Tipsy Ink website
Review Originally posted on Adventures in Ink and I forgot to cross post to this blog because I fail at adulting
I fell for the gimmick…
That stupid miracle bra that is all over Instagram. You know the one… it’s got that stringy bit it the front that pulls the ladies together & keeps those bitches up and perky as all hell.
I swear, I need to stop shopping when I’m bored or overly stress and engage in better extra curriculars… that aren’t so bad for my wallet and maybe better for other aspects of my life, ya know something other than the gym. The occasional night out with my friends just isn’t cutting it. (I just realized that my life is way too boring at the moment. just look at my boring as hell schedule)
Anyways, I digress, like always… That bra. It looked so awesome. No evil hook things and you guys know how much I hate that shit and it is seamless. The band is just…
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So I know I’ve been all over the place an kind of MIA on all social media with the exception of reviews, so I’m extremely sorry! But I have a goodie for you, a brand new little something that I just wrote called ‘The Ocean Between Us…’
Life has been a little weird. Had some ups and a lot of downs and I’m working on me during this little hiatus. My health also took a turn and I recently had to have an emergency surgery so that’s another thing.
I know I could make a million promises to post more original work and excerpts from current projects but I kind of hit a mental road block with all the medical stuff that’s been launched at me when my back was turned lol. So I won’t make any promises on dates for much of anything. That means no schedules till I’m ready!
The only promises I’m willing to make are 1. That I won’t ever stop writing, even if it means that I can only manage to finish a chapter/project a month and 2. That I will keep on keeping on. I’m to stubborn to let anything keep me down permanently.
I will say that I’m currently writing a lot and that is kind of recent, maybe a week or 2 of this and I’m really happy about that. There is still a lot to work on and a lot of projects that have just popped into my head recently and I apparently don’t know how to pace myself. But anyways, I have no eta for either Knock Me off My Choos or Birth Curse book 1, all I’m willing to say is that a lot has been written and fleshed out and I am going to look into traditonal publishing for at least Birth Curse. I will of course keep you posted as things progess but that’s about it.
Now for the good part.
Like I said, I’ve been writing a lot and I kind of fell in love with this heartbreaking poemish peice that I just penned not even 30mins ago so I thought I’d share it with all of you!
Without further ado.
The Ocean Between Us…
There’s an ocean between us with frightening and crashing waves.
There’s an eeriness about that I can’t will away.
How can 2 people who know so much about each other,
Two souls that have spent so much time together, be such strangers.
We were once so close and physically you are no more then 7 steps away.
How can we be so distant?
There’s an ocean between us,
It’s rushing up our shores;
Threatening to pull me in.
Seeing each other daily but we’re really far more than worlds apart.
Its gut wrenching to be so close to someone but drift so far away.
It hurts to choke back tears, to breathe through the pain.
We’re closing more than just our physical doors.
The distance is real, tangible.
That feeling of loneliness, that helpless despair.
There’s an ocean between us and I feel that distance overwhelming me.
You are right there but I can’t even express my heartbreak
It will only divide us further.
You don’t even notice the change,
Not until it affects you
That’s when I become the villain,
The one who’s different, who’s cold,
The one creating the distance.
There’s an ocean between us and I’ve lost sight of your shore.
There was a time not long ago when I could tell you anything,
but that time has passed.
Is it the fear of losing my best friend,
The fear of losing my family that keeps me grasping at the shifting sand the waves keep washing away.
Am I an idiot for hoping things get better?
For the distance to shrink?
For a way to find that friendship we worked so hard to build?
Should I finally let the ocean that’s separating us wash it all away?
So I hope you guys enjoyed it!
Thanks for stopping by,
Realm Walker Series
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: October 28, 2013
Publisher: Carina Press
Word Count: 76,000
Goodreads Rating: 3.75
My Rating: 4/4.5
An estranged mate, a mangled body and a powerful demon who calls her by name…
As a Realm Walker for the Agency, Juliana Norris tracks deadly paranormal quarry using her unique ability to see magical signatures. She excels at her job, but her friends worry about her mysterious habit of dying in the line of duty without staying dead. That’s only the first of her secrets.
