Category Archives: Blog

Book Review: Of Flesh and Fire by Tuesday Cross

51UkyrNb2xL._SY346_Vampires, werewolves, and dragons… oh my!

Nyminia awakes from the ashes of a deadly fire to find herself not only cursed with fearsome power, but with heavy purpose. Her life is the silver thread which keeps the world together, her death– the cord that could unravel everything.

Discovered by Mildred Midwood, an elemental mage, Nyminia is taken to Rowling-Burroughs University– a place where werewolves, vampires, and magic-kinds alike study and grow their powers.

Nyminia’s adventure quickly gets out of hand when she realizes her true role to play in the fate of this paranormal world– she is the True Sacrifice. Hunted by fanatics, she must stay alive or risk plunging the earth into darkness.

Join Nyminia on a modern day adventure as she navigates love, friendship, family, and the mystery surrounding her past as she strives to save the world.

My Review: 4.7-Stars

The cover for Of Flesh and Fire has a little much going on for me, but I do like it. Lots of vibrant colors, and you know what kind of story you’re going to get with a glance. Tuesday Cross has incoorperated lots of good humor into the story, and it’s a fun, campy read.

Even though there are dragons and werewolves and vampires, Tuesday has made this story very fun to read. I think the writing could be a little stronger, but this did not take away from my overall enjoyment of the story.

I don’t like to give things away, so I will say that I loved the characters, and I think Tuesday did a fantastic job creating all of them. Even in the face of a life changing situation, the main character does things with style and humor.

This is a great read for adults and young adults and would make a good addition to everyone’s reading list. I recommend this book to anyone who loves paranormal and fantasy stories.

For more reviews, head over to The Naked Reviewers. Want to read the first chapter free? RA Winter has that and a great discussion going on about the book.

 

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Tuesday Cross-Of Flesh and Fire Book 1, The First Chapter

I will be sharing my review of this book on Wednesday. It’s a really fun read. Go read the first chapter for free and join in the discussion. I can’t wait to share my thoughts!

Ra Winter Writer

Today, I’m posting a very special First Chapter.  Tuesday Cross’s Of Flesh and Fire. This is an excellent fantasy.  I’ve read it twice now…seriously. All the pieces of a fantastic plot come together with mystery,  love, vampires, dragons, and a werewolf best friend!

On Wednesday, I’ll be leaving my review on NakedReviewers..  For now, I’ll leave you with a taste of Tuesday’s writing.  Enjoy!

Of Flesh and Fire - Book I: Everything Will Burn by [Cross, Tuesday]Vampires, werewolves, and dragons… oh my!

Looking for an action packed twist on paranormal fantasy with a touch of romance?

‘Of Flesh and Fire – Book I’ by Tuesday Cross delivers a fast-paced fantasy adventure,
perfect for adults of all ages. If you enjoy vampires, werewolves, and DRAGONS… you’ll love this story.

CHAPTER…
MY FIRST DEATH

I lay there, trying my hardest not to choke. The heavy scent of smoke invaded my body, coating my lungs, stifling me. All around me were the sounds of screaming, sobbing…

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Book Review: Clay to Ashes by Ono Ekeh

51DtAEqWmIL._SY346_Bridget Blade is both a god with an insatiable desire for love and adoration and a human plagued by insecurities, fears, and anxieties. Unaware of her true divinity she longs for the kind of love and a happy family she’s never had. Her husband, Jeremy, though, seems more interested in turning her into a research project that he can commercialize.

When Bridget discovers her new abilities she revels in the discovery that she is a god. But her new powers attract unwanted attention and Bridget must fight for her independence and survival.

But when survival means giving up the adoration she craves Bridgett must confront the desires that drive her. Does she want freedom or does she want adoration? She can have one or the other, but not both.

My Review: 5-Stars

This is my second book for Ono. I love his writing!

Ono is such a talented writer! I love the cover of this book as much as the first book, and the writing is done very well. He knows what he’s doing with The Children of Clay Series. I get sucked into the story right away and stay there until the last page.

