Author Interview: D’Juan “OJ” Dyer

#authorinterview

I’d like to extend a very warm welcome to my blog to D’Juan “OJ” Dyer, an award-winning writer of post-apocalyptic fiction and a published poet. Post-Apocalyptic fiction is one of my favourite genres and I’m thrilled that you are here to share your work and your writing journey with us.

  1. Before we delve any further, would you like to tell readers a little about yourself?

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for putting me on your platform. I see we are coming out the gate with a loaded question. Who is OJ? In the simplest form I am a man on a mission to transition from a street soldier to a world esteemed writer and poet. I was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised mainly in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

My adolescents were plagued with gang violence, which led to me being stabbed twice in street fights, and the crafting of a persona that I am currently trying to shed to grow into the man I am supposed to be. Throughout this transition I have found myself holding beliefs that are contrary to the normal. I am an ordained pagan minister and an outspoken anarchist. But beyond that I am a 23-year-old father of four, who is finding his way through this cold world. I am a life-long writer although I just recently entered the publishing industry. I also own a niche-publishing company by the name of Half Dead Association, LLC which I started to release my dystopia and post-apocalyptic novels autonomously.

  1. What prompted you to become a writer and get involved in the publishing industry?

I always wanted to be a writer ever since I was a child. I’m going to be completely honest I was a bad kid. I practically lived on punishment. Punishment in my household was different though, my mom would strip my room bare. She would take everything out, including my door off the hinges, just leaving my clothes in my closet and my mattress. But the one thing she allowed me to have was books. She would take me to the local library and let me pick out like six books to take home and read. So, at that point I was reading multiple books within a day, and that made me fall in love with storytelling. To me, books were magical. They transported me out of my solitary confinement conditions into a different world. What’s more magical than that? After reading so many books and being transported to so many different worlds I knew that I wanted to write. I wanted to be able to transport someone into a fictional world and make them fall in love just like I did. I had always been a creative soul, but those experiences gave me an artform to hone in on. So, I started writing little stories but never shared them with anyone.

I didn’t officially decide to jump into the publishing industry until two years ago though. Why? Because I got my heart broken. I completely lost myself. I was homeless and majorly depressed. I started to live with my best friend, whom I’ve known since the third grade, in a studio apartment. I would just lay on the couch all day doing nothing. My spirit was broken. But my best friend one day got fed up with me just sleeping all day and forced me to get up and write something. That’s when I started writing Black Autumn. After sharing a bit of it with him, he got all serious and asked me if I ever considered publishing the stuff I wrote. In that moment is when I decided that I would actually try my hand in publishing, I mean I didn’t really have anything else to lose at that point. Once I put Black Autumn out, it won #1 New Release in 30-Minute Teen and Young Adult Short Reads. How I looked at it was like, for it to be my first project I put out and it achieved that accolade, writing wasn’t an option anymore, it was my destiny. The rest is history in the making. Who would’ve thought I would find my blessing in the midst of what I perceived to be cursed times? I surely didn’t. C’est la vie.

  1. Your work in the apocalyptic genre has earned you the title “The Voice of The Apocalypse”. What inspired you to write in this genre?

I’ve always been a fan of the genre and that even extends beyond books. What started it was my obsession with zombie movies and shows. Then I got really big into doomsday prepper content and just all things that was based around the end of the world. I was fascinated. People tell you to write what you know, and that’s what I love to consume so it was a natural fit. The biggest draw in for me was questioning what people would do without rules. When you really think about it, society behaves a certain way solely because we have laws set in place that are enforced with punishments. If you take away the laws and you take away the punishments, people will probably act completely different and be more impulsive. For example: Say you are broke and hungry, and you happen to walk past a pizza shop. In our current society, you are probably going to be like, “Man I wish I had the money to get some pizza right about now.” But if there was no consequence, most people would run in the pizza shop, steal a pizza, and go home happy.

I like writing in this genre because I can explore that other side, the what-if, and make people ponder their own morality. In this genre anything goes. You wouldn’t kill someone in the store today just because they grabbed the last loaf of bread. But what if there were no rules and that was the last loaf of bread in the city? What if your family was starving and haven’t eaten all day, would you kill for it then? My examples may sound a little unhinged but it’s the truth, and I want readers to confront that truth within themselves. How far would you truly be willing to go under dire circumstances with no rules?

  1. Your dystopian short story, I Did Something Bad (Ascendia Series), released earlier this year. What themes does the book explore?

I would say betrayal and freedom are the biggest themes. The story is based around someone who is looking for freedom within a super controlling environment, and the main character also happens to be deeply betrayed by the people closest to him. The search for freedom and the major betrayal he suffers is why the story is titled ‘I Did Something Bad’. In the end it also briefly explores forgiveness with a strong conviction on action and consequence. At first the betrayal isn’t evident, but when the main character explains it, I think most people will understand it but not agree with it. The twist in that book is crazy if I do say so myself. 

  1. Do the characters in the story in any way reflect elements of your own personality /life experience or those of people you know? Tell us about the main character in your novel and his motivations. Feel free to share a short snippet.

The elements of my story actually refer to a song that my previously mentioned best friend made. It’s called ‘Shoulda Known’ by Sahghoul. It’s available on Soundcloud, and I definitely think it deserves more recognition. But of course, me being an apocalyptic fiction writer, I put my own spin on it and expanded it into my own world. I actually used a couple of the lyrics throughout the course of the book. That came about because one day I played the song while in the shower and the idea for this story just popped into my head. I always have the best ideas while in the shower, it’s my sanctum. The only aspect that directly relates to my life is that the main character is a writer. The story itself is set in a city that is ruled by a dictator. The main rule is no one is allowed to leave the city because everything is allegedly destroyed outside of the walls of this city. The main character is a journalist that doesn’t believe everything is destroyed and he’s on a mission to find a way to escape the city and in the process expose the dictator as a liar.

Snippet: “Almost instantaneously Blackridge lost contact with the rest of Ascendia. Soon after, the mayor sent out a group of officers to seek aid. But when they returned, they came with a message. Supposedly everything outside the city’s walls were destroyed with no signs of survivors. You did not believe them one bit; it did not make sense. No one could envision what would happen next or how to possibly rebuild, but they believed in Mayor Shepard. Too much if anyone asked you.”

  1. Your author bio states that you have done a lot of travelling. To what extent, if any, did this influence your writing journey?

Travelling has definitely influenced my writing. When you travel to so many places you see so many different cultures and meet so many different types of people. Which is crucial to the world-building aspect because it makes you consider different dialects and mentalities. Someone from up north is very different from someone down south. From their beliefs to their morals, to their mentality, its all just so different.  You gain a deep appreciation of people as a whole when you get to see different backgrounds and different struggles, and how they are portrayed. Humans are such unique creatures. Travelling also helped me spread my brand tremendously. I get support from so many different states just because I was able to build genuine connections from either living there or passing through. I was born in Michigan but have also lived in New Mexico and Texas. For a few years I used to take a yearly vacation to Florida. I’ve visited West Virginia, Georgia, and Ohio. On road trips I’ve passed through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

  1. Are you a ‘panster’ or ‘plotter’ or something in between?

Panster all the way. I honestly wouldn’t know how to plot if my life depended on it. The only thing I plot ahead of time is the character names and the locations the book will take place in. I drew a complete map of my fictional world Ascendia and pick different locations for each book. But once I get the general idea of the story I want to tell, I go straight to the lab and start cooking. I don’t really know how other authors write, but the story just comes to me and tells itself as it goes.

Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m the one writing the story, the characters are telling their stories to me, and I just document it. It’s almost like they are their own sentient entities. There was this one time I was half asleep and lines just started appearing in my head out of nowhere. So, here I am all groggy trying to listen and type at the same time. This continued for about a half an hour before they were like okay you can go to sleep now; we’ll tell you more when you wake up. Is that weird? Oh well, it is what it is. It’s kind of enchanting when I think about it. Maybe a little crazy, but enchanting, nonetheless. I say that because I’ll be writing and like I know what I would do in certain situations, but when it’s dictated to me, I just be like, “Woah. You are crazy, I definitely wouldn’t of did that.” Or it’ll be the opposite and I’ll be talking to myself like, “That was your response? I ain’t even mad at you, I would’ve done the same thing.” Yes, I just admitted to talking to myself at times. And I’m not saying I’m a genius, but all creative geniuses talk to themselves.

  1. Do you set aside time to write every day? I am particularly interested in how you manage to motivate yourself to set aside time to write within a busy schedule or when life decides to throw us a curveball.

If I didn’t set time aside to write every day I feel as if I’d be disrespecting my fans and supporters, but that’s just me. Who am I to play with these people who believe in me? Having four kids, it’s definitely a tedious task. Luckily, my spouse understands how important it is that I write so she often will watch the kids for a couple hours a day and just tell me to go do what I do best. I don’t suffer from writer’s block like most people so it’s easy for me to just hop in my zone and go. I learned that sometimes you must cut your luxuries to make time for writing. I used to be an avid gamer, but then I started feeling guilty. I would game for like four hours straight, on the light side, and when I finished, I’d just sit there and be like, “I probably could have made a better use of my time, like writing my story.” So, I stopped playing video games, I haven’t touched a game in about eight months at this point. I’m very self-motivated. This is my calling and if I don’t give it my all then I’m only hurting myself.

