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review 2018-12-17 11:10
Step out of reality and into an Illusion

 

 

 

 

Illusional Reality

Karina Kantas

Paperback: 150 pages

Publisher: lulu.com (March 8, 2016)

ISBN-10: 1326583662

ISBN-13: 978-1326583668

https://www.amazon.com/Illusional-Reality-Karina-Kantas/dp/1326583662

 

Reading the opening pages of this fantasy/ romance, I had the sense I was reading a modern retelling of an ancient myth, fairy tale, or legend. Perhaps it was my overactive imagination, but some of the story’s early elements sounded familiar.

 

For example, the book opens when an ordinary marketing executive named Becky, who at least thinks she is an ordinary human, is rescued from an attack in a dark alley by an “alien” named Salco. Unhappily, in her opinion, she is transported to a different realm where she discovers she is really Princess Thya of Tsinia, a city of light-hearted (mostly) tree-top dwellers. She had been hidden away on earth until she is expected to fulfill her prophesized role as a wife to establish an alliance with the powerful city called Senx. Much to her distaste, she is apparently obligated to wed Kovon, the son of the proverbial dark lord, Darthorn. Darthorn is no more fond of the wedding idea than Thya,  preferring the conquest option which he is certain he would win.

 

Learning this marriage is intended to preserve and save the magical realm on the brink of destruction, Thya spends many hours being tutored about a world she doesn’t know. Thya slowly learns about her true identity including the undesirable prophecy and the fact she has supernatural powers she doesn’t know how to use or control. Along the way, she falls in love with one of her teachers who is himself obligated to marry another.

 

After this set-up, readers experience a series of possible paths for Thya to explore and deal with as we meet a growing set of sometimes duplicitous mentors and advisors for the Princess. I admit, my interest kicked in when Thya began to assert her will and resist prophecy, no matter what her court advisors tell her what she must do. From this point forward, I felt I was reading a completely original story based on, well, whatever Karina Kandas cooked up for her heroine and her changed circumstances in this first volume of a coming duology. Thankfully, the magical ride keeps building up speed until we get to the final third of the book where everything intensifies from the psychic battles to the emotional hits to Thya and her chosen lover, Alkazer.

 

A major stroke of creativity in this novel is the lofty dialect and diction Kantas has most of her characters using. I’ve read other reviews where some readers were put off or challenged by this  I don’t see the problem.  Every sentence was perfectly clear to me. How tough is it to recognize “with certainty” means “Yes”? In addition, the tone used by most of these characters seemed perfectly spot on for high officials and palace courtesans, not to mention black-hearted warlords.

 

This book can fairly be classified as YA as there are moral lessons being taught, mainly about the importance of selflessness and putting community above yourself. So Illusional Reality is the sort of book that should be welcome under your Christmas tree, especially for those reluctant younger readers for whom this adventure should be quite inviting. Why not give them a sexy female Harry Potter with a good figure?  It shouldn’t be too long before the sequel, The Quest, will belatedly debut in 2019.

 

 

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review 2018-12-17 11:10
Holiday Extravaganza Blog Tour & giveaway with Guest Posts, Excerpt & 5 STAR New Release Review! Trial of a Warrior (Legends of the Fenian Warrior #3) Mary Morgan!

 

https://bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com/

 

Hello, everyone! Today we are participating in the Bewitching Book Tours Holiday Extravaganza! I have a spotlight, review and some special holiday features for you today as I shine the light on Mary Morgan’s Trial of a Warrior! Let’s get started and be sure to enter the giveaway!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

ABOUT THE BOOK!

 

Trial of a Warrior
Legends of the Fenian Warriors
Book Three
Mary Morgan
Genre: Time-Travel Fantasy Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Date of Publication: December 12, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5092-2359-6
ASIN: B07JGMH8XS
Number of pages: 386
Word Count: 92628
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

 

Tagline: Will the burning embers of their past love spark a reunion or destroy a future?

 


Book Description:

 

"You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!”

 

A warrior sentenced to die.

 

On trial for breaking a supreme Fae law, Fenian Warrior, Liam MacGregor has no regrets. He is prepared to accept his sentence—even if it means his death. However, freedom comes in an unexpected manner, and brings with it certain dangers as he travels through the Veil of Ages.

 

A princess honor-bound to remain hidden.

 

Princess Abela might be a priestess and the daughter of royalty, but that doesn’t prevent her from doing the unimaginable. She sacrifices duty and honor to set free the man who captured her heart so many years ago. No matter the severity of his crimes, she cannot let Liam die.

 

A rescue that will bring about a war and divide a kingdom!

