The Curse (Roxanne Fosch, #0.5) by Jina S. Bazzar #BookReview @Jina_Bazzar

Cover: The Curse
(Roxanne Fosch, #0.5)
by Jina S. Bazzar

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Yoncey Fosch, the leader of the Unseelie Dhiultadh clan would give anything to save his brother from a mysterious plague. Anything, including his leadership mantle and a favor to his deadliest enemy, Queen Titania’s consort.

But his actions will have far reaching consequences, and Fosch realizes he is not only unwilling to pay the price, but will defy anyone who calls him on it.

 

Genre(s): Kindle Short Reads > 90 minutes (44-64 pages)
> Teen & Young Adult
> Science Fiction & Fantasy
> Literature & Fiction
Series: Roxanne Fosch, #0.5
Length: 61 pages
Release date: 2018-04-15

 

Teaser


“Completion of the bargain … perhaps an offspring would be a fitting price.” Oberon mused, and Fosch’s stomach contents curdled. “A Dhiultadh, one strong enough to power the binding stones and still live to tell. It makes me wonder, what an offspring of yours and a Seelie would create.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Yoncey Fosch who wants to save his brother and other clan members from a plague – whatever it may cost him.

With “The Curse”, Jina S. Bazzar presents us with the prequel to “Heir of Ashes”, introducing the Roxanne Fosch series. This prequel is a sound basis for the series, telling the story of how Roxanne Fosch came to be. The story is nicely elaborated, comprises interesting turns, and has a  good flow. Jina S. Bazzar introduces each character with care, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – as an invisible and curious bystander. I could easily envision the characters and locations – with an amazing colour intensity. I had a great time reading “The Curse”. I am looking forward to continuing the story.

This is for you if you like (urban) fantasy, likeable characters, surprises, and good storytelling.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (mostly mentions)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (some mentions)

 

About the author

Jina was born and raised in Brazil, where she had a joyful and fulfilling childhood. Soon after she graduated from high school, she was diagnosed with a chronic disease that caused gradual vision loss. She became blind at the age of twenty-three. She has since lived in the United States and Brazil, though currently resides in the Middle East.

Like most authors, Jina had always been an avid reader, a fan of the fantastic, but was denied the joy of books when she became blind. Once she discovered screen readers, she picked up the habit of reading again, but discovered that reading was no longer enough, so she started writing her own book.

When she’s not writing in the Roxanne Fosch series or her blog, she’s writing articles for Conscious talk Magazine, where she works as a columnist.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://authorsinspirations.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Jina_Bazzar
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17738345.Jina_S_Bazzar
Amazon:  Jina S. Bassar
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/bwYeWO


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 “The Curse”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Curse” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Link:  10 Statements – Jina S. Bazzar

 

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The Lost Sentinel (Silent Sea Chronicles, #1) by Suzanne Rogerson #BookReview @rogersonsm

Cover: The Lost Sentinel
(Silent Sea Chronicles, #1)
by Suzanne Rogerson

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.

The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.

Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.
Struggling with self doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for the new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.

Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed in their quest, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?

Follow Tei’s journey through the magical land of Kalaya and the Astral Plane in “The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles”.

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy
> Sword & Sorcery
> Epic
Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy
> Sword & Sorcery
Series: Silent Sea Chronicles, #1
Length: 363 pages
Release date: 2017-06-16

 

Teaser


A few moments later, Rike rose and re-joined them. He frowned at Garrick before offering Tei an exasperated look. ‘The Sentinel taught us all life is important to the magic, and in turn to our own survival. The Kalayan people have forgotten this delicate balance and now everyone suffers.’ He sighed and shook his head as he looked over at the bodies of his fellow Kalayans. ‘I don’t respect these men for the choices they’ve made, but they do deserve a chance to give back to the magic. I’ve summoned the Spirit Guides to help them. Now we need to go before those Masked Riders decide to regroup.’ He looked pointedly at his protector.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Tei whose life takes a turn after an old friend of her father’s warns them to leave their life behind.

With “The Lost Sentinel”, Suzanne Rogerson presents us with several interwoven plot lines, one covering Tei and her companions, another getting closer to Brogan, and a third one is on Farrell. All plot lines are relevant, even if I admittedly had a ranking for them i.e. one that I could not get too warm with. The story is skilfully elaborated, comprises interesting turns, and has a  great flow. Suzanne Rogerson introduces each character with finesse, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – very close to Rike and to Brogan, highly appreciating their integrety. I will presumably get closer to Tei in the second instalment, when she has gained a little more maturity. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “The Lost Sentinel”. It is a very enjoyable read.