Sometimes life does throw you a curveball and you can’t help it, but you have to will yourself to write. Even if it’s half a page, it’s better than nothing. I once heard a quote that you have to put an equal amount of work into your business as you spend working in someone else’s. That stuck with me. Because your day job will keep the bills paid, but your business is what will make you rich. When you come from where I come from, a lot of people don’t make it out. So, when you have something that gives you that sliver of hope, you MUST take it and run with it. That’s how I look at it, this is my only way to make it out, so I have to keep pushing forward no matter what happens. Whatever you are going through, pour that emotion into your story. Are you angry? Write a fight scene or a scene where your main character is furious. Horny? Write a sex scene. Sad? Write a scene where you character is experiencing the ‘all is lost’ moment.

At the end of the day, little progress is better than no progress. As long as you are working on your project, rather it be writing or editing, you are progressing. You have to ask yourself what is your goal and how do I get there? My advice is to set your goal very high. My goal is to own a private island, and with writing being my only foreseeable way out, I have to make time to push that ball forward until I reach that goal. By any means necessary. I want my kids to have a better life than I had, and if I want that to happen, I have to continue writing every single day. People depend on me, this is bigger than self.

  1. Writing can be a solitary process. Do you have any writing buddies, co-writers, or anyone you go to for support, either face- to- face or online?

When it comes to the writing process, I often run to my spouse Ella Chrisman, who is also my editor. She is the only one that really sees my vision in its entirety and knows where I’m trying to go with my writing. She always gives me sound advice when I ask. Other than that, I usually talk to Stanley James II as he has a lot of experience in the world of publishing with his company, GangTales Publications. He’s been a real stand-up guy about helping me move forward in this industry. A lot of the time though I stay to myself, I’ve always been that way. I’d rather deal with things alone, and only ask for help when I feel like I absolutely did everything I could before going to outside resources.

  1. What do you find the most difficult part of writing?

I would have to say the hardest part is releasing projects. I’m about to admit something pretty heavy that most people don’t know about me, and it directly correlates to my writing. My stepfather used to abuse me as a child, and my mom had no clue. So, I developed this fear of being vulnerable. When I finish writing a story, I get anxious to release it because my writing is such a vulnerable part of me. A lot of things I write have my own internal thoughts or feature poems about my true feelings. Being damaged like I was at such a young age makes it hard for me to know that when I release projects, people are going to form opinions about it and judge it. But I’m conquering that fear with each project I put out. Sheesh, you are getting the raw version of me in the interview.

  1. If you could share three pieces of advice to give to an aspiring author, what would they be?

The first is, don’t listen to people when they tell you what you can and can’t do. This is your craft, and everyone has their own path to walk. Walk in your truth, what doesn’t work for someone else may just work for you. (That rhymed and I didn’t do it on purpose, must be the poet in me.) Second, perfectionism is a hinderance. If you are looking for perfection, you will never get anything done. You live and you learn, and the best way to learn is through experience. Third, this is a marathon and not a sprint. You will not become a best seller overnight, but don’t let that discourage you. Keeping writing, keep releasing content. The only way you are going to make it in this industry is through dedication, hard work, and patience. (Long Live Nipsey Hussle)

  1. How many books have you published so far in your writing career and what are you currently working on?

I’ve published one e-book, Black Autumn, and one paperback which is I Did Something Bad. Honestly, I’m sitting on a few stories that I’m not sure if I’m ever going to release because they are just so personal. Like I said, I’m still trying to conquer that vulnerability demon. Right now, I’m working on the main content of the Ascendia series. Paradise Wilds is up next and should be available in either July or August. I’m already 111 pages into that so that’s why the potential release date is so close. After that is Raven’s Rock, which I’m super excited to start. I foresee this probably being about a 12-15 book series, so y’all will be hearing about the Ascendia Series for a while.

  1. Finally some fun questions!

a.) Do you have a ‘go to’ drink or snack to inspire you while you write?

Most definitely! Red Wine is my go-to drink. Okay, you were probably not expecting that but it’s the truth. A little bit of wine is great for writing, it loosens me up and gets me out my head. I can write a little more freely without overthinking about how my writing will be perceived by the general public. For a snack, I would probably say cheddar and sour cream Pringles for sure.

b.) Do you believe in aliens?

Without a doubt. To believe that humans are the only creature in this universe with superior intellect is honestly a terrifying thought, especially because I feel we are leading ourselves into an extinction. But then again, that’s where we run into the Fermi Paradox. If you look throughout history we have many cultures, some ancient, that believed we have been visited by aliens multiple times already. The most interesting one to me is the Anunnaki, the ancient alien gods of Mesopotamia who were in charge of determining the fate of humanity. I also believe that aliens may be the reason behind our technological leap.

c.) Your favourite flavour ice cream?

I’m weird, I don’t really like ice cream. The closest I get is ice cream sandwiches, and even that’s iffy. I’m not really a big dessert fan, especially cold ones. Even though this wasn’t asked, I also don’t eat pork or any red meat. I’m a pescatarian.

  1. Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

My final words: Go order you a copy of I Did Something Bad, like right now! Otherwise, you are doing yourself a disservice. Also, every copy that gets ordered feeds my children a happy meal. You still haven’t ordered your copy yet? You must want my kids to starve, rude. Paradise Wilds is on the way, and if you stuck through this whole interview, I love you lol. 

Thank you for such a fascinating and candid interview. I wish you the very best in life and with your writing and am looking forward to reading your work. 🙂

Blurb

The impenetrable city of Blackridge, Ascendia finds itself stuck under a dictator’s control five years after an earthquake caused the rest of the world to end. The number one rule of Blackridge is that under no circumstance is anyone allowed to leave the city. But after a journalist’s wife goes missing, he yearns to escape the city’s walls. In order for the journalist to break free of the fascist government, the truth about his wife’s disappearance must be unveiled.

BONUS CONTENT: Features a Sneak Peek of Dyer’s upcoming novel ‘Paradise Wilds’

Purchase Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Author Bio

D’Juan “OJ” Dyer is an award-winning writer of post-apocalyptic fiction and a published poet. O.J. was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan – but has traveled all across the United States. As a father of four and businessman his goal is to inspire people to chase their dreams, and to show his children that they can do/achieve anything if they put their mind to it. He solely committed to writing fictional novels professionally, after he transitioned his life from being a member of a notorious street organization. Dyer self-funded his craft by investing his personal money into learning the business, then creating his own independent publisher, Half Dead Association, LLC to release his novels autonomously. His work in the apocalyptic genre has earned him the title “The Voice of The Apocalypse”.

Connect with the Author

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Twitter

Summer Review Round-Up 2016

Dear readers,

img_0166It may be Autumn, but we’re still clinging on to the end of Summer with our Summer reads from June, July and August recapped for you to check out. We hope you all had some great hols and had the chance to read a book or two!

One of the perfect summer reads for me was Alison Brodie’s THE DOUBLE, where the setting on a luxury yacht on the Côte d’Azur really grabbed me. A perfect read even if not on holiday as it certainly makes you feel like you are!

And, with many of our reads being dark, paranormal, sci-fi and HOT erotic, they’ll be perfect for warming up your evenings for the following months.

For more info on each book and our full reviews please click on the titles.

Happy Autumn, everyone!

Caroline & Tina 🙂 ❤

Shannon 1Angelis Vampire Series by Shane North, fantasy, paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina Williams)

SHANNON (book 1) Blurb: Shannon’s life is happy except for her nightmares, but when she watches her mom and dad being murdered by the monsters in her dreams, her life falls apart. Her best friend turns out to be a werewolf, the man she thinks of as her other father is the alpha male, and her long lost uncle is a vampire lord from Angelis. Angelis is in another time dimension, a world ruled by Royals, a pureblooded line of vampires with powers never seen in this time dimension. Angelis is a medieval world of castles, and ancient magic that her mother and uncle were forced to leave to save their lives.

Shannon’s journey leads her to follow her destiny and meet the love of her life. Destiny and her uncle lead her to find out what she really is, where she came from, and to become the strongest immortal to live. Shannon learns to kill quickly, and to love like there’s no tomorrow when she meets her mate from her dreams. Simon, an eight-hundred year old Viking has searched the world for his true love when he meets Shannon. What will Shannon’s uncle, Simon’s maker, have to say about this? A young woman from South beach, destined to overthrow the vampire council and rule the immortal race with the help of the ancient Shaman Neeb.

Shannon 2SHANNON’S REVENGE (book 2) Blurb: My name is Shannon O’Callaghan and I’m immortal. I live in an amazing world of time travel and magic, where vampires and werewolves are normal and I call them family A family some would say are monsters, but they love me unconditionally and it’s the life I was meant to live. My father was Connor O’Callaghan, a visionary that led the wolves to peace and prosperity. My mother was Callidora Angelis, a Royal vampire from another time dimension. Their love and life together are what made my life possible, but, it is also what caused their death. And, it’s their death that fuels my journey of revenge on those who stole my life.

This immortal word is controlled by The Vampire Assembly. The Assembly is an evil group of twelve who decides the fate of its followers. They are devils dressed like mortal men who kill with pleasure and live off of blood slaves they keep in their dungeons. They are evil, they are responsible for my parents’ death, and I will see them dead. My day for revenge is finally coming and The Assembly is mine to kill. Then and only then will I rule this land as their queen.

