The Bookish Box: June Unboxing!

Oh what a long week it’s been, but I’m finally back into the swing of things! I’ve missed you guys and can’t wait to get some of these awesome posts up that I’ve had waiting for you. My first post this week is a fun one, because not only is it the second installment of the beautiful Bookish Box unboxing, but it also features the little furball that’s been making our life batty ❤

The Bookish Box is an amazing monthly subscription box that sends you a little package of goodies that appeal to your literary side. My first month with them was the special Harry Potter-themed box (and this month they have a Game of Thrones one you can get for a limited time!). This month’s theme was classic novels!

Ah!


I love the classics, so I was an absolute sucker for this month’s goodies.


The package was so beautiful and contained a few exemplary pieces:

  1. Appraising Pages: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass T-Shirt
  2. Bugaboo Bear Designs – Great Gatsby Notebook
  3. A Cute Geek -Ampersand Ring
  4. Out of Print – Alice in Wonderland Socks

The T-shirt is absolutely adorable and soft… I’m in love with the way Appraising Pages makes their clothing and I had to stop myself from cuddling with it when I opened the box. It’s just tooooo soft!


The ring is just the right size, too, and actually goes perfectly with the Harry Potter necklace I got last month! The notebook is fantastic as well because I always carry one in my purse, and I can’t wait to slip on these adorable Out of Print socks. I love their necklaces, too, so obviously their socks are of great quality (anyone see their Kurt Vonnegut So it Goes necklace? Freakin’ amazing!).


There was also a cute green magnetic bookmark in the box that wasn’t listed, but it will definitely come in handy. I realized I need to be more of a bookmark fiend especially since I only have one and I tend to read a dozen books at once. I feel like I don’t need another bookish item to collect, but I just can’t help myself 🙂

Bonus kitteh pic. Taco the Space Invader is the herald of Curious Cats!

What do you guys think? I can’t believe how cute and usable all of the things in the Bookish Boxes are. This is the last unboxing I’ll be doing, but I hope you guys loved it! I really enjoy their packages so maybe around Christmas time I’ll treat myself again.

 

Until next time!

Live,

Morgan Paige

 

Top 5 Wednesday! Settings you want to see more of!

Hey everyone!

Here’s a T5W for you guys that is so different, it’s amazing!

Books can get repetitive, and we all have our favorite types of characters and storylines and genres and whatnot, but what about setting?

We see the same ones kind of all the time, don’t we? Schools, urban homes, dystopian futures, space ships… well, which settings would you like to see more of?

I think the following five need more inclusion in our books:

  1. Wild West/ Gold Rush Era America
  2. Deserts… whether it be fantasy, freak-show/horror, crime thriller, everything!
  3. Ships!
  4. Underground/Hell
  5. More picturesque settings (get away from the harsh dystopia and focus on natural beauty even in really fantastical stories)

These are sort of self-explanatory, but I have a serious love for all of the settings above. I am in the middle of writing a Gold Rush era story so I’ve had that on my brain a lot and really would like to see more of it as well as deserts and arid settings. I also love anything that includes sailing overseas or naval/pirate ships! I’m drawn to stories that delve into what is actually going on under our Earth’s crust in the whole Jules Verne kind of way and I loooove depictions of Hell. Bring ‘em on!

And as a more generic idea, I wish more authors described their settings in ways that made in appear as magical as the world is itself. I feel like a lot of authors think people want to read about how ugly the world is because bad things are happening in it, but sometimes the opposite is for me. A lush and highly evocative setting can sometimes make a perfect contradiction to a hopeless story. So I wish I saw more of that contrast in writing as well.

Let me know what you guys think or if you have a suggestion that would meet my (somewhat crazy) list of desirable settings!!! I’d love to hear them!

And check out the Goodreads page for T5W HERE

Until next time!

Live,

Morgan Paige

Like Mixing Oil and Water… But Cats.

It’s been quiet on the Western front… and I have to apologize!

I skipped my normal post this past Tuesday and I honestly don’t know how the rest of the week is going to go. You know when you have posts written, you’re excited to put final touches on them and BAM something comes up that takes up literally all of your time?


