Last week, I did a review for book one of the Succubus in a Red Dress. I hope you’ve downloaded a copy, because why not it’s free and it’s awesome! I’ll wait while you get your copy…
Anyway, I’m going to try and limit spoilers here because you definitely need to read The Succubus in a Red Dress before reading Succubus and the Crown. But I’ll keep this as vague as possible. We rejoin Delilah who do to (redacted) reasons has become the Succubus Queen of New York city. As usual our reluctant heroine is not pleased with her current circumstances especially when more succubus start trickling into the city and looking for her protection. While she’s trying to handle her new kingdom, her new boyfriend Ken and her are having some domestic issues, mostly involving his mother wanting her dead. As you can imagine hilarity ensues.
This was a wonderful follow up to the sassy tone of The Succubus in a Red dress and I devoured it over a weekend. It was one of those reads you could not put down. I enjoyed it immensely! We get a lot more action in this one which had me reminiscing about all the Buffy the Vampire I watched growing up. As before, I loved this book but especially Delilah. We need more strong females in fantasy, don’t you agree?
Coming up next, the Succubus in a Black Hat
I read this book a while back and thought I had already reviewed it. And while going through my reviews trying to decide what to review next I realized my error. Well now I plan to rectify that! Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to be introducing you to the fabulous world of The Succubus in a Red Dress. To start today, we have this fabulous romp. Delilah is pretty average, she’s struggling to make ends meet in NYC working at a coffee counter for pennies when she discovers some previously unknown powers when she accidentally drains a man and almost kills a man.
Cue her new mentor, Chloe who has conveniently swept into plan and decides to take Delilah under her wing. She teaches her everything there is to no about enchanting men and sucking the life out of them. But our herione is not so keen on her new found powers and openly rejects them.
This book was a fun twist on the classic idea of a Succubus, Delilah is not your a-typical sultry seductress. She is clumsy and awkward and painfully relatable. I think we can all relate to that sense of not knowing what to do with your life and who hasn’t struggle a time or two. It was a quick read, it probably took me a day or two. It was an amazing book, and as if it couldn’t get any better it’s currently FREE on Kindle and Kobo. So Pick up your copy you won’t be disappointed.
I love supporting Indie Authors, there’s a real sense of community when we all rally together. I was lucky to have Kara as guest at my Kistune Release Party and I was really excited because just the day before I finished this fabulous book in her Ingenious Mechanical Devices series. This is the second book in the series, and as with her Earl of Brass, Ms. Jorgensen’s talent for diverse characters stole the show from the start!
I really enjoyed her first book, Earl of Brass, but fell in love with her writing in The Winter Garden. Throughout the book, there’s this sense of fear that overlays everything. Emmanuel is a German student studying anatomy at Oxford when he saves a girls life by using a family heirloom. Turns out his family deals in alchemy and using what appears to be a philosophers stone. But when he revives her their lives are linked together. Emmaline’s mysterious recovery piques the interest of of those who would use their apparent link, and the two become entangled together, in unexpected ways.
Ms. Jorgensen captures so many themes, and does it with such expertise that I could gush about how much I love this book for thousands of word. But I am sure they would all start to run together and I won’t subject you to that. I will give you the best impression I can, but honestly you should just buy the book. Her writing is beautiful and poignant. Starting with Emmanuel, he deals with a lot. He’s damaged and afraid and his feelings just jump off the page. I felt like he was a real person as if this was a story told by a friend beside me. Then there’s Adam his love interest, he’s hidden his homosexuality for his entire life and it takes a lot for him to give in to opening up his heart. You feel the danger of discovery for these two. I never thought too much about homosexuality in the Victorian age but now that I have, I want to read more about it. The romance between the two characters felt natural. There was no pomp, which was so great. I’ve read novels with homosexual relationships as a minor subplot and it always feels like the author is waving a diversity flag for the sake of diversity. These characters breathe real life! With Adam and Emmanuel they just are, and there’s something simple and special about that. I have to say it, I love this couple! Intermixed with these characters you fall in love with is this prevail sense of magic, danger and mystery. It had every element of a story that I just love. An absolute must read!