ReaganREAGAN’S DESTINY (book 3) Blurb: Death has arrived in earth’s time dimension. A foul stench filled Shannon’s nose, a smell of sulfur and death. This might have been a vision, but her power spiked as she sensed the source and moved towards it. Her life force surrounded her as her swords appeared in her hands. She gripped them tightly and stepped through a massive oak door. Before her stood a giant of a man.

His essence was black as coal, and his soul had long been lost to his dark side. His ancient leather armor looked old and battled; it smelled musty from the dried blood and looked dry and brittle. This had to be Kyran. Evil always had a dirty, unkempt appearance, and his aura was encircled with death. She could sense his blood was similar to Damon’s, and she knew she would take great pleasure in killing him someday. But what happens when Kyran is taken to earth’s time dimension by Neeb’s evil brother, seeking to kill the remaining royal Angelian family and end their bloodline forever.

In this riveting spin off from Shane North’s Angelis Vampire Series, an unknown Angelian is faced with death, her new life and the destiny the fates have planned for her.

FigsFigs by Tabitha Rayne, erotic lesbian menage/romance (reviewed by Tina Williams)

Blurb: Two girls, some fruit and an office perv—what could possibly go wrong?

When Mae finally confronts the office perv, Rory, by taking part in one of his suggestive pranks with a fig, she starts a journey that changes the way she thinks and feels about her current partner, Janey. Janey lost her sight just before they met and Mae realizes she has been keeping Janey like a prisoner in her own home—safe, protected and unseen. After the scene with Rory, Mae decides to take Janey out and show her off to the world—something she should have done a long time ago…

Little does she know what a hellraiser her girlfriend can be.

Digital_Cover_ILLUS_2Sex Hell: A Love Story by Joe Canzano, comic fantasy, humour, paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline Barker)

Blurb: When Debbie de La Fontaine tries to spice up her love life by supernaturally tampering with her sex life, she is cursed to spend every future encounter in a magical place called “Sex Hell,” where the sex is ludicrous and amazing–but the romance is scarce.

Her only chance for escape is through the stingy clues supplied by a laughing demon, and the only way to obtain the clues is by returning to Sex Hell again and again to have outrageous sexcapades with the man she most wants to avoid–or does she?

Sex Hell is an absurd comic fantasy about the confusion of relationships. How is love related to sex, and how is sex related to love–and do love and sex need to be related at all?

*This book contains profanity and adult situations

All that glistersAll That Glisters by C. J. Fallowfield, contemporary erotic romance, humour (reviewed by Tina Williams)

Blurb: The spin off to the best-selling humorous erotic romance standalone, The Temptress.

Hunter Donovan. He was everything I openly loathed, but everything I secretly desired.

Cocky, arrogant, and crude. When Hunter wanted something, he pursued, relentlessly, until he got it. And right now, I was his prey. The trouble was, I didn’t want to be added to his endless list of conquests.

Gorgeous, masculine, with a body made for sin. The most perfect specimen of male I’d ever set eyes on, and he knew it. The trouble was, I saw the pain he was trying to hide, and I wanted to heal him.

He wanted my body, but I wanted his heart.

Coco Barella. She was everything I openly desired, but everything I’d convinced myself I didn’t need.

Beautiful, sexy, and sassy, all of the qualities that I wanted in my bed. Compassionate, loving, and perfect, all of the qualities I didn’t need in my life.

I needed to pull her to me, but at the same time I wanted to push her away.

When the sexual magnetism between two people is so hot, that it can scorch everything around it to ash, who will emerge from the flames victorious?

A standalone erotic romance novel, which contains adult content and is only suitable for the over 18’s

Natasha BA Most Demanding Mistress (Fashionably Impure #2) by Natasha Blackthorne, historical, erotic regency romance (reviewed by Tina Williams)

Blurb: Scorching Hot Historical Romance

Miss Miranda Jones is indisputably the most beautiful, elegant and sought after courtesan in all of London. She hides a past full of pain and rejection beneath an exterior of pride. She knows that noblemen put their own fickle interests first and cannot be trusted. Scorned by ducal father, she never needed or expected anything from a man, except his financial support. Luxurious living makes a soothing balm against the sting of the ultimate rejection.

Now she’s madly in love with a nobleman who cannot afford to keep her in such extravagant style. And she wonders if a courtesan can ever afford to indulge her own passions? Can she really gamble so capriciously on her own future and put the happiness of the moment above future security? Will her gentleman prove himself no better than any other nobleman that she has known?

Adrian Sutherland, the Earl of Danvers, has seen the men of his family destroyed through their obsessive need to possess beautiful women. He’d always thought himself immune to such unworthy drives. Now he’s fallen under the spell of Miss Miranda Jones.

Miss Jones’ high standards and past reputation foretells that she’ll be a most demanding mistress. Despite his relative lack of funds, Adrian is determined to work hard to protect and provide for her. Passion led this skeptical gentleman to declare himself in love. Yet as they enter a protector and mistress relationship, Adrian finds himself consumed with possessiveness. And he can’t help but wonder if is it true love that motivates him? Or is it the need to own her stunning beauty? He must find the answer before their tempestuous romance breaks both of their hearts.

A Most Demanding Mistress is part of the Fashionably Impure Series and is best read after Miranda’s Dilemma.

Reader advisory: This story contains frank sexual language and general bedchamber naughtiness. Abuse issues are alluded to in the backstory.

The General’s Daughter & Stolen Melody (Snow and Ash, books 1 & 2) by Heather Knight, post-apocalyptic, dark erotic romance suspense (reviewed by Tina Williams)

HKTHE GENERAL’S DAUGHTER (book 1) Blurb: Eighteen year-old Ilsa’s father, General Balenchuk, is one of the few men with balls enough to build a tiny island of civilization after a global catastrophe sends humanity to near extinction. He runs Bluefield Mountain with an iron fist, and he’s even more controlling when it comes to his daughter. Ilsa’s been dead inside for years—that is, until the person who hates her most takes her hostage.

When twenty-two year-old Talon Heinesman kidnaps Ilsa Balenchuk, it’s not just because the leader of a rival territory ordered him to capture the general’s daughter. Four years ago, her selfishness set into motion a series of events that resulted in his mother’s and sister’s murders. He’s buried his rage for four years, and now it’s time to mete out the punishment she deserves.

Their story sets Ilsa and Talon on a steamy, turbulent path full of danger, incendiary passion, and a bond so deep it could kill.

This romantic suspense novel contains dark, mature situations and sensitive subject matter, and contains triggers some readers may find discomforting. It is a work of fiction and is intended for adult readers.

STOLEN MELODY (book 2) Blurb: The rest of the world knew her as Melody, the beautiful young siren who rose to the top of the music scene just before a HK1volcano blew and wiped out most of civilization. For the past three years, nineteen year-old “Imogen” has been living under the protection of a small town pastor, and no one else in this increasingly righteous parish knows her infamous history. The whole The rest of the world knew her as Melody, the beautiful young siren who rose to the top of the music scene just before a volcano blew and wiped out most of civilization. For the past three years, nineteen year-old “Imogen” has been living under the protection of a small town pastor, and no one else in this increasingly righteous parish knows her infamous history. The whole persona of Melody was a corporate fabrication, and Imogen would like to forget that part of her past.

Ex-felon Axel Diehl is scouting ahead for a well-organized gang when he spots his fantasy girl. There’s no mistaking the small scar on her hand, those full lips, or that kick-ass figure. It’s too good to be true, and when the gang takes control of Sadie’s Bend he publicly claims Melody for his own.

Can sweet Imogen become the sexy Melody of Axel’s dreams? Can Axel give his poster girl the love she craves? Or will the violence of this new, post-apocalyptic world tear them apart?

This dark romance novel contains mature situations and sensitive subject matter, and contains triggers some readers may find discomforting. It is a work of fiction and is intended for adult readers.

THE DOUBLEThe Double by Alison Brodie, romance, mystery, chicklit (reviewed by Caroline Barker)

Blurb: A night she can’t remember. A week she won’t forget.

*

Beth is mistaken for rock star Sonita La Cruz, and ends up on a billionaire-dollar yacht. As a shift-worker in Glasgow, Beth has only known hardship. Now she’s in a world of uniformed stewards, delicious French food and rows of gorgeous designer clothes. Beth keeps quiet about the mix-up, determined to wear every outfit in her wardrobe before she’s sent home. What’s wrong with a little play-acting? Beth takes to the role of rock diva like a duck takes to water.

Aleksandr, the captain, arrives and is astonished to see a beautiful raven-haired girl lying on deck issuing orders through a loud-hailer. After talking to Beth, Aleksandr realises what has happened. His smuggling buddies, knowing Aleksandr needs to speak to Sonita about a kid’s crisis, grabbed Beth by mistake. Aleksandr is desperate. To save those children, he needs money, but Sonita has disappeared.

Beth rises to the challenge. She looks like Sonita, so why not BE Sonita? Beth does a magazine interview for one million dollars, and ransoms herself for another million. Beth saves the kids … but can she save herself? Too late, Beth discovers why Sonita disappeared.

*

A love story set against the backdrop of a luxury yacht on the Côte d’Azur, a civil war in the Eastern Bloc, and a Glasgow housing estate.

BadNovember Rain (Bad Bloods #1) by Shannon A. Thompson, sci-fi dystopian, paranormal, urban fantasy (reviewed by Tina Williams)

Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them.

Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning the election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote. Now, Daniel must unite with her before all hope is lost and bad bloods are eradicated, even if it means exposing secrets worse than death itself. United or not, a city will fight, rain will fall, and all will be threatened by star-crossed love and political corruption.

Beneath BrokenBeneath Broken (Imperfect Heroes #2) by C.J. Pinard, contemporary, military romance, chicklit (reviewed by Caroline Barker)

Blurb: He’s a clean-cut cop who loves a good challenge.
She’s a smart executive with no interest in falling in love.
It won’t take long for the flames of desire to scorch them both, forcing them to either douse the blaze, or succumb to the fire.

MASON
I don’t give up easily. My personality and training taught me that failure is not an option, and getting the attention of the beautiful executive president Harper Mathis is going to be my biggest challenge yet. But first I’ve got to find out why she’s so withdrawn. A woman that stunning must have secrets and I’m going to find out what’s hiding behind those baby blue eyes of hers. She’ll quickly see how much I love a good game of chase.

HARPER
I’ve gone through hell and am not ashamed to admit that I’m broken. Damaged goods. Used up and empty. I want nothing to do with men or love, especially not a cop and a veteran – one who puts his life in danger every day. I’ve been there, done that, and my heart has no interest in someone like Detective Mason Oliver. Even if he’s the hottest thing I’ve laid eyes on in a very long time. I get the feeling Mason always gets what he wants, though. Well, he hasn’t seen my stubborn side.

Beneath Broken is book 2 in the IMPERFECT HEROES series and is for readers 18+.

The Scottish Diamond helena fairfaxThe Scottish Diamond (novella) by Helena Fairfax, contemporary romantic suspense, mystery, drama (reviewed by Caroline Barker)

Blurb: A powerful, intense and dramatic Scottish romance novella – one that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page…

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair…” When Lizzie Smith starts rehearsing Macbeth with her theatre group in Edinburgh, she’s convinced the witches’ spells are the cause of a run of terrible luck. Lizzie’s boyfriend, Léon – a former bodyguard – is mysteriously turned down for every job he applies for, until he’s finally offered the job of guarding “The Scottish Diamond,” a fabulous jewel from the country of Montverrier.

But the diamond’s previous guard has disappeared in mysterious circumstances. The people of Montverrier are known for double-dealing and skulduggery, and the Scottish Diamond has a history of intrigue and bloody murder. Lizzie is plagued by nightmares in which Macbeth’s witches are warning her of danger.

Then Lizzie discovers she’s being followed through the streets of Edinburgh, and it seems her worst fears are about to be realised!!!!

The Scottish Diamond is a standalone story. Lizzie and Léon first met in the romantic suspense novella Palace of Deception, which is set in the Mediterranean country of Montverrier.

All That We Are Holly J GillAll That We Are (Trust #1) by Holly J. Gill, contemporary erotic romantic suspense, chicklit (reviewed by Caroline Barker)

Blurb: Holly knows that sitting behind her computer isn’t going to bring one of her romance heroes to life. And despite her matchmaking friend’s attempts, she’s still lonely, looking for her Mr. Perfect. Fairytales happen, right?

As a bestselling author, Ashton Noir doesn’t need anyone or anything in his life other than his imagination. That is until he comes across Holly’s Promotional Services’ website. Further exposure for his books can’t hurt.

Communicating through the Internet and then phone calls, professional interests turn personal. Realising they lack trust and confidence in different ways, can they have a future as a couple? Or are their dreams forever going to be their safe haven?

CaughtCaught by Lolita London, historical, erotic romance, erotica (reviewed by Tina Williams)

Blurb: A Lonely Doctor

His treatment for female hysteria calms his patients, and heats Dr. Thomas Winterbourne’s blood like nothing else. Unwed, and desperately lonely, he’s rejected the idea of marriage due to his singular desires.

A Thief

Jenny Marks feels no pity for the wealthy doctor who has more comfort than she has ever found in her nineteen years. She takes a job as his maid, intending on taking anything of value from him and any other upper class people that she can.

Caught

When Dr. Winterbourne finds her pilfering his mother’s jewels, he decides upon punishing her in the most scandalous of manners, unknowingly tying their fate together.

Mean GirlsMean Girls by Lucy Felthouse, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina Williams)

Blurb: Adele Blackthorne is a big girl. She knows it, and she’s been picked on all her life because of it. But she’s gotten to the stage where she doesn’t care. She may be Rubenesque, but she’s healthy, too. Much healthier than the mean girls at the leisure center that point and stare and say spiteful things about her. Adele rises above it all, and enjoys her secretive glances at the center’s hunky lifeguard, Oliver.

As the bullying of Adele becomes worse, Oliver finds it increasingly difficult not to intervene. He doesn’t want to get into trouble with work, but equally he can’t stand to see Adele treated in such a horrible way. Especially since he doesn’t agree that she’s fat and unattractive. He thinks she’s a seriously sexy woman, and would like to get to know her better.

BiancaHow to Capture a Duke (Matchmaking for Wallflowers #1) by Bianca Blythe, regency historical romance (reviewed by Tina Williams)

Blurb: One reclusive bluestocking…

Fiona Amberly is more intrigued by the Roman ruins near her manor house than she is by balls. When her dying Grandmother worries about Fiona’s future, Fiona stammers that she’s secretly engaged. Soon she finds herself promising that she will introduce her husband-to-be by Christmas.

One dutiful duke…

Percival Carmichael, new Duke of Alfriston, is in a hurry. He’s off to propose to London’s most eligible debutante. After nearly dying at Waterloo, he’s vowed to spend the rest of his life living up to the ton’s expectations.

One fallen tree…

When Fiona tries to warn a passing coach about a tree in the road, the driver mistakes her for a highwaywoman. Evidently he’s not used to seeing women attired in clothes only suitable for archaeology waving knives. After the driver flees, Fiona decides she may as well borrow the handsome passenger…

TVThe Virgin of the Wind Rose (A Christopher Columbus Mystery – Thriller) by Glen Craney, mystery, thriller (reviewed by Tina Williams)

Blurb: While investigating the murder of an American missionary in Ethiopia, rookie State Department lawyer Jaqueline Quartermane becomes obsessed with a magical word square found inside an underground church guarding the tomb of the biblical Adam.

Drawn into a web of esoteric intrigue, she and a roguish antiquities thief named Elymas must race an elusive and taunting mastermind to find the one relic needed to resurrect Solomon’s Temple. A trail of cabalistic clues leads them to the catacombs of Rome, the crypt below Chartres Cathedral, a Masonic shaft in Nova Scotia, a Portuguese shipwreck off Sumatra, and the caverns under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Intertwined with this modern mystery-thriller, a parallel duel is waged:

The year is 1452. One of the most secretive societies in history, Portugal’s Order of Christ, is led by a reclusive visionary, Prince Henry the Navigator. He and his medieval version of NASA merged with the CIA scheme to foil their archenemies, the Inquisitor Torquemada and Queen Isabella of Castile, who plan to bring back Christ for the Last Judgment by ridding the world of Jews, heretics, and unbelievers.

Separated by half a millennium, two conspiracies to usher in the Tribulations promised by the Book of Revelation dovetail in this fast-paced thriller to expose the world’s most explosive secret: The true identity of Christopher Columbus and the explorer’s connection to those now trying to spark the End of Days.

TIOHThe Image of Her by Lorna Peel, romantic suspense (reviewed by Tina Williams)

Blurb: Rachel Harris had been abandoned as a baby on the steps of a church-run children’s home in England, then later adopted. Who was her birth mother and what were the circumstances which led her to give up her baby?

Searching for someone who doesn’t want to be found seems a hopeless task, until Rachel meets Matthew Williams, a Church of England clergyman.

Then anonymous and increasingly frightening incidents begin and threaten to end their relationship. Are these actions connected to the mysterious events surrounding Rachel’s abandonment?

Review Round-up Feb ’16

Hi readers, we hope you all found something exciting to do with your extra day in February. We have been looking forward to the beginning of Spring, even though I did actually wake up to a coating of snow this morning!

We have just celebrated Mother’s Day here in the UK, and whilst I didn’t receive a book myself, I did have some chocolates to share (or not to share!) whilst enjoying Alan Jones‘ thriller BLOQ, to be released on April 1st. I do hope you all had a good day. Feel free to share your weekend reads with us in the comments below 🙂

Although a leap year, Feb is always still short and therefore we have a smaller review list. That said we still have a range of genres for you to choose from, whether it be a Young Adult post-apocalyptic, sci-fi fantasy action/adventure horror in Mark King‘s Daniel Jones series, historical romance in Sinful Possession by Samantha Holt, or a futuristic sci-fi paranormal in Em Taylor‘s Discovered. There is also a contemporary, military romance with C.J. Pinard‘s new series prequel, Antihero novella and a hot erotic read in Love Yoga by Serge de Moliere, plus more.

As always, please click on the title and author to read our full review post!

Thanks for following. Your views, likes and comments are always appreciated. Have a great month!

Caroline & Tina ❤

The Iron WebDiscovery (The Iron Web #1) by Kristin Ravelle, NA dystopian (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Penrith, Wales. Bryn is turning 22 and must register for One Earth Dynamic ID.

Buried in the mysterious N800 texts is a horrifying secret, an ancient evil that Bryn feels compelled to unearth. A secret that may underpin One Earth, the global agency that monitors and tracks everyone.

