urban fantasy

What’s in a difference?

Author Katrina Jack talks about The Silver Flute Trilogy. What sets her YA Urban Fantasy series apart from other books in the genre? What makes her characters unique? Read on to find out…

KATE JACK'S BLOG

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As an author of YA urban fantasy, I use some of the criteria that applies to fantasy overall. For example, my characters have a goal or quest they must fulfil in order to achieve their destiny. They have certain powers that help them in their journey. They fight mythical creatures and they combat weird and horrifying enemies who get in their way.

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But of course thousands of writers do the same, no matter what genre they write in. So what did I do to make my work different? Well, the lead protagonist in The Silver Flute Trilogy is mute. How did I make him communicate, not only with his fellow characters, but with the readers too? Obviously it was neither practical or desirable to use swathes of description of sign language, apart from the odd gesture. I overcame this by simply not putting inverted comments around his dialogue, but instead…

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Categories: authors to watch, dark fantasy, fantasy, urban fantasy, young adult adventure, young adult fantasy | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Book of the Day: Land of Midnight Days

Today’s Book of the Day is:

Land of Midnight Days (The Silver Flute Trilogy Book One)

by Katrina Jack

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What would you do if your life was filled with fear: hide, run away – or would you fight back? In a city at war with itself, Jeremiah Tully already knows how to survive, now he must learn how to live. Mute from birth, of mixed race heritage and his only possession a charmed flute, Jeremiah tries to discover where his remarkable talent as a musician will take him.

Note: Land of Midnight Days has been previously featured on this blog in a review. I’ve also interviewed the author, Katrina Jack here. If you’re a fan of urban fantasy, this is definitely the book for you! You can buy the book on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Do you hate waiting for the next book in your favorite series? You don’t have to! The Silver Flute Trilogy is complete and available now. Here’s a peek at books two and three:

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Categories: book of the day, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Divide and Conquer: Book Review

Divide And Conquer

(Champions of Elonia Book 1)

By Carmen Fox

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Flung from her mundane Seattle existence into a world of magic, scientist Lea struggles to make sense of a destiny she doesn’t want. The moment she finds comfort in the arms of a man who appreciates her inner nerd, a new magic sweeps the realms.

Nieve, Lea’s instructor, may be seasoned in the art of war, but she’s clueless when it comes to romance. To save her world, she allies herself with her enemy, a kindred warrior soul, who leaves no doubt he’s after more than her cooperation.

As each tick of the clock swallows another person’s memory, Lea and Nieve will do anything to hang on to theirs, but betrayal drives a wedge in their friendship. Can they reconcile and rally the troops before the magic wipes out their pasts?

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My Review: Lea is smart and clever, but naive in many ways. She has no idea where she really came from. She has no idea what’s in store for her, or where destiny might lead her. Battle-hardened Nieve is the royal champion of Elonia. She has dedicated her life to protecting the king, but she’s ready for a life of her own. Her final assignment is to find Lea and bring her back to Elonia. Easy, right? Not so much. It seems danger has already discovered Lea.

I loved this book! It’s a great urban fantasy story with flawless world-building and unforgettable characters. The story is told from dual first person points of view. Nieve and Lea alternate chapters, so we hear the story from two completely different perspectives and it really works well for this book. Lea is such a fun character. At the beginning of the book, we discover she’s a scientist and extremely intelligent, but she still comes across as a little naive and unworldly. She’s clever with words and can be a smart ass, but not in a snotty way. This is a girl who is completely unequipped to handle what is in store for her. Nieve is the opposite of Lea in many ways. She’s a competent fighter and confident in her position as royal champion. She’s tough, but we’re gradually introduced to her vulnerabilities and fears.

I always harp on character development in my reviews, and this story is a prime example of character development done right. Circumstances force both main characters to undergo serious changes, but these characters also exercise free will and make choices that show true character development. Yes, they are pushed and pulled by external forces, but they continue to wrestle for control of their own destinies. When everything falls apart, we see the true strengths and weaknesses of each character in this story, and it’s quite surprising.

If you’re looking for an action-packed read with multifaceted, courageous characters and a little bit of romance, this is the book for you. I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to get my hands on the next installment in the series.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy the Book: Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Learn more by reading my previous interview with the author: https://authorstowatch.com/2015/03/12/interview-with-carmen-fox/

Categories: book review, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Interview with Carmen Fox

I’m super excited to have Carmen Fox here today. Carmen is a blogger and a huge supporter of authors. Her first book, Divide and Conquer, was just published by Champagne Books and I’m thrilled to share it with you. Carmen will be answering a few questions, but before we begin the interview, let’s have a look at her book:

Divide and Conquer (Champions of Elonia, Book 1)

by Carmen Fox

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Two women. One prophecy. Zero places to hide.

