Posted in Book Reviews

Review of The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards by Steve LeBel

bernie-and-the-wizards-3d-02

 

Title: The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards

 

Genre:  humorous young adult fantasy / science fiction (and adults)

 

Blurb:

Bernie fixes broken universes for a living. Unlike other gods, who tend to take a hell-fire-and-brimstone approach to problem-solving, Bernie prefers a more gentle approach. With a hard-to-please boss breathing down his neck and a personal life in desperate need of relationship advice, Bernie’s chances of success are dwindling fast. Yet he’s determined to do everything in his power to save the civilization on this damaged world. Even if the murderous wizard causing all the problems is powerful enough to hurt a god…

 

Length:  350 pages (99k words)

ISBN-13 (ebook edition):  978-0-9908831-3-5

ASIN  B06XWJZTPB

ISBN-13 (print edition):  978-0-9908831-5-9 and 978-0-9908831-4-2

Publisher:  Argon Press

Publication Date:  June 15, 2017 (print and ebook)

Amazon:  pre-order 

Goodreads:  book listing

 

My Review:

*I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards is a continuation of Bernie’s journey of being a young god; however, all of the stories can be read independently without confusion. I found the book engrossing from the start, and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen to the characters. The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards is a fun combination of Medieval-type fantasy and more modern fantasy. The world of the Radolins is a place with only ancient technology, while Bernie’s world is a world of gods who create universes but are not all-powerful. Bernie has been trained to view the worlds the gods create as businesses. When something goes wrong on a world, the gods will frequently wipe out the existing races and start over. Bernie, however, is much too compassionate to do that. Instead, he interacts with the worlds and their people in order to fix the problems, which sets him apart as a world builder. I loved Bernie from the beginning because of his compassion for the people the gods create, and because he takes the time to enter their world and become a part of it in order to fix the problem. Bernie’s dad is an incredibly selfish person, and he was a character that I loved to hate. The romance between Bernie and Suzie is sweet and added to my enjoyment of the book. It’s a light-hearted fantasy novel with characters I easily fell in love with. LeBel has created a world that’s fun to get lost in. I highly recommend reading The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards.

SaveSave

Posted in Book Stuff

The Charmed Life of Taryn by Lindy Zart

 

***NEW
RELEASE
***
Title:
The Charmed Life of Taryn
Author:
Lindy Zart
Genre:
YA Fantasy/Paranormal
 Synopsis:
On
the day Taryn Smith turns eighteen, her life changes—and not just
because she can now legally vote. A black-eyed man with a chilly aura
accosts her, and a stilted breath later, she’s abducted by a man who
claims he’s a Manang; a half-man, half-angel being who lives in a
world called Urian. Side note: he may or may not be insane.

Sent
to a mansion in the middle of a grassy field surrounded by forest,
and partnered with a black-haired, blue-eyed man with a surly nature
who makes her heart spin, Taryn trains. For what, she doesn’t know.
She’s told she’s someone special; a Charmed, and the key to winning
in a battle of worlds about to collide. Only problem is, she can be a
weapon of good, or a weapon of bad.

Links:

