Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Henge Betrayed: Book 1: Flight by Janet Lane Walters

Book Info:
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure/Young Adult
Publisher: Mundania Press
To Purchase

This adventurous fantasy begins as four siblings flee their home. Prince Zedron is consumed with power and upsets the balance of the land in an effort to extend his borders. He means to slay his own kin and take their lands for his own. The childrens’ parents stay behind to protect the secrets of the Henge while they journey to meet their teachers in the city. Each sibling must use their special ability: earth, wind, water, and fire to protect and care for one another. Along their journey they meet friends and foes and learn that their greatest strength is their bond and love for one another.

There is a great sense of urgency right from the start of this book. Each chapter is told from the varying perspective of the siblings, keeping the narrative fresh. Magic abounds in many mediums. Walters creates new and interesting ways to bend the magic to heal, ward off predators, grow food, and listen to gossip on the air. I especially enjoyed reading about one sibling’s affinity for air and how she uses her flute to “play the hiding song” and keep them from danger.

Alizand, Prince Zedron’s son, is the most interesting character in “The Henge Betrayed”. His situation is a stark contrast to the siblings’ warm and supportive life in the Henge. Alizand lives a Cinderella tale with a vicious step mother and step brothers that conspire to steal his throne. The castle in which he lives is full of power hungry, greedy nobles that will stop at nothing, even if it means torturing young children, to gain influence with the Prince. It is only through his involvement with the siblings from the Henge that he learns true friendship and love.

Book 1, Flight, is brimming with magic, a full cast of characters, and a journey full of danger and adventure. The group of orphan children fending for themselves in the tough city reminded me of Oliver Twist with playful hints of Peter Pan. Walters has written a charming first book to her series.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gypsy Moon by Brianna Roarke

Book Info:
Genre: Paranormal/Romance/Erotic
Publisher: REd Rose Publishing
To Purchase

Anna Brannon is a vet with a penchant for bringing in strays. More than that, she’s secretly a gypsy that can turn a coffee switch off from across the room and light her way in the darkness. One night while she’s stranded at home by a storm she finds a naked man lying at her doorstep. He’s one stray that she’ll never forget.

Howl Raven is a werewolf on the prowl for a mate. While taking up a scent, he’s struck by a silver bullet and has to find shelter before the metal heats up his blood. Reeling from pain, he falls at a gypsy woman’s doorstep. Although his family was cursed long ago, luck is now on his side. This woman has the power to heal his wounds and more importantly, is the scent he’s after. Will he be able to control the wolf inside of him? And can she help him elude the man who wants him dead?

Brianna Roarke’s writing is smooth and flows like liquid poetry. The intimacy between Anna and Howl is tangible, and their passion can heat up a house on a cold winter’s day.
I enjoyed the irony of a vet finding a werewolf. Two people could not be more perfect for each other! The gypsy magic added a whole new level of paranormal to the story. Overall, it was a nice combination of werewolves, magic, curses, and romance.

If you’re looking for a great paranormal erotic romance, then Gypsy Moon fits the bill.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Full Moon in December by Lisa Ruszcyk

Book Info:
Genre: Mainstream/Fantasy
Publisher: Club Lighthouse Publishing
To Purchase

Sam, a newly appointed college professor, has many secrets about his past life. He’s managed to elude his past until a student shows up to his class, bringing memories and questions about why Sam’s shunned his mysterious moonlit powers. Meanwhile, Kayla, a young girl abducted by a witch at two years old, is discovering that the world is much bigger than her greenhouse and her “second mom” may not always be right. In another part of the world, a Hollywood screenwriter, Dall, finds a strange psychic woman on the beach and is drawn to her, taking her home. All of these lives are connected by one person, and their journeys weave an intricate tapestry both mystical and mysterious.

This book was amazing. Lisa Ruszcyk has an intriguing way of spinning out a story and a unique and tantalizing voice. The story is an enigma that tickled my thoughts until it was solved, making me read as fast as I could! Ruszcyk hints at conclusions but never gives enough information for a complete picture until the end, when all the pieces fall together in a perfectly completed puzzle.

There was enough magic and supernatural in the book to keep me interested, but not so much as to take over the plot or the characters. The idea of a “changed” person is fascinating. I enjoyed reading about the process and the various consequences. Ruszcyk’s ideas will keep my mind occupied for days to come as I turn around the endless possibilities and correlations.

Her characters are believable and lifelike, with motivations that are understandable and not entirely good or bad. It is this grey area that makes her characters so interesting. I cared about each one of them, and was excited when they were brought together. Their relationships are complicated and ever changing and what they learn about themselves and others is profound.

Full Moon in December is a captivating read!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Kingdom of Arnhem, Woman of Honor by Nicole Zoltack

Book Info:
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
To Purchase:
Author Website:

Aislinn is a little girl with big dreams. After the death of her older brother, she decides to follow in his footsteps and become a lady knight. Her quest for knighthood brings many challenges and the temptation of forbidden love. Aislinn learns that being a knight means putting the Kingdom in front of personal concerns and helping those that cannot help themselves. In a journey is fraught with danger and filled with adventure, Aislinn is forced to grow up fast. She must stay strong and develop the skills necessary to realize her lifelong dream.

With sword fights, passionate love, mythical creatures, and courtly games, Woman of Honor is my kind of book. I love the idea of incorporating real history in fantasy, and Ms. Zoltack’s book is based on the real life story of a group of female knights. Blending history with fiction, her writing is full of plot and adventure and her characters are strong and believable. Most of all, I grew to love all of them and cared about their hardships and successes.

Aislinn is quite the main protagonist. She’s tenacious and bold, beautiful and strong. The romance that blooms between her and the prince is well developed after years of solid friendship and teasing. I enjoyed reading about their secret courtship and had no idea how their romance would turn out! Ms. Zoltack has a few twists in store that will shock and startle as well as please.

In conclusion, I thoroughly recommend this book for everyone that enjoys fantasy, romance and adventure! I will be eagerly awaiting the sequel, Knight of Glory.