In Clay to Ashes, we pick up where we left off in The Clay Queen. Bridget survives the radiation blast with a few scars, but everyone wants a piece of her now. Four major governments want blood, people who lost loved ones want to kill her, and her own husband Jeremy is looking to make her a commodity. All she wants is love.

I love how he works in the elements of the religion. Ono’s world-building skills are beyond reproach.

I highly recommend The Clay Queen and Clay to Ashes to everyone!

 

Author Interview – Rachel McCoy

First Monday of the month always brings an author interview. This month, I’d like to bring you Rachel McCoy. Rachel writes some hella good Scifi, and Urban Adult fantasies with mythological, fairy tales, and alien invasion elements.

If you know young people who like to read, she writes great YA stories. She is active on a writing site that I’m a member of, making her an asset to the writing community. I urge you to go check out her stories, you won’t be disappointed.

Please allow me to introduce a fellow Texan, Rachel McCoy.

Hey, Rachel. I’m so happy you stopped by for a chat. Let’s get right to the questions. What do you think makes a good fantasy story?

Rachel: For fantasy, world-building is a must. If you take the hobbits, wizards, and elves out of Tolkien’s work, it’s just not the same. Creating those really strong fantasy foundations in your world makes everything else work. Of course, you still need great, vibrant characters, a tense and action-filled plot, and beautiful writing!

I agree, world building is vital. I do a ton of research with my historicals to get the setting just right. Let me ask you, how long on average does it take you to write a fantasy book?

Rachel: Three to six months is my average, depending on the time of year and if my kids are in school. I’ve spent as little as six weeks (Sparks, YA Epic Fantasy) and as long as a eighteen months (The Killing Jar, Science Fiction).

What are you currently working on and what is it about?

Rachel: My latest project is Hale and Gemini, a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. It’s the third book in my fairy tale retelling series that takes place in a fantasy world in which people receive a totem animal and can shift into bears, wolves, birds, or deer. It’s been a super fun series to write and I have a total weak spot for anything fairy tale!

What does your family think of your writing?

Rachel: My husband is my biggest supporter despite being totally anti-fantasy (I know, right?!) and my kids think my books are ultra boring because they don’t have pictures in them. I have received nothing but 100% support and encouragement from my parents, friends, and entire family. I definitely consider myself lucky.

Having your family’s support means you soar. When your kids are older, they’ll appreciate your work. How are you publishing your writing and why?

Rachel: My books are currently self-published but I’ve started down the road to traditional publishing. My ultimate goal is to be a hybrid author, with some self-pubbed and traditionally pubbed works. I love the independence and entrepreneurship of self-publishing, but there are so many doors that are only open to traditional publishers. I think hybrid is a perfect option for me.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

Rachel: I’m addicted to paperbacks! I spend all day on screen, so for the sake of my eyeballs, I refuse to read on a screen for my pleasure reading. And hardbacks are so heavy and I lose/damage the dust jacket and I just can’t even with those things. So paperbacks for me! I collect and arrange them on my shelf and post pictures of my current reads on my Instagram account. It’s a super nerdy but delicious past-time!

I love paperbacks too. Nothing like folding down the corner to save your place. Let’s talk about marketing for a moment. Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

Rachel: Definitely! I’ve had my debut novel (Sparks, YA Epic Fantasy) listed as free on all platforms for going on three years now. It’s by far my most consistent series in sales. Additionally, I list a first book in a series for free to promote a new release in that series. Last fall, I gave away almost ten thousand copies of my paranormal romance Blossom and the Beast, and a significant portion of those readers came back to purchase the sequel a week later. It was one of the best sales months of my career!

What a great idea! Book reviews are important. Do you read your reviews?

Rachel: Always. I know a lot of authors avoid them, but I think it’s important to know what readers are thinking about my books. I have thick skin and never take it personally, and I never engage with a comment or anything else. But to know that readers love/hate a cliffhanger, thought my characters were strong/weak, and the world-building was solid/conflicted is really important to me. How can we improve if we don’t know what is working and what isn’t?

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? What was it about?

