Book Review: The Pirate Queen by Candace Osmond

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Yessssss. Just. Yes.

I have been an eager beaver to get my hands on the sequel to The Devil’s Heart. I pre-ordered The Pirate Queen right away and I was literally counting down, being patiently impatient.

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I was very anxious to see what was going to happen to Dianna, Henry and her crew. Candace is such a great story teller, I was very curious to know what was going to become of this beloved crew.

The story opens with Dianna being back in the present. She remembers the image on Henry’s face as the threads of time opened up to take her back home. Her need to get back to Henry is deep. After being taken to hospital, she finds out she is carrying his child. The need to get back to him  grows stronger.

Once back in her parents home, Dianna is trying to heal from injuries while frantically looking for a key to get her back to the past. She doesn’t want to be without Henry, and can’t stand the thought of him not seeing their child. Finding a clue, key or a glimpse of hope sends Dianna on a mission, making her aunt worry. Finally, her aunt gives her a journal. But not just any journal. It belonged to her mother, who had time traveled herself.

Dianna, with luck and magic, finds herself back in the past. She makes her way to an inn, and after getting a mysterious letter is reunited with Finn, the big burly Scotsman and friend. While staying at the inn, she makes friends with Lottie. I love this new character. There is much more to her then meets the eye. She is full of secrets and surprises!!!

Dianna and her friends are on the hunt to save Henry. While doing so, we discover some fun twists that send the story and events into another direction. Leaving us with more questions and also the anxiousness of wanting a character to succeed and discover the answers.

I won’t give the whole book away. That would spoil the fun! But Dianna is such a strong character. There needs to be more female characters like her. She is strong, independent and smart. There is no doubt as to why her friends, crew and Henry love her. Lottie is such a fun new addition to the group. There is growth of characters, like the cranky Gus. And deepening of other relationships, such as her friendship with Finn.

The ending also left me a little worried about Henry and what the effect of his past life had on him. He once turned himself into something dark and dangerous. Will Dianna’s love be enough to keep that tortured part of his soul at bay? (Gosh I frickin hope so!)

I have quickly fell in love with these books and characters. I must add that the author, Candace, is such a sweetie and I am a total fan and fangirl. She loves hearing from her readers so if you enjoyed this or any of her other work, she would love to hear from you.

Well, guess it is time for me to check the calendar and start the count down to book three, The Blackened Soul.

Here are some places you can get your copy!

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Kobo

Nook

 

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Author Interview with Sherry D. Ramsey

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I am thrilled that my next author interview is with my friend and best selling author Sherry D. Ramsey! I have reviewed some of her books in the past and will be again soon enough. Right now I am reading her collection of short stories, The Apprentice Files. 

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Sci-fi and fantasy author Sherry D. Ramsey.

Me: Hey Sherry! Thanks so much for stopping by! So let’s get to it! For anyone who hasn’t read your Nearspace series, what can you tell us about it?

SD: Well, the series is set about 250 years in the future, and in that future we’ve expanded through space through the use of wormhole travel. So there’s lots of spaceships and aliens and other worlds. 🙂 But it’s also about a woman, Luta, who is in her 80’s, but hasn’t aged physically past about 30, and she doesn’t know why. This non-aging has a profound affect on her relationships, and she’d like to understand it and what it means. She thinks it might have something to do with her mother, who was a genetic researcher, but disappeared when Luta was around 14. There’s also the corporation her mother worked for, who thinks they might have a proprietary interest in whatever’s making Luta the way she is. The series starts in One’s Aspect to the Sun with Luta’s search for answers, and different story threads carry on to other books in the series.

Me: I have loved these books and I plan to get book three soon! One’s Aspect to the Sun recently hit the bestseller list! How exciting is that!?

SD: It was pretty exciting! I have a lot of screenshots saved to my computer as it rose up the charts! And I’ve had some really lovely new reviews of both that book and the series lately. They are always nice to see because it means someone genuinely enjoyed the story.

Me: I would have screenshots too! 🙂 That’s awesome, I am really happy for you! Your third book in the Nearspace series, Beyond the Sentinel Stars, came out late last year. Do you plan to go beyond book 3? Or keep it as a trilogy?

