Half A Step Away From Love #BookReview

  • Title: Half a Step Away From LoveHalf a Step Away from Love (a historical fantasy romance) by [Kuno, Olga]
  • Author: Olga Kuno
  • File Size: 2227KB
  • Print Length: 416
  • Publication Date: June 15, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance

Half a Step Away From Love reminded me a lot of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It follows Inessa Antego, who is the first lady-in-waiting to be the Duke’s sister. She does everything in order to please her mistress–be it aid in the escape of a secret lover, steal portrait, etc. However, duties are being threatened by the desires of her own heart: Lord Cameron Estley.

This novel was originally written as a bestseller in Russia, which I thought was pretty neat to receive a request to review  with Olga Kuno being an indie author in America. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. No, it wasn’t perfect in the translation from Russian to English, but I honestly don’t expect that in most book translations. So, no problem there.

I wasn’t too fond of the way the story opened because it seemed as though it would be a third person narrative, then a few paragraphs later, Inessa barges into the room and we find that it’s in her first person point of view. It was confusing at first but didn’t disrupt my reading too long since the opening was short. The narrative included a lot of adverbs…a bit too many. Other than those instances, the prose was extremely nicely done. In my opinion, the story overshadowed the few downfalls.

The author created each of her characters very well…they popped out of the pages, claiming life of their own. I especially loved the heroine, Inessa, as she was very witty, very knowledgeable and very loyal. Much like Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice fought against her feelings for Mr. Darcy, Inessa couldn’t help her feelings with Lord Estley, a man she claims to dislike. I found myself quite amused by the conversations with Inessa and her companions. And to top it off, she even had a friend that was a palace ghost who helped her with mischievous duties.

If you enjoy Jane Austen, and you enjoy twists, tears, and humor, then I’d say go for Half a Step Away From Love. You won’t be disappointed.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

Olga Kuno

Born in Moscow and having left Russia in 1991, Olga Kuno has lived in Europe, Asia and America. Having completed her Ph.D. in linguistics, she started writing fantasy romance novels. Today she is both a lecturer in linguistics and a famous Russian fantasy writer who tries hard not to mention princes, dragons and magicians in her scientific articles. Her interests include British folklore, linguistic analysis of humor and animal communication. Among her favorite authors are such English writers as Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen and J. R. R. Tolkien, which is definitely reflected in her novels.

Soul Blade–Book Three of Three in the Sword of Light Trilogy

I’ve been reading Aaron Hodges’ Sword of Light trilogy. The first book, Stormwielder has already been reviewed on my site, and I truly enjoyed it! You may easily find my review by clicking here.

Soul Blade

Title: Soul BladeDisplaying Soul Blade 7.jpg
Author: Aaron Hodges
Series: The Sword of Light Trilogy
Genre: Epic Fantasy/Sword and Sorcery
Release Week Price: $0.99
Page count: 300 pages
Soul Blade Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Blade-Sword-Light-Trilogy/dp/0473375184/
Giveaway: http://blog.ravenpublicity.com/giveaways/sciencefiction-fantasy-win-3-paperbacks-giveaway-kindle-amreading
Soul Blade Excerpt Link: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AiW-Qzg6KJmRgbp3yl1h_Rh42xWgcw

 

Soul Blade

Three nations are crumbling.
Darkness is gathering.
And only Eric remains to stand against it.

Eric stumbles through the wilderness, searching, hunting – desperate for sign of his sister. But the girl is gone, stolen away by the power of the Soul Blade. With each passing hour its hold on her tightens, her spirit fading before the onslaught of its magic. If he cannot save her soon, it will claim her soul. And he will have to kill her.

Meanwhile, Gabriel is locked in the cells beneath Ardath. The darkness presses in around him, absolute, suffocating. Time, hope, sanity, all have long since slipped beneath the waves of his despair. Only it remains – the unrelenting voice of the demon. It haunts the darkness, tempting him with promises of freedom.

How long can he resist its call?

 

A note from the author:

SOUL BLADE is finally here, and with it, The Sword of Light Trilogy is complete. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, it follows the story of a young man named Eric, who has the magic to manipulate the weather. Unfortunately for him and everyone else, Eric cannot control his magic, and inadvertently destroys the unsuspecting town of Oaksville. What follows is a story of courage and redemption, as Eric travels the Three Nations with a growing cast of friends and foes. Soon the fate of the very world hangs in the balance, as Eric is drawn into the ancient battle between the Three Gods and the forces of Darkness.

For those who are interested, Soul Blade (Book 3) is now on sale for 99c. But only until the 3rd of December, so get in quick! Readers can also grab the series starter Stormwielder, for 99c on Amazon.

