Tag Archives: creativecommons

Review of Blood Toy by B.K. Raine

 

If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

 

B.K. Raine lives in North Carolina with her husband, teenage daughter, two dogs, and a cat she insists isn’t actually hers because every  at she’s ever owned has died a sudden and gruesome death. Raine works as an advertising executive in the media and publishing industry, but had been an author since she was 16, penning her first book on wide-eyed paper with a No. 2 pencil. Her first editor told her she couldn’t write but had some great ideas, and if she was willing to leave her pride at the door, he’d teach her the rest.

 

Blood Toy is the debut novel in Raine’s dark urban fantasy series. Its follows the protagonist, Diane. She has been a vampire hunter for 3 years at the point of the book. In the novel, she is being lead by a voice in her head that tells her how to kill vampires. This happened to her ever since vampires murdered her family.

 

The typical vampire sucks their victim’s blood and disappears into the night. The vampires o this story don’t quite do that. While specifics of vampirism isn’t exactly told, readers gets parts from some characters. For instance, each vampire has a different ability. Some can shift into animals while others can create mental illusions. It also seems they can be out during the daylight. Killing them is also different with injecting salt in their veins. While I like when authors use anold topic and spin it a bit, it can be a bit confusing. For readers to understand the villains and situation, it makes the story more enjoyable.

The novel’s tone is abrasive and aggressive at times. Readers are given a way to see the behind the scenes of fighting vampires. Diane is lonely and bitter with life in many ways. She wants a “normal” life, but continues to walk her path until she meets resolve for the death of her family.

 

The plot follows several other characters as well. Of Diane’s makeshift crew, there is Roger, Mace, and Bree. Roger and Mace are brothers. Mace inherited werewolf genetics and Roger is able to communicate with animals. Bree is telekinetic and uses this power to fight and for protection. This team is fighting against a group of vampires and a demon. The major villain of the group is Desollador. He is a powerful vampire that wants to make Diane into an emotional and sexual human toy. The story focuses on the abusive relationship that Desollador has with Diane. At some points they are just the hero and villain fighting each other. While in other parts, Diane is discovering that she has some feelings for Desollador.

 

Because of the plot following other characters as well, the story jumps around a bit. If there was greater detail and transition, it wouldn’t feel quite as jumbled. There were quite a few entities involved in the story and all of them had a lot of back story that wasn’t really mentioned. Leading from that as well, certain portions could’ve used more information as well to have a greater connection with the scenario. There were times that I felt lost and had to backtrack to make sure I knew what was happening or to understand a connection that was made.

 

Overall though, I believe Blood Toy is a relatively short read that can give your reading a change of pace. Raine introduces characters and stories that readers can acknowledge from situation after situation. While exploring the darker side of life and fantasy, Raine has created a storyline with plenty of energy.

Review of Bittersweet by Laurencia Hoffman

If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

 

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle

Laurencia was born and raised (with the exception of a few years in Canada) in Michigan. She’s had a notebook in her hand since she was old enough to write. Becoming a published author has always been a dream of hers.

This is a story about two lovers that were forbidden to be together. The main protagonist, Rowan is from the Redgrave family. This is a family of witches who are relatively powerful and cold-hearted. The other main character in the book is Cade Blackwell. The Blackwell family is made of mostly none practicing witches. The two characters meet innocently in the woods when Rowan stumbled upon Cade practicing magic. They quickly became friends and Rowan discovered that Cade was viciously attacked by her father Damon.

There was a strong feud between Redgraves and Blackwells. It was apparently centuries old. Damon didn’t like the family and made it known to others. After Rowan and Cade met secretly several times in the woods, they had feelings for one another. Rowan’s brother Avery, finds the two in the woods naked one day. He tells his father. Damon voiced his opinions to Rowan about Cade and the rest of the Blackwells, but she didn’t listen. Damon decides to take matters in his own hands by directly confronting the Blackwells.  The two families ensue in a magical battle. Spells fly back and forth across the room looking to hit a target. Cade charges a spells and shoots Avery with it, killing him. The death throws Damon into a rage and forces the Blackwells to magically flee for their lives. Damon states that Rowan and Cade can never be together again.

Upset over the situation, Rowan gets involved with another guy shortly after named Adam. She gets pregnant and together they build a family with their daughter Iris. Times goes on and Rowan is left with despair and loneliness. Not being able to find her true love and being attacked multiple times by her father hindered her greatly. After one of the attacks, she wasn’t able to cast spells any more.

