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review 2019-01-14 22:55
THE QUEST FOR THE TRUTH BEGINS - epic fantasy

 

 

THE QUEST: Book two of Illusional Reality 
Karina Kantas
Series: Illusional Reality (Book 2)
Paperback: 239 pages
Publisher: Asteri Press (December 31, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1912996049
ISBN-13: 978-1912996049
 
 
Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

While it first appeared in 2016, it was only last fall when I read Illusional Reality, volume one of Karina Kantas’s then in progress “duology.” Now, volume two, The Quest, is here and I’m more on target in terms of timing.

First, I freely admit I liked The Quest much more than its predecessor. It carries on the story of Princess Thya of the magical land called Tsinia. Like book one, the story opens with the princess living on our earth using the name Haty. This time around, she knows prophecy says her people will reach out for her again, asking her to return to their realm as their defender and protector.  Now, Thya thinks her main sacrifice may be leaving Alex, her son back on earth and taking the reluctant throne of her people without him.

After this setup, the story is very different from the plot of Illusional Reality. Thya remains a stubborn, willful, strong-minded—often to the extreme—heroine who sets out with a small company of companions to take on the dark forces of evil. Sound a bit like Tolkein’s Ring series? Part of their journey takes the party through a harsh desert populated by sandworms. Sound a bit like Frank Herbert’s Arrakis? Well, only for a few passages. 

Thya and her companions encounter a series of vividly described obstacles, monsters, alien species, and Thya’s strange, double-edged powers that seem to wax and wane as she tries to control a dark side to them. In short, there’s a lot going on in the journey to save Thya’s people, a populace currently living in caves after being chased from their homes while their Princess lived peacefully in England.

Fortunately, readers don’t need to have read Illusional Reality to jump into and fully understand what’s going on in The Quest. In the first chapters of the fast-paced yarn, Kantas fully lays out what happened in her first book for new readers. More fantasy than sci-fi—by miles—The Quest should appeal to readers who like their settings and characters vividly described with well-developed flaws and motivations. 

Readers who like strong female protagonist should especially like meeting the complex and often conflicted Princess Thya. In addition, The Quest seems a perfect YA novel as I often found myself thinking back to the L. Sprague De Camp and Andre Norton adventures I enjoyed when I was YA myself.
Nothing profound here, nothing preachy. Lots of the fantasy tropes young readers enjoy these days with a nice layer of romance to boot.


This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Jan. 12, 2019:
https://waa.ai/ox0X


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review 2019-01-14 21:42
Book Review
Love and Other Words - Christina Lauren

I love this author and I really enjoyed this book. Fair warning it's fairly heartbreaking. If you love Emily Griffin books, I think you'll love Christina Lauren, she really has a knack for writing characters that you'll fall in love with. 

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review 2019-01-13 00:03
Brilliant autobiographical graphic novel of how to move to LA and break into the animation industry; inspiring, honest and fun
I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation - Natalie Nourigat

This is an autobiographical how-to graphic novel of how Natalie ‘Tally’ Nourigat made her move to LA from Portland to work in animation as a storyboard artist.

We find out from her clever storyboards, and her neatly printed text (both in superb detail), how she started out working as a comic book artist back in Portland with dreams of working down in Los Angeles, CA, and how she managed to make that daunting move and get her foot in the door.

Not only does she tell her own tale of ‘how she did it’, she reveals the pros and cons of her living in ‘La-La Land’, she helps aspiring artists and animators figure out if it’s really for them by really delving into the difficulties of the job search and realities of the animation and entertainment industry, and gives pro tips for making it from some others working in the community. 

 

I do have to say I had a particular interest in how Natalie approached this topic (a move to LA for work in the entertainment industry), as I wrestled with this decision myself back in the late 90’s when I worked in film production.

