Blood Rose Books

 

 

Blood Rose Books, is a book review website that provides review for the Mystery, Action Adventure, Thriller, Paranormal, Dark Paranormal and Horror genres. All the reviews are honest and yes that does mean a some bad reviews as well.

Blood Rose Books, tries to get readers interested in books and genres that someone may not have thought of trying before. As well as get people interested in not only mainstream published authors, but the wealth of indie authors that are out there as well.

Please feel free to comment on here, or on any of the reviews on the website Blood Rose Books 

 
I hope that I am able to lead you to your next great author and read.

Cheers,

J9

Interview & Giveaway: A.M. Justice

I will admit that I do not read a lot of High Fantasy or strictly Sci-Fi ones either, but somehow Justice was able to combine both in her novel A Wizard's Forge. Justice book (and series I bet) is very world and character driven and you would be hard pressed to find a more real and strong character than Vic. Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today:

A. M. Justice


Who is A. M. Justice? What led you to writing not only a novel but a series?
I’m a born nerd with eclectic interests that range from dance to scuba to the outdoors to all things science-related, including science fiction and fantasy. Most of my favorite books, films, and TV shows fall into the SF/F genre. Even within that genre, however, I prefer stories, films, and shows that present the fantastical in a realistic way—showing the dirt under the fingernails, if you will. 


The Woern Saga has been in development for a long time (in fact, I wrote the original source story for A Wizard’s Forge when I was a teenager, back in the last century). I turned it into a series because I love the characters so much, and as I aged, I had new ideas for their adventures.

 

things I admire and aspire to do in my own work.

It has been exactly one year since A Wizard’s Forge was released. How has your year been?
It’s been an emotional rollercoaster! It’s thrilling and terrifying to release your work on the world and see how people react, whether that’s through your sales or reviews. My goal is to keep building a fan base and momentum so when the next book in the series comes out, it’ll make a big splash (I hope!).

A Wizard’s Forge is a mixture of the science fiction and high fantasy genres. Why did you choose to put the two together? Was it another way to express the differences between the two cultures and beliefs?
The choice was more a reflection of my own worldview, which like Vic’s is evidence-based while being open to supernatural possibilities. I also like settings that can fit within our universe—if humans are living in a strange world that is similar to our own but contains different plants or animals, I want to know how people got there. Readers familiar with Anne McCaffrey’s work will immediately recognize I’m following the precedent she set with her Pern novels. Pern is a lost space colony that resembles Earth in climate and ecology (except for the world-threatening Thread), but by the time most of the stories set in Pern take place, the space travelers’ descendants have lost all modern technology and live in a quasi-medieval society.

Another reason why I write blended fantasy and science fiction (also known as science fantasy) is that I prefer “magic” to have some basis in the physical world, even if the how and the why are made up. All the supernatural powers in Knownearth have a biological basis. There’s very little about this in A Wizard’s Forge because Vic doesn’t learn the details until Book Two,  A Wizard’s Sacrifice, but I’ve written a lot about the origins of her powers on my blog and elsewhere. You can read about the magic system here: https://amjusticeauthor.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/the-insiders-guide-awf-worldbuild/ 


If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
My idol is Ursula K. Le Guin, and I would cherish the opportunity to work with her because I believe she’d be a wonderful mentor. I’m in awe of her imagination and her writing skill, and I also admire how she paved the way for female speculative fiction authors in the 1960s. Her novel The Left Hand of Darkness was the first book written by a woman to win the Hugo, science fiction and fantasy’s most prestigious award. Le Guin’s imagination stretches far and wide, she writes really layered narratives that are about a lot more than the surface story, and her writing is elegant—all


What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I suppose every author has a different answer to this question. For me, the hardest genre to write in would be contemporary lit, because the ordinary problems of ordinary people aren’t terribly interesting or inspiring to me. The real world can be fascinating—I like reading biographies and nonfiction—but I’ve made it picked up very few contemporary novels and finished even fewer. Coming in second would be hard science fiction involving interstellar navigation, because I’d want the physics to be “good,” but the amount of research I’d need to do to make it so is daunting. I was recently joking with a friend about how I can nitpick the biology and medicine on Star Trek to the bone (because I know a lot about those topics), but when the captain calls for a tachyon pulse, I just nod and say, “oh yeah, the tachyon pulse will get the job done!”


The genre I most like writing in after fantasy is historical fiction. That requires a ton of research too, but I like researching clothing styles and home construction and culture and politics from historical periods, so I embrace the challenge rather than shy from it.


Vic is an ever-changing character (as you say in the premise, a scholar, a slave, a warrior and a wizard) in this book just based upon life events that influence her change. Was it hard to write Vic as she grows, changes and adapts several times throughout the book?

I didn’t find Vic hard to write at all, as her experiences and challenges are so dramatic that I could just put myself in her shoes and imagine how she would react to each situation. I also wanted to explore self-reliance as both a strength and a weakness. Her history as a loner growing up in Ourtown makes her incredibly vulnerable to Lornk but also gives her the wherewithal to escape from him and recast herself as new opportunities present themselves. She’s very good at learning, which is why she excels at physical and intellectual challenges, but her faith in her own abilities blinds her to other peoples’ capacity and desire to help her, and a lot of the troubles that arise in the second half of the novel emerge from those flaws.

Torture and manipulation can be a theme that is present in novels, however, you decided to take a route of a more “unconventional” type of torture, sexual torture. Why did you choose this form of torture? Where did the idea come from? Was it hard to write the experiences for your characters?
I didn’t really think of this approach as unconventional, since in real life, for as long as humans have existed, adults have used sexual abuse as a way of grooming young teens to do their bidding. Lornk isn’t interested in Vic as a mere sex slave to satisfy his carnal desires. Instead, he uses sexual pleasure the way Valmont does in Dangerous Liaisons, as a means of controlling his victim. As he tells her, he wants her to crave him the way an addict craves narcotics:

He laughed softly, stretching his arms out, then twining his fingers behind his neck. “I told you once—I want you to crave me. Why do you think that is?”
“So I’ll obey you.”
“Oh, I’ve had your obedience for months. What I want now is your devotion. The day may come when you will have the world in your hands, and I want you to hand it to me, without reservation.”

Lornk also isolates Vic so he’s her only source of food and comfort and comes very close to making her entirely dependent on him. She manages to escape, but his psychological hold continues to haunt her when she’s a grown woman and a renowned soldier.


Lornk encompasses everything dark in human nature. What appeals to you about writing about our dark side?
Well, a book needs a good villain, doesn’t it? As the author, I know a lot more about what motivates Lornk than what the reader sees in A Wizard’s Forge, where he is a villain in every sense of the word. However, as he hints in the passage above, he’s not operating out of pure sadistic pleasure in others’ pain. He’s playing a long-game, one that involves Vic’s role in a future conflict, and Lornk believes if his plans succeed, all of humanity will benefit, while failure could spell the end of human kind. The stakes will become clear in A Wizard’s Sacrifice.


Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
I’m really excited to announce that A Wizard’s Forge received an Honorable Mention Award for Fantasy in the 2017 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards. Readers can check out all this year’s winning titles here: https://readersfavorite.com/2017-award-contest-winners.htm

You can hear a podcast interview with me starting Sept 16 on Write On with Tom Fallwell (http://www.tomfallwell.com/podcast.html), and I’ll be participating in the Virtual Fantasy Con in October: https://www.facebook.com/VFCReadersCorner/ 


What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think should be a must read for everyone?
Recently someone asked me which book series I would take with me if I had to be stranded on a desert island, and I answered Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle, because it’s a favorite I could read over and over and still see new things. The books in the Cycle feature dragons, sorcerers, evil clerics, old dark magic, and lots and lots of sea travel, while all the stories are tales about finding one’s inner strength to serve the greater good. They are great stories that taught me a lot about heroism and the kind of person I wanted to be as I lived my very ordinary life.


 I want to Thank Justice for taking the time to answer these questions and for writing a unique book. If you are looking for something different that blends High Fantasy and Sci-Fi together check out A Wizard's Forge. Justice has also provided a giveaway to go along with her interview so please see the rafflecopter link below to enter :)
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Interview & Giveaway: Mary Kubica

It is rare to come across an author that can continue to have an interesting way to tell a story as well as have an engaging story each time. You will find both of these aspect in Mary Kubica's books. I have only read The Good Girl and Every Last Lie (review to come) so far and both are engaging and truly shine with the format that Kubica has chosen to write them in. Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today:

Mary Kubica


You have chosen to write in the thriller/suspense genre and you have had great success with your novels. How do you feel your books stand out from the rest in this genre?
There are so many talented suspense authors publishing books these days that I can’t say mine stand out from the rest, though I’m thrilled to be writing at this exciting time when suspense is all the rage and readers are eagerly devouring books in the genre. That said, I like to add relatable characters to my books and to keep the plotline completely plausible, answering the question: what happens when ordinary people are thrust into extraordinary situations? I want my readers to be able to put themselves in these same situations and ask themselves what they would do.

You have now released four novels, The Good Girl, Pretty Baby, Don’t You Cry and Every Last Lie (I have had the pleasure of reading two so far); From book one to book four what have you learned about yourself as an author? Has your creative and/or your writing process changed?
My writing hasn’t changed per se, but hopefully I have improved as an author with each novel. Having the opportunity to work with an editor has, by far, had the greatest impact on my work. Before teaming up with the phenomenal Erika Imranyi, I didn’t share my work with anyone. It’s been a completely invaluable experience to work with someone who can point out my strengths and weaknesses as an author, allowing me the opportunity to apply this knowledge to my manuscripts as I write.

If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Heather Gudenkauf! She’s one of my favorite authors in the genre, and a wonderful person to boot. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with Heather quite a bit, and I believe we would work well together. We seem to be of like mind, especially where our writing is concerned. 

Which one of your books are you most proud of and why? (I realize this is like choosing your favourite child)
Such a hard question! I am proud of all of my novels for different reasons (just as I love both of my children equally!), but if I had to choose, I’d pick THE GOOD GIRL. It was my first novel, one I wrote over the course of five years when my babies were napping, and it launched my career. Without THE GOOD GIRL paving the way, chances are good the following three novels would never have been written.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I don’t know because I’ve only tried my hand at suspense! But I have an itch to write a historical fiction novel one day – with a suspenseful twist – but the vast amount of research needed to do it intimidates me. Therefore, I’m going to guess historical fiction for this questions, because of the research that needs to be done, and the painstaking attention to detail these authors must put into their work. I get to make most of my stories up!

In the two novels I have read by you, The Good Girl and Every Last Lie, you choose to tell the story in a format that of Before the incident and After. What is it about this format that appeals to you?
It adds a second layer of mystery to the novels when these stories are coming at the reader not linearly, but in multiple dimensions. Bits of information are revealed to the reader in the Before and After chapters, and it’s up to the reader to piece them together as best they can. (if you’re a reader who prefers stories told linearly, check out DON’T YOU CRY)

You also choose to have the point of view of both male and female points of view, do you find it hard to switch between these characters? Do you find it more difficult to write from the male point of view?
Not at all. There seems to be a getting-to-know-you period with all of my characters, regardless of whether they’re male or female. But once I get to know them, something extraordinary happens and I feel I know instinctively what a character would do or say in a situation. By the end of a book, I feel I know my characters quite thoroughly.

Your novels all seem to feature strong mental based themes. In The Good Girl you have Stockholm syndrome and in Every Last Lie you have paranoia and some darker parts of the human mental state. What appeals to you of having your characters “suffer” from these afflictions? Is it to make your characters feel more real to your readers?
I don’t attempt to make my characters suffer. I find them to be very human, and as humans, I believe we all suffer from some sort of inner demons – whether or not to the same extent as seen in my books. I make every attempt to make my characters relatable and real. 

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
My next novel, 11 DAYS, will release in 2018. Very soon I’ll have some more information to share on this! As for upcoming events, those can be found on my website at www.MaryKubica.com. 

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think everyone should read
Tim O’Brien’s THE THINGS THEY CARRIED. My favorite!

I Want to thank Mary once again for taking the time to answer the questions for her interview. I know I have a few more books of hers to read yet but I am also looking forward to her new release next year. Mary has very nicely supplied a giveaway to go along with her interview, so please enter via the rafflecopter link below.

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Interview: J. F. Lewis

There are times within a genre where certain aspect loose their appeal to a reader. For me Vampires had fallen out of favour awhile back and I was less likely to pick up a book that featured them. So I was in for a great surprise when I picked up J. F. Lewis' novel Staked. Here we no longer had the glittery vampires that had become so popular, but the ones of folk lore with their strength and weaknesses. Please welcome to Blood Rose Books today:

J. F. Lewis

The Urban Fantasy / Paranormal genres appear to be the genre that everyone is writing in these days (even authors that are well established in other genres), what do you think draws authors to these genres? How do you believe your novels stand out from the rest of the crowd?
Every culture has a vampire myth. Part of the core of urban fantasy is based in that ancient tradition of telling stories to explain why the dark is scary. The need to make sense of the explainable is hard wired into humans. Urban fantasy is an extension of that, adding magic to the mundane.


As for what makes my urban fantasy different...
Mine has a flesh-eating 1964 1/2 Mustang convertible? I'm only sort of joking there. Reviewers have called my fiction "literary methamphetamine" or mentioned that I dial things up to eleven. I think what they mean is that Void City novels tend to be tightly plotted and even if some moments don't seem important at first, they are. 


