Thursday, March 2, 2017

Kate Bloom - The Legend of the Dwarf - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

Ever Trollkiller is a young dwarf, twenty-three years old, who had lived her entire life in an isolated cave far away from the dwarven kingdom. She lives with twelve other dwarves who have raised her in complete isolation, keeping the surviving dwarves a secret from the rest of the word. They hide form Terrisino, the Great and Evil Sorcerer, who demolished their kingdom a quarter century ago. But when Ever accidentally meets an elf, she decides that she is no longer satisfied with the stories she hears from her clan. She decides to seek out the mysterious elf so that he might show her the world. But it isn’t long before she realizes that the freedom of the world and the future of the races of elves, men, and dragons will soon end like the dwarven race. Orcs run rampant in the land, killing innocents and plundering the villages. Strange creatures are given rise as they bring death to those who dare harbor the dwarf that they seek. Evil men lie in wait till they might strike. And each of them is allied under Terrisino himself. The stories of hope reach Ever. The stories of legends that all center around one strange dwarf who is destined to defeat Terrisino and ensure the freedom to the world. Convinced that she is the dwarf of legend, she unites with the unlikely company of men, sorcerers, elves, and dragons to save the races and discover who she is.




My Review

The question of race exists, even in an imaginary realm.

Dwarves, elves, dragons - none of them can seem to get along with each other. Until an unexpected quest unites a ragtag group of exiles and misfits into one, and an "adopted" member of the elven royal family befriends a lowly dwarf, trying to pass for human.

Why the sudden turnaround in race relations?

Maybe because what the big bad sorcerer fears the most is the blood of all three races running through the same veins, suggesting the emergence of a very important person.

But does this person already exist or is he or she yet to be born? We really don't know. Clues are dropped along the way when the dwarf, Ever, discovers she's also part dragon. But is she part elf too?

Or... is she pregnant with the chosen one? There are signs that she's battling through morning sickness, because before leaving her secluded mountain home, she did her duty as one of the only two surviving females of her imperiled race. But the man she slept with was a fellow dwarf - not an elf.

It's only later that she develops a crush on the handsome elven prince, Jesper. They are drawn to each other from the start, and he feels the need to protect her. In the eyes of the world she's nothing but a mere mortal, but to him, she's so much more.

When dragon markings unexpectedly begin to show up on Ever's face, it only makes Jesper even more enamored of her. Proving the message at the heart of the story: race does not define a person. In a world where mixed blood is looked down upon, he can't take his eyes off her.

Too bad they just don't fit into society together. However, they know that separately they will fall to the forces of evil if they try and go it alone. It's only by forming a united front, will they stand any chance against an enemy who's determined to pull them apart.

***

The Legend of the Dwarf can be purchased at:
Amazon

Prices/Formats: $15.00 ebook, $15.00 paperback
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 260
Release: December 18, 2016
Publisher: self-published
ISBN: 9781540574176
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

Kate Bloom is a tenacious and edgy millennial with a BS in English and history, giving her a knack for story-telling. As a fantasy writer, her mind is constantly running wild in fictional worlds, such as that of her first project, Alice in Dreamland (kindle2016). Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1994, and where she has lived her entire life, Kate found the dry dessert scenery to grow tiresome to look at. She found her escape in the fantastical worlds that played out in her head. She has fallen in love with the idea of putting those worlds in print so that everyone else might see those worlds as well.

Links to connect with Kate:
Web Site
Facebook
Blog
Blog Tour Site


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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A. Keith Carreiro - The Penitent - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

A baby is born and placed in his dead mother's arms. When the funeral shroud is cast over her, his father decides to name his son Pall. It will soon become a name that strikes a shiver into the hearts of those who hear it in combat. A lone survivor on a battlefield many years later, Pall dazedly recovers from the wounds of war. Despite the dead cast about him, everything he looks upon is unfamiliar to him. Wandering away from this scene of carnage, he encounters John Savage, a giant of a man who puts Pall within the sight of Savage's seven–foot, nocked longbow. What ensues from this deadly encounter is an elusive journey for truth. Yet, it is haunted not just by a ravening demon that is out to destroy Pall and John, but by the vision of a startling beautiful young woman protecting Pall from afar.




