Book Reviews · Netgalley · New Releases

Book Review: Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Harlequin – Mira, via Netgalley for an honest review.

Genre: Mature YA/Mystery/Thriller

Plot: Goode girls don’t lie…

Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.

J.T. Ellison’s pulse-pounding new novel examines the tenuous bonds of friendship, the power of lies and the desperate lengths people will go to to protect their secrets.

Opinion:

Goode perches like a gargoyle above the city’s small downtown…It is quiet, dignified, isolated. As are the girls who attend the school; serious, studious. Good. Goode girls are always good. They go on to great things.”

After the unexpected deaths of her scion father and mother, Ash Carr arrives at Goode – a private college preparatory school for teenage daughters of the elite. Goode breeds exceptional ladies who go on to top schools, and who become leaders in their industries. As a sophomore, Ash is quickly thrust into the strange dynamics of these powerful and privileged girls. Keeping up with the honor code of the school and high intensity academics is one thing, but navigating the ways of her classmates is an entirely different game. But things for Ash have never been easy, so why should her time at Goode be any different. After the sudden death of her roommate turns Goode upside down, Ash fights to keep her name cleared of any involvement. But things are beginning to unravel, and no secret is safe, not even hers.

I love a good murder mystery/thriller, but a murder mystery in a private school of privileged girls? Psh. Cancel my evening and clear my schedule, because I am THERE! One series that has been a personal favorite of mine for years is Private by Kate Brian. It’s a YA drama-fest of secrets, lies, murder, backstabbing, secret societies and boatloads of privilege. Needless to say, when I came across Good Girls Lie, I needed it in my hands immediately.

And it was all I could have asked for

and then some.

This book is oozing with secrets made of manipulation that have been dipped in lies, doused in deception, coated with blindsides, and sprinkled with levels upon levels of twists. Think you know where this is going? Think again. Think it’s over? THINK AGAIN! J.T. Ellison keeps the reader drowning in psychological torment until the very last page. So much so, that you’ll even find yourself reading the acknowledgments just to get a deeper look inside the head of this author.

I was unimaginably hooked on this story and the character of Ash. I needed to know her deep dark secrets, and the secrets of all these strange girls at Goode. Because they aren’t just rich girls thrust into a top school because their daddy knows a guy. Oh no. These girls are brilliant, border-line geniuses in their fields. Whether it is art, business, computers or writing – these girls excel in every subject. They are cunning and devious, sure, but also surprisingly honest and mostly decent to one another. And yeah, they’re a little crazy, but that’s to be expected.

It’s a bit like entering a prison, only here, the inmates are upstanding teens with daddy issues.”

Goode is the typical private bordering school that we have seen and read about. There are the popular head girls who rule over the school, secret societies and hazing, and a whole lot of sneaky things going on in the shadows. But the real star of this story is Ash Carr and her journey to Goode. Before her father suddenly dies of a drug overdose, and her mother commits suicide shortly after finding his body, Ash is told that she will be attending Goode in two months time. But after the death of her parents, and with her inheritance tied up until her twenty-fifth birthday, Ash is granted a scholarship into Goode by the dean of the school.

But naturally, Ash’s past is much more complex than one could ever guess.

They say her name, an unbroken chain of accusation and misery.”

Ash.

Ash.

Ash.

Ash is such an interesting character to have tell this story. My initial reaction upon learning that she is harboring a dark secret made me watch her closely, but her character is so intricately created that you forget to look at her as anything but a teenager. She keeps to herself at school, doesn’t make any quick and strong relationships with any of the other girls, and simply focuses on her studies and staying under the radar. She is the embodiment of a girl who has seen tragedy and hurt throughout her life, and I felt such a sense of sadness for her. But naturally, there are instances throughout this story that makes you question her and the motives of every single girl around her.

Lies will flow from my lips, but there may perhaps be some truth mixed up with them; it is for you to decide whether any part of it is worth keeping.” – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

I have been reading a TON of thrillers lately, so I had a pretty good idea of where this was going. But NOT AT ALL to the extent that it went! Every time I made a conclusion on how this book would end, something would happen that would force me to rethink everything. And even when I finally got all the answers, ANOTHER blindside was waiting for me! This is the kind of thriller I have been needing. One that makes my face hurt while giving me a weird sense of envy that I was never shipped off to a boarding school and tapped into a secret society.