Rachel: For this question, I’m fortunate to have started writing late in my life. I was twenty-five and wrote a story about a team of researchers venturing into the deepest underwater canyons and finding crazy creatures and ancient objects that affected their emotions. It was definitely a hunk of garbage that will never leave my laptop, but it was such a fun piece to write and helped cement my love of writing.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?

Rachel: Japan! I love Japanese culture and sushi is my favorite food. I’ve been to Europe a few times as well as Canada and Mexico, so I think my next trip will have to be west. Japan is definitely on my bucket list.

Thanks so much for dropping in! This was fun, don’t be a stranger.

Author Bio:

Rachel McCoy is a Texan living in New Jersey. Between binge-watching MTV reality shows and baking gluten-free treats, she writes paranormal fantasy and science fiction novels.

She is the self-published author of the Sparks Saga trilogy, The Alder Tales series, and The Extraction Files. Back when she lived in the real world, Rachel earned a degree in marine biology, which contributed to her die-hard love of manta rays.

To connect with RS McCoy (or swap recipes), visit her on her website or check out her Facebook page. You can also join her newsletter to receive release updates, free stories, and bonus extras ). 

Book Review: Reckless Conduct

514KcaYbKzL._UY250_He burned her once…
Sophie Gallo has survived a lot in her twenty-three years. Both parents gone, dreams abandoned, and a heart shattered. But she came out on the other side stronger than ever.
Then, one night with Luke in her bed… on her kitchen table… against the wall… made Sophie feel alive again. Right up until he ran before the bed stopped shaking. Seeing him every day at the Middleburg Police Station, thanks to her job as the office manager, is a special kind of torture. But she clings to her hate and anger, hiding her sadness and desire, even from herself.
She weakened him once…
Sergeant Luke McCracken lives to serve and protect. Not only the citizens of Middleburg, but also the woman who captivates him mind, body, and soul. Even if that means shielding her from the biggest threat to her happiness – himself.
Luke gave in to his lust once. But he won’t allow himself to be reckless with Sophie’s heart again. Though he can’t help but provoke her just to see her passion, even if it comes in the form of hatred. He’d live on nothing but the memories of their night together if it meant she’d have the life she deserved.
His town is being plagued by a rash of break-ins and an increase in drug overdoses, and his desk overflows with cases waiting to be solved. But never, in all the time he told himself to protect Sophie from the risks he presented, did he think she would find herself in danger from outside forces.
One night with her stole his heart, one dispatcher call stopped it.

My Review: 5-Stars

This has been my favorite book that I’ve reviewed so far, well okay. Although it’s a fast read, it covers all the bases of romantic erotica. Reckless Conduct has all the elements of a good old fashioned romance with hot, steamy sex. The main characters, Luke and Sophie are very well-rounded and every moment they are together is filled with action and sexual tension.

I fell effortlessly into the story, and it was a great escape from my every day life. Brandy’s writing is what melts my butter. Cops and robbers, action, desire, and real love – Reckless Conduct has it all. Brandy Ayers knows what she is doing, and will be my go-to author from now on.

I highly recommend Reckless Conduct to anyone who loves to fall in love.

For more reviews on Reckless Conduct, go to The Naked Reviewers.

 

Book review: The Waterfall Traveler

001

All eighteen-year-old Ri wants is to cure her adoptive father Samuel from his hallucination-inducing illness. Everyone in her village tells her it’s impossible. But when she meets two newcomers in the forest—a gruff rogue with a vendetta against the gods and a charming fugitive with the power to travel through water—she’ll be torn away from Samuel and swept across the sea to an oppressed city governed by a ruthless tyrant. Once there, she’ll not only have to confront Samuel’s unlawful past, but a vicious evil that threatens all mankind.

In this tale of bravery, friendship, and unexpected love, Ri must discover her own strength to save the men she cares for.

 

My Review: 5-Stars

The Waterfall Traveler by S.J. Lem is so good! S. J. Lem really knows how to tell a compelling story that grabs the reader from the first page. The cover is spectacular, and did a fantastic job getting me to investigate the book more. The writing is crisp and clean with just the right amount of detail to make you feel like you’re running through the action alongside the main character Ri.

