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review 2018-08-02 10:57
Cursed (Henning Juul) - Thomas Enger,Kari Dickson

Cursed opens with a bang when Daniel Schyman is shot dead in his own forest in Sweden. In Norway Hedda Hellberg has failed to return from a retreat and her husband enlists her old friend Nora, a journalist, to help track her down. Nora’s husband Henning Juul is soon embroiled in the search. As the pair investigate, they discover a murky past to the Hellberg family and Juul finds clues as to the instigator of the fire that killed his son two years earlier.

 

Whist this is the fourth book in the series it is the first to be published by Orenda and can certainly be read out of sequence as all the novels can be read as standalone books.

 

I loved the setting of the novel. It gave a glimpse into life in Norway, a fascinating country that made me want to read more. The location itself is a character in the story. I felt it gave the book a darker edge, as if the narration was preparing for a lengthy Norwegian winter.

 

There is an edge, an undercurrent of darkness and tragedy to the novel, lent by the storyline following the murder of Juul’s young son. Juul was the intended target and this alone torment him. As he digs deeper into the circumstances he becomes more involved with the criminal underbelly of Oslo. This storyline is central to the novel and will follow through into the next in the series.

 

Juul and Nora are complex characters. The reader gets the impression that the Nora and Henning we see are just shadows of their real selves. Irrevocably changed by the death of their child, the trauma of such a loss has impacted them as people. There is a sadness that pervades them, yet it also allows Juul’s steely determination to spur him on to discover the truth, with a lack of self preservation at the heart of it.

The mystery surrounding the Hellbergs is compelling, and flows well with the other storyline. By having the story focus around one family and a handful of people the story gains an almost closed room feel to it. I also liked the fact that both protagonists were not law enforcement, allowing them to work outside the usual legal confines to delve deeper into the truth.

 

Short chapters lend itself to the ‘just one more chapter’ mentality and this meant I flew through the novel. It wasn’t until half way through that I thought to myself that I was really enjoying it. That’s not to say the first half isn’t good, far from it. It was just that this realisation that I was wrapped up in the story, so much so that I couldn’t wait to find out what had happened, snuck up on me as the story weaved itself into my subconscious. Put simply, the more I read, the more I wanted to read.

 

A note on the translation. Without obviously reading the original Norwegian I did feel that the story I read was close to that originally written and that Kari Dickson had retained the voice of Thomas Enger. If you forget that you are reading translated fiction then the translator has done their job well and that’s the case with this book.

 

This is the first book by Thomas Enger I have read but it certainly won’t be my last.  I look forward to catching up with Henning Juul soon.

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review 2018-07-17 16:14
Stone Cursed: Taurus (Highland Gargoyles #6) by Lisa Carlisle
Stone Cursed: Taurus (Highland Gargoyles #6) - Lisa Carlisle

Stone Cursed is the sixth book in the Highland Gargoyles series, although it can be read as a standalone being as it is part of the Zodiac Shifters set too. Some references are made to the other gargoyles - where they live, why they left, the war, etc, but nothing you need to read for this to make sense.

 

Alec is one of the shifters who left the Isle of Stone to move to the Highlands of Scotland. He misses the sea though, so takes every opportunity to fly near to it. On one such flight, he hears voices and goes to investigate, where he finds more than he bargained for. With one wizard rapidly going dark, and a witch who believes in the light, Alec is confused given his history with witches. However, when the witch, Veda, saves him, he will do all he can to save her in return.

 

This is a fast-paced and smooth story that nevertheless gives  you all you could want. There were no editing or spelling mistakes that disrupted my reading flow, and I was able to read this book in one go as it kept my attention. This is part of two great series, and I can highly recommend either one. A wonderful read, and recommended by me.

 

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

 

Merissa

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/07/16/Stone-Cursed-Taurus-Highland-Gargoyles-6-by-Lisa-Carlisle
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text 2018-06-30 08:10
Blog Tour - Once Upon An Adventure

 

 

 

Welcome!

 

Recently, I got together with some authors to ask them a few questions.  Read on as we talk with these 4 authors just a bit.  Thank you for joining us today.