Curran, gorgeous, tortured OED fugitive, finds sanctuary with Penrith’s underground, Luxent, and discovers Bryn and her strange ability to throw condensed light. And unexpected love in a world suddenly seeming to go mad.

Can Bryn’s primeval earth magic help Luxent overcome other-worldly forces and the OED or will her growing feelings for Curran and learning the horrifying reality of the OED only lead down the road that goes straight into its ancient and evil web? 

***

Discovery is book I in the Iron Web series. Immortelle, Book II, finds Bryn and Curran on the run from One Earth to the mythological Dinas Affaraon. If they find Dinas in the Snowdonia mountains, they may learn new ways of fighting the OED.

AntiheroAntihero (Imperfect Heroes prequel) by C.J. Pinard, contemporary military romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Can a street punk on the wrong path be transformed into a Special Forces killing machine? Once he’s been “rehabilitated”, Ellis Anderson is determined to show the woman he loves that he’s nothing like both the lives he’s left behind. But actions speak louder than words – and he has a lot of work ahead of him.

sinful possessionSinful Possession (Cynfell Brothers #5) by Samantha Holt, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. The Cynfell brothers are the very embodiment of a sinful existence. But could the right woman change that?

Sloth

Miss Lila Radley was set to be the belle of the ball this summer. With her charming manners, beautiful looks and excellent connections, everyone anticipated her receiving endless proposals.

However, no one expected her to be kidnapped.

After she witnesses a murder, Lila finds herself in the hands of two overwhelmingly attractive brothers—entirely against her will. However, while the twin Cynfell brothers might be as devastating in looks as each other, only one intrigues her—the brooding Lord Ash Cynfell.

Unfortunately, he is the very reason she is in danger.

Already battling with his own demons, Ash finds himself with an additional burden to bear—Miss Lila Radley’s safety. He cannot very well abandon her as it was due to his inaction that a man ended up dead and a serial killer is now targeting her. Unfortunately, keeping the vivacious Lila protected until the murderer is found is going to test him in every way possible.

Can he resist her charm and beauty, aware a worthless man like himself is no good for a woman like her? All he knows is that when Lila turns her sunny smile onto his twin brother, his finds himself unable to summon his usual relaxed attitude. Has Ash Cynfell, the most reclusive brother, finally found something worth fighting for?

LachlanDiscovered (The Forsaken Blood series #1) by Em Taylor, futuristic, sci-fi paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Edinburgh is a city that’s slow to change. Which is why in 2061, Professor Lachlan Mackenzie still lives there. He hasn’t changed in the 1000 years since he and his shipmates abandoned ship, forsaken by the Vampyras millions of light years away and left to fend for themselves, feeding off the blood of humans.

Lachlan is drawn to sexy psychologist Kate the moment he steps into her office. He wants to protect her and help her overcome her PTSD. Ignoring the warning signs of his growing attraction he agrees to be her cabin mate on the journey to the new colony on Mars. But when Kate discovers him feeding on bagged blood, all hell breaks loose. Has he been set up by the Vampyr council leader? Will Kate ever forgive his lies? And how does he explain what he is to his long lost daughter who he meets on their journey?

As Kate starts to trust, outside forces threaten to rip them apart. Will Lachlan lose the only woman he’s ever truly bonded with?

HuntHunt for the Enemy (The Enemy series #3) by Rob Sinclair, international suspense thriller (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: The breathtaking and action-packed finale to the bestselling Enemy series. The Hunt is on. They’ve erased his past. Wiped out his very existence. But Carl Logan isn’t finished yet. On the run in a harsh Russian winter, Logan – once an invaluable asset but now branded a traitor – has been framed for murder. His own firm, the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency, have labelled him a rogue operative after two decades of loyal service. The agency is hunting him down… and they’re not the only ones. But there’s much more at stake than just Logan’s life. One by one, agents and informants from all sides, all allegiances, are dying. And Carl Logan is the only man who can put a stop to it, once and for all.

Love YogaLove Yoga by Serge de Moliere, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Morgan Love is one of the few African American yoga instructors in town. After her studies in India with the legendary Swami Monda, students flock to her classes. But without her own studio, money remains tight, and her personal life is a wreck after the last man in her life cheated on her.

When an attractive man enters her yoga studio, Morgan is instantly drawn to him. When she discovers the attraction is mutual, things quickly escalate, taking a dramatic and passionate turn. Eli is like no other man she’s ever met, and that includes his incredible sexual prowess.

But when Morgan’s past comes back to haunt her, she finds herself forced to turn to Eli. Are her hopes and dreams safe with this seemingly too-perfect man? Or will Morgan end up once again as a man’s sex toy?

Frenzy & Doom (A Daniel Jones Story #1 & 2) by Mark King, YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic action/adventure, fantasy horror (reviewed by Caroline)

Frenzy 3 v2Frenzy (book 1) blurb: Daniel leads a peaceful life with his family until he finds out a repulsive secret about the Over-seers, the ‘saviours of humanity’, and his security is blown to smithereens. He enters a world where death is the only certainty and quickly learns to kill – or be killed.

Enter Gwendolyn, with the charm of a snake and a bite that’s twice as dangerous. People skills aren’t her thing but she knows how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world; she’s a hotshot with a bow and arrow and can rustle up a mean rat soup.

Mary is the only person left alive over forty. She’s not too good at fighting but she knows where to find the one thing that could save their lives. Only Mary can remember life before the invasion, before humanity was brainwashed into following the procedures.

Pursued by the Over-seers, the Triclops and the barbaric hunters, can the three brave rebels triumph in their quest for survival? The odds are stacked against them – hold tight for a white-knuckle ride through a landscape of devastation!

Daniel Jones Doom Cover LargeDoom (book 2) blurb: Daniel’s peaceful life has been destroyed after discovering the hideous truth about the Over-seers – the new masters of humanity. Hiding in centuries-old flint mines from Hunters and from the terrifying Triclops machines, Daniel’s recurring nightmares lead him, once more, into danger. With mankind brainwashed under the false hope of a glorious new life in the Achievement Centre, he must return home through a devastated landscape to save his father
from certain death.

Daniel reunites with two fellow fugitives – Mary and her young companion Gwendolyn – to undertake a rescue mission so dangerous that death is the only guarantee. Is it too late for Daniel’s family or is it too late for humanity itself? Daniel Jones DOOM, the exciting new sequel to FRENZY a Daniel Jones Story, is another fast-paced, engrossing chronicle of three rebels who once again risk their lives in a vividly depicted world peopled by memorable new and known characters.

**DOUBLE REVIEW** FRENZY & DOOM (A Daniel Jones Story 1 & 2) by Mark King

I am so glad I had Mark King‘s Daniel Jones Story brought to my attention. There is action and adventure every step of the way in this extremely well-written post-apocalyptic fantasy series! Written for YA, it’s an exciting and thrilling series for anybody age 14+. I was totally gripped – a MUST-READ series!!

BANG. BANG. BANG.

And the ground shook.

BANG. BANG. BANG.

And the ground shook with an almighty force.

BANG. BANG. BANG.

And the ground shook with such terrifying power that once again the soul of humanity would cry out in fear tonight.

SILENCE.

Frenzy 3 v2Title: FRENZY (A Daniel Jones Story #1)

Author: Mark King

Genre: Fantasy, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, action/adventure

Date released: March 1st, 2013

Published by: Book Guild Publishing

Length: 226 pages

Blurb: Daniel leads a peaceful life with his family until he finds out a repulsive secret about the Over-seers, the ‘saviours of humanity’, and his security is blown to smithereens. He enters a world where death is the only certainty and quickly learns to kill – or be killed.

Enter Gwendolyn, with the charm of a snake and a bite that’s twice as dangerous. People skills aren’t her thing but she knows how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world; she’s a hotshot with a bow and arrow and can rustle up a mean rat soup.

Mary is the only person left alive over forty. She’s not too good at fighting but she knows where to find the one thing that could save their lives. Only Mary can remember life before the invasion, before humanity was brainwashed into following the procedures.

Pursued by the Over-seers, the Triclops and the barbaric hunters, can the three brave rebels triumph in their quest for survival? The odds are stacked against them – hold tight for a white-knuckle ride through a landscape of devastation!

REVIEW ***** (5* RATING)

I was blown away by Frenzy! Admittedly, it has been a while since I have read a post-apocalyptic adventure series, but author Mark King drew me in with his great story-telling skills, fantasy and some brilliant characters. I was so hooked I went straight on to read the sequel, Doom!

In a world, not as we know it, but only as Daniel and future generations know, we realise that mankind is isolated in small villages, left only alive to ‘farm’ themselves ready for what they believe will be a time for rest and rewards in the ‘Achievement Centre’, which they are due to attend after their fortieth birthday. This is a world, unlike anything we know now, where humans go back to basics, with no reminders of the past, and a world run by other beings: the Over-Seers!

The story gives the reader a true sense of what it is like to be Daniel, describing his home life, daily routines and reactions perfectly. There is no holding back from description when it comes to Mark King‘s terrific writing. The reader is truly drawn in, feeling every moment as Daniel does.

Daniel is a great, young character, living in a hut with his family, and being able to live off the land, felling trees with his father, in order to trade for food. They are living a relatively comfortable life given the circumstances, aside from the usual lack of sanitary conditions and few clothes, etc. After all, this is all Daniel has ever known.

