Magic Lessons: The Prequel to Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman – My Review

Title: Magic Lessons: The Prequel to Practical Magic

Author: Alice Hoffman

Release Date: October 6th 2020

Genre: Occult Horror

In an unforgettable novel that traces a centuries-old curse to its source, beloved author Alice Hoffman unveils the story of Maria Owens, accused of witchcraft in Salem, and matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic.

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

Magic Lessons is a celebration of life and love and a showcase of Alice Hoffman’s masterful storytelling.

Magic Lessons is a hauntingly beautiful origin story. Maria Owen’s story.

This book. Everything about it was phenomenal and heart wrenching and I was there for it. Maria’s journey wasn’t an easy one. She endured so much. My chest tightened with each loss she faced. Through it all, she had her magic. Always magic. It both helped and hurt her.

I have a deep love for the Owens family. To read Maria’s origin story was amazing. The beginning is a little slow but you’re in for a ride. Be patient. Its so worth it! I loved the dark vibe of the story. Those were different times. A dark time for anyone suspected in the “Unnamed Arts”. Maria suffered tremendous losses but she also knew happiness and love. The characters were so well written, I wanted to know about all them all. They all piqued my interest in one form or another. I read deep into the night to finish. I had to know! I was invested. The highly emotional scenes caused me heartbreak and tears. This book was everything I had hoped for and more! It was fantastic. I will carry this story close to my heart. I give this 5 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Heir to Kale: Rise of the Temple Gods, Book 1 by K.L.Bone – My Review

Title: Heir to Kale: Rise of the Temple Gods, Book 1 *Audiobook*

Author: K.L. Bone

Release Date: May 4th 2016

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Fear to the fearless. Hope to the hopeless. Mercy to those who hate you. Death to those who love you. – Prophesy of the Kalian Twins.

In the land of Kale there lies a delicate balance between the powerful temples and the rulers from an ancient, royal bloodline. The Temples are ruled through combat, determined by a series of tournaments. Of these tournament champions, 60 are chosen to become Defendants, an elite team charged with protecting the realm from all enemies. Selection to this team is considered the highest of honours and leadership of the team is decided only once every 13 years.

Princesses Mariana and Ameria, twin daughters of two such champions, are taken as children to separate, yet equally powerful Temples. Through years of rigorous training both are educated in the arts of combat, swordplay, and the ancient traditions of the Temple Gods. Both eventually obtain the rank of Kalian Champions with the expectation of one day serving upon the coveted Defendant Team.

Then, not long after their 17th birthday, the childless King declares that one of the sisters must succeed him as the future Queen. As the race for the throne begins, the sister’s long standing rivalry intensifies, leading both upon a dangerous path that threatens not only their lives, but the fate of the very kingdom.

Unbeknownst to the twins, this treacherous path to the throne is the elaborate collaboration of an ancient prophecy and two creatures charged by the Gods themselves ensure it comes to pass. As primeval powers awaken, the two sisters must struggle to learn the truth behind the prophesy and search for a way to change their inevitable fate.

Wow….this story blew me away. Fantastic world building! It’s adventurous and action packed and also heart wrenching. Several times throughout the story I was either shouting out loud or I had tears coming down my face. Ah good times. The characters are very well written. I really like Ameria! I just felt myself leaning more towards her. The puppies were a nice touch and totally unexpected! The narrator had a nice voice and I dig her wraith voice! I NEED the next one ASAP!! I am now fully hooked and invested in this series. I give it 5 stars!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Interview with an Author Featuring D.M. Earl

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is D.M. Earl! Her newest release, Bottom of the Chains-Prospect (Grimm Wolves MC Book 1.5) released on August 18th 2020.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m D.M. Earl an Indie author out of Northwest Indiana. I’m married to my best friend. We are bikers (both have Harley’s) and have 8 fur babies. I’m an avid reader and love to spend a day engrossed in a good story.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

As a child I devoured books and always considered myself a storyteller. Writing has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember.

Describe your writing space.

I have a couple. My primary space is in our finished basement that my husband put together for me. I have a desk, office chair and am surrounded by bookshelves with all of my signed paperbacks from some of my favorite authors around me. It is quiet and serene. Next is our screen porch, which I love cause it looks out into our yard. Again gives me peace of mind.