Well, this little monster has thrown off my groove.

I don’t usually do posts like this… I try to keep this blog centralized around literature and fun book stuff, and I really like to focus on other authors who are getting their name out there. They are the ones that you come here to discover; not little ol’ me who has some writing chops under her belt but nothing fancy.

I’m going to switch it up a bit and fill you all in on my life, because I owe you at least a bit of an explanation for my erratic posting this week and it feels pretty great to have a supportive group like you guys around to talk to.

If anyone else here has ever had to integrate two animals in one household, you probably can feel where this post is headed. Because dang… trying to bring two cats together as friends is pretty much a full-time job outside of my actual full-time job, let alone blogging (which seriously, is making me anxious because I love blogging and not being able to do it, or any writing for that matter, is making me crazy).

My boyfriend, Jay, and I have done a ton of research and we decided to get a kitty friend for our little furball, Meowmansan. Meow has had a ton of separation anxiety issues since we got him a year and a half ago, and though he’s fit in like a glove to our lives, we figured he’d be a lot happier with a friend to keep him company while we are at work or out of the house.

We scoured the humane society a few times before finally meeting the sweetest, most calm bundle of love and we scooped him up and proudly brought him back for Meow to see. And, of course, chaos ensued.

They are curious about each other, meow at each other through the door, and love to explore and hang out with the doors open, but still fur has flown and hissing has been established. I think we’re lucky that little Taco the Space Invader (our new buddy) is so calm and curious, because if he were as fearful as Meow, the introduction probably wouldn’t have gone as well as it has.

But, in all honesty, it is stressing me out to have them so at odds with each other. I like to blame my tendency for extreme empathy, but it could also be that I am just a worried cat-mother. I hate seeing Meow so sad and discomposed and locking Taco up in our guest room for the day (though, that being said, he does absolutely love having his own space and being able to watch the birds through the big windows).

I am just a little ball of anxiety and it isn’t helping the cats out at all. If Jay weren’t so composed and helpful, I don’t know where we’d be right about now.

But the point is, I’ve been up to my eyeballs trying to integrate the cats with patience and love.

It’s been trying… I am super sensitive and sometimes I hate that about myself… but, we are giving the cats our undivided attention to try and make this work. With time they will become buddies, they both have the perfect temperament for each other, but it just takes time.

And that means less time to blog.

I hope you guys will bear with me- to those of you who have sent me emails, I’m sorry I haven’t been able to respond. I know many people will think this is a stupid excuse, but animals and people, those that I love, mean a lot to me. I didn’t even take time off to stop blogging when I went on vacation last year, so I hope you understand that it’s not that I’m going on hiatus, my posts might just be a little erratic. Taco helped with a photoshoot yesterday, so I have stuff coming, I just don’t know when!

Thanks for reading and listening, guys, I really appreciate all of your support and just having you guys around. If anyone has any advice, too, please let me know because I’d gladly take any tips to make this transition easier!

If there’s anything you guys definitely want to see, too, or if you’re even interested in little updates like this, please let me know. It’s an interesting thing to try to balance an informative and not self-centered blog… but I realized I hadn’t really posted much about myself to begin with… sigh. It’s a strange balance lol

And now I’m rambling! I’m happy to be able to chat with you guys about this, I’d love to hear any tips or anything from you all. Let me know about your little furballs, too 🙂 I love animal/pet stories so much lol and they’ll definitely lift my spirits!

Until next time!

Live,

Morgan Paige

Top 5 Wednesday! Favorite Posts

Hey everyone!

This is another Top 5 Wednesday, created by the awesome Sam and Lainey from Thoughts for Tomes and Gingerreadslainey on Youtube. I think this week’s post is pretty awesome because it kind of diverts from the norm, but it allows me to show you guys what posts and content I’ve made myself that I really want to share with you all and consider my favorite!