Ri is wonderfully well-rounded as the main character and her ability to find trouble sets the tone in the first chapter. Even though The Waterfall Traveler is geared to mature young adults, I think this book is great for all ages. I enjoyed it, and my seven-year-old granddaughter is using the book for her 20 minute reading homework with anticipation every night. She’s loving the story.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes to read.

Meet me over at RA Winter’s blog. Read the first chapter for free and join in the discussion. It’s so much fun! For more reviews on The Waterfall Traveler, skedaddle over to The Naked Reviewers.

The First Chapter-Author Showcase- S.J. Lem

The Waterfall Traveler is such a good book! Read the first chapter for free and leave a comment. I will be reviewing this book on Wednesday, November 22nd. Stay tuned!

Ra Winter Writer

Today’s first chapter is something a little different.  It’s YA Science Fiction & Fantasy, and this one proves to be a page-turner!

The Waterfall Traveler: Book 1 by [Lem, S.J.]Amazon Kindle

All eighteen-year-old Ri wants is to cure her adoptive father Samuel from his hallucination-inducing illness. Everyone in her village tells her it’s impossible. But when she meets two newcomers in the forest—a gruff rogue with a vendetta against the gods and a charming fugitive with the power to travel through water—she’ll be torn away from Samuel and swept across the sea to an oppressed city governed by a ruthless tyrant. Once there, she’ll not only have to confront Samuel’s unlawful past, but a vicious evil that threatens all mankind.

In this tale of bravery, friendship, and unexpected love, Ri must discover her own strength to save the men she cares for.

The Waterfall Traveler

Chapter 1

No, no, no! How could I have slept so soundly…

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Book Review: Pigeon

31rutGQ-5fLLuc Martin, a lowly busboy in Paris, finds himself tasked with locating the Sir Larabee Waterford Cup—which vanished over 20 years ago from a social club for the ultra-elite. Now, one of the original thieves has just surfaced after having been presumed dead for years. The busboy and his unlikely partner—a reluctant and wealthy club member named Alaina Amandine—must navigate a world of gargantuan egos, exotic pets, and a sport so exclusive that no one outside the club has ever heard of it.

“A mad-cap, giggly hypothesis of how the one percent probably behave when we’re not looking. I choose to believe every word of it.”
-Ryan Everett Felton, author (The Good-Bye Garden, The Man Who Ran For God)

My Review: 4-Stars

Pigeon is a funny little story. I love the cover, and I think it matches the story perfectly. While I didn’t laugh out loud, I did smile at quite a few of the antics.

The main character Luc is minding his own business, working at his parents restaurant when a strange man thinks he is the best detective  of all time and convinces Luc to solve a 22 year old crime. The crime of stealing a trophy. With the offer of a huge amount of money, Luc takes the case.

Lots of comedy and twists and turns.

I thought the dialog was a bit repetitive, but the story has lots of good one liners.

For more reviews, please stop by The Naked Reviewers.

Book Review: The Clay Queen (The Children of Clay Book 1)

51IEGyXp10L._SY346_With her armies defeated, Queen Nouei’s enemies march north to capture her. The earth god’s only hope is to alter history before they arrive. To become stronger she must restart her divine journey by reincarnating as Bridget Blade. But what if Bridget doesn’t want to be a god?

All Bridget wants is a simple life with love and family. But she is confronted by a destiny she doesn’t even understand and burdened by powers and impulses she struggles to control. Bridget must choose a path that leads her to Nouei or, must force the Queen to settle for Bridget’s modest ambitions.

Two women, two destinies, one life. Who will prevail?

My Review: 4.7-Stars

The Clay Queen was very different than anything I’ve ever read, and I loved it. This is not my “go-to” genre for pleasure, but I’m so glad I read it. Ono Ekeh has opened my eyes to knew things. I like the cover. It is simple and the woman is beautiful. Although it didn’t give me any sense of what the book would be about, I think it fits the story perfectly.

