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text 2018-11-20 16:35
Reading progress update: I've read 36%.
The Child Thief - Brom


My memories of Peter Pan and The Mists of Avalon may never recover.

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text 2018-11-20 11:00
Book Tour & Giveaway with Excerpts! Pirates Calling Books 1 & 2 by Darren Simon!




The Dangerous Legacy
A Pirate's Calling Book 1
by Darren Simon
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy


Thin, pale, awkward, bullied, Sam Every is a thirteen-year-old who finds comfort among his friends and his days at the beach. The ocean beckons to him. It is where he feels safest. Fitting in no longer matters when he is near the Pacific’s rolling waves. Gazing toward the endless blue where it touches the horizon, he imagines the ports he might someday reach and ponders his future.


Little does he know an apparition—a hauntingly beautiful girl from the sea—will lead him farther from his home than he could ever dream, for destiny has given him a dangerous legacy.

BOOK TRAILER – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E55T8lMsAeQ




Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30032638-the-dangerous-legacy



Deadly Waters
A Pirate's Calling Book 2


Thirteen-year-old Sam Every has traveled back in time to the Golden Age of Piracy to face Captain Jem Slayer, master of the dark arts. Deceived into handing Slayer the ultimate weapon, the Sword of Zel-Kar, Sam has lost his hands, sliced off in his first clash with the evil pirate.

But all is not lost.

Sam’s friends have found their way back in time, and with the help of the pirate hunter, Benjamin Hornigold, have rescued him from the island where Slayer marooned him. Now, aided by a new band of rogues and a mystery friend, Sam must rise above his injuries and find the strength to again face Slayer before it is too late—before the future is forever shattered. ​


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42096399-deadly-waters




Goodreads – https://www.Goodreads.com/series/24499-pirate-s-calling





AVAILABLE in print or ebook



The Dangerous Legacy


Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Legacy-Pirates-Calling-Book-ebook/dp/B01EKK5QI6


B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dangerous-legacy-darren-simon/1123684763?ean=9781944056162



Deadly Waters

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H8SK8B4


B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deadly-waters-darren-simon/1129619477?ean=9781944056803





Thunder erupted again in the distance. The splash of a second cannonball, closer than the first, rocked The Mutineer. But had the cannon fire come from Fog Island or another vessel? “Who’s after us?” Sam shouted.


The man who had saved them sprinted to the tiller to take control of the sloop before he bothered to answer Sam’s question. He pulled sharply on the tiller. The sloop lurched to the right until the deck nearly touched water. Sam fell and rolled against a crate. Seawater spilled into the boat and drenched him. His back tingled again.


The burning blade! Did it call to him? If so, he ignored it. A fire sword magically embedded in his back would not stop The Mutineer from capsizing, which the boat was about to do. It didn’t. Instead, the sloop’s speed doubled as the man brought the craft in line with a stronger windstream.


“Look!” the man pointed to the right of The Mutineer. Sam, now back on his feet, stared in the direction he pointed. Through the darkness was the outline of a large craft three stories high. “The way I see it,” the man shouted over the crash of water against his ship’s hull, “if Maximilian Black is after you, you must have angered Captain Jem Slayer. Slayer is a bloodthirsty pirate with his own fleet and enough wealth to command an army of pirates; and Black is Slayer’s right hand.”


Sam held onto the railing for balance and inched closer to Sarah. She watched the mystery man from the side as if… as if she doesn’t want to make eye contact. Maybe she doesn’t trust him as much as she said. Maybe she senses something.

Sarah grasped his hand and gently squeezed.


He nodded to her. “It’s going to be all right,” he lied.


The man continued to shout his explanation. “Since Black failed, I assume Slayer has sent a warship to do what Black could not. Kill you!” He looked at the sails of his sloop. “Hang on, young ones! We are going to race the wind!”


One more explosion cut through the night. A cannonball screamed as it hurtled toward them. “No!” Sam mouthed moments before the cannonball splashed into the sea yards from the hull. Water sprayed onto the deck.