I’ve been blogging for three years, but I haven’t been serious about it (posting more than three posts a week, consistently) until… wow, almost a year ago! We’ll have to do a little birthday/anniversary celebration for it, because it really was a huge goal of mine to get more serious in blogging and talking about books with such an awesome community like you guys 🙂

I think the best content I’ve put out so far is a bit varied across different platforms, but let’s see…

1. Short Story- I Forgot

This is a bit personal because though I wrote it as a scary story, anyone who has a family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia knows that the horror is real. I wrote this with my loving, beautiful grandparents in mind and though it is a very flawed piece, I still love what it stands for and how it came out.

2. Instagram pic of me meeting my idol, Garth Nix!

So my Instagram is a mix of bookstagram and personal pics, but my favorite pic on it is when I got to meet my literary idol Garth Nix. I have loved his books since I was young and will always love his books, and meeting him was the cherry on top. I was so afraid that he would laugh at my decade old copy of his book Abhorsen or that he would be apathetic to his fans, but he was incredibly kind, was delighted that I brought in a loved copy, and asked me if I was a writer. Gah. I practically fainted from fangirling.

And my bro was there to take pictures so that was nice that he came with me lol It was a fun experience overall!

3. Harry Potter Unboxing

This is a new post, but it is a favorite piece because its inspired me to get a lot more technical and ambitious with my posts. I’m happy with how it looks and how it translates on screen, and though this is a literary blog, visuals and presentation are just as important as content. So it’s kind of a touchstone post for me in terms of inspiration and goals!

4. A&E Café post

I chose this café review out of all the others for what it stands for. Yes, the piece is fairly straight-forward and visually appealing, but the sheer atmosphere and effect of the roastery on me that day was revolutionary. I was spending the day doing errands and had a lot on my mind. The roastery was like a little haven of contemplation and I was able to leave there, after a sublime cup of coffee, with a settled mind and heart. It was good day and I like thinking back on it when I look at that post.

5. First Series on Strength Post

This is also new, but it’s been a series I’ve been wanting to start for months. I think it’s an important and fun topic and really am proud of how it’s going to turn out, and I hope you guys like it, too!

What about you guys? Any links to favorite posts that you’ve written that you’d like to share? Please link them here because I’d love to see them!

And check out the Goodreads page for T5W HERE

Until Next Time

Live,

Morgan Paige

New Self-Published eBooks: June 19-25

Well, here’s some exciting news! 

I’ve met so many new self-published authors thanks to a meet and greet that Nikki at A Kinder Way has put on. I absolutely loved getting to meet new people and I love the sense of community that we all have here. Please, any new fantasy authors, let me know when you come out with your books because I’d love to feature them!

Here’s this weeks new pubs 🙂 I hope you guys find something interesting you’d like to read!

The Blackstar Gambit by Jan Domagala available June 19, 2016

How to Catch a Writer’s Ghost by Russ Viola available June 20, 2016

Ashes of the Stars by Elizabeth Van Zandt available June 20, 2016

#1,2 3 of the Luna Cycle series by Devon Gidley available June 21, 2016

The Duke’s Daughter: Wyld Magic Prequel by Kristen S Walker available June 21, 2016

The Sentient (#3 in the Unity series) by SM Lynch

The Keeper of Dragons: The Prince Returns by JA Culican available June 21, 2016

Crossroads (#3 in the Guardians series) by Wendy Saunders 

Moonchild by Kate L Mary available June 21, 2016

Eve by Patti Larsen available June 21, 2016

The Jennifer Project by Larry Enright available June 21, 2016

Poison or Protect by Gail Carriger available June 21, 2016

The Water Road by JD Byrne available June 22, 2016

Open Mind by Zoltan Posfai available June 22, 2016

Eternity’s Invitation (#2 in the Ghostly Travels series) by Natasja Rose available June 22, 2016

Martial Lawless (#3 in the Calm Act series) by Ginger Booth available June 22, 2016

Ren of Atikala: The Empire of Dust (#3 in the Kobolds series) by David Adams available June 22, 2016

The New World (#7 in the After the Event series) by TA Williams available June 22, 2016 

Lost Lamb by Daniel Kamarudin available June 23, 2016

A Bright Particular Star by Hilary Green available June 23, 2016

Soul of Darkness (#2 in the Souls series) by Vanessa Black available June 23, 2016