And once you finish that, pick up the Oxford Holiday. It’s a delightful glimpse into the lives of Emmanuel and Adam after The Winter Garden. It’s a quick read that will sate your craving for more of this couple, because believe me, you will fall in love with them! Not only was it great to see them being their adorable selves, it sets up future conflicts to come introducing new characters and teasing us with brief glimpses of what we can expect in future books. (Yes I’m onto you Kara!) Pick them both up at the same time, because you’ll want to read the short right after.
The Winter Garden:
An Oxford Holiday:
I’m excited to share this interview I did for a young author, Alec John Belle. His new book has just come out and I got to chat with him about young adult fiction, paranormal fantasy, and dark issues that effect teens nowadays. Check it out here:
Nicolette: First just to break the ice, I’d like to ask you something different. Tell me a fun fact about yourself that your readers might not already know.
Alec: Besides being a high school student? I’d say the fact that I used to do magic when I was a kid. I used to be really into it, and my parents even bought me a few magic kits as well. I gave it up after a while.
N: Who was your favorite author as a child and why?
A: My favorite author as a child was R.L. Stine. I loved his Goosebumps and Fear Street books. He was the author who actually got me interested in writing
N: Who is your favorite author right now and what do you like about their novels?
A: That’s a very tough question. My favorite paranormal YA author right now is probably Julie Kagawa. She is an amazing world builder. My favorite paranormal adult author is probably Kim Harrison. I like her series, The Hollows, because while it was 13 books, it never got boring. The structure follows mine in the sense that there’s a series-long plot, but each book has its own story (meaning a beginning, middle, and end). It was done so perfectly, I just had to use it for The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles. Hopefully I can pull it off as well as her.
N:What are you reading right now?
A:I’m currently reading Prey by Rachel Vincent. Its the fourth book in her Shifters series. After that I’ll probably start reading The Mortal Instruments series.
N: Is there an author(s) who inspires you?
A: Kim Harrison, Julie Kagawa, and Ellen Hopkins all inspire me. In fact, every author I read a book by, even if I don’t like it, inspires me. If you have the courage to get your book published, you’re an inspiration to me.
N: What was the inspiration for Forbidden Darkness?
A: The inspiration for the story changed over time. When I first conceived the idea, I was on a hayride at Boone Hall Plantation for their annual Halloween festival. While I was on the ride, I got this idea of Monster Hunters, and originally the first scene in the book was on a hayride. The funny thing is, the story has evolved so much. When I first wrote the book it was called A Dark Discovery and had a completely different character as a narrator, and Heather was a minor character. I ended up liking her story more, so I changed it to her. After the third book comes out, I can tell you where the series was originally going to start and who was going to tell it, because the third book now was supposed to be the first book.
I eventually put the series aside for a while, and the story grew. It grew so much that its going to take 8 books. I developed more complex and deeper subjects to talk about (like suicide, self-harm, struggles with gay teens, etc.) instead of just a Monster Hunting world.
N: It looks like you’re not afraid to take on challenging subjects (Like Kristen’s attempted suicide in Forbidden Darkness) as a writer, do you enjoy working with some darker subject matter that others might be afraid to touch?
A: Like I said, the deeper, darker subjects weren’t going to be in there at first. I struggled with my own issues for quite a few years, so eventually I decided to weave it in. Even though it’s a fictional world, I wanted my characters to have real world issues.
I’m definitely not afraid to tackle these issues. I don’t fear them in any way. In the coming years, I will definitely be covering more because I don’t believe in censorship. If it’s something people deal with, it should be able to be written about. My upcoming realistic fiction novel, Before I Break, which re-releases this summer, also covers similar issues in a contemporary setting. One thing I tell my readers to always expect is that if it’s a book by me, there will probably be some darker subjects woven in.
N: What was the hardest part of writing this book?
A: The hardest part was trying to blend the real issues and the paranormal issues. The whole time I had to tell myself I couldn’t make suicide or self-harm seem “cool” to do. Because it’s not. It was also difficult because Heather, the main character, doesn’t really deal with emotional issues like that. She’s stronger than the secondary characters, but she also needed to have her own problems. It was difficult to balance. If she’s too strong and has no weakness, she’s unrealistic. If she’s too weak, no one will care. Having her best friend deal with depression (I think a lot of teens do these days) gave a bit of realism to Heather, and how she handles the trauma of her best friend trying to kill herself.