Woe is me.

As a whole, I loved Good Girls Lie. Why yes, there were a bit of unnecessary PG-13 (R?) rated scenes that I didn’t see any point to. And yes, the constant drastic age differences in these romantic relationships did make me slightly uncomfortable. But, what is life, right? All in all, this is a really addicting story about secrets and the need for freedom. It’s sad, it’s dark and it is even a bit sweetsort of. My only true qualm is that this is a stand-alone, when all I really want is about ten more of these books.

“Mmm. Death tastes so good.”

4-5-stars

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Edelweiss+ · Netgalley · New Releases · Reviews

Binding of Bindings #30: 10 Badass Female Leads…

Murder, revenge, plotting, espionage, manipulation and sarcasm.
These ladies just don’t give a f**k.

 

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~* 10 Badass Female Leads…

That Will Kill You in Your Sleep *~

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1. Fortuna Sworn (Book 1) by K.J. Sutton
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

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We’re starting this “Badass Bitch” list off with a true nightmare:

Fortuna Sworn.

Fortuna is literally a Nightmare – a creature whose face shifts and transforms in order to accommodate the onlookers tastes, but who can reach into your mind to find your fears, and make you think they are now reality.

Twisted, right?!

Not only is this lady FIERCE and lethal, but she says demented things like this:

“For a terrible moment, I considered snapping my brother’s neck.”

This Adult Fantasy is by the amazing Kelsey Sutton who has written a ton of fantastic YA novels, but this is her first adult Fantasy and it is hot, HOT, HOT! If you like a Fae story that shows off the evil side of those intoxicating creatures, then read this. It has ACOTAR and The Folk of the Air vibes ALL over it!

(See my review here)

 

2. Alarum (Walking Shadows, Book 1) by Talis Jones
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Sci-fi

Alarum

Flinch, Vizsla, Kid, Fury.

All one person, and ALL total badassery!

Fury is the epitome of a ruthless, strong, sassy, resilient and dangerous woman. From being sold as a slave into a new world after the collapse of the United States, she is thrust into a simple lifestyle: kill or be killed. This tale tracks her childhood in a slave camp, her time working for a brutal family, and her transition into lawless renegade.

This lady is the shit!

Plus, Alarum will most likely make you cry…so that’s a plus.

(See my review here)

 

3. Serpent & Dove (Book 1) by Shelby Mahurin
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Romance

Serpent and Dove

No list is complete without a Witch to spice things up, right?!

Allow me to introduce the one and only, both incredible and crude, yet arrogant and hilarious, Louise le Blanc.

Look, a woman that will scream a pub song called “Big Tiddy Liddy” at the top of her lungs is a winner in my book. But throw in some SERIOUS Witch heritage, insane abilities, and murderous tendencies…then I will just turn to jello.

Serpent & Dove is a newly released YA Fantasy about Witches vs Church. Our main character is forced into marrying a guard of the church, even though he is unaware that she is actually a Witch and is VERY good at gutting people.

A Witch marrying a Witch Hunter.

Romance.

(See my review here)

 

4. Glitter (Book 1) by Aprilynne Pike
Genre: YA/Historical Fantasy/Dystopian

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Versailles, ball gowns and royals, high-tech automation and a courtier selling makeup with drugs in it?

Get it, girl!

Glitter doesn’t seem to be a super well-known series, and I am wondering WHY?! It has everything us YA book lovers need! Romance, scandal, an asshole young king and a leading female who just wants to take those bastards down…one jar of rouge at a time!

It’s a Historical Fantasy with a Science Fiction twist and it is SUPREMELY amazing!

 

(See my review here)

 

5. 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller

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Drownings, scandals, near decapitationsOH MY!!