You won't find very many static or unimportant characters and if you think you've found one, quite often, that individual will be important eventually, even if it is a few books down the line.


You have two separate series that you are in the process of writing (The Void City and The Grudgebearer) what is it about writing a series appeals to you instead of a standalone novel?
The Grudegbearer Trilogy is meant to be read as one large manuscript much like the Lord of the Rings, but with more carnivores. 


Void City, though, is definitely more episodic. I don’t know what makes me feel differently about one than the other, except that the characters in Void City have many different stories in them and with Grudgebearer, to use most of the same set of characters, I’d have to go backward rather than forward.
 

 
If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Sir Terry Pratchett is my favorite author, so he'd be my pick. His sense of humor combined with his scathing social commentary are impossible to beat.


What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Southern Fiction. I’m just not wired to write those types of stories. I prefer magic and the supernatural.


Your main character in your Void City Series is a little unconventional when compared to all the pretty boy shiny vampires that have flooded the genre (insert eye roll). Why did you decide to create a main character that was both brutal and insane?
I’m not sure I agree with the assessment of Eric as insane, though he can definitely be brutal at times. When I set out to write STAKED, it was a reaction to the idea many writers were using at the time of vampirism being something akin to the ultimate coolness pill.


Being a vampire meant that you were suddenly super cool, beautiful, had great fashion sense, knew how to dance, and had Fung Shui out the ying yang, but that made many protagonists super emo.
With Eric, I wanted being vampire to actually be rough. All of a vampire’s bodily fluids get replaced with blood. I also took away many of the usual crutches. He can’t drink animal blood and it can’t be microwaved, so he basically has to drink blood fresh if he wants it hot. A few times a week, he wakes up so hungry, he knows someone one is going to die…


Basically, I wanted to give him the short end of the stick in a lot of ways and then have him refuse to whine about it. When life gives him lemons, he throws them back and flips “Life” the bird. 

On the same note, The Vampires in your story burn in sunlight, don’t like crosses and have some kind of ability to turn into a bat like creature. Was it important to you to keep them a little more classic? Maybe bring the classic ideas in to a more modern time?
Yes, I took all of the vampire myths and said these are all true most of the time, then figured out how to have them all be true while keeping things manageable from a logistics standpoint. In the end I settled on vampirism being the ultimate Rorschach test. The more unique and interesting you were in life, the more likely you are to be higher on the vampiric food chain. The higher up you go the more powerful you are.


So boring people become Drones, barely even vampires. Soldiers are next, possessing most of the your stereotypical powers and weaknesses common to vampires form their home mythology. Masters get all those, plus usually one traditional weakness doesn’t work on them. Vlads are kind of like Dracula: they have all the power and there is only one way to kill one and make it stick, which varies by individual, though it is tied into their home mythology.

 
You write from both the male and female (Eric & Tabitha)point of view in your Void City series, do you find it more difficult to write from a female perspective? Did you have some help getting in to the female mind?
Writing from a woman’s point of view is awesome. My best example of how I approach it can be summed up by a conversation I had with my wife the night before my first con. We were having dinner and I asked her what she was thinking about.


“Well,” she said, “I’m wondering if the kids are behaving for your mother. I think I probably should have ordered something different. I’m trying to decide whether or not we have time to run somewhere and buy an easel for you to display your cover art better… Why? What are you thinking about?”
I looked up at her and said, “I’m chewing.”


In short, when writing from a female point of view, just remember that they're usually thinking about six things at once.


For those of us that have not had a chance to read your Grudgebearer series, could you give a run down on the world, characters and premise?
It’s exactly like the Lord of the Rings except there are no Hobbits, there is no ring, and Legolas eats anyone who gets in his way.


Seriously, though, while there are several new races (Aern, Vael, Eldrennai, Sri’Zaur, etc.) and enough characters that I should probably have included a spreadsheet, it really boils down to the idea of an ancient empire having to reach out to their nigh immortal former slaves and ask for help after having broken a treaty that kept the peace for a couple hundred years. It's about slavery and restitution, about the importance of family, about kids growing up and making their own decisions... it's about gender inequalities, disparities in power, and the bond between brothers in arms... but it's also a tightly plotted narrative with wit and humor. Fans of Eric and Greta will probably like Kholster and Rae'en. You should read it.


Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
I'm currently at work on the next two Void City books. Readers can follow me on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJFLewis/) or Twitter (@jf_lewis) to get updates on availability and other projects.
 

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think everyone should read
Roger Zelazney's Nine Princes in Amber. Corwin is a snarky protagonist and I love the concepts tossed around in that book. I'm going to cheat and give you two. The second one is The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold. Her protagonist is one of the best "thinking' heroes since the creation of Sherlock Holmes.


I want to say thank you once again to Lewis for taking the time to answer these questions and give us some insight on he books. I know my favourite answer is the one about writing from a woman's point of view, lol. If you are looking for an old but fresh take on Vampires I suggest you try his Void City Series. Do not let the covers fool you, they are dark, gritty and have some gore and action to them, basically everything I want in a Vampire book :)

Feature & Giveaway: B. A. Paris

Unfortunately Paris was not able to do an interview this year but nicely offered a giveaway, so here is a little feature about Paris and her books.

If you have not heard of B. A. Paris' debut novel Behind Closed Doors you do not know what you are missing. It is one of the best debut that I have read not in just the past year, but within my time as a reviewer for this blog. I did not know what I was expecting from that book, but Paris delivered so much more.
I am currently reading her second novel The Break Down and while I am not too far in to it, I can already say I know I am going to like it. I am also excited to see that Paris' third novel Bring Me Back is going to be released in 2018, which I know I will be looking out for.

If you are looking for some interviews that Paris has done, I have found some good ones at:

Happy Ever After and the Book Review Café. Hopefully next year I will be able to Host Paris and ask her some of the questions I'm dying to know :)

Here are a blurbs about the books:
Behind Closed Doors
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace.
He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

The Break Down

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods. And the driver who was later
found murdered.
She’s forgetting everything. Where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

What she can’t forget is the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt...

Or the silent phone calls she’s been receiving since that night. And the growing fear that someone’s watching her.

Bring Me Back
The disappearance
The suspicion
The fear
A small Russian doll. Innocent. Innocuous.
But suddenly finding the dolls left in and near the house is torture to Finn and his wife.
It's a sign that Finn's girlfriend, Layla, who disappeared fourteen years earlier, is still alive. And so the happiness he has managed to find with Layla's sister, Ellen, is brought into question. He loves Ellen - but does he love her as much as he once loved Layla? If Layla came back, could he fall in love with her all over again? Could he love her enough to leave Ellen for her?


As stated above Paris has very nicely offered a giveaway even though she was unable to do an interview, so enter the rafflecopter link below.

