Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Reviews: Nocturne Falls Universe May 2017 Part 2


Kristen Painter has extended the Nocturne Falls Universe and got a bunch of authors to write novellas. I think they are a must read for fans of the Universe. And also a great way to discover new author- or at least to me they were mostly new authors.
The first batch of releases were in January 2017. The second in now (in May 2017).

You can find the other reviews here:
Nocturne Falls Universe Review's Part 1
Nocturne Falls Universe Review's Part 2

Nocturne Falls Universe Review's May 2017 Part 1




Invasion of the Alien Snatchers

Author: Fiona Roarke
Publisher: Sugar Skull Books
Series: Nocturne Falls Universe
Pages: Kindle Edition, 110 pages
Genre: PNR
Release Date: May 23rd 2017



Summary:

Pilot. Guard. Prisoner.

All three are crashed in the Georgia woods, lost on a world where extraterrestrials are the stuff of science fiction. Blending into the human world is doable, if dangerous. But what if the locals are far from human themselves, with secrets of their own?

Deliver his wayward brother to the galactic gulag two galaxies away. Stop along the way at the hidden colony on Earth. Find the woman who had been electrifying his thoughts for two years. Crashing in rural Georgia near an odd little town and being taken prisoner was not part of Riker Phoenix’s plan.

Warrior woman Elise Midori ran a galaxy away from Alpha-Prime to escape the man she loved, but could never have. Her new life with the Alpha colony hiding in plain sight from the humans in Alienn, Arkansas, is challenging and satisfying. The mission seems simple enough when her retrieval team is called on to rescue the three occupants of a downed prisoner transport near Nocturne Falls.

She didn’t count on the prophecy-obsessed Druids. And she most definitely didn’t count on seeing a certain sexy lawman again.


Review:

Invasion of the Alien Snatchers is Roarke's second novella set in Nocturne Falls Universe.
It's somewhat a continuation of her previous story: Close Encounters of the Alien Kind
Sadly this didn't work for me, again. I am not quite sure what it is. The writing style alright, not exactly my style, but good.
I like the idea of the alien invasion of Nocturne Falls. But practically, I feel like the world building is a tad choppy and more than that I don't much enjoy the romance or background stories.
It definitely an "It's not you, it's me"kinda situation, which is rather regrettable.
Alas I would advise people to give it a try, since this is just a personal preference kind of a thing.

Rating: 


⎯⎯ ⎯ ⎯⎯


The Falcon Finds His Mate

Author: Candace Colt
Publisher: Sugar Skull Books
Series: Nocturne Falls Universe
Pages: Kindle Edition, 154 pages
Genre: PNR
Release Date: May 23rd 2017



Summary:
After her dream job shatters like Humpty's shell, psychic Jess Callahan returns home to Nocturne Falls to put her life back together and get her career back on track. Left heartbroken years ago by a shifter, Jess keeps anything or anyone supernatural at arm's distance; even turning her back on her gift.

His career skyrocketing, falcon shifter Ryan Ford's life is just where he wants it. When the darkly handsome Ryan realizes that the one thing missing from his quiet, stay-to-himself world is the feisty red-haired Jess, he decides she'd be his perfect mate.

When Jess finally opens her heart to Ryan, she also opens her clairvoyant channel. But will their love survive her catastrophic vision?

Review:

Loved this one!!
It fits right into NFU.
Loved the world building. Again, it fits right in there. In fact it feels like Colt picked Painters brain...
Same could be said about the writing style.
The storyline is your swoony PNR with a dash of serious character building. Which makes this a perfect sweet & fluffy coffee-break read. Let me warn you, if you read slow though, you might end up taking a bit of a long coffee break- it's difficult to put down.



Rating: 


⎯⎯ ⎯ ⎯⎯


The Fortuneteller's Folly

Author: Wynter Daniels
Publisher: Sugar Skull Books
Series: Nocturne Falls Universe
Pages: Kindle Edition, 123 pages
Genre: PNR
Release Date: May 23rd 2017



Summary:
Palm reader Darcy Kumar is cursed. She’ll be dead within a year, so why bother with love? After a brush with death she resolves not to squander what little time she has left. So when sexy firefighter Aiden Becker asks her out, she accepts. As long as she doesn’t have a child, the curse will end with her demise.



A Kachina healer and the last of his line, Aiden is compelled to pass along his gift to future generations. He doesn’t believe in the curse that Darcy thinks will finish her, but he has second thoughts after she has several close calls. He starts suspecting that her near misses aren't accidents at all.

When they enlist the help of a powerful local witch, they learn there are even more sinister forces at work than just a curse. Someone’s gunning for Darcy. Will they find out who before it’s too late?