Most people don’t know Juliana became the mate of master vampire Thomas Kendrick before he abandoned her seven years ago. Most people don’t know the horrors she endured at the hands of the vampire he left in command. Most people don’t know her true parentage, or why a demon on a world-threatening rampage has taken a personal interest in her…
Even as Juliana pursues the demon, it goes after all she holds dear—including Thomas, who is back to claim her for his own. But if she can’t reconcile her past and learn to trust herself again, she will lose him forever.
My Take On The Book:
What can I say… I’m a sucker for these types of books and this one didn’t disappoint. Realm Walker and author Kathleen Collins take you on a great adventure with a lovable albeit frustrating cast. I initially found myself pulled in by the synopsis which I had to read on my very unreliable phone and email app, so I stared the email and made sure to check it out on my computer when I got home. I did, and boy am I happy I did. Not only does the cover art have the same feel as some of my favorite authors, so does the writing and the setting. I was a tad hesitant, but only slightly cause as of late I’ve read too many vampire stories and truthfully I felt they might be a tad played out… but I’m happy to have been proved wrong. It had a strong plotline, easy to follow and interesting but that is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Great (Pros):
- Juliana. She’s just so badass, excuse my language. Granted she had her whiny moments, a couple of which just want to make you shake her silly, she pretty much always delivers on the awesomeness.
- Realm Walkers. I gotta say I love the concept of Realm Walkers and they reminded me ‘Shadowblades’ from the Horngate Witches Series. Sure they had some differences but they were equally kick butt.
- Nathaniel. I have a soft spot for the furry werebeast. I’m not sure if it’s just my love for werewolves in general or it was Nathaniel’s smart ass comments and swagger but I absolutely loved his character. The relationship between Juliana and him was just so cozy and cute, you kinda want your own Nathanial, pain in the ass or not.
- Thomas. Ok, so I’ve said it before but I was totally over the vampire fad, but Thomas may have just pulled me outta that mindset. He too had some annoying quirks, mainly from his age which he definitely shows proudly through his vocabulary. ‘His Bride’ was thrown out so much, I kinda wanted to cuff him upside the head and hope I got away with my life. Understandably, regardless of his issues with Juliana he sticks to his guns making him a totally lovable vamp.
- The Demons. Ok, so this is the second book I’ve review with Demons as a foe. And just as much as I loved them in Dark Souls, I love them as much in this one too. Not the Demons themselves, because I really really hated them but more the role they play in the grander scheme of things. I really liked the integration of the demons into the story line and the scariness of not knowing what the hell to do to stop them. My absolute favorite scene in this book stares one pissed of Demon and a swimming pool.
- Jeremiah and family. The fire elemental and his family are way too cute. I love how they dote on Juliana in that very familial way. Jeremiah is a father of sorts to our heroine and he shows how much he cares for her almost immediately. The twins are sexy little turds… the way they mess with Juliana and Thomas is priceless!
The Not So Great (Cons):
- Inconsistency. Unfortunately, for every good there is usually some bad and this story is no exception. There were a couple of moments in this story that kinda contradicted themselves. I wish I could delve into this topic a little more but to do that would ruin the experience for you guys as readers.
- Love Triangle. I am not a huge fan of love triangles; they are played out and washed out. I know they tend to creep into stories you write and once the idea has revealed itself it’s hard to ignore. As authors we tend to feel we are exempt and I know I myself have said “Mine will be different” unfortunately often at times they aren’t and tend to just cause an unnecessary drag in the story. Granted this one is done in a completely different way that will kind of leave you reeling and scratching your head, but a triangle is a triangle and a square is a square. Regardless of the ending, there is always that awkwardness that accompanies the characters when they are all on the same page. Plus as a reader you can’t help but root for one character over the other.
