Tag: Fantasy

Author Interview: 10 Questions with Thea Harrison

Posted December 14, 2016 by Holly in Promotions | 3 Comments

Thea Harrison’s latest Elder Races novel released yesterday. She graciously agreed to answer some questions about the book and where she’s headed from here.

Moonshadow by Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races
Also in this SeriesMoonshadow (Moonshadow, #1) (Elder Races #12)Midnight’s Kiss (Elder Races #8)Night’s Honor (Elder Races #7)Pia Does Hollywood (Elder Races #8.6)Shadow’s End (Elder Races #9)Dragon Bound (Elder Races #1)Dragos Goes to Washington (Elder Races #8.5)Dragos Takes a Holiday (Elder Races #6.5)Liam Takes Manhattan (Elder Races #9.5)Lord’s Fall (Elder Races #5)Midnight’s Kiss (Elder Races #8)Night’s Honor (Elder Races #7)Pia Does Hollywood (Elder Races #8.6)Pia Saves the Day & Peanut Goes to School (Elder Races #6.6 & 6.7)
Release Date: December 13, 2016
Publisher: Teddy Harrison, LLC
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal

 

From bestselling author Thea Harrison comes the first in an explosive new trilogy set in the Elder Races world.

Her past is a blank, her future uncertain..

Recovering from a shooting, LAPD witch consultant Sophie Ross leaves her job and travels to the U.K. to search for answers about her childhood. When she encounters a Daoine Sidhe knight of the Dark Court, she becomes entangled in an ancient hatred between two arcane forces.

He has given his body and soul to fight for his people..

Barred from his homeland along with his surviving brother knights, Nikolas Sevigny is embroiled in a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear. Only by uniting their resources can his people hope to prevail against Isabeau, the deadly Queen of the Light Court. He will do anything and use anyone to return home to Lyonesse.

When Nikolas encounters Sophie, he sees a tool to be used. The insouciant witch might be the key to unlocking every passageway that has been barred to the knights of the Dark Court, even as a fascination for her takes root in what’s left of his soul.

Sophie has no intention of becoming anyone’s pawn, yet the fierce Nikolas is so compelling, she can’t deny the temptation that endangers her guarded heart.

As magic threatens Lyonesse, Queen Isabeau unleashes her merciless Hounds, and Nikolas and Sophie become embroiled in a race for survival. Meanwhile, the passion that ignites between them burns too hot to be denied and quickly turns into obsession.

Thank goodness they both know better than to fall in love.

Q&A

Q&A with Thea Harrison – Book Binge

About Moonshadow

1. For any new readers out there, Moonshadow is the first book in the Elder Races series spin off and will focus on the UK demesnes. Can you tell our readers a little about what to expect from this series? Any key people we should keep our eye on?

The Moonshadow trilogy focuses on the people caught in an ancient fight between the Light and Dark Courts. I pull a few elements from Shakespeare and a few from Arthurian mythology, and I set the story in the Elder Races world.

Isabeau, the Queen of the Light Court, is obsessed with the total extermination of King Oberon and his Dark Court. At the beginning of Moonshadow, Oberon has fallen into an ensorcelled sleep in Lyonesse and his magic rages out of control. The land of Lyonesse has been cut off from earth, and the knights of the Dark Court who are caught earth side are being hunted to death.

Definitely Isabeau and Morgan, the Captain of her Hounds, are key people in the trilogy, along with Oberon and his people. Oberon’s commander Nikolas is the hero of Moonshadow. There is also a secondary character, Robin, who makes an appearance in all three stories.

2. How many books do you have planned for the Moonshadow series?

Currently I’ve made a commitment to a trilogy, but if readers respond positively to the original trilogy, I have a second trilogy planned—so there could be a total of six stories.

3. Can you tell us if we’ll be seeing any of our friends from the Elder Races world in the new series? If so, which ones?

Yes, there will be some character crossover from the original Elder Races books. Dr. Kathryn Shaw has already made an appearance. Isabeau’s twin sister Tatiana, Queen of the Light Fae in Los Angeles, is also going to factor in the stories, along with at least one of her daughters, perhaps both. There are a few others who may make an appearance, but their roles are a bit more nebulous, so I’d better not say more at this time!

Drool

4. I like to picture the characters in my head while reading books so can you tell us who your inspirations (celebrities, models, etc..) were for Sophie and Nikolas?

Nikolas definitely looks like Paul Marron, the model I hired for the cover. As for Sophie, I have been picturing her like a younger Ashley Judd, only with dark, curling hair.

5. Your writing schedule must be busy these days, will we be seeing more Elder Races books or have you moved on?

I have not moved on from the Elder Races. I’ve simply taken a break to tell these other stories. I’ve also got another spin-off trilogy planned, so yes, I’m very busy! 🙂 It’s a big world, and there’s so much story to tell in it.

Random Questions

6. What is the first book that made you cry?

The first one that I remember is Black Beauty. I cried my eyes out as a child, and I must have read that book eleven or twelve times.

7. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Illness. When I reach a certain point—such as contracting the flu—I can’t get the words to flow. All my characters want to stay in bed!

8. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I have been so blessed to have met and befriended so many talented authors, and not only do they help me become a better writer, I hope they have helped me become a better person. I feel like I could write a dedication to them for my life and add, “all mistakes are my own, of course.” A short (not comprehensive) list of authors who impacted my life in a positive way while I wrote Moonshadow are: Patricia Briggs, Ann Aguirre, Kristen Callihan, Eloisa James, Jeffe Kennedy, Elizabeth Hunter, Grace Draven, Carrie Ann Ryan, and Katie Reus. I’m so grateful to each and every one.

9. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Be more self-protective, and believe in yourself more.

10. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have one unpublished book that is currently on submission. I don’t have any half-finished stories—for good or for ill, I finish them all.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today! Readers, if you want to get the latest news, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for my newsletter for updates!

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Elder Races

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

About the Author

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New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Thea Harrison resides in Colorado. She wrote her first book, a romance, when she was nineteen, and had sixteen romances published under the name Amanda Carpenter. She took a break from writing to collect a couple of graduate degrees and a grown child.

Thea writes in a variety of genres, including the award-winning paranormal Elder Races series and the Game of Shadows novels, and is currently at work on various new projects in sci-fi fantasy, paranormal and contemporary romance.

She adores animals and currently resides with two small dogs that have very large personalities.

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Review: Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads

Posted October 17, 2016 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Race the Darkness by Abbie RoadsReviewer: Casee
Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads
Series: Fatal Dreams #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: October 4th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy
Pages: 352
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three-half-stars

First in a gripping paranormal romantic suspense duo by a Golden Heart finalist debut author whose clinical work gives her chilling insights...

Cursed with a terrible gift...

Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn't have to question you—he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night—the voice of a woman begging him to save her.

A gift that threatens to engulf them...

Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except...there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.

Xander Stone was cursed with a gift (oxymoron, isn’t it?) when he was struck by lightning. Not only was he terribly disfigured, but he can hear people’s thoughts. He uses his so-called gift to help law enforcement to get the criminals that they can’t get just by sitting across the table from the criminals. It proves highly effective.

Xander has been hearing a woman’s voice for years, a voice begging for help. He chalks it up to who he has called “The Bastard in his Brain” screwing with him and has ignored it for as long as he has heard it. One night when he goes on a beer run, the Bastard somehow turns him toward a place that he’s never been and never had any desire to go. It’s there that he finds two women being held captive. Xander is shocked and dismayed when he realizes that one of the women is the voice that he’s been ignoring in his head for all those years. Now, he determined to get her out alive, his life be damned.

Isleen Walker and her grandmother have given up hope. Having been taken captive eight years ago, all they know is that their time is coming to an end. The psychopath, Queen, is starting to spout off even more crazy stuff than usual. When Xander shows up at their own personal hell, Isleen can’t believe what she’s seeing. The man that she’s been dreaming about for years. Xander Stone is her own personal savior, the man that her grandmother said was coming. The man that would save her.

Although Xander saves both she and her grandmother, there is still someone out there that wants to kill them both. Someone that thinks their demons. Xander is instantly drawn to Isleen and can barely bring himself to leave her side. She’s the only one that can quiet his brain, the only one that he feels any peace with. As for Isleen, Xander is the only one that she feels safe with. Their relationship is prophesied though they don’t know it. These two have so much to overcome and the only way they can do it is together.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

three-half-stars

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Lightning Review: Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley

Posted September 19, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Lightning Review: Midnight Soul by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Holly
Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley
Series: Fantasyland, #5
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: August 15th 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 645
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three-stars

Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.
And things aren’t going real great there.
Noc is recruited to help save that world.
What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.
Franka Drakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.
When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.
When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her masks slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.
And then make her want to stay.

I’ve been anxious for Noc’s book for ages, though I admit I was surprised his heroine was Franka. I expected (hoped?) it would be Valentine. Shows what I know.

I do not recommend starting here. The storylines from previous books are interwoven and really bring this novel together. Plus, I feel like the majority of the novel was spent on secondary and previous characters from the other books.

It took me quite some time to fall into this story. Generally KA grabs me right away, but I struggled through the first quarter or so of the book. I found parts to be somewhat predictable (esp for someone who has read a lot of KA), but I enjoyed the romance and, more, enjoyed the return trip to Fantasyland. We caught up with all the previous characters and had some closure from some that weren’t coupled yet (the other Circe!). While I don’t recommend this as a starting place for those who are new to Ashley or this series, I think fans will enjoy it.

3 out of 5

three-stars

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Guest Review: A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Posted August 18, 2016 by Whitley B in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: A Promise of Fire by Amanda BouchetReviewer: Whitley
A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Series: Kingmaker Chronicles #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 448
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dnf

Catalia "Cat" Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he's ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.

This book actually has a lot going for it. Really. The world is interesting, Cat is a great feisty character and it seems like she has a rich past full of secrets to discover. I’m intrigued by her magic and by the history of the world it’s set in. I liked the tone and pacing. It had the makings of a perfect “me” book.

