Lives up to the promise

1. A

November Snow has seen her own burial a thousand times. It is the only thing she knows about her future.

In a war amongst vampires and fairies, a small advantage can mean the difference between victory and defeat. And a psychic who can peer across the globe, unspool the past, and probe the future is more than a small advantage. Everyone wants to use her for their own ends: the ancient king, the black sheep, the dutiful son, the lost boy.

But November Snow wants things, too, before death comes for her. She wants purpose. She wants friendship. She wants love. She wants happiness. She wants respect. And she will not settle for less.

Pulled into the midst of a royal family feud centuries in the making, she must forge her own path through violence, betrayal, first loves, and mortal peril as she struggles to come to terms with her gift and her destiny, even as she knows this for certain:

She dies at the end.

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BOOK REVIEW: She is going to die and she knows it. Genre aside, that right there is a powerful and intriguing story idea. No one has threatened her or anything. She has simply seen her own funeral. Brilliant. The big question to be answered here is laid out plainly in the title, and within a page or two of reading, we’re in. We’re going to need to know how and why she dies at the end…. So now we have a clear and simple yet powerfully intriguing question, but do we have a story journey to back it up? Definitely! The setting is a tangible paranormal world with interesting relationships between the different species and plenty of historic complexity. Certainly 3 dimensional. And the tale of who our heroine is and how and why she dies is rich and captivating storytelling…. For mine, this book is every bit as good as the title.

Meanwhile, in another corner of the universe…

1. A

Captain Aricka Badu left Taarken Prime twelve years ago for very good reasons, and she seldom goes back. It was supposed to be a short run, but, between the pirates, a brewing civil war and her ex, she may never get to leave.

Caden Carnes hadn’t seen Ari in twelve years, but he’d never stopped thinking about her. Given their past, it wasn’t exactly surprising she stayed away. What was surprising was seeing her back on Taarken…ever, the mining planet she’d abandoned along with her lover and her family.

Her brother’s mining hauler is missing and Caden asks for Ari’s assistance along with her ship to go find it. One discovery leads to another, until all their secrets are out. Caden and Ari don’t have long to discover the most important thing in the universe; You can actually go home again.

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BOOK REVIEW: This sci-fi setting is like real. It’s actually quite brilliantly understated. When imagining the universe being depicted here, it’s as if there’s nothing to prove – as if it’s just a matter of fact that this place exists and we all know it. This is a powerful human drama and romance set elsewhere, not on Earth…. The depth in the story itself is also impressive. We can easily imagine the prequel, which would be potentially even more intense and dramatic. I quite enjoyed joining in at the tail end of a story, with lives already blown apart, and seeing everything come together…. An intelligent and nicely constructed read.

Brilliantly crafted Historical

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Available on Amazon

Set against the open skies and wild beauty of southwest England in 1430, The Heart of Darkness is a medieval mystery about one young woman’s quest to shed light on the dark secrets of her shire’s sheriff and help him hunt down the villains responsible for a spate of local kidnappings—before they strike again.

Her courage began to desert her under Sir Richard’s cold, questioning stare. ‘Good day, sir. I—I—am Rowena Walden, my uncle, Lord Cunningham, sent me,’ she managed to stammer. ‘He said that you—needed a clerk.’

When Lady Sabina spitefully volunteered her well-educated cousin Rowena as temporary personal clerk to Chaucy Shire’s sheriff, she could not refuse. An unmarried young woman with dead parents and nothing to her name has little choice. But Rowena dreads it. She has heard a lot about the darkly handsome knight: heartless, hot-tempered, impossible to please, just plain bad… As she meets Sir Richard’s cold, unnerving stare for the first time, the future does not look good.

However, Rowena is not the only one with a problem. Strangely, Rowena’s presence at Eaglestone Castle deeply disturbs Sir Richard, who appears determined to intimidate his terrifyingly cunning new clerk into quitting. Unfortunately for him, Rowena finds her new master as fascinating as he is frightening. His finances are over-stretched and highly irregular, and his murky past seems to conceal a dark and painful secret. His fury at the meddling of a lowly clerk whom he cannot sack because of her connections is intense, and his unexpected flashes of tenderness towards her only add to the confusion.

But with the local people growing increasingly angry at their sheriff’s failure to find three kidnapped girls, Sir Richard is forced to enlist Rowena’s help. Can this precarious pair catch the villains who have been carrying off Chaucy’s maidens before they strike again? And can Rowena get to the bottom of Sir Richard’s mysterious financial woes before he loses everything?

Then the stakes become higher than ever when the man whom Rowena thought she would never, could never, love challenges his greatest enemy to a fight to the death. Will he triumph, or will his life bleed away into the dust, and her heart with it?