In their quest to secure a treaty to forestall Liam’s death sentence, they must fight their desires for one another, as well as the Fenian Warriors sent to capture them.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Fantasy comes to life in this sensational fairytale romance where the characters are strong, convincing and steal the hearts of readers. Liam and Abela are characters that are easily connected to and they draw readers into their story. The romance between them is the stuff of fairytales and dreams as they both have hidden their feelings down deep due to the direction their lives have taken and readers can’t help but become completely taken with them both as they set out to change their world and forge a new path. The attraction sizzles between them but their road is fraught with danger and emotional turmoil which keeps readers in suspense throughout their adventure.

 

The plot is fast paced and full of twists and turns that adds to the intense emotions and thrilling excitement of the story which keeps readers glued to the pages. The story is further enhanced by betrayals and the ‘race against time’ factor that holds Abela and Liam’s quest in its grasp also has Abela’s life hanging in the balance. This romance captures the hearts of readers and has them fully engaged in the story both emotionally and adventurously and the author’s wonderful story telling gift ensures that readers can easily imagine each and every scene while visiting this fascinating world.

 

 

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Author's Book Page -
https://www.marymorganauthor.com/trial-of-a-warrior

 

 

 

 


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42385812-trial-of-a-warrior

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/trial-of-a-warrior-by-mary-morgan

 

Riffle - https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/1030616

 

Romance.io - https://www.romance.io/books/5c0f61e801dbc864fb95e29b/trial-of-a-warrior-mary-morgan

 

BookLikes - http://booklikes.com/trial-of-a-warrior-mary-morgan/book,13993712

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Author - https://www.marymorganauthor.com/fenian-warriors

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/237934-legends-of-the-fenian-warriors

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JLQ9YVN?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

 

 

1 Quest of a Warrior
2 Oath of a Warrior
3 Trial of a Warrior

 

 

Legends of the Fenian Warriors follows The Order of the Dragon Knight series

 

Goodreads - https://www.marymorganauthor.com/order-of-the-dragon-knights

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

AVAILABLE in print or ebook

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JGMH8XS/

 

B&N – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trial-of-a-warrior-mary-morgan/1129784209?ean=2940161545003

 

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/trial-of-a-warrior/id1441254175?mt=11

 

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/trial-of-a-warrior

 

WRP - https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6349-trial-of-a-warrior.html

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

The Holiday Feature for the day is…

 

Mary Morgan is going to going to take readers to a 13th century Scotland Midwinter Feast!

 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Come journey with me as I whisk you away to 13th century Scotland for a Midwinter’s feast. We shall arrive at Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness.

This is the home of the Clan MacKay—the Dragon Knights. Their bloodline is steeped in ancient Celtic mythology. Though they respect the new religion that has swept across their land, the Dragon Knights continue to honor the old ways. Midwinter is a celebration of light and warmth here within the walls. The doors have been left open for all to enter in peace. Once you step inside, you are drawn to the holly boughs with ivy, bay, crimson-berried yew and fragrant bunches of rosemary.

 

The torches cast a welcoming light as you proceed onward. As we enter the Great Hall, you are met with boisterous laughter and gaiety. A bard is recanting the tale between the aging Holly King (representing the darkness of the old year), and the young Oak King (symbolizing the light of the New Year). Some of the older lasses have chosen to weave a sprig of holly onto their gowns and they nod at you in passing.

 

Candles illuminate the hall in a soft glow as you make your way toward the feasting tables. The Dragon Knights and their wives are seated at a longer table near the hearth. Ale and mead are flowing, along with the tempting dishes you survey as you take your place. You are tempted by the trencher of wild boar stuffed with onions and cabbages to your right. Or maybe you would prefer the spiced apples and damson tarts.

 

 

Afterwards, the minstrels begin to play a lively tune and a few of the couples grasped hands to join in the merriment.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Mary Morgan is also going to share the modern day version of the recipe for Damson Tarts!

 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 

PLUM TARTS aka…DAMSON TARTS***

 

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped almonds

3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into small pieces

1 egg yolk

2 pounds firm, ripe plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

 

Combine the flour, almonds, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Mix by hand or with an electric mixer, until crumbly.

 

Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch springform or tart pan. Arrange the plums in the pan, skin side down to form a flower pattern; begin at the outside and work your way in.

 

Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the plums. Bake the tart for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it’s lightly browned and the plum juices are bubbling.

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer tart to flat plate.

 

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

 

 

***Damson: A small fruit with vibrant, dark blue skin and a strong sour flavor. Damsons are similar to plums. They have a large stone (pit) and are often juicy, but tend not to be eaten raw due to the tartness of their flesh.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Add to put a cherry on top of the delicious sounding Damson Tarts – Here is an EXCERPT from Trial of a Warrior!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^
A tremor of longing to be kissed filled Abela. She should flee this instant, but her feet refused to listen to her mind.