However, after celebrations of a friend departing to the Achievement Centre, Daniel and his young friends decide to wander whilst playing a game. During this turn of events, Daniel discovers something so incredibly horrifying about the Over-Seers and the future of his human friends! Even more terrifyingly, he is found out, and now has no choice but to run for his life throughout the desolate lands, for he simply cannot return to his village and safe haven of his family.

Not only does he fear the Over-Seers, and the prospect that they could attack his family if they are aware of just who he is, he has to outrun human hunters and the terrifying, ground-trembling Triclops! His insubordinate and mischievous actions have landed him in a horror he has never known. His only slight relief comes when he meets survivors Gwendolyn and Mary, who work with him in an attempt to save humanity!

Initially, Frenzy was a story I would have recommended to 11+ readers, however after learning the secret as Daniel did, and the sheer shock, horror and gore I quickly changed my mind. Frenzy, however is an exceptional read, easy to follow, yet at a nice, quick pace for the adventure it holds. You will be hooked! I would advise it for readers certainly 14yrs+.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Daniel Jones Doom Cover LargeTitle: DOOM (A Daniel Jones Story #2)

Author: Mark King

Genre: Fantasy, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, action/adventure

Date released: December 12th, 2014

Published by: Book Guild Publishing

Length: 238 pages

Blurb: Daniel’s peaceful life has been destroyed after discovering the hideous truth about the Over-seers – the new masters of humanity. Hiding in centuries-old flint mines from Hunters and from the terrifying Triclops machines, Daniel’s recurring nightmares lead him, once more, into danger. With mankind brainwashed under the false hope of a glorious new life in the Achievement Centre, he must return home through a devastated landscape to save his father
from certain death.

Daniel reunites with two fellow fugitives – Mary and her young companion Gwendolyn – to undertake a rescue mission so dangerous that death is the only guarantee. Is it too late for Daniel’s family or is it too late for humanity itself? Daniel Jones DOOM, the exciting new sequel to FRENZY a Daniel Jones Story, is another fast-paced, engrossing chronicle of three rebels who once again risk their lives in a vividly depicted world peopled by memorable new and known characters.

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

DOOM is another incredibly written, fast-paced post-apocalyptic adventure from author Mark King. The sequel to Frenzy, it continues where we left off with young Daniel Jones surviving with Resistance veteran, Mary, and her young companion, Gwendolyn.

Daniel has begun to have terrible dreams after witnessing the horrific methods of the Over-Seers. He is also aware that it is coming up to his father’s fortieth season, where he knows his dad will be preparing for a life of rest and rewards from the Over-Seers in the Achievement Centre. After a life of being brainwashed by these beings his father, and the rest of humanity, simply have no idea of the horrors that await them. It’s simply too much for Daniel to bear; he must return to his home village to warn his family. Only that would be difficult with the Over-Seers sending Hunters and Triclops to hunt him and his companions down! This boy loves a challenge, and with his friends support they are a team to be reckoned with.

Meanwhile, we learn that the consequences of Frenzy (Daniel Jones book 1) has left John, Daniel’s father, in a tired, weary and fragile state. Not only has he lost his son to the desolate lands, without knowing why, he now also works alone, chopping down trees, with no horse to pull his cart. He is emotionally and physically drained with only the hope of the Achievement Centre to relieve him of his exhausting life.

“… but with losing his axe, his horse, and his son in the space of two days John was not going to take any risks with his chance of entering the Achievement Centre, and in receiving a lifetime of the rewards that were promised.”

I am absolutely hooked with this series, longing to read the next instalment. It is a perfect read for young adults and over, with the right dosage of action, horror and gore mixed with great dialogue, brilliant characters and an addictive storyline.

Will Daniel reach his village to warn his father? Or will be captured by the Hunters, along with his companions? Is it too late for his father to be saved? What will become of Daniel, and all of those he cares about? This truly is a MUST-READ that I would recommend to place at the top of your reading list!

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

FRENZY and DOOM, books 1 & 2 of the Daniel Jones Story were provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

You can purchase both following the links below:-

FRENZY

Hardcover Amazon UK

Kindle edition Amazon UK

Hardcover Amazon US

Kindle edition Amazon US

DOOM

Hardcover Amazon UK

Paperback Amazon UK

Kindle edition Amazon UK

Hardcover Amazon US

Paperback Amazon US

Kindle edition Amazon US

 

*Promo with Guest Post on Publishing Tips* ‘Frenzy’ and ‘Daniel Jones Doom’ (The Daniel Jones series, #1 & 2) by Mark King

Hi readers, we are all in for a treat with not only a promo of the post-apocalyptic Daniel Jones series by Mark King, but the author has very kindly written a guest post for us on publishing tips! You can find all info on Frenzy (Daniel Jones #1) and it’s sequel, Daniel Jones Doom, below with links, as well as an author bio. This series is certainly on my reading list for me to review later in the year. We hope you enjoy! – Caroline

Frenzy 3 v2Title: Frenzy (A Daniel Jones Story #1)

Author: Mark King

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

Date released: March 1st, 2013

Published by: Book Guild Publishing

Length: 226 pages

Jacket Blurb:

Daniel leads a peaceful life with his family until he finds out a repulsive secret about the Over-seers, the ‘saviours of humanity’, and his security is blown to smithereens. He enters a world where death is the only certainty and quickly learns to kill – or be killed.

Enter Gwendolyn, with the charm of a snake and a bite that’s twice as dangerous. People skills aren’t her thing but she knows how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world; she’s a hotshot with a bow and arrow and can rustle up a mean rat soup.

Mary is the only person left alive over forty. She’s not too good at fighting but she knows where to find the one thing that could save their lives; the golden shield. Only Mary can remember life before the alien invasion, before humanity was brainwashed into following the procedures.

Pursued by the Over-seers, the Triclops and the barbaric hunters, can the three brave rebels triumph in their quest for the golden shield? The odds are stacked against them – hold tight for a white-knuckle ride through a landscape of devastation!

Back jacket extract:

Bang. Bang. Bang.

And the ground shook.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

And the ground shook with an almighty force.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

And the ground shook with such terrifying power that once again the soul of humanity would cry out in fear tonight.

Silence.

Frenzy (A Daniel Jones Story #1) by Mark King is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US. You can also check it out on Goodreads.

Daniel Jones Doom Cover LargeTitle: Daniel Jones Doom (A Daniel Jones Story #2)

Author: Mark King

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

Date released: December 12th,  2014

Published by: Rethink Press

Length: 238 pages

Blurb: Daniel’s peaceful life has been destroyed after discovering the hideous truth about the Over-seers – the new masters of humanity. Hiding in centuries-old flint mines from Hunters and from the terrifying Triclops machines, Daniel’s recurring nightmares lead him, once more, into danger. With mankind brainwashed under the false hope of a glorious new life in the Achievement Centre, he must return home through a devastated landscape to save his father from certain death.

Daniel reunites with two fellow fugitives – Mary and her young companion Gwendolyn – to undertake a rescue mission so dangerous that death is the only guarantee. Is it too late for Daniel’s family or is it too late for humanity itself? Daniel Jones DOOM, the exciting new sequel to FRENZY a Daniel Jones Story, is another fast-paced, engrossing chronicle of three rebels who once again risk their lives in a vividly depicted world peopled by memorable new and known characters.

Daniel Jones Doom (A Daniel Jones Story #2) by Mark King is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US. You can also check it out on Goodreads.

 GUEST POST: Publishing Tips by Mark King

After the success of my debut book FRENZY a Daniel Jones Story and now with the release of the sequel Daniel Jones Doom I am asked by aspiring authors for advice on becoming published. I have found it’s a journey that has three distinct parts with each being as important as the others.

Stage one is getting the story out of your head and onto the laptop. I often come across people who have been writing on a manuscript for many years, but because of the daily trials, and tribulations, that life throws up it never quite gets finished. I decided in early 2010 to resign from a secure job leaving me just two years to fulfil my dream before I had to re-join the daily rat race. So set yourself a deadline and keep to it no matter what sacrifices you need to make or what gets in the way.

Stage two is getting a publisher or agent. All new authors are guilty of using the scatter gun approach; sending out reams of paper to dozens of publishers or individuals, and you will only end up propping up the stack of what is commonly known in the industry as the slush pile. With agents you are in a catch twenty two position because they are generally only interested in authors’ that are already published! Go to the local book shop and look at the shelves in which genre your book is based, and then note the relevant publishers. Carry out lots of research on these leads, and if the time is right one or two may be open for submissions. Ask yourself this question. If your manuscript is a science fiction based dystopian novel why bother sending it to Mills and Boon?

Stage three is the marketing and promotion of not only your book, but of yourself as an author. Hundreds of thousands of books are published every year around the world and all are trying to get noticed. I set up a blog called always-hanging-around to connect on a personal level with new people. I also had a professional photo shoot because when the media asked for interviews they also requested photos. I only had holiday snaps either with me pulling a funny face, or I had a drink in my hand. If all else fails then authors are lucky now to live in the age of the Internet and the opportunities that are offered by self-publishing. This option is very popular in the U.S.A and becoming more so in the U.K. and one well worth looking at. FRENZY a Daniel Jones Story and Daniel Jones DOOM are only the start of the journey for me as I now start on my third book in the Daniel Jones series, and if you keep my three points in mind then hopefully too you can follow the same path.

