Category: Blog Tours


crushed cover Crushed by Eliza Crewe (book 2 of the Soul Eater series)

Published: September 22nd, 2014 by Eliza Crewe

Buy this book at: Amazon / B&N / Google Play / Kobo (Print edition coming soon!)

 

Synopsis:

Meda’s back. This time, she has a friend.

The battle is over; the choice has been made. Meda Melange has officially hung up her monstrous mantle and planted her feet firmly on the holy and righteous path of a Crusader-in-training. Or, at least, she’s willing to give it a shot. It helps that the Crusaders are the only thing standing between her and the demon hordes who want her dead.

The problem is, the only people less convinced than Meda of her new-found role as Good Girl are the very Crusaders she’s trying to join. So when a devilishly handsome half-demon boy offers escape, how’s a girl supposed to say “no?”

After all, everyone knows a good girl’s greatest weakness is a bad boy.

 

Rating: 4 star

 

Review:

**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for a review. No promise of a good review or other compensation was provided.**

Alright folks, give me a moment here, I need to wipe my nose and then get a new tissue. Then it’s time to put on my big girl panties and write this review without needing more tissue. First, let me tell you a sad story. The first book in this series, Cracked, was one of my favorite books last year. I got the ARC and I loved it. I bought a copy, I bought a copy to lend out, I recommended it to anyone who would listen, I anxiously waited for the next book. Then I asked for an ARC, didn’t get it and was…crushed, pun fully intended. But, no worries, I pre-ordered the book, I’d just have to be patient. Then I got an email, there was going to be no publication of Crushed. I was distraught! How could this be? Well, it’s because the publisher, Strange Chemistry, was closing down. I was so upset that I immediately rushed over to the author’s website, surely she would have answers for me! And, she did. She was going to self publish it and was doing a blog tour, well you better beleive I was alllllll on board with that idea. And that’s why I’m here now. To tell you how awesome this book is (because it is) and to encourage you to go out and read it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

So let’s catch up on what we learned from book one. Meda kicks ass….and eats souls. The two are not mutually exclusive. But she’s also, apparently a “Beacon”, someone who is capable of worl changing good. This is news to Meda, she mostly just wants to be left alone to kill and eat the souls of bad bad people who deserve it. The Crusaders have other ideas, she needs to be protected ad trained as a Crusader…well sort of trained.

And that’s where we come into Cracked. Meda is, essentially, being help captive. The Crusaders don’t like her, they don’t trust her, and they aren’t giving her any souls to eat which is really just torture. So, Meda does what she does best, she sneaks out to get herself some souls and reunites with Armand. We remember Armand right? She met him in Hell’s dungeon. And he has some bad intentions, which Meda knows but can’t seem to pull herself away from him anyway. Besides the Crusaders are torturing her anyway, why not have a little fun?

This book was a blast. It starts off hard and doesn’t let up for the whole book. I always get worried when we reach book two, because it often suffers from “middle book syndrome”. This one doesn’t though. Meda spends most of the book struggling with her choices. Can she really be a goody goody Crusader? As hard as she tries, it doesn’t seem like it. Can she just turn her back on it all and join the demons? Not really because of those pesky human emotions. She finds solace in Armand, who is also half-demon half-human, because he can understand her struggles of walking the line between good and evil. I loved this dynamic for Meda. It provided a lot of depth to her character that we had only began to see in Cracked. Honestly, by the end, I was rooting for Meda to join the demons, I can admit it. I was ready to flip the bird to the Crusaders for their treatment of her. But, of course, there are two sides to every pancake and this book was no different.

The ending rocked me. I was not ready for what happened to….the person….at the place….during that….thing. I can’t talk about it. I already cried my way through it once, I don’t want to relive it. As Meda is fond of saying, some bad things just shouldn’t be said. This is one. Then we got to the actual actual end and it both good and bad. Which I like. I can’t stand Steven Spielberg endings where everyone is okay and walks off into the sunset together holding hands and singing Kumbaya. I like things to be real. And in reality, even a happy ending is often tinged with despair, anger, loss, and grief. This was one of those endings.

I, for one, will be anxiously anticipating the next book to see where this path takes Meda next. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go get another tissue and text my mom to go buy this book…she’s been waiting since Cracked. Enjoy this author bio on your way to go buy this book:

 

 

 

eliza crewe Eliza Crewe always thought she’d be a lawyer, and even went so far as to complete law school. But as they say, you are what you eat, and considering the number of books Eliza has devoured since childhood, it was inevitable she’d end up in the literary world. She abandoned the lawyer-plan to instead become a librarian and now a writer.

While she’s been filling notebooks with random scenes for years, Eliza didn’t seriously commit to writing an entire novel until the spring of 2011, when she and her husband bought a house. With that house came a half-hour commute, during which Eliza decided she needed something to think about other than her road-rage. Is it any surprise she wrote a book about a blood-thirsty, people-eating monster?