13 Minutes is a slinky little YA Contemporary Thriller that will have you mumbling “wtf” while also grinning from ear to ear. I really can’t say who the badass is in this without giving EVERYTHING away, but just know…it’s delightful

It follows Natasha as she wakes up in the hospital after being washed up on an embankment. Nobody knows how she got there, and worst of all, she can’t remember anything. Natasha links up with her friends and a former friend to find out what really happened, and the truth is…shocking.

But just know this, these girls are twisted.

(See my review here)

 

6. With Malice by Eileen Cook
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Thriller/Mystery

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Want to be completely blindsided, infuriated AND appreciative of the truly devious acts of women?

You’ve come to the right place.

With Malice is exactly as the title describes: Malicious.

It is another story about a girl waking up in the hospital not remembering what happened to her. Slowly it becomes revealed that she was involved in a car accident, and there was someone else involved.

There are some serious Amanda Knox trial vibes going on here, and involves some cutthroat behavior by a female that I just can’t help but slow-clap for. This book has a twist and an ending that will make you just

(See my review here)

 

7. The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling/Feminism

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You know what I love?

A feminist retelling of men being drowned for treating women like they’re nothing.

The Surface Breaks showcases a mermaid named Gaia who starts out as a meek and subservient daughter of the Sea King, but swiftly turns into a truly glorious character hellbent on standing up for herself and her sisters.

It’s a darker version to the original Little Mermaid tale you know, but one that NEEDS to be read!

(See my review here)

 

8. Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Genre: YA/Mystery/Horror/LGBT

Wilder Girls

I am obsessed with this book, and even more obsessed with the female characters that grace its pages!

Wilder Girls is a YA Horror/Mystery filled with a collection of girls who are as freakish as they are resilient. These girls will claw at each other for food and kill you on the spot, but their hearts are filled with immense love and loyalty for one another.

This breathtaking and eerie story is about a school on an island that has been quarantined after a Tox infiltrates their walls. The girls are mutated and dying, and it is downright DARK! But oh so good.

(See my review here)

 

9. Darkness of Light (Book 1) by Stacey Marie Brown
Genre: New Adult/Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance

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Looking for another Celaena Sardothien and Rowan Whitethorn to swoon over?

Okay, technically this isn’t like TOG at all, but it’s Fantasy, it’s hot and I just love a female who can fight alongside some fantastical creatures!

Darkness of Light is an Adult Fantasy series filled with demons, fae, goblins and dark dwellers. This series is exciting and soooo romantic, but most importantly, it gives you a female lead who is SO saucy and fierce!

I am planning on reading it again this weekend, so jump on the train with me and let’s all just drool over this series together!

(See my review here)

 

10. Killing November (Book 1) by Adriana Mather
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller/Contemporary

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Killing November is not high on my list of favorite books…at all, but it IS stuffed full and exploding with various characters who are all passionate about one thing:

Killing. ❤

Academy Absconditi is a school for assassins and spies in training. Classes range from poisons, knife throwing and plain old manipulation. So in this case, there is a whole host of badass females who will kill you in your sleepliterally.

(See my review here)

 

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Stay Witchy

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: Forsaken Wrath (The Scorpio Files, Book 1) by Alexander Ferrick

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Alex Ferrick, for an honest review.

Genre: Adult/YA/Adventure/Short Story

Plot: In a world, where men are judged by their profession, there are few like the fortune hunter. These steely men of fantasy search the globe in pursuit of lost treasures, which have been forgotten by time.

Among fortune hunters, there is none quite like Nick Reed, a man called Scorpio.

My name is Bartimaeus… I am the partner, and friend, of Nick Reed. I have compiled for you this account of how I first came to meet the man called Scorpio, and of our first perilous adventure together.

Opinion:

This book is perfect for fans of National Treasure, The Da Vinci Code, or even Pitfall! – a game that came out on Atari in the early 80’s but has since been revamped on Wii (seriously, so good). Forsaken Wrath is book 1 in the Scorpio Files series that centers on the tales of fortune hunters Nick Reed, known as Scorpio, and Bartimaeus.

A former Navy Seal and excellent marksmen, Scorpio spends his time hunting down the lost relics made famous by history books. When Bartimaeus seeks him out to acquire his assistance on a job that his father had dedicated his life to researching, the two embark on an adventure around the world to find three gates that will lead them to treasures beyond their wildest dreams.