Twenty-five years after their initial break up, Rowan and Cade run into each other. They begin to rekindle from their lost time. Adam, who became Rowan’s husband, finds out about the two seeing each other. Upset over the issue and wishing to have his family back, he contacts Damon. The two of them team up to ensure that Rowan and Cade stay apart. Damon goes to extreme ends to prove his point. He attacks Iris and murders several of Cade’s family members.

Luckily for those involved, two members from the witch council were aware of the situation. They devised a plan to help Rowan and Cade as much as possible. With the assistance of magic, the members were able to set things right and have a case against Damon and Adam for all of the problems they caused.

This story was okay. My favorite aspect of the book was the idea of being triumphant after a huge ordeal. At many points, the characters were conflicted and had to fight or flight. I also like the “bad guy” in the story that is ruthless like Damon. On the other end though, sections of the novel need more description and transition from scenes. It was difficult at some points to conceptualize what was occurring because it wasn’t really explained. I would’ve also like to experience more character growth. Though the story itself covered several decades, it felt like the characters hardly changed with the time.

In many ways, Bittersweet is like Romeo and Juliet with a magical element. If you’re interested in some quick romance or magical influence in your reading, give this book a read.

Visit her online at: http://authorlaurenciahoffman.tumblr.com

 

 

Review of The Shadow of the High King by Frank Dorrian

If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

 

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle

Frank Dorrian was born in 1987 in Liverpool – his hometown, a post-industrial cityscape, served as poignant inspiration for his creative efforts. He would commence writing in earnest during his teenage years, composing stories to sate desires of both expression and introspection.

Today, Frank is a qualified mental health nurse. He works in the field with people suffering severe psychiatric and psychological disorders, and additionally offers private mind coaching sessions for those needing a refreshing take on life’s trials. When not writing, Frank spends his spare time reading, playing computer games, and attending a martial arts gym. He has previously competed as a fighter domestically in the UK and abroad in Thailand.

 

The Shadow of the High King is Dorrian’s first book. It follows events within the kingdom of Caermark. Ruled by King Aenwald for the last 20 years, Caermark is held together with an iron fist and weaponry to back it up. In the dark of the night, a town was destroyed and put to flame. This set into motion events to lead to Caermark’s old and young coming into the fight one way or another.

 

The story follows multiple characters to give readers an overview of events. Several characters are prominent throughout the novel. King Aenwald, of course, is loved and hated by many. Many respect and follow him through the fear he has placed. Arnulf is a mercenary and leader of the Black Shield. This is a group of sellswords that fight on behalf of others for money. Harlin is a strong warrior and mercenary in the Black Shield. Taken from his clan’s homeland and made into a fighting slave, Harlin holds onto anger and justice to live. Ceatha is a clansman with Harlin. Confused and ravaged like her clan, Ceatha guides Harlin towards dreams of power.

 

The Shadow of the High King is in the same genre and style as Game of Thrones.       I was repulsed by some characters and cheering on whole families. At other times, I felt I was in a large arena filled with blood, screaming along with the rest of them. I began to connect with characters like Harlin and Ceatha on their travel. I pained for them and their back story. Watching your people be killed or shackled into slavery takes an incredible weight. Both of them dealt with it, but in different manners. I found myself hoping for the same brand of bloody justice many characters were searching for.

 

My favorite thing about this story is not the story itself but an aspect of it. I love the idea of ancient knowledge or people resurfacing. This is influenced within the story by a couple characters directly. I think it adds a set of variables when introduced to a situation. It could bring more power or an untimely demise. For readers, it adds an element of surprise. I think enough was in this book without confusing readers too much. In the second book, should there be one, I would imagine that more this aspect will occur.

 

It feels like Dorrian took his time thinking about the characters and the plot. Betrayal and justice riddle the land of Caermark along with bodies. Characters are forced to fight or die. The Shadow of the High King is a great book if you’re looking for a legendary story to read! It’s sure to leave a deep impression on you, as if sliced by a sword. As one king falls, another rises. I’m interested to see what other surprises and acts will be apart of the next book!

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Strength to Stand

From the book Awakening My Captured Freedom:

 

Of conscious mind and effort, I stand.

Greeting the day head on.

Based in a realm of reapers and sowers.

I revel in the fury of opposition.

I have a thirst.

Miserable until quenched.

