Early Review: The Blackened Soul by Candace Osmond

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OMG!!!!

Yes. Just yes.

I can honestly say that the third installment in the Darktides series is just as wonderfully well written as the first two. Like the others, there is something always happening, the characters develop  more as the series goes on and the story line keeps you on your toes! And wanna know one of my favorite things?

The books are consistent! That is so huge in a series! I have read books where the author has gone way off base with the plot/characters/etc… But Candace has written these in such a way that I feel like I am just reading one big book, not three.

Book Blurb:

 Dianna’s in over her head.

The Queen is her ship now. Hers to sail with a crew to keep safe as they voyage across the Atlantic to stop Maria’s evil plan of killing her mother. The stress of responsibility, her pregnancy, and helping Henry deal with his PTSD has become a nightmare from which she has nowhere to run. Henry is suffering, refusing to let her in, and Dianna is worried that their love won’t survive the tumultuous journey ahead.

Just when she thinks all hope is lost, a massive storm hits and threatens to sink The Queen. By some miracle of fate, Dianna survives and finds herself alone, stranded on an island to fend for herself. But she soon discovers that the isle may not be as deserted as she thought.

Can she charm her way to safety and find her crew? Or will she be forced to stay on the island forever? 

blackened soul

Dianna certainly has a lot on her plate. She is pregnant, learning how to be captain on her ship, The Queen, and  trying to help Henry, who is dealing with an inner darkness/PTSD. On top of that, she is trying to get to England and save her mother from her evil half sister, Maria.

Things are hard enough for her and she certainly doesn’t have it easy. During a massive storm, she is washed overboard. She survives but finds herself stranded on an island, alone and worried about the fate of Henry and her crew.

But the island is not as deserted as she thinks.

Enter Benjamin Cook. A pirate on his brother’s ship, The Black Soul. He takes her aboard the ship, and finds herself yet again trying to befriend its crew and trying to escape with her life. She learns some terrifying truths about the ship: it and the crew are cursed. Thanks to the greedy Captain Cook who stole a siren heart, his crew and ship are tethered to the island- and have been for a hundred years.

She faces horrid weather, evil pirates, magic, breaking a curse, a siren and even a Kraken. But she does it and survives it all with friends new and old at her side.

The title of the book works in a few ways, and I really like that. For starters, the first thing I thought of was Henry. He is having a really hard time with what happened on Kelly’s Island and what Maria had done to him. He has night terrors and has  attacked Dianna. The guilt makes him retreat further into his darkness.

Then there is the new ship, The Black Soul. Very fitting seeing as how it a) looks like it is charred and b) Captain Cook is insane. His soul is tainted from greed and evil.

I am very excited for the fourth and final book in the series, A Siren’s Call. I am anxious to see how Dianna’s story is going to play out and how everything will tie up. Will she save her mom? Will she kill her sister or grant her mercy? What about the siren who she owes a favor? And what of Benjamin? Did the curse really break and will she see him again? So many questions! Oh yes, I am very anxious already for this book!

The Blackened Soul is available on June 25th. However you can pre-order The Blackened Soul on Amazon as well as pick up the first two books if you haven’t already!

 

 

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Book Review: Planet Fleep: A Science Twins Adventure by Sherry Ramsey

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Last week I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of Planet Fleep: A Science Twins Adventure. 

About the book: 

Robots don’t always know best!

When a meteorite storm wreaks havoc on their family’s cargo ship, sort-of-twins Rudi and Trudy find themselves stranded on an alien planet. In their search for help, they uncover a fiendish plot against the friendly and mysterious alien critters the twins call “fleeps.” With only an overprotective robot for company, can they survive on their own, find their parents, and save the fleeps from a horrible fate?

Action-packed adventure science fiction for kids of all ages!

planet fleep

The first thing I have to say about this book is that it really is a book for kids of all ages-including the big ones! While this is for school children, I found myself engrossed in the story and I wished there were stories like this when I was a kid. While I enjoy sci-fi movies, they aren’t usually my first picks when it comes to reading. If I had read books like this when I was younger, I think my love for science fiction would be greater. I think of this story as “sci-fi jr”.

