Seekers (Mud, Rocks, and Trees, #2) by R. A. Denny #RBRT #BookReview

Cover: Seekers
(Mud, Rocks, and Trees, #2)
by R. A. Denny

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Bring the seals together in Tzoladia and you will learn their secrets.” An intriguing, yet simple quest. But nothing is ever that easy.

Killer monkeys lurk in the woods. Treacherous watchers skulk the underground tunnels. An evil emperor’s minions control the archipelago city.

Brina is proficient in archery. Moshoi skillfully wields the swords he crafts. Amanki has mastered sailing. But those skills aren’t enough. The three young adventurers must make choices. Choices that mean life or death. Choices with no safe answer.

The Society of the Word has given them tools: wise sayings, moral stories, mysterious prophecies. But their faith will be tested. Will the star guide them to their destiny or lead them to their doom? Who will survive?

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary
> Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
Series: Mud, Rock, and Trees, #2
File size: 238 pages
Release date: 2017-04-11

 

Teaser


“That is a merchant ship,” exclaimed Baskrod, “and she appears to be laden with a smorgasbord of goods. They may even be carrying some cloth from the Mesmeringa Forest from the look of some of their clothing.”

Baskrod had instructed me that when I reached Tzoladia I was to find a Glider girl named Brina who was from the Mesmeringa Forest. She would have a cylinder seal like the one that I wore. We must bring the seals together to save our people. …


My Opinion

In this second book you meet again with Baskrod, the three young people who have to fulfill the prophecy, and the cat rider. As the story continues, there is even more danger for them to face.

With Seekers, R. A. Denny has created the second book of a captivating, sometimes a little gory story with plot lines for Amanki, Moshoi, Brina, and Metlan. As the first book introduced the main characters and the circumstances pretty well, I go into the story right away, already familiar with the different characters and their plot lines. The characters are well elaborated; you can see them grow with their tasks. R. A. Denny created a quite intriguing adventure with individual plot lines which are getting closer on a steady basis. The story has a good flow that carries you through.

This is a book for you if you like young adult fantasy series, intriguing suspense, believable characters, and young heroes-to-be on a quest.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Alternating persons – past tense (first person – if chapters are on Amanki, Moshoi, or Brina, otherwise third person)
Language :mrgreen:
Violence 😳
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the author

R.A. Denny is an ancient history buff with a law degree from Duke University. While working as a criminal prosecutor by day, she escaped by night to create the fantasy world of her Mud, Rocks, and Trees series.

R.A. Denny loves adventure, animals and history. She has travelled to the ancient rock city of Petra on horseback, flown through the jungles of Costa Rica on zip lines and visited the Great Pyramid on a camel. She lives in Delaware. As a child, she had two pet flying squirrels.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Seekers?  Or – if you did not yet read Seekers – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

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Refugees (Mud, Rock, and Trees, #1) by R. A. Denny #RBRT #BookReview

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

“An epic journey of a lifetime.” That’s what three young individuals from three different corners of the world have dreamed about. They were destined for greatness since the moment they were born. But what if they don’t want it? What if they’re not ready? What if their desires no longer align with the prophecy?

The problem is, they have no choice. The star has appeared. Their destiny has already begun to unfold.

It’s not the send-off that they’ve been dreaming of. Forced out. Banished. Raided. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Now they must discover who they really are while embarking on the most exciting journey of their lives. One star. One impossible task. One chance to save the world they love.

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy
> Fantasy > Myths & Legends > Greek & Roman
> Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary
Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
Series: Mud, Rock, and Trees, #1
File size: 288 pages
Release date: 2017-04-09

 

Teaser


“If you move Baskrod, it must be done carefully,” the young herbalist warned.

“I have no choice,” I said.

Once again the wife of the bearded man came to my assistance. “We must do as he says,” she said. “There are mysteries here beyond our understanding.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Baskrod and the three young people who have to fulfill the prophecy.

With Refugees, R. A. Denny has created a captivating, sometimes a little gory story with plot lines for Amanki, Moshoi, and Brina. It took a few chapters to get into the story, to get used to the different characters and their plot lines. After ‘meeting’ all of them, I was drawn into the story as a close invisible companion. R. A. Denny created a quite intriguing adventure with individual plot lines – certainly meant to introduce the main characters and how their quests began. The characters develop nicely; I am looking forward to learn more about them.