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Interview & Giveaway: Nicholas Sansbury Smith

There are times when you find an author on a whim and get blown away. This is what happened to me when I picked up Hell Divers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, it was totally an unexpected hit for me in the past year. Due to this book I have been on the search for his other series and so far I have read Orbs (review to come) and Extinction Horizon (review to come) and have enjoyed all of them. While they may share some similar elements all of the series stand out in many different ways. Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today:

Nicholas Sansbury Smith



You have a work history with the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management to author, why the change? Did your work experience prepare you to be an author?
I was ready to focus on writing and had the opportunity so I took the leap. Yes, absolutely it has helped with my writing. I worked in disaster mitigation and learned a lot about how the government operates during and after a disaster. The knowledge I gained has directly influenced many of my stories. I think my work at HSEMD gave me a unique perspective and I’ve used it to try and create unique stories.

From your Orbs Series to your Extinction series and your new Hell Diver series; series appear to be your go to. What do you think are the main components of writing a successful series? Why do you choose to write a series instead of standalone novels?
I like telling a longer story, and a series allows me to develop characters and focus on world building that I’m not able to do in a standalone. Series are also very popular and have become a trend on Amazon. I personally love reading a longer story that continues with episodes and enjoy writing them as well.

If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Great question and a difficult one to answer. I’d probably go with my current co-writer, Anthony Melchiorri. We both have a similar style and work well together, which is very important.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Probably non-fiction. I love researching a story, but I also like the creativity involved in making things up. I’m not sure I would be good at re-telling a true story or writing a biography. For me, the fun is making new material and building new worlds and characters.

Your three main series (Extinction Cycle, Orbs and Hell Divers) all feature some form of mutation of humans, what appealed to you about mutation instead of other horror monster out there to choose from?
A mutated human is more horrifying to me because that monster used to be a human, with a past, and a family, and a career. Can you imagine having some sort of your brain still functioning but being trapped in a mutated, monstrous body? To me, that would be Hell.

I have only read your novel Hell Divers (so far, I have the first Orbs and Extinction books on my nook) but in all of your novels you paint a bleak future not only for humans but the fate of the Earth. Is this the future you see us heading towards? How prepared are you for an apocalypse?
I personally believe humans will continue to survive regardless if civilization collapses. I also think that is very likely to happen in the next century. I agree with Stephen Hawking that we will need to eventually leave this planet if we hope to survive as a species. If we can’t leave earth, we may only survive in small numbers after a cataclysmic event, but humans are very resilient and intelligent creatures that will find a way to carry on life in some manner or another. In terms of the most likely of ways civilization will end, in my opinion, it will be a viral outbreak or natural disaster like a super volcano. When I worked for HSEMD I saw all of the different threats we face as a species, and there are too many to list. It’s quite depressing if you think too much about it.

Hell Divers is probably one of the most unique premises I have read in a very long time. Where did your inspiration come from in the creation of the world and premise of the books? Are you a sky diving enthusiast?
I’m not a sky diving enthusiast, and I’m actually afraid of heights. I like to keep my feet on the ground, and find the concept of Hell Divers, actually terrifying. The premise of the story came from a brainstorming session with my literary agent. I explained the idea and we went from there. I really wanted to do something different than stories about bunkers underground or survivors living in shelters in post apocalyptic settings. At the time I wrote Hell Divers those were the most popular stories. Don’t get me wrong, I love those types of books, but I wanted to do something different. I decided to take humanity to the sky and have the divers jump back to the surface to retrieve parts that kept the ships in the air. The plot developed from there...

X was one of my favourite characters in books that I read in the past year. What went in to the creation of the character?
That’s really cool. I’m glad you liked his character. When creating X, I decided I wanted to write a flawed character that had a fighting gene that wouldn’t allow him to surrender. No matter what the world threw at him, he kept pushing onward. There are a lot of reasons not to like X, but I think the reader still roots for his success by the time they get to the end of book one.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? Personally I’m hoping for some information on the next book in the Hell Divers series, Ghosts.
Ghosts is now available in all formats, and Extinction Cycle, War will be out in November. My next major event won’t be until next year as I’m spending the rest of 2017 finishing up Hell Divers 3: Deliverance, and the Trackers and Orbs series.

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think everyone should read
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Hands down my favorite book of all time.

I just want to say thank you again to Nicholas for taking the time to be part of my Blogoversary. I know I'm always happy when I can find an established author that I have never heard of before so I can make my way through their books and not have to wait years for the next one. Honestly if you are a fan of Post-Apocalyptic or the world just going to Hell, then you need to check out Sansbury Smith's series, you will not be disappointed. Nicholas has very nicely supplied a giveaway (US) to go along with his interview so make sure to enter in the rafflecopter link below.


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Interview & Giveaway: Hollie Overton

Wow I cannot believe that it is already September and I am starting my &th year Blogoversary event. If you have been part of previous years you know I always like to feature a debut and up and coming author. This year's kickoff author is Hollie Overton, whose debut novel Baby Doll was a really good debut novel that explore the unique relationship between kidnapper and captive. Pleas Welcome to Blood Rose Books today:

 
Hollie Overton
 
If there was one author, you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why? 
I’d have to say JK Rowling. I love the world she created and to be able to work with her and see how she does what she does would be amazing.
 
Is there a book, author, story or person that inspired you to become a writer? 
My reading has always been varied and across genres so I don’t know if there’s one author or book I can credit inspiring me to become a writer. A few of my favorites growing up were Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, R.L. Stein, Sue Grafton, James Patterson, Francine Pascal, and the list goes on and on.  My biggest inspiration though and the reason I became a storyteller was my mother. She always encouraged my creativity and has been my guiding force.
 
You are one of the series writers for the TV for several popular shows (Shadowhunters, Cold Case and The Client List), why did you decide to write a novel?  
I love writing television but there are times when I’ve struggled to get work. It was very frustrating to keep writing scripts and to feel like the door was constantly slamming in your face. I was unemployed for awhile, and incredibly frustrated with my TV career. I decided I needed to go back to writing for the pure love and joy of it and to stop worrying about all the business stuff and the marketability, etc. that starts to dominate your writing when you work in Hollywood. That’s when everything changed.  I just had the spark of an idea, and suddenly I couldn’t stop writing about Lily, the central character in Baby Doll. Ninety pages later, I had what is basically the first part of the novel.
 
How does writing a novel differ from writing for TV? 
In some ways they are very similar. You’re creating a story from nothing, creating compelling characters, a compelling plot, etc. But TV writing is collaborative. You have to be willing to share your ideas, and have some or depending on the day, all of those ideas rejected. You’re not in charge and that’s what you have to do. Writing novels is all about you. For better or worse, you make the decisions so there’s no one to blame if readers don’t like your characters or your plot. Writing novels is also very solitary which if you’re extroverted like I am, can be challenging. As a TV writer, you’re surrounded by people, sharing ideas, laughing, talking, making one another work harder to tell the best story possible. That’s why I enjoy doing both!  I get the best of the two worlds.


