Friday, January 19, 2018

~ BOOK REVIEW ~ Prime ~ by Carrie Whitethorne



Title: Prime
Series: Riftkeepers #1
Author: Carrie Whitethorne
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 3, 2017 






One night. One taste. Pure Magic.

Stressed and tired, Charlotte needs a break. Raising twins single-handedly often takes a toll that even a glass of wine can’t cure.

And when Charlotte is reunited with the gorgeous and captivating Callan McAidh— who showed her what true passion and pleasure really were years ago— Charlotte knows her life is about to be turned upside down once again.

But when Callan reveals the truth about himself, and about her past, Charlotte is catapulted into a world of danger and mystique. Now, it’s up to Charlotte to accept her destiny while holding on to the only man she’s ever loved.

Charlotte soon learns that some legends have dark origins; some so dark it is impossible to evade their touch.

This is a paranormal romance novel with adult themes and language.









~ 4 out of 5 Stars ~
I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end.  I read quite a bit of paranormal, and although this one had fairies, and your typical good vs bad with a human stuck in the middle, the author still somehow found a way to make this book stand out as much more original than the rest.  It kept me fully engaged from beginning to end.

Charlotte’s character was one of my favorites, because she wasn’t your typical damsel human in distress.  She was an exceptionally strong woman that had been successfully raising twins, one with apparent special needs, all while working a full time job.  Even once Callan re-entered her life and turned everything she knew upside down – opening up a whole new world to her and her twins – she never weakened, and her thoughts never swayed from what was most important: her children.  Throughout the book, her life got more and more complicated, and at one point, just about anyone would have broken, but she didn’t.  I love a book with a tough woman!

The world building in this book was also really creative and beautiful.  I suppose it helps that Ireland is already beautiful, but the additional world creation wasn’t overly done, and was easy to believe that those that lived there could easily transition between their world and the human world. I also liked how the “good versus bad” wasn’t necessarily so black and white (with the exception of one truly bad guy).  They’re more like different classes, one viewed as less trustworthy, but necessary for their “job”.  Once Charlotte enters their world, she definitely does her job breaking down those barriers and showing their flaws, and I can see how things are really going to blow up in that regard in future books – and I can’t wait to see it happen.

This book certainly kept me on my toes throughout, where I was sure (likely based on what other books would have done) what was going to happen next, but I was regularly proven wrong.  I have no idea what is in the future for any of these characters, and I look forward to finding out.  I’m sure we’ve only scratched the surface, and this book was the perfect slow (but not too slow) build up of what is going to be a huge upheaval in all worlds involved, and for every character.


The only reason I gave this book 4 instead of 5 stars is because there were times when it was hard to tell who was saying or doing what, and although  the general world building was fantastic, there were times where specific room or building descriptions were more difficult to imagine, so I had to reread them a few times.  However, it was very little distraction from the book as a whole, and will certainly not keep me from moving on to book 2 ASAP to find out what happens next.






























Carrie is a mum. An author. A creator of worlds. A dreamer. A friend.

At her childhood home in Yorkshire, Carrie was encouraged to utilize her imagination, to see things for what they could be, and to ask the question “what if?” Her mum introduced her to worlds filled with magic: Barrie, Lewis, Tolkien, Blyton. That magic evolved and continued to inspire her when she discovered Rowling and Sanderson. They all asked the question and explored the possibilities, opening doors to new adventures that would forever change generations to come. 

Even as a child, Carrie preferred creative outlets and writing. But as an adult, Carrie had not yet had that moment of inspiration to begin writing a novel of her own. That all changed one normal morning, on a normal walk to school, when a small boy slipped from the pavement and on to the road. There was no accident. No horror. Just a near miss that later formulated into one question: what if he was able to save himself? Fueled by this question and Carrie’s love of fantasy, European folklore, and mythological creatures, The Riftkeepers emerged. This world answered her question. The series gave birth to characters that took on a life of their own, many telling continued stories in novellas and spinoffs.

When Carrie isn’t writing and annoying her editor with endless typos, she barely sleeps, thinks about her characters, indulges in an unhealthy Facebook addiction, exploring the beauty of the Lake District as her backyard, and contemplating which she loves more: pizza or wine. Definitely wine. Considered to be one of the most boring people she knows, writing her own biography was a definite weakness. Her first draft was rubbish and was picked apart by friends who insisted she was funnier and far more interesting than she gives herself credit. She was no longer allowed to write her own biography, so she provided input.


Carrie now resides in West Cumbria with her husband and two children. They are her inspiration. Her world.




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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

~ NEW RELEASE ~ Deadline ~ by Jennifer Blackstream



"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend."





Deadline
(Blood Trails Series, Bk 1)
By Jennifer Blackstream

Blurb: 

As a witch with a dark past, Shade Renard knows the Otherworld isn’t always successful at policing itself. Humans don’t believe in magic anymore, and their ignorance renders them easy prey. So when an FBI contact hires her to consult on a possible haunting in a missing persons case, Shade seizes the opportunity to see justice done.

