Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Booktober - A PNR Charity Anthology

 Book Blurb


Gather round, pretties, for a host of thrilling stories featuring vampires, shifters, demons, and everything in between—all looking for love, lust, and a happily ever after.

Dive in, but keep your senses sharp. Things are bound to get wild and steamy on All Hallow’s Eve.

Dare you venture into this delicious dark?

Help us celebrate the magic and mystery of the spooky season with a steamy paranormal romance charity anthology.

Inside this limited edition Halloween collection of bite-sized stories, you will find plenty of swoon-worthy romance, explicit language, bloody action sequences, and sizzling sex scenes.

R18+ readers only, please.

All proceeds will be donated in support of the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center. For more information about the NIWRC, please visit their website.



With contributions by authors: Miri Stone, K. O. Newman, Mariah Thayer, Marlee P. Louis, Emilia Rose & A. S. Sparks, Raven Woodward, Mercy Desimone, Ebony Olson, Marina Garcia, Shelly Ferguson, & Quell T. Fox.

Review


I am a sucker for charity anthologies, so when I saw this one on my feed, I just had to jump on the chance to review it. Every story included hold the Hallows Eve theme, tying the entire collection together nicely, and each tale varies in heat and attraction. 

The crazy old coot called it 'learning control' whereas I called it 'torture with a chance of permanent maiming.'  
-Miri Stone

Overall, I was very impressed with the quality of stories included in this anthology. Several of them were impossible to put down. Expertly drafted, and finely edited. For me, personally, there was only one story that didn't hit the mark, and for an anthology of eleven stories, that's amazing. 

"This your room?"
"I'm the family dog." I shrugged. "I don't have a room."
-K. O. Newman

Each of these authors are new to me, and I can safely say that I've added a few of them to my TBR list. Not only did they capture my attention and hold it within the pages of this anthology, but they were part of a charity geared toward ending violence against Native women and children. This was definitely an enjoyed read and a delightful find.

Recommendation

This anthology is recommended to readers enjoying shorter reads, Halloween themed tales, and a whole lot of spicy paranormal romance.

Teasers







Friday, October 22, 2021

Wandfasted by Laurie Forest

 

Book Blurb



Magic, romance and adventure collide in WANDFASTED, the irresistible ebook prequel to THE BLACK WITCH.


Twenty years before Elloren Gardner enrolled at the illustrious Verpax University, Erthia was rent asunder during the devastating Realm War. When Tessla Harrow is driven from her home by the fighting, she discovers a depth of power she never knew she had...and an irresistible draw towards Vale Gardner, the son of the most powerful mage her people have ever known – the Black Witch.



Review



Wandfasted started fast and furiously, throwing readers into a violent world where mages have been at war and losing ground for far too long. We follow Tessla Harrow, a young mage that kind of reminds me of Katniss Everdeen in the way that she's forced to care for her younger brother and sickly grandfather. 

The soldiers open the gate, and I'm pushed forward, my palms slapping down onto the cold, muddied ground.

While the story was intriguing and I was thoroughly invested in the plot, there were a few elements that I found lacking. There were bits and parts of this that were repetitive. Ideas that were stated and restated, phrases that were used and then used again, and clich├ęs that were too commonly repeated. Add to that a dash of poor editing and the ineffective writing was enough to pull me from the plot every few pages. 

"They're going to fast them all, in two days' time--you know that, don't you?"


Tessla doesn't hold much control in this world. She's a hardened girl with a defiant mind. Her ideas and beliefs don't fit in with what is expected of her, and she doesn't care. You'd assume this would mean she's built to withstand anything, but, at times, it almost seemed as though she fell out of character to collapse in a heap of tears unexpectedly. It felt a bit off, like an oxymoron. On one hand, she doesn't care who knows that she's this defiant, but on the other, she can't handle the bullies. It was a strange combination.

Vale's heat is straining to get at me, and mine is just as bad. "I'm not afraid of Vale," I tell Fain.