“Ha, you bloody heathens! You shall not catch The Mutineer tonight!” The man held the tiller with one hand and shook a fist with the other.


As they pushed farther out to sea, the moon emerged from behind a cloud and revealed the pursuing ship. The glow showed a vessel with three masts topped with squared sails.


Two rows of dark squares dotted the length of her hull— gunports. So this is what a warship looks like. We’re dead. A cloud began to eclipse the moon, but before it did, Sam saw the mark emblazoned on the flag that soared above the ship— a skull and bones. “Pirates!”



Come on, you bastard. Show yourself!


He’d had enough of this world pushing him around. Enough of Slayer. Enough death. Enough of being scared of the next threat. No more! The time had come to start kicking some ass. Closing his eyes, he concentrated on the magic within him. He had to figure a way to control his powers. To command them to life… now.


Think, Sam! Words flashed though his mind. Ancient words. An incantation. Atamou Runfora Tananou. He knew what the words meant. Serve me now. His arms and wrists vibrated. His eyes shot open. A crimson glow surrounded his stumps. Yes!


“Captain, three points off bow,” a young crewman shouted from the bow. “Looks like mountains rising from the sea.”


“What say you?” Rackham whipped out his spyglass and held it to his eye. He climbed atop a railing, grasping a shroud with one hand. “Hell’s bells. I’ve never seen the like. Devil boy, you best see this. Me thinks this be our destination.”


Sam joined Rackham at the bow. The glow around his stumps vanished. The pirate captain leaped from the railing and held the spyglass up to Sam’s eye. Peering through the telescope, Sam gaped at the discovery.


Actually, stone pillars— maybe ten in all— towered over the sea, like rows of skyscrapers along a city block. How was such a thing possible in the middle of the ocean with no shore— no island— visible in any direction? The pillars shouldn’t be there, but they were. As if by magic. “That’s where we have to go.” Sam again thought of the incantation. His stumps ignited. “Get us there, Captain. Leave the beast to me.”


A terrible roar bellowed, rocking the ship to the starboard side.


Sam stumbled against a chest. The icy touch of fear rose up his back, threatening to steal his courage. Men around him grabbed onto lines, the long guns— anything to keep from falling. When the ship righted itself, he crossed to the port side. No way was he going to cower.


This showdown was going to happen. “I’m waiting for you.”


The monster rose from the deep off the port side. A massive serpent with two reptilian heads. A serpentine body, covered with diamond-shaped scales towered over the ship’s sails. Two necks branched off, each with a dragon head and snout filled with dagger-length teeth. A line of spikes stretched from the top of each head like Mohawks.


Sam’s chest burned. His heart beat like a horse’s hooves charging over a dirt road. “Come on, you filthy snake. You want me. Here I am. Come and get me.”



$15 Amazon


Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!






Darren Simon is a former longtime newspaper journalist who now works in government affairs on California water issues and teaches college English. In his spare time, he is a freelance magazine writer. Guardian’s Nightmare is his first novel. The second book in the series is also under contract with Divertir Publishing. He resides in California’s desert southwest with his wife, two sons and two crazy dogs.


Website - http://www.ivpressonline.com/app/sites/darrensimon


Blog - https://fairwinds521067397.wordpress.com/


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/DarrenSimonAuthor


Twitter - https://twitter.com/DarrenSimon9


Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Darren-Simon/e/B07CBQD9W3


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3189227.Darren_Simon









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review 2018-11-20 10:39
Ein Buch wie der alte, bequeme Lieblingspulli
Ruin - John Gwynne