 

 

 

 

Kitty's Book Spot! Interview with Nicki Chapelway:

 

1. Do you write to music? 
Yes, yes I do. In fact, I find that I can't write unless there is music playing in the background.
 
2. Do you make playlists of music for your books? 
In a way I do, I mean I don't do it on Spotify or anything fancy like that, but I write to movie soundtracks that have themes that make me think of my books. For instance for my novella Winter Cursed I wrote to the soundtrack Snow White and the Huntsman for the Snow White elements, Thor Dark World for the Celtic and Nordic elements, and The Legend of Tarzan for Cedric's and Lizzie's themes.
 
3. What book was your favorite as a child/teen? 
I'm going to say Ella Enchanted which I loved to pieces as a preteen.
 
4. What genre do you hope to write someday that you have not had a chance yet? 
Hmm, oh wow, that's a tough question. I don't think Sci-Fi counts since I've already started that even though I haven't finished any books in that genre yet, so I'll say Time Travel- that counts as a genre right? If not then either Steam Punk or Paranormal.
 
5. What do you hope readers take away from your story(ies)? 
Mostly, I hope that my readers learn not to make the same mistakes as my characters.
 
6. Can you tell the readers one thing about you nobody knows? 
Okay... another tough question. Give me a moment to think about this one. Something that nobody knows... hmm... okay, when I was younger in order to get through the boredom of school, I would pretend to be other people. Like I would be a secretary for some billionaire or a ranger documenting herbs or a Hobbit living in the Shire preparing for second breakfast. When I was twelve I pretended to be the Doctor's companion- and since I like variety, I made up a different companion for each Doctor so I got to choose if I was a time traveling vet or a noble lady. That's something I'm pretty sure I've never told anyone.
 
7. How do we find you online?  What is your favorite social media site? 
Which also kind of answers the second question, cause that's my favorite social media site.
You can also find me on Pinterest, building boards about my current WIPs, here: https://www.pinterest.com/nickichapelway/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kitty's Book Spot! Interview with Jes Drew:
 
Do you write to music?
1. I write to music as often as I can- especially during the more intense scenes.
 
Do you make playlists of music for your books?
2. I have unofficial playlists of music for my books, but I have yet to rise above manually finding all the different songs I want, to actually putting something together with them.
 
What book was your favorite as a child/teen?
3. That is a hard question since I went through so many phases with so many genres and so many favorites. But the closest to being a supreme favorite would probably be The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope. 
 
What genre do you hope to write someday that you have not had a chance yet?
4. Ooh, that's a hard one, because I feel drawn to both the romantic comedy and the psychological suspense. I have aspects of both in most of my books, but I've never really just focused on them- it seems so much easier to write about spies and superheroes!
 
What do you hope readers take away from your story(ies)?
5. I want readers to know that they are not alone in this world and in what they are dealing with. They have God and me- though sometimes we work through our characters to show it.
 
Can you tell the readers one thing about you nobody knows?
6. Genuphobia is the fear of knees, your own or someone else', and the act of kneeling. 
 
How do find you online?  What is your favorite social media site?
7. Well, some of the cavemen next door were grunting about this thing called wifi, so I thought I'd try it out. So far, I've only gotten as far as Goodreads. Have to keep time for my cave painting. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kitty's Book Spot! Interview with C. B. Cook:
 
1. Do you write to music?
I don't usually write to music, as it makes it harder for me to focus. But if there's a lot of commotion or conversation around me, I may play some instrumental music (especially movie soundtracks) while I write to block out the other noise.
 
2. Do you make playlists of music for your books?
Not usually. I think that's something I might try in the future, though!
 
3. What book was your favorite as a child/teen?
When I was younger, I loved going back and rereading The Chronicles of Narnia at least once a year. It's still one of my favorite series, but I've gotten out of the habit of doing that. I grew up reading that series, and it's one that I love.
 
4. What genre do you hope to write someday that you have not had a chance yet?
I'd love to write some kind of fantasy book or a mystery that doesn't involve superheroes. I love to read both of those genres, and I'd really like to try my hand at writing them, too!
 
