Book Review: The Fall of Icarus by N.R. Bates

Three interconnected short-stories set in Paris explore the issue of choice, survival and transformation. In the first story, a young man on his first business trip is waylaid by an aberrant elevator. In the pivotal tale, a young scientist re-imagines the Greek myth of Icarus and his fall to earth. In the final story, a young woman who cannot recall her own name relates the fantastical tale of a girl who can fly.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Fall of Icarus is 3 short stories. These stories are so short that I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters, but it was fast reading and I didn’t get bored.

In the first story, The Elevator, I kept waiting for more to happen but it never did. The last sentence almost made up for waiting though.

The second story, The Fall of Icarus, was the shortest and I didn’t care much for it. There just wasn’t a lot to it.

The last story, The Girl, was my favorite of the three. It’s about a girl who tells a couple she meets the story of a girl who can fly. The story she tells kept my interest and there was a surprise at the end.

If you’re looking for a good quick read, I recommend The Fall of Icarus. Even though I didn’t care for one of the stories, it was only 6 pages long.

About the Author

NR Bates was born in London, grew up in Wales, and lived in Canada and Bermuda. He shares his life with his wife and his house with seven cats, one dog and the subtropical wildlife of lizards, wolf spiders and ant colonies that seek out a better life indoors. He is an oceanographer and scientist, and has published more than one hundred and thirty scientific papers on ocean chemistry, climate change and ocean acidification. He is a Senior Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and Professor of Ocean Biogeochemistry at the University of Southampton, UK. His novels focus on epic fantasy and magic realism, and inspired by his deep love of the ocean and environmental sciences. He has also recently published a small book of short-stories set in Paris, entitled “The Fall of Icarus (The Elevator, The Fall of Icarus, and The Girl)”.

Website http://www.nrbates.com

Short Story Review: The Woman of the Void by Sunshine Somerville

A tyrant with a vendetta.
A witch with a destiny.
All’s fair in war and magic.

Raised in an isolated Kota village, Vedanleé uses her gifts to draw magic from the ancient lands of her coastal home. The Clan Eldress, the most powerful woman in the village, has a vision about the prophesied Woman of the Void – a woman destined to wield unfathomable power. To her surprise, Vedanleé is named as this woman.

Then Thurston Olander, Lord High Commander of the Dominion global empire, comes to fulfill an old custom. The women of the clan uncover a whole new danger, and Vedanleé must go with Thurston to ensure their safety.

Living in the Dominion’s technologically advanced world, Vedanleé’s power over the void grows as she discovers the science behind her magic. But she lives in fear, for Thurston is not what he seemed.

Will she ever become the Woman of the Void? Escape is her only option, but where will she ever be safe in Thurston’s empire?

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this e-book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Woman of the Void is a short story about Vedanleé’s childhood and how she is taken from her magical village to give birth to the children of Thurston. Once she fulfills this “duty,” she isn’t of much use to him anymore. What will happen to her and her boys?

Even though this is a short story, the character of Vedanleé is well developed and sympathetic. Being a companion story to the Kota series, The Woman of the Void definitely wants me to check out the series.

About the Author

Sunshine Somerville is a Science Fantasy author who loves blending genres. She has a degree in English Literature and self-published her first book at the ripe old age of nine.  Originally from the beachy side of Michigan, she now lives in the Detroit area with her husband, two fur babies, and one human daughter. 
The Kota Series is a Science Fantasy epic based on youthful obsessions with X-Men, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia, Dark Angel, and A Wrinkle in Time.
The Alt-World Chronicles is an Urban Fantasy series inspired by weird recurring dreams, a brainstorming session in the shower, and one ridiculously hot summer lived in Kansas City.
A Fairly Fairy Tale is Sunshine’s first Middle Grade Fantasy book. She got the idea from her family’s crest, which portrays a dragon shooting flames from both ends, and from a niece whose second favorite word is farts.

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Book Review: Don’t Forget to Chew Your Food! by GetChrissy

Jewels and her brothers, Manny and Brooks lived in a small village of the darkest of shades, and a colorless world surrounds them. Her brothers were very different from the villagers there and so was Jewels. She wanted to fit in with the villagers while her brothers could care less to fit in with the boring, bland people there. 

Manny and Brooks discovered another village far beyond the forest, one that was magical and of many colors beyond their wildest dreams, the likes of which were only found only within the forbidden books known as the Corridor of Hues, which were destroyed in their village.

Jewels and her brothers are cast out from their village and take a leap of hope to join the colorful world that the brothers discovered. Many strange surprises await them along the way. Is the grass truly greener on the other side? One can only hope so…

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Don’t Forget to Chew Your Food! is a novella that is a fantasy about Jewels and her two brothers. They live in a boring and colorless village but they aren’t like the other villagers. They want adventure and excitement. The villagers eventually throw them out, so they search for another village the boys had seen on one of their explorations.

