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: 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?

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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: 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…

nora

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!

 

From The Book Pile: The Shadows

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I spent the wee hours of this stormy day finishing off my latest read. At 4 a.m as the wind howled outside and the snow piled up around us, I felt a little bit heartbroken and yet happy at the same time. That’s what happens when you are routing and hoping for the best for two brothers.

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Personal opinion: 4 out of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of J. R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The Shadows is book thirteen in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. As always, the book is well written  and each character had their own defined voice. Which is hard to do when you are writing with so many personalities.

This book took me longer then thought to read. For starters, this book focuses on Trez and iAm, Shadows from the s’Hsibe. While I am a huge lover of iAm, his brother Trez was far from my favorite character. So it was (at first) hard to get into.

Also, when you get hit with a migraine or two, the last thing you do is strain your eyes and make your head worse by reading. That’s if you can actually keep your eyes open while in the middle of one.

But the last few days I have had my head down in the book, lost in the world of my favorite vampires.

In the beginning of the series, the points of view are few. Usually the Brother whose story it is, his mate, a villain and maybe another character is who you would be in the head of. But as the books went on, more and more PoV’s were added. I wasn’t happy with the last few books. In one book I skimmed much of it because I had zero interest. I didn’t see the purpose of that character having a PoV.

In this book however, the PoV’s were ones I wanted to see, for the most part. I didn’t skim as much as I had in the last book. I was anxious to know what was happening and a bonus: my fave character finally had a PoV again. If you have read the books, you know Rhage hasn’t had a real PoV in awhile. Which I know is also setting things up for the next book which he is the main focus. (I admit, if that book is “watered down” with a ton of different view points, imma be pissy. I need a dose of my book boyfriend 😉 )

I grew to love Trez, and my heart broke for him. (No spoilers). While in the past I felt Selena, his mate, was a cardboard character. But in this novel she was more in depth and I  enjoyed her much more.

iAm is a character I felt bad for in the past. He has taken care of his brother for so long. Putting his life on hod in some ways so he can be there for Trez. After all he has done, the Shadow was due some happiness.

All in all, this was a good read. If you have read The Shadows, what did you think of the book?

From The Book Pile: The Seventh Crow

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Nothing says I am back in the book realm like staying up until 2 a.m reading a book. I am back in my reading groove and it is thanks to this novel by Sherry D. Ramsey, which is published by Dreaming Robot Press.

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This YA novel is great for tweens and adults.

 

I bought this book about a year and a half ago when it first came out. I was very excited to get it and start reading it. But thanks to my reading slump, it never happened until this past week. (Tsk tsk, I know).

Tuesday night I stayed up until 2 a.m, because like any bookworm knows, it is hard to put a good book down. The following day after work, I ate supper and sat down to finish it. I suffered through heavy lids (gee, I wonder why I was so tired 😉 ) in order to finish it because I JUST HAD TOO.

This is a blurb about The Seventh Crow:

When you can’t remember most of your life, you’d better be prepared for anything. The day a talking crow meets her on the way home from school, fourteen-year-old Rosinda is plunged into a forgotten world filled with startling revelations: magic ability flows in her veins, she’s most comfortable with a sword in her hand, and the responsibility for finding a missing prince rests solely with her.

While dark forces hover in the background and four forgotten war gods from Earth’s past plot to reclaim long-lost power, Rosinda struggles with waves of slowly-returning memories as she searches for clues about her past and the true identity of her family; a search that takes her back and forth between two worlds. In a race against time to recover her memory, find the prince, and rescue her loved ones, Rosinda has only her friend Jerrell and an unusual trio of animals as companions. And as the gods prepare to bring her world to war, Rosinda is unaware that the shadow of betrayal lurks within one whom she trusts the most…

If you are a person who loves magic, quests, adventure, secrets, kick ass girls, talking animals, fantasy, then this novel is for you! Seriously, get it now. I fell in love with the characters and I hope that someday there will be a sequel.

After finishing it, I mulled it over for sometime. Thinking of what Rosinda would do next, wondering what her companions would be like were they to stay by her side. I spent the rest of the evening thinking about this and other things. The story stuck with me.

One aspect I loved was that the story line was fast paced. I love fantasy but often the books I pick out drag on. I stay with them because between all the pages of scenery description there are wonderful fun moments. With The Seventh Crow, I wasn’t bored.  It is just the perfect kind of fantasy for me to read.

As much as I love a good plot, I am very character driven. These characters were all unique in their own way, and all played a part. I especially loved Rosinda. If you read this novel, you will too. Trust me.