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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Review: Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon

Going Down in FlamesGoing Down in Flames by Chris Cannon
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Series: The Malediction Trilogy #1
Publication Date: June 30th 2014
ISBN: 9781622665303
Page Count: 407
Rating: ★★★★
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey

Synopsis: If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can't have.


This was just pure fun in a bucket, you guys. Absolutely entertaining from front to back. It's a YA Urban Fantasy with romantic elements based around a secret society of dragon shifters who come into their powers during their teens and are then drafted into a sort of "Dragon High" to learn how to control their new gifts.

The main character is Bryn, a soon-to-be sixteen-year-old, who was just fantastic; witty, snarky, and hilarious. Her sudden change from ordinary human to BOOM! YOU'RE A DRAGON! was handled with comedic aplomb. No serious drama llamas in sight here. It was light-hearted, freaky shifting fun!

The romantic interest was sweet as could be, although a little slow on the uptake! I think I'd have preferred if he were closer to Bryn's own age, though. He was nineteen, which seems very different to newly sixteen. And that is very hypocritical of me to say since my husband is 14 years my senior! But it's different with teens. Especially ones as young as 15/16. Anyhoo, that was my only concern. Otherwise he was perfect! :)

All together, a great, fun read! Highly recommended.

4 Stars ★★★★
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by:

Thursday, 17 July 2014

FATED Cover Reveal ~ 5 Paranormal NA Novels!

Sometimes love has other plans.

The Fated 5 have come together to bring you a collection of five steamy new adult urban fantasies about sacrifice, second chances, destiny and love against all odds.
Beginning August 21st, for a limited time, paranormal fans can purchase five full length bestselling novels all in one:

- Amaranth by Rachael Wade
- Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter by Nikki Jefford
- Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown
- Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy
- Whisper by Heather Hildenbrand

Add it at Goodreads. Sign-up for a FREE Fated Bonus Bundle.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

ARC Review: Shaman Rises by C.E. Murphy ★★★★★

Shaman Rises (Walker Papers, #9)Shaman Rises by C.E. Murphy
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Walker Papers #9
Publication Date: June 24th 2014
ISBN: 9780373803620
Page Count: 384
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey

Synopsis: Joanne Walker has two choices:

Defeat the enemy…or lose her soul trying.

For over a year, Joanne has been fighting the Master—the world's most abiding evil. She's sacrificed family, friendships, even watched potential futures fade away…and now the Master is bringing the final battle to Joanne's beloved Seattle.

Lives will be lost as the repercussions of all Joanne's growth come to her doorstep. Before the end, she'll mourn, rejoice—and surrender everything for the hope of the world's survival. She'll be a warrior and a healer. Because she is finally a Shaman Rising.

A phenomenal end to a series with unmatched worldbuilding.

You know, this series took a bit of warming up to. At first, the concept of the soul gardens and the amount of page time spent in out-of-body environments with unlimited magical possibilities was a little too much for me to wrap my teeny tiny mind around. It was just so crazy. I'd have to keep skipping back pages to make sure I was fully understanding what was happening as we spiralled around the various planes of existence. This went on for...ooh, probably the first three books. Then I got it. And once I did, I was soooo hooked! I was actually glad for such involved, complicated magic by that point. In fact, the more Murphy explored her world's confines, the more I wanted to know about it. It was addicting!

And then of course there was Morrison. Oh my goodness gracious me! If ever there was a hook that kept me reading a series, the promise of Joanne and Morrison finally getting together was it! And how that woman teased us! Will they? Won't they? They'd get within a hair's breadth, and then she'd whip them apart like an evil relationship puppet master! So tricksy, that one!

Of course, as the series went on, I grew to love ALL the characters; Gary, Coyote, Billie and the many others that came and went though each book. And in this final instalment, we say goodbye to them all in the best possible way.

Overall, this series had warmth, heart, intelligence, wit and an outstanding amount of imagination. I'm so sad it's over, but so pleased with how it ended. I implore you to pick up this series from book one and start a journey that will not disappoint any UF fan.