The other village is colorful and has a lot of strange creatures around it, but there are no people! When they meet the owner of the village, they still want to stay. But does he want them to stay?

Don’t Forget to Chew Your Food! would probably appeal to middle-grade readers. The descriptions are what I like: I can picture the creatures and the forest in my head but the author keeps it concise. It is a dark fantasy, which I usually don’t mind, but I prefer more hopeful books for younger readers.

About the Author

GetChrissy is a fantasy author who loves to write. She enjoys using her quirky imagination to create a world even more colorful than her own. When she is not working on her next adventure to share with her readers, you can find her practicing new skating tricks on her rollerblades.

www.getchrissy.com

Book Review: The Guest House Witch & The Book Witch by Desy Smith

Some hatred doesn’t fade with the passage of time…

Sage Rosewood’s heart nearly stops when she arrives home to find the front door of her house open. Someone has been inside, someone supernatural with a grudge against her and her family. But this unfortunate day takes an even darker turn when she learns that her mother and aunt have been taken.

Fearing for Sage’s safety, her grandmother sends her to a safehouse in The Woodlands with strict instructions to stay hidden, but The Woodlands are far from safe. The town is teeming with supernatural life — from the handsome werewolf, Kayden, who makes her tingle in a certain place, to mysterious and possibly dangerous witches — and some of the residents still harbor a deep hatred for the Rosewood witches.

Unable to sit idly by while her family is in danger, Sage sets out to search for answers, convinced that the corrupt Guild is responsible for her mother and aunt’s disappearance, but her investigation leads her straight into danger.

Will Sage be able to escape the threat nipping at her heels? Or will she disappear like the rest of her family, bringing an end to the Rosewood line?

Amazon

How far will she go to avenge her family…

There are no bodies to bury, no graves with marked tombstones. There are only three books, each one belonging to a member of the Rosewood family. There is only one reason for the books to be gathered all in one place—the witches who once owned them are dead.

Sage Rosewood is now the last of her line, a burden nearly as heavy as her grief.

Kayden, the charismatic werewolf who holds her heart, sort of, tries to console her, but there is only so much his warm arms and gentle words can do when her heart aches for vengeance. She wants nothing more than to find the people who killed her family, to dispatch justice, and to bring the bodies of her loved ones home.

She sets out on a dangerous path to find the one person who may have the answers she needs an imposter pretending to be her grandmother. But it’s a path that there may be no coming back from. Who can she trust? How far will she go to extract the truth and avenge her family? Will she lose herself along the way?

Walk alongside Sage in this tale of magic, mystery, and vengeance. Every chapter will leave you spellbound.

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Book-Witch-Rosewood-Two-ebook/dp/B07VQD4GW6/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Desy+smith&qid=1564629369&s=gateway&sr=8-2

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-book-witch-desy-smith/1132724499?ean=2940163655458

https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1474681626

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-book-witch-1

My Review

I chose to read these short stories after receiving free e-copies from The Reading Room. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

When I got these short stories, I thought they were books so I was surprised when they ended so quickly. Since Sage said at the end of the 2nd story that she was just getting started and because not has much happened yet, I’m sure there were will more stories in this series.

In The Guest House Witch, Sage is contacted by her grandmother who tells her to go to a safehouse in The Woodlands which is in another dimension. Once she gets there, she realizes that her Grandma, mom, and aunt have all disappeared. She decides it’s time to find out what is going on.

Sage also meets Kayden, an alpha werewolf, and there’s an instant attraction. Because of this, he plans on keeping her safe.

The Book Witch is a continuation of The Guest House Witch. Sage continues to investigate and learns what has happened to her family. She also encounters danger along the way but she’s a strong witch. The attraction between Sage and Kayden grows and Kayden’s pack makes it clear that she should be his.

The story of Sage could be a good one; however, both books are in serious need of editing. There are so many errors that it is distracting and although I usually like reading series, I don’t plan on reading any more of these books unless they’re edited.

About the Author

Desy Smith, MFA, is a paranormal romance author and English teacher who is on a mission to expand her readers’ minds and create unique worlds that they can escape to through the power of storytelling. Her poignant writing style features sassy heroines, urban drama, angels, wolves, demons, witches, and sensual scenes.

Born, raised and based in Dallas, Desy spent most of her childhood picking apart movies and books. Her mother and her affinity for all things supernatural also really drove Desy to dabble in life’s unknowns and use her imagination. Ultimately, this led her to writing stories of her own at just 10 years of age. After her release of “The Talented (The Messenger Series)” this February, she will be working on book number three, and plans on writing until her last breath.

