Posted in Book Reviews

Review of Reawakening by Lisa McCourt Hollar

Reawakening cover



*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book.

Genre: Paranormal, urban fantasy


When Francine’s grandmother died, she was forced to take a job at a little market in order to pay her bills. One strange New Year’s night teaches her just how little she knows about the world. The people she works with are not at all who she thought they were, and suddenly she finds herself in the midst of a world full of otherworldly creatures, one of which is extremely dangerous. Women are being killed and Francine, who may be more than she believes she is, must work with an angel, a psychic, and a werewolf to stop the killer. But Francine must determine if the vampire is really the enemy, or if some other creature is to blame for all the killings.


Reawakening by Lisa McCourt Hollar was an action-packed paranormal read. There was just enough detail to give me an understanding of the world the author created, which made this a quick and exciting read because the story is focused on the action. Francine is a character that I loved instantly. She’s strong and a little dark, and even when her world is turned inside out, she remains strong. Hunter is another excellent character because he’s just the right blend of dark and light. The story is set in the modern world, where otherworldly creatures exist beside humans although the humans are unaware of them. Reawakening does end on a cliffhanger, and I’m looking forward to the next book. This is a fantastic book, and I definitely recommend reading it.


About the author:


Lisa McCourt Hollar writes both horror and children’s stories. She has stories included in several anthologies, including the Satan’s Toybox and is currently working to finish Reverberations,the follow up to her YA novella, Reawakening. She is most proud of her children’s stories, mainly because with each one, her son declares it to be his favorite book. She has two new children’s books coming out in September, Tabby’s Haunted Friends, part of her Tabby’s Haunted series, and Fanny Nightsky and the Fairy Trap, the second in her ToothFairy Adventures. Lisa lives in Ohio with 3 of her children and a husband who also writes, which sometimes makes home life a little insane.

Posted in Book Reviews

Review of Blood Curse by Jen Ponce

Blood Curse cover

Genre: Horror, Fantasy, LGBT


Lorelei is trapped in a frightening world of vampire servitude. It is her destiny and duty to become a blood-servant to a powerful vampire. Unlike her twin sister, Lorelei can’t stand the idea, so she runs away and happens upon a vampire, Issala, who is part of a group of vampire hunters. Issala longs for death for herself and the Lady Catherine–the vampire who killed her previous lover and who Lorelei’s sister is servant to. When the two women discover Lorelei’s blood can kill vampires, Issala must decide if death is truly what she longs for.


Blood Curse is a fantastic vampire novel. Jen Ponce did a wonderful job explaining how vampires could exist and how some could be bitten but not become full-blood vampires, something not all vampire novels accomplish. This book has no shortage of action and sex, including some disturbing scenes involving the Lady Catherine. The characters in the story are well written, and I couldn’t help but love Issala and Lorelei and hate Catherine and Morganna. Women are the dominant characters in this book, and while not all of them are good, the women in this book are certainly strong characters who do what is within their power to take charge of their own lives. Blood Curse is full of action, love, and as Jen Ponce says, “kick ass women and oogy monsters.” I loved this book! It is one to buy for some great horror entertainment.


You can purchase Blood Curse here.


For more about the author, Jen Ponce, please visit her website:


Posted in Uncategorized

The Queen of Swords Blog Tour

Today on The Fringes of Reality, we’re spotlighting The Queen of Swords by Nina Mason.

Queen of Swords Cover_final copy

Author: Nina Mason

Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing

Heat level: sizzling

Formats: Kindle and paperback

Where to buy:

Kindle: (or



The Queen of Swords is a paranormal fantasy/urban fantasy novel.

*Warning* This book is for mature audiences only.



When Graham Logan, a Scottish earl turned vampire by a dark wizard’s curse, draws the Queen of Swords, he knows he’s about to meet the love of his life. For the third time. But surrendering his heart will mean risking her life…or making her what he is. Neither of which his morals will permit him to do. Graham, who believes he lost his soul to the curse, rages at God: Why give her back only to take her again?

Cat Fingal, the third incarnation of Graham’s twin flame, won’t let him escape so easily. As soon as they meet, she feels she knows him and begins having past-life flashbacks. A white witch, she casts a spell to summon him, wanting answers and to fill the void she’s felt all her life.

Graham has other problems, too. Like the seductress who wants him for herself and the dark wizard who cursed him and killed his beloved the first two times.

Will he find a way to save her this time around? Or will she save him?

My Review:

The Queen of Swords is a must-read for anyone who likes paranormal romance. I loved the characters. Cat is an independent woman who goes after what she desires. Graham, given his age and lifespan, is stubborn and old-fashioned in some ways. They love and fight like real people. The author also peppers the story with wonderful Scottish history and magic. I enjoyed it so much I nearly stayed up all night reading it!

Excerpt and related meme:


the promise copy


12th May. Visited Caitriona tonight for the first time since becoming a monster. She slept, unaware of my presence, & for a time, I was content simply to observe. As the hours passed, I began to wonder what might happen if she awoke to find me in her room. Would she think me a wraith? Would she think it a dream? Desiring to know, & to get closer, I sat down on the corner of the bed, alert for any stirrings. Seeing none, I crawled up the bed until I reached her side. Still she did not stir. Ever so carefully, I set my head upon the pillow next to hers. She slept on. Drinking in her scent, I felt contentment for the first time since fate & Fitzgerald tore us apart. I closed my eyes & must have drifted off, because next I knew, her arm fell across my chest. Startled awake, I found her blinking at me in disbelief.