I would’ve given my left arm (not my right one, because then I would’ve been useless doing my actual on-set job as script supervisor) for an adorable, as well as fascinating and informative graphic novel like this. At the time, I felt absolutely lost when it came to doing something like this, and making a move from Seattle to LA (and mine would have been for all freelance work, not for a regular job at a studio, although my aim was to join a union) was beyond daunting. I did make quite a few trips down to the LA-area to stay with friends, as Natalie suggests, and even took some short freelance film gigs, but social media back then was not what it is today, I didn’t drive, and I think ultimately I felt like a move was too hard back then. I also continued to have a lot of film work up here in Seattle. Where were you when I needed you, Tally?

 

What Natalie has done with this graphic novel though, has taken a lot of that fear (something I recognize) and made the process seem so much less daunting and anxiety-inducing than it would otherwise be. She is honest but upbeat, positive but realistic. LA isn’t for everyone, even if it’s the place of your dreams, and even if you’re talented.

But this will give you a brilliant outline to follow should you give it a go (it would work quite well for anyone searching for an entertainment studio job or making a move to LA for certain steady film/TV jobs).

 

BOOM! Box Studios might be on to something here. Maybe this can be a ‘thing’: I can envision a whole series of these, and if these graphic novels were suggested by career guidance counselors for young adults, can you imagine the enthusiasm?! My goodness!

Ultimately, this kept me engaged all the way through, and I’m definitely not trying to find a job in feature animation! But this is superb.

 

 

*One thing that kept coming up that I couldn’t stress more and I’m so glad was included: a lot of success and getting work is due to luck and timing. So so true.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/2669947384
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review 2019-01-11 22:43
Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson
Invisible Emmie - Terri Libenson,Terri Libenson

I loved this book.

 

I could see a lot of younger me and even some adult me in Emmie (being the shy, quiet type, among other things she went through.) Emmie is basically writing in her diary that we somehow stumbled upon. The book switches from shy Emmie's POV to popular "has everything" Katie's POV.

Emmie writes things as she sees them. In the little comic drawings, she points things out, like "this is the drama club, with the emo girl," or "the smelly kid." I don't think she's being mean. She does not intend anyone to read her "diary." She calls a girl "huge" which can be seen as fat shaming by some, but I don't see it that way. Fat, huge... those are descriptive words. She didn't call the girl "the disgusting fat girl," or something like that! She just said the "huge girl pushed her out of the way to get to the bathroom."

She points out the different types of people who get made fun of in school, one category happens to be someone with a disability, in this case, the kid had a "math disability," which I take for a learning disability. I don't think she's being cruel, but the sad fact is the type of people she mentioned do get made fun of more often than other people. She only mentions this to make a point that she belongs to none of the "make fun of" groups and she is invisible. Nobody sees her.

I belong to all the groups she is so-called shaming (Man school was tough!), and I did not feel offended or shamed at all, but that is just me.

The ending of this book can be taken two ways. Good. It was a great ending... but... some might say bittersweet, maybe sad.

 

Here'swhy, major spoilers!

Does she have multiple personality disorder or was Katie really only an alter ego/imaginary friend? Is the book that deep? I guess that is up to interpretation. The ending did make me cry a little when it all made more sense. I was thinking "Katie" was way too perfect; it's annoying!

(spoiler show)
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review 2019-01-11 17:52
Book Review for Havoc Tattoo and Ties M/M MC Romance Series by Kindle Alexander
 
 
 
 
 
Title: Havoc
Series: Tattoos & Ties #1
Author: Kindle Alexander
Genre: M/M MC Romance
Release Date: November 27, 2018
Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Arc copy provided for honest review
5 amazing stars from us
 
 
 
 
 
 
Keyes Dixon’s life is challenging enough as a full patch member of the Disciples of Havoc Motorcycle Club but being a gay biker leaves him traveling down one tough road. With an abusive past and his vow to the club cementing his future, he doesn’t believe in love and steers clear of commitment. But a midnight ride leads to a chance meeting with a sexy pretty-boy in a wicked hot sports car that has him going down quicker than a Harley on ice. 
 