This is a book for you if you like young adult fantasy series, intriguing suspense, believable characters, and young heroes-to-be on a quest.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Alternating persons – past tense (first person – if chapters are on Amanki, Moshoi, or Brina, otherwise third person)
Language :mrgreen:
Violence 😳
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the author

R.A. Denny is an ancient history buff with a law degree from Duke University. While working as a criminal prosecutor by day, she escaped by night to create the fantasy world of her Mud, Rocks, and Trees series.

R.A. Denny loves adventure, animals and history. She has travelled to the ancient rock city of Petra on horseback, flown through the jungles of Costa Rica on zip lines and visited the Great Pyramid on a camel. She lives in Delaware. As a child, she had two pet flying squirrels.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Refugees?  Or – if you did not yet read Refugees – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

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Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age – Charles E. Yallowitz on ‘Food and Drink’ @cyallowitz

Dear friends and readers,

It is always difficult for a blogger to find a blog post worthy of the grand finale of the year. This year, however, it was an easy choice for me. As you may all know, Charles E. Yallowitz published the last book in his Legends of Windemere series, Warlord of the Forgotten Age, on December 21, 2017. His guest post covers the topic Food and Drink – a highly suitable topic for the last day of the year 2017. Please join me in a warm welcome to Charles:

Thank you to Karen for offering to host my guest post and being a part of the promotion for Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. This is the last book of my 15-volume fantasy adventure series, so I’m hoping to have it go out with a bang. I’ve been looking back at this personal adventure and found one odd that repeatedly comes up in my writing: Food and Drink. My characters seem to always have something to snack on or sip at when they’re talking unless it’s on the road. People ask me why I keep including this and I guess now is as good a time as any to come up with some reason.

  1. Might as well get the confession one out of the way. I’m either eating while writing or pushing through a scene to get to lunch. At the very least, I have a bottle of seltzer that I keep chugging from. You know how they tell you not to go grocery shopping when hungry? Well, it seems I have the same reaction when writing on a barely full stomach.
  2. Like many people, I grew up in a house where meal times were when you discussed things. If it wasn’t time for a meal then you and your friends had a fast food joint involved in the daily adventure. Maybe you just hung out at home and made sure there were snacks and drinks. My point is that for many people interactions in real life has a ‘food/drink’ factor. This can range from making a plan to track down the ice cream man to putting out the ‘good cheese’ for guests. There’s no reason that fictional worlds shouldn’t have this aspect of reality.
  3. Favorite foods and drink are a staple of being a three-dimensional character along with any other quirks. On the opposite end of the spectrum is if they hate a food or have an allergy. We tend to overlook them because they rarely make an impact on the overall story, but they can be essential to making a character relatable. For example, Delvin Cunningham in Legends of Windemere loves coffee. He has been drinking it since his second appearance and even went out of his way to buy a collection of ‘coffee rings’. This is a set of enchanted rings where each one has a different flavor and he can mentally determine the temperature. At some points, he pours the drink directly into his mouth, which helps make this a memorable quirk of the character.
  4. On a larger scale, you can reveal parts of a culture or region with food. More fruits and vegetables than meat shows where agriculture is. Local delicacies can show if a people enjoy spicy food, dishes that others find gross, or a total lack of spices. It’s like in the real world where one of the first things we think about when it comes to many cultures and countries is the food. If I say Jew, you might think Matzah Ball Soup. Japanese sushi, Italian pasta, Germany sausage, Irish beer, and the list keeps going, so you can create the same for a fictional world. If you’re using Earth then this is simply something to keep in mind.
  5. Characters have to eat. Seriously, you have no idea how often I see readers asking when characters eat and go to the bathroom. At least the dining thing is clean enough to show without feeling sick.
  6. Tone can be set by having a meal because the food and drink can be used as atmosphere. Whether I do it consciously or not, I’ve used them to set a specific stage. Consider three of the most common drinks in fiction, especially fantasy. Water is casual and can show a moment where simplicity is more important than taste. Ale tends to be found in taverns where guards are let down and there is a casual friendliness to the scene. Finally, wine denotes a fancy event and raises the expectation for manners and etiquette.
  7. To be completely honest, I find food and drink actions to be some of the easiest ones to interject into scenes. People will naturally stop talking to take a drink or eat some food without losing too much of a step in a conversation. We probably all know somebody who will take their time drinking in order to gather their thoughts. These bring about a much more visual picture than using nothing more than facial expressions and voice tone. Also, I write adventures that require my characters be on the move, so food and drink are top of the supply list.