My Review

Upon reaching the end of this book, I was left scratching my head a little over the title. Why is Pall a penitent? In my mind, he's nothing but a force for good, singing a magical song that tames evil and battling evil with a sword earmarked to defend the defenseless. He doesn't commit any egregious crimes or heinous acts as far as I can see. Sure, he kills a bully of a brute in a bar fight, but sheerly out of self-defense. In fact, I'd label him more of a victim, than a perpetrator, when he's hogtied in an abandoned farmhouse by a roving group of sadistic men.

So what does he have to be sorry for? Why is he the one who needs to beg forgiveness for his sins?

It turns out the answers to those questions are hidden somewhere inside Pall's faulty memory.

At present, he can only see but darkly into who he really is. Which begs the question: So what did Pall do in his past that was so very regrettable?

Well, I'm guessing it has something to do with the striking figure of a girl named Evangel. We get to meet her only briefly inside one of Pall's dreams, and the moment the two of them lock eyes with each other. Wow, what a moment! But right when things start getting good... Pall wakes up.

Thankfully, the author provides a tempting little sneak peek into book two with the opening chapters of Evangel's backstory, describing her God-given mystical abilities. Now, I really can't wait to find out what happened between her and Pall. Who is the true penitent? Him or her? I'm crossing my fingers that he didn't do anything to hurt her, anything he needs to confess.

***

The Penitent can be purchased at:
Amazon
Lulu

Prices/Formats: $3.99 ebook, $13.99 paperback
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 254
Release: November 1, 2016
Publisher: self-published
ISBN: 9781365287077
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

A. Keith Carreiro earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education, with the sequential help and guidance of three advisors, Dr. Vernon A. Howard, Dr. Donald Oliver and Professor Emeritus, Dr. Israel Scheffler. Keith’s academic focus, including his ongoing research agenda, centers upon philosophically examining how creativity and critical thinking are acquired, learned, utilized and practiced in the performing arts. He has taken his findings and applied them to the professional development of educational practitioners.

Earlier in his teaching career he was a professor of educational foundations, teaching graduate students of education at universities in Vermont, Florida, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. He currently teaches as an adjunct professor of English at Bridgewater State University, as well as teaching English, philosophy, humanities and public speaking courses at Bristol Community College.

He lives in Swansea, Massachusetts with his wife Carolyn. They have six children and 13 grandchildren. They belong to an eighty–five–pound golden retriever, an eight–pound Maltese, and an impish Calico cat.

Due to his love of family, he has seen his fervor for history, as well as his passion for wondering about the future, deepen dramatically.

Starting on May 23rd until October 9th of 2014, he sat down at his computer on a daily basis and began writing the first book of a science fiction/fantasy thriller in a beginning series about the quest for human immortality.

Links to connect with A. Ketih:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog


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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bonnie M. Hennessy - Twisted - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

An old tale tells the story of how a little man named Rumpelstiltskin spun straw into gold and tricked a desperate girl into trading away her baby. But that’s not exactly how it happened. The real story began with a drunken father who kept throwing money away on alcohol and women, while his daughter, Aoife, ran the family farm on her own. When he gambled away everything they owned to the Duke, it was up to her to spin straw into gold to win it all back. With her wits and the help of a magical guardian, she outsmarted the Duke and saved the day. Well almost… Her guardian suddenly turned on Aoife and sent her on a quest to find his name, the clues to which were hidden deep in the woods, a moldy dungeon, and a dead woman’s chamber. This is not the tale of a damsel in distress, but a tenacious, young woman who solved a mystery so great that not even the enchanted man who spun straw into gold could figure it out. Not until Aoife came along.




My Review

How does growing up in a broken family affect the type of relationship you'll have with your future spouse?

It's not necessarily a theme one would expect from a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, but I, for one, appreciated the more mature "twist." It shows a layer of depth, not often associated with young adult novels. Mainly because it brings up an interesting point: How does witnessing the behavior of one's parents color the way a person views love later in life?