I lay there, still as death, waiting for her to react. Her hand moved up my chest to my face. She dragged her fingers across my jaw, pressed them against my lips, touched the end of my nose, my eyebrows, my forehead. As she combed back my hair, she whispered: “This must be a dream. But you feel so real, so alive. I don’t ken how such a thing is possible; nor do I care. I only pray I shall never awaken.”

I kept still. I could hear her heartbeat, smell her blood, but her blood was not what I craved. She set her head on my chest & started to sob.

“Am I dreaming?” she asked, soft & low.


She raised herself up, came over me & pressed her mouth against mine.

“Can we make love in my dream?”


When it was over, I collapsed beside her, feeling so elated, so profoundly moved, I very nearly wept.

She set her head against my chest. “Will you promise me something?”

“Anything, m’aingael.”

“Always come to me like this in my dreams.”


Interview With Nina Mason

Q. Tell us about your book.

  1. The Queen of Swords tells the story of a bookish white witch who returns every century to reunite with her earthbound soul mate. He’s a Scottish earl turned vampire by a dark wizard’s curse back in the Regency era on the eve of their wedding. She came back once before in the Edwardian era only to be killed by his maker in the same manner as before. He believes he has no soul, so can’t understand why she keeps coming back. She believes he does have a soul and that she comes back to free him from the curse. The story follows their journey as they try to work out who’s right and how they can stop history from repeating.


Q. After this, what’s your next project?

A. My current work-in-progress is book two in The Knights of Avalon series. After that, I haven’t decided. Probably another paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I’ve got a stalled manuscript about an oil company spokeswoman who gets involved with a merman during an oil spill in the Hebrides. Might get back to that one, or write one featuring Benedict and Avery, the secondary couple in The Queen of Swords. I’d also like to maybe write a sequel to The Tin Man, my political thriller releasing in August. It tells of two journalists thrown together to solve a series of murders tied to a global conspiracy to take over the media.


Q. What inspires you to write what you do?

A. All of my paranormal stories are inspired by my love of the history and mythology of Scotland, my interest in the unknowable, and my belief in the redemptive power of love.


Q. When did you start writing?

A. About as soon as I could write the alphabet. When I was a kid, I won an essay contest sponsored by the local library (I was an avid reader and always did the summer reading challenge). Back in the days of typewriters, I wrote a romance novel about a couple of ballet dancers, but never did anything with it. Didn’t try my hand at fiction again until five or six years ago, when I started what is now The Queen of Swords.


Q. What inspired you to write the book?

A. I started the first draft after reading Twilight. While I liked the saga, I also found myself frustrated by the lack of sex and Edward’s lack of history. In literature, vampires originally personified uncaged sexuality, so a chaste vampire seemed counter-intuitive to me. Plus, I felt writing an immortal creature provided fantastic opportunities to build an interesting backstory. What had he/she seen and experienced over the centuries? How was he/she affected by it? My immortal characters all have a history tied to the world and what they’ve seen and experienced has colored them in some way.


Q. Are you a careful planner or do you let the story guide you?

A. I do a bit of both. I work out the characters and their motivations, setting, and where I want the story to go. I also tend to do index cards for each scene or major plot point from start to finish. Once I begin to write, it can go completely off the rails, depending on where the characters want to take it. As long as they’re reaching the touchstones, I let them do what they want. If they go too far off track, I either re-plot the novel or rein them in, depending on which direction seems better at the time.


Q. Who is your favorite among your characters?

A. I love them all, of course. Graham, the hero in The Queen of Swords, is both noble and funny. Callum, the hero in The Knight of Wands, is a good-hearted romantic. Leith, the hero of my WIP, is a bit on the dark side, but still well-intentioned. If pressed to pick just one, I’d have to go with Alex Buchanan, the journalist hero in The Tin Man. He’s very complex and has lots of demons to overcome, but also is a really good guy.


About Nina Mason, author

Nina Mason, author copy


Nina Mason is a hopeful romantic with strong affinities for history, mythology, and the metaphysical. She strives to write the same kind of books she loves to read: those that entertain, edify, educate, and enlighten. Three of her books will be published in 2014: The Queen of Swords, an urban fantasy/paranormal romance; The Knight of Wands, book one in the Knights of Avalon Series; and The Tin Man, a political thriller about the dangers posed by media monopolies. She is currently at work on Book Two of the Knights of Avalon series and is itching to get back to a book she started a while back about a merman who falls for an oil company spokeswoman after a phantom tanker capsizes on the coast of the Hebrides islands. When not writing, Nina works as a communications consultant, doll maker, and home stager. Born and raised in Southern California, she now lives in Woodstock, Georgia, with her husband, teenage daughter, two rescue cats, and a Westie named Robert.


Social-media links:





Twitter: (@ninamasonauthor)