The writing is well done and the story is well researched. I’m a romance lover, and while this isn’t a romance per-say, The Clay Queen is a love story. Full of devotion and sacrifices. I find paranormal aspects in the story with Bridget’s abilities, and Jeremy is willing to do anything to save her.

Lots of tense, on the edge moments that will keep you turning the page with a rich history sprinkled throughout the story. There were a couple of scenes I felt were a bit of a repeat, but it didn’t take away from my overall experience.

I recommend this book to everyone who likes to read. Give it a shot, you will be pleasantly surprised.

For more reviews, please visit The Naked Reviewers. Feel free to leave a review of your own or start a discussion in the comments!

 

 

Author Interview – Patrick Link

I met Patrick on a writing site. I fell pretty fast for his wit and humor, then fell even harder when I read his writing. He does a wonderful job with action, adventure tales full of intrigue and suspense.

Along with writing great stories, Patrick is a big help to other writers. He never fails to take a moment to offer some sage advice, or tickle your funny bone.

Without further ado, I give you Patrick Link.

Hey Patrick, thanks for joining us! You ready? I’m ready, let’s get started. Why did you choose to write Action/Adventure?

Patrick: Action/Adventure just made sense for me. I’ve lived a full life in 53 years with a wealth of experience in places all over the world. I’ve met so many amazing people along the way. They make for great character fodder.

There’s also the aspect of how I became a writer. I was on a business trip, sitting alone in a hotel room when I was reminded of something that happened to me back in the 80’s in a bar in Key Largo, FL.

A man struck up a conversation with me. He was a Cuban-American and a Vietnam vet. After telling some Army stories, he started talking about how if he was a young guy, what he’d be doing. I slowly realized that he was asking me if I was interested in becoming a sicario (Spanish for hired gun) for a drug lord.

Once all that dawned on me, I paid for my drinks, bid him good-bye and left. I considered the guy to be an old man on a barstool telling bullsh** stories and forgot about it.

I didn’t think about the incident for decades, but for some reason, that night at the hotel, I recalled it and began to wonder, “What if he wasn’t full of BS? What if he was telling the truth?” And most importantly, “What if I had said yes?”

My mind raced with the idea. I jumped on the computer and Googled “Drug Trade in the 1980’s” What I discovered amazed me. The concept for my first novel, “Night Planes” was born and I started typing.

What an awesome way to become a writer. What do you think makes a good action adventure story?

Patrick: I don’t claim to be any sort of expert, but in my opinion, there are two primary aspects to an adventure story; the hero and the quest.

There are two kinds of heroes. The accidental hero (think Bilbo Baggins) and the professional hero (think James Bond). In my first novel, my protagonist, Mike Barnes is definitely an accidental hero, a small town kid from Ohio who gets swept away into the drug trade. In my upcoming work, my protagonist, David “Stitch” Hamilton is an Army Special Forces veteran and thus a professional hero.

Regarding the quest, whether the characters are going to slay a dragon, destroy a magic ring or discover a hidden treasure, they must leave the comforts of home (a big deal for the accidental hero, not so much for the professional) and travel to some remote, exotic place, facing danger at every turn in their attempt to achieve their quest.

What are you currently working on and what is it about?

Patrick: As I mentioned above, my current work revolves around a character named David, “Stitch” Hamilton. Stitch is a classic action hero. He has a ton of military experience, so he’s at home with multiple weapons and tactics. He’s an attractive guy and it’s easy to see why some women gravitate toward him, but he’s damaged, suffering from the loss of his wife and infant son as well as PTSD from his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His greatest asset though is his powerful sense of right and wrong. That’s his modus operandi. He is a righter of wrongs. I expect this piece to be his introductory work with many Stitch novels to follow.

This work is titled Yamashita’s Gold, he’s in the Philippines helping a young woman find her missing father and searching for a huge cache of gold, hidden in the Philippine jungles by the Japanese during World War II.

Where do your ideas come from?