This is my first read by author Alexander Ferrick, and I am honestly blown away by his storytelling and creative abilities. He possesses an ease in his writing that feels so flawless and effortless. This young author has a knack for weaving tales that draw you in and keep you hooked, and for dreaming up characters with various backgrounds and unique personalities.

Each character has a meaningful amount of detail and explanation into who they are and what they stand for that is perfect for this short story. There is a man named Doc who is an eccentric genius, Gabriella who is a master of prosthetics and makeup, Nick Reed who was a decorated Navy Seal and sniper, and a cruel and sadistic man of equal lethal abilities named M’Kembe Oro.

Honestly, the only bad thing I have to say about this book is that it is under 70 pages long. I was so glued to this tale that I read it WAY too quickly, and am more than upset that it is over. I can’t wait to see where Alex takes this story in the next installment, and I am hoping that he turns this book and this series into full length novels. Because it’s THAT good.

5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: Fortuna Sworn by K. J. Sutton

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, K.J. Sutton, for an honest review. 

Genre: Adult/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Romance

Plot: We were meant to be seductive. We were designed to lure humans in.

Fortuna Sworn is the last of her kind.

Her brother disappeared two years ago, leaving her with no family or species to speak of. She hides among humans, spending her days working at a bar and her nights searching for him. The bleak pattern goes on and on… until she catches the eye of a powerful faerie.

He makes no attempt to hide that he desires Fortuna. And in exchange for her, he offers something irresistible. So Fortuna reluctantly leaves her safe existence behind to step back into a world of creatures and power.

It soon becomes clear that she may not have bargained with her heart, but her very life.

Opinion:

Like the nightmares that came at night, we were meant to be seductive. We were designed to lure our victims in. Then, when it was too late to draw back, we struck.”

This book is a nightmare beckoning you into the shadows of your fears and insecurities.

It sings promises of love and protection into your all too innocent ears, reaches a tender hand of surety out into the open space between you, and just as your fingertips meet…

just as you begin to taste the sweetness of heartfelt completion

it drags you down, down, down.

Into the recesses of sorrow, lies, heartbreak and death.

Until you’re nothing more a than mermaid trapped in a puddle, in a lonely decimated forest.

You’re a Nightmare.”

Fortuna Sworn is one of the fallen, a collection and species of various creatures descended from angels with intriguing abilities. But Fortuna is the last of The Nightmare’s – a creature of intoxicating beauty whose face shifts and transforms to accommodate the onlooker’s tastes. A creature that can reach into your mind with a gentle caress, find the fears that lay delicately in the folds of your thoughts, and turn them into a horrifying reality. But when Fortuna is captured by two goblins who intend to sell her to the highest bidder, she is freed by a strange faerie that offers her a deal she can’t refuse. He knows where her brother is, who disappeared two years prior, and he can take her to where he is being held if she agrees to just one thing: to be his mate.

Where do I even start with this book?

It…

*sigh*

it pains me.

I love and hate it. It makes me happy and sad, thrilled and disgusted, excited and revolted. I have so many feelings and thoughts on this book. About the questions that are left unanswered. About the characters I THOUGHT I knew, but obviously don’t know at all. About the direction I assumed this story was going, until the trap door opened up beneath my feet and swallowed me whole. But there is one single feeling that stands high above all of this.

Pure obsession.

Because I, am obsessed.

There is SO much happening in this story, and I barely even know which direction to turn to first. The Unseelie Court is the epicenter of the turmoil in this tale, and the Fae in this book are not the sweet and caring creatures we have come to love from Sarah J. Maas books. These are Holly Black level Fae. Twisted, dark, deviant and 100% psychotic! They love to get inside your head and jumble your inhibitions, to see you writhe in pain. They kill each other, own slaves, and even have sex in the middle of the damn throne room during parties!!

Oh no lassies.

This is NOT your fluffy little Fae tale.