#angels
#halfangels #war #thecharmedlifeoftaryn #lindyzart #newrelease #ya
#youngadult #paranormal #fantasy #humor #actionadventure #romance
#amazon #bn #ibooks #kobo 
Excerpt:
Taryn.
Get up.”
I looked in the
direction of the door. “Go away.”
The door swung
open, and Luke marched for the bed. Even in the gray cast morning I
could see his lips pressed together, and that his eyes were promising
all kinds of retribution. It was a small consolation that he smelled
sweet, with a dash of bitter. From what I’d encountered so far,
that basically summed up Luke. Or maybe it was bitter, with a dash of
sweet.
I flipped thick
hair off my face and glared back. “What do you want?”
What did I
tell you yesterday?”
I don’t
know and I don’t care.” It was too early for this. “I’m going
back to bed. Leave.”
I flopped to my
side and pulled the thick blanket up to my chin, closing my eyes with
a contented smile on my lips. The blanket was immediately torn from
me, along with all the warmth it provided. “Hey!”
Training for
you starts now.”
It’s in
the middle of the night,” I cried, grabbing for the blanket.
Luke kept it
out of my reach by putting a hand to my forehead. “It’s six in
the morning. It’s time to get up. I’ll be back in five minutes.
If you’re not ready and—” He leaned forward until our faces
were inches apart. “—positively cheerful, you won’t like what I
do next.”
Oh, yeah?”
I taunted as he strode from the room. “We’ll see about that, you
equally cheerful person!”
Luke
backtracked and I scrambled from the bed, suddenly awake and ready
for some training. I even gave him a smart salute. I caught his smirk
before he disappeared.
*Join
the Zartian Support Group to party hardy on November 1st from 10:30
AM CST to 9:00 PM CST*

 

Author
Bio
:

Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has
been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing
has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her family.
Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a
completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, bloody
marys, peanut butter, and pizza.

 


Author
Links
:
Posted in Cover Reveals

Cover Reveal for The Charmed Life of Taryn by Lindy Zart

The Charmed Life of Taryn

the charmed life of taryn

Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Author: Lindy Zart

Cover Photography: Wendi Stitzer

Model: Nicole Kauffman

 

 

BLURB:

On the day Taryn Smith turns eighteen, her life changes—and not just because she can now legally vote. A black-eyed man with a chilly aura accosts her, and a stilted breath later, she’s abducted by a man who claims he’s a Manang; a half-man, half-angel being who lives in a world called Urian. Side note: he may or may not be insane.

Sent to a mansion in the middle of a grassy field surrounded by forest, and partnered with a black-haired, blue-eyed man with a surly nature who makes her heart spin, Taryn trains. For what, she doesn’t know. She’s told she’s someone special; a Charmed, and the key to winning in a battle of worlds about to collide. Only problem is, she can be a weapon of good, or a weapon of bad.

Posted in Book Reviews

Review of Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani

 Memories of Ash

Title: Memories of Ash

Series: The Sunbolt Chronicles, Book Two

Author: Intisar Khanani (http://booksbyintisar.com)

Cover Designer: Jenny Zemanek (http://www.seedlingsonline.com/index2.php#!/HOME)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: May 30, 2016

Publisher: Purple Monkey Press

Price: US $3.99 (eBook), US $TBD (paperback)

Goodreads Rating: (To early to determine, April 2016)

 

 

Synopsis:

In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges.

Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery.

If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.

 

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Your Copy of Memories of Ash Here:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble |  Apple  |  Kobo

 

Excerpt:

“It needs a meal,” the mage says, voice rasping, “and it won’t be me.” He yanks me off balance. I cry out, jerking away from him and lashing out with my glowstone. I manage to smack him hard across the face, but then his boot comes between my feet. For a sickening moment I teeter on the edge of the stairs.

Get back!

I barely register the words ringing in my mind before the mage shoves me, hard. I swallow a scream, throwing my arms up to shield my head as I fall. I slam down the stairs, bouncing toward the mass of tentacles. 

Feet first—get your feet first!

I follow the shouted advice mindlessly, twisting my body as I come to a stop amidst a tangle of three or four great tentacles.

Don’t move.

Someone is talking inside my head, and it’s not me. Somehow, that’s almost worse than lying surrounded by the talons of a nightmare monster. Almost.

 

 

My Review:

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

**This is the second book in a series. If you haven’t read the first book, you can get it here.

 

Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani continues the story of Hitomi, a young woman who has lost most of her memories but not her desire for justice. When her mentor is imprisoned on trumped up charges, Hitomi goes on a dangerous quest to save her. Hitomi is a strong woman who fights for what she believes in. She isn’t opposed to using trickery to achieve those ends, but she has boundaries that she won’t cross. I admire her strength and conviction. The world Khanani has built is so real that I’m instantly transported there, and I love how diverse it is. I especially enjoyed the desert people and their way of life. Khanani’s writing pulls me in, and I have a difficult time putting down any of her stories. I did not want Hitomi’s adventures in this book to end, and I am looking forward to reading the next book. I definitely recommend reading this series.