Review:

The Fortuneteller's Folly is actually quite well written and fit's quite smoothly into the series.
But it simply isn't for me. It was way too insta for my taste. I mean I am not a huge fan of insta, but this is like the insta of the insta. Everything happens in a matter of 3days... which is quite fast to say the least.
The end felt super rushed. It was like Daniels, needed to just finish the story quick quick and be done with it.
The story line simply didn't quite work for me. Or maybe it was more the pacing of it?

There are some good ideas in here, I like the world building. In fact it was my favorite part of the novella.

At the beginning I found myself not caring for the characters at all, but towards the end I did find myself interested in their wellbeing and felt like I got to know them a little. Not the strongest character building, though given that this is a novella, it's to be expected.

Sadly not quite my cup of tea. I do however have to stress the insta-love match is what was my biggest issue, which for a lot of people will be a complete non-issue

Rating: 


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: Nocturne Falls Universe May 2017 -Part 1


Kristen Painter has extended the Nocturne Falls Universe and got a bunch of authors to write novellas. I think they are a must read for fans of the Universe. And also a great way to discover new author- or at least to me they were mostly new authors.
The first batch of releases were in January 2017. The second in now (in May 2017).

You can find the other reviews here:
Nocturne Falls Universe Review's Part 1
Nocturne Falls Universe Review's Part 2


A Dragon Speaks Her Name

Author: Kira Nyte
Publisher: Sugar Skull Books
Series: Nocturne Falls Universe
Pages: Kindle Edition, 158 pages
Genre: PNR
Release Date: May 23rd 2017



Summary:

Kaylae Drayce is convinced she’s crazy. She hears voices in her head and dreams of fiery apocalyptic wars. That’s nothing compared to the terror she feels when the only people she loves are taken from her and she’s forced to run for her life all the way to Nocturne Falls. The town promises her one of two things: Answers to her madness or a one-way ticket to an asylum.

Zareh Lutherone is shattered to discover the Firestorm dragons’ ancient enemy has found and murdered his Keeper. He is plotting his next move in preparation for another war when a beautiful stranger literally falls into his arms. He doesn’t know who she is, only that the dragon inside him demands he protect her at all costs. It doesn’t take long to understand why.

Faced with a daunting task of convincing Kaylae she isn’t crazy—she is his Keeper and lifemate—just got complicated. Their enemy is hot on their tail and will stop at nothing to get their hands on Kaylae in order to destroy the last of an ancient dragon race.




Review:

t took me a while to read A Dragon Speaks Her Name. At first I couldn't put my finger on the reason for it. I just kept reading other stuff instead of the novella. I found I lost complete interest at some point and only read on because, well I felt obliged.
I am glad I finished it. It does have some great ideas. I love the idea of keepers and dragons. Buthe world building feels incomplete and a not completely thought-out. I am not sure if this is because of the pace of the story, I will talk about it a bit later. I just found myself a bit unsatisfied with the bits we are given, I kinda wanted more.
The character building is my favorite part of the novella. Though I was not a huge fan of Kaylae in the beginning, I did feel for her and I got where she was coming from.
I like Zar, a lot, he is the perfect swoony shifter love interest.
The support cast however felt a bit incomplete - a bit too cliche? - I found myself not connecting to any of them
The reason I rated this only as ok, however is the fact that I felt the pacing of this story was all over the place. It like Nyte had a bunch of things she wanted to go through and she ticked them off as she went along. It isn't a straight a to b to c thing however, she started on strand of the story, put it aside to indulge in the romance, then when that was sorted we went back to the "main"story.
It felt disruptive and makes the story feel choppy. But also left me thinking that it was all too convenient and so planned out.
Though I like the idea of the story line, I found the execution of it left me wanting. I do think that's connected to the pace. But there were things, we were not explained at all. I was left with questions, a couple plot twists felt to convenient and planned and the end felt rushed.

Though I like the idea, the novella didn't really work for me.

Rating: 

⎯⎯ ⎯ ⎯⎯


How Knot to Marry a Vampire

Author: Laurie London
Publisher: Sugar Skull Books
Series: Nocturne Falls Universe
Pages: Kindle Edition, 153 pages
Genre: PNR
Release Date: May 23rd 2017



Summary:
Penelope Bechtel comes from a long line of mediums, so she shouldn’t have been surprised to see a ghost for the first time at the Waffle Emporium. But the gift he gives her puts her in terrible danger and sends her on the run…right back to where she started: Nocturne Falls and—

Is that a nearly naked, gorgeous vampire?