Idiom by Terry Schott available June 23, 2016

Blood Debt (#2 in the Blood Sisters series) by Jill Cooper available June 23, 2016 

The Unhallowed (#5 in the Witch Hunter saga) by Nicole R Taylor available June 23, 2016

Woven Peril (#2 in the Aylosian Chronicles) by Jeffrey Collyer available June 24, 2016

Wet Ducks (#5 in the Endurance series) by Amy Spahn available June 24, 2016

Under a Hunter’s Moon by Timothy Bateson available June 24, 2016

The Mandate of Heaven by Mike Smith available June 24, 2016 

Optimal Outcome by JW Bouchard available June 24, 2016

The Last God of Earth by AJ Vanderpoel available June 25, 2016

Sworn to Sovereignty (#8 in the Courtlight series) by Terah Edun available June 25, 2016

 

Twisted Magics by JD Jackson available June 21, 2016

The Cloven Land by Simon Kewin available June 21, 2016

Death of Civilization by Nathan Hale available June 21, 2016

The Empire of Dust by David Adams available June 22, 2016

Nanite Storm by CF Villian available June 23, 2016

 

 

Shadowlander by Randal McDonald available June 21, 2016

Moonchild by Kate L available June 21, 2016

Fortunes Deadly Gaze by Jeanette Raleigh available June 23, 2016

The Mandate of Heaven by Mike Smith available June 24, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday! Favorite Literary Father Figures

Hey guys! This is another awesome Top 5 Wednesday, created by the fun youtubers Gingerreadslainey and Thoughts on Tomes. Check them out HERE because they are pretty fantastic and I’m so happy they’ve brought together a group of readers like ourselves with these weekly prompts 🙂

This topic is a bit out of my comfort zone to be honest… my dad passed when I was a young’un and up until now I realized I didn’t really put much thought into fatherly figures in literature. But after thinking about the question and considering characters who I look up to most, I put together the following (quite varied) list:

1. Hagrid from Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Hagrid comes across as more of a friend than a father to Harry, but I think that he was the most present and supportive of Harry’s adult role models in the entire series. Hagrid’s the only adult to get him a cake for his birthday, to watch him at all of his Quidditch matches, to get him presents, to teach Harry right from wrong, and to openly fight and protect him from enemies without question. Many other adults are there for him like the Weasley’s, Sirius, and his professors, but the way Hagrid loves him is the way a parent would.

2. Lou Carmody from NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Lou is an overweight man-child who loves his dysfunctional wife but would go to the end of the world for their child Bruce. He is loving, caring, thoughtful, and despite his intimidating, ogre-like appearance, he would do anything for his family. He is a quintessential father figure and any kid would be lucky to have a dad as present and caring as he is!

3. Andross Guile from The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

Here’s my first curveball 🙂 Andross is a despicable, manipulative person, but he’s honestly one of the most interesting fathers I’ve ever read. He is horrible, and is definitely one of the main villains in the series, but he forces his sons (and grandson) to stand up and fight. He isn’t a father figure for the gentle hearted, and therefore inspires some of the most interesting qualities in his sons. He also loves his wife more than anything, which shows he’s a little bit human at heart.

4. Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Mr. Bennet has caused a bit of controversy amongst fans, because depending on your point of view he can be seen as frivolous and jaded or kind and laid-back. He lives in a family full of women and just wants to tend to his books and his intellectual pursuits, but his interactions with Lizzie and his wife are both heart-warming and hilarious. He is a bit thoughtless sometimes, but he is overall a very good father and a very caring husband.

5. Father from The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Here’s my second curveball! Mostly, because Father is one of the most feared psychopaths to ever adopt a herd of children. He teaches them lessons the hard way, makes them grow up faster than ethics should allow and pushes them to become shells of the humanity that they would have grown up as … but how else do you groom Gods? Father is terrible, righteous, and awesome. He’s the smartest being in the Universe and there’s always a reason behind his actions, which makes him the best kind of parent, but it’s unfortunate that his goal elicits such means. But, it still makes for some of the best reading of the year 🙂

What about you guys? Any father figures you like more than the ones I mentioned? I’d love to hear what you guys all think! And I hope you and your families have a wonderful Father’s Day!