Book review: This is superbly written. There are no shortage of authors who can take you to another time in history. This author transports you. The detail. The imagery. The attitudes. I was completely blown away reading this story. The depiction of a mood of honour and chivalry is so well done. Sir Richard the dark knight is completely human and real. Beyond the fabled fantasy character of a knight in shining black armour, he’s a true, flawed, earthy guy. I have no doubt he is a brilliant depiction of a man of medieval times. So too our heroine, Rowena – the damsel to be saved. The depiction of Rowena as a resourceful, intelligent woman gives some well-deserved oomph and dimension to the fabled damsel in distress. I like the way these two main characters are drawn so believably while being written into a plot that is everything the wonderful fables of knights and damsels offer… This story has adventure, mystery, truly gritty and meaningful romance, and it has a kick-arse climax. You have to catch the battle scene at the end! But make sure you treat yourself to an autumn in medieval Chaucy first. You’re going to feel like you live there.

Cool SciFi

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I like the Braxians. From the opening scenes of this story it’s easy to imagine them. An alien race enslaved by humans. It’s easy to get on board with their plight and cheer for them. The conflict here is the kind that immediately pulls you into the fictional universe depicted. What transpires from there is a pretty good thriller and an excellent romance. We are given plenty to satisfy the appetite in this fast paced, action packed episode, and where we end up feels like it’s just the beginning. Classic sci-fi romance with a good serve of intrigue.

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White Knuckle Thrillers

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BOOK REVIEW: It’s the contrast between the unrelenting, high octane suspense and the excruciatingly slow burn of romance. That’s what it is about this author’s writing. Of course you get that a lot in these kinds of books, but Sandra S. Kerns does it so well. The crime here is complicated and deeply woven through the cast of characters. This is a damned fine police story. The action starts with the witness to a murder unconscious in an ER, our hero by his side, our heroine nursing them both. Unravelling what happened is a great read… The romance is between a strong, positive, yet damaged, woman and a tough, gritty man who is all heart and impatience. Expertly drawn, these two have you feeling that slow burn and living it with them. I was particularly pleased with how things came together at the end – the way the hero took charge… Excellent romantic mystery/thriller.

TDC

BOOK REVIEW: Frigging hell, this doesn’t let up. Heart pounding, nail biting… if you’re looking for a relaxing read – this ain’t it! This is masterly suspense and a great thriller. You want to climb into the book and help out the goodies – save them from the relentless bad guys, whoever they are. It’s not clear exactly who to fear until the end. The who-done-it is brilliant. Get comfy because you won’t be putting this book down, although you’re likely going to be pacing the room while you read rather than relaxing in a chair… Excellent. Top marks.

Romance real and powerful

RR

BOOK REVIEW: Slow burn with plenty of heat…This is one of the better romances of this kind I have read. It’s a letdown when the hero is a shallow playboy type and the heroine allows her attraction to him to overpower her better judgement. The mix here has the heroine not being overpowered at all. Maggie is a terrific character – her strength not wavering until the final scene, and even then we have to wonder who it was that lost control and succumbed to the attraction – or indeed whether they both did. There is a depth of honesty and realism in these characters that handles the tryst between the powerful bad boy and intrepid good girl way better than some bestselling books of late…. This is a fast read but not a quick fix story. It’s sexy and highly entertaining.

GG

BOOK REVIEW: Compelling characters…This is simple little love story with a hell of a lot going for it. It’s simple in plot but the setting and characters are gripping, raw and powerful. The dialogue is tremendous. The moment Artie opens his mouth we can see him. The way he contrasts with the guy he falls for – the way their differences so realistically complement each other is what creates the power in this story. That and the depiction of life and death on the Bering Sea in winter – another brilliant contrast with the warmth and tenderness of new love. Couple this with hot sex scenes and a smart twist at the end… A top read.

Novels & Novellas by G.S. Bailey, edited by Sher Chambers (BEd)

Magical

Book Review:

This is a beautiful little story about the magic and wonder of fate. The Christmas setting is perfect for it, of course. Engaging characters and plenty of heat, chill, banter and confusion between heroine and hero keeps things charging along. The blend of fun and poignancy feels real to me – neither aspect of the story overpowering the other, just fitting so well together…. Perfect for the season. Settle back and get set for a tearjerker that makes you smile.

Eve Taylor, a self confessed Christmas addict, should be at home decorating her tree and baking cookies for Santa. Instead she’s stuck in a snowed in airport the night before Christmas Eve. Another lonely Christmas seems inevitable until Grayson Parker and his two small children come barging into her life. Will Grayson be able to melt Eve’s heart in time for a Merry Christmas or will events conspire to pull them apart? Merry Christmas, Eve on Amazon

White Knuckle Thrillers

Book review

It’s the contrast between the unrelenting, high octane suspense and the excruciatingly slow burn of romance. That’s what it is about this author’s writing. Of course you get that a lot in these kinds of books, but Sandra S. Kerns does it so well. The crime here is complicated and deeply woven through the cast of characters. This is a damned fine police story. The action starts with the witness to a murder unconscious in an ER, our hero by his side, our heroine nursing them both. Unravelling what happened is a great read… The romance is between a strong, positive, yet damaged, woman and a tough, gritty man who is all heart and impatience. Expertly drawn, these two have you feeling that slow burn and living it with them. I was particularly pleased with how things came together at the end – the way the hero took charge… Excellent romantic mystery/thriller.