It has a great mix of adventure, science, humor and action.

Planet Fleep is well written and focuses on three unique characters: Rudi and Trudy are siblings and “sort of twins”, who both have a passion for science. They each have their own specialty. One is more for nature while they other is more for gadgets. Then there is BIFT, an over protective robot who is doing his best to do his job: protect the kids and teach them. He has a human-like personality, which gets on the kids nerves-especially when he is overprotective.

The kids might be ‘science nerds’ but they are typical kids. They get scared, annoyed, and stubborn. In the beginning Rudi is hiding away from his family in the cargo pod, to play his game alone and in peace. It isn’t long before his sister Trudy comes along. Their ship, The Starchaser,  enters a meteor shower and in the midst of it the cargo pod is disengaged from the ship, where it crashes on a nearby planet.

The kids have been separated from their parents, and need to find a way to contact them. While exploring, they find a gerbil-like creature, which Rudi immediately loves. They set out to explore and in the meantime discover that the creatures, which they have called Fleeps, are in danger.

This story is action-packed. The kids and BIFT don’t have it easy. They need to work together and use their smarts to save the Fleeps and find their parents.

As for kids reading this: I think not only will it help them love science fiction and get them reading, it teaches valuable lessons. Like the importance of team work, bravery, kindness and thinking about something beyond yourself.

This grown-up kid is really looking forward to what Rudi, Trudy and BIFT get into in their next adventure!

If you want to pre-order this little adventure, you can find it at: Amazon.

 

 

 

Book Review: The Devil’s Heart by Candace Osmond

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Hey everyone!

I am back from an awesome trip away. I came home feeling refreshed and inspired. For the next few weeks I will be writing about Toronto Comic Con, posting author interviews and more! 🙂

So, when I was packing for my trip, I decided to take my e-reader. I didn’t expect I would have a chance to do any reading, but I took it just in case. It was good thing I did, as I missed my second flight to Toronto, and had a three hour wait in Halifax.

So I took out my Kobo and started reading a book I was anxious to start. The Devil’s Heart by Candace Osmond. Book one in the Dark Tides series.

When Dianna Cobham accidentally breaks an enchanted ship-in-a-bottle she’s washed away to 1707 Newfoundland and taken prisoner aboard a pirate ship captained by the infamous Devil Eyed Barrett. Dianna fights to survive by proving herself indispensable to the crew, all the while forging a secret plan to get back home.

But when Dianna learns of the Devil’s vengeful mission to seek and kill her ancestors, her hopes for returning to the future transform into an elaborate plot to save her lineage. Can she charm the Devil’s heart and change his mind before it’s too late? Or will she sacrifice herself to save the man hidden underneath it all?

dark tides

The book blurb sounded yummy and right up my alley!

Part of the appeal for me was the setting. I’m an East Coaster and my dad was from Newfoundland. It is a stunning place. I also love the ocean and the sea, and I was looking forward to diving into this book! I wasn’t far into it when I was thinking “Thank God there is going to be another book.” I was loving it and wanted more.

Candace is a fantastic writer and story teller. Her style of writing is beautiful. I eagerly devoured each line. During my stay in Toronto (to see Mr. C)  I finished this book. For the first time I was thankful he likes to read his Facebook feed at night and in the morning. I felt guilt free grabbing my Kobo. 😉

This story had so much to offer. An adventure, mystery, romance, pirates, characters with layers, magic and time travel. What a yummy combination!

I loved Dianna, the heroine in the story. She was believable in her actions with finding herself thrust in the past. She also didn’t let the men of the 1700’s treat her like women were treated at the time. The crew learned to trust and love her. I especially loved Captain Devil Eyed Barrett. There was much more to him than meets the eye. I don’t want to spoil the fun, so I will just say that the more I learned about him, the more I loved him. The supporting characters were also well written and developed. I especially loved Finn, a burly Scotsman.  He was loyal to the Captain, and became like a big brother to Dianna.