- Catalina. I really really REALLY did not like her, but I kinda feel like that was the point lol. She was a vial witch with a b to Juliana, and well that my friends, is completely unacceptable. So for the sake of pros and cons she’s being filed into this character even if the character itself isn’t a fault in the book.
- Michael. Ok I was really conflicted with putting him here cause I genuinely liked his character through most of the book, but there is this one scene in the book towards the end of the middle… a scene with Juliana, that constantly replays in my mind when I think of his character and it irks me, especially since it falls into the inconsistency I spoke about earlier. It was outta character for the person/vamp the author was making him out to be. It just doesn’t work and once you read it you guys will understand completely.
- Ben. Grr. Nuff said. No I’m kidding, he much like Catalina bugged the ever loving daylight outta me. He started off as a completely likeable character and then at the end he makes a 180 that makes you want to drop kick him in the face with a steal toed boot cover in silver. Seriously what a douche bag.
This book is one I’d definitely recommend to people, especially people with a love for urban fantasy. It was similar to ‘The Anita Blake Series’ by Laurel K. Hamilton, the earlier ‘Southern Vampire Series’ by Charlaine Harris, ‘The Hollows’ by Kim Harrison with writing comparable to Chole Neill author of ‘Chicago Land Vampires’ and Diana Pharaoh Francis author of ‘Horngate Witches’. A definite must have for your virtual or literal bookshelves. I definitely can’t wait for the next installment as I’m sure I will gobble that one up!,
About The Author
Kathleen Collins has been writing since Kindergarten. And while her ability has drastically improved, her stories are still about monsters and the people who play with them.
The rare instances that she actually finds some spare time, she spends it playing with her two boys. Three if you count her husband.
She is currently hard at work on her next book.
Connect With Kathleen Collins
Enter The Giveaway for your chance to win Goodies from the Author
1 Halloween Theme Prize Pack open to US Shipping
The goodies include:
A felt owl bag
A cool Skull sign
A skull glow in the dark ring
Charms – including the vampire themed “Blood Donor Wanted”
A cool woven bracelet with silver skulls
A skeleton voodoo doll key ring
Vampire themed cookie cutters
Vampire shot glasses
8 ebook copies of Realm Walker by Kathleen Collins
“I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion.”
Dragon’s Fate Book 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Number of pages: 118
Word Count: 32K
My Rating: 3.5 to 4
Between hate and lust lies heaven, hell… and smoldering love.
Like his brothers, Madoc is a dragon born by blood magic. Unlike them, he has only once bitten a human in a near-hopeless quest to find his eternal mate. Watching that woman die nearly destroyed him.
Now he works to invent a watch that will rewind time. When he attends the Spectacle of Time in Paris, though, he finds a woman who shakes the foundation of his world and crumbles his ferocious control.
Ever since the black-haired man with the red crescent on his cheek ruined her family, Fina has hated him. When she runs into him in Paris, she is determined to show him just how much. Instead, overwhelmed by the desire to both kill him and bed him, her body betrays her and she melts in his arms.
Sparks fly, and—when his teeth sink into her skin—she ignites. But she can’t run far and fast enough to avoid the burning truth. She is now part of Madoc’s dangerous world, body, soul, and fire.
Warning: This novel contains explicit sex, time-shifting, distance-hopping, a super-hot dragon, and a woman who can take the heat.
Short Excerpt: http://www.lacydanes.com/books/open-flame/#read-an-excerpt
My take on the book:
Ok Ok, I have to admit I was conflicted about my review of this book.
