Cover reveal – The Prison Healer

The Prison Healer

(The Prison Healer #1)

by Lynette Noni 

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.

When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.

Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.

But no one has ever survived.

With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.

From Blood and Ash(Blood And Ash #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

From Blood and Ash(Blood And Ash #1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Synopsis

Captivating and action-packed, From Blood and Ash is a sexy, addictive, and unexpected fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Laura Thalassa.

A Maiden…
Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A Duty…
The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

A Kingdom…
Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.

Review

JLA is here to help everyone get through quarantine with her epic new book.

From Blood & Ash is JLA is full of  banter and fun. It integrates elements that we are all familiar with, giving them that JLA spin. Creatures, forgotten civilisations, enchanted forests, gods, royalty, all if it.

Poppy is the maiden, a position thrust upon her without choice. She cannot be looked upon or spoken to. Poppy has been sheltered, always believing what she’s been told about her past and her future. But what no one else knows is that Poppy has a vicious determination, willing to sacrifice all for the truth. But what happens when everything she’s been told is questioned ?

Hawke is the golden boy guard who appeared out of nowhere. But he’s not interested in following the rules and prompts Poppy to question her entire life. We purposely don’t get a ton of back story on Hawke, but as the book progresse you begin to grow your on suspicions.

The plot itself is so incredibly complex and while it may be predictable in some ways, it still is so original in how she spins it all together. I honestly was shocked by some events that transpired in this book and the last 200 pages .  The ending is quite the cliffhanger. Nothing is settled, nothing is determined, and our characters are at an interesting impasse, but it makes you want to immediately dive into the next installment.

With all the Fantasy books out there, it’s hard to find one that stands out among the crowd. Taking ordinary fantasy elements and transforming them into a unique and remarkable story, From Blood and Ash will reignite your flame for Fantasy.

Breaking News Midnight Sun is coming!

 

downloadSay goodbye to the sun, put on your coat and let’s go back to Folks.

Last week a countdown clock appeared on author Stephenie Meyer’s website, with many people speculating about what this could mean. The most popular theory was that it would be the release of the long-awaited and anticipated Midnight Sun.

It’s been 15 years since author Stephenie Meyer took the book world by storm with her debut novel, Twilight. Now Meyer is making her return to the Twilight world with Midnight Sun, the much-anticipated companion novel to the franchise.

I was a big Twilight fan and I remember when Midnight Sun was originally being talked about. News broke that Meyer had stopped writing of Midnight Sun in response to the fact someone had leak twelve chapters of the unfinished manuscript.

She stated, “If I tried to write Midnight Sun now, in my current frame of mind, James would probably win and all the Cullens would die, which wouldn’t dovetail too well with the original story. In any case, I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on Midnight Sun, and so it is on hold indefinitely.”

These 12 chapters were then made available on her website in fairness to her readers. I read these chapter and it was interesting to see the store from his perspective. I can not wait to read it in full.

Bring on August 🙂 Pre order your copy today. 

 

 

 

Review The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholt

The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholt

synopsis

Bestselling author Astrid Scholte, returns with a thrilling adventure in which the dead can be revived…for a price.

Seventeen-year-old Tempe was born into a world of water. When the Great Waves destroyed her planet, its people had to learn to survive living on the water, but the ruins of the cities below still called. Tempe dives daily, scavenging the ruins of a bygone era, searching for anything of value to trade for Notes. It isn’t food or clothing that she wants to buy, but her dead sister’s life. For a price, the research facility on the island of Palindromena will revive the dearly departed for twenty-four hours before returning them to death. It isn’t a heartfelt reunion that Tempe is after; she wants answers. Elysea died keeping a terrible secret, one that has ignited an unquenchable fury in Tempe: Her beloved sister was responsible for the death of their parents. Tempe wants to know why.

