art by Paul Richmond.  Loved this glorious cover, from its design to the colors used, it works on every level.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press        All Romance (ARe)      Amazon     Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 214 pages, also available in paperback
Published December 29th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632162823
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com