 

Author Bio:

Displaying Author picture.jpg

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. During his travels he picked up an old draft of a novel he once wrote in High School – titled The Sword of Light – and began to rewrite the story. This book, Soul Blade, marks the final conclusion of that epic tale.

Fans of Aaron can signup for updates and special offers at: aaronhodges.co.nz/newsletter-signup/

The Last Day of Captain Lincoln #BookReview

  • Title: The Last Day of Captain LincolnThe Last Day of Captain Lincoln by [Books, EXO]
  • Author: EXO Books
  • File Size: 15244KB
  • Print Length: 133
  • Publication Date: November 15, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Hardcover
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Sci-Fi

Summary

Captain Lincoln’s last day is the hardest day of his life.

An old, onetime Captain of the interstellar spaceship USNAS Hope Eternal, Lincoln always knew that this day would come. For just as birthdays are carefully planned, so are deaths. And although he must reckon with his fate, this is not a somber story. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, told in the context of the most advanced civilization ever to exist—a society that has taken to the stars in an effort to save all that is best in humanity.

Follow Lincoln through his internal struggles, his joy in having lived, and his journey to peace.

The End is just the beginning.

Review

The Last Day of Captain Lincoln is meant to be a slow paced story. How can it be fast, after all, when the main character is preparing to say goodbye to the life he’d led? It’s a very different take on a science fiction novella. I was actually surprised how I enjoyed it. But like I said, it’s different. These days, we don’t see enough originality. I read it through in one night.

Throughout the novella, we’re given poems and letters by famous people such as Van Gogh or Irving Berlin. I found it to be quite interesting how the author weaved in certain quotes to fit Lincoln’s last day.

Not only do we get to read a well-written story, we’re given artwork that’s pretty good. The drawings remind me of the Tell Tale video games such as The Walking Dead. It proved to be amusing for the most part.

The Last Day of Captain Lincoln is thought-provoking, with an unexpected ending. Reading this novella was a nice change of pace for me from all the dark murders that I’m usually drawn to. If you enjoy science fiction or utopian society stories, then I suggest you try this book.

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

EXO Books

Biography

 

EXO Books is the pen name and publishing company of a NYC based science fiction writer.

An exodus is the departure of a people out of slavery, to a promised land. It is a journey punctuated with peaks and valleys of joys and sorrows, through darkness ever towards the light. Behind this journey is the idea that while we continue to search for a better life, the search may not be fruitful in our lifetimes. Through it all, we are sustained by hope, and love.

The road is long, my friends. We trek on together.
EXO Books

Stormwielder #BookReview

  • Title: StormwielderStormwielder (The Sword of Light Trilogy Book 1) by [Hodges, Aaron]
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 321
  • PublicatioCopy a Postn Date: December 1, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback, Audible
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

This is the first book of the Sword of Light Trilogy. Eric is a young man with powers that is capable of wielding mass destruction. He doesn’t know how to control it, so he spends much of his time in exile from anything and anyone that he knows. That is until Alastair, a mysterious old man, who seems to know more about Eric that even Eric does. After Eric unintentionally destroys a town, he and Alastair set out to escape from Eric’s enemies. Through his guilt of destroying people’s lives, Eric has to fight for his own while learning to control his powers. During the times you think it can’t get any worse on their journey, you find that you’re wrong.

I enjoyed reading Stormwielder. When I started, I couldn’t seem to put it down. It was very well written. As soon as the story opens with death and destruction, it rarely lets you go as Eric and Alastair and our other heroes fight to survive their enemies. The characters were all likable and sympathetic…including Gabriel who stops at nothing to get revenge on Eric. The scenes also painted a pretty picture, however, at times it was a little too descriptive.

The main issue was a lot of grammatical, spelling and punctuation problems. It was hard to overlook those, however, after finishing the story I’m eager to find what’s next in store for these characters I’ve learned to love in Firestorm. Beginning the series with Stormwielder is a great way to get to know the characters before continuing their journey on through the next chapter of their stories.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars

Biography

Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Today, his adventures continue…

Interview with KT Munson @ktmunson

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I had the pleasure of interviewing author K.T. Munson. The first book of hers I read was Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand, which I loved. I also recently read and enjoyed her latest, Unfathomable Chance. Thank you, K.T., for allowing me to interview you!

What do you like to read in your free time?