On the one hand, I loved it. I loved the concept of Dragons, the fact that each dragon wields a particular magic of their own and the integration of vampires. But on the other hand, I was a tad disappointed with how the story unfolded. Book one of this series, Waterfall was permanently added to my fave book list not long ago when I read it, it was chalk full of steam and so much je ne sais quoi which I felt was missing a bit from Open Flame. It was a good read, a really good read. I loved the characters as much if not more than book one but and this is a really big but, I felt like this story and its characters might have done better if featured in a longer novella or full length novel. Now maybe I’m being partial due to my disappointment in the book’s ending (not the way it ended but well its ending read the pros and cons for a better explanation) but I’ll stand by my observation. I didn’t feel there was enough of a story, everything felt rushed this time around and that was my confliction while reading this story.
Once again Lacy Danes was a genius with words and imagery so that was a major plus in my opinion so the story wasn’t lacking there. The world was vivid, almost tangible. Ms. Danes has a unique way with setting a scene and I believe wholeheartedly that this book captured that. I’d probably make more sense if I broke it all down for you guys.
The Great (Pros):
- The Characters. I loved Madoc and I really liked Fina. She was just the right of spunk and woman. She made me mad and made me laugh at her utterly ridiculous monologue (this is of course meant it the best sense. Ms. Dane’s writing was superb so I’m not calling that ridiculous in the least.) She was strong which seemed like a great fit for Madoc. Madoc was just the perfect mesh of sexy dragon goodness and lost puppy.
- The Prologue. This part of the story was simply and to the point. A perfect intro to the story and a great way to allow readers the opportunity to jump into the series even without reading book one. It allows the book to stand on its own giving the reader the option of picking up the first book if they so choose. I recommend reading both though 😉
- Hudson. He deserves to stand on his own and not fall into the category of characters lol. He was so conflicted and his story tugs at your heart strings but his ability to put that behind him and still be such a great friend to Madoc makes you giddy and swoon. He truly is a great friend to Madoc and in turn Fina, not to mention he is pretty funny in his witty remarks.
- The Magic. The magic of this world, the creation of Lacy Dane’s brilliant mind, has to be one of my favorite aspects of this story. She crafted the world ‘magically’ and it shows in the way she penned it.
- Lacy Dane’s Writing Style. It makes you breathless. As I stated before the characters were well loved and amazingly constructed. The world, The Spectacle of Time, The distance hoping just leaves you yearning to read more.
- Carmen. She was just so well written. While she doesn’t appear in the book much, she kinda has a knack for stealing the spotlight when she entered on the page. I can’t delve to seep into this, for fear that I would give away some of the story.
- The Epilogue. It literally leaves you hungry for more. It has so many redeeming qualities. You have a slight moment of fear but mainly it ends the book on a relatively happy note and you with a smile on your face.
- Zir. I don’t know why but I just love that word. It’s different, weird even, but a perfect fit for a group of males who are indeed Dragons. Am I the only one wondering how she came up with that?
The not so great (Cons):
- The word elemental. I know this might sound silly but I have this pet peeve about repetition. The word in my opinion was used way too much in the first chapter. It was elemental this and elemental that and I couldn’t stop the sigh of frustration that escaped me while reading it. Then it completely disappeared and I calmed only for it to return again and frustrate me once more.
- Ilmir. He’s one of the brothers, his element air and I wanted to like him, I really did but I couldn’t. At least not till the epilogue. I couldn’t stomach his brash attitude or the way he was with Madoc. He was so cold and demeaning. It just irked me to no end.
- The length. As I stated before, I felt this story would have done more with a little more meat. I felt like it was rushed. Not enough action. There were two baddies for Fina/Madoc to deal with other than the obvious resistance from Fina described in the book summary and neither of them were to my liking. I felt like one was rushed through and the other was added as an afterthought and dealt with poorly by the characters. This was probably my biggest deciding factor for my rating
All in all, I would recommend this book for many readers especially those who like books set in the past, those who love romance and those who love supernatural books. If you read ‘Destiny Kills’ or ‘Mercy Burns’ by Keri Arthur and loved it then this is definitely the book for you.