5. What do you hope readers take away from your story(ies)?
I hope that readers are able to learn something about truth from my books, and I also hope that they can learn that you don't need a story to be dark to be enjoyable. Mostly, I want my books to provide some lightheartedness and cleanness that a lot of stories today, especially in the YA category, seem to be lacking. 
 
6. Can you tell the readers one thing about you nobody knows?
I can't think of anything that no one knows, but very few people know that I'm actually a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do!
 
7. How do find you online?  What is your favorite social media site?
I have a blog (The World of the Writer) and accounts on Goodreads and Pinterest! Pinterest is probably one of my favorite social media sites because I love the pictures and writing ideas I get on there. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kitty's Book Spot! Interview with Loretta Marchize:
 
1. Do you write to music?
Nope! I know a lot of authors who do, and quite honestly I'd love to, but I write in my family living room with my siblings and mom around, so it would be hard to do.
 
2. Do you make playlists of music for your books?
No, although occasionally I will hear a song and think 'oh hey- this goes with so and so book!'
 
3. What book was your favorite as a child/teen?
Well, I still am a teen, but as a child I loved Ella Enchanted, and the classics- especially Cinderella.
 
4. What genre do you hope to write someday that you have not had a chance yet?
Science fiction or historical fiction!
 
5. What do you hope readers take away from your story(ies)?
I mostly want readers to go away from the book happy, glad that they read it. It's an easy read, mostly just a 'fun' read.
 
6. Can you tell the readers one thing about you nobody knows?
I actually like Star Wars. I've never really told anyone, but I actually really love it! I know a lot of random facts about it. I make a pretense of not really knowing much about it though. Otherwise my brother would bombard me with Star Wars all day, and I don't care for it that much.
 
7. How do find you online?  What is your favorite social media site?
Well, I have a blog: lorettamz.com but I'm also frequently on Goodreads! I don't do much (any) other social media (although I do have a Wattpad account).
 
 
 
 
 
Thank you so much to Jes Drew, Loretta Marchize, C.B. Cook, & Nicki Chapelway for joining us on the Spot!  Thank you readers for being here with us to get to know them.
 
 
 
 
Please check out their latest novels and enjoy!
 
 
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review 2018-05-29 23:30
Awesome!
Cursed - A Spellbound Regency Novel - Lu... Cursed - A Spellbound Regency Novel - Lucy Leroux

Cursed by Lucy Leroux is part historical romance and part paranormal.  Ms. Leroux has provided us with a well-written book furnished with outstanding characters.  Isobel grew up learning witchcraft from her grandmother until her aunt was killed.  When her father passes away she's forced to take a position as a governess.  Matteo was cursed and he and his father traveled from Italy to find a witch to cure him, only to find she was dead when they arrived.  Matteo and Isobel rush to find a cure before it's too late.  Their story is loaded with drama, sizzle, action and suspense along with a big dose of paranormal.  I enjoyed reading Cursed and look forward to reading more from Lucy Leroux in the future.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

I voluntarily read a complimentary copy of this book that I received from Instafreebie. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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text 2018-05-27 16:20
REVIEW BY AMY - Cursed by Fire (Blood & Magic #1) by Danielle Annett
Cursed by Fire (Blood & Magic #1) - Danielle Annett

Blood is going to spill... 

I just hope it won’t be mine. 

After two weeks of searching, I found the seven-year-old I'd been hired to find too late. His body broken and discarded. Dead. 

My boss doesn't want me to hunt down his killers. It's too dangerous. 

But the Pacific Northwest Pack steps in, hiring me to bring the bastards to justice. 

Turns out the kid was half shifter. And shifters don't abandon their own. 

In a search that takes me through the maze of shifter hierarchy and the depths of the paranormal underworld, these killers underestimate how determined I am to mete out their punishment. Vigilante justice is the only kind these people understand. 

Yes, blood will spill. And I'm determined it will be theirs. 

You'll love Cursed by Fire because its a fast paced Urban Fantasy novel with a kick butt heroine and unexpected twists around every corner.

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/04/20/Cursed-by-Fire-Blood-Magic-1-by-Danielle-Annett
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