How many books have you written? Which is your fave?

I’ve published 9 books. Number 10 is scheduled to release on 9.9.2020. I also have three more that’ll be releasing before the end of 2020. 

As far as a favorite, they all are my favorites it depends on the day and my emotions. I write with my heart and soul so can’t pick just one.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

My real life experience and interacts with people and the voices in my head that guide me towards a story.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading Kris Michaels Shadow series. Waiting for 9.22.20 for the next release of Kristen Ashley’s Chaos series.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Not sure. I know I would use not really famous actors to get the full emotion out of each book.

Do you find it more challenging to write the first book in a series or to write the subsequent novels?

Each book to me is challenging. The first book because you are trying to introduce a new series. The next books can be challenging because you are trying to continue on with a story.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Kind, Open book, heart on my sleeve.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Never let anyone tell you what to do with your books. Follow your heart and your storyline and stay true to yourself.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I’ll share my Amazon Author description cause this fits me very well.

I spin stories about real life situations with characters that are authentic, genuine and sincere. Each story allows the characters to come to life with each turn of the page while they try to find their HEA through much drama and angst.

 

Thank you D.M. Earl for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Bottom of the Chains today!

~Synopsis~

My life has sucked for as far back as I can remember. My folks didn’t want me so I was thrown into foster care. Let me just say lots of fun. NOT.

Then one day, my life took a dramatic change. My circumstances improved greatly. I met The Grimm Wolves MC and they took me under their wing. I became not only a prospect but also part of their brotherhood.

Now I’ve let my brothers down not once, but twice, in less than a month. What if I don’t belong with the club? Feeling the weight of life, how can I prove to the only family I have ever had that I’m worth the trouble? Or maybe the truth is I’m not reliable and useful after all? It all depends on how much of my failure The Grimm Wolves MC are willing to put up with by one of their newest prospects.

USA Today Bestselling author D. M. Earl spins stories about real life situations with characters that are authentic, genuine and sincere. Each story allows the characters to come to life with each turn of the page while they try to find their HEA through much drama and angst.

For the latest news and updates on books and upcoming releases, you can subscribe to my newsletter: http://bit.ly/newsletterdmearl

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The Nesting by C.J. Cooke – My Review

Title: The Nesting

Author: C.J. Cooke

Release Date: September 29th 2020

Genre: Psychological Fiction

The woods are creeping in on a nanny and two young girls in this chilling modern Gothic thriller.

Architect Tom Faraday is determined to finish the high-concept, environmentally friendly home he’s building in Norway—in the same place where he lost his wife, Aurelia, to suicide. It was their dream house, and he wants to honor her with it.

Lexi Ellis takes a job as his nanny and immediately falls in love with his two young daughters, especially Gaia. But something feels off in the isolated house nestled in the forest along the fjord. Lexi sees mysterious muddy footprints inside the home. Aurelia’s diary appears in Lexi’s room one day. And Gaia keeps telling her about seeing the terrifying Sad Lady. . . .

Soon Lexi suspects that Aurelia didn’t kill herself and that they are all in danger from something far more sinister lurking around them.

I struggled on how I was going to write my review and also how I felt about the book. I will start with what I liked about it and go from there.

I loved the Nordic folktales. Those stories were not only interesting, they were a bit haunting which added a vibe to the story. I also loved how the local people believed in them and had their superstitions. Gaia was smart and cute. Probably my favorite character.

I truly wanted to like this story but right from start it was kind of doomed for me. I expected a lot more thriller than what I got from this story. The story seemed uneven. It starts off with a pretty strong event. It seemed to be building towards an explosive ending but it fell way flat for me. In no way did I feel this was a thriller. It seemed like a bunch of secrets and points of views that added up to a bunch of nothing. A lot of the story could have been cut down and most scenes taken out. The story didn’t find its way until the end. The end was ok. I didn’t love this story but I also didn’t hate it. I give this 2.5 rounded up to 3 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Interview with an Author Featuring M . L Darlow

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is M . L Darlow! Her latest release, The Messenger : The Five Realms Book 2 (The Five Realm Chronicles) release on August 28th 2020.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I first realized that I wanted to be a writer at an incredibly early age. I believe I was either four or five when I began creating stories (with the help of my mother, since I don’t believe I could read quite yet at the time). I wrote sporadically throughout my life until I was seventeen. That was when I began writing the Five Realm Chronicles, and when I decided I wanted to turn writing into a career.