But absolute horrors and atrocities aside, the real confusion of this book starts and ends with the lovely Fae male that Fortuna becomes mated to: Collith. He is…pure sex in earthling form? Can I say that on here…? He is mysterious, brooding, regal, rough and goddamn drool-worthy. Things get heated between Fortuna and Collith, and I don’t just mean Fortuna’s temper. It’s going to get steamy, and it’s going to get intense. But remember, no leading Fae male would be ever be complete without him contradicting EVERY single thing he says with questionable actions, vague answers and secrets on top of secrets on top of SECRETS. . So go forth, my child. Fall for this dreamy, tall, dark and handsome Fae male that stalks women until they mate him. Be my guest.

And enjoy the whole in your chest later on, okay?

It’s your funeral, I’m just always dressed for it.

With every lash, I lost more than skin and blood. I lost the potential to someday love my mate.”

But of course, the true gem of this stomach pain inducing book is Fortuna. She is a fiery, snarky, sarcastic and saucy woman who my dark little heart can only PRAY to resemble one day. This woman is badass incarnate and would have ZERO problems sinking her claws into your face while she takes a trip into hell, and drags you down with her. From the very start of the book she proves to be an intelligent and ruthless character, but also incredibly human. She is both powerful and unique, but she is also so relatable and heartfelt in everything she does. She is confident and tough, as well as sensitive and compassionate.

I adored Fortuna and every deliciously horrifying comment that dripped from her lips like sweet wine.

For a terrible moment, I considered snapping my brother’s neck.”

Though I wholeheartedly am ravaged by this book, I do wish it was a bit longer and more drawn out. I felt like the trials Fortuna had undergone were a bit rushed, and therefor her emotions towards what she was forced to do and endure weren’t focused on as much as I would have liked. What can I say? I like to see characters in immense suffering. I also would have preferred more time with her and Collith to see if their relationship would grow/evolve/crumble, but I guess that is what book two is for…right?

As this is Kelsey Sutton’s first Adult book, I am positively impressed and not at all surprised at her abilities to make me lose my mind over another one of her books. Fortuna Sworn is an addicting and vile book that you need to get your spindly hands on NOW.

 

 

4-stars

 

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Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Release Blitz

Release Day Blitz: Aetherstorm (Songs of Sarin, Book 1) by Alexander Ferrick

Aetherstorm Banner - Release Day.jpg
Book Title: Aetherstorm
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Series: Songs of Sarin (Book 1)
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Author: Alexander Ferrick
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Genre: Fantasy
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Book Synopsis

What is the Aetherstorm?

They said it was a tournament to discover the mightiest warrior in the land, but it is far more…

To the Demons, it is a chance to reclaim their former glory…

To a Prince, it is a chance to prove himself worthy of the crown…

To a Rebel, it is a chance at freedom…

To an Orphan, it is a chance at justice… or vengeance…

…What is the Aetherstorm?

The Aetherstorm is a trap.

When demons disguised as elves begin inviting the citizens of Sarin to a fighting tournament, Prince Maronir takes it upon himself to go there in secret and discover what the demons are up to.

Along the way, a botched assassination attempt forces Maronir to join Luca and Garron, two human orphans who are also going to the tournament to find the man who killed their adoptive father and mentor.

As the prince and his new friends journey across Sarin, he finds himself confronted by the harsh reality of his kingdom, and learns that the greatest tests of kingship happen far from the battlefield.

Will those lessons matter after the demons true plans are revealed? Time will tell

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~Click here to purchase your copy!~
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Aetherstorm  Promo Photo - Now Available.jpg

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Excerpt

“Son of a bitch,” Garron shouted, “it’s a bloody gravity mage.”

“What’s a gravity mage?” Thorisg’Ad murmured.

“It is the worst nightmare of a smith like you,” Garron answered, “The magic uses Luca’s armor against him. The more crap he’s got to carry, the less he can move, and the heavier the mage’s rod becomes. Luca will die in there if the fight isn’t stopped right away.”

Garron watched in horror as the cloud of dust from the last blow cleared, and Luca stood up out of it, with his left arm hanging useless and out of joint at his side, complete with the mangled hump of metal that had been his shield. The limb was broken in at least three places.