Flung from her mundane Seattle existence into a world of magic, scientist Lea struggles to make sense of a destiny she doesn’t want. The moment she finds comfort in the arms of a man who appreciates her inner nerd, a new magic sweeps the realms.

Nieve, Lea’s instructor, may be seasoned in the art of war, but she’s clueless when it comes to romance. To save her world, she allies herself with her enemy, a kindred warrior soul, who leaves no doubt he’s after more than her cooperation.

As each tick of the clock swallows another person’s memory, Lea and Nieve will do anything to hang on to theirs, but betrayal drives a wedge in their friendship. Can they reconcile and rally the troops before the magic wipes out their pasts?

Interview with Carmen Fox

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was a bookish child, at any one time either getting lost in some fantasy adventure or learning new facts. Some kids take comic books into the bathroom, but according to my mother, I insisted we keep an encyclopedia by the toilet. I also had a creative streak. Writing poetry for Christmas, painting in oil, pastels or chalk, setting up a detective agency with my best friend, or practicing circus acts – I loved trying new things. In a way, many of these traits survived into adulthood, except nowadays I channel my creative urges into writing.

When did you begin writing?

When my Nana lent me money so I could buy a car, her condition was that each repayment was to be accompanied by a story. Over time, these chapters morphed into a book. After my nan died, finishing the story was too painful a prospect, but the seeds had been sown. Writing became the perfect outlet for my overactive imagination.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

DIVIDE AND CONQUER is the story of two women caught up in one destiny. Since Lea and Nieve are fundamentally different, their path might be the same, but their journeys aren’t. Saving the world would be so much easier if they could just get on with it, but the men they choose have their own agendas that tend to get in the way. Lea and Nieve have to overcome external roadblocks and do some soul searching before they even have a shot of getting the job done.

How did you get the idea for the book?

The most exciting aspect of writing is to try something new. First off, I wanted to write a buddy story, like ‘Lethal Weapon’ with chicks. Next I wanted to explore a situation in which the heroes fail. I’m not talking about a setback, but the complete and utter failure of what they set out to do. Bit by bit, DIVIDE AND CONQUER fell into place.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why? 

Are you asking me to choose a favorite child? I guess I admire Nieve for her willingness to re-evaluate long-held beliefs. I identify most with Lea, though, because she’s a geek, trying to find purchase in this world one way or another, but always being the odd one out. That said, Kirk, the chain-smoking gargoyle, steals the show for me.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

Using alternating points of view meant that Lea and Nieve had to have distinct voices. They have different experiences and different goals in life, so for them to establish any sort of partnership or friendship, they needed to share a sense of humor. Balancing the two was quite a tight-rope walk.

What is your primary goal as an author?

To write stories that challenge me about characters that readers can connect with.

What projects are you currently working on?

In July, my next book GUARDED is due to be released. It has quickly become a beta reader favorite, so I’m currently writing a novella set in the same world.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Learn. Practice. Repeat. I’m still doing that. With luck, I’ll be able to look back at my work in ten years and cringe at how bad it is.

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About The Author
Carmen lives in the south of England with her beloved tea maker and a stuffed sheep called Fergus. An avid reader since childhood, she caught the writing bug when her Nana asked her to write a story. She also has a law degree, studied physics for a few years, dabbled in marketing and human resources, and speaks native-level German and fluent Geek. Her preferred niches of geekdom are tabletop games, comics, sci-fi and fantasy.

She writes about smart women with sassitude, about pretty cool guys too, and will chase that plot twist, no matter how elusive.

Expect to be kept guessing.

Visit her blog at www.carmen-fox.com.

Goodreads

Amazon US

Book Trailer

Excerpt from Divide and Conquer

NIEVE

I dropped my magical defenses, allowing my luster to envelop me in a powerful light. Without the sun’s ready supply of energy, that meant using some of my precious resources.

“Holy crap.” Lea jumped out of her bed and squeezed against the far wall of the room.

Finally, some reaction. “It’s called luster.” I twirled to prove I wasn’t hiding a flashlight behind my back. “It’s a by-product of an Elonian’s affinity with light. Anyone sensitive to magic can see it unless I suppress it.”

In my mind, rows of thick bricks piled one on top of another around me, extinguishing my luster.

“A-are you an angel?” Her airless voice barely traveled the distance between us.

I kinked back my head and laughed. “Definitely not.”

She unglued herself from the wall and took a few steps toward her bed. “You said I’m an Elonian. Why don’t I shine?”

“You can’t see your own luster, but it’s there. Without the training to suppress it, you’re a living flame to the Shades. It’s the reason they call us Sparks. It’s also how they’ll identify you. You know, before they kill you.”

Lea picked up a sweater from the floor. Her focus went distant, no longer in this world. Something I’d said must have triggered a switch in her brain. Not a day too soon.