But once revived, Elysea has other plans. She doesn’t want to spend her last day in a cold room accounting for a crime she insists she didn’t commit. Elysea wants her freedom and one final glimpse at the life that was stolen from her. She persuades Tempe to break her out of the facility, and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents’ death and mend their broken bond. But they’re pursued every step of the way by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea’s time is up–and before the secret behind the revival process and the true cost of restored life is revealed.

Review

I received an ARC copy for an honest review Prepare to be swept away by this thrilling new story from author Astrid Scholte.
What a unique and interesting concept for a story. The old world is washed away and a new world is born.
Tempe is now alone, her parents and are sister are now gone. She has one last chance to see her sister and say goodbye. She has spent the last 2 years diving and saving money to resurrect her sister, Elysea. But the resurrect will be anything but what she expects .
Tempest is supposed to convince Elysea that she’s been in a medically induced coma, but of course, Elysea quickly catches on to her untimely surmise. Elysea knows how to get answers surrounding their parents, but it entails the two of them breaking her out of the facility and embarking on a dangerous mission.

There is not a lot of information given about the resurrection process and the power that keeps the bodies viable. The research facility developed this technology to resurrect someone for 24 hours without any memory of harm or showing any signs of injury, and their lives are tied to that of the Warden who resurrects them.

Lor has locked himself away from the world since the death of his best friend. Hidden in the basement he avoids people and the outside world, but when he is asked to step in and cover for his only friend while he attends it goes against his better judgment but he does.

A brilliant story, that incorporates a mystery and pursuit, The Vanishing Deep is fast paced, with some genuinely great twists.

Interview with R J Kaldanis

I know we are all locked in and feeling disconnected, why not take the time to get some reading done. Discover some new adventures and even get to know the authors better.

Today we are going to get to now author R J Kaldanis a little better. You can even get a sneak peek at the book with The Unblessed Child storytime fb live

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Welcome Thank you so much for taking the time to be part of my blog.

R.J. Kaldanis

R J Kaldanis is an old soul at heart and enjoys nothing more than finding hidden places around Victoria, with her two border collies and husband keenly behind.

Growing up in North Queensland, Australia, R J struggled a lot with identity and forever felt out of place. It wasn’t until she started travelling that she began to feel the magic the world had to offer and her place within it all. Most recently inspired by her trips to Japan, Russia and the Dalmatian Coast led to her debut novel, The Unblessed Child.

Drawing heavily on childhood influences and the wondrous journeys they offered to distract her from living in poverty to a single father, R J hopes her books will offer others the same escape they need from the harsh realities of life

What can you tell us about The Unblessed Child series? 

The Unblessed Child series is a bit of old and a bit of new.  It’s similar to worlds such as Avatar: The Last Airbender in that the magic system is elemental, but it’s a new take on it.  I wanted to focus on a character who wasn’t gifted, deemed magical or had anything extremely special about them. It shows a perspective that is often quiet in most other fantasy books – the focus is always on the hero who  is astonishingly attractive and is a master of some elite skill by the age of 16. I find those stories really hard to relate to, because the characters are written as being incredibly gifted, ‘blessed’ some might say, and it’s just not the reality of how most people go through life.  The Unblessed Child is meant to be real in the issues and struggles the people of the world deal with, but fantasy in the setting. To me, it was important to focus on being inclusive, on really putting into the story what I value as a human being – things such as poverty, mental illness, lgbtqia+ themes, discrimination and ostracism all play a part in the world and story.  

Can you give us any sneak peeks on what you are going to be working on next? 

Already working on the second book.  It’s been amazing getting the feedback of what people felt they were missing, or wanted more of and I’m definitely taking all that constructive criticism on board and moulding the next book.  It will focus on a different character and will be entitled, The Fire Blessed Fugitive. Of course the main characters from book one will definitely play a major role in it, but I wanted to share the love a bit and focus on others viewpoints.

Where did the idea for The Unblessed Child come from? 