Mithilfe seiner Verbündeten gelang es Corban, seine Schwester Cywen aus den Fängen seiner Feinde zu befreien. Doch ihre schaurigen Pläne konnte er nicht durchkreuzen. Der Kessel befindet sich in Calidus‘ Besitz. Er entließ die grässlichen Kadoshim in die irdische Welt, die nun Angst und Schrecken säen und Corbans Rebellengruppe jagen. Diese ist jedoch längst nicht mehr wehrlos. Vom Krieg in die Verzweiflung getrieben schließen sich ihnen immer mehr Menschen an. Sie erringen Sieg um Sieg gegen die ambitionierte Königin Rhin, die mit Nathairs Beistand mehrere Reiche besetzt, darunter auch Ardan. Corban muss eine Entscheidung treffen: er könnte Meicals Rat folgen und seine Anhänger_innen nach Drassil führen, in die legendäre Stadt im Herzen des Waldes Forn, in der sich die Prophezeiung erfüllen soll – oder in seine Heimat reiten, um Edana zu unterstützen, ihren Thron zurückzuerobern. Edanas Widerstandsbewegung setzt Rhin schwer zu, die durch Nathairs und Calidus‘ Forderung, die Sieben Schätze ausfindig zu machen, abgelenkt ist. Corban empfindet es als seine Pflicht, an Edanas Seite zu stehen, aber er weiß auch, dass mehr von ihm abhängt als die Zukunft Ardans. Kann er es verantworten, seinen Lehnseid über das Schicksal der Verbannten Lande und all der Menschen, die an ihn glauben, zu stellen?


Im Gegensatz zu meiner Erfahrung nach der Lektüre von „Valour“ habe ich am Ende von „Ruin“ nicht gegrinst. Ich habe geheult wie ein Schlosshund. Die letzten Seiten des dritten Bandes der High Fantasy – Reihe „The Faithful and the Fallen“ münden in einen dramatischen Cliffhanger, der mich völlig zerstörte. Ich musste sofort mit dem vierten Band beginnen, sonst hätte ich mich nicht beruhigen können. Nun gibt es Leser_innen, die es nicht mögen, wenn sie ein Buch zum Weinen bringt. Ich hingegen feiere diese emotionale Intensität. John Gwynnes Epos wird besser und besser – nicht trotz, sondern gerade durch die moderate Originalität. Ich habe lange darüber nachgedacht, warum es mich so gar nicht stört, dass Gwynne genretypische Motive verarbeitet und die Geschichte daher vorhersehbar ist. Es scheint paradox, aber ich glaube, ich fühle mich mit „The Faithful und the Fallen“ pudelwohl, eben weil ich die grundlegende Struktur kenne. Die Lektüre fühlt sich an wie nach Hause kommen, wie das Hineinschlüpfen in den alten, bequemen Lieblingspulli. Ich habe eine grobe Vorstellung davon, was inhaltlich geschehen wird, also kann ich auskosten, wie es geschieht, Überraschungen wertschätzen und mich voll auf die wunderbaren Figuren konzentrieren, über die ich bereits ausschweifend schwärmte. Ich möchte niemanden langweilen und mich wiederholen, aber ich möchte betonen, wie geschickt John Gwynne Perspektivwechsel einsetzt. Jeder Band von „The Faithful and the Fallen“ enthält neue, weise gewählte Charakterperspektiven, die sowohl der Geschichte als auch den Leser_innen einen echten Mehrwert bieten, weil sie die Gesamtheit des Konflikts zwischen Gut und Böse abbilden. Dadurch entsteht ein umfassender Eindruck der beteiligten Akteure und ihrer Motivationen. Diese facettenreiche Herangehensweise funktioniert allerdings nur, weil Gwynne keine Angst hat, Figuren sterben zu lassen. Als Leserin ist das natürlich manchmal schwierig, besonders, wenn es Charaktere trifft, mit denen ich viel Zeit verbrachte, aber ich erkenne, dass es notwendig ist und die emotionale Bindung stärkt. Um meine Lieblinge bangte ich mit vollem Einsatz. Es hilft, dass Gwynne Tode niemals kaltherzig inszeniert und ausschließlich dann einsetzt, wenn es unvermeidlich ist. Er nimmt niemanden zugunsten des Effekts klinisch aus der Geschichte. Ich denke, er trauert jedes Mal ebenso wie ich – wie könnte er auch nicht, bei diesen einnehmenden Persönlichkeiten? Einer der bewegendsten Momente in „Ruin“ war eine Szene, in der die Rebellen Corban die Treue schwören. Ich musste etwas weinen. Es gefällt mir außerordentlich, dass ein Eid in den Verbannten Landen niemals einseitig ist. Beide Parteien verpflichten sich. Die Verbundenheit, die in Bans Truppe herrscht, ist für mich nachvollziehbar, weil sie alle Menschen sind, die der Krieg zwischen Elyon und Asroth persönlich betrifft, da sie alle Verluste erlitten. Sie erleben eine gemeinsame emotionale Erfahrung, was eine gute Voraussetzung für unerschütterlichen Zusammenhalt ist. In Ban fanden sie eine inspirierende Führungsperson, mit der sie sich identifizieren können. Er teilt ihren Schmerz, ihren Rachedurst und ihre Sehnsucht nach Gerechtigkeit. Durch ihren Glauben an ihn wuchs er in die Rolle des Leuchtenden Sterns hinein und kann sich mittlerweile als prophetischer Held akzeptieren. Er ist die Personifizierung aller Stärken der Menschheit: Rechtschaffenheit, Loyalität, Ehrlichkeit. Er verhält sich wie ein Held und weckt das Gute in seinen Anhänger_innen, daher ist es leicht, in ihm eine Person zu sehen, der es sich zu folgen lohnt und deshalb glaube auch ich an ihn. Corban wird die Verbannten Lande retten, davon bin ich fest überzeugt.