I actually like to review indie authors and small press houses books in my free time…the little free time I have. I’ve had some real gems come across my kindle and they inspire me to work harder and become a better author. Plus I get to help out fellow indie authors, so that is always a bonus.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

This is a tough question for me because I never really paid attention to anyone and just sort of did my own thing. So instead I’ll take some creative liberties here. The most helpful thing I can think of is when my mother showed me that we have an ancestor who is a published poet. I told my mum I was going to be published one day too. Her encouragement and support has always gotten me through the rough patches. She is my #1 fan and I’ll continue writing and publishing if she is the only one who reads it. The most destructive thing was relying on technology. I lost chapters and chapters of a book in college. It broke my spirit to write for a long time because I felt like I lost a part of me when my USB stick died. Don’t rely on technology; always have backups of all your work!

Aside from writing, what are your hobbies?

I like to paint, make jewelry, and grow plants. I honestly have a ton of hobbies some of which never took, like knitting. I like to keep myself busy year round since I live in Alaska with everything from camping to hunting on top of the inside hobbies. Don’t even get me started on TV, movies, video games, and D&D.

Do you have a ritual you use while writing? (During commercials, certain music, etc)

I have to edit my books from printed copies. Everything else I just go with what I feel like. The moment my book writing becomes structured and rigid the moment it stops being fun.

What is your writing space like?

Anywhere I like. Honestly I take my books with me and work on them when I’m flying for work, sitting at home on my computer, or typing ideas into my phone. My work space is wherever I am but most of it is in my computer room. It is an old pine desk my parents bought when I was 5. The darn thing is falling apart but I just can’t bring myself to replace it. Under it is the group of my works, all broken into little accordion folders that contain editing, beta reader notes, original concept notes, and even sketches.

Do you have any pets? Can you tell us a funny story about them?

I have two cats: Emma and Lizzie. They are both named for Jane Austen characters (Emma Woodhouse and Elizabeth Bennet). Emma is more my cat than Lizzie. As to a funny story I have tons, but my favorite is when I brought Emma home from her first vet visit, and she of course howled the entire way over and misbehaved the entire time (constantly trying to slink away) but honestly she got a thermometer shoved up her butt so I could sympathize with her distress. When I brought her home and parked in the garage I let her out of the cat carrier so that she could wander back into the house. Instead she hides under the car and wails because she doesn’t recognize the garage as home. I can’t get her out of there and after trying to push her out with broom, I abandon her and go and stand in the hallway and wait. Twenty minutes of constant wailing and she finally walked into the hallway. She immediately recognizes it as home and stops. She gives a look that says ‘You’re a jerk and I’m not an idiot’ and proceeds to go upstairs and eat some food. Needless to say I don’t let her out in the garage anymore.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I try to edit or write every day. I constantly have at least 2 books I’m working on at the same time. Usually a main book and what I like to call my relief books, which is usually a romance of some sort.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Everywhere. Cliché I know but seriously, everywhere. Usually the main concept comes to me in a dream. I’m a lucid dreamer most times and I get some doozies that are like living books or movies in my head which I remember 90% of when I wake up. 1001 Islands was Chapter 1 and Unfathomable Chance was Chapter 4. Sometimes it is a single image I am working towards or a concept. For North & South it was both, the image of a girl alone in the desert wandering towards certain dangers and the idea that every decision we make affects another person, like the butterfly effect.

What do you hate most about the writing process?

*Groan* Editing. I don’t mind rewriting but editing is killer. Thank goodness for editors.

What do you think makes a good story?

Originality with a color of the familiar. I like to bring whole new worlds alive and I think creating a world that people lose themselves in is a good story. Right up there with characters that are relatable or believable.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Gosh everything. Lawyer, doctor, inventor, and an accountant to name a few. Little did I know that I could do all those things…in my books. I have researched the strangest things, let me tell you.

What is your favorite book that you didn’t write?

The entire A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Unfathomable Chance #BookReview @KTMunson

  • Title:  Unfathomable ChanceUnfathomable Chance by [Munson, K.T.]
  • Author: KT Munson
  • Print Length: 194
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: September 10, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

The first KT Munson story I read was Zendar, A Tale of Blood and Sand, which I loved, so when she gave me the opportunity to read another of her work, I graciously accepted. This time, it was a Young Adult fantasy, Unfathomable Chance. It opens with a young Diana exploring a church in England with her mother and twin brothers. The child somehow gets swept into a world not of her own. When she reenters the real world, Diana is confounded by what happened to her, but as she and her family leaves, she begins to forget.

On Diana’s 23rd birthday, she realizes that a bracelet had clasped to her wrist, and soon she finds out that it contains the heart of the Cosmos. As she meets unusual aliens, befriends a talking cat and searches for a way to get rid of the bracelet, Diana tries to figure out why the Cosmo chose her.