I trotted to the corner by the window and picked a collection of stuffed animals off the armchair. From the deep V between Lea’s brows, I concluded her thought processes weren’t going anywhere fast. Once the toys occupied the windowsill, neatly arranged by height, I sat.

With her dark lashes, a tiny nose and a sprinkling of freckles, she looked so young and so…Kindred. Unexpected sadness ripped through my chest. The misery pressed onto my diaphragm, making me feel like I was an evil monster come to chop up her innocence like next week’s firewood.

Even though she was predicted to be my ally through the dark days, she was still a total stranger. Yet her pale, elfin face stirred something in me, some glimmer of recognition, of familiarity even. My childhood friend Belinda had a similar innocence about her. She’d chew the end of her pen for hours while pondering her words. Her poems were meant to bring joy to a war-torn land. They burned with her when Galleo invaded her village.

Lea would not share Belinda’s fate. I’d see to that. By the end of her training, she’d be able to take on a whole battalion of Shades by herself. I squinted at her short stature and took a sobering breath. If not a battalion, then a group of ten.

Grab a copy of Divide and Conquer at Amazon US

Categories: action, author interview, book excerpt, book launch, book release, fantasy, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Fire Baptized Book Tour

http://diversebooktours.com/
Welcome to the “Fire Baptized” Mini tour brought to you by the lovely Kenya Wright.
If you’re in the mood for Urban Fantasy, Diversity and Unapologetic characters, you’ve found your kryptonite!

 

Book Title: Fire Baptized

Author Name: Kenya Wright

ISBN Number: 0985023007

Publisher: Pursuit

Page Number: 286

Format (e.g. paperback, ebook, etc.): ebook

Genre(s): Interracial Paranormal Romance

Release Date: Jan 28, 2012

Synopsis:

Since the 1970s humans have forced supernaturals to live in caged cities. Silver brands embedded in their foreheads identify them by species: a full moon for Vampires, a crescent moon for Shifters, a pair of wings for Fairies, and the list goes on, for each supernatural species has been tagged and categorized by humans.Lanore Vesta is marked with a silver X, the brand of Mixbreeds, second-class citizens shunned by society. She stays to herself, revealing her ability to create fire only during emergencies. All she wants to do is graduate college and stop having to steal to survive. But when she stumbles upon a murder in progress, she catches the attention of a supernatural killer. Now all she wants is to stop finding dead bodies in her apartment.Enlisting help from her Were-cheetah ex-boyfriend MeShack and a new mysterious friend named Zulu, she is steered through the habitat s raunchy nightlife. But their presence sometimes proves to be more burden than help, as they fight for her attention.While the corpses pile up, and the scent of blood fills the air, Lanore is left wondering: will she find the psycho or die trying?

Click on the pic to be directed to the purchase page!

 

About the Author:

Writer. Lover. Foodie. Mother. Book Addict.

Masturbator. Comedian. Super Hero. Blogger.

Professional Adventurer.

Stalk her….I mean it, Stalk her!
Kenya is in the league of looking for new minions!
Places of interest she’s waiting for you to come out of hiding:

Kenya Wright’s Official Site
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter @Kenyawright77

Happy Stalking!

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Tricia’s Review of Fire Baptized:

When Lanore is a witness to a horrific crime, she embarks on a mission to solve the mystery. A target herself, Lanore is desperate to save her loved ones from a vicious killer. Will she discover the identity of the murderer before it’s too late, or will she have to make an unthinkable sacrifice in order to save her friends?

What’s not to love about this book? It’s violent, sexy, and magical. The world-building is top notch. Lanore is the type of character I love. She’s intelligent, street-smart, funny, and courageous. She can kick butt when necessary, but still displays compassion and vulnerability. In other words, she’s a well-rounded, well-crafted heroine.

If you’re in the market for a new book-boyfriend, Fire Baptized has two hot, gorgeous men to choose from. Lanore has strong feelings for her ex (MeShack) and growing attraction for Zulu, the powerful, overprotective shifter who is head over heels for her. She can’t fight her feelings (or lust) forever. There are some seriously steamy scenes in this book, so romance lovers will not be disappointed.

This book was absolutely phenomenal and had me glued to the pages. I read the last half of the book in one sitting, and I can’t think of anything that could have pulled me away. Did I mention I love this book? Honestly, it’s one of the best urban fantasy books I’ve ever read. It’s that awesome! You should read it. Now.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars! (I’d give it more if I could)

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Interested in becoming a host for Diverse Book Tours? Or you an author who’s interested in Diverse Book Tours’ services? Click the logo below to learn more:

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Categories: #WeNeedDiverseBooks, book feature, book review, book tour, dark fantasy, diverse book tours, diverse books, diversity in books, fantasy, multicultural romance, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Come the Dark Release!