Eliza has lived in Illinois, Edinburgh, and Las Vegas, and now lives in North Carolina with her husband, her hens, her angry, talking, stuffed dwarf giraffe, and a sweet, mute, pantomiming bear. She likes to partially-complete craft projects, free-range her hens, and take long walks.

Advertisements

TheProtectorsbannerThe Protectors by Bernard DeLeo

Published July 24th, 2012 by RJ Parker Publishing

Banner and synopsis provided by the author.

Buy this book at: Amazon

Synopsis:

Connor Bradwick and Ellie James enforce the law in one of the perennially most dangerous cities in the country: Oakland, CA. Bradwick snaps when he and James bust in on a kidnapping ring, enslaving children for pornography. He brutally executes the three kidnappers, stunning James. He sets up the scene to pass for self-defense with Ellie James cooperation. Their ruse succeeds, triggering a two cop crackdown on crime the city of Oakland’s leaders scurry to stop. Dedicated to end ‘look the other way’ crime suppression tactics, ending in destruction and death for the common people in Oakland, Bradwick and James decide it’s time to go on offense.

Connor explains it this way after they rescue the kidnapped children, “The kids made me start thinking about how I want folks to look at us. I don’t care anymore to visit someone to tell them we found the people who broke into their business or house and robbed them blind. I want them to wave at us from their house or business as we go by because we prevent the gangbangers, drug dealers and thugs from terrorizing them.”

The crime war takes on different meaning when they bust an MS-13 El Salvadoran gangster’s illegal alien processing center. Connor and Ellie run headlong into a corrupt politician on the gangster’s payroll, and the terrorists behind him. Soon, everyday crime fighting busts become a fond memory.

Rating (out of 5): 3 star

Review:

This is a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.”  Except I’m not sure that’s accurate.  Either this book just hit me in the midst of a slump and I didn’t like it but it’s an otherwise great book, or my mood was perfect for it but the book just wasn’t that great.  I am not sure which it is, but I do know that it’s one of the two.

This was pitched to me as resembling a “buddy cop” drama and I was looking forward to that.  On that front I was not disappointed.  The interactions between Ellie and Connor were really great.  I loved their banter.  Even though I initially thought that surely real cops were occasionally serious and not joking around all the time, but I still enjoyed them.  It made me laugh.  I also was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Connor.  In the beginning, I hated him.  He murdered three people in front of children and then asked them not to tell!  Yes they were criminals, but do cops go around executing people now with no due process?  I was prepared not to like Connor, but I ended up enjoying his character a lot.  He was not quite the vigilante that he seemed at the beginning.

I was also prepared not to like Ellie either.  Her first line was “Do I look fat?”  I found myself rolling my eyes and thinking, great another one of THOSE stereotypical females.  To a certain extent I still feel that way because she was frequently overly sensitive, too emotional, and irrational but I grew to like her.  She has a good sense of humor and knows how to get a good dig at Connor’s expense.

Even the plot started to grow on me, though I don’t think I ever truly enjoyed it.  This is where my biggest problem with the book lies.  Books require that you suspend reality for a little bit for the sake of the story.  This required me to just abandon reality completely and I didn’t like that.  On every page I had a hard time taking it seriously.  I don’t care what dangerous city you’re in, you are NOT tasing, shooting, or macing people on every call!  I have been to the “bad” parts of Oakland (where this is set), and seen cops on calls and never seen a gun drawn once.  I also had a hard time believing that a police Sargeant would say “Yeah sure, make arrests on your off time, no big deal!  It’ll be great actually!”  Um, nope I can’t get there either.  And if all cops have this many anger management issues, I might want to rethink calling 911.  So that got to me a lot.  Good for the story but not good for me.  So if you are a fan of cop drama type books then give this one a try, you might like it more than I did.  This book does have its merits and I enjoyed a lot of it!  But if you are reading my review and nodding your head and thinking “she makes a lot of good points” then perhaps this isn’t the book for you.

Many thanks to the author, who provided me a copy of this book and a spot on the blog tour!  The book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Announcement: Blog Hop on 12/17

Hey everyone!  I just got confirmation that this blog will be part of a blog hop for the book The Protectors.  The date this blog will be the feature is December the 17th.  As more information becomes available, I will make sure to post it.  For now, you can click on the book title to read the synopsis, and here is the author’s information:

Author Bio: Bernard Lee DeLeo

 

I’ve fixed cars and trucks for over three decades in my one man shop in Oakland, CA. I write adventure novels and have contracted two of them out to E-book publishers. I served four years in the US Navy, three aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Ranger. After my discharge in 1972 I graduated from Chabot College with an AA degree in Auto Technology and a BA degree in English from Cal State Hayward. Wild Child Publishing released my writer/assassin novel COLD BLOODED in November of 2011. I’ve also self-published eleven novels, all of which are available on Amazon, including my new release, THE PROTECTORS. I love writing of all kinds, and have just begun writing in the very different genre of screenplay writing. In addition to new projects I hope to adapt some of my novels into screenplays. At this time I am completing a YA/Paranormal trilogy, I plan to release in the next year, and I have a fantasy paranormal titled LAYLA which I will release in the coming months.