But I just couldn’t get past that opening. Basically, Griffin kidnaps Cat for her magic because he needs her to help him keep his recently-conquored kingdom together. Cat, understandably, does not like being blackmailed and kidnapped and then restrained all the time so she doesn’t disappear. I’m fine with all that, but what I don’t like is how it dragged out. The idea is that Griffin isn’t a “bad guy,” he’s just doing what needs to be done for his kingdom, has good intent, so pragmatic and direct it goes into grey areas, yadda yadda. Fine. BUT. The opening was too harsh, too smash and grab. There was no attempt to get Cat on his side, it was just “Bam, you’re mine, I’ll kill your friends if you keep fighting.” Followed by…nothing. No attempts to calm her down, woo her to their cause, explain things to her, nothing. He was too aggressive at the start and then he followed it up by doing zilch to make up for his (quite frankly) horrible actions. I could have handled it if either half of that sentence had changed. If he’d grabbed her then tried to make nice, or if he’d tried to convince her first and only resorted to force as a last (ish) resort. I mean, he wouldn’t be a hero or anything because kidnapping is still shitty, but at least I could roll along with it.

And Cat, bless her, put up a fight the whole way. Which is great and well she should because she’s been kidnapped and threatened, but that just means that Griffin’s douchery is front-and-center every time I open the book. And that’s really exhausting. It got to the point where my reading time was actually making me anxious. So, nope, DNF.

So close to a really good thing, and I’m sure others will have a blast with it, because it does have a lot going for it. But I just couldn’t get past that initial bit.

Rating: DNF

dnf

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Review: Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

Posted June 6, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Allegiance of Honor by Nalini SinghReviewer: Holly
Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #15
Also in this series: Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation, Tangle of Need, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 14th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, General, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 496
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four-half-stars

The “unparalleled romantic adventure”* of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as a new dawn begins for the Psy-Changeling world…  A staggering transformation has put the Psy, humans, and changelings at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: old enemies, new allies, wary loners.   But a century of distrust and suspicion can’t be so easily forgotten, and it threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman’s cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: a child who is both Psy…and changeling.   To find the lost and protect the vulnerable—and to save Trinity—no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst?   *Publishers Weekly on Shards of Hope
From the Hardcover edition.

There’s a note from the author at the beginning of this book noting that, for her, the series is split into parts. Shards of Hope ended Part 1. Allegiance of Honor acts as kind of a segue into Part 2. Although I tried to keep spoilers for this book to a minimum, it’s impossible not to mention spoilers from previous books in the series. I tried not to go overboard, but if you haven’t read the previous books, you may want to skip this review. 

Since Silence has fallen and the Trinity Accord was formed, a lot of changes have happened. A Psy-Changeling child was born, alliances are being formed between humans, Psy and Changelings, and the major powers in the world have shifted. Where before the Psy were considered the most powerful beings in the world, the humans have made it known they aren’t weak, and the Changelings have stepped up and won the trust of the general public.

That isn’t to say all is peaches and cream, however. There is still plenty of mistrust between the three races, and everyone is constantly on guard. Since the Trinity Accord was formed in haste, there are a lot of holes that need to be plugged to make it a true, solid partnership agreement. And Naya, Lucas and Sasha’s daughter, the first Psy-Changeling baby born in the open in a century, is both loved and loathed. Many seek to use her as leverage to control the Changelings, or see her as a target to eliminate to cause Chaos and eliminate the Trinity Accord.

This novel doesn’t focus on one couple, but rather touches on pretty much all the previous unions from the series. As each couple tries to find traction in this new world, they face interesting and unique problems. Bo Knight is still working to prove the humans are a power in the world. Sasha and Lucas Hunter are trying to formalize the Trinity Accord and protect their new daughter. Mercy and Riley are expecting their Pupcubs to be born any minute. Hawke and Sienna are still waiting for the perfect opportunity to kill Ming LaBon. Ming is trying to gain a foothold in the Trinity Accord so he can work on eliminating it from the inside out. Miane Leveque, the alpha of the BlackSea changelings, is working to find the rest of her missing pack. The threads featuring Father Perez were particularly interesting.

When Singh announced last year that Allegiance would revisit past characters, I was concerned it would be choppy or kind of boring. The story was woven in such a way, however, that the suspense of each individual trial and tribulation kept me hungry for more. Suspense, drama, humor..this novel has it all. Fans of the series will love reconnecting with previous couples as well as seeing certain plot points advance.

I can’t wait to see what Singh has in store for us next.

4.25 out of 5

Reading Order

Slave to Sensation
Visions of Heat
Caressed by Ice
Mine to Possess
Hostage to Pleasure
Branded by Fire
Blaze of Memory
Bonds of Justice
Play of Passion
Kiss of Snow
Tangle of Need
Heart of Obsidian
Shield of Winter
Shards of Hope
Allegiance of Honor

four-half-stars

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