Shadowhunters is based upon Cassandra Clare’s bestselling series The Mortal Instruments, what are some additional challenges for writing a show that is based upon such a well-known novel and characters? 
Shadowhunters is a big epic story so the challenge was always finding ways to streamline the plot without sacrificing the core essence of the book and the characters.  There’s a lot of pressure to honor what the fans love while also finding ways to surprise them. So much thought and care is taken into telling these stories because all the writers are fans of the novels and understand how important these stories are to the fans. We worked very hard to make sure we kept pivotal moments, while also trying to put a unique spin on things. 

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?  
I imagine historical fiction would be quite challenging, making sure you’re getting all the history correct while also telling an entertaining story. If you’re not skilled, you could have a book full of facts and a dull story or you could have an interesting story but none of the history adds up.  To me, that seems like a lot of pressure. 

Stockholm syndrome plays a big part in this book and I thought that dynamic between Lily and her kidnapper was really well done and not as straight forward as many people think it should be. And it in the story it was important to highlight this relationship, what type of research did you do on the syndrome? Was there a real life incident that you modeled theirs after? 
I’m so glad you found that part well done! I consulted with an FBI agent who handled abduction cases as speaking with a social worker friend about the psychological effects abuse would have on someone. But I didn’t research that part of Baby Doll as much as others because over the years I’d read a lot about kidnappings and the power an abductor has over their captor. In my mind, Lily could never really love Rick but the hold he had over her wouldn’t just vanish over night. She’d have to fight to rid herself of those feelings and how he’d manipulated her. That’s what I wanted to explore.

You are an identical twin yourself, so the “twin aspect” you highlight within Baby Doll is normal for you. How much of the interaction between Lily and Abby is based upon interactions between you and your sister? Did you try to put yourselves in the mindset of these two characters and think how you would each might have reacted? 
I’d say almost ninety-nine percent of their dynamic was inspired by own relationship with my twin sister, Heather. We’re incredibly close. We talk on the phone constantly, text nonstop and see each other probably six days a week.  What’s interesting about the twin relationship is that you really struggle to find your identity on your own but at some point when you get older, at least in our case, you accept that this person really does complete you.  There’s no one in the world I’d rather hang out with than my sister. That’s why it’s so devastating when Abby and Lily lose one another. They really are losing a piece of themselves. So it was very easy to put myself in Abby and Lily’s shoes. 

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? 
My next book THE WALLS was released on August 10th in the US and UK and I’m having a book launch in LA at Book Soup in West Hollywood on the 10th and in Corpus Christi, TX at Barnes and Noble on Sept. 23rd. I’m also interviewing new TV jobs and I’m working on my third book.

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think everyone should read?  
One of my favorites recently is All the Little Children by Jo Furniss. It’s The Road meets Lord of the Flies with two amazing female heroines at the center. The book isn’t out until September but I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy.  I only planned to read a few pages. Instead, I cancelled all my plans and devoured it in one day. It’s a fast-paced read with tons of heart and emotional twists and turns. 

I just want to say Thank you once again to Hollie for being part of my Blogoversary I know it takes time to answer the questions and as you can tell Hollie is very busy. I really do recommend that you check out her debut novel as see for yourself just how well done the Stockholm syndrome aspect was done. Hollie has very nicely provided a giveaway (INT) to go along with her interview, so please enter the rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Angela Marsons: Dead Souls

Dead Souls: A gripping serial killer thriller with a shocking twist (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 6) - Angela Marsons

As the cover of this book states, this is the sixth book in the D.I. Kim Stone series and you really should pick up the previous five books (Silent Scream, Evil Games, Lost Girls, Play Dead and Blood Lines) in order to understand Kim as a main character and the team she works with. Plus this is one of my favourite D. I. series which I highly recommend it.

When a collection of human bones is during a routine archaeological dig a Black country field suddenly becomes a complex crime scene and need the expertise of D.I. Kim Stone. Too bad it's outside of her jurisdiction by a hair. However, this brass have other ideas and Kim is forced to work with Det. Travis who she has a troubled past with and the fact that he despises her does not help. As they dig deeper and the bones are sorted they uncover that these people died in horrible ways from animal traps to bullet holes. While Kim is away Bryant is in charge of the team and they are dealing with an increased amount of malicious Hate Crimes that shake the team to the core that eventually puts more than one of them in danger. Can Kim uncover what happened in the Black County fields in order to save her team?

I am a big, no make that HUGE fan of Marsons, right from her first book in this series, Silent Scream, I knew that she was an author to watch out for and I was right. After five books the series was still going strong, but I did start to wonder if Marsons could continue to come up with interesting and twist worthy plots with the release of her sixth book. I think that this was one of the weaker books in this series so far. This is not to say that I did not enjoy it however, I thought that it was a bit slower than the previous books and lacked some of the imagination was not there. I also found that after reading the five previous books, you get to know that Marsons does have a formula which works great but I think that it is time to change it up a bit as I was able to see the connections fairly early while reading this book. What I did love about the plot was that it had the small town feel where everyone keeps the secret until the very end just to protect the town and themselves as well as the idea that the past can never stay buried for long.

What I appreciated in this book was that we got to know Kim better as a character in the present, not focus so much on her tortured past and focused on some of her history within the police force. This comes when she is forced to work with her former partner Travis. Lets just say they did not end on good terms, and if you have read the previous books in this series you will see that things are very much sour between them. Marsons also highlighted not only how much her team relies on Kim's leadership but how much Kim relies on Bryant and how she acts when he is not there. Bryant is very much the strongest member on their team.

There was also more development of the secondary characters as Kim is away, especially Stacey. I'm not sure if Marsons took a lot of reviewers critiques from the last book about Stacey's use of language and British slang, but it was not as nearly as bad in this book as it was in the previous. I think that Stacey was really the last character of Kim's team to be developed as a character past the computer wiz and online expert and I am glad that Marsons took the time to give more of Stacey's backstory and really give her more of a backbone in this book as well.

While this book is not my favourite in the series and I found it slower at times, I did appreciate getting to know Kim better as a character. On a whole this series is extremely solid, one of my favourite out there and I recommend it any chance I get. I now have to wait for the seventh book in this series, and it cannot come fast enough. Seriously check out this series I do not know what you are waiting for.

Enjoy!!!

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Darynda Jones: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet - Darynda Jones

As the title of the book suggests this is the fourth book in this series, so You will need to read the previous books (First Grave on the Right, Second Grave on the Left  and Third Grave Dead Ahead) to understand what is happening in this book, so with that said there will be spoilers below from the previous three books...you have been warned.