Again, a big thanks to Karen for hosting me while I promote Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. Hope to see people in the comments and please feel free to check out the finale.

Author Bio & Social Media

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

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Website

All cover art done by JASON PEDERSEN

Catch the rest of the LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE on Amazon!


Dear friends and readers,

thank you for reading my blog in 2017.

I am looking forward to seeing you again in 2018.  🙂

Happy New Year!

Peace, coffee, and a cheesecake.  🍀🍀🍀

Hills and Valleys (The Ambeth Chronicles, #3) by Helen Jones #BookReview @AuthorHelenJ

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

‘Sometimes things call to us until we can no longer ignore them. And Ambeth is calling you, Alma.’

After the events of the Harvest Fair, Alma is finished with Ambeth – they can find the missing Cup and Crown without her. But Ambeth is not finished with her. First the mystery of her dead father comes back to haunt her, then the Dark reach out, hoping to trap her once more.

And then there’s the strange power she seems to have…

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy
> Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult
Books
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy
Series: The Ambeth Chronicles, #3
Length: 300 pages
Release date: 2016-05-25

Teaser


…Then she pulled out the little notebook from Caleb, her fingers moving over the embossed leather cover as she remembered his joy in giving it to her. She started to cry. After a few minutes she stopped and looked for a tissue to wipe her eyes. She finally found one, clean but crumpled, in the front pocket of her pack. She picked up the notebook again, her fingers going to the leather ties that fastened it. But then she stopped. She wasn’t ready, not yet. Putting it back in her pack she closed the zip, then left the room and went downstairs.


My Opinion

This book finds Alma – having turned her back on Ambeth.

With Hills and Valleys, Helen Jones continues the wonderful Ambeth Chronicles. It is an enjoyable and compelling read, focussing on the events after the Harvest Fair – in Ambeth as well as in Alma’s world. Thorion, Deryck, Ellery, Alma – their lives have changed. Alma and her family visit her grandmother; her parents consider it having a healing effect. Helen Jones paints a clear picture of Alma’s and the other characters’ mind sets while the story evolves. I was drawn very close to Alma and her story – an invisible friend and ally. The characters are complex, believable with their flaws and virtues. The story is nicely woven and has a wonderful flow; it was easy to get hooked. I love how some secrets are solved and new mysteries come up, it is fine balance. I am looking forward to reading the next book.

This is a book for you if you like young adult fantasy, urban fantasy, believable and often very likeable characters.

The third book in The Ambeth Chronicles series; the last chapters let me expect a promising fourth book. A book I definitely need to read.

Recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:
Violence 😳
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳

About the author

Helen Jones loves to write. That’s all there is to it. Born in the UK, she lived in Canada and Australia before returning to England several years ago. The thought of finding magic in ordinary places is one that inspires her; when she was a child she did find a strange valley and hear a scream – the incident stayed with her and was the starting point of the Ambeth Chronicles.

Helen has worked as a freelance writer for the past ten years, runs her own blog at http://www.journeytoambeth.com and has contributed guest posts to others, including the Bloomsbury Writers & Artists site. Ambeth is not the only world she plans to visit in her books, but it’s where she is now.

When she’s not writing, she likes to walk, paint and study karate (when housework and family life permit!) She’s now working on several other novels unrelated to Ambeth, enjoying the chance to explore other fantasy worlds.

Connect with the author:

Amazon:  Helen Jones

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Hills and Valleys?  Or – if you did not yet read Hills and Valleys – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Out now: Path of the Traitors (Legends of Windemere, #14) by Charles E. Yallowitz @cyallowitz

On the eve of destiny, the fate of the champions are in the hands of those they once called Enemy.

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Hated and distrusted, Queen Trinity must leave the shadows and reach for redemption.