For a book littered with inconsistencies and grammatical errors, it was a decent enough plot to hold my attention. I can't say I'd pick it up to read again though. It really did have a Hunger Games feel to it, with Tessla being too poor to eat, responsible for her guardian and younger sibling, and in a war-torn world with seemingly insurmountable odds. This was just the prequel, and I've already purchased the collection, so onwards I will read!

Recommendation

This book is recommended to the patient reader who isn't too hung up on the finer details, who enjoys fantasy and magical stories, and who enjoy awkward romances.


Teasers


 


Monday, October 18, 2021

Love at Frost Sight by Kitty Gallant

 

Book Blurb



Can Christmas magic help them learn to love again?

When Juniper almost burns down Bourbon’s finest condo complex with her latest crafty venture, Wicks Before Dicks, she finds herself saved by her smoking hot—albeit grumpy— firefighter neighbor, Leo.

Turns out Leo needs a nanny and Juniper needs direction.

The rules are simple: take care of his daughter, follow his instructions, and don’t get in each other’s way.

But Juniper has a problem.

She’s falling hard and fast.

Love at Frost Sight is a hot standalone with enough spice to keep you toasty this holiday season.

Grab a cup of your favorite drink and dive headfirst into this HEA.

Curves for Christmas

Santa's sleigh is loaded with a dozen sexy treats for twelve of his curviest sweethearts! Curves for Christmas is a collaboration of short holiday love stories from twelve of your favorite authors. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, and cozy up to these steaming hot book boyfriends.

This holiday season, escape to Fitzpatrick Place in Bourbon, Texas where great friendships, sexy men and a crazy landlady make life more fun.




Review


Gallant has a spectacular talent of bringing words to life on a page. From the first few paragraphs, I was already hooked. There's always an element of sass thrown into every romance, and I'm here for that! From the first words, I knew this was going to be a read I could sink into and thoroughly enjoy no matter where it took me.

Funny how I had spent most of my life running away from the one-eyed monster, only now to be praying that someone would like these pecker candles.

While called Love at Frost Sight, this story doesn't start with an instant romance. It does, however, start with instant attraction, a whole lot of sass, and a ton of conflict lying beneath each of the main characters' skin. From Juniper to Leo to Maya, each of these characters are packing heavy emotional punches. I couldn't stop racing for that promised happily ever after moment.

“Oh, they won’t bring her up until the next time she comes home with her tail between her legs.” Betty’s nose crinkled. “And believe me, she’ll come back. Which is why you should be sweet on Leo.”

Just as the romance starts to build and build, in enters some conflict, and this conflict is coming at Juniper from all sides. By now, readers should love Juniper, her pure heart, and her fierce sense of sass that gives her the strength not to back down from any challenge. 

What was this? Let’s-make-Juniper-pass-out-from-all-the-damn-sexy-things-you-could-say Day? 

The epilogue was super sweet. I love that we got an ending for all of the memorable characters, and how even every single one of them eventually received their happily ever afters as well. This was definitely a sweet and short romantic story.


Recommendation

This novella is recommended to romance readers, happily ever
after seekers, and anyone looking for real characters with honest character traits.


Teasers

 
Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Living Dead by George A Romero & Daniel Kraus

 

Book Blurb


It begins with one body. A pair of medical examiners find themselves facing a dead man who won’t stay dead.

It spreads quickly. In a Midwestern trailer park, an African American teenage girl and a Muslim immigrant battle newly-risen friends and family.

On a US aircraft carrier, living sailors hide from dead ones while a fanatic preaches the gospel of a new religion of death.

At a cable news station, a surviving anchor keeps broadcasting, not knowing if anyone is watching, while his undead colleagues try to devour him.

In DC, an autistic federal employee charts the outbreak, preserving data for a future that may never come.

Everywhere, people are targeted by both the living and the dead.

We think we know how this story ends.

We. Are. Wrong.


Review


I tend to gravitate toward a lot of fantasy based stories in the young adult genre, but I really wanted a good horror book to sink my canines into, which is why I was drawn to this book in the horror section on my last bookstore adventure. In terms of gore and shock, this book delivered. However, I found it lacking... I'm not even sure what. 