Charley Davidson, aka The Grim Reaper, is in a grim mood after her last case, so she has taken some time off but The Reaper's work is never done. When a young woman seeks Charley's help, convinced that someone is trying to kill her, Charley knows her time off has come to an end. Everyone close to woman refutes the story or thinks that she is insane, but the more push back that Charley receives the more she is convinced there is something wrong. Life will never be normal for Charley not only because she is the Grim Reaper but Reyes is out of prison, on the run and always looking for trouble where Charley is concerned

Alright, this is not my typical read, I will admit that, but I have this thing for series that I started awhile ago and revisiting them every now and again to see how the story progresses. I feel like I cannot leave a series behind especially when I remember enjoying it. So this is my return to Jones' series and her Grim Reaper. There were some high and low points to this book which made it an okay read for me.

Charlie was not as annoying in this book as the last one, I think she had to grow up a bit more with what happened to her in the previous book and really look at her life. She still had some snarky comebacks but I felt that they were more well placed in this book and not as childish as in book 3. I also appreciated that there was also less sex scenes in this book compared to the last. The scene was was a little bit drawn out for me, but I think that readers who like this in their novel will appreciate it. These scenes are something Jones has had in all the books of this series so regular readers would probably miss it if she took the sex scenes out.

This book was pretty predictable in my opinion. I was able to figure out all of the mystery aspects within the book way before the end of the story; who was harming Piper, who the bank robbers were and who was moving in to the apartment next to Charlie. So this was basically I knew it all as soon as all the mystery aspects were introduced. This is not where Jones excels it would be nice for her to have an unexpected twist and turn here or there. This makes the mystery aspects secondary to what appears to be happening in Hell (which we do not get a lot of) and Charlie and Reyes' relationship.

Speaking of their relationship I did get sick of Reyes continually threatening Charlie. I mean it has not worked in the previous three books, I highly doubt that it is going to work now. Why doesn't he grow up, change his tactics and just accept Charley for who she is, I mean isn't that what attracted him to her in the first place.

One thing that I was disappointed about between the third and fourth book was I thought that Swopes was dead, I was surprised that he was reintroduced all of a sudden in this book. Kind of made me like the third book a little less and I'm disappointed that Jones could not let one of her secondary characters die. I thought that was a big turning and maturing point for Charley as well as this series.

I do not know why I keep reading this series at times. It has so many elements that I do not like in  the books I read now, now being the key word. As stated above the only thing I can think of is this is like my guilty pleasure or something and just not being able to let go of series that I have already started. It's like my once a year return to what I used to read, lol.  That siad I'm sure fans of this series will enjoy this book, as Jones has found a formula that works.

Enjoy!!!

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Wendy Walker: All Is Not Forgotten

All Is Not Forgotten - Wendy   Walker

Wendy Walker takes the readers on a journey as a young women struggles to remember one of the worst nights of her life:

What would you do to protect your loved ones? Would you want tot ake away their pan, their suffering, the worst day of their life. This is the choice that Jenny Kramer's parents faced the night that she was attacked and raped. Would it not be better if she could not remember anything of that night? Her parents decide Yes and give her a experimental drug that will make her forget. However, as the weeks go by Jenny may be healing from her physical wounds but the psychological ones are ever present, even though she has no memory of that night. Jenny wants to know what happened that night, her mother just wants to move on a pretend nothing happened and her father becomes obsessed. Obsessed with finding out who did this to his little girl. Dr. Alan Forrester believes that he can help Jenny recover her memories but while helping Jenny Alan is forced to take some dark paths that he though he would not have to revisit.

This an engrossing, emotional, and at time a thought provoking read, that you will not want to put down, I know I didn't. It deals with some very tough subject matter of rape (it does go in to detail) as well as the choices that parents make for their children and how this affects everyone. So with that said this book will not be for everyone, at times it is not an easy read, it is very character driven with the over hanging occurrence of Jenny's rape, what happened that night and who responsible, very much a whodunit.

I really enjoyed that this book was by the Alan, Jenny's psychiatrist in the book, with his own observations thrown in. It was also interesting that he also became the psychiatrist for her parents as well. I think this was not only a different way to tell the story but also an effective one, as we still experience everything that Jenny does, with the loss of memory and trying to gain it back in the sessions they have together, but also the police, parents and other characters information without switching between points of view. It also shows how people can be different when people think they are in a safe place and the power that they essentially give these people. Since the book is told from Alan's point of view you only really get to know him as a character and his motivations to help Jenny and the decision he has makes along the way to help and at times hinder her. There will be points that you love Alan and hate him, but this just makes him a very real character.

This book makes you think quite a bit about the choices you would make in the situations presented, as a parent, a victim and human. There are several points in the book that will have you questioning whether you would do the same thing or could you see a different route. I like books that make you have these thoughts and Walker had me questioning myself many times in this book.

I think that this will be a polarizing book, you will either love it or hate it, I do not think that there can be an in-between. I personally really enjoyed everything in this book, from Alan (love and hate him) the plot, the way everything unfolded, how it was told and an ending that I did not see coming (I love when an author can surprise me). I especially liked that it had me questioning myself, which is not always something you want from a fiction read, but this one did. I look forward to what Walker release next

Enjoy!!

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Newt Scamander: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - J.K. Rowling

I will admit that I watched the movie before I read this book so I was pretty excited to pick this one up and return to the amazing world of Harry Potter, however, it was not quite what I was expecting. Based upon the fact that I saw the movie first, I assumed (I know I know) that this book was going to be more of an adventure story than an education book. I now know I should have read the screen play version of this book instead, but I had no idea there was one.

This book gives an in depth look at all the creature you encounter in Harry Potter and some that you do not (maybe in future books...fingers crossed) as well as I'm sure the screen play for the movie that I just became aware of. So I guess this is a very short review of the wrong book, lol. If you want to know more about the creature in Harry Potter, this one is for you. I did enjoy learning about the creature and probably would have enjoyed it more if I would have read it when I was first discovering Harry Potter many many years ago now. I know that it makes me want to reread the Harry potter series and I am so looking forward reading them to my child and my husband discovering them as he has not read them yet (no idea why not lol). Now I just have to get my hands on the screen play and read the book I meant to.

Enjoy!!!

D. Melhoff: Grimm Woods

Grimm Woods - D. Melhoff

D. Melhoff takes the readers on a journey of what happens at your very typical fairy tale inspired summer camp:

A remote summer camp that is based on fairy tales themes is about to show the dark side of the fairy tales. When two teens are murdered and rendered in to a real life version of a classic Grimm's fairy tale chaos is about to ensue. The counselors and children are trapped within the wilderness till Friday and the bus comes to pick the children up, 4 more days they have to try and survive. But this killer has been planned for everything and has a Grimm Fairy Tale for each counselor they want to enact, survival is not likely.



This book (and several movies out there) makes me happy that I was never a counselor at camp, these people seem to get the worst of the worst at these camps, plus they have to take care of a whole bunch of children at the same time, no thank you. This book starts out like the Wet Hot American Summer (well less funny and more sex) with just some not so casual murders involved.