Describe your writing space.

I’m very particular about where I write. If I move into a new home, it always takes me a while to find a new special spot. But, for most of my writing journey I’ve written in the back room at my mother’s house. It’s lined with windows, book cases, and has an incredibly comfy chair. It’s peaceful.

How many books have you written? Which is your fave?

So far, I’ve written ten books. Only two are published. I couldn’t really say which is my favorite, as those books haven’t been announced yet. But if I had to, I’d say either the fourth or seventh Five Realm book was my favorite to write for various reasons.

Describe yourself in three words.

Three words that I think describe me are creative, introverted, and comical.

What are you reading now?

Right now I’m reading Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Oh goodness I’d be so picky about casting, so it’s probably a good thing that in those circumstances we don’t often get a say. But Daniel Sharman would make a wonderful Lincoln McBride.

Do you write listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book?

I listen to all kinds of music while I write. I even devise a playlist for every book. I’m never limited to one genre, because I listen to specific things depending on what sort of scene I’m writing. There’s a lot of fighting going on in the Messenger, far more than there was in A Kingdom Falls. While I was writing those scenes I listened to a ton of Asking Alexandria and similar bands. Trois Vierges by Epica helped me write a lot of the sad things.

What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing journey?

My favorite part of the publishing journey is holding my book for the first time in my hands (but also writing it to begin with). My least favorite part of the journey is working on the second draft and all of the editing.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Nothing happens overnight, so don’t be upset when it takes you longer to finish writing your book than the other authors you know. And if you don’t get sales immediately after publishing, that’s okay too. Everything takes time. It took me eight years to be comfortable enough with my writing to publish anything. Just keep pushing yourself.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

One thing that I want people to know about me and my books is that I am a huge fan of plot twists, which means the series is absolutely full of them. Some are good, some are bad. I apologize in advance.

 

Thank you M . L Darlow for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, The Messenger today!

~Synopsis~

Eighteen years after the Idonian Kingdom’s fall, the Messenger that the Galaxy has been waiting for finally surfaces. Dragons spring back into existence and prophecies collide as the main Realm shakes with her arrival.

The Kingdom of Dracus is prepared to aid the Messenger and the Realm Prophetess, Valentina Gold, has visions that become crucial to the galaxy’s survival. Her own prophecy comes to light, and with it a team of ten elite warriors is created. Idona’s Allies.

While Idona is finally given hope after nearly two decades of Darkness, the road ahead will be far from easy. The Messenger and her Allies are faced with three dangerous tasks that will finally end Xavier’s Dark reign. If they make it that far, that is.

M.L. Darlow is a fantasy author best known for the Five Realm Chronicles. She has over thirty one books planned for the series, and is also co-writing a Wicked Fairytale alongside J.J Marshall and J.R Walden.

 

 


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Seducing Hope

By Adaline Winters

~Synopsis~

How far would you go to protect a secret that causes the dark supernatural world to hunt you?

Who would you hurt to prevent a prophecy from wiping out everyone on the planet?

When Natia Waterford, defender of humankind and self-declared badass, is sent to investigate a series of kidnappings, she’s forced to step into the world of the arrogant Archan Reinheart.

She soon becomes entangled in a fight for both the human race and her own life. The rules are simple: everybody’s a threat, everything you read might be false, and, above all, protect your heart.


Interview with an Author Featuring Luna Joya

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Luna Joya! Her latest release, Killing Song (The Legacy Book 3) released on August 18th 2020.

How long have you been writing? 

I almost traditionally published a debut in my twenties, but the content was so horribly dark that I stepped away until I embraced writing romance about five years ago. Beginning each book with the certainty that there will be a happily-ever-after at the end has been freeing.