Cocky Assistant District Attorney Alec Pierce lives in the shadow of his politically connected family. A life of privilege doesn’t equal a life of love, a fact made obvious at every family gathering. Driven yet lonely, Alec yields to his family’s demands for his career path, hoping for the acceptance he craves. Until he meets a gorgeous biker who tips the scales in the favor of truth…and he can no longer live a lie.
 
Can two men from completely different worlds…and sides of the law…find common ground, or will all their desires only wreak Havoc?
 
 
 
 
 
 
Let's start off by saying that this is a new author for us and we really enjoyed out first read by them however,I hate cliffhangers and this current story had a big one.
 
I really enjoyed this story as it revolved around a couple who were highly attracted to one another but, completely different in more ways than one. I however, loved that none of this seem to matter to either of them especially Alec who was currently acting a a DA in there current town.
 
Alec and Key had amazing chemistry some would  say explosive even a both neither knowing to come to terms with such attraction or how they were feeling but, something definitely worth exploring.
 
Alec is a rich boy,and attorney at law and super sexy and attracted to bad boys.We found him to be,handsome,sexy,hot,compassionate,caring,had a sense of humor, smart and was understanding and patient and had a clever mind.
 
I loved Alec from the onset in the story as Alec was one of those down to earth kind of guys.I loved that even though he was rich and his home and possessions showed that he never flaunted his wealth or acted superior because of that fact and never made Key feel inferior because of his upbringing or blue collar ways.I really loved Alec's sense of humor he made me laugh constantly throughout the story.
 
Key was one sexy hot man! I loved him from the onset of the story too! I loved that bad boy vibe he had going on those sexy muscles,that he was a little socially awkward but, overall just a great guy who needed the right person to bring him out of his shell.Being a gay and a biker and having a non excepting father of your sexuality didn't help his self esteem but, that is something Alec is changing for him by just being with him as Alec see's the good in him and always makes him feel at ease when they are together.
 
This story was hot hot hot! I thought that Alec and Key made a great couple and I love how they were when they were together and their chemistry was off the charts.I loved those super sexy love scenes in and out of bed as they we super hot and I loved how carefree they were with each other when they were together .
 
I loved the story it was sweet and made you laugh had some club drama and suspense and had amazing characters for us to fall in love with.This one one of those romance reads that made you feel good and were rooting for this couple to fall in love and make it work even with all those outside complications they are going to have to address sooner or later.
 
I have to say Alec and Key have moved up on my list of my favorite same sex couples for 2018. I really really loved them together as a couple and will continue rooting for them in the next release to find their happily ever after because these two truly belong together.
 
I was engaged and engrossed in the story from the onset and remained that way to the very end.This one goes into the keeper pile to be read time and time again.
 
Recommended read to all who love M and M romance reads!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It's always a surprise to see what's coming next!
 
I live in the suburbs of Dallas where it's true, the only thing bigger than an over active imagination, may be women's hair!
Usually, I try for funny. Humor is a major part of my life - I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations - regardless of the situation, but jokes are a tricky deal... I don't want to offend anyone and jokes tend to offend. So instead I'm going to tell you about Kindle.
 
I tragically lost my sixteen year old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been at home, it was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I'll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died - weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn't have to be alone.
 
That time in my life was terrible. It's everything you think it would be times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have it all ripped away so suddenly broke me.
 
Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness - it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon released their brand new Kindle ereader. She had no idea it was coming out and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it.. It never happened.
 
Through the course of that crippling event I was lucky enough to begin to write with a dear friend in the fan fiction world of Facebook. She got me through those dark days with her unwavering support and friendship. There wasn't a time she wasn't there for me. Sometimes together and sometimes by myself, we built a world where Kindle lives and stands for peace, love and harmony. It's its own kind of support group. I know without question I wouldn't be here today without her.
 
Find out more by visiting www.kindlealexander.com or email me at kindle@kindlealexander.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
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