Until Next Time

Live,

Morgan Paige

Part 1: What Makes a Character Strong?

Strength.

Book covers feature weapon-gripping lords and ladies. Box office posters scream at you with the moody visage of a hell-hath-no-fury lead actor. Radios teem with the lyrics of perseverance from singers from Beyonce to Disturbed to Gwen Stefani. All of this media exposure leads to the same overall message: we want strength to inspire, and we want it now.

What you are about to read is the first post in a discussion that delves into creating strong characters in a novel. I want to talk with you about the qualities attributed to strength, especially in lead characters in literature, and today I am focusing on what the definition of a strong character is. It isn’t about who is strong and who isn’t, it’s why the character is strong and why they stand out as a full-fledged, well-written character.

This is a topic discussed throughout many media avenues, but its very foundation seems to exist on a superficial level. “Strong” female leads are flooding the mainstream with books/movies like The Hunger Games and Divergent.

Think about your idols and imagine what makes them so appealing. What makes them strong and capable, whereas others are not? Why is it that male characters can embody strength so easily when a female has to strive to acquire that trait?

What is it that actually makes a character strong?

Strength is in their ability to make decisions.

It isn’t about what makes a character good (versus evil), how much ass they can kick, how many people they kill, how far their adventure takes them, or what kind of creatures oppose them. It isn’t about how fucked up the world is and how, for some reason, it relies upon them to save it. Passivity and coincidence drive one too many lead characters. Usually this is a symptom of lazy writing (unfinished character arcs maybe) or merely the author’s choice to make the lead connect too well to its audience. Some main characters in books are just sort of blank slates that any person can put their own identity into in order to make the book more relatable and the character, therefore, perceived as “strong.”


However, strength comes from the character’s drive and how he or she leads their own life. As seen in the popularity of villains, they are characters that have a purpose and a moral code (though skewed). These alternative ways of looking at the world allow them to makes decisions and act on them, which sometimes makes them stronger than their protagonist.

And yet, there are people in books who serve as a guiding light and are the strength of a story. And yet, maybe they don’t have that physical strength that is regularly tied in with a “strong” character.

To show you just what I mean, consider this question: Why do people love characters like Dumbledore from Harry Potter so much? He is the epitome of strong, there is no doubt. He leads a wizarding world with just his presence, which just goes to highlight the fact that he never uses physical violence to make a point (except for his battle against good ol’ Voldy). His character and his sense of morality, his ability to inspire and bring together a group of people, and his desire to live life a certain way (as a good and pioneering wizard) make him a strong character. He makes decisions that are self-sacrificing and also pit him against those he had considered friends/allies (Cornelius Fudge and the headmasters of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang to name a few), because he believed in himself and what he stood for.


Other strong characters are Captain America (who lives his life to fight for the good and the weak despite clashing with his fellow Avengers), Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (who lived her life her way and only her way, even after society attempted to quash her), Ms. Coulter from His Dark Materials (even though her purposeful actions mutilated and crippled children), and Sherlock Holmes (who, despite being an addict, was revered for his super intelligence and ability to solve the unsolvable).

These characters have serious flaws and are also people that lead extraordinarily different lives in the literary world. Ms. Coulter wouldn’t be caught dead in the hovel that Salander lived in and Holmes would scoff at the boy-scout Steve Rogers as he tried to talk morality to a murderer. But all of them possess the unique quality of being able to make decisions. It doesn’t have to be the right decision, it doesn’t have to be good or inherently bad. It doesn’t have to change the world or even be the thing that you, as a reader, would do.

Being loyal to who you are and knowing who you are makes you strong.

There’s a quote in Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson that sums up part of what a weak character is, and is a gem for writers like myself to recognize weakness in their characters:

[speaking about his race of people]

“We are a weak people, mistress. We are eager to do as we are told, quick to seek subjugation. Even I, whom you dub a rebel, immediately sought out a position of stewardship and subservience. We are not so brave as we would wish, I think.”