About the Author:
Lacy Danes made a New Year’s resolution to write a hot, historical romance. A year and a half later, she achieved her goal. She lives in Portland OR, where besides writing she enjoys horseback riding, gardening and savoring a great martini while watching the world go by.
Visit Lacy online:
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1 Author’s Favorite Things pack: Fun cocktail accessories and recipes Makeup from Lacy’s favorite lines 60.00 Amazon gift card- open to US Shipping
“I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion.”
Sheri spends her days fighting zombies and her nights chained to a wall, earning her every breath by telling stories to her captor Aleksy—stories that make them both forget the ruined world. Sheri could put up with the conditions—at least she knows her sister is safe in the community Aleksy leads—until she realizes she’s falling for him…even though he wants her dead.
Fairytales, Zombies and Romantic BDSM
Hello, hello. I’m the author of One Thousand and One Nights, soon to be published by the Ever After line of Entangled. I live in South Africa, which is a country, and I write and review fiction while studying law.
1001 Nights adapts and retells the story of Scheherazade, the mythical Persian queen who escaped beheading at the hands of her jilted, homicidal husband Shahryar (in Persian, “king”) by telling him bedtime stories. In his original form, Shahryar inspires about as much empathy as Ted Bundy. Surrounded by man-eating corpses, protecting his own tiny island of the living, Aleksy (in Greek/Polish, “defender of mankind”) was my attempt to salvage the King from his misogynistic past. He hates and fears his Scheherazade, Sheri, because she’s tainted by a zombie-bite, but still human. The feeling of just subsisting from day to day translates well to an updated version: Aleksy tries to keep going in a world that’s betrayed him, and Sheri lives with the constant fear of death and undeath.
I first called it One Thousand and One Corpses, but the publisher wanted more romance, less out-and-out horror. I also gave it a subtitle, Sheri and the King, which probably tells you more about my upbringing on Broadway musicals than you wanted to know. I balance that out with a zombie obsession that gave me chills all the way through Max Brooks’ World War Z. In fact, I’d pay to watch a zombie musical, preferably written and directed by Richard O’Brien. It’d take about twenty years for a decent production to find its way to Cape Town, South Africa, but I’ll fund the Kickstarter campaign and wait.
Doing research for this story was a pleasure. I read the tales of Sinbad, explored the different translations and took a closer look at some traditional fairytales. These stories and their Disney reboots cause me equal amounts of delight and righteous anger. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, The Little Mermaid: if there’s any message there, it’s that women should be hetero, beautiful and probably silent. Even better, asleep. One of my favourites is Beauty and the Beast, which tells the story of a spoilt daydreamer, imprisoned and blackmailed until she falls in love with her abuser. I’m writing the BDSM version right now. It’s empowering. At least a Belle who reads the Marquis de Sade and dreams about whippings wants everything she gets.
Sure, I’m a feminist. I believe in “the radical notion that women are people”, in the words of Cheris Kramarae. I had some interesting discussions with my editors on this point, especially as regards Sheri and her boundless enthusiasm for sex. I adore the erotica written by Remittance Girl, who takes a similar approach to liberated female sexuality as Greta Christina, a fantastic atheist blogger and sex writer. I wanted my story to reflect these concerns of mine, and I’d welcome any comments on this subject.
Fairytales, zombies, (romantic) BDSM and feminism are themes that run through 1001 Nights. But the story’s also just playful pop fiction that I wrote for fun. I hope you enjoy the reading as much as I enjoyed the writing.
“He had meant to go straight to the basin to wash, but instead he stood watching the woman sleep. Did she dream? The coppery hair covering her face likely concealed shallow fever-dreams of blood and slaughter, but the arm curled defensively around her head made her seem vulnerable—a captive no older than her teenaged sister. Rays from the sun reached in through the window, and where they touched her skin a blush rose to the surface, pulsing as though kindled from within. Her dressing-gown had fallen open. Aleksy’s eye was held by the way her breasts pushed against the severe under wiring of her bra.