Coula Killed Me

Thanks for stopping by to view this quick announcement on Rebecca Hamilton’s latest release, COME, THE DARK, book 2 in the Forever Girl series. Although this book is the second in the series, it is a complete standalone following a completely new set of characters. And you can grab your copy today for only $0.99! Still apprehensive about reading the second book in a series? Well, you can grab the prequel, HER SWEETEST DOWNFALL, off kindle–Always Free–and on January 9th, THE FOREVER GIRL will be free also, for the first time ever! Worried you might forget the date? Join the mailing list using the option on the Rafflecopter below and you’ll receive a reminder on January 9th to download your free copy anytime between January 9th and 13th!

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COME, THE DARK

by USA Today Bestselling Author, Rebecca Hamilton

Come, the Dark 2Rose desperately wants to escape the abuse of the father who impregnated her and the dark spirits that haunt her life. Being thrust from Georgia 1961 into the era of Salem’s infamous witch trials isn’t what she had in mind, and now her daughter is left hopelessly out of reach.

The only way to return to her daughter is by facing certain death to banish the dark spirits that plague Salem. If she doesn’t eliminate these dark spirits in time, they will destroy civilization and trap her in this strange new place, ages away from her daughter.

Even if she can complete the task in time to return home to save her daughter, there’s still one problem: she’s falling in love with a man who can’t return with her. Achieving her goals will force her to choose between the only man who has never betrayed her and a daughter she can’t quite remember but will never forget.

A heart-wrenching tale of a mother’s love for her daughter, this romantic paranormal fantasy underlines the depravity of both historical and modern society while capturing the essence of sacrifice and devotion.

TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with the sensitive subject of sexual abuse.

Buy Now for $0.99

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THE FOREVER GIRL

by USA Today Bestselling Author, Rebecca Hamilton

NOW OPTIONED FOR FILM!


Beautiful blonde with dandelionsAt twenty-two, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, a pariah after a string of unsolved murders with only one thing in common: her.

Sophia can imagine lots of ways to improve her life, but she’d settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. When the spell she casts goes wrong, the static turns into voices. Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.

One of them is a man named Charles, who Sophia falls for despite her better judgment. He has connections that might help her unveil the mystery surrounding her ancestor’s hanging, but she gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust him.

The Forever Girl is a full-length Paranormal Fantasy novel that will appeal to lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, witches, vampires, ghosts, paranormal mystery, and paranormal horror.

View Now on Amazon

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***a Rafflecopter giveaway***

About the Author

BeccaRebecca Hamilton is a USA Today Bestselling Paranormal Fantasy author who also dabbles in Horror and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She enjoys dancing with her kids to television show theme songs and would love the beach if it weren’t for the sand. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA and has been published internationally, in three languages. You can follow her on twitter @InkMuse

What is a Forever Girl?

Being a Forever Girl Means

Thanks for stopping by!

Categories: book feature, book launch, book release, book tour, new adult, paranormal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, witches | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Land of Midnight Days: Book Review

Land of Midnight Days
(Book One of The Silver Flute Trilogy)
By Katrina Jack
Published August 2012
Ecanus Publishing
Available on Amazon(US) and Amazon(UK)

What would you do if your life was filled with fear: hide, run away – or would you fight back?

In a city at war with itself, Jeremiah Tully already knows how to survive, now he must learn how to live. Mute from birth, of mixed race heritage and his only possession a charmed flute, Jeremiah tries to discover where his remarkable talent as a musician will take him.

My Review: I’d had the pleasure of reading a great deal of this book on a writing site long, long ago, but was never able to finish the book until recently. Wow! This book definitely lived up to all the wonderful things I’d heard about it from other readers. The story clips along at breakneck speed, never letting up for a second, as Jeremiah is plunged into unimaginable danger.
The author has created a world where danger lurks around every corner and the general population are so cowed by fear, that they won’t rise up to defend themselves. It’s a world populated by Gangers, Wanna-Be’s, Ogres, and Elwyn. Jeremiah Tully, a mute half-Elwyn, faces constant hatred and prejudice. His life is dictated by a cruel and abusive guardian (Ezra) who provides Jeremiah a place to live in exchange for playing his flute at Ezra’s club. As if ordinary life isn’t dangerous enough, there is an epic battle is brewing and Jeremiah somehow finds himself at the center of it.
Jeremiah is a sympathetic character, but many of the characters who are supposed to be “good guys” are not very likable at all. The people who should have Jeremiah’s best interests at heart sometimes become so caught up in Jeremiah’s destiny, they forget he’s a person in his own right. As Jeremiah struggles to survive, he is also facing an internal struggle as he realizes his life is full of secrets and disappointment.
I’d recommend this book to older teens and adults who enjoy complex, well-written urban fantasy. It’s definitely worth your time reading. You won’t be disappointed!
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Categories: book review, urban fantasy | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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