Based off sequential events.

Altering the direction of my emotions.

Paving the highway straight to an island.

Built for me to confide in.

Baring the cost of retribution.

It could be the solution to this holocaust.

Suppression isn’t the root of hatred.

Though many crave it.

Seeking initiates to find.

Hide away from caustic words.

The fodder is from others who stuttered.

Folks deal with the oncoming slaughter.

Dropped lower than possibly thought.

I wanted to climb out the pot.

Not wanting to exist on the same field shuffling.

My strength to push comes from knowing there’s little left.

Deathly scales shouldn’t be near my body.

It’s hobby is turning others into zombies.

I will compete against dead meat.

My life is for me.

Not for the masses to weaken me.

Awakening My Captured Freedom

I’d like to announce the release of my book of poetry,

Awakening My Captured Freedom!

Life surely has it’s moment’s and working towards the final product of this book has been a powerful experience. Ive been searching for greater ways of spreading important events and messages to people. Awakening My Captured Freedom is a combination of different scenarios and feelings that people experience. If someone else can relate to an experience, they can come to see one another as an ally instead of a foe. And at least know where they stand.

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This book looks at various instances of people in bliss and pain. Often a single experience is a combination of both instances. This creates a complex set of emotions and dialogue. These experiences become interconnected with time and become a pattern. Many people struggle on a daily basis. Depending on the person, the struggle looks different. Bringing attention to a situation could help someone to overcome their struggle.

Regardless of the outcome, decisions are upheld through action and memory. Some decisions I was fortunate enough to be exposed to. Others placed a greater weight on me. I’m sharing experiences that have not completely healed. It’s part of my will to grow and show that many can overcome what lies ahead. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Once you realize the situation.

I want to use this book to highlight struggle and adversity. Sharing stories is an empowering method. You never know the route that a person takes to get where they are. But you can take the time to understand how they got there. People have to know what they are comfortable with handling and constantly look to expand their scope. It may be foreign and difficult being truly empathic of others at times, but keeping an open mind can help heal a broken heart.

This book is a reflection of those emotions that push us into the depth of humanity.

Purchase here: Paperback and Electronic

Review of Bloodwalker by L.X. Caine

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 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

 

L.X. Cain lives not too far from the beautiful beaches and turquoise waters of the Red Sea. Despite the scenic delights, she’s an indoor gal and spends most of her time happily tapping away on her laptop keyboard, coming up with thrilling story ideas to entertain readers! 

Bloodwalker is a very enticing book. It follows the life of circus folk. The traveling Eastern circus known as Zorka Circus is constantly looking for the next place to perform in. Due to the seeming nature of people, the circus folk handle most of their business and problems on their own. Head of security for the circus, Rurik discovers that children are missing in the different cities that they visit. One day while out on a watch, Ruirk meets the one responsible for the acts, a child kidnapping / killing clown. Ruirk uses his skills and select others that he trusts to help search for the clown. 

Another group of people with a unique history enters the situation. The Skomari is a clan of people with abnormal beauty. They historical have been around for hundreds of years dressing the recently dead and communicating with spirits. Many outsiders considers them ghouls or demons.  

In an attempt to keep harmony between the groups, marriage took place in their location. The Skomari were not well received but were eventually connected into the string of murders secretly surrounding the circus. One Skomari in particular, Sylvie acted with her gut and in some ways could be seen as the last representation of her clan. 

I absolutely enjoyed reading the book. I quickly found myself wrapped in the story and not wanting to put it down. The plot itself was easy to understand. The subject and theme was intriguing and different enough that it felt like a breath of fresh invigorating air. Even though the air most times was far from “fresh”. Several times throughout the book, I thought the characters were trapped or going to be killed. I was rooting for their success and wondered how they would navigate out of the situation.  

L.X. Caine did a wonderful job with the description of scenes and character development. Some phrases that she used made me feel as if I was truly standing watching the scene next to the characters. While written to be a stand-alone book, Bloodwalker has the potential to become a series. I would like to see what other adventures or nightmares Rurik and Sylvie encounter. 

Bloodwalker is a thrilling adventure that is sure to leave you on the edge searching for more. 

Get in touch with L.X.Cain at her blog

 

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Tenets of Love

His love is love for those we love.

It’s touched from powers up above.

To see unconditionally.

To paint the scene.

These tenets are what I drawn into my being.

Babbling of the Irrational Mind.