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 Author Bio

Intisar Khanani

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.

 

Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy.  Intisar’s current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles, an epic series following a street thief with a propensity to play hero when people need saving, and her nemesis, a dark mage intent on taking over the Eleven Kingdoms.

 

Website: http://booksbyintisar.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/intisar_Khanani

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/booksbyintisar

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BooksByIntisar

 

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Review of Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Thorn_CoverFnlRevFNLF_low_res

 

Title: Thorn

Series: N/A (Standalone)

Author: Intisar Khanani (http://booksbyintisar.com)

Cover Designer: Jenny Zemanek (http://www.seedlingsonline.com)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: May 30, 2012

Publisher: Purple Monkey Press

Price: US $3.99 (eBook), US $9.99 (paperback)

 

Teaser-Quote-1

 

Synopsis:

 

For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed.

 

Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future.

 

But powerful men have powerful enemies—and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman’s, giving Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she’s never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometimes the hardest choice means learning to trust herself.

 

Teaser-Quote-2

 

Excerpt:

 

“Princess Alyrra,” the king says. My eyes flick up to his, my legs frozen in their curtsy. He studies me as if I were a prize goat, his gaze sliding over me before returning to my face, as cold and calculating as a butcher. “We have heard tell of you before.”

“My lord?” My voice sounds unnaturally high even to me.

“It is said you are honest. An unusual trait, it would seem.”

I open my mouth, close it, force some semblance of a smile to my lips. My brother has gone rigid, his hands pressed flat against his thighs.

“You are most kind,” my mother says, stepping forward. The king watches me a moment longer, leaving my mother waiting. I cannot say what he thinks, why he would mention something sure to raise old grievances, why he would care. Or is he only toying with us? Laughing at us?

He turns to my mother, offering her a courtly smile, and at her words he accompanies her up the three stairs and through the great wooden doors of our Hall. My brother and I trail behind him, a mix of our nobles and the king’s entourage on our heels.

“Honest Alyrra,” my brother mocks, his voice loud enough for those nearest us to hear. “What a very clever, sophisticated princess you must be.”

I bite my lip. It is going to be a long week, watching my back and hiding down corridors. And with so many guests, the wine and ale will flow freely, which will make things even worse. Just leave, I think at the king’s back. Just go home and leave us alone.

 

My Review:

 

Thorn by Intisar Khanani is a wonderful fantasy story. I stayed up reading it until I simply couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer because I had to know what would happen. The story has all the elements of a hero’s quest, packed full of mythology, magic, and trials for the characters. Despite Alyrra’s birth as a princess, she is easy to identify with because she hasn’t had an easy life and is a kind but naïve young woman. The author does a fantastic job of creating realistic characters with both good aspects and flaws, which made me able to relate to all of the characters, even the ones who appeared at first glance to be “bad.” The story and the writing were reminiscent of Juliet Marillier’s books, and I think anyone who enjoys her work will fall in love with Thorn. This is a book I highly recommend reading because it is an engrossing and exciting fantasy novel.

 

Add to GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14059999-thorn

Purchase Your Copy of Thorn Here:

Amazon | B&N | Apple | Diesel | Sony

 

About the Author:

Intisar Khanani

 

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five.

Intisar currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Until recently, she wrote grants and developed projects to address community health and infant mortality with the Cincinnati Health Department—which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy.

Intisar’s latest projects include a serial novella project titled The Sunbolt Chronicles, about a young thief with a propensity to play hero, and her arch-nemesis, a dark mage intent on taking over the Eleven Kingdoms. She’s also developing a companion trilogy to her debut novel Thorn, which will feature a new heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife.

 

Website

GoodReads

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter: @IntisarKhanani