Liam reached out and tucked a stray curl behind her ear. His finger trailed down the side of her neck, and she shuddered. “You have not answered me.”


“Yes,” she replied rapidly.


The smile in his eyes contained a sensuous flame, and she was drawn to him. A soft breeze billowed around them. She ached to press her mouth against his. Just one kiss.


As if reading her thoughts, Liam cupped her chin and stroked his thumb over her bottom lip. “Your mouth begs to be kissed, princess.”


She swallowed and did the unthinkable. “Then kiss me, Liam MacGregor.”


His groan echoed around them as he took possession of her mouth. The kiss sent the pit of her stomach into a wild swirl of delicious sensations. Abela’s body yearned to touch him, so she wrapped her arms around his neck. The contact of his skin against her chest ignited a burning desire for more.


Liam grasped her firmly around the waist with one arm and deepened the kiss. When his silken tongue sought entry, she opened fully to the seduction, tasting wine, apples, and his own scent. His moan resonated deep within her, and she found her body responding to a rhythm as old as the land they lived upon.


Never did Abela imagine the power behind a kiss—seductive, enchanting, shattering, and she craved more.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

1 prize package: A signed print copy of TRIAL OF A WARRIOR, Scottish jeweled bookmark, and postcards of all of Mary’s books. (US and Canada only)

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc1823/

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Award-winning Celtic paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.

 

Mary's passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn't until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling--writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

 

If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.

 

 

 

WEBSITE: http://www.marymorganauthor.com

 

BLOG: http://www.marymorganauthor.com/blog

 

TWITTER: http://twitter.com/m_morganauthor

 

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/MaryMorganAuthor/

 

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/mary.morgan.564

 

GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8271002.Mary_Morgan

 

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/

 

PINTEREST: www.pinterest.com/marymorgan50/

 

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/marymorgan2/

 

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-morgan

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 


https://bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com/

 

 

Thanks for joining us, Mary Morgan, I really enjoyed the 13th century Midwinter Feast and I have plans to make the Damson Tarts for my holiday parties!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed our Holiday Extravaganza and I hope you found a new book to put in your stocking! Have a Magical Holiday Season & good luck on the giveaway!

 

 

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review 2018-12-17 11:00
5 STAR REVIEW! Quest of a Warrior (Legends of The Fenian Warriors #1) Mary Morgan!

 

Today Since I shared the 3rd book in the series in another post today, I am also going to share my review of Quest of a Warrior - the 1st book in the Legends of the Fenian Warriors series by Mary Morgan!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

"You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!"

 

Fenian Warrior, Conn MacRoich has traveled the earth for thousands of years, guarding the realm between mortal and Fae. His deeds are legendary. Yet, one mistake will force him on a journey to fix a broken time-line. However, on Conn’s quest, he must face a human female who will eventually bring this ancient warrior to his knees.

 

When Ivy O’Callaghan inherits her uncle’s estate, she never imagines there will be more secrets to unravel, including the one she hides from the world. With the help of a mysterious stranger, she learns to trust and step out of the shadows. However, nothing prepares Ivy when she learns Conn's true identity.

 

As the loom of fate weaves a thread around the lovers from two different worlds, will the sacrifices they make lead them to love? Or will their secrets destroy and separate them forever?

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 


Having met the Fenian Warriors in the Order of the Dragon Knights series, I was quite excited that readers were finally going to get to know them better and hear their stories. And now that I have read the first book in the Legends of the Fenian Warriors series, I have to tell you that it surpassed my expectations. Mary Morgan brings her worlds to vivid live with well written words and a gift for spinning a tale that makes readers believe in the unbelievable and easily draws them into the worlds she brings to life. Conn MacRoich and Ivy O’Callaghan are two of the most strong, vibrant characters that I have ever read as they try to unravel secrets, right wrongs and deny a sizzling attraction that heats up the pages. The romance between the two is smolders with passion and adventure as they captivate readers with their strength and depth.

 

Elements of danger and magic add a mysterious ambiance to the story which has a fast paced plot and flows smoothly through the events that take place ensuring that readers can’t put the book down for fear that they might miss one second of this the thrilling suspense and intriguing tale of lovers separated by worlds but linked by the fates. Conn’s struggle between his quest and his feelings for Ivy add to the depth of the story and make it easy for readers to believe that heroes really do exist and guarantees that readers want to get to know more of the Fenian Warriors.

