Sunday, 20 October 2013

Fire on the Water by P.J. Parker


My Thoughts

Everything about this cover adds weight to its accompanying novel and its inspiration, Mary Shelley's Frankstein. 
  • The Font is large and prominent, with the title set high and centred
  • The graphics and content are of a similar vein to other Frankenstein covers
    • An old building is featured 
    • Sepia tones are prevalent
    • The overall tone is sinister
  • There is a hint of red to the images which could suggest fire or blood
This cover screams old world fiction with gothic themes - alluding to the presence of evil, mystery and possibly the supernatural. The summary alludes to a more modern understanding of the events described within the original Frankenstein story.

I honestly can't wait to read this book, a totally intriguing concept.
PLUS I've heard from a very reliable source that it's a great read!

Publication Date:  December 12, 2013 from TWCS Publishing House

Give Away


Rachel, a young American biographer researching the life of Mary Shelley in Montreux, Switzerland, is entangled and consumed by the escalating threads of her investigation. Shards of Shelley’s creation are exhumed from the past. Precious memories are hacked and sutured to the unthinkable. The unblemished flesh of the one she loves is stripped back to reveal what lies beneath—aspects of Frankenstein incised and ripped from the nineteenth century and transplanted into her own.
The archival records contained within the chiseled stone of Château de Chillon give some insight into a life long gone. It is, however, the contents of a document trunk that has remained unopened for generations that discloses what truly occurred in the idyllic Swiss Riviera village of Montreux to jolt the monster into existence. Personal letters and diaries detailing events, suppers, lectures, and conversations between Mary Shelley and her confidant, Doctor John Polidori, reveal a spiraling progression of horrors, dismembered cadavers, and uncertainties. Doctor Polidori assists the local gendarmerie in their investigation, unaware of how closely the knife will cut to Mary’s life and his own.
Rachel is drawn into the centuries-old conversations as she attempts to discern fact from fiction. But opening the trunk could not come at a more difficult time for Rachel. Her boyfriend has recently been killed in a motorbike accident and now, as she attempts to reconstruct her life, she is repeatedly confronted by a man of gigantic structure, of uncommon beauty, of intriguing origin.
Fire on the Water: A Companion to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein interweaves Rachel’s search with the plot of Frankenstein and the horrific occurrences of the summer of 1816 when Mary Shelley dared to dip her quill into the ink of her darkest of waking dreams.
The truth is given life.

Author Bio: 

P.J. Parker was born and raised in rural Australia. With a bachelor of science in architecture from the University of New South Wales, he has traveled and lived extensively around the world, focusing on cultures of historic interest and buildings of architectural significance before transitioning into a career as a fraud analyst and programmer with a leading international financial institution. An avid reader and researcher, P.J. undertakes his writing with a passionate and exacting attention to detail.

The Scroll by K.B. Hoyle

My Thoughts

The Scroll by K.B. Hoyle is the fifth book in The Gateway Chronicles. It will leave you breathless. I was introduced the series when The Six (book 1) was first being published by The Writer’s Coffee. Darcy our intrepid heroine was not very likable, Tellius her betrothed was immature (lol) and the plot had a “coming of age” feel to it. A promising series that was reminiscent of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but with more teenage angst. 

When book 2, The Oracle was released, I picked up the story and continued the journey with Darcy and her friends, both earthly and Alithean. I remained enamored of the series and was devastated when a favourite character was sacrificed on a whim. This was a story of consequences, and as a result, guilt. Any character responsible for the demise of another is going to undergo some serious soul searching and development. The Gateway Chronicles was shaping up to be a powerful tale that crosses generational divides

Then I got a bit behind on my reading. I didn’t start The White Thread (book 3) until May this year. When I finished that, I began immediately on The Enchanted (book 4), both awesome novels, further describing the evolution of a group of young friends and their ever changing relationships. The Scroll, however was not due for publication until many months later and yet I found myself so involved in the series that I didn’t want to wait.

So *insert diabolical laugh here, I used my position in The Writer’s Coffee Shop to gain access to The Scroll (book 5) ahead of schedule #NICEPERK :) The only problem I had then? The Bone Whistle (book 6) was (is still) not due for release until 2014! I even spoke to KB to try and source an early copy, but at the time, it hadn’t even been written AND no perk in the world was going to alleviate that particular crisis.

The Scroll is a devastatingly awesome read, but it ends in a place that will leave you desperate for the next installment. It’s not a bad ending, in fact it ends in line with every other novel in the series - a bit like each Harry Potter novel ending at the end of a year at Hogwarts. I would also equate the ending of the scroll to the ending of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - you just know that nothing will ever be the same again.