The big baddie in the story was a villainess. It was so refreshing to read a novel that had a female playing the bad guy. She was a pirate who was bad for the fun of it. She took what she wanted and didn’t look back.

The story flowed well and as a whole I thought it was excellent. It ended on a cliffhanger, so thankfully book two The Pirate Queen will be out next month! I am hitting Amazon soon to pre-order. I can’t wait to read more of their journey and see where their adventure takes Dianna and the mysterious pirate.

I will be doing an interview with Candace soon, so be sure to keep your eyes out for that! I can’t wait to chat to her as a writer and as a fan of her work! 😀

 

Book Review: Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts

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Oh my. *le sigh*

Last night I finished book three in the Nora Roberts ‘The Circle” Trilogy. And I was totally in love with it. As my mother said, it was delicious. (I love my momma, and every time she talks about these books, that is how she describes them).

Book Blurb:

The battleground has been chosen for the final showdown between those selected by the gods and the minions of the vampire Lilith. But there is one vampire who dares stand against her. And his love for the scholarly queen of Geall will complete the circle of six – and change the face of eternity.

Having traveled through the Dance of the Gods to the land of Geall, the circle finds themselves convincing then training the people of Geall to defeat Lilith’s vampire army. The Valley of Silence is a forbidding place for the battle of all battles, but the circle continues to prepare through magic and a few early stakeouts that test their strength individually and as a team.

Moira finds herself playing the roles of warrior and royal, as she follows the tradition of her people and prepares to take the crown before leading them into battle. And if that isn’t enough, she finds her thoughts turning to Cian more often than not.

So what’s a chaste and intelligent young woman to do when given less than a month with the man she loves, who’s not a man, but a vampire? And how will the people of Geall fare against an army of blood-thirsty vampires who have had centuries to prepare?

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I have been anticipating this book since I started book two.

For starters, the epic battle between Lilith the vampire Queen and her army with the circle of six comes to ahead. I was afraid for our band of ragtag misfits. Even though they prepped, trained and prepared as much as possible, I wondered if they would make it. If they would all come home safe.

My favorite couple, Cian and Moira, FINALLY get together!!! I loved seeing them get their happily ever after. Cian was my favorite character from the beginning and he just got better and better. While all the characters grew and improved throughout the series, Cian was well developed right from the start.

I loved that we seen how Lilith was turned, and what happened to her in the past. The vicious and slightly mad vampire queen was well written. The battle ground itself felt like a character. I didn’t see it coming when Cian had to fight his vampire urges on site, but it added another level of danger.

It took me a couple days longer to read this book, simply because I wanted to savor it. All the lose ends were tied and good won over evil. And a goddess gifted a vampire with the gift of a life of a man with the woman he loved.

I am such a sucker for romance and a good HEA.

So now my problem now is this: what do I read next? 😉

Book Review: Morrigan’s Cross by Nora Roberts

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I never thought I would pick up a Nora Roberts novel. I don’t know why. I just never really thought of it. I read so much J.R Ward and other such novels, that Nora Roberts never crossed my  mind. I love romance, I guess I just thought her books weren’t for me.

Until recently, I had NO clue she wrote fantasy and vampire stories.

And my mother, my sweet, almost 78 year old mother, adores The Circle Trilogy. Featuring a cast of six people fighting against vampires. How could I not read the books after my mom telling me about them, and exclaiming “They are right up your alley!”.

Book Blurb:

In the last days of high summer, with lightning striking blue in a black sky, the sorcerer stood on a high cliff overlooking the raging sea…

Belting out his grief into the storm, Hoyt Mac Cionaoith rails against the evil that has torn his twin brother from their family’s embrace. Her name is Lilith. Existing for over a thousand years, she has lured countless men to an immortal doom with her soul-stealing kiss. But now, this woman known as vampire will stop at nothing until she rules this world—and those beyond it…

Hoyt is no match for the dark siren. But his powers come from the goddess Morrigan, and it is through her that he will get his chance at vengeance. At Morrigan’s charge, he must gather five others to form a ring of power strong enough to overcome Lilith. A circle of six: himself, the witch, the warrior, the scholar, the one of many forms and the one he’s lost. And it is in this circle, hundreds of years in the future, where Hoyt will learn how strong his spirit—and his heart—have become…

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So, while the book had its flaws, I adored it! I basically devoured it over the weekend, and as soon as I see my mom, I am borrowing book two in the series.