Currently, Desy is the Founder of Floebe Publishing, where she publishes her own and other writers’ short stories (of 20,000 words max) with the busy reader in mind. She also provides complimentary creative writing advice to her fellow word weavers.

When she doesn’t have a pen or book in hand, Desy Smith is a movie buff and foodie with an unquenchable sweet tooth (having a gluten allergy makes things a bit tricky). She also isn’t much of a whistler and has a round face (people like pinching her cheeks any chance they get). With her “carpe diem” mindset towards life, she looks forward to exposing her readers to realms unseen.

Author Social Media Links: 

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

Twitter: @FloebePublishi1

Giveaway for Michael Sullivan’s Signed Riyria Books

This epic prize pack includes all seven of his signed books so you can experience the adventure from beginning to end.

As a bonus, every entrant will receive free ebook copies of Shields in Shadow by Andy Peloquin, Summernight by Sarah K.L. Wilson, and Blood of Vengeance by Angel Haze.

The giveaway is open to US and Canada and runs Oct 25 2019 to November 25 2019.

https://kingsumo.com/g/fec19b/win-signed-copies-of-all-7-of-michael-j-sullivans-riyria-books

Book Review: Denizens of Distant Realms by Dawn Vogel

In Denizens of Distant Realms, fantastical things intertwine in half a dozen fantasy short stories. Dragons and witches fend off suitors by unconventional means, old pacts with demons are fixed with true love, dark magic threatens lives and livelihoods, and magical shoes and mermaids both offer young women new opportunities.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Denizens of Distant Realms is six fantasy short stories. They’re not connected in any way, but each short story kept my interest. From magic shoes to dragons to mermaids, most of these short stories have good endings that are sometimes a bit unexpected.

My favorite short story was “A Dark Place” in which a young man who is homeless and penniless agrees to go to a mansion to work but is warned that no one ever returns. Will he be the first?

I definitely recommend Denizens of Distant Realms for anyone who likes fantasy. It’s especially good if you just have a few minutes to read.

Audiobook Review: Primrose’s Curse by Kiara Shankar & Vinay Shankar

Narrator: Laura Welsh

Length: 1 hour and 28 minutes

Publisher: Vinay Shankar SP

Released: Apr. 21, 2019

Genre: Children’s; Fantasy

Synopsis

Primrose Fernetise, a beautiful, audacious 12-year-old girl, and a group of woodland animals with divine mystical abilities set out on an adventurous mission to Hellevue, a murky island on the dreary part of Mystopical. Their daring mission involves vanquishing the evil sorceress Queen Evelyn Velecrona and breaking the curse she has cast on humanity.

How do the woodland animals and Primrose plan and embark on their brave voyage to defeat the wicked sorceress?

Will the bunch of lovable woodland animals and an innocent 12-year-old girl really succeed in bringing down the dreadful Queen Evelyn? Also, will they be able to bring back peace, well-being, and happiness to humanity?

To find out more about this epic fairy tale, please do consider listening to this entire audiobook.

Available on Audible

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Primrose’s father is sick so she decides to go deep into the forest to find a healing plant. What she finds are magical woodland animals and an exciting adventure. If she and the animals are successful, they won’t just heal Primrose’s father but all of humanity!

Primrose’s Curse is for middle-grade readers. Based on the books I’ve read for middle-grade readers, I’d recommend this one to girls who are just beginning to start middle-grade books.

The narrator has a great voice for this book. She also has a good pace and timing.

About the Authors

KIARA SHANKAR is a young talented author from San Francisco, California, USA. Apart from writing books, she loves reading, artwork, writing poems, playing with her friends, and listening to her favorite Bollywood music.

Kiara’s poem “A Deadly Star” was published in the national level writing contest book “A Celebration of Poets” (Fall 2018 Edition – published by Creative Communication, Utah, USA).

VINAY SHANKAR is Kiara’s dad, a software professional, who found himself inspired by his daughter’s idea of writing fictional fairy tale books and decided to co-write books with her. This collaborative effort of the family is helping to bring great ideas to life!

Viki Publishing * Twitter * Facebook * Pinterest * Instagram

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About the Narrator

Laura Welsh is a Voice Actor currently living in Sunny California. She divides her time between the Studio and maintaining her Succulent Garden, equally passionate about both! Her professional career has spanned from TV and radio commercials, video games, cartoons, and Youtube channels, and of course narrating audiobooks. Delighting in her work, she hopes to be able to bring joy and pleasure in the projects she assists with for many many years to come.

Instagram * Facebook * Twitter * Website