Greer pressed her nose flat to look harder. Was someone lying in the leaves near the swingless swing set? She angled her face, trying for a better look.

Romero & Kraus did a phenomenal job with the characters. All of which are dynamic and come to life on the pages perfectly. We spend enough time with each of them before moving onto different scenes or arcs, so they become real enough for the readers to root onward. Not going to lie, Charlie and Greer were definitely my favourites, but then again, they were definitely the badasses of this tale.

"You know how stupid that is? With those things around? And bellowing songs too?"
"Bellowing. Damn. Been a minute since I had a bad review."

What is a horror story without a smidgen of romance mixed in? Perhaps this is what turned me a bit sour toward this book. There are several instances where romance pops into the tale. I don't think it fit into the plot that well, but it was realistic in the sense that none of the romances seemed to have happy endings, which I'd assume is most plausible at the end of the world. Still, there were a few cute moments that made me smirk between the pages and pages of blood and gore.

Zombies. That's what else. It was like 6G replacing 5G, you know? It was our own doing. We created technology we couldn't live without. How dumb was that? We made ourselves into brain-dead bodies.

I did find it interesting how a lot of the themes in this book related to current concerns in today's world. I wouldn't be surprised if one, or both, of these authors were spiritually awakened. There's a lot of talk about how the cure to the plague is to turn their backs on the violence that brought them to this point, there's a ton of debatable conversations regarding religion, and at times, it felt as though the book were from a different time with the concentration on racist themes. All in all, it was a lengthy book that covered many avenues, but the characters are the reason I made it to the end.

Recommendation

I'd recommend this read to anyone looking for gory content, zombie literature lovers, and possibly conspiracy theorists looking for literature connections to the mass awakening.
Monday, October 11, 2021

Delayed Review

I promise I haven't gone dormant again. Ha! The next book on my TBR happened to be nearly 700 pages long. I'm coming to the end of it now, so a review should be posted throughout the week hopefully. Your patience is appreciated.

I'm currently nearing the 500 page mark on this bad boy and let me tell you! I am loving this zombie story. I have a few questions left unanswered, but ultimately, this is definitely worth the read. I picked it up in a bookstore and I've nearly knocked myself out with this beast a few nights while reading after dark, but it's a beautiful book!

Buy Now!




Thursday, September 30, 2021

Kingdom of Blood and Spirit by Trish Beninato and Riley Hunt

 Book Blurb

One cruel Queen,

Four Fae Princes,

A human to save, or doom them all.

Nineteen-year-old Samantha just wants to survive long enough to escape to a life of freedom away from the dangerous sickness that plagues the mortal lands and the Church of Flame.

But be careful what you wish for.

Tragedy strikes and the sickness takes her father. With his passing, the church comes to claim her. She turns to the one person she has left, her teacher and godmother. Only to find a bracelet left by her birth mother slapped onto her wrist.

And she falls right onto a fruit cart belonging to an ogre and finds herself in a land she once thought to be nothing more than a myth.

Faerie.

Tasked with finding a male named Niall and told to stay far away from the wicked Queen, instead, she ends up in her clutches, facing down a queen hellbent on breaking the veil to her realm and enslaving mortals.

Alliances are made, and destiny is set in motion.

The fate of two realms is in the hands of Sam, but all she wants to do is go home. Except, the wicked Queen has other plans. She ties Sam’s life to the angry, devastatingly handsome Prince, Killian. A bond that cannot be broken.

As lies and secrets are unraveled, Sam has to make a decision: will she stay and fight, or will she go home?

This book is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, J. L. Armentrout and Holly Black.


Review


This tale begins with one heck of a bang, immediately grabbing the reader's attention as conflict practically explodes from the pages. Tyranny and betrayal is where we start, and then we're introduced to a world of hardships as a sickness plagues the lands.