I am so pleased with how the characters have developed throughout the series, but in this book, the author took their growth to new heights. It is a true to life demonstration of youths and how they mature. Never a straight path and rarely “smooth sailing”, especially with a group of adolescents. It is passionate, dramatic, full of regression, followed by growth and always totally overridden with self doubt, anxiety and trepidation. Heady stuff

My Rating

* Please read my Disclaimer

The Summary

Darcy Pennington may once have been an average teenager, but not anymore. Living each year twice, once in her world and once in Alitheia, has made her into someone who cares little for normal teenage activities. She’s got more important things to do, like save the mythical, magical world of Alitheia. But this time, Darcy can’t save Alitheia until she saves Tellius, the love of her life.
A window between the worlds allows Darcy to see Tellius from her home in Chicago. But, far from being reassured, she plunges into despair when she sees Tellius captured, imprisoned, and tortured. All her plans for her future life in Alitheia are put on hold as Darcy faces a singular goal: save Tellius, even if it means giving Tselloch something in return.
Intrigue is high upon her return to the castle, where old friends tell new lies, best friends hide crucial secrets, deceptive apparitions roam the halls, and betrayal lingers around every corner. The only way to unravel the mysteries and protect Alitheia is to bring Tellius home, but Darcy lacks the necessary magic for that.
As time runs low, Rubidius keeps to himself, and even Sam has her own secret this year. Darcy wonders if anyone else cares the way she does, and why it’s always a fight to get anything done. Still, she’ll do anything to rescue her future husband, including surrender herself to the fate she knows is coming anyway. Now, if only The Six could unveil the scroll, they might learn the greatest secret of all, before everything burns to ashes around them.

The Author

K. B. Hoyle has been a classical educator for several years. She is a wife to a wonderful husband and mother to three wonderful little boys. At a young age, she knew she wanted to write stories that would inspire people. Her favorite genre had always been Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction, so that is where her journey began. K. B. wrote her first fantasy novel at the age of eleven, which proved to be great practice for the novels she would publish as an adult. 

K. B. is currently writing the Young Adult Fantasy series The Gateway Chronicles, but she never stops brainstorming all the stories she plans to write in the future. 

Connect with K.B. Hoyle

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Dreams of the Cursed by Allie Jean

Available from The Writer's Coffee Shop
As well as  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo

My Review

It feels like I’ve been waiting ages for the sequel to Legacy of a Dreamer. Dreams of the Cursed by Allie Jean is the continuation of Chantal’s story, a foster child with a dark past and a mysterious friend in the shadows. A tale of Shadow Warriors and Oracles who receive messages through dreams, a supernatural concept preying on our memories and suggests those nighttime silhouettes and our early nightmares meant something much more than we thought.

Once again the author demonstrates her prowess at writing action sequences, where the flow of movement is clearly described without masking or overshadowing the fury and bloodlust needed for successful hand to hand combat scenes. Be warned, this is not a pretty or soft yarn, favourite characters die, loyalties are questioned and one’s desire for revenge results in a most devastating consequence.

For myself, I didn’t like the ending. Not for the first book, nor the second. Allie appears to enjoy finishing on a cliffhanger leaving you dangling, desperate to learn the outcome. How? Why? WTF... where will Chantal go from here?

For my rating I give the novel ***. I considered scoring it higher but I did find that some of the transitions between visions and real time events could have been clearer... even though I understood the foresight was necessary to propel the adventure through to the next revelation.

Please read my Disclaimer

Book Summary 

A violent war has waged in secret underneath the notice of humanity since the beginning of time. Evil has pledged the destruction of humanity in spite of a power those that covet it could not possibly contain. Now the Warriors have inherited this fight and are honor-bound to rid the world of this ancient malevolence. By guarding the most precious, piercing light they possess—their female kin known as the Oracles or Dreamers—the Warriors have a chance against the darkness.

Chantal Breelan, plagued by horrific nightmares for most of her life, believes something is wrong with her. Why else would she have such visions of destruction? But when creatures of terror came crawling out of the shadows to hunt her down shortly after her eighteenth birthday, she discovers the truth. Her dreams become reality, throwing her headfirst into a battle wrought by cursed monsters, where death and torture lie at every turn.

Mathias is a descendant of a Fallen Angel and a powerful Warrior. He vows his life in service to pay recompense for the sins of their fathers by guarding Chantal from within the shadows. Long has he fought, shedding sweat and blood, hoping that his struggles wouldn’t be in vain. With Chantal’s life in danger, he is forced to reveal himself, yet she manages to surprise him with her fierce tenacity and strength. In his sacrifice, he finds redemption and life’s ultimate reward—a love to surpass all time.

Now Chantal has picks up the reins of her birthright and stands by her Warrior kin, by Mathias.

She’s on a mission to rescue others like herself. Yet, in this challenge, a battle of wits is exposed. New players are discovered, throwing strategies into question. When the truth comes to light, can Chantal hold her band of brothers together, or will they crumble under the weight of betrayal?

About the Author

Allie Jean was born with an overactive imagination. At a very early age, a child, her days were spent inventing stories, directing her sisters in made-up plays or telling elaborate ghost stories. Her mind never took breaks, or shutdown, even when she slept. When her eyes shut at night, she would have vivid dreams complete with extensive, elaborate plot lines, and good overcoming evil villains.
She was encouraged by her parents, even at a young age, to write down her tales, and it has remained a somewhat-secret hobby. It became a means to escape from the drama of real life into one of the many worlds she created.
Now living in California with her husband of ten years, her love of storytelling had taken a backseat with the arrival of their four children. Though she always found time to write down her thoughts on whatever was handy, including a stray diaper or two while rocking a sleeping child in the middle of the night when her characters begged for attention as well.
As a busy wife, mother, and working full-time outside the home, somehow she has been able to write down her relentless character's story. Her once-secret hobby and private world is now released for others to enjoy. Nothing would make Allie happier that to continue writing and spend more time at home with her family on a more full-time basis.

Connect with the Author