Simple cause and effect, yet fascinating nonetheless.

First, the female perspective. Aoife's father is a loaf of a drunk, who shrugs off his breadwinner duties by blowing what little gold he has in the village brothel. Unfaithful father, check. While at home, Aoife has to deal with a fault-finding critic of a mother, who refuses to lift a finger to help ease their precarious financial situation. Bitter, broken mother, check. Which means the task of providing for the family ultimately falls to Aoife, so much so that she cares little about how she presents herself to the world. She knows she doesn't act or dress like a young lady should, and I love how she doesn't care about appearances. Yet it's tragic at how determined she is not to give any man a chance. No one—and I mean, no one—is going to get through the walls she's built up around her heart. Sadly, she prefers the only thing she's ever known, taking care of her impossibly weak father and her unappreciative mother.

Then, there's the male point of view. The Duke, also known as Ronan, is a child born out of lies and betrayal. Unfortunately, his mother isn't the woman he thought she was. Over the course of his childhood, he felt the truth, but it was never spoken aloud. Illegitimate birth, check. Now as an adult, he can't begin to fathom the thought of ever being loved by anyone, much less his future wife.

The entire concept is completely foreign to him.

Until he lays eyes on Aoife … and tricks her father into getting her to marry him.

Simply put, he wants her because she doesn't want him, and he pursues her with the sole intent of getting the better of her. Sure, he's attracted to her—more like frustrated with her—since he sees how she treats everyone with kindness, and he wants her to be kind to him, too. It's sort of sweet that all he really desires is her love and affection. But it's also maddening that he's too afraid to show her his vulnerable side. Instead, he chooses to play the part of the big, strong man, hiding who he really is from her.

And with Aoife, love can't be forced, and I admire that about her. She's human, set in her ways just as much as Ronan's set in his, and at first she judges him harshly. The last thing she feels like doing is reforming a spoiled, pampered man. Yet despite herself, she starts to warm up to him when he tries to get to know her better. Her tender heart can't resist his pleading eyes and things begin to change between them. But just when she starts to lower her guard, he retreats back to his selfish, manipulative ways, scared of the hitherto unknown feelings she's bringing to life inside him.

This back and forth drama goes on for a while, until there comes a tipping point in their relationship when a dire set of circumstances winds up bringing them closer together. They realize that the only way forward is if they come together as a couple. And that made me smile because Aoife ends up falling in love with the man she was so determined to escape, and Ronan learns how to care about someone besides himself, someone he deeply and truly loves.

Their relationship is no longer about their hangups over their parents' failed marriages. From this point on, it's all about making a go of THEIR marriage, by protecting their unborn child from a certain "little man."

***

Twisted can be purchased at:
Amazon

Prices/Formats: $2.99 ebook, $12.99 paperback
Genre: Fantasy, Mythological, Fairy Tale
Pages: 306
Release: November 11, 2016
Publisher: self-published
ISBN: 9781539753421
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

Bonnie grew up a shy, quiet girl who the teachers always seated next to the noisy boys because they knew she was too afraid to talk to anyone. She always had a lot she wanted to say but was too afraid to share it for fear she might die of embarrassment if people actually noticed her. Somewhere along the line, perhaps after she surprised her eighth grade class by standing up to a teacher who was belittling a fellow student, she realized that she had a voice and she didn’t burst into flames when her classmates stared at her in surprise.

Not long after that, she began spinning tales, some of which got her into trouble with her mom. Whether persuading her father to take her to the candy store as a little girl or convincing her parents to let her move from Los Angeles to Manhattan to pursue a career at eighteen as a ballet dancer with only $200 in her pocket, Bonnie has proven that she knows how to tell a compelling story.

Now she spends her time reading and making up stories for her two children at night. By day she is an English teacher who never puts the quiet girls next to the noisy boys and works hard to persuade her students that stories, whether they are the ones she teaches in class or the ones she tells to keep them from daydreaming, are better escapes than computers, phones, and social media.

Links to connect with Bonnie:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Goodreads


About the Giveaway

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