SD: I’m actually working on a fourth book in the series right now. I do try to keep them standalone to some extent–no real cliffhangers–but people who like series will also enjoy a sense of continuity throughout the books, I think. This one takes place about a year after the end of Sentinel Stars.

Me: Oh that is awesome! *writes down another book on the To Read list*  So I am curious, which character has been your favorite to write? Why?

SD: Ooh, that’s a really tough one. If we’re moving outside the Nearspace books, there are two characters who were just super fun to write. One was a talking cat in The Seventh Crow, because she gained the ability to talk by accident and really didn’t want it. She has a very prickly and sarcastic voice and she doesn’t have much patience with humans. The other, coincidentally, is also a talking animal, a goose from The Murder Prophet. He’s fun because he also has a very distinct personality, kind of goofy and easily excitable. It’s interesting to channel him and try to stay true to his character. He plays a large role in the next book in that series, which I’m working on concurrently with a few other projects, so it’s fun to see him grow and change but still keep those essential personality traits.

Me: Those characters were funny! You have a way with talking animals 😉 What does your writing area look like?

SD: I’m very lucky to have my own office at home. It’s not terribly large, but it holds a sitting desk and a treadmill desk, and a lot of books and plants. A lot of artwork on the walls and too much paper in general! Probably also too many bits and bobs and little writing talismans. I guess it reflects my mind–usually too cluttered up with too many things! But it’s my own sanctuary and I really appreciate having it. There’s one extra chair for someone to visit me and also a door I can close. Both very important!

Me: Yes both are important. It’s great when you can have your own little writing sanctuary. You have both novels and short stories published. Which do you prefer to write?

SD: That’s also a tough question. I like the compactness and focus of short stories, and of course the lesser demand on writing time to finish one. But I find it difficult to write very short pieces–my stories only rarely come in under five thousand words or so. Novels allow for much greater exploration of ideas and complexity, and character development over time, so they’re great to stretch those creative muscles. I’m starting to think my very favorite length to write is novelette/novella. You can get a little more complex than in a short story, but still write them fairly quickly. Sadly, there’s a much smaller market in traditional publishing for those lengths.

Me: Seems I have a knack for asking the hard questions. 😉  You write sci-fi and fantasy. Which one is your favorite to write?

SD: Lately I lean more toward sci-fi and urban fantasy than other flavours of fantasy. I’ll write in any of the speculative genres if I get an idea that fits, though. Even horror, occasionally.

Me: If you were going to be stranded on an island, which 3 books would you want to have with you?

SD: Well, these days I’d just have my ereader, loaded up with enough to keep me going for a long time! But to choose three…difficult. And I could give you a different answer tomorrow. But today I’d choose To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Hopefully I won’t be stranded for too long…

Me: I know, it isn’t easy for book nerds to choose their three fave books. Mine would also change on a daily basis. I know you are a creative person. What sorts of creative projects do you do when you aren’t writing?

SD: I like fiber arts, like knitting and crochet, as well as machine embroidery and sewing. In the past I’ve made wire and bead jewelry, although I haven’t done much with that lately. I can’t wait for spring to get out in my garden, which might not strike some as creative, but I think it is. And I mess around with various forms of art, on and off the computer. My approach to creative or crafty things is basically that I’ll give anything a try. 🙂

Me: Can you tell us a little something about what are you working on right now?

SD: I’ve just finished up a new novelette in my Olympia Investigations series (urban fantasy) called “Dead Hungry,” which will release on the 15th of April. I’m juggling the fourth Nearspace book, a paranormal romance (a genre I haven’t written before), another urban fantasy novel and a couple of short stories. That sounds like too much, I know. But that seems to be how I work!

Thanks so much again for stopping by for a chat! You are welcome to pop by anytime!

*

Sherry D. Ramsey is a speculative fiction writer, editor, publisher, creativity addict and self-confessed internet geek. When she’s not writing, she makes jewelry, gardens, hones her creative procrastination skills on social media, and consumes far more coffee and chocolate than is likely good for her.

Her books include the middle-grade fantasy, The Seventh Crow; three books in the Nearspace series, One’s Aspect to the Sun, Dark Beneath the Moon, and Beyond the Sentinel Stars; the urban fantasy/mystery The Murder Prophet; and two short story collections. With her partners at Third Person Press she has co-edited six anthologies of regional short fiction and a first novel. Every November she disappears into the strange realm of National Novel Writing Month and emerges gasping at the end, clutching something resembling a novel.