On her, it didn’t look pre-packaged. The charcoal-grey cups matched the high waisted briefs she wore; the cotton bunched a little where one thigh had slipped over the other. Only when her finger twitched and she resettled her head on her arm did he find the self-discipline to shut his eyes and turn away.”
Connect with Author Ruth Browne:
Read my review HERE
Lucky you, I’m offering a free digital copy of Awakened the prequel to the upcoming ‘Gifted’ book one of The Birth Curse Series. The book will be available to all who sign up for my free newsletter before the release of book one.
To sign up to the newsletter just fill out the form below. Once you’ve signed up for the newsletter, you’ll receive an opt in email which basically just confirms that you meant to sign up. Once you’ve confirmed you’ll receive a records email and it in that final email, that you’ll get your digital download.
Keep in mind that the newsletter is also good for receiving coupons and release announcements. The newsletter does not deal with 3rd parties so no worries. And lastly, you can opt out at any time with a simple click. I promise I won’t be flooding your email with pointless email blasts.
Also, I’ve uploaded a new excerpt. This time, it’s for the book titled ‘Knock Me Off My Choos’. The book is the first in the series titled Heels Over Head. It’s a romantic comedy type book and the first I’ve written in that genre so I’m really excited. Remember, this is an excerpt and it might change a bit once I’ve finished the book and its gone through multiple edits and re-writes lol.
Genre: YA Paranormal/
Release Date: April 10, 2013
Publisher: Dauntless Hawk Ink
Pages: 301 pages
Goodreads Rating: 4.78
My Rating: 5
My take on the book:
The Great (Pros):
- The world AJMM created so masterfully. I loved the scenery in this book; she literally took me on a literary adventure. I felt as if I was right there experiencing some of the scenes with Freya.
- The Characters. I know I mentioned above that those characters were greatly developed and I meant it. I loved A.J.M. Mousseau’s characters, from the good down to the bad. Sure I wanted to rip the face off said villain, but isn’t that how you know that the author has created a note worthy opponent for your hero? Truthfully, I can’t say that any character’s storyline really irked me. Freya is pretty awesome and Theron is Ah-maze-ing, two of my favorite main characters as of yet. I loved Piper, she was just too cute and Scarlett was oddly reminiscent of my own aunt. I loved Jesse even when he seemed to be that brooding over protective guy you tend to get annoyed with. I can’t get into too much detail involving the characters cause I might give away some of the plot points but just know that I could spend hours discussing this book and those characters.
- The Science and Mythology. Really guys, this author did her homework before penning this masterfully written story. She breaks things down for us readers in a way that’s informative, not condescending. The mythology was woven into the story so well I found myself getting chills at some points.
- The Cover Art. Seriously this cover art is so amazing and fits the story. It was one of the main reasons I found myself drawn to the story and one of the reasons I decided to read it. Even though it’s not a full facial shot it helped me to imagine Freya in my mind.
The not so great (Cons):
- The ending. Don’t get me wrong the ending itself was pretty cool, but a tad anti-climactic. I saw it coming and that really bugged me when I went to turn the page and found I had reached the end. I wasn’t expecting that ending for a book that in my opinion worked so hard and succeeded in proving it was NOT like the rest. But this was a small faux pas that I can overlook. Truthfully only because I know, as a writer, that it is meant to keep readers on the edge of their seats and keep them hooked and tuned in for the next installment in the series. The ending gives the author a plot to work with so like I said bearable.
- Predictability. I know, this might seem to conflict with my earlier statement to the contrary and for the most part this book was a breath of fresh air. But there was one moment in the book other than the aforementioned ending that I can’t delve into because it definitely is a major plot point, that I totally knew without a shadow of a doubt would happen. As the author continued, I pushed the thought to the back of my mind and hoped that it wouldn’t play out that way… but it did.