 

I am looking forward to reading this book, and I hope you’ll enjoy my feature and the participation in this blog hop!

Red Leaves and the Living Token by Benjamin David Burrell

Published April 5th, 2012 by the author

Cover and synopsis from the Goodreads book page

This book can be purchased at: B&N and Amazon  (Please note: On B&N and Amazon this book is available in three parts, the ebook I am reviewing is all 3 parts)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review and participation in this blog tour.  No other compensation was received other than the book and a positive review was not promised.

Synopsis: Doctors tell Raj that his son Emret won’t survive his illness. As Raj struggles to prepare himself and Emret for the inevitable, he’s confronted by Moslin, his son’s nurse, who’s been filling Emret’s head with fairytales about heroic quests and powerful disease curing miracles. Emret now thinks that all he has to do is find the mythical Red Tree from the nurse’s stories, and he’ll live.

In an attempt to protect his son from further emotional damage, Raj asks Moslin to stay away from Emret. He returns hours later to find them both missing.

He searches the fairytales for clues to where they may have gone and stumbles upon stories that, strangely, he already knows. He saw them in a vision just before his son disappeared.

Rating (out of 5):

 

Review:  The description of this book says everything that you need to know as a reader.  I couldn’t possibly add to it, so I won’t try.  Emret is a sick little boy and most likely going to die.  In a desperate attempt to get a miracle, he goes on the run with his nurse and without his father’s knowledge.  Raj is frantic to find his son missing and follows them but finds himself on a much more complicated journey than he first expected.  I really enjoyed this book, it intrigued me and kept me entertained at every page.  With that said, I must point out a few things that prevented this from being a five-star review.

There is some editing issues with this book.  As far as I am aware, I received a final copy of this book, but it could use another read through from an editing perspective.  There is nothing too egregious but the minor problems were so frequent that I have to comment on it.  For example, on nearly every page I could find things such as: “I’m am” or sentences that seemed to be missing words or had a plural form of the word when the sentence called for singular.  Ultimately, the editing issues weren’t bad enough to affect my enjoyment of the story but it was impossible not to notice.

My only other complaint would be that I felt as if not very much was explained to me.  It wasn’t explained very well what the Token is, or why it’s important.  You get a vague sense of why it matters, but the full story is a mystery.  It’s also not clear exactly why everyone wants the Token, other than to find the Red…but we don’t really know why they are all that vital either.  What does Emret’s illness mean?  What is “losing his binding”?  What’s a binding, why does it get lost?  I don’t know any of those things either, and I wanted to.  I still enjoyed the story immensely, but I would have preferred getting a more complete history and explanation of a few things.

But enough with the minor issues this book had, because the rest was simply fabulous.  I loved the story!  Emret was such a great character and was very relatable and likeable.  He believes in miracles and is determined to find his miracle.  No matter how many times he ended up being disappointed and Moslin lost faith, he never did.  I liked that about him and I found myself rooting for him to find his cure because he worked more than hard enough to get it.  Raj was also a really likeable characters.  He’s not a perfect man but he’s trying to be the best father he can be for his son and protect him from some of the more unpleasant realities of his situation.  But when it all comes down to it, he will cross nations to find and protect his son, and he does just that.  His journey isn’t perfect.  He makes a lot of wrong decisions that ultimately make it harder for him, but he never gives up.  I get so used to reading characters that are perfect in every way that I found Raj to be very refreshing.  He’s not a perfect guy, but he tries his damnedest to make it right anyway.  Great, great cast of characters.

The imagery in the plot is also fantastic.  Some authors have a hard time conveying action scenes, because these scenes rely so heavily on what is happening and not what is being said.  But Ben Burrell does this in a very vivid and engrossing manner.  Every aspect of the scenes was something I could see playing out in my head because it was described that well.  I couldn’t have been happier with this since I love reading a book that I can see in my head.  To me, that is the mark of a good storyteller.   I find it interesting that this author got his start in script writing, since I have found that script writers often have a hard time making the transition to full length fiction. Nothing could be further from the case for this book.  This holds true for the different races that are present in the book.  Each is different and you can tell has their own motivation, but all of them seem to center around finding this Token.

I highly recommend this book.  It’s a quick, fun, interesting read that will have you fervently turning the pages until the very end.  And even after it’s over, you’ll find yourself thinking about the story a few days later and wondering what happens next.  Hopefully you won’t have to wait very long…I hear there are at least a few other books planned as follow-ups to this one.  I know that I will be reading it, because I want to know what happens next.  And I want to know if the beings mentioned at the temple are humans, I really just have to know.

Also, if you haven’t already checked out the other stops on this blog tour, so give them a look.  I read each and every one, and all participants have done a fantastic job with a great book.