Unfathomable Chance takes off from the moment it opens and holds my attention throughout. After meeting the talking cat, whose name was Kal Zed, I knew that he’d be my favorite character in the story. But that isn’t to say I don’t enjoy the rest I met along the way. Each person and alien in the story held their own.

The dialogue was amusing, the chase was fun, and most of the scenes were painted quite well. My only wish for this story would be more talk about the scenery so I could step further into the story like I did with Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand.

Unfathomable Chance has it all: mystery, romance, comedy. Although I do enjoy Zendar a little more, I enjoyed reading every bit of this story. As always, I look forward to reading more books by KT Munson.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Biography

K.T. MunsonK.T. Munson is a freelance author. First published at 5 years old in the young writers conference, she has pursued writing ever since. She maintains a blog creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com that is about writing and her novels. She was born and raised in the last frontier, the great state of Alaska.

Haunted Visions # BookReviews

  • Pacific Cove: Haunted Visions (Pacific Cove Short Read Series Book 1) by [Grace, J.E]Title: Haunted Visions
  • Print Length: 93 pages
  • Publication Date: August 13, 2016
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Format:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy

A few months after Naomi is devastated when her sister is killed by a car walking to a friend’s house, she graduates college with an art degree and marries the man of her dreams, Jason. They embark on their newly romantic life together in Pacific Cove. However, life is less than happy when Naomi begins experiencing visions that keep her on edge.

Haunted Visions is a very light, quick read. My only issues is that the narrative tend to switch from past to present tense and back again, which can be confusing. The characters were two dimensional and their dialogue can be mediocre at times, but the story itself was very enjoyable. I read it in one sitting, eager to find out what was going to happen.

Haunted Visions is recommended to those who enjoy stories that include faith, love and has supernatural elements entwined. It is one that I wouldn’t mind reading again, and I’d be interested in seeing what other stories Ms. Grace will come up with.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Biography

J.E. Grace

J.E. Grace was born in California and has a background in Retail Management.

She now resides in the Midwest and retired from a career in real estate in 2012 to pursue her passion-writing. Her interests include poetry, painting in traditional oils/pastels, digital art and photography. Her work can be viewed on Society 6, Zazzle, and Fine Art America.

This is her debut science fiction novel. She tries to make her characters interesting and believable so that her readers can relate to them. Her writing has spiritual overtones due to her deep roots in her faith.

She is currently writing a fantasy novel with relationships to Christian values and is in the planning stages for a sequel to “The Zarion-Saving Mankind. Her new Pacific Cove Series Short Reads; Haunted Visions-Book 1 and Testament of Faith-Book 2, are due to be published Aug-Sept. 2016. There will also be a Book 3, entitled, “Love’s Enduring Legacy,” which she is currently working on.

Website: http://jegrace.webs.com

Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand #BookReview

  • Title:  Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand
  • Author: K.T. Munson
  • Print Length: 164
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication Date: November 29, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy

When I first began reading Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand, my thought was “I’m going to really like this story.” Thankfully, I wasn’t at all disappointed. It had everything an avid reader wants: passion, hatred, love, magic, mystery.

The heroine of Zendar, Azel of a dying Bloodline, is strong-willed, pure and witty. She is a young woman who is already promised by her family to marry another. On her way across Zendar, her ship is attacked, and she comes face-to-face with Aleron, a ruthless leader who seeks revenge for the mistreatment of his ancestors, and wants nothing more but to rule every bit of Zendar. Aleron could have any woman he wants, but when Azel resists him, enticement toward her rises high within him.

Zendar starts off slowly, telling the much need to know history of Zendar and the Bloodlines. Once the world-building and the background are completed, we start the ground running with the present life of Azel, who is preparing to leave the only home she’d ever known to meet the future husband she’d never met.

The characters, from the walk-ons to the major were very believable, and you can’t help but want to know them more. Azel has a rare power which is powerful, but also has a major weakness. Along the line, she finds herself struggling against the duty to her family and the desires of her heart. We see Aleron as a leader, who is but a child that wants what he wants and usually gets his way.

Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand is a tightly written adventure, fast-paced, and I had to finish the novel in one sitting. There is nothing better than reading a book, which the images are so vivid, it’s as though you’re watching a movie. It is a novel that I may one day reread, and I hope that one day soon, a series will be in the works so that we may once again delve into the lives of Azel, Aleron, and their descendants.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

K.T. Munson is a freelance author. First published at 5 years old in the young writers conference, she has pursued writing ever since. She maintains a blog creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com that is about writing and her novels. She was born and raised in the last frontier, the great state of Alaska.

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