Book rating: 5 Stars ★★★★★
Overall series rating: 5 Stars ★★★★★
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by:

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

{Tour Stop} Review, Interview & Giveaway: Bad Blood by Nikki Jefford

Bad Blood by Nikki Jefford 
(Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #3)
Publication date: June 4th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy Links (series): AMAZON / B&N

Synopsis: Aurora returns from boot camp to a new assignment, an unwelcome roommate, and the increasingly amorous attentions of a certain vampire hunter.

College is starting, and so is Aurora’s undercover work at a network of swanky parties known as “Tastings” for high rolling vampires who like their blood laced with fine wine. But Aurora’s not the only one on the prowl. An underground investigation is under way to find out who killed one of Anchorage’s most prominent vampires… and Aurora is a prime suspect.

**Don’t miss STAKEOUT, Vol. 2.5, a 54,000 word novella featuring Noel Harper and the entire Aurora Sky gang. Now available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, & iTunes.***

***Deal Alert! Book 1 of the Aurora Sky series is currently FREE for a limited time! To get your copy, simply click on the image below! 

You think YOUR life is crazy? Try Aurora's!  

Poor Aurora. At 18 years old, the biggest challenge she should have right now is juggling boys, college, and which parties to attend. She shouldn't have to worry about killing vampires, about conspiracies and lies, or trying to stay alive long enough to celebrate tomorrow. But she does, because that's her life. As a vampire hunter born with a special blood type that is lethal to the vamps, fun and simple went out the window a while ago, right around the time some jerkface in a pickup truck ran her off the road (in book 1) and she woke up to discover she'd been enlisted in a supernatural fight she wanted no part of.

The last two and a half books (I'm including Noel's novella, Stakeout, which is an absolute must-read) in the series have been filled with all sorts of crazy. Aurora found and lost love, made friends and was betrayed by them, and of course, she had to kill. More than once. To say she has taken a bit of beating is an understatement, which is why, in Bad Blood, we find her at what can only be described as a crucial crossroads. Who can she trust? Which man holds her heart? What is the truth, and what is the lie? She's got a head full of questions and no clear answers, and in the meantime, she's supposed to carry on like everything is fine. Like there's absolutely nothing wrong in Aurora-land. That, as it turns out, is easier said than done. If there's one thing Aurora's learned since her vampire hunting life began, it's that there's always more crazy around the corner.

In Bad Blood, there's a lot less "kicking butt and taking names" than we've seen in previous Aurora Sky books, but that doesn't mean nothing's happening. Far from it. As I was reading, I got a very definite "pieces being placed on the chessboard" feeling. There are a lot of different subplots in play, things that have been building and brewing for the past two books, and everything that happens, from the tastings to Aurora's conversations with each of the other characters. is important. Even if you think it isn't, trust me, it is, and it certainly will be in future books.

I enjoyed seeing a more introspective Aurora this time around. She's still her usual snarky self, but there's an underlying seriousness to her in Bad Blood that we haven't seen in prior books. Things are really hitting home, and I liked that nothing was sugar-coated or glossed over. Author Nikki Jefford did a nice job putting Aurora through her emotional paces, showing us Aurora's insecurities, her doubts, her fears, and yes, the strength we've all come to associate with this character. Did I always agree with Aurora's responses to things? No, but I appreciated the honesty of her reactions. They felt genuine.

The love triangle aspect of the book, I wasn't so crazy about, but then, I'm a diehard Fane fan and if he's not on every page, stealing every scene, I'm usually the first person to complain (rather loudly, too, LOL). I freely admit to grumbling to myself once or twice (okay, a lot) over all the page time Dante got, but I also understood that it was necessary. Dante's an important person in Aurora's life, and while he will never be my romantic choice for Aurora (sorry, all you Dante fans), I can still appreciate what a great character he is. Fane, for his part, had more of a supporting role, but not to worry, fellow Fane-atics, our boy made his moments count, as he always does, and I can guarantee that he is going to play a much bigger role in the next book. (Can't wait!)

I missed Noel in this book. She's there, but like Fane, she has a smaller role to play. Also like Fane, it's clear she will be a lot more involved in the next book, which I'm very much looking forward to. And of course, a special shout-out must be made to Valerie, the series' resident redheaded vixen. She's still a witch, but she's our witch, and we love her. I also really, really liked Selene. She's new addition to the Aurora world, and I hope to see a lot more of her in the future.