Pg 274, Mistborn

It’s a bit meta as it is one of the preliminarily weaker characters in the series, but Sazed himself is a great example of a well-done character arc for a weak-to-strong character.

A person doesn’t have to be able to wield a sword or draw a bowstring in order to be inspirational. They don’t have to save all the children or even the world in order to be great. Good or bad, young or old, a character in a novel achieves strength when they make decisions and act upon them.

 

 

I will continue this Thought Bubble series in the weeks to come. Let me know if this sort of a discussion interests you! And please, chime in with any and all comments. This is a fun topic and is definitely something that I’d love to hear from you all about. Do you like strong characters? Do you see something else that defines strength? Let me know!

 

Self-Published eBooks: June 12-18

Hey everybody!

How’s your weekend going? It’s a bit funny that I realized I had been subconsciously looking up more and more writers advice recently. It wasn’t out of necessity, but more curiosity. And you know what? Everyone has contradicting advice! One author says “write what you know” and another says “never stop imagining.” Isn’t it funny? It just goes to show every writer has a different approach and there’s no one right way.

Do you guys have a favorite piece of advice? Something that works best for you?

I’d love to hear!

On to this weeks list of new eBooks 🙂

Genetic Drift by Martin Schulte available June 12, 2016

Elodia’s Dragon by Jerry Skell available June 12, 2016

The Dark in the Wood (#2 in the Tatterwing series) by MM Stauffer available June 12, 2016

The Wages of Sin (#4 in the Adventures of Jericho Sims series) by T Mike McCurley available June 13, 2016

I am Patient Zero by Daniel Haight available June 13, 2016

Reath by Gary Weston available June 14, 2016

Mayhuethkin by Rachel Wode available June 14, 2016

Fighters, Feared and Fallen (#3 in the Boulton Quest series) by ND Richman available June 14, 2016

Dead Rush Mallon’s Fight by TS Fuhrman available June 14, 2016

Heart of the Beast by Brian Menue available June 14, 2016 

The Legend of Maldenex by Matthew Zellmer available June 14, 2016

The Bureau by Michelle Kay available June 14, 2016

Exposed (#2 in the Virus series) by RJ Crayton available June 14, 2016

Outcast (#2 in the Darkeningstone series) by Mikey Campling available June 14, 2016

Firestorm (#2 in the Sword of Light Trilogy) by Aaron Hodges available June 14, 2016

Henry, The Gaoler (#2 in the Serenity House series) by AW Exley available June 14, 2016 

Out of Time by Michelle Garren Flye available June 15, 2016 

Dot Matrix Apocalypse by W Lawrence Nash available June 15, 2016

The Wizard’s Journey (#2 in the Tales of Garlan series) by D Glenn Casey available June 15, 2016

Assault on Ambrose Station by Jim C Wilson available June 15, 2016

Blackmark by Jean Lowe Carlson available June 15, 2016

Beams of Power, Glyphs of Power (1,2 in the Galaxia Alia AIR series) by Callie Bourde available June 15, 2016

Eunica by J Rose Alexander available June 15, 2016

The Death Seer by Tanis Kaige available June 15, 2016

Warrior Queen by Shona Husk available June 15, 2016

Quantum Thought Controllers: 2036 AD by D Beshore available June 15, 2016

Heart of the Winterland by Kristen Kooistra available June 15, 2016

Ghost Hope by Ripley Patton available June 15, 2016

The World’s End Series 1-3 by CW Crowe available June 15, 2016

Battlelines (#14 in the Human Chronicles Saga) by TR Harris available June 15, 2016

Swan Lake (#7 in the Timeless Fair Tales series) by KM Shea available June 16, 2016

Strength of Spirit by Amanda Faith available June 16, 2016

Aeon Infinitum by E Rachael Hardcastle available June 16, 2016

Evangeline and the Alchemist by Madeleine D’Este available June 16, 2016 

They Mostly Come out at Night by Benedict Patrick available June 16, 2016

Unforgivable (#3 in the Incorruptibles series) by SD Wasley available June 16, 2016