Author bio:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMark King is a free spirit, lover of life, family, friendships, good food, and travel. He lives in Norwich in the county of Norfolk in the U.K. It’s one of Britain’s most historic cities and a hub for present day literature. Author of the internationally acclaimed book Frenzy a Daniel Jones Story and the sequel Daniel Jones Doom; Mark is also the writer of the world-wide blog at www.always-hanging-around.blogspot.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @author_king and on Google +. Mark is now working on the third book in the Daniel Jones series.

*COVER REVEAL* – In Between Seasons (The Fall Series) by Cassandra Giovanni

 

cover revealBrown paper package with torn section

 

Attractive young woman near tree trunk

 

COMING JULY 31, 2014

From Show n’ot Tell Publishing

NEW ADULT POST – APOCALYPTIC ROMANCE SERIES

In 2021 the world as we know it changed. The government collapsed, and the worst characteristics of human nature were shown as the world fell into ruins. Years after The Fall, the Tribes that were established are still at war. They still fight to keep what they pillaged, and most of all, they fight to keep their lies a secret. In a world filled with deception, nothing is as it seems.
I was born into this world.
Hunter Marks was molded into this world; a General— a person cold and harsh. A person meant to kill me.
We were told to just believe.
We were taught to never question.
We’re supposed to be robots, and accept our roles in this altered society.
Too bad Hunter and I don’t follow the rules.
And we’re a hell of a lot stronger than they ever thought possible.
They’ve been searching for the world’s deadliest weapon.
It’s me.
And I’m not following the leader any more.

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about the authorback1

Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.
Cassandra Giovanni is published by Show n’ot Tell Publishing based out of Connecticut, USA.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~Goodreads

 

Cover Design: Gio Design Studios

Photography: Alex Kotlov via iStock

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Bounty Hunter by S.J. Hollis

Bounty Hunter

Blurb: What do you do when your magic makes you a target? Run. Fight. Die.

14-year-old Kai Koson had nothing to do with the apocalypse, thank you very much. He was just a baby the day a coven of blood witches ripped a hole in the universe and the demons fell screaming from the sky. Earth and its magic perished. Witchkind was hunted and annihilated.

Now, because he was born a witch, Kai must spend his life running and fighting for survival. Even his own uncle seems determined to abandon him.

With nothing left to lose, Kai runs away and joins a team of galactic bounty hunters. But instead of providing an escape, it sets Kai on a path that will destroy everything he believes about himself and the apocalypse, transforming him into the most wanted teenager in the galaxy.


Written with humour, imagination and darkness, Bounty Hunter and its protagonist Kai Koson stand confidently beside Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, Alex Rider, Young Bond, Mortal Engines and Harry Potter.

S.J. Hollis’ BOUNTY HUNTER is an excellent read for young or adult readers who enjoy sci-fi and fantasy. It is essentially a coming-of-age apocalyptic/dystopian, following the story of a fourteen year old boy, Kai, and how he struggles being a hunter when he is the hunted…. by the whole galaxy!

Kai is an unfortunate boy as the reader realises that he understands very little about the truth of his very early life. Being brought up by his uncle, Galway, he is used to running from town to town every time it appears that he is being chased away for being different, for being a ‘witch’. Kai is gradually discovering his magic and coming to terms with who he is, trying to identify himself and his abilities. Galway is constantly looking out for him and protecting him to the best of his abilities, but once Kai begins to feel settled he longs for stability and to stop running and face his ‘demons’ if he has to. However, Galway is not supportive of this decision.

However, the reader feels sympathy for Kai and longs for him to be free – free from running, free to live as and where he chooses. Why should he have to keep running his whole life? At the same time, we also realise the danger that he is in, and as the story continues we find out that it is not just his magical quality that he is being sought for but actually who he is. The significance of Kai’s life plays a major storyline in this book, making for an intense read, especially when Kai seems a little lost until he meets the Bounty Hunters – Sam, Yamiko and Cassius.

The imagination of S.J. Hollis is amazing as the reader is then taken on an adventure travelling to different planets with different beings. In fact, at one point it reminded me of Star Trek, with the spaceships, planets, aliens and the politics between each kind. The next moment I was taken on a nostalgic ride back to when I read Enid Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ as a kid, where each day there would be a different land above the tree and within the different lands there would be different kinds of folk, some witch-like characters selling magic potions, etc. Just like the characters in ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ never knew which land was to be atop the tree each day, in Bounty Hunter Kai and the reader is never quite sure what to expect from each planet and the beings that live there.

Another great aspect of S.J. Hollis’ work is her quirkiness and the use of sarcasm within the dialogue. This certainly breaks up the intensity of the whole story and enlightens the mood. These moments occur mostly between Cassius and Kai. Cassius isn’t too keen on Kai being around and displays his feelings very clearly with his dialogue. The relationship between these two characters is interesting and entertaining to follow.

There were moments when I found some of the descriptive paragraphs a little too ‘heavy’, for example, describing the layout of the spaceship, docking bays, etc. However, due to the nature of story, especially being a sci-fi/fantasy, I realise that most is needed to assist the reader in building up the setting, planets and helping the reader to visualise the various characters, i.e. witches, demons, aliens, etc.

The front cover illustrated by Lawrence Mann is very eye catching, original and draws the potential reader in. I love the colours, the darkness and contrast between the red and the blue. It also shows a little of the magic that is in Kai’s hands, which is ironic as the reader has a sense of his magic before he is aware of it.

The whole layout of Bounty Hunter is carefully planned. Each chapter is named appropriate to its content and are quite a nice length to read, making it easy for the reader to read in small doses if they don’t have the chance to read in one or two sittings. Having the chapters named also helps the reader to find areas of the story they may wish to recap on.

If you’re looking for a timeless story within the sci-fi/fantasy genre, suitable for the younger or adult reader, with fantastic imagination, magic, adventure and wondrous characters then look no further. And what’s more, S.J. Hollis is working on a sequel to be released later this year!


E-book and paperback copies can be found at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

 

Sins of the Reaper, #10 in the WesternWind series, by Charlotte Boyett-Compo

17257961Epic and Erotic Dark Fantasy Adventure!!!

Erotic Post Apocalyptic/Sci-Fi/Dark Fantasy Romance – Graphic Sexual content/language 18+/Adult Read

Charlotte Boyett-Compo pulls no punches in this tale which oozes big time with adventure, suspense and passion in an elemental battle between good and evil. I am still reeling after the read, which continues her WesternWind series and contains her signature Reapers, handsome and deadly Alpha Werewolf shape shifters, whose bloodlust can only be controlled by withholding or providing sustenance, and who can only be tamed and saved from themselves by the female destined to be their mate. Sins of the Reaper follows on seamlessly from the last instalment, Dark Reaper, but it can be read as a standalone.

Book Blurb (scroll down for review)

Brothers reunited. Lovers claimed. Warriors from all over the mega-verse coming together in pursuit of a single goal—to combat an evil that would enslave and destroy them all. Amazeen warrioress Penthe will allow no man to best her in battle. She slakes her lust with a succession of lovers, but has vowed she will never mate. Yet when she meets the Panthera cat shifter Bane, she may have met her match between the sheets. Bane is riddled with scars, of both the body and the soul, but Penthe vows that her warrior spirit and womanly body will help to make him whole again.

Inside Scoop: This book contains graphic scenes of sexual torture, references to child abuse and the extensive violence that is part and parcel of the Reapers’ harsh world, as well as erotic male/male flirtation.

My Review

This is a dark and stirring tale, at the heart of which is the romance between Amazeen warrioress Penthe and the Panthera cat shifter leader Bane, a man with a tortured past and who has experienced the evil of the enemy first hand. Others too find their fated mates and brothers are reunited, as the Reapers and their allies strive to destroy the Ceannus base on Terra. However, not all reunions are welcomed and one in particular causes tension in the warrior ranks and another threatens the life and sanity of Bane himself in some harrowing scenes.

The story follows on from the events which occurred at the end of the previous novel, where a band of Panthera warriors appear, sent by the Father God to help the Reapers based on Terra to destroy the Ceannus. The Panthera are also Reapers but are cat shifters and differ in some fundamental ways not least the fact that it was the Father God who created them not the Triune Goddess. The inevitable tension between two groups of male warriors is both amusing and eventful! Although, the warriors know that they have to join together to accomplish their task and there is many a strained and humorous moment as they learn to work together as a credible fighting unit. The homoerotic scenes as one of the Reapers meets his Panthera mate are particularly entertaining.

I liked the instant attraction between Penthe and Bane, who waste no time in becoming intimately acquainted – cue for the first of many hot scenes! Bane, a fearsome warrior, has had a past more tortured than most and bears scars inside and out and is a fascinating character as he is both strong but vulnerable. The heroine Penthe brings the term kick-ass heroine to a new level – at times even some of the Reapers are in awe of her actions! Bane is just the mate she needs to complement her strong nature yet at the same time make her feel more womanly than any other man has done in the past. There are some scorching and inventive love-making scenes between the couple and some touching moments.

In terms of its content, the novel is a dark read at times, reflecting the nature of the evil that the Reapers and their allies are out to destroy. The battle scenes are bloody, visceral and heart stopping as one would expect and I loved them! This is balanced with plenty of romance, humour, hot erotic love making scenes and adventure that kept me glued to my Kindle. The bad guys and gals in this novel, the Ceannus, are truly evil, with a grotesque appearance, a sadistic nature and an evil agenda to subjugate other life forms throughout the mega-verse and bend them to their will. Tears came to my eyes towards the end as I felt so connected to the emotions of the characters.