“Stop the fight you damned fool!” Garron shouted at Shane, leaping over the partition into the arena, “Can’t you see his arm’s broken?” An outstretched hand from Shane stopped Garron’s approach, and Luca smiled up at the two of them.

“Just a scratch, brother,” Luca grimaced, “I’ve had hangnails worse than this.”

Luca had always had a rather interesting relationship with pain. He liked it. The more something hurt, the stronger Luca knew he would be at the other end of it. Nothing had ever hurt like the sensation in his arm at the moment, and Luca relished it.

“That’s a neat trick,” he called to the mage who stood opposite him. The elf was visibly stunned that Luca was even standing after the blow he had just received. Luca dropped his blade to the ground, and used his one good hand to un-strap all of his armor, allowing the beautiful metal to sink with a heavy thud into the sand.

“Would you care to see how we fight in the human villages?” Luca called, playing off of the elf’s fear. He remembered what Maronir had said about how humans were viewed, and he decided that if he was already cast as a nightmare in this man’s mind, then he had better live up to the part.

Without his armor weighing him down, Luca was almost able to walk normally in spite of the gravity mage’s spell, and he allowed his mutilated arm to hang in front of him as a visual threat to the elf. Micah had taught him years earlier that most creatures could not survive a broken bone. They would pass out immediately from the pain and shock. Even the infamously hearty dwarves occasionally died on the spot form a wound like this. The only creatures in all of Sarin that could survive such an injury were humans, and that was part of what made them so frightful to the others.

The elf trembled in fear as Luca closed the gap, and he swung out wildly with his scepter, but his eyes were half-closed. Luca ducked under it and reached out with his good hand to seize its shaft, pulling it away from the elf, while kneeing the man in the gut for his trouble. Once he had wrested the weapon free from its owner, he kicked the elf to the ground, and stood with the scepter over his shoulder, and his foot planted on the elf’s chest. Luca looked over at Shane, expecting the match to be ended in his favor immediately, but instead he saw the smirking elf shake his head.

“Continue, human,” the referee ordered, and Luca looked down at the terrified elf, and felt sympathy. He threw the scepter away, so that it was well out of reach, and he began to kick the elf in the ribs, aiming for the strongest parts of the wooden armor, so that his adversary would not be too gravely injured. Shane looked on in frustrated silence while this went on for several minutes, and unfortunately, Luca did feel at least one rib break in spite of his efforts at mercy.

“Enough,” Shane said at last, and then after he had loaded the elf into his cage, he leaned into Luca and whispered, “you will not defy me like that again, human.” Luca watched him with gritted teeth in silence, and once the referee was a safe distance away, Luca fell to the ground and passed out. Garron followed close while his friend was carried to an infirmary under the coliseum, and was pleased by the care the attendants gave him. He stood watch over Luca’s sleeping form until his own name was called that afternoon…

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Social Media Tags:
Amazon: Alexander Ferrick
Facebook:  Alexander Ferrick
Website: https://alexferrick.wordpress.com

 

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Book Promo · Books · Pre-order · Promo Blitz

Promo Blitz: Aetherstorm (Songs of Sarin, Book 1) by Alexander Ferrick

Aetherstorm Banner - Pre-Order

Book Title: Aetherstorm
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Series: Songs of Sarin (Book 1)
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Author: Alexander Ferrick
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Genre: Fantasy
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Book Synopsis

What is the Aetherstorm?

They said it was a tournament to discover the mightiest warrior in the land, but it is far more…

To the Demons, it is a chance to reclaim their former glory…

To a Prince, it is a chance to prove himself worthy of the crown…

To a Rebel, it is a chance at freedom…

To an Orphan, it is a chance at justice… or vengeance…

…What is the Aetherstorm?

The Aetherstorm is a trap.

When demons disguised as elves begin inviting the citizens of Sarin to a fighting tournament, Prince Maronir takes it upon himself to go there in secret and discover what the demons are up to.

Along the way, a botched assassination attempt forces Maronir to join Luca and Garron, two human orphans who are also going to the tournament to find the man who killed their adoptive father and mentor.

As the prince and his new friends journey across Sarin, he finds himself confronted by the harsh reality of his kingdom, and learns that the greatest tests of kingship happen far from the battlefield.