All in all, Bad Blood was another great Aurora Sky read, packed to the brim with lots of goodies for fans to sink their teeth into. From the characters who practically pop off the page, to the snappy dialogue, to the tantalizing promise of even bigger and better things to come, it does everything a good book should. I'm already salivating for the next one. (Hear that, Nikki Jefford? WRITE FASTER, DANG IT!)

4 Stars ★★★★
A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by:

To check out the rest of the stops on the Bad Blood tour, click on the image below: 

Bookaholic, nature girl, and animal lover.

Nikki Jefford is a third generation Alaskan who found paradise in the not-so-tropical San Juan Islands (WA) where she is, once more, neighbors with Canada in a town without a single traffic light.

She married the love of her life, Sebastien, while working as a teaching assistant in France. They reside with their Westie, Cosmo in Friday Harbor.

Loves fictional bad boys and heroines who kick butt.

Author links:

Q&A with author Nikki Jefford! 

Q: What inspired you to write the Aurora Sky series? Did you have a big "aha!" moment one day, or did the story of Aurora and all her fantabulous costars creep up on you over a period of time, until finally you just HAD to write it?

A: It all started with a declaration I made back when I was writing historical romance. I said, “I would never write paranormal or teen fiction.” The universe loves making me eat my words. (Like the whole ‘would never date a smoker or get married, ever thing’—married a smoker! He quit a few years ago.) After that, the trigger was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There was no other way to get over my Spike and Buffy withdrawals.

Q: What's the funnest part for you about writing Aurora Sky books? How about the hardest part?

A: Fun: Dialogue! Hard: Everything in between. Kidding! 

Describing peoples’ emotions has always been challenging for me. I come from a long line of hard-working Swedish women. We never sat around talking about our feelings. Being married to a Frenchman has been really good for me. They hug, kiss and scream at each other. Visiting the in-laws is always entertaining.

Q: Which Aurora Sky character did you imagine up first?

A: It was either Fane or Agent Melcher.

Q: Which Aurora Sky character is your favorite to write, and why? (And you can't say all of them! LOL)

A: Oh man, it’s a toss-up between Fane and Dante. Fane makes me smile with his dark wit and Dante makes me laugh with his sexual innuendos. 

Q: We know you can't give away any spoilers, but tell us one thing we don't know about one of the characters in the Aurora Sky books. A fun fact that you, as the author, know about them that isn't in the books.

A: Francesco (aka: Fane) is still in touch with his Italian descendants.

Q: If you could be one character in the series, who would it be, and why?

A: I wouldn’t want to be any character in the Aurora Sky series. Their lives are seriously screwed up. I’d much rather be Graylee Perez in the Spellbound Trilogy because I’d have magical powers, travel the world and get to hook up with Adrian Montez! ;-)

Q: What's your favorite thing about writing in the paranormal/urban fantasy genre? Do you think you will ever write, say, a contemporary romance, or have you found your writing home and plan to stay there for many awesome books and years to come?

A: I read and write to escape the real world. Contemporary romance is too everyday life for me. I did start a contemporary romance (The End of Alice) four years ago that I set aside. I might return to it later (it’s a fun, sexy story that takes place on Orcas Island), but fantasy will always come first.

Q: You've written a series about witches and warlocks (which was awesome!!) and now vampires and vampire hunters. Are there any other supernatural races you'd like to write about someday?

A: Thank you. I started outlining a shifter novel to write after the Aurora Sky series concludes. Typically I’ve stuck to one paranormal type per series, but this one will include all types of creatures with the focus on wolf shifters and wizards. Wizards are hot, damn it! 

Q: Describe Bad Blood in three words.

A: Seductive, eruptive reunion.

Q: What's up next for the Aurora Sky gang? 

A: They’re in the middle of Mission Impossible to meet the demands of a dangerous she-vamp and save a member of their team. Naturally, nothing is going according to plan. 

Tour-wide Giveaway: 
Femme Fatale handmade sterling silver pendant
"Bite Me" drawstring bag with swag 
(Giveaway is open internationally)