This was an gripping read and this was due to the fair tale murder aspect of the book. I personally was not aware of all the different horrors fair tales come from and Melhoff does not shy away from expanding on them. The deaths are twisted, gruesome and at times you can only imagine how much the individual suffered before they succumbed to their end. These are not your Disney tales that you think you know so well and I think that Melhoff describes it best when you first open the book "Fairy tales have not always been considered suitable for children. Many of them originally contained elements of torture, incest, rape, cannibalism, suicide, beastiality, murder and other horrific acts. All references to these elements in this novel are accurate". It was from this point on that you know but don't really know what you are about to get in to. Then by the end of the book you realize how screwed up our ancestors were for coming up with these stories, and you can understand why they have changed in to the Disney version over time.

This book does not strive for a lot of character development. Yes, we have our main character in Sean but with some many people being murdered like flies it is hard to really get to know Sean outside of how he tries to handle himself in each situation.  Other than that all we know about Sean is that he suffers from a reoccurring nightmare each night about trains. This book is very much plot driven as the counselors strive to stay alive, take care of the children at the camp as well as figure out why this is happening to them.

Was not as graphic as I was expecting for being a horror book, really only "experience " one of the murders the rest happen and are discovered or the people are killed but it is not elaborated on. However I am okay with this as it allows you as the reader to use your own imagination for what happened, so you can create it as graphic as you want in your head. This does not mean that these scenes are any less disturbing, the way some of the counselors die are horrific even if only the body is discovered.

This is the first book that I have read by Melhoff and it will not be the last. I enjoyed the thin lines that he played with throughout the book and he chose well when he decided to cross them.

Enjoy!!!

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A.M. Justice: A Wizard's Forge

A Wizard's Forge - A.M. Justice

A. M. Justice takes a ready on the journey of a young woman who goes from a Scholar to Slave to Warrior to Wizard:

Victoria was the youngest scholar in her town. It was her job to spread the word of the history from town to town to make sure that the past was never forgotten. On her very first trip she is kidnapped and sold in to sexual slavery to the Realmlord whose every desire is to break Vic's will and make her love him and no other. Vic is able to break free, she has no desire to be a slave she knows she has to fight in order to make sure it never happens again. She becomes a warrior hell bent on revenge from her former captor but there could have been other reasons the Realmlord chose her. Vic is about to learn more about herself and her destiny but it will a bloody battle and many friends will be lost and the very thing that Vic craves may be what destroys her as well.

This was an interesting read and more high fantasy with a mix of sci-fi than I thought that it was going to be and I think overall Justice created an interesting and compelling read but there were a few flaws. For me I got lost a bit in the details of the world building that Justice tries to impose on the reader.  It almost felt like Justice was trying to hard in creating her world. I guess what I'm trying to say is Less is More. I'm still not sure what the importance is yet that they are on a different planet than Earth this aspect was very downplayed the farther you go  in to the book. I'm going to assume here that there will be more development on this in the future books. For me what drove this book was the development of her characters both those you liked and hated.

Vic is an amazing character, the strength she shows on a daily basis to go through what she has endured is amazing. I liked that Justice never had Vic forget what had happened to her as it has shaped her and still defines her character and the choices that she makes. It will be interesting to watch Vic come in to her powers and abilities the more practice and control and I look forward to Justice being creative with this. There are times when Vic's ideal are child like though which makes sense as she is only a teenager when this books starts and she has to grow up quick. I also find that these characteristics come out the more that she is with Ashel. Personally, I disliked Ashel as a character; I liked him when you first meet him in the book but it kind of went downhill from there. He is a spoiled rich prince who is not used to hearing no, he has not really experienced the world and always has his family there to bail him out if needed. I think that Justice created him this way so that when he meets Vic and actually has to go through some life changing even on his own his character has the ability to develop and change.

Justice does not shy away from torture in this book and it takes on several different forms from mutilation to sexual to psychological in nature. While this book may feature a teenager, this is not for a young adult audience some of the things that Realmlord does to his people is very disturbing. However, Realmlord is an interesting foe and one that Vic will never be able to forget and he uses that to his advantage on more than one occasion. The Realmlord is one of the highlights of this book as his a a really good villain and the length he will go to for control and to get Vic back are extreme.

Overall enjoyed the book even though I found the world building a bitt too convoluted, I really enjoyed the story and Vic as a character. Of course there is a cliffhanger at the end too, so you'll be wanting to read the next book
Enjoy!
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J. P. Delaney: The Girl Before

The Girl Before: A Novel - JP Delaney

In his debut novel J. P. Delaney's characters enter in to a life changes in the search of perfections:

Make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life? How does one answer that question and it is a strange question to ask to someone who is looking to rent One Folgate Street, but it appeals to Emma (Before) and Jane (After). Here lies the intertwining story of two women at One Folgate Street and how the past can affect the present and people can find themselves walking the same path as those before them even if they know it will have deadly consequences.

This is a debut novel for Delaney however, it does not read like one. I found the story was interesting, with fairly well developed characters that kept me guessing and switching my opinion till the very end. (After writing this I found out that J. P. Delaney is a pseudonym for another author, but I was unable to find which author it was for, which I was able to find out was Tony Strong who I am not familiar with).

As I cannot seem to get away from this genre this year I have another Domestic Suspense read under my belt. How does this differ from the other ones I have read this year or does this add anything new to this up and coming genre, I'm glad you asked, as this book takes the manipulation factor to the hilt. And it is not just unknowingly being manipulated the two main female characters Jane and Emma, enter in to a tenant lease and relationship that they know is going to be full on manipulation as really this is one of the rules that comes with living in the house. I think this is what drew me in to the book. How could these women want to be manipulated like this, why stay especially Jane when she learned what happened to Emma. This book just has an overall odd/strange feeling to it as you try to understand both Emma, Jane and One Folgate Street that keeps you turning the pages.

I find the house is one of the interesting aspects within the book. It is stark clean lines, everything has its place and must be there when not in use. Delaney does a perfect juxtaposition between the clean well maintained house and the idea of perfecting the messy lives of the human race. It is also interesting to see how the house affects Jane and Emma differently as you go back and forth between their points of view (Emma: Before, Jane: After), which in my opinion was the best way to tell this story.

When I started this book I thought I was getting a mystery type of book, but some where in the middle is some how it turned in to 50 shades of grey (well at least I think 50 shades of grey as I've never read the series), well 50 shades of grey but with some murder. I guess you can attribute this to the manipulation and domination that Simon has and wants to have over Emma and Jane, I just was not expecting it.

 

Overall I enjoyed this book, even though it was not exactly what I thought it would be. This book is all about the manipulation within relationships and who is manipulating who, so with that I do not know if it will appeal to everyone. I look forward to seeing what Delaney can come up with next.

