Book Review: The Devil’s Heart by Candace Osmond

Standard

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! 😀

 

Advertisements

Book Review: Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts

Standard

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?

nora r

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? 😉

February Wrap Up

Standard

Check it out, two months into the year and I am actually keeping up with my goals. Woot woot! 😉 Today is also my momma’s birthday. She is an amazing woman and I love her to bits.

This month was good in a lot of ways. Winter hasn’t been nearly as harsh as usual, thinking more positive is making a big difference in me, and I am checking off goals and adding new ones.

Writing: I finished a short story which is now in the hands of my first round of beta readers. I am getting great feedback. The biggest thing for me is that my editing skills have improved a lot. Aside from some line edits, I don’t need to make any major changes. Now I am figuring out what to work on next: a fantasy novel I started a few years back, or finish a story I started last NaNoWriMo.

Blogging:  I have been keeping up with this little corner of my world. I love popping in here. It helps to organize my thoughts, and I love chatting to those who comment. 🙂

Positive vibes: This month has had some bumps. For instance, I have hit that wall where I just want my husband to be home. It isn’t easy that he has to work away. BUT, the way I view things now has most certainly gotten me through things. I still write at least one good thing a day in a journal, and when I feel my thoughts going down a bad path, I stop myself and can usually get myself back on track. I feel really frickin’ good, peeps! 😀

The Book Pile: I am now on book four of the year! My goal is to read fifteen, which is very attainable. If and when I go beyond that, bonus! Although I did break my reading rule. Instead of reading books only out on my table, I have been switching things up. But hey, i am in the reading groove again, that’s all that matters.

Other projects: I have been doing pretty good with keeping up on my pen pal letters. I have a couple to write, but they are newer. It feels good being more regular in my snail mail. I am hoping to make my own envelopes soon, or at least creating some mail art.

I hope you have had a great month. How are your goals coming along?

Book Review: Dance of The Gods by Nora Roberts

Standard

I devoured book two of The Circle trilogy in less then two days. I found it was even better than book one, on a number of levels.

Blurb:

He saw where the earth was scorched, where it was trampled. He saw his own hoofprints left in the sodden earth when he’d galloped through the battle in the form of a horse. And he saw the woman who’d ridden him, slashing destruction with a flaming sword…  

Blair Murphy has always worked alone. Destined to be a demon hunter in a world that doesn’t believe in such things, she lives for the kill. But now, she finds herself the warrior in a circle of six, chosen by the goddess Morrigan to defeat the vampire Lilith and her minions.

Learning to trust the others has been hard, for Blair has never allowed herself such a luxury. But she finds herself drawn to Larkin, a man of many shapes. As a horse, he is proud and graceful; as a dragon, beautifully fierce; and as a man…well, Blair has never seen one quite so ruggedly handsome and playfully charming as this nobleman from the past.

In two months’ time, the circle of six will face Lilith and her army in Geall. To complete preparations and round up forces to fight, the circle travels through time to Larkin’s world, where Blair must choose between battling her overwhelming attraction to him—or risking everything for a love that can never be…

cover

I thought the writing style of this book was much improved. There was still a bit of back and forth with the PoV, but not near as bad as book one. When reading a characters point of view, we stayed in their mindset for a period of time, instead of several points of view on each page.

I loved getting to know the characters better. We finally get to see more of other characters, and I care about all of them now. I liked all of them at the end of the first book, but I love all of them now.

I loved the character growth from Blair, as well as the little queen. Moira has shown strength in a number of ways, while we see a softer side of Blair. Moira has shown strength in front of her people, both physically and emotionally. She is bound and determined to protect the people of Geall. Blair’s wall is slowly breaking down, which was put there by her father and a former fiance. It was great to see these characters grow and change.

I am also anxious for Moira and Cian to get together! I ship them so hard! They shared a brief, passionate kiss which thrilled me. So I can’t wait until book three…those two better get together! 😉

I am also anxious to know who the narrator of the story is. An old man is telling the tale to a group of children. My guess is that it is one of the three main characters, but a twist can still happen. So it will be fun to find out next book. (Although I feel like a hint was mentioned, I just haven’t put the pieces together yet).

My plan tomorrow after work is to start book three. Thank God for moms who let you borrow their books. 😉

What have you been reading?

Book Review: Dark Beneath The Moon by Sherry D. Ramsey

Standard

Here I am, with my first book review of the year- woot woot! I should note this is more of a lighter/mini review. A few key points I enjoyed about the story.

So yes, I spent this weekend like any good weekend should be spent: curled up with a good book and snuggled up with a cat.

We all have authors that we just have to read. That author whose books we buy as soon as a new one hits a shelf. Sherry D. Ramsey is one of those authors for me. She writes a variety of genres, and I always find myself engrossed in the worlds she creates.

When I had my reading slump, that didn’t stop me from buying books and adding to my collection. Dark Beneath The Moon was one of the books taunting me to get out of my slump.

Here is the book blurb:

Luta Paixon has plenty of trouble on the Tane Ikai, with relationships in flux and the sticky problem of two captains on one ship. But when an alien artifact, the remnant of a long-ago war, shows up on the other side of a newly-discovered wormhole, the crew also find themselves pressed into the service of the Nearspace Protectorate. The Tane Ikai‘s task: covertly deliver an alien historian to the site to decipher its meaning—and possible threat.

Jahelia Sord is a woman with a grudge against the world, and against Luta Paixon and her family in particular. She has her own secrets to guard, and an alliance with the notorious PrimeCorp—one she’ll keep only as long as it suits her own hunt for vengeance.