This is for you if you like urban fantasy, very likeable characters to cheer on their thrilling trip, integrity, surprises, and great storytelling.

This is a book/series to read again. Highly recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (fight scenes include some gore)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  –  😳  (some kisses and mentions)

 

About the author

Suzanne lives in Middlesex with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel-writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/rogersonsm
Amazon:  Suzanne Rogerson
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/bwY6Ov


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 “The Lost Sentinel”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Lost Sentinel” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


Review:  Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson

 

The Legend of Astridr: Birth by Mandy Jackson-Beverly #BookReview @MJacksonBeverly

Cover: Astridr: Birth
by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Amazon)

Before the Allegiance came Astridr, whose legend began long before her birth.

When the imprisoned seer Sonja is liberated by thirteen Viking warriors, a storm takes the lives of her rescuers and she’s left dying and alone. The fae prince Hakon hears her cries—as does Freyja, goddess of the underworld, who arrives to negotiate for Sonja’s soul.

In love and sacrifice, Sonja survives to bear a daughter, Astridr—while the bargain between the fae prince and the goddess lays the foundation for an immortal’s legend.

 

Genre(s): Viking Historical Romance
Mythology
Fairy Tale Fantasy
Series: A Creative Series Novella, The Creative Series
Length: 70 pages
Release date: 2018-08-31

 

Teaser


And then one day a few centuries before the year 1000, the Lady was drawn to a place far from her home where she observed a web of deceit and love unfold. She knew at that instant that her vision from long ago was about to unfurl. She closed her eyes and watched from afar as Hakon strode across the desolate tundra and suddenly froze. He looked around as if searching for something or someone. But the Lady and the Rose had also heard a young woman’s cries for help as a familiar image flashed before her.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Skuld and Gunwald. Fae king Gunwald saves the norn Skuld – later known as the Lady and the Rose; they fall in love, have a son, fae prince Hakon.

With “Astridr: Birth”, Mandy Jackson-Beverly presents us with a wonderful story of love, fate, myth, hope, and adventure. The story is skilfully elaborated and has a great flow. Mandy Jackson-Beverly introduces each relevant character almost tenderly, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – very close to all of them. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “Astridr: Birth”. It is a very pleasant read.

A great story by a skilful storyteller.

This is for you if you like fantasy, myth, action, very likeable characters, and excellent storytelling.

This is a book to read again. Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Hopeful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (scattered fight scenes)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent, some kisses)

 

About the author

Mandy Jackson-Beverly was born in the bustling town of Pyramid Hill, Victoria, Australia … Population: 419. This remote childhood kick-started Mandy’s imagination, as did the rugged coastline and rolling hills of Tasmania, where her family relocated when she was four years old.

In 1982, Mandy moved to London, where she discovered the importance of the creative collective: The 1980s fashion scene. A year later, in Los Angeles, she found her own creative freedom among the thriving, no-holds-barred visionaries of the music video world. As a costume designer and stylist Mandy worked for photographer Herb Ritts, and directors Joel and Ethan Coen, David Fincher, and Julien Temple, and music icons David Bowie, Madonna, and Tina Turner, to name a few.

Mandy has taught Advanced Placement Art, written and directed high school theater productions, is a contributor to The Huffington Post and a book reviewer for The New York Journal of Books. She resides in Ojai, California, with her husband, Brian Beverly, a crossed-eyed cat, Luna, a dog named Cash and, sometimes, her sons, Angus and Jack.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  http://mandyjacksonbeverly.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MJacksonBeverly
Amazon:  Mandy Jackson-Beverly
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/3J8MOX


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 “Astridr: Birth”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Astridr: Birth” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


10 Statements – Mandy Jackson-Beverly


The trailer above is short and sweet, a perfect match for the story. Even if the book in question is already released – I just had to share it with you. Enjoy the music!

 

The Curse of Time (Bloodstone, #1) by M. J. Mallon #BookReview @Marjorie_Mallon

Cover: The Curse of Time
(Bloodstone, #1)
by M. J. Mallon

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Children’s eBooks
> Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Coming of Age
> Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
Books > Teens
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
Series: Bloodstone, #1
Length: 242 pages
Release date: 2017-08-26

 

Teaser


I couldn’t help but wonder if whatever was happening to my family had reached beyond us and touched others.