Describe a typical writing day.

I work full-time as a prosecutor so I steal a few moments whenever I can. I’ve typed dialogue on my phone while standing in line at the grocery store or walking my two-pound terror of a pup. Before the pandemic, I fiercely protected my commute time on the train as writing time. 

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Most of my characters are incredibly loud and demand the stories be told. Sometimes, they appear fully formed—flaws and all. Also, I love history, and I’ve worked in criminal law for almost twenty years so those interests influence my writing. 

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

I love all of my characters for their quirks and flaws—both the heroes and the villains—but I’ll admit Zimm has been my book boyfriend since the first moment I “met” him. That easy charm and those good looks mask such depth of feeling, the ghosts of his past, and the infinite ability to love with everything he has.

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

Each of my characters takes a little piece of me and gives me something in return. I tell myself it’s okay to leave everything on the page. When a scene is hard or heartbreaking, I write faster and pour it all into the work because my hope is that the reader can share in that emotional journey. 

Also, chocolate helps.

What book is currently on your bedside table? 

My Kindle with its daunting TBR (to be read) list and The Rogue King by Abigail Owen because I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel.

When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

Having a different couple “star” in each book helps. It gives me a chance to step into other perspectives and tell the overarching story from that hero or heroine’s point of view to make each book unique for readers.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Persistent, snarky, and loyal. (I’m basically a sarcastic Hufflepuff.)

What advice would you give to other authors?

Find your tribe. I’m an extreme introvert but community is important for so many reasons in the journey. Improving my craft is one of my favorite things, and it’s easier to do with other people who share the same goal.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I write to provide an escape for myself and readers. Nothing makes me happier than someone saying they want to be a part of my fictional families. 

I also write my passions. While it’s magic, sex, and mystery on the page, the threads underlying each story from intimate partner violence to fertility issues are matters of the heart for me. Story is where we learn to deal with life. It might as well be in a way that entertains us.

 

Thank you Luna Joya for chatting with me and congrats on your latest release! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Killing Song today!

~Synopsis~

One more kill and she’s free. But only if she doesn’t fall in love first.

Love destroys. Zaida has lived by that motto for centuries as a siren and the faerie queen’s most lethal assassin. So keeping things strictly professional with the sexy human she’s working with on the FBI’s paranormal task force shouldn’t be a problem. Except it is.

Former Army Ranger Zimm isn’t a big fan of love either. Losing everything and everyone will do that to a guy. Keeping his hands off the badass, sword-happy siren who’s helping him track down a murderous demon should be easy. But it isn’t.

If Zaida and Zimm have any hope of claiming their happily ever after, they’ll have to catch a killer, outwit immortal royalty, and face off against an evil magical organization. And then there’s the little matter of the last hit the queen has ordered Zaida to carry out in exchange for her freedom. The target? Zimm.

Seems like everything’s about to get supernaturally complicated.

If you like Thea Harrison, Darynda Jones, Jennifer L. Armentrout, or Christine Feehan, this steamy paranormal romance is for you. Get it now.

Luna Joya writes hex and sex in the award-winning Legacy Series.

Fluent in sarcasm and penal code, Luna prosecutes sex crimes and homicides by day and writes paranormal romance at night. A survivor of traumatic brain injury with steel body parts, she lives in SoCal with her combat veteran husband and their two-pound terror of a rescue pup.

Website: https://lunajoya.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lunajoyawriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lunajoyawriter

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fnKLf6

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/luna-joya

 

 


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Fall to Earth (Pillars of Fire and Light Sci-Fi Book 1)

By Ken Britz

~Synopsis~

A desperate athlete. A super-soldier experiment. Will cutting-edge technology change the world or destroy it?

Indiana Beckham’s lifelong goal has just been cut down. Banned from competing in Olympic fencing, she jumps at the chance to join a research project that could make her the best. But to unlock the promise of her unlimited potential, Indiana must endure a risky, life-altering transformation…

Lieutenant Arthur MacGabran has a mission: advance humanity in a single generation. Eager to prove his neuro-technology, he ignores the dangers and recruits his first live test subject. But when Indiana’s enchanted abilities turn deadly, he’ll have to keep a shocking secret to fuel his twisted dream…

As Indiana harnesses her super-skills, the project and its subjects teeter on the edge of termination.