Travelling! I have always loved travelling overseas and really immersing myself in the different cultures.  I think there are so many incredible and unique folk tales, fashion and architecture that is left out from fantasy as a lot of authors focus on the western world, or norse and celtic mythology only.  I think that’s why Game of Thrones was so popular – it pulled in elements from various cultures around the world and really widened the scope of what fantasy “looked like”.  

Are your characters based or influenced on people you know?

Definitely haha.  The people closest in my life have come to me several times and outright told me who they think the character is based on, with great accuracy.  I think we write what we know. My father in particular is a massive influence in my life, and obviously the character Pateras is pretty similarly aligned to him (protruding belly and all). 

Who was the hardest character to write?

Aardriyah.  Mainly because she’s the character who most resembles me (albeit a younger version) and is also the character who has received the most criticism.  I think it’s hard to put yourself into a character and out into the world and even harder when that character isn’t loved. That being said, I’m hoping to explore much more of why she is the way she is and of course she needs a character arc, so it’s important to not completely change a character in the first book of a series – it needs to be a journey.

What is the first book that made you cry?

The Butterfly Lion – Michael Morpurgo.  We had to read it in Grade 7 I think and I loved it and read it again every now and then.  It’s a beautiful story about a white lion, world war and love in hard times. It’s aimed at MG readers, but it’s so beautifully written.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

I think the hardest thing to get over, is just sticking to it. The rate of people who start a book versus the rate of people who finish a book is ridiculously low.  You just need to chip away at it, hold yourself accountable. I first uploaded each chapter on FictionPress and it motivated me as people were asking when the next chapter would be up.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

You don’t need to be drunk to write! I’ve been sober for about 2 years now, but I had this horribly detrimental mindset that I was at my creative best when I was drunk and depressed.  

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I previously started two other books and haven’t finished them (yet) but they are very dark books, aimed at a completely different audience.  I kept putting them off because I had to be ‘in the right mind set’ or the stars had to align. This book, I wrote quite quickly (three months) but it was also because I treated it like a job, or an assignment.  I did tonnes of research, I wrote down everything that inspired me, colour coded various books with sticky notes, I ran ideas past my stepmum, husband and brother etc. I really allocated time to write x amount of words by x date, which I had never previously done.  The other big thing for me was being careful with who you get to edit your work as unfortunately the person I paid did a really poor job, so I had to go back myself along with beta writers and reviewers and put in hours and hours of revision, which is nowhere near as fun as writing.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

My mum used to read us The Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton and I remember spending a lot of my childhood wishing it was all real, that there was this other world like she described.  It was a great coping mechanism while dealing with a pretty hard childhood.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Not that I think it’s under appreciated, but one of my all time favourites is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson-Burnett.  I think it’s definitely lost popularity over time, but it’s a beautiful read and really reminds you of that magic of childhood and how children have an uncanny ability to view the world in a completely different light.

What does literary success look like to you?

Good question. I suppose being able to do it as living and quit my day job, but I think that day is a bit far off.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I’m a bit of a nerd – I’m always watching documentaries, reading non-fiction books and perusing the internet for inspiration.  For this series, a lot of the research has been rooted in folklore and tales from different parts of the world, as well as architecture, fashion and religion.  I would say I spent about 50 hours if not more doing research, but not necessarily all the at the start, it was throughout the process. It is also based on personal experiences of travelling to the places that inspired some of the lands within the book. For instance, Veros is based on Greece which I visited last year (my husband is also Greek so that helps); therefore I’d look at the country/region that inspired me and then do research on their local mythology/folklore and try to include that in the story.  Hence why we meet a Hydra and Sirens off what is essentially the mediterannean coast. Then when they get to the Slavic inspired areas, they encounter things such as a Baba Yaga and Domovoy.  

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

I don’t write full time (not yet). I actually work in business banking and just finished my MBA last year.  The dream is to write full time, but I’m not sure when that will happen.

Do you Google yourself?