Emotions like our racing hearts, fluttering stomachs and the euphoria we felt with one another was not theirs to take. Yet, they still demanded that we relinquished these base emotions for their judgement. 


Samantha is an unusual character who doesn't seem to fit in with the townsfolk. Determined to live freely with her forbidden love, her stubborn nature rises quickly, and it becomes clear she has the ability to swallow her fear. Her heart and mind remain rebellious against the power sweeping across her homeland, but she doesn't know how best to beat it back either.

Wait, you aren’t luring me out here to do nefarious things to me are you?” I forced a playful tone into the words, but I knew there was a hesitant strain in there that he didn’t miss.

As we get to know our main character, greater conflict consumes her life, forcing her into hiding in a world unknown to her. She meets a cast of characters that soon capture the reader's heart as she learns what she can about the realm of the Fae. Danger, corruption, lust, and love, all entwine to create a tantalizing tale that hooks the reader's attention easily.  

I had lost my mind because it felt good to have control over him- to be this close and feel him under my body, to stare into his amber-flecked hazel gaze with the same need I had deep inside of me meeting his. 

Some of the foreshadowing was a bit stronger than I'd like, showing me what lay on the horizon a bit earlier than I'd expect, but the finale held all the awe I wanted to feel, leaving me eager for book two and disappointed in the wait to get my hands on the next novel. This book played with my emotions, bringing me to tears a few times and making me laugh aloud at times as well. 


Recommendation

For fans of Sarah J Maas, fantasy, Fae. There are some strong,
possibly triggering scenes, so if you avoid sexually triggering content,
then pass this one up. Otherwise, I'd highly recommend this book.


Sunday, September 26, 2021

Request an Author Interview

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Would you like to be interviewed for The Schwartz Reviews' blog? If so, copy this set of questions into a word document, answer them, and then send the document to the Schwartz Fiction Edits Facebook Page. If you have a specific date you'd like the interview to go live, be sure to include that in the message you draft! Feel free to pair this FREE service with any other offered services, which may help you promote upcoming releases.

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Feel free to answer as many questions as you'd like. When you message your responses to the Facebook page, feel free to add any images you'd like shared as well. Author photos, fan art, book covers, mood board inspiration, etc. If no photos are sent, I will search for pictures I deem fitting.

The Questions:

1) At what point did you realize that you wanted to be an author?

2) How many books have you written to date, and do you have a favourite?

3) What do the words 'writer's block' mean to you?

4) How do you (or would you) process negative book reviews?

5) What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you?

6) What advice do you have for a new writer just starting their journey?

7) What comes first for you--the plot or the characters--and why?

8) How do you use social media as a writer? What are your favourite platforms to use?

9) How do you develop your plot and characters?

10) Are you a pantser or a plotter?

11) What is your favourite character that you've written? Your least favourite?

12) Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

13) What is the strangest thing you've ever researched for a book?

14) Are your characters randomly built or based on real people?

15) How long does it typically take you to draft a book?

16) How do you come up with a title for your book?

17) What does your writing space look like?

18) If you could spend a day with another author, who would it be? Why?

19) What does your schedule look like when you're writing a book?

20) Have you ever travelled to write?

21) What's your favourite writing snack or drink?

22) How do you celebrate when you've finished writing a book?

23) Are you a NaNoWriMo writer? Is NaNoWriMo worth it?

24) Do you listen to music when you write? What kind?

25) What actors/actresses would play your characters?

26) Have you ever killed off a favourite character? 

27) What is the most valuable piece of advice you've been given about writing?

28) What are common traps for new authors? How can they be avoided?

29) How many hours a day do you write?

30) What are your favourite blogs or websites for writers?

31) What's your writing software of choice?

32) What is your favourite genre to read? Why?

33) Who are your favourite authors?

34) What book are you currently reading?

35) As a writer, what spirit animal would you choose?

36) What's the trickiest thing about writing the opposite gender?

37) Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing?

38) Would you share something about yourself that readers don't know about you yet?

39) If you had to describe yourself with just three words, what would they be?

40) What are you currently working on?