Will the fencer’s attempt to better herself end up destroying her instead?

Fall to Earth is the first book in the action-packed Pillars of Fire and Light military sci-fi series. If you like high-stakes technology, intriguing characters, and super-human soldiers, then you’ll love Ken Britz’s thrilling novel.


To Tell You the Truth: A Novel by Gilly Macmillian – My Review

Title: To Tell You the Truth: A Novel

Author: Gilly Macmillian

Release Date: September 22nd 2020

Genre: Psychological Thrillers

“A spellbinding book about a missing child, and about the life of a writer. Bold, suspenseful, and impossible to put down. This one will stay with me for a long time.” — Samantha Downing, #1 internationally bestselling author of My Lovely Wife

The acclaimed author of The Nanny and What She Knew—hailed by stalwarts including Ruth Ware, Liane Moriarty, Rosamund Lupton, Tess Gerritsen, and Shari Lapena—returns with another serpentine thriller that cleverly blends atmosphere, tarnished memories, mystery, and twisty secrets from the past into a potent, intense read that will leave you questioning everything you believe.

To tell you the truth . . . everybody lies.

Lucy Harper’s talent for writing bestselling novels has given her fame, fortune and millions of fans.  It’s also given her Dan, her needy, jealous husband whose own writing career has gone precisely nowhere.

Now Dan has vanished. But this isn’t the first time that someone has disappeared from Lucy’s life. Three decades ago, her little brother Teddy also went missing and was never found. Lucy, the only witness, helplessly spun fantasy after fantasy about Teddy’s disappearance, to the detectives’ fury and her parents’ despair. That was the start of her ability to tell a story—a talent she has profited from greatly.

But now Lucy’s a grown woman who can’t hide behind fiction any longer. The world is watching, and her whole life is under intense scrutiny. A life full of stories, some more believable than others. Could she have hurt Teddy?  Did she kill Dan?  Finally, now, Lucy Harper’s going to tell the truth.

Cross her heart.

And hope to die.

This is the first book I’ve read from Gilly Macmillan and it won’t be my last. Right from the beginning, the story draws you in. I stayed up late once I started because I couldn’t put it down. I was hooked! It switches back and forth between the present and the past. Or does it? There was a dark vibe that settled over me, urging me on. I happily obliged. I was curious about Lucy. She had secrets that seemed to burden her. I admit I didn’t know who to trust. Everyone seemed shady. The author kept me guessing till the very end. I did not see ANY of that coming!!! The whole book was one twisty ride and the ending gave me mixed feelings and maybe that was the goal.

The book as a whole is enjoyable and thrilling. It will have you on the edge of your seat. The writing was great. The characters were great. I look forward to reading more from this author!! I give this 4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Killing Song (The Legacy Book 3) by Luna Joya – New Release

New Release from Luna Joya!

Killing Song (The Legacy Book 3)

By Luna Joya

Release date: August 18th 2020

Genre: Paranormal Romance

~Synopsis~

One more kill and she’s free. But only if she doesn’t fall in love first.

Love destroys. Zaida has lived by that motto for centuries as a siren and the faerie queen’s most lethal assassin. So keeping things strictly professional with the sexy human she’s working with on the FBI’s paranormal task force shouldn’t be a problem. Except it is.

Former Army Ranger Zimm isn’t a big fan of love either. Losing everything and everyone will do that to a guy. Keeping his hands off the badass, sword-happy siren who’s helping him track down a murderous demon should be easy. But it isn’t.

If Zaida and Zimm have any hope of claiming their happily ever after, they’ll have to catch a killer, outwit immortal royalty, and face off against an evil magical organization. And then there’s the little matter of the last hit the queen has ordered Zaida to carry out in exchange for her freedom. The target? Zimm.

Seems like everything’s about to get supernaturally complicated.

If you like Thea Harrison, Darynda Jones, Jennifer L. Armentrout, or Christine Feehan, this steamy paranormal romance is for you. Get it now.

Get the series here