Today's the day! I am proud to present Daughters of Dusk, book one of my new series Magical Morgan. It's a sister series to Immortal Merlin, but it's entirely standalone. For the first few weeks, it's live on most major online retailers. I hope you enjoy it!
Switching bodies was a piece of cake. Too bad my new body is already occupied.
I was a successful woman in my mid-fifties, a champion of vulnerable women and a seeker of the arcane. From a troubled past, I earned poise, confidence, and experience. Until an explosion killed me.
It’s a shock when a friend’s desperate spell forces my soul into a nearby woman’s dying body, but I won’t say no to fewer aches, unlined skin, and a youthful start for my old ambitions. The problem is, an elemental spirit took possession of that same body during the explosion, and spirits don’t make good roommates.
Too bad. He’s not the only one without options. If I can control him—before he controls me—his magical powers will let me harness the power of the wind. Sexy legs and magic to help the downtrodden? Yes, please. All I need now is an outlet for my new talents, and when a secret sisterhood begs me to help them fend off thuggish attackers hellbent on stealing their magical artifact, I’m the only defense against their deepest fears.
I read Under the Howling Moon by Melanie Karsak. The caption on the description got me: for "fans of Vikings, The Last Kingdom, and The Mists of Avalon.” Check, check, and check, for me! :D
It was gritty and fascinating. I loved the descriptions of the Viking culture and religion, and the protagonist, a shield maiden with a terrible secret in her past, was easy to root for. The main climax was less of a battle and more of an inner struggle, but it didn't make it any less satisfying. The magical side of it was along the lines of the supernatural (gods meddling). I'd definitely recommend it!
I recently read Aimless Witch by Shannon Mayer. It's about a young witch who is somehow responsible for turning the world into an apocalyptic wasteland (but it's not fully explained how). She hides her magic and joins a caravan of humans trying to find a safe refuge. The whole world is incredibly bleak (Mad-Maxish), but intriguing. I found the wandering aimlessly thing a bit much at times (although it wasn't a surprise, since it's in the title), but the characters were likable and interesting, so they carried the story. An enjoyable read, overall!
I read Ancient Magic by Linsey Hall, and really enjoyed it. It's about a treasure hunter named Cass who has the ability to find treasure from her illegal dragon ability. Adventure ensues when she teams up with a hunky partner to find an ancient artifact that might spill her secrets. Good fun and made me want to keep reading the sequels! (I'm now on book 3). I especially like how the author was an archaeologist before writing novels, and her love of history leaks through the pages. Bonus: it's on KU.
Possessed, book 5 of the Musings of Merlin series, is now published! I'm very excited to bring Merry and his friends back into the world for a whole new season.
Immortal Merry Lytton, also known as the magician Merlin in centuries past, is blissfully reunited with his first friends and his long-lost love. But when a powerful elemental spirit tears through the forbidden barrier between worlds, Merry must decide whose side he's on. Will he honor his long-held humanity, or should he join the elemental world of his heritage that he's dreamed of forever?
Read it today!
I just read Born in Fire by KF Breene, and it was a good time! It's about a bounty hunter after magical folk (witches, vampires, etc.). She's a badass loner with a secret, which we don't find out until the end. I like her character, grumpy and humorous all at once, and I love that she finds the vampire she hangs out with creepy and weird, even though she's attracted to him (it seems reasonable to me… he is an undead predator, after all). Nice little plot, and I started reading book two right away.
This review is for a book called Battlecry by Emerald Dodge. It's about a young woman who's a superhero, fighting crime with her team under an abusive leader and shut off from the world.
It's an imaginative take on the superhero genre. I found it to be an slightly uncomfortable read in parts, mainly because the author does an excellent job at putting the reader in the main character's shoes in a hopeless, abusive situation (I imagine it might be a trigger for some!). I mostly enjoyed it, but the love interest flipflopped somewhat unbelievably, and the battle at the end went on a little long. However, she's a pretty strong writer, so if the subject interests you, it would be worth reading.
So, this book that I read is not fantasy (sorry…), but it is so fascinating (and goes with my latest release, Free Dive, perfectly), that I couldn't help but share.
It's called Deep by James Nestor, and it's non-fiction about free diving. The author looks at competitive freediving, free divers who study whales, those who collect seafood, and lots of other reasons to free dive, as well as going into details about whale biology and the physiological changes that occur to the human body when one free dives.
I keep stopping my reading to blurt out facts to my family and take notes for my Nautilus Legends series. I'm only halfway, but I highly recommend it. He's an accomplished author, indeed!
Review time! I read The Viking's Chosen by Quinn Loftis. It's about an English princess and a Viking who are destined to be together. It's a historical clean romance with a minor fantastical element.
I was drawn to it by the Viking topic, but it was far too romance-y for me. There really wasn't anything that happened in the book (very light on action). The princess, although brave and strong, spent much of her time hiding in her room to get away from the villain, and the Viking spent most of his time standing outside her door as a guard. It was also love at first sight, which I'm not the biggest fan of generally.
There were quite a few typos (missed quotation marks, homonyms), that surely would have been picked up by a quick read-through by a copy editor (or anyone, really). It wasn't a huge deal, but it took me out of the story every time.
There were some modernisms, as well, that threw me off (there was a reference to matches, and I'm pretty sure they hadn't been invented yet?). Also, I like a neutral language in my historical fiction in terms of slang. Although I understand that nobody would have been speaking English as we know it, and they would have been using their own slang that would have modern counterparts, it still throws me out of the story when they use words like "moron" or "weird." What do you think? Substitute modern slang for old ones, or keep a neutral language?
I'm going to start reviewing fantasy books that I read on my blog, so stay tuned for (hopefully) weekly reviews right here! I don't plan to rate them with stars, just discuss what I thought of each.
This week I'm talking about Live Fae or Die Trying by Jenna Wolfhart (do you think her name is a pseudonym? It's a pretty great name). It's about a fae woman in a world where supernatural creatures have been outed for ten years. All fae belong to a "court," except her, until she is scooped up by the prince of one and they have to solve the mystery of a serial fae killer. If the angsty romance angle was cut out, I would have enjoyed it a lot. It was fast paced, the stakes were high, the main character was relatable, and the world was interesting. However, the main character is connected by a bond to her prince, and there's a lot of romantic tension involved (too much for my taste, although I realize that is a highly subjective factor!). Also, I would have found her attraction to him more believable if the prince hadn't had a flaming red eye. Eyes are the windows of the soul and all that, and I don't know if I could gaze lovingly at the eye of Sauron. Am I just picky? :D
Conclusion: If you like the alpha werewolf dynamic but are looking for a change of scenery, try this book on for size. It's also in KU.