Esme answered when she’d got over the shock of seeing me. ‘I can’t tell you how I got here. I’m compelled to keep that a secret. All I can say is that I’m trapped and can’t get out. Whereas you can walk out the door, but you won’t be free until you find the cottage.’ Esme smiled. Her blonde hair caught the reflections from the morning light hitting the mirror leaving a shiny spot on the wall behind me. I gazed at her face and saw that her eyes held the truth: in the sadness, she couldn’t hide.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to 15-year-old Amelina Scott, living in a rather unusal home.

With The Curse of Time, M. J. Mallon has created a well-crafted paranormal teen story that made me follow Amelina as an invisible ally; inwardly cheering her on as she tried to find a solution for her family’s issues. It is a very compelling read that draws you close to Amelina and her quest. M. J. Mallon introduces Amelina with utmost care, she is a complex and believable teenager, and you want to find a possibility to support her. The story has a steady yet fast-paced flow, still leaving you sufficient opportunity to grasp the situations. Even if I am way past my teenage times – I had a great time reading this first book in the Bloodstone series. I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series.

This is a book for you if you like paranormal and occult stories with believable characters, mysteries, the young adult genre per se, and if you appreciate great story-telling.

Highly recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (scenes of violence)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (decent enough)

 

About the author

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-o

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

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 The Curse of Time?  Or – if you did not yet read The Curse of Time – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

Upcoming book release: The Sentinel’s Reign (Silent Sea Chronicles, #2) by Suzanne Rogerson

The Sentinel’s Reign – Silent Sea Chronicles Book 2

Cover: The Sentinel’s Reign
(Silent Sea Chronicles, #2)
by Suzanne Rogerson

 

>>> Release date 29th June 2018 <<<

99p for a short time only

To Buy Link

Add to Goodreads bookshelf

 

Blurb

The new Sentinel’s reign is doomed to failure unless Tei can prevent the Kalayan people from plunging into war.

With the new Sentinel initiated and the magic restored on Kalaya, life is flourishing for Tei and the exiles. But Rathnor’s plans for war soon escalate and thwart any chance of peace.

Brogan’s position on the Assembly is uncertain as rumours circulate that he is an exile spy.

After an attempt on his life, Farrell is more determined than ever to build a home for his people on Stone Haven. But the council have their sights set on Kalaya and Farrell struggles to steer them from war.

As trouble brews within and outside forces gather against them, can the exiles keep their hold on the magic, or will this spell the end of Kalaya and its people?

The Sentinel’s Reign is a heroic fantasy. If you like character-driven adventures then you will love The Sentinel’s Reign.

This is the second book in the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and follows on from The Lost Sentinel.

Publicity – ebook and paperback

Author Bio

Photo: Suzanne Rogerson, author

 

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Social Media links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon Author page

Chapter One Excerpt

The wind whipped at Tei’s cloak. She gathered it around her body and held it close, but the feel of her father’s magic was gone. All the magic had gone.

She opened her spirit to the island and felt the stark emptiness surrounding her. She turned and scanned the horizon in every direction. Nothing but dust and broken mountains stretched into the distance. Her soul ached to connect with another living being, but there was no one. Kalaya was a dead husk – a barren, dust-covered shell.

She screamed, her voice echoing in the nothingness. She looked down at herself; her boots were worn to scraps, her hands were thin and frail, the cloak threadbare and faded. Her body was wasting away but, despite her emaciated state, she knew death would be a long time coming.

Something on the ground caught her attention. Her dragging footprints covered the earth in every direction, criss-crossing the terrain in her never ceasing search for life…

Tei sat up in bed and glanced at the familiar interior of her dorm room. Her only dress lay discarded on the floor and her father’s cloak hung from a hook on the wall, still as pristine as the day he’d given it to her. Her hair was damp with sweat against her neck and her head pounded from drinking too much cider. The evening’s celebrations had been a release, but now the dream images marred the happiness of the Sentinel’s initiation ceremony.

Tei wondered why she’d had the nightmare at all when the new Sentinel had already connected with the island. They’d all witnessed her restore the magic; but more than that, she’d restored hope.

Deciding the dream was just a residue of the past, she untangled herself from the covers and got up from the bed. But she couldn’t shake the feeling of foreboding as she washed her face and dressed in her usual travel attire. She hung up the dress she’d worn the previous evening, pulled her father’s cloak around her shoulders, and, invoking the concealing spell, she slipped from the room.

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