Will those lessons matter after the demons true plans are revealed? Time will tell…

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
~Click here to Pre-order your copy!~
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Aetherstorm Promo Photo - Pre-order

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Excerpt

“Son of a bitch,” Garron shouted, “it’s a bloody gravity mage.”

“What’s a gravity mage?” Thorisg’Ad murmured.

“It is the worst nightmare of a smith like you,” Garron answered, “The magic uses Luca’s armor against him. The more crap he’s got to carry, the less he can move, and the heavier the mage’s rod becomes. Luca will die in there if the fight isn’t stopped right away.”

Garron watched in horror as the cloud of dust from the last blow cleared, and Luca stood up out of it, with his left arm hanging useless and out of joint at his side, complete with the mangled hump of metal that had been his shield. The limb was broken in at least three places.

“Stop the fight you damned fool!” Garron shouted at Shane, leaping over the partition into the arena, “Can’t you see his arm’s broken?” An outstretched hand from Shane stopped Garron’s approach, and Luca smiled up at the two of them.

“Just a scratch, brother,” Luca grimaced, “I’ve had hangnails worse than this.”

Luca had always had a rather interesting relationship with pain. He liked it. The more something hurt, the stronger Luca knew he would be at the other end of it. Nothing had ever hurt like the sensation in his arm at the moment, and Luca relished it.

“That’s a neat trick,” he called to the mage who stood opposite him. The elf was visibly stunned that Luca was even standing after the blow he had just received. Luca dropped his blade to the ground, and used his one good hand to un-strap all of his armor, allowing the beautiful metal to sink with a heavy thud into the sand.

“Would you care to see how we fight in the human villages?” Luca called, playing off of the elf’s fear. He remembered what Maronir had said about how humans were viewed, and he decided that if he was already cast as a nightmare in this man’s mind, then he had better live up to the part.

Without his armor weighing him down, Luca was almost able to walk normally in spite of the gravity mage’s spell, and he allowed his mutilated arm to hang in front of him as a visual threat to the elf. Micah had taught him years earlier that most creatures could not survive a broken bone. They would pass out immediately from the pain and shock. Even the infamously hearty dwarves occasionally died on the spot form a wound like this. The only creatures in all of Sarin that could survive such an injury were humans, and that was part of what made them so frightful to the others.

The elf trembled in fear as Luca closed the gap, and he swung out wildly with his scepter, but his eyes were half-closed. Luca ducked under it and reached out with his good hand to seize its shaft, pulling it away from the elf, while kneeing the man in the gut for his trouble. Once he had wrested the weapon free from its owner, he kicked the elf to the ground, and stood with the scepter over his shoulder, and his foot planted on the elf’s chest. Luca looked over at Shane, expecting the match to be ended in his favor immediately, but instead he saw the smirking elf shake his head.

“Continue, human,” the referee ordered, and Luca looked down at the terrified elf, and felt sympathy. He threw the scepter away, so that it was well out of reach, and he began to kick the elf in the ribs, aiming for the strongest parts of the wooden armor, so that his adversary would not be too gravely injured. Shane looked on in frustrated silence while this went on for several minutes, and unfortunately, Luca did feel at least one rib break in spite of his efforts at mercy.

“Enough,” Shane said at last, and then after he had loaded the elf into his cage, he leaned into Luca and whispered, “you will not defy me like that again, human.” Luca watched him with gritted teeth in silence, and once the referee was a safe distance away, Luca fell to the ground and passed out. Garron followed close while his friend was carried to an infirmary under the coliseum, and was pleased by the care the attendants gave him. He stood watch over Luca’s sleeping form until his own name was called that afternoon…

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: Zombie Dog (Zombie Dog, Book 3) by Doug Goodman

Zombie Dog

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book by the author, Doug Goodman, for an honest review

Genre: Fiction/Horror/Suspense

Plot: You have to be there for your dog. On any search, your dog is the only one who didn’t volunteer for this work.