Her case takes an unexpected turn when an undead crime lord shows up on her doorstep. A bold thief stole the vampire’s little black book of secrets—and he’ll pay a lot more than an FBI consulting fee to get it back. To collect, Shade will have to confront a rogue sorceress, a vengeful wizard, and a lethally seductive fey, with only her wits, her growing magic, and a sarcastic pixie familiar.

Success means bringing a killer to justice and taking the first step to redemption. Failure means a war between humans and the Otherworld.

No pressure.



Available for purchase at 

Excerpt

“Didn’t you say you weren’t drinking soda anymore?”

I popped the top on the can of Coke and took a defiant swig, more than a little satisfied at the squeak of dismay that came from my judgmental familiar as she wavered on her perch atop my head. “I earned this. I killed a eurypterid before breakfast. Two eurypterids. And I almost died. Not to mention, Mrs. Harvesty kept me on the phone for ten minutes talking about that cat.”

“I hate cats.” Peasblossom clung to my head like a living barrette. “Nasty beasties, always try to eat me like I’m a flying snack. Barbaric.”

“I love cats. I just don’t want to drop everything because Mrs. Harvesty claims her furry little child is having an emotional crisis.”

“Emotional crisis?”

“The kitten is refusing to come out of his mummy’s boot.” I held a sip of Coke in my mouth for a moment as if I were sampling fine wine.

Peasblossom snickered. “Puss in Boots.”

I snorted, then swore as carbonated soda shot up my nose, burning like fire. Peasblossom careened off my head in a fit of mad giggles as I ran to the stove and the faded blue hand towel hanging there.

“Blood and bones, that burns,” I wheezed, squeezing my eyes shut as I pressed the towel to my nose.

More laughter made me open my eyes in time to watch Peasblossom fly in a semi-drunken bobbing path to land on the counter beside the stove. Tears of mirth glittered in her pink eyes, matching the iridescent sparkles on her insect-like wings. “Serves you right for drinking a second soda.”

I glared at her for a few minutes as I waited for the burning to stop. When I’d recovered, I replaced the wet towel with a clean one and deposited the soda-and-snot-spotted cloth in the hamper. “If you’re quite finished, perhaps you could run me through today’s to-do list? I want to make sure I didn’t forget anything.”

Still giggling, Peasblossom flew to the large desk in the dining room and picked up a sheet of notebook paper tucked beside the laptop. “Settle dispute between the hamadryads over who’s the eldest,” she read.

“Done. Once they realized the only way to age a tree is to lop off a piece of it, they were happy to call it a draw.”

“Find out if a goblin ate the Roberts’ dog.”

“No. Sgt. Pepper was hiding under the neighbor’s house again. Mrs. Barns just didn’t want to admit it because she didn’t want to hear Mr. Roberts accuse her of trying to steal his dog for the tenth time. Sgt. Pepper went home when he got hungry.”

Peasblossom peered at me over the top of the list. “Find an office.”

I took a long swig of the soda, avoiding eye contact. “Move it to tomorrow.”

“Again,” Peasblossom said under her breath. She put the paper down and hefted a miniature pen she’d taken from a child’s art kit. Sticking out her tongue in concentration, she made a notation on the to-do list.

Aluminum groaned as I tightened my grip. “I will do it.”

“Of course you will. Because you’re going to be a real detective.”

“Private investigator. And yes, I am.”

“Mother Hazel won’t like it.”

I clenched my teeth. No, my mentor wouldn’t like it. I could hear her voice now, telling me to leave the battling to the wizards—witches had more important things to do.

Like play psychiatrist to a cat.

I strode over to the desk, put the can of soda down with a determined thunk, then snatched up a stack of Post-its and a black fine-point marker. Peasblossom watched as I scrawled, “Find an office today,” and underlined today three times. I stuck the reminder to the frame of my computer screen.

“You used a hot-pink Post-it. You must be serious now.”

I ignored her sarcasm. I would find an office tomorrow. It was time.


About The Author

USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Blackstream is…odd. Putting aside the fact that she writes her own author bio in third person, she also sleeps with a stuffed My Little Pony that her grandmother bought her as a joke for her 23rd birthday, and she enjoys listening to Fraggle Rock soundtracks whether or not her children are in the car.

Jennifer doesn’t have spare time, but she makes it a point to spend at least one night a week with her sibling binge-watching whatever show they’re currently plowing through (currently Numbers on Netflix), and she ferociously guards quality time with her son and daughter. She cooks when she has the sanity for it—adding garlic to the recipe whether it calls for it or not—and tries very hard not to let her arachnophobia keep her out of her basement on laundry day.

Jennifer’s influences include Terry Pratchett (for wit), Laurell K. Hamilton (for sexual tension), Jim Butcher (for roguish flair), and Kim Harrison (for mythos). She is currently writing the series of her heart and her dreams, the series that has been percolating in her brain for the last decade…Blood Trails. An Urban Fantasy Mystery series that will combine the classic whodunit spirit with a contemporary fantasy setting. Expect mystery, magic, and mayhem, with characters that will make you laugh, cry, and probably stare at the screen with your jaw hanging down to the floor. Well, that’s how they affect Jennifer anyway…


You can find Jennifer at 




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