A member of the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia Writer’s Council, Sherry is also a past Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer of SF Canada, Canada’s national association for Speculative Fiction Professionals.

You can visit Sherry online at www.sherrydramsey.com to find free stories and more,  connect on Facebook  and keep up with her much more pithy musings and glimpses into her life on Twitter and Instagram @sdramsey.

 

 

 

Author Interview with Candace Osmond

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I’m thrilled to say that Candace Osmond, author of the bestselling novel The Devil’s Heart, sat down with an interview with me! This is also my first author interview here at The Geeky Book Lady! Hopefully the first of many! 🙂

Hey Candace! Thanks for being here. So, The Devil’s Heart became a best seller! Congrats by the way! How exciting is that!?

It’s very exciting! As an author, when you publish a new title, especially the first in a new series, it’s hard to imagine how readers will take to it. I’m still blown away by the success of The Devil’s Heart launch, and extremely grateful to all my readers.

That’s great! So The Pirate Queen is coming out soon. I have already pre-ordered it! Can you give us a little tidbit of what readers can expect?

Thank you! I hope you like it! Let’s just say…a LOT happens. At the end of book one (spoiler alert!!!) Dianna is accidentally sent back to her own time. So, book two follows her journey of dealing with the loss of Henry, adjusting to her old life, and then an unhealthy obsession with finding a way back to the past. A new character is introduced, and I absolutely love her! Can’t wait to see what readers think.

Oh I am sure I will love it! After the cliffhanger in book one, I am dying to get my hands on book two! So, if you were thrust into the past, what 3 items would you take with you?

Oh, this is a hard one. A lighter, bottle of rubbing alcohol, and a Diva Cup lol.

All great things to have on hand! Was there any one thing that inspired you to write the Dark Tide series?

Just one? Haha! The main thing that inspired me was my love for the pirate history that surrounds my home province of Newfoundland. The second would be my love for fantasy and romance.

That’s awesome. I absolutely loved The Devil’s Heart and the characters in it. As a fan I need to know: how many books do you plan to write? Will the Dark Tides series be a trilogy? Or do you have hopes/plans to go beyond it?

I love that you’re a fan! Thank you so much! Well, I originally planned to do three books in this series. But, after finishing book two and opening up so many more doors within the story line, I’m aiming for five books. Four for certain.

That is wicked! I am super excited! *fangirl squee*

As a fellow writer, I’m curious: what does your writing area look like?

I’m lucky enough to write full-time. So, I have a nice office with big windows, a comfy leather couch, and music constantly playing. But the best part is that I get to share it with my amazing husband who’s also a writer and graphic designer.

That sounds lovely! So I know that picking a favorite book is hard, but can you tell us your top 3?

That IS hard! Haha! But I would say Ironside by Holly Black, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.

I will have to add those on my to-read list! Many writers have other creative projects. Do you have any? Like photography, painting?

Yes! Actually, it’s just another form of writing. I’m a screenplay writer. One day, I hope to turn that hobby into a big part of my career because I’m very passionate about film production. But if I had to pick something totally removed from writing altogether it would be….diaper cakes haha I absolutely LOVE creating those really cool, uniquely themed diaper cakes. I just do them for friends and family, but I’ve created ones that look like sushi, a motorcycle, a bookshelf, etc. Super fun!

That would be amazing if you could turn screenplay writing into part of your career. And I love those cakes, super cute!! I have seen some super creative ones online. So what do you do when you’re not writing?

 Read (duh!), watch and study movies/TV shows, Mom stuff, Wife stuff, and travel to conventions and book signings with my author bestie JJ King!

Awesome! Well Candace thanks so much for stopping by and chatting with me!

No problem! Thank you so much for having me! Enjoy book two, The Pirate Queen on April. 23rd!

If you want more info on where to get these books and others by Candace, and to get updates, you can find her on Facebook at Author Candace Osmond and you can also check out her blog here: Candace Osmond.
 

 

 

 

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: 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: Dance of The Gods by Nora Roberts

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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…

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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: 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!