Enjoy!!!

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Meg Collett: Fear University

Fear University - Meg Collett

In the first in a new series Meg Collett takes the reader to your not so average University:

Ollie is very unique, she has been diagnosed with a disease that prevents her from feeling pain. There are people that would take advantage of such a gift, expecially after Ollie is abandoned by her mother at age 10 and she is passed from foster home to foster home. When she lands on one foster home that has a let's make Ollie scream game, she end up killing a man and is on the run. Ollie thinks that she's the baddest person in town but she is about to get a rude awakening when she comes face to face with what she will learn are aswangs. Man by day creature by night and they are winning the war against the Hunters. Ollie may have been on her own for a long time but she is about to find a purpose in fighting the aswangs that would harm humans and live for the fear they inflict.

Alright that was a roller-coaster ride and this book was not what I was expecting at all. I thought it was going to be a fun little easy with a bit of romance through in to it (honestly I did not have that high of hopes). What I got instead was a fairly dark, action packed read that I did not want to put down (with a little bit of romance and sexual tension thrown in there too), so Bravo Collett for surprising me. That said I did find some aspects of the book predictable but overall it was a good fun read.

Fear University is more like Fear High School, maybe this was due to the fact that the university was so small and  the interaction with the same people all the time, but there was nothing university like in this book to me. The whole clique aspect, with the mean girls and everyone pinning for the same guy, sounds like high school to me. However, this High School aspect is countered with the darkness of the book; From the Lets Make Ollie Scream game to the action/fight scenes these added to a more well rounded read.

I like Ollie as a main character and her haunting past. Though I was able to figure out the "major" twist very early on. The one thing I will point out is that for all her gruff and front she was at times a whiny character especially when she did not get her way. I think this is a maturity factor and as I said above, more like High School than University. Her disease is an interesting aspect for Collett to play with. Even though Ollie is unable to feel pain she is still able to get hurt and hurt badly and that seems to happen quite a bit in this book. I also think that Ollie seems to heal faster than normal, maybe this is a side affect to the disease maybe something else. I like that Luke had the frame of mind to try and teach her understand that not feeling pain could actually be a liability and to try to not get hurt.

I would classify this book as new adult, as the main character is 19 and I think there is way too many thoughts of sex and the one sex scene was highlighted too much for a YA read. There is also how the aswangs saliva affects Luke, basically makes he extremely sexually aggressive and this is also highlighted in the book as well.

This is the first book that I have read by Collett and I think that I am going to enjoy this series. I'm already on the hunt for the next book.

Enjoy!!!

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Richard Montanari: Shutter Man

Shutter Man - Richard Montanari

In the ninth book in his Balzano & Byrne series, Richard Montanari introduces the readers to a story that was 30 years in the making:
 
Billy is a perfectionist when it comes to killing, if only he could remember who he was supposed to kill looked like. Billy carries his targets in photographs in his pocket to make sure he get the right one. Killing is part of Billy's ancestry as part of the  Philadelphia's Farren crime family. Detective Kevin Byrne and assistant district attorney Jessica Balzano are assigned a strange break and enter series all of which seem to be link to the Devil's pocket and Bryne's past. All of this jeopardizes the Farren family and has put Bryne on Billy's hit list.

 

I was really really excited to read this book, it had such an interesting premise (I mean a hit man not being able to remember face of who he is supposed to kill but can only tell who they are through photos. Just think of how you could take advantage of that) and the beginning was fantastic, engaging, had me hooked and then it fell really flat and slow. 
 
Going in to this book I did not know that it was part of a series when I requested it on Netgalley. It was my fault for not checking, I get that, but I guess I assumed (we all know what happens when you do that) that it would be listed as number 9 in the series. So as you can guess I did not know the players in this game, their history and this is probably part of the problem I had.

There was too much back and forth not only between different characters but also between past a present that I found myself lost some where in the shuffle. I like to think that I read often enough that this is a hard thing to do but I just really struggled with this book. I also really like when back story is explained especially when it relates to the characters and sometimes the crimes, but this one did not feel fluid with me.
 
I just do not know with this book, I have read some amazing reviews for it that make me think I should go back and give it another try, but I really had a hard time getting in to the story, that makes me think this one was not for me. Maybe if I start at the beginning of this series I would have been able to get in to the story more. Basically do not make the same mistake that I did.
 
Cheers!!!

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S. J. Kincaid - The Diabolic

The Diabolic - S.J. Kincaid

S.J. Kincaid takes readers to a world where technology is dying and those at the top seek to keep it that way so they can hold on to their power:
 
Diabolics are created to be ruthless, powerful, and have a killer instinct. They are devoted to a single person and will stop at nothing to protect them. For Nemesis that person is Sidonia who is an heir to the galactic Senate. They grew up together and Nemesis would do anything to keep her safe, even if it means taking her place in the imperial court as a hostage. Nemesis has to navigate the court with all its lies and deceptions, where one wrong move against the Emperor could lead to death. With the Empire beginning to fracture and rebellion on the way, Nemesis has to tread carefully in order to survive.

I really enjoyed this book, and I would have read it in one sitting if I would have been able to, but life gets in the way. I think my favourite part of this was the politics. Kincaid was not afraid to show the darker aspects of it either. The lies, murders, wheeling and dealing that goes on behind everyone's back are at full light here. I mean this in the nicest way but this book was like a space version of Pinocchio, except for the whole not being able to tell a lie aspect, plenty of lies to go around here. Diabolics are not real people, they are created for one purpose only and that is to protect those that they are bonded with and nothing else. However, Nemisis' "owner" sees her as more than that and wants more for her as well, in other words to be become a real girl.

I think the overall concept of the Diabloics was interesting. I mean why wouldn't the people in power want a personal body guard who is bonded to them and will protect them at all costs, no questions asked. Diabolics are not created to think, or have feelings they are created to serve, nothing more than an object and thing something that was owned. You can see that this is how Nemesis "feels" about herself at the beginning of the book and it was interesting to see how Nemesis adapted and grew throughout the book especially when Sidonia is not around to help guide her. Nemesis is a vicious character and will not (and does not) hesistate to kill anyone that threatens her or Sidonia. So you can guess things do get a bit bloody and this book does take some darker turns that I was not expecting.

I appreciated that Kincaid had the romance/relationship as secondary aspect in the book and that there was not a love triangle.There was no need for one in this story and I am really glad that Kincaid decided to not have one. Even the romance/relationship part is fairly stunted as Nemesis does not really understand quite the emotions involved as her love has been dedicated to Sidonia.

This book is a really good stand alone read, but i have just realized that it is going to be part of a series. Not sure where Kincaid is going to go from here, but I am interested in finding out. One to add to your reading list if you're looking for something a little different in the sci-fi YA genre.

Enjoy!!!

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