 

 

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Author's Book Page -
https://www.marymorganauthor.com/quest-of-a-warrior

 

 

 

 

 


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35064171-quest-of-a-warrior

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/quest-of-a-warrior-by-mary-morgan

 

BookLikes - http://booklikes.com/quest-of-a-warrior-mary-morgan/book,13993713

 

Romance.IO - https://www.romance.io/books/595499103ffdba61471adba7/quest-of-a-warrior-mary-morgan

 

Riffle - https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/1030618

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Author - https://www.marymorganauthor.com/fenian-warriors

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/237934-legends-of-the-fenian-warriors

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JLQ9YVN?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

 

 

1 Quest of a Warrior
2 Oath of a Warrior
3 Trial of a Warrior

 

 

Legends of the Fenian Warriors follows The Order of the Dragon Knight series

 

Goodreads - https://www.marymorganauthor.com/order-of-the-dragon-knights

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

AVAILABLE in print or ebook

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Quest-Warrior-Legends-Fenian-Warriors-ebook/dp/B072HPBMDM/

 

Audible - https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Quest-of-a-Warrior-Audiobook/B07B8VKD3X

 

B&N - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/quest-of-a-warrior-mary-morgan/1126404360/

 

iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/quest-of-a-warrior/id1231868317?mt=11

 

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/quest-of-a-warrior

 

WRP - https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5086-quest-of-a-warrior.html

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Award-winning Celtic paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.

 

Mary's passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn't until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling--writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

 

If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.

 

 

 

WEBSITE: http://www.marymorganauthor.com

 

BLOG: http://www.marymorganauthor.com/blog

 

TWITTER: http://twitter.com/m_morganauthor

 

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/MaryMorganAuthor/

 

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/mary.morgan.564

 

GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8271002.Mary_Morgan

 

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/

 

PINTEREST: www.pinterest.com/marymorgan50/

 

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/marymorgan2/

 

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-morgan

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed looking into the Legends of a Fenian Warrior!

 

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review 2018-12-17 03:47
The Orphan of Salt Winds - Elizabeth L. Brooks

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Tin House Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

This was an incredibly atmospheric read. The setting, particularly the marsh, had a life of its own. The author did a fabulous job describing the setting which helped set the tone and the mood for the novel. 

 

As for the story itself, I was into it, but I wasn’t thrilled by it. I think it was because I had such high expectations going in. On the cover, the book is described as being reminiscent of Jane Eyre, which is one of my all time favorite books. It’s really tough to top that book. As I was reading the book, it was hard not to compare it to Jane Eyre. The story just didn’t move me as much as I would have liked it to. I never felt that connected to Virginia. 

 

 

I did like the dual storylines of Virginia when she was adopted (which was the main storyline) and Virginia as an old woman. I think the alternation between the two were really well done. The author coordinated the unfolding of events between the two perfectly. The contemporary chapter would subtly reveal something that the next historical chapter would delve into in great detail. 

 

For me, the strongest part of the book was Mr. Deering. He was a fearsome villain. I never knew what he was going to do because he was so unpredictable and creepy. It was so unsettling every time he entered Salt Winds. He’s one of the best villains I’ve encountered in literature this year. 

 

Overall, this book has a fantastic setting and villain, but the story leaves more to be desired. 

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review 2018-12-17 01:06
Better than average
Blindsided - Gwen Hernandez

How could he not admire a woman who understood camouflage?"

 

A Marine scout sniper working now as a security expert and a hacker who has tried to go white hat from her childhood black hat days.

 

I loved this heroine, she was smart, not only in her computer abilities but understanding how the hero was better equipped to handle certain situations and listened to him. However, there wasn't a lot of that happening as she was the one who dictated a lot of the efforts to help them out of their bind. 

 

The gist of the story is that her employer has clients that hire them to find security leaks in their computer systems, except the employer is lying about the companies hiring them and takes the weaknesses the heroine gives him and uses it to steal information from the companies. The hero is hired by the employer in a set-up situation as he tells him he thinks the heroine is the one stealing from the companies but is really a big set-up to make it look like the hero is helping the heroine. 

 

I promise you, it makes sense in the beginning and you'll think the employer is an evil genius but the reader doesn't get much insight to the villain and the suspense side gets pushed to the side too much in the middle. Basically, the suspense side started off very strong but faded away and rushed at the end. 

 

This couple was great in that the hero and heroine meshed super well and it was understandable that such an accomplished guy like the hero would be a little rattled about how competent the heroine was and how her skills were more important in this situation, he gets rattled but he also found her hot because of this and I find him hot because of that. Along with the suspense side, I thought their romance stalled a little in the middle, even though the story slows to focus in on it more. I thought the middle meandered or slowed too much overall. 

 

I'm definitely going to find the other two in the series and read them as this author intrigued me with her suspense writing and different characteristics to her characters. 

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