Luka Cavanaugh lost a bet, and now he's stuck modeling at a wine and painting party, where he meets a beautiful woman who threatens to untie the knots around his cold, undead heart. The problem is, he doesn’t date supernaturals. Too many secrets. Too much baggage. And Penelope is no exception.

With danger looming and things heating up between them, maybe some rules are meant to be broken…




Review:

How Knot To Marry A Vampire is super cute and fits right into the series.
I absolutely loved Luke. The character building is rather well done especially for such a short novel.
There is some cute banter and sweet swoony moments in here.
My biggest issue however was the storyline in the second half. It felt rushed and way way to convenient. It's like London tried to fit in every possible twist in the book into a novella. Which kinda ruined it for me. Still it's a sweet story and I did like the end very much, despite the all over sudden rather deep declarations...

Rating: 


⎯⎯ ⎯ ⎯⎯



The Trickster Makes A Match

Author: Bria Quinlan
Publisher: Sugar Skull Books
Series: Nocturne Falls Universe
Pages: Kindle Edition, 139 pages
Genre: PNR
Release Date: May 23rd 2017



Summary:

Minx Marksman—daughter of a Supermodel and a famous Rocker—wants nothing more than a normal, crazy-free life. One more nannying gig will earn her enough to achieve her dream of small cottage on the coast. That last job brings her to Nocturne Falls where she’s surprised to find out it’s Halloween every day.

Not so much on the normal, but high on the adorable.

Baby Gus and Uncle Hottie—aka Tim Johnson—seem to be a walk in the park at first. The flirty infant and the nerdy, glasses-wearing cutie grab her heart from the start. She’s falling fast for both guys, but she can’t help but notice that some things aren’t quite what they seem...




Review:

I liked this well enough. But I was a bit taken aback by a few things. First of all it was too insta, I mean I know this is a short story, but.. well I didn't feel the chemistry between Minx and Tim enough to not be taken aback by the fast developments.
Then I'm not quite sure how I feel about their need to be normal.. Honestly normal is overrated if you ask me. There is a middle path between opulence and entitlement and mediocre. Because my issue with Quinlan's brand of normal was it felt like it was too mediocre. Frankly I didn't like the rich people portrait at all, the entire thing was too black and white for my taste. So only "normal"people are nice? Normal being what? Middle Class?
Besides that however, I adored Gus.I love the story telling. Quinlan writes beautifully and is witty.
The story fits right into the series, seamlessly. I also love the fact that the two MCs aren't paranormals. Well, at least I don't think so, because they clearly weren't affected by the water...

Rating: 


Monday, May 22, 2017

Cover Reveal: Seraphina’s Vengeance by Sheena Hutchinson


Seraphina’s Vengeance
Sheena Hutchinson

(Seraphina #3)
Publication date: July 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
One year ago, Seraphina’s entire world seemed to have dived into a mythical land over night. She’s somehow even gotten used to the madness of it all. But what happens when the craziness stops? Things become quiet… too quiet.
She should have known better, Sera should have known that things weren’t as quiet as they seemed. After one of the best nights of her life, Sera is forced into this treacherous journey to save one of her loved ones.
But following the path of evil begins to take its toll on Sera. As she struggles with her own internal dilemmas, Nate starts to take matters into his own hands. When this unseen world finally begins to affect Sera’s emotions and her relationship. Can she hold it together to save her loved ones? Will love conquer all? Or will it turn her evil… forever?
Previous books in the series:






Author Bio:
Sheena is a born and raised New Yorker, even her writing can't seem to hide her hard sarcasm. She claims destiny has lead her back to her true passion for writing.

She constantly strives to be a positive role model and writes stories that empower and inspire. Sheena always roots for the underdog, believes in love at first sight, and that everyone should have their happily ever after.

While God is currently still writing her love story, she continues to put all her effort into her writing as she is constantly getting new inspiration.
For more info, updates, and fun facts visit her website at www.SheenaHutchinson.com




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Friday, May 19, 2017

Excerpt Reveal: Roar by Cora Carmack






From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Releasing June 13, 2017, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below!






About ROAR (Stormheart #1):

New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack's young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.
Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora's been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.
To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.
Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.


Amazon Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Book Depository



Add to your Goodreads








EXCERPT:

There was a hole in her chest, an awful, gaping hole that screamed like she wanted to. Like a cyclone, it seemed to suck up everything in its path until her knees were curled into her chest and her body hunched, and she just kept collapsing in and in and in. Suddenly unable to breathe, she clawed at the beaded fastenings that connected her headdress and necklace. One of her fingernails bent and splintered as she scrabbled for the hooks; when she could not find them, she took hold of the beaded cord and pulled until it broke, beads scattering across the stone floor around her.