Reborn (#2 in the Chronicles of the Ghost Company) by Shawn Muller available June 16, 2016

Tell me the Truth (#2 in the Listen to Me series) by Sam Austin available June 17, 2016

Scare a Whisper by Anita Shah available June 17, 2016

Spectrum by Aidan J Reid available June 18, 2016

Nyssa Glass and the Juliet Dilemma by HL Burke available June 18, 2016

 

Here Was Charlie If by Dan Spencer available June 12, 2016

An Unbreakable Will by Angela Stevens available June 12, 2016

The Khellen Trilogy by John A Kirk available June 13, 2016

Outcast (#2 in the Darkeningstone series) by Mikey Campling available June 14, 2016

Reath by Gary Weston available June 14, 2016

The Taming by AM Rycroft available June 14, 2016

Time Historian by Regina Morris available June 15, 2016

Trapped by Randolphe Lalonde available June 15, 2016

Strength of Spirit by Amanda Faith available June 16, 2016

Here Was Charlie If by Dan Spencer available June 12, 2016

An Unbrekaable Will by Angela Stevens available June 12, 2016

Outcast by Mike Campling available June 14, 2016

Reath by Gary Weston available June 14, 2016

The Taming by AM Rycroft available June 14, 2016

The Azure Kingdom by Michelle Dare available June 15, 2016

Trapped by Randolphe Lalonde available June 15, 2016

Princess of the Damned by Wendy Knight available June 15, 2016

Strength of Spirit by Amanda Faith available June 16, 2016

I, Human (#8) by Vito Veii available June 17, 2016

The Beginning of the End by Bruce George available June 18, 2016

 

 

Debut Author Book Review: The Curse of the Bruel Coven by Sabrina Ramoth

Hey everyone!

I have a nice debut author book review for you guys 🙂  This book is about witches in New Orleans and is also a love story, so go ahead and read on if that kind of a premise interests you!

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Curse of the Bruel Coven

Author: Sabrina Ramoth

Length: 184 pages

Published by: Exit 80 Publishing

Synopsis: This story follows a young high-school girl named Vivienne Davenport who just lost her mother to a short and vicious battle of cancer. Vivienne, while going through her mother’s things one day, discovers that not only was she adopted, but her biological mother still lives and lives close by in the bustling hub that is New Orleans.

Helped by her best friend Savannah, the two girls go into the city to find the woman who had given up Vivi at such a young age. But just as she begins to find answers, more questions arise when her birth mother is kidnapped from the Wiccan shop that she runs. It is up to Vivienne to discover the truth behind her actual bloodline and stop the powers that have taken her real mother from her.

Impression: This is a very cute storyline and my first thought was how much it resembled The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine. It is a simple and straight-forward read for those audiences who love Twilight and other Young Adult fantasy. It’s definitely a portal story in which the audience gets to learn about the whole new magical world along with the protagonist, and there’s so many unanswered questions (though not in a forgetful writing kind of way) that makes room nicely for a sequel.

The story is strong with themes of familial bonds, friendship, and trust. I loved the setting more than anything, because New Orleans in and of itself is magical and eerie and has so many unknown corners on those bright and seductive streets. Ramoth did a great job creating a story that appeals to the dreamers and romantic in us.

As nicely as the story was written, the themes and age group it appealed to definitely wasn’t for me. There were tropes upon tropes upon tropes that I couldn’t help but find myself smiling wryly when I picked up on another one. It is a very simple and cookie-cutter story so don’t expect deep personal feelings of introspection or heart-pounding action scenes when you read it. It’s not my cup of tea, definitely isn’t the kind of book that I would read for pleasure, but it would certainly appeal to the fans of other youthful fantasy and vampire/witch books.

As you guys know, I desire more to the stories that I read. I wish the characters were more fleshed out and had more distinct personality (I couldn’t help but think of Vivienne as another blank canvas like Bella Swan so the reader can put herself directly into the protags shoes). I’m giving the story 2 feather pens because though it is decent for someone with different taste, it is not written in a way that entices me or interests me.

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