N: Which character is your favorite? (I promise I won’t tell the others)
A: Heather is my favorite character currently. Because I have the whole series planned, I know a little something you don’t, so I actually can’t spoil who my favorite character is of the entire series. Their story is so intertwined with Heather and so in depth. The two of them are the best characters for sure. You’ll know who that character is by the second or third book.
N: What’s next for you?
Right now my realistic fiction LGBT novel, Before I Break, is being re-published by Booktrope this summer. That will be going into proofreading soon, and when that happens, I can get back to writing the second Forbidden Darkness Chronicles book. I’m about 1/3 of the way through. The plan is to get the second book out before the year is over, and the third book early next year. I do have a planned sequel for Before I Break that will also most likely come between the end of this year and early next year, depending on how much time I have. Right now my main focus is The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles.
Being a sixteen year old Monster Hunter sucks. That’s what Heather Hawkins learns just days before her sixteenth birthday. After dealing with her best friend, Kristen’s, attempted suicide, the last thing Heather wants is any more drama. When the realistic dreams of Heather being haunted by a guy named Kadin begin, she learns the truth. She is a Monster Hunter, and on her birthday, she will undergo a change that will make her stronger, more powerful, and nearly invincible to Monsters. Along with having a hot new trainer named Philip, she believes that this will be a new beginning for herself. Unfortunately, Monsters aren’t the only thing Heather needs to worry about. With someone stalking her dreams, she realizes there may be more than just Monsters in the world, and that Kadin will do anything to stop her from helping the Monster Hunters. Even if that means unleashing an entity that was locked away by his people thousands of years ago. In this all-new paranormal young adult series, romances will be formed, evil becomes unleashed, and everyone Heather loves will soon be at risk. Because in a world where Monsters walk the earth, anything is possible.
Student that resides in the state of Massachusetts. At the age of 16 he wrote his first novel, Before I Break. His hobbies include reading, writing, and obsessing over Pretty Little Liars. He writes about tough topics that many are too afraid to talk about like suicide, homosexuality, self harm, cyberbullying, anxiety disorders, addiction, among other teenage issues, and he often blends these ideas with the paranormal.
I’ve been on a bit of vampire kick later. After finishing THE CASQUETTE GIRLS, I wanted something with blood and hot guys. I mean who wouldn’t? I recently discovered Lana Sky through an author friend. I was fortunate enough to help host a Book Launch for another author where I was introduced to Lana’s book. And I gotta tell you, this book, well… you’ll see.
Ellie Gray is dying from an incurable and rare blood disease. She has resigned herself to her fate until she meets Dublin Helos. He offers her a choice, live or die. She had convinced herself that she was prepared for death. She had resigned herself to being a spinster and she thought she had nothing else to live for anyway. Then she decides to live and that’s when things really get interesting.
This book, I don’t even know how to explain it. I devoured it. Let’s start there. I went into it expect your run of the mill vampire romance. Girl meets vampire sparks fly and there’s some threats of drinking girls blood. That’s where I was very wrong. This is a dark romance. I almost want to relate it to Fifty Shades of Gray but that’s not quite right either (and it would almost be an insult to Ms. Sky’s writing). There’s definitely some bondage, and a lot of blood but also this consuming passion, a tempting of fate, or playing with fire. I will warn you there is graphic sex scenes in this novel and a couple time where things get intense, almost violent. But man was it a page turner! I cannot really explain Lana’s writing style, it is beautiful , visceral, and so real it just sucks you in. I could not put this book down. So if you’re interested in the darker side of romance, and vampires. I would highly recommend this read.
Anyone who has followed the blog since the early days may remember a feature called Wattpad Wednesday. Back in the day, I used to review books that I was reading on Wattpad at the time. It was fun to do but like most things time got away from me and I had to drop the feature. I’ve decided to pick up reviewing again because lets be honest, I love to read and I love sharing my opinions on books I read because who doesn’t love a good book recommendation. So that being said, I will only review books I have enjoyed and would want others to read. No ho-hums here, I don’t have unlimited free time. For my first review, I thought it would be fun to reprise one of my old Wattpad Wednesday reviews, THE CASQUETTE GIRLS.
The CASQUETTE GIRLS is set in a post storm New Orleans, where a young girl Adele returns with her father to help rebuild. As the body count climbs, it’s obvious is wrong in the city and its not just the storm damage. Adele discovers new powers and accidentally unleashes something sinister from within the attic of an old convent. Magic and mayhem ensue.