There are many characters and sub plots in this novel, picking up on past events and they are cleverly woven into the narrative. I particularly liked the one concerning the Reaper Cynyr Cree, his Lady Aingeal and Lord Kheelan, with whom I am developing a major crush on!!!

Sins of the Reaper is a must read for fans of Charlotte Boyett-Compo and highly recommended to lovers of Dark Fantasy and Science Fiction who like tortured alpha warriors, erotic love making scenes and the elemental battle between good and evil.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Publisher Ellora’s Cave http://www.ellorascave.com/sins-of-the-reaper.html

Purchase Links Amazon US   Amazon UK

About the Author

Charlotte Boyett-Compo is the author of over 80 books. She writes novels that encompass science-fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Supernatural, Romantica, Horror, Mystery, Thriler and Post –Apocalyptic Western novels. She is the creator of the Reaper, handome and deadly Alpha male shapeshifters with tortured souls that can only be tamed by the female destined to be their mate.

http://www.windlegends.com

Dark Reaper, #9 in the WesternWind series, by Charlotte Boyett-Compo

17225903Super Dark Fantasy Romance featuring Badass Werewolf Cowboys!

Erotic Paranormal Romance – Graphic Sexual content/language 18+/Adult Read

When I was contacted by Charlotte Boyett-Compo to review some of her recent releases I was thrilled big time, having previously enjoyed some of her dark fantasy romances. This author is the creator of the Reapers, handsome and deadly Alpha shape shifters, whose bloodlust can only be controlled by withholding or providing sustenance, and who can only be tamed and saved from themselves by the female destined to be their mate. The first of Charlotte’s novels up for review on our site is Dark Reaper, a super hot Post Apocalyptic Dark Fantasy romance, featuring a badass werewolf cowboy hero battling an entity so evil that even Hell is too good for it, whilst trying to protect the inhabitants of Terra and his Lady.

Here is the book blurb for Dark Reaper from the author’s site:

Iden Belial, the youngest Reaper, finds a great evil in Land’s End. He also finds Kallista, his mate, the woman the Goddess intends for him, and the only way he can claim her from her disapproving mother is to sate his lust and make her his.

But when they are torn apart by the Nikkeson, a demon that brings death and destruction to everything it touches, part of its wickedness is left inside him, warping the warrior and twisting him to its own evil ends. The Shadowlords of the Citadel are determined to heal him, but what Iden needs is the touch of his wife – the only one whose loving and sensual touch can truly make him whole again.

This epic tale of good versus evil is a dark and erotic one and immensely rich and original in terms of its characters and plot. There are vivid, stomach-churning scenes of death, destruction and depravity as the Nikkeson wreaks havoc on Terra. These sickening scenes contrast sharply with the erotic but sweet romance between Iden and Kallista, who are instantly in love and in lust with one another. Kallista needs no persuading to let Iden claim her against the wishes of her mother, a woman who is vehemently opposed to the match and also to Iden’s attempts to save the community.

When, due to the actions of the Nikkeson and unexpected treachery, Kallista is taken from him, Iden cannot shake off the evil that becomes a part of him and he returns to the Citadel, a broken man. His friends attempt to purge him of the evil inside him, in some tortuous scenes, and contemplate how to rid Terra of the demon. Many surprises are in store for Iden and the other characters we are introduced to and the scene is also set for the next book in the series, Sins of the Reaper.

I loved Iden, a Lupine Reaper. He is strong and selfless as he attempts to save Kallista and the people of Land’s End. His tears when he believes that he has failed in his mission are heartbreaking to witness. I found Kallista to be a worthy mate in all respects, being wise beyond her years. Although young, pure and innocent she knows exactly what she wants and what she wants is Iden! There are some explicit and erotic love making scenes which I enjoyed immensely due to their imaginative action and dialogue!

I also adored Kheelan, the High Lord, whose secondary romance plays a major part of this tale. Kheelan, who believes that he will forever remain unmated, discovers that his destined mate, Annie, is already amongst the inhabitants of the Citadel. And what a fiery, humorous and passionate match it is! Both parties are completely blindsided by their attraction, although their romance is also tinged with a degree of heartache as they have both loved and lost in the past. I found that their relationship provided a great contrast to the romance between the younger couple.

There is a great cast of supporting characters: the High Council, based at the Citadel; the Shadowlords; Gatekeepers; the High Lord and one of the Ridge Lords, to mention a few. The Goddess of War, Life and Death, Morrigunia, creator of many of the Reapers and her mate, The Father-God, Jee yn Ayr also play their part in the tale and we learn that their personalities are just as complex as those of the other characters.

I enjoyed the tale, but felt that my pleasure would have been enhanced by reading the previous books in the series, which I now am on a mission to read! I will be reviewing Sins of the Reaper, the next book in the series very soon. Dark Reaper will appeal to lovers of Dark Fantasy/Science Fiction and the paranormal who enjoy a dark, original, erotic and romantic read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Publisher Ellora’s Cave http://www.ellorascave.com/dark-reaper.html

Edited by Rebecca Hill

Cover design by Syneca

About the Author

Charlotte Boyett-Compo is the author of over 80 books. She writes novels that encompass science-fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Supernatural, Romantica, Horror, Mystery, Thriler and Post –Apocalyptic Western novels. She is the creator of the Reaper, handome and deadly Alpha male shapeshifters with tortured souls that can only be tamed by the female destined to be their mate.

http://www.windlegends.com

 

Tsunami Blue (The Tsunami Blue Series) by Gayle Ann Williams

 Tsunami Blue

An Original Vision of the Future

Tsunami Blue, a post apocalyptic paranormal romance, is set in the year 2023, when most of the Earth, following a series of cataclysmic tsunamis, becomes covered by water with small isolated island communities. Modern technology and conveniences have all but disappeared under the waves, which continue to plague the world.

We meet Blue, the 24 year old heroine, who has lived alone on an island with her dog since her uncle was murdered by Runners, violent pirates who rule the waves. Blue is special – she ‘listens’ to the sea and can predict where and when the next big waves will hit. She transmits this information over the radio. Blue chooses to remain alone due to this ability, knowing how valuable she would be to the Runners if they captured her and her gift used by them to extort valuable goods and punish and terrorise communities.

Blue’s peaceful existence is shattered one day when a man washes up on the beach, half dead. Blue rescues him and saves his life, learning that his name is Gabriel Black. She is kidnapped by him the next day and forced to flee her island and her home, as it is overrun with Runners looking for her and trying to take her away from Gabriel. She is left wondering what Gabriel wants with her and what her fate will be. Suspicious that he too is a Runner, she tries to prevent the growth of their mutual attraction and resolves to escape him.

The story is narrated in the first person. This is effective in that whilst we are privy to Blue’s personal feelings and motivations we too are uncertain of Gabriel’s true intent and this both heightens and prolongs the suspense, which added to my enjoyment of the novel. In fact I could not put it down until I had finished it! I liked the author’s writing style, which was sharp and descriptive enough to paint a vivid picture of the post –apocalyptic world, without getting bogged down in detail. I imagined the world to have elements of ‘Mad Max’, ‘Waterworld’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ The dialogue between all of the characters was witty and entertaining, particularly the repartee between Blue and Gabriel.

Blue is a strong heroine with an interesting past. She prefers her life of solitude as it gives her the freedom to broadcast what she knows about the next big wave in the hope of saving others. Life has taught her valuable survival and combat skills and she has plenty of chances to put these to use in the book – she does not just use her knives to filet fish! She is devoted to her dog Max and is loyal not only to Gabriel, even when she is suspicious of him, but can also be relied on by other characters, who the author introduces us to. She despises Runners and suspects that Gabriel, the man she is overwhelmingly attracted to, is one, thus creating a great deal of tension, not least sexual, throughout the book.

Gabriel, is all male and Blue is instantly attracted to him. I wondered what he wanted from Blue and whether he could be trusted not to hand her over to one of the groups of Runners who were pursuing her, particularly as he appears to be a Runner himself. He is clearly attracted to Blue and has a compassionate side, which he exhibits from the start, not just in relation to how he treats Blue, but others. He also has a wicked sense of humour and is a skilled fighter.

The other main characters include Trace and Indigo, the leaders of the two opposing factions of Runners who are eager to capture Blue and use her for their own nefarious ends. Both characters were twisted and evil and there are descriptions of many violent scenes within the book, in a society where only the strong survive and it does not pay to exhibit a weakness. The violence highlights how social order has collapsed since the apocalypse. The author did well to also imbue the sea with feelings, to the extent that it becomes a character in its own right, its actions adding to the twists and turns in the plot.

The romance between Blue and Gabriel was both sweet and hot, but not graphic and it provided an excellent counterpoint to the violence going on around them and the fear of where and when the next big wave would come. The paranormal elements of Blue’s communication with the sea were well done and there is a nice twist at the end, which I did not see coming.

I would recommend this book to lovers of post apocalyptic tales, particularly those who enjoy romance with the story. I believe that the style of the book and the witty dialogue, along with violence and ‘kick ass’ hero and heroine, would also appeal to lovers of urban fantasy. I was totally absorbed in the book and will be reading the next in the series.

Reviewed by Tina Williams