With their final battle on the horizon, the champions are faced with a long-lost piece of the prophecy.  Unable to search for the crests that are rumored to be the key to survival, they must turn to a band of their former enemies for help.  Sinister desires and hopes for redemption collide as Queen Trinity of the Chaos Elves leads the hunt and struggles to keep her companions on the path of heroism.  Monsters, traps, mysteries, and their own pasts will rise up to stand in the way of these people who have spent their entire lives committing sins. Throughout it all, another old enemy is lurking in the shadows and determined to claim her own delicious prize.

By the end of their journey, those who survive will learn that being a hero is more than simply stepping into the light.

Dive into the adventure on Amazon for $2.99!
Find it on Goodreads!

Excerpt: The Aura Syphon

A gurgling causes the two women to pause and look into the pit where the shadows are swirling among the jagged stones. Two black tentacles lance out of the ground and wrap around Yola’s waist, the ooze-dripping projections turning silver at the taste of her magic. Attracted to the stronger energy, the aura syphon yanks the immortal into its slime-covered maw and becomes a metallic beast. With its armored skin, the camouflaged predator is now visible and resembles a sea anemone with the body of a beetle. The jagged rocks are fused to the animal’s exoskeleton and there are six jointed legs that help it scurry out of the pit. Standing over Trinity, the creature opens a faint crease on its body to reveal a bulbous eye with a star-shaped pupil. It pauses to shove a few tentacles into its mouth and hit Yola with pulses of electricity to stop her from struggling. It changes from silver to gold when she attempts to break free, her efforts being quickly drained by the monster.

“Let the crazy woman go before you get killed,” Trinity whispers to the aura syphon. She creates a fireball in the hopes of getting its mouth open, but her spell is ignored. “No reason to have a snack when you have an eternal meal in your belly. Maybe we can have a trade. Can’t believe I’m trying to bargain with this thing. Well, I gave you a chance, so I’m going to blow you up before things get worse. Hope you heard that Yola and are bracing yourself.”

The beast gurgles before releasing a blast of sticky strands that lock Trinity in place. Instead of going after the trapped chaos elf, the creature turns its attention to the helpless army. Having had its fill of magic, the aura syphon is ready to gorge on fresh meat and opens a second mouth that is filled with knife-like teeth. Heading for Sir Harbiss, it is stopped when a chunk of earth erupts beneath it and flips it back into the pit. Unsure of where the attack came from, the aura syphon leaps out and reveals several eye stalks that search for an unseen enemy. A cutting wind lops off half of the projections, but Yola’s potent energy revives them and protects the crystalline armor plates. When the spell comes back around, it bounces off the new defense and bursts against a hill. Blasts of fire strike the beast from behind, so it sprouts a fan-shaped tail of water that douses the flames.

Looking around, the aura syphon stops when it sees that Trinity is nowhere to be seen and there is a hole where she once stood. Spikes grow from the predator’s belly and it slams against the ground in the hopes of impaling the chaos elf. The hiss of escaping gas is heard an instant before an explosion sends the shrieking animal into the sky. Careening towards a solitary cloud that is very low to the ground, the beast catches the scent of an aura that revives the one currently in its gut. Passing through the cloud, it finds its legs caught in a net that runs down to where Trinity is hiding behind a hill. With enhanced strength, the channeler slams the aura syphon into the ground and delivers a leaping stomp to its soft upper body. Instead of ejecting Yola, the creature opens its skin to swallow the chaos elf’s leg up the knee.

“Fine. Backup plan it is,” Trinity mutters, synching her aura to that of the imprisoned immortal.

Releasing as much magic as she can without killing herself, the channeler creates a power surge within the aura syphon. Unable to absorb or redirect so much energy at once, the predator tries to reject the grinning chaos elf. Plunging her fingers into its flesh, Trinity refuses to be thrown off and continues her assault. Blisters appear on the hard exoskeleton and the metallic color flakes off to reveal the natural black of the tentacles. Without warning, the gold returns and the animal explodes with enough force to collapse the ground. Before she can escape, the channeler falls into the pit and is buried beneath the icy dirt.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the picture below!
First book, ‘Beginning of a Hero’ is free!

Ready for the newest adventure in Windemere? Find out if Queen Trinity earns redemption or will return to the Baron’s side!

 

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog:  www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter:  @cyallowitz
Facebook:  Charles Yallowitz
Website:  www.charleseyallowitz.com