My main annoyance with the book is the writing style. Since this book is older, the rules of writing were different than they are now.  The PoV changed back and forth quickly. Instead of a scene or chapter in one character’s point of view, there were usually a couple per page. Aside from the couple of times we seen Lilith’s PoV. When we see the evil vampire, it was for a scene, before it cut back to the main six.

I also found that not all the characters were fleshed out. My favorite was Cian, Hoyt’s twin brother who was turned vampire. I found his character had more detail and depth then the others.

I loved the mishmash of fantasy. You have an 11th century sorcerer, a witch, shape shifter, a bookworm who could give The Green Arrow a run for his money, as well as a warrior and a vampire. All prepping for a fight against the evil vampire Lilith, who wants to rule this world and other realms.

It was a fun, light read and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!

 

Something for Short Story Lovers

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I have been working on a short story for an anthology my writers group that my writers group is putting together. While brainstorming last night, I realized I never really touched base on my work and the anthologies I am in. (Yes, there is a little self promotion going on here too, haha).

When I was a kid, I didn’t think that having my very own story in print would happen. When three of my writing friends started Third Person Press, I worked my butt off and crossed my fingers that I would get a letter saying they liked and wanted my story.

They did!

Undercurrents Front Cover

From Third Person Press website:

A Cape Breton Anthology of Speculative Fiction (The Speculative Elements, Vol. 1)
The fourteen stories in Undercurrents ply the literary oceans of time and space, possibility and imagination. And while you may find familiar themes in these pages-love, change, greed, spirituality-you will discover that they take on a new perspective when viewed through the lens of the speculative. Inside are stories that ripple and swell with the unusual: fiddle-playing ghosts, malevolent cats, urbane vampires, and ordinary folks who have drifted into the realms of the extraordinary. Set your oars in these unusual waters and see for yourself what swirls in the undercurrents.

The urban vampires? That’s me. 😉

What I love about anthologies, are that short stories are a quick read. Also, while you may not enjoy every story, you are bound to love and like most of the book.

Third Person Press went on to publish a total of four stories in the Elements collection. (There is also Airborne, Unearthed and Flashpoint). I was lucky enough to be accepted into the rest of the books. My stories are all set in the same world, with new supernatural creatures and problems being added in the mix. I love writing the Lily and Quinn series, and have no plans to stop writing with them. (I will talk about them more in a future post).

I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished so far. When I re-read my stories, I can see where I grew as a writer, as each one went on.

They have also published a couple of other anthologies, one being Christmas themed and the other is ghost stories. And last year they published ‘Rise of the Mudmen’ by James FW Thompson. I have that on my book pile and plan to read that soon! 🙂

If you are interested adding to your short story collection, you can check out Third Person Press site and see what would be up your alley!

 

 

 

 

Plan of Attack: The Ever Growing ‘To Read’ Pile

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One of my new years goals was to read more. So far I am failing in that department, but mostly due to several migraines. I wouldn’t wish those on my worst enemy.

Anyway, as I grabbed something from my little office the other day, I started browsing my bookshelf. Those books won’t get read if they stay in there!

So I looked through them and picked out about fifteen books I have been anxious to get at. Then I cleared off my coffee table and laid them out.

books to read

A variety of books to devour.

My plan is this: I can read only books on this table. One a book is read, it goes back on my shelf. I can’t add to the table until these books are all read.

I have a variety of books on here. The Walking Dead compendium is what Mr. C gave me at Christmas. The Nora Roberts on the top right is one my mom suggested to me. I have local authors, such as Sherry D. Ramsey and Hugh Macdonald’s ‘Trapper Boy’.

A lot of these books I wanted to read ages ago. I am finally going to get on it and catch up on my reading. Because the best place to go is in the pages of a good book.

I will do a review on them as I go as well.

What is on the top of your to read pile?