Mein Lesespaß mit „Ruin“ war unbeschreiblich hoch. Ich liebe das Buch und ich liebe „The Faithful and the Fallen“, obwohl es sich nicht um die ausgeklügeltste oder originellste Reihe der High Fantasy handelt. Ich befinde mich voll im Bann der Figuren und genieße das wohlig warme Gefühl, in perfektem Einklang mit der Geschichte und der Intention des Autors zu schwingen. Es betrübt mich ein wenig, dass ich nicht allen Handlungssträngen die gleiche Beachtung schenken kann. Es gibt so viele Charaktere, die Aufmerksamkeit verdienen und so viele Fragen, die nach Antworten verlangen, dass ich sofort mit dem vierten und finalen Band „Wrath“ beginnen musste. Ich lese Reihen selten hintereinander weg, aber in diesem Fall wollte ich eine Ausnahme machen, weil die Erfahrung einfach so schön ist. Es ist mir egal, dass John Gwynne die High Fantasy nicht revolutioniert. Mich macht er glücklich und mehr erwarte ich von einem Autor nicht.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/john-gwynne-ruin
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review 2018-11-19 22:40
Hellburner / C.J. Cherryh
Hellburner - C.J. Cherryh

Lt. Ben Pollard thinks he's traded the perils of the Belt for security as an Earth-based computer jockey for United Defence Command. Then he's forced to perform a mission of mercy - and lands on an isolated, intrigue-riddled space station.  He's been named next-of-kin to a man he never wanted to even see again: Paul Dekker, a young pilot who attracts crises like dead flesh draws flies. The centerpiece of a top-secret war project, Dekker has just lost his entire crew in a mysterious freak accident and lost his mind to amnesia from an attempted suicide. Or attempted murder. Suddenly two more faces from Dekker and Pollard's past are shanghaied to Sol II: their occasional lovers, renegade pilots Meg Kady and Sal Aboujib. Together they had once smashed the criminal cover-ups of a mining cartel. Now, they're all caught in a shadowy, deadly maze of power-mongering rivalries between UDC and Fleet Strategic Operations, the Senate and Peace Lobby, and the corporate lords of both Earth and Mars.


Thus far, as I have been reading Cherryh’s Company Wars books, they have overlapped slightly (mentions of Pell and its inhabitants occur in pretty much every book, for example). But this is the first time that I would call a book a sequel. Hellburner seems to me very much to be a sequel to Heavy Time, as we follow the further association between Paul Dekker and Ben Pollard.