When a mysterious attack leaves them stranded in an uncharted new system, Luta, her crew, and Jahelia must try to put their differences aside and decide who to trust, while they uncover a shocking truth about the Chron war and what their old enemies are so afraid of…

book

This novel is the second in the Nearspace series, being the sequel to One’s Aspect To The Sun, which came out a few years ago.

While I am not typically a reader of sci-fi, I found myself hooked from the start and had a very hard time putting the book down.

I love all the characters, especially Captain Luta. She is a strong, kick ass, smart woman who leads her crew with confidence. She is also very stubborn, so I often found myself grumbling at her as I read. If only characters would listen to you, right?? 😉 All the characters have their own individual voice, flaws and strengths.

As far as the plot goes, like I said, I couldn’t put the book down. There was always something going on: new aliens, a mystery illness, a character with suspicious motives, and more. There was a lot going on, but the story flowed really well and nothing was confusing. I found it very engaging. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, but I think this one is my favorite.

This book also introduced three new alien types. The Lobor ( a wolf-humanoid), the Chron and the Corvid (a crow-like being).  Each were unique in appearance, communication and technology. The Lobor is my favorite, I think, because it appeals to my supernatural side.

The third book, Beyond The Sentinel Stars, is now available.  Which is great because I so need to get my hands on it! 😉

If you like spacecrafts, aliens, adventure and unique characters, this series is for you.

What books have you read lately?

 

January Wrap Up

Standard

I started the year with a number of goals, wondering how far I would make it. i wondered how many of my goals I would keep working with. Today is the last day of the month and I am really happy with how things are going!

Writing: I was late in the game with this one but this past weekend I sat down and wrote 1100 words on my newest short story. This is for an anthology my writers group is putting together. i am really happy with how it is going, and I’m having fun with it.

Blogging: My goal was to write at least one new post a week, if not two. I am happy that I have been able to manage this so far. Thanks to my followers for sticking with me, and a big hello to those who found me this month! 🙂

Positivity challenge:  A big thing for me this year is to think better, and remind myself daily of something good. I have a journal and I write at least one good thing about my day or how I am feeling. I have kept up with it. My journal is on my coffee table and every evening after supper I sit and jot in a note.

The Book Pile: Again, I was late in the game with this one BUT the other night I sat down with Sherry D. Ramsey’s Dark Beneath The Moon. It is a sequel to her One’s Aspect to the Sun. It’s a sci-fi novel that features Luta Paixon, captain of the Tane Ikai, a woman in her 80’s but looks like she is in her 30’s. There is always one thing or another keeping her and her crew busy, both on and off the ship. I will be doing a review once I finish the book.

So, I am pretty happy with how the month is going. On a bonus note: another month under the belt until my husband comes home from working away. We have more then half of the time under us now, thank goodness.

How are your goals/resolutions going so far?

Why Every Writer Needs A Writers Group

Standard

No matter if it is an online group or an in-person meeting, being in a writers group can help you out a lot. Joining my group was one of the best things I have ever done. I joined The Story Forge about fifteen years ago.

My group is laid back. We get that life happens and you can’t make it to every meeting or that you can’t get so many chapters written. There are also groups out there with more structure.

A Mixed Bag.  Our group has everyone from those who write for fun and for themselves, as well as published authors who are busy in the writing community. (Writers in schools programs, signings, readings etc…) We bounce around ideas and talk about various topics. We all also have different genres that interest us, from poetry to sci-fi and mainstream. Everyone has something to offer.

Support and Encouragement. I have left more than one meeting feeling inspired and ready to concur my current writing project. And on days I have felt like I want to give up, my friends help me realize that I am being crazy. If one of us is in the middle of something big or crazy, like NaNoWrimo, we encourage each other to keep going. Not every one in our daily life understands what a writer is feeling, but your writing friends always do and are there to back you up or give you a kick in the pants if needed.

You Learn A lot. My writing and editing skills have improved immensely since I started going to The Story Forge.  I also feel more confident when I critique someones work. While I am far from perfect, I enjoy helping others and feel I can help.

Brainstorming. Stuck with a plot? Need advice on a topic? Or maybe you are unsure if killing a character will help or hinder your story? Ask your writing buddies. They will give you feedback that you can mull over and help you figure out where to go next. Sometimes more brains are better than one.

Feedback. Finished a piece and need a second pair of eyes? Odds are someone will offer to read your work for you. The great thing about this is that they may see something you missed. When you read your own work umpteen times, you are going to miss the little things, or a problem you didn’t realized you had.

A Night Out. Writers tend to be solitary. Not always, but I am one of them. When I am not at work or out with friends, my favorite night in is curled up with hubby watching tv or with a book. It’s good to get out and talk with people who share your interests.

 

Where to find a group: Check your local library and ask a librarian. That’s how I learned about The Story Forge. You can also find them online like on Facebook. I belong to online groups as well, but meeting up in person gets you out of the house for an evening out, and you can make real life friends you can meet up with in between times. One of my friends is coming over tomorrow, for a coffee and a mini writing session. When all else fails, start your own! Put up a flyer at a local library or start your own online group.

How I have changed and benefited since joining my group: I have been published four times. (Soon to be a fifth…our group is putting an anthology together and the money made will go to our local library.) I have learned a lot about writing and improved so much. I have made some great friends; one of which was my matron of honor. I have become more confident and learned how to turn my inner critic off.

That’s just my take on it. I love my group so much and think every writer can benefit from having one.

Do you belong to a group? What is your favorite thing about it?