Funny story – my maiden name is ‘Hall’.  When I googled Rebecca Hall, the actress always came up. I originally wasn’t going to change my name when I got married but I did, as my husband’s family are the only Kaldanis’ in Australia and therefore I’m unique! But no, I don’t google myself haha maybe if my writing achieves success.

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

My sweet tooth or coffee addiction.

What is your favorite childhood book?

The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson-Burnett.  

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

The research and editing.

Lastly is there anything you would like to say to your fans? 

I don’t think they exist but I would like to say thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read it, it’s a really humbling experience to know people have valued your work enough to read it in this day and age where there are so many distractions and so many great books and authors out there.

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Review -House of Earth and Blood

House of Earth and Blood
(Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas

 

Synopsis

Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.
Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.
Review
I have tried my best not to have any spoilers of giving anything away.
I love Sarah J Maas and her newest book does not disappoint.There seems to be mixed emotions/feedback on this book . Like with any book you will either like it or not. But i think you also have to go into reading it not expecting ACOTAR or Throne of Glass. This is a brand new series and is her first step into the adult fiction world. I personally loved it.
House of Earth and Blood is an urban/high fantasy, with a hint of mystery, drugs, sex, war, and epicness all in one book
Bryce Quinlan, a is powerless and completely ordinary half-breed shunned from both sides of society. She is content to let the world think the worst of her as a way to protect herself from the world around her. Until the leader of the human rebels in the city is released from prison. Bryce’s world is irreparably altered forever.Two years since her world fell around her, people are dying in precisely the same gruesome way. Could it be that the rebels were not responsible for the deaths two years ago? Bryce and Hunt Athalar—a once-upon-a-time rebel angel now enslaved to the very regime he hoped to overthrow 200 years ago—is assigned to find out what is going on.
SJM excels at character development and interpersonal drama. She has this incredible way of creating these incredibly strong vibrant female leads. Who know matter what the world throws at them they stand tall. These are the sort of females that we need to be inspired by. We also get a large cast of interesting characters, powerful friend groups, romances, lots of banter and light moments, relational drama, big twists, and unexpected revelations. I honestly can not wait to see what happens next in this world of magic and deceit.

Dreamed of working in Publishing

All ways dreamed of working in the publishing industry? Maybe you have dreamed of becoming a writer. Having your stories read by people across the world, but sadly for many of us, it is just a dream.  There is no need sad or disheartened, there are lots of other opportunities in the publishing industry. So I thought I would take the opportunity to talk with Sonia from Bloomsbury Australia about her role and give us a little insight into her role.

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Welcome Sonia

Tell us about yourself?

I am a Booklover and a Dog-lover. I love reading books, talking about books, and hearing about books. I’ve been lucky to work for many different publishers in marketing, sales and publicity roles – mostly in children’s and YA, which are my favourite genres. I am passionate about children’s literacy and I have been a volunteer at the Indigenous Literacy Foundation for more than 7 years.

What is your role?

Children’s & Y.A. Marketing & Publicity Manager at Bloomsbury Publishing.

How did you start in the publishing industry?

I actually started as a bookseller. When I finished university, I backpacked around the world, working anywhere I could, mostly in bookshops! I did year-long stints at Indigo Books in Toronto, Canada and Waterstones in Dublin, Ireland. At Waterstones, I was put in charge of the Children’s & Teen department and I LOVED it. That is how I (accidentally) became a Children’s & YA Specialist.

Why did you want to work in the publishing industry?

A drunken conversation with a stranger in a bar decided my fate! I’d just returned to Australia and was madly job hunting when a random woman in a bar gave me this advice: “Don’t choose the job, choose the industry. Because people change jobs all the time, but stay in the same industry. So work out what industry you want to be in”. And I replied without hesitation – “BOOKS!” From that day, I began searching for jobs in publishing. My first job publishing job was a Sales Co-ordinator at HarperCollins. And it was my years of bookselling experience that got me that job.