Patrick: As you can see, I like to take real life experiences, stories and characters and add the “Yeah, but what if?” aspect of dramatic license. Yamashita’s Gold is real, at least the legend of it is anyway. The drug trade in the 1980’s was certainly real as well.

That sounds like a fun way to tell a story. How are you publishing your writing and why?

Patrick: I’m self-publishing for the simple reason that no one picked me up. I sent out feelers to literary agents and indie’s and, like I said no one picked me up. It was a tough pill to swallow at first, but writing is a hobby for me. I’m not trying to make a living doing it. So self-publishing turned out to be a major blessing for me to see my works in print and in e-book form and have people outside of my immediate friends and family read and enjoy my books.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published?

Patrick: With the state of publishing today, if you’re not a total rock star like George R.R. Martin or James Patterson, being published and marketed by the Big Five, I feel that self-publishing is the way to go. With technology such as it is, indie’s, in my opinion are really just self-publishers who put their name on your work, take most of your profit and still expect you to do ALL the work. What’s the point?

My number one piece of advice to anyone interested in writing is don’t assume that you get to write a book, turn in an unedited manuscript to your agent, collect a big fat paycheck and then go play. It doesn’t work like that. Today, writers are responsible to write, edit, format and even market their own work. Why use an indie? Do it all yourself and keep the money (such as it is).

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

Patrick: Marketing, in my opinion, is the hardest part of the entire process. It’s tough. The self-publishing revolution has so many positive aspects, but one of the negative aspects is that there is just so much more out there for readers to choose from. I will also agree with some of the critics of self-publishing in that the vetting process isn’t the same. It’s not non-existent, as some would claim, it’s just different. The Amazon algorithms do a fantastic job of vetting by keeping the lessor quality works buried in the slushpile of the millions of works available there.

All that being said, how do you convince people to spend their hard earned money on your work? That’s a difficult question with no easy answers. My work might be damn good, but how I do compete with the Big Five with New York Times reviews and big name authors? Readers are likely to gravitate that way, intentionally or otherwise.

I agree. Which leads me to the question. What’s your views on social media for marketing, and which of them have worked best for you?

Patrick: I look at it as a necessary evil. I do it. I mean I have like eight hundred and some Twitter followers, but you can’t just tweet variations on a theme of “BUY MY BOOK!” It gets old.

One of the things I’ve done with my new work is that I’ve given Stitch his own Facebook page. He has over 10,000 likes. I hope that translates to sales when the book comes out, but that remains to be seen.

Now for some personal questions. What is your favorite quote?

Patrick: I have a lot of them. One is a from the legendary Ohio State football coach, Woody Hayes who said, “Nothing cleanses the soul like a good ass kicking.” Believe me, I’ve had my soul cleansed a few times in my life.

Another is from the boxing great, Mike Tyson, who said, “Everybody has a plan. Until they get punched in the face.”

My overall favorite though has to be a line from the southern rock band Molly Hatchet in their song “Flirtin’ with Disaster”. It goes, “When we gamble with our time, we choose our destiny.” This speaks to me in that, as a young man, I definitely lived a life “flirtin’ with disaster” and gambling with my time every day. But those risks come with a cost. I’ve had to work hard for a lot of years to overcome those costs.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Patrick: “There I go. Turn the page.”

Great choice! Thanks for taking some time out to talk to us. I had a blast!

Author Bio:

What can you say about a guy who woke up one morning at the age of fifty and decided to write a book? How does that even work? In retrospect, I’d say the guy was nuts. Well, not really nuts. Maybe just, I don’t know, a little weird.

I grew up the old fashioned way in a large, nuclear family in the Midwest. Looking for excitement and adventure, I moved to Miami, Florida in the mid eighties. It was the peak of the Miami Vice, Scarface, and Smuggler’s Blues era.

After a two year stint in Miami, I came back to the Midwest where I started my career in the automotive industry. A career that took me to twenty something automotive assembly plants in five countries. So did I write about the automotive industry? Actually no, I wrote a novel about the cocaine trade in the 1980’s. I did say I was a little weird.

To find out more about Patrick, be sure to friend him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and stop by his website for all the latest news and updates.

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