Murder has always been there for Angie. He stood loyally by her side in the Colorado wildfires, and he led her to safety in Big Bend National Park. But now they are hunting zombies in the city, joining the City of Houston Zombie Task Force. Their mission is to discover the source of weaponized zombies and prevent gangs from using them. Working with police detectives and curanderos, Angie and Murder work their way through Houston’s criminal underworld, but at what price? Angie must remember, Murder is her responsibility, and he is her loyal friend. Can she protect him as well as he has protected her?

Opinion:

HOLY S**T, Doug Goodman.

You just took this zombie series to a whole new level of disturbing, dark and twisted!

GOODBYE fluffy tale of a woman and her dog hunting corpses controlled by giant wasps

HELLO seriously deranged, body tensing book of 100% pure horror!

I can’t…look…away…

I love it.

They succeeded in the Colorado wildfires and survived the dangerous chase into Big Bend National Park. But back in Houston, “Ground Zero” for the wasp outbreak, Angie and Murder’s zombie tracking services are needed more than ever. Reports have been flooding into Houston PD of gangs weaponizing zombies, missing persons reports, and suburban homes that may be hiding monstrous creatures. Enlisted to assist the Houston Zombie Task Force, Angie and Murder begin working diligently to hunt the living corpses into extinction, all while helping form the Zombie Squad of other tracking dogs. But as the task force comes closer to uncovering the reason for the disappearances and Frankenstein zombies, they find something much more grotesque than they had ever expected.

Run for your lives, kids.

The wasps are multiplying.

I am honestly SO shocked with Zombie Dog, I’m not even sure how to begin.

I have fallen in love with Angie and Murder over the years, looked forward to their amazing and dangerous adventures, and delighted in their resilience. So as I began book 3 in the Zombie Dog series, I expected to feel much of the same mild, skin-crawly vibes and elated adoration for these two amazing characters. But what Doug Goodman has given the reader in this installment is

so much more than I could have ever asked for in this series.

I am severely disturbed by the gruesome evolution and reproducing of these zombies, obsessed with the Curandero elements, and beyond impressed with the detail and OBVIOUS research this author has done. Books 1 and 2 don’t even compare to the gut-punch that this book is! It is horrific, it is emotional, it is touching, exciting and borderline demented! Look, I thought wasps with giant stingers kidnapping people was bad…

…but what they’re doing NOW?!?!

THIS IS SO MUCH WORSE!!!!!

Goodman has raised the “what in the actual f**k” bar by about 1,000,000 Scoville. I’m sweating, I’m frightened, I’m cringing into the couch whimpering and wailing like a six-year-old version of myself that sees a spider free-falling from the ceiling towards her face.

There is SO much happening in this story. Gangs are turning zombies into walking death traps by attaching saws, blades, nails and metal armor to their bodies. Dogs Chainsaw and Kali are being trained to join the Zombie Squad in hunting down the growing wasps. Elements of voodoo and magic (can I call this magic?) are intertwined FLAWLESSLY into the story, making it nearly impossible to remember this is fiction. And the pregnant women are…

…*sigh*…the pregnant women…

But I think what is really impressing me, is Angie. Her character makes SUCH strides in this installment. She has blossomed from a somewhat cold and serious character to this beautiful, loving and fiercely passionate woman! She’s still as sarcastic and fiery as ever, don’t you worry! But in Zombie Dog I feel like I finally get to KNOW who she is. The author really took the time to go much more in depth with Angie and Murder, and it is something I didn’t even know I needed until I was immersed in it.

I know Doug Goodman is a huge outdoor enthusiast and previously worked in search and rescue, so I can never be surprised by the amount of resources that he pulls into his stories. This author goes above and beyond to give you EXACT directions to areas of Houston, precise details of how a task force/police unit is assembled and organized, and an easy and exciting understanding of how to read a dog when they are on a scent. These books aren’t just thrilling rides of fiction, they are pamphlets of knowledge and survivalist tools. This author literally puts everything he has into creating these books, and it is shouting through the pages. I wish more authors would put the amount of effort and heart into their work, as much as Doug Goodman obviously does.

Goodman lives and breathes the outdoors and the connection between man and dog, and it shows in every word that he shares on these pages.

5-stars

 

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