If you have ever felt manipulated at work, you will feel great sympathy for Paul & Ben. They are frenemies, both trying to find their way in the universe. Ben thinks that he has finally landed a cushy spot for himself on Earth, far from the wars ongoing in space. This is a big achievement for a boy who grew up in the asteroid belt and who had never seen the ocean! He really doesn’t understand Earthers (OMG, they think that they have the right to air and water, how misguided are they?) but to find a peaceful work environment, he is willing to try.

Paul Dekker is Ben’s mirror image, a kid who grew up on and around Sol and who escaped an uncertain and unpromising future in Earth orbit by going to the asteroid belt. In the process, he has made himself some powerful enemies and has undergone a lot of mental disturbance. Still, he has awesome piloting skills and he’s a valuable commodity if his enemies can be dealt with.

Ben had hoped to never, ever see Dekker again. He is on the cusp of getting his ideal job when he is called away as Dekker’s “next of kin,” when Dekker is experiencing mental problems again, having been left to die in a flight simulator. Ben considers simply beating Dek to death and returning to Earth.

Instead, they are rejoined by their partners in crime from Heavy Time, Meg Kady and Sal Aboujib, and they set out to conquer the new experimental ship, the Hellburner, that no one else has been able to run successfully. Can Dekker hang onto his sanity long enough to do this? Can Ben rein in his temper? Can Meg and Sal make the cut?

As a person struggling with a new computer system at work, one which no one seems to want to provide training for, I have great sympathy for this team.

Book number 299 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.

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review 2018-11-19 16:41
When Darkness Comes / Alexandra Ivey
When Darkness Comes - Alexandra Ivy

It’s been a hell of a day for Abby Barlow. In just a few hours, she’s survived an explosion, watched her employer die, had a startling dream, and now she finds herself in a seedy Chicago hotel with the sexy, unearthly Dante, a vampire she both desires and fears.

For 341 years, Dante has stood as guardian to The Chalice, a mortal woman chosen to hold back the darkness. A terrible twist of fate has now made Abby that woman. Three hours ago. Dante would have used all his charms to seduce her. Now she is his to protect. And he will do so until his very death.

A terrifying plan has been set in motion, one that will plunge Dante and Abby into an epic battle between good and evil – and a desperate race to save their love…


Put my reading experience in the 2 to 2.5 star range.

I would recommend this novel to those who enjoy the writing of Christine Feehan, J.R. Ward, or Jeaniene Frost.

Obviously, this book didn’t appeal to me, nor did the works of the writers listed above, but they are still very highly rated books. So, not my jam but very appealing to others. I’m not a big fan of the damsel in distress, so that’s part of my problem here. Abby seems desperately passive to me, staying in a job that she hates and putting up with harassment from Dante (although she’s a bit conflicted about that, seemingly wishing that she was in his league so to speak). Now, I’ve been stuck in some jobs that I loathed too, but I’ve found my way out of them and into a way of supporting myself that I find quite enjoyable, so I know it can be done. And the whole “Me Too” movement tells the story of systemic harassment, I think the vast majority of women have their Me Too moments that they could tell you about.

Abby is stubborn—Ivy goes out of her way to prove this to the reader. I’m stubborn too. If you could ask my (non-Danish) mother about the stubbornness of her Danish-Canadian husband and daughters she would tell you that we are champions at it. However, I think all of us realize that being stubborn does not equal being independent. If you want me to believe that your main character is strong and independent, you can’t just rely on her sense of stubborn.

Add to this some editing issues: for example, using beaconing rather than beckoning, flaying rather than flailing and a few other words that were close but not quite right. A quote: “While Selena pampered and preened…” You can’t just pamper. You have to pamper something. So the sentence should read “While Selena pampered herself and preened….” Finally, stop reading right now and trying to wrap your own arms around your waist. Perhaps I’m not very flexible, but I can’t seem to find a way to do that. But Abby does it repeatedly—annoying me more that I would have thought possible.

I chose this book for my Women A-Z reading project for this year. I had hoped to find another enjoyable urban fantasy series for future reading, but I will leave this to others who enjoy this style far more than I do.

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