Book review

Frigging hell, this doesn’t let up. Heart pounding, nail biting… if you’re looking for a relaxing read – this ain’t it! This is masterly suspense and a great thriller. You want to climb into the book and help out the goodies – save them from the relentless bad guys, whoever they are. It’s not clear exactly who to fear until the end. The who-done-it is brilliant. Get comfy because you won’t be putting this book down, although you’re likely going to be pacing the room while you read rather than relaxing in a chair… Excellent. Top marks.

Authentic historical settings…

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BOOK REVIEW: I made it as far as about the second page before I was cheering for Rosa. Or falling for her, to be more precise. But her vulnerability makes for difficult reading. It’s so hard to see how she will ever find happiness under the influence of her sister and the weight of societal tradition. I was really worried for her as I read. I wanted to be her hero and save her from the horrible choices she had. I was so into this story – completely captivated…. In a broader sense, I’d say this is an interesting study of how a calculated marital arrangement might take time to get going, but may well develop into something rich and powerful…. The resolution for sweet Rosa worked very well for me. This is a poignant little regency romance with plenty beneath the surface.

Preview In Want of a Wife on Amazon

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BOOK REVIEW: I like the villain…. No, I don’t mean I’m on his side or anything – just that I like the way this kind of character contributes to the angst of the period and makes for interesting reading. He makes it so difficult for the heroine and hero to get together – for romance to flourish (and I agree with other reviewers that this is a good romance). The villainous uncle is portrayed, I think, quite realistically. He has so much power and brings this to bear against what we are hoping for as we read, and just when it looks like he’s being defeated, he goes and does something to rip the heart out of our triumph. What he does is an excellent bet-you-weren’t-expecting-that moment, which sets off an exciting and wonderfully written journey and pursuit that we have to live through before we can have any kind of happily-ever-after…. Yes, this is a terrific love and adventure story. It’s heart wrenching, touching, enlightening and steamy. And it also has a classic Victorian era villain, whose portrayal is particularly powerful and interesting in my opinion.

Preview Devin’s Dilemma on Amazon

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BOOK REVIEW: The heroine is a handful. Way too intelligent and strong willed for the conventions of her time. The way she fights, deceives and manipulates to get what she wants out of life makes for a bit of a romp, but the fact that this tale is based on a true story is quite sobering. It’s also very romantic and interesting because of that. For word of this lady to be around 300 years later, she must have made quite an impression at the time… I felt well enough immersed in the early 18th century setting, with minimal detail allowing the plot to move along quickly, making for a fast and exciting read. There’s a cute supernatural twist that offers another dimension to the tale. This quite cleverly heightened the intensity of the climax and ending with a parallel timeline. It also brought our protagonists to the intersection of storytelling and true-to-life… Well done!

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Little bit creepy, seriously freaky…

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BOOK REVIEW: This is the kind of story that sort of lulls you into a bit of a comfort zone with a normal enough opening few chapters, then suddenly things get freaky. I thoroughly enjoyed the setting of this scene – getting to know Tony Logan so well as a regular guy going through some midlife s*** that isn’t hard to relate to. And the off-handed way the ‘photograph’ was thought of and mentioned several times before we got a look at it. Well, I liked that too. It was a good build up to the normality of the story suddenly being blown apart…. What then follows is a gripping supernatural thriller with a kick-arse twist at the end. The upshot being that Tony Logan might have been far better off to have never seen that photograph.

Preview The Photograph on Amazon

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BOOK REVIEW: These are gritty tales with a touch of irreverence – a dash of humour. Awesome detail in constructing both the setting and characters. This is what gives it the classic feel for me. It’s like one of those old late night scary movies that has you so involved that you’re clawing the armrest of your lounge. I think the pacing adds to that too. There’s some real suspense here – the creepy kind. And a great cast of characters! Everything works from the seriously gruesome to the mildly quirky…. Did I read something in the intro about screenplays as the original idea? Definite late night movie fodder – good follow-on viewing after The Twilight Zone has set the mood.

Preview The Clayton Chronicles on Amazon

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BOOK REVIEW: The slow reveal of what the heroine, Laura, actually is was fascinating. The story provided an interesting take on age and maturity – the history of the centuries old characters. The play on Laura’s vulnerability amongst the vampires and the relationships between feeding couples was good reading. Things escalate into a steamy romance and big action climax. This book has a smart ending. I liked it.

Preview Blood Gifted on Amazon