The headdress tipped sideways, tugging painfully on her hair. Again and again, she pulled at the ties until her palms felt raw and beads littered the floor around her. The headdress began to sag, and she was nearly done, nearly free when someone stepped through the archway, and she froze.

Novaya.

Thank the skies. The dark-haired servant held an urn full of steaming water in her hands, and she stared in horror as if she had stumbled upon a monster rather than a crying girl. Nova had been Rora’s closest friend before she cut herself off from everyone at her mother’s command. Girls with secrets the size of Rora’s could not have friends. Nova took a step forward, paused, then knelt down, her large brown eyes carefully blank.

“Should I call for your guards? The queen?” Nova asked.

“No!” Softer, Aurora said, “No. Please don’t tell anyone.”

Once upon a time, Nova had kept all her secrets. Now the two rarely even looked at each other in the eye when their paths crossed, and it was all Aurora’s fault.

“Your Highness? What happened?”

Rora shook her head and returned to tugging at the headdress still tangled in her hair. She couldn’t say the words aloud, couldn’t let anyone see how much of a fool she was. Aurora had become accustomed to her shortcomings as a Stormling, as an heir. But she’d thought she had her mother’s strength, tenacity, and intelligence. But maybe that was wishful thinking. Maybe she was altogether…inadequate.

“Stop, Princess. You’re hurting yourself.” Nova put the water aside, crawled forward, and grabbed Rora’s wrists. “Aurora, stop.”

All the years spent missing their friendship came rushing back, and she froze at the sound of her name. Not Princess. Not Your Highness. Aurora. But the moment she stopped moving, it all came crashing down on her. Her na├»ve plan to kiss him, to experience something real. She should have known that her future would hold only more lies. As if she knew anything about real life, real anything. She lived in this palace, protected and pampered and put away like a doll on a shelf, too fragile for anything but appearances. And it seemed that’s all she would ever be.

Cassius wanted control of the city for himself. He thought he’d have to fool her to do it, but the moment the world found out that Rora had no magic, he’d become the ruler in truth, and she’d be the puppet at his side. He wouldn’t have to feign interest in her then. He wouldn’t need her at all.

She wound her arms about her legs and rested her forehead on her knees. Nova moved closer, and Rora sat still and silent as the girl worked to remove the headdress. Her old friend had grown into a beautiful young woman—flawless bronze skin, shiny black hair, stunning features. She’d recently begun assisting the royal seamstress in addition to her position as a maid. She probably had more friends than she could count. Aurora could not help imagining how different her life would be now fi she had never become heir.

The headdress finally gave way, and Nova slipped it off and laid it on the stone floor beside them.

“Tell me what happened.”

Rora leaned back against the wall. It was cool against her abused scalp, and she muttered, “Nothing happened.”

At least she had that much. She hadn’t kissed that beast. But what she had done felt worse. She had hoped. And hope broke more hearts than any man ever could.

“Should I get someone? A friend?”

Rora let out a bleak, cold laugh. As if she had any of those. Softer, she said, “I don’t want to see anyone. I just need this dress off. The makeup too. I need to breathe, and I can’t do it through all this mess.”

“I can do that. I came to help remove the headdress and gown. Stand up and we’ll go to your room. Everything will be fine, Your Highness.”

She didn’t tell her old friend how wrong she was, not as she peeled the dress off her and unlaced the corset. Not as she wiped away the powder that was smudged and striped on Rora’s face, thanks to falling tears. Another maid came in with more steaming water for a bath and Rora let them clean her up, wishing it was as easy to wipe away the last few hours.

She sat in the bath until the water grew cold and her skin shriveled like dying fruit. She had to face the facts. The Rage season was coming, as was this sham of a wedding. And she didn’t know how to fight it any more than she knew how to stop a storm.

But she would not give Cassius any more opportunities to see her vulnerable. Nor was she giving up. If there were no other way, she would marry Cassius.

But she had six days. Wars had been won, empires toppled, and cities leveled in less time. If there was a way out of this, Rora would find it.



About Cora Carmack

Cora Carmack is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Since she was a teenager, her favorite genre to read has been fantasy, and now she’s thrilled to bring her usual compelling characters and swoon-worthy romance into worlds of magic and intrigue with her debut YA fantasy, Roar. Her previous adult romance titles include the Losing It, Rusk University, and Muse series. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. Cora splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City, and on any given day you might find her typing away at her computer, flying to various cities around the world, or just watching Netflix with her kitty Katniss. But she can always be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website www.coracarmack.com




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