I adore a good vampire tale, and this book does not disappoint. It reminded me of Interview with a Vampire for the lush writing style and tangible descriptions of New Orleans. But unlike Anne Rice you get a much more grittier version of the Big Easy. It’s easy to see Arden loves the city, it shines through her prose. The characters in this are unforgettable. As I mentioned, I read this story back in the early days before it was published and back then there was a fierce debate about who Adele should end up with. For me personally, I vote for the sarcastic and artistic Isaac, but some others like the mysterious Italian, Nico. Whichever team you choose, you’ll fall in love with this story. It’s the right combination of mystery and action that will leave you begging for me. I’m still waiting on the sequel, which may be a while since Arden just signed a book deal. I can be patient though –if only a little bit.
Lately, I have been really enjoying paranormal romances. And no not the sparkly vampire kind. In particular I have been enjoying paranormal romances with historical tilts. Like The Casquette Girls that I reviewed a few weeks ago. This weeks feature also has those same elements and some ties with the real Casquette Girls from New Orleans. I just found this story a couple of days ago and I have been reading it non-stop as time allows. This week I am featuring:
by: Lynn Woodbury
From Author’s Summary:
As a performance artist in the New Orleans Old Quarter, Elise plays a stone angel frozen to the spot to amuse tourists, but in those vacant minutes, she is anything but still. The past shifts, the margins between centuries blurs, and suddenly Elise is pitched into 18th century New Orleans, accused of treachery by a man she knows died in 1759. And now her time lapses intensify, impacting her current life. Did she really make an indecent pass at her professor, shove a customer downstairs at the Bourbon Street bar? And where was she the night that customer died, since it was her purse found at the scene? Elise desperately needs help but not from physicians or psychiatrists or any modern science. No, she has to convince everyone trained in rational thought that the soul plays by different rules and can transcend place and time. Adrian, her own professor who she passionately loves, must understand that his rejection is based on a tragic event replaying itself over and over again, that they are tangled in time’s web and must fight their way free. Only Louise Dupre, her friend’s Aunt Loo, can guide them. A phenomenal spirit in her own right, it is she who leads them back to New Orleans in 1756 when a young Acadian convent girl living amid the Ursuline nuns risks her soul to save her city and in so doing unleashes a storm. As history claws its way into the present, Elise must track her parallel self back through time and learn to change the future with her heart.
The sensory details in this piece are amazing! I feel like no matter what time period Elise is living in, I can touch, smell and hear everything she is experiencing and the emotions of her main character are so vivid, I feel like I have taken residence up inside her head! Mix that with captivating story telling and you have a hit for me! I love the mystery surrounding not only, Elise’s parallel self but Elise’s modern day life. This story hooked from chapter one and everyone should read it!
This week, I am omitting the usual weekly feature in favor of a new month long spot highlighting some great Author’s on Wattpad. My first feature is one of my Wattpad BFFs but that is not the reason she won this feature. My choice for the month of February has consistently produced amazing stories that I fall in love with over and over again no matter what the story line! And what better writer to showcase in the month of love than the goddess of romance:
Her works will be featured on the side bar and you can read a review of her story ‘Catch Curse and Release‘ that I feature previously!
Check out her stories, what are you waiting for?
This week I am making an exception to one of my feature rules, typically I like to have read the entire story if completed or at least all the chapters available before posting but when I read the first chapter of this weeks feature, I knew it had to be the feature for this week. This week I am spotlighting:
By Alys Arden
Author’s Summary: There are certain events that happen which shake the world to the core and throw everything off course. The Storm certainly will have affected the city of New Orleans forever, but Adele Le Moyne could never have dreamed which course she would be blown onto. When Adele and her father start to rebuild their home and their lives, everything is so chaotic it’s difficult to tell the difference between the natural and unnatural events happening around town.
My Thoughts: I was floored by the quality of this story, as many people well know wattpad markets to amateur writers this story however, has the mark of a professional. The details are rich and stunning and the plot is like a slowly building fire. I have to physically stop myself from reading too fast and devouring every single chapter in one sitting. I have not read something with this level of mystery, suspense and a sprinkling of paranormal before. I’m about half way through and I can already easily say this is the best story I have read in a long time! (No offense to my other features this story is just beyond amazing but you are all great as well.)