You have had the chance to meet and work with some amazing authors, Who has been your favourite and who were you most surprised by?

That is a really hard question because I’ve been lucky to work with SO many fantastic authors, and I’d hate to leave someone out. But I have particularly fond memories of my first publicity tour at Allen & Unwin with Karen Levine, author of Hana’s Suitcase. Karen was absolutely lovely, and her events were beautiful (and very moving). It was the best first author tour that any publicist could have hoped for.

Is there an author that you would love to work with and why?

Not really, but there are many, many authors that I would love to work with again.

What has been the most interesting part of working in the publishing industry?

There have been so many, but the most interesting for me was the fact that it’s an actual industry! When I was growing up in Queensland, I did not know that there were jobs in publishing. I probably just thought that authors wrote books and printers printed them. I did not know there were such things as Marketing or Sales or Publicity in publishing. (To be fair, none of those jobs existed where I grew up – and still don’t).

What is your favourite book?

It is way too hard to name just one! But I will say that as a child I adored Little Women. I must have read it a hundred times when I was growing up.

Who is your favourite author?

Again, it is way too hard to pick only one! I feel like I discover a new “favourite” author every few weeks! Then I devour everything they’ve ever written, before moving on to my next “favourite”. One author that I recommend a lot is Sarah Crossan. Not only are her books amazing, but they can be enjoyed by both children and adults. And because they’re written in verse, they’re an achievable length, so they don’t intimidate reluctant readers – they can finish a whole book in no time at all!

Do or did you ever aspire to be an author?

I loved creative writing at school so if you’d asked me as a child what I wanted to be, I would have said “author”. But in reality, being an author requires a level of discipline that I simply do not have. I always prefer to spend my time reading! That said, I like to imagine that one day when I’m an elderly lady in a retirement home, I will write a YA novel inspired by my own teen years. Of course by then it will be classified as ‘historical fiction.’  😊

Do you have any advice for our readers?

For anyone interested in a publishing career, a job in a bookshop is a really good place to start. They’re great places to learn about the whole industry.  And they’re fun places to work because you get to talk about books all day.

Review -The Unblessed Child

The Unblessed Child
(The Blessed Chronicles #1)
by R.J. Kaldanis

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Synopsis

There are two types of people in The New Realm: those who are blessed by the gods of the four elements and those who aren’t even worthy of their family name. They are unwanted, unloved and are simply known as The Unblessed.

 

Eighteen year old Aardriyah Veros has it worse than most, forever living in the shadow of her powerfully water blessed brother and trying to survive in a broken and poverty stricken nation, to support her father and little sister. Matters only get worse when after two weeks of vivid nightmares, she finds herself being hunted and kidnapped by a mysterious robed figure, powered by a glowing amethyst eye amulet.

With her elderly neighbour and new found canine friend in tow, our unblessed child sets out on an epic journey to uncover the truth behind her dreams and why she is being hunted. As she traverses the deepest of oceans brimming with terrifying beasts, volcanic ash covered empires and tunnels of haunted kingdoms, Aardriyah learns that there are worse things in The New Realm than being Unblessed.

 

Review

The Unblessed child is an interesting and fascinating new fantasy  series by R.J Kaldanis

Aardriyah is nothing special she is the middle child in a now broken family. Her mum seeks wealth and richers, however, her father wants to keep them grounded.  This stems from the fact that her older brother was selected by the Queens to be an heir to the throne and as such he left to live with them. Thus leaving her with her dad and younger sister is their little house.

She has always been looked down on by the world around her. She is unblessed and looks nothing like anyone else. What she is about to learn is that there is more to her then she ever knows. A secret that is now seeking to kill her.

In order to learn the truth  and protect those she loves, Aardriyah  is forced to leave her home and the only world she has ever known. The trip is full of mythical creatures and adventure.

The concept behind this was fascinating from beginning to end. I can not wait to see that will happen next.