Loved by a Killer by C.F. Rabbiosi

Summary

Raina loved performing upon the London stage, but one night she found herself dancing for only HIM. She froze, and looked to the balcony where the gaslights flickered dimly over his shadowy form. If only she had known that this beautiful monster would soon rip her away from everything in the world SHE EVER LOVED, perhaps she wouldn’t have lingered so long.

Lord Marcus Loxley loved being a blood thirsty predator, but one night his gallivanting brought him to his knees in front of HER. If only he had known what would happen when she danced, that she would remind him of someone who was everything in the world HE EVER LOVED, perhaps he would have turned away.

As he drags her deeper and deeper into his depraved world of torture and violence, she begins fighting her own darkness that threatens to consume her everyday. And oh, how it begs to be released. And though she knows it’s wrong, she desires her captor anyway.

Until she begins falling for someone else…

Meanwhile, prostitutes are being butchered in the streets and she begins to fear: Is her dark lover, the one she is bound to, The Ripper?

With an accurate account of the creepy, gaslit times of London and real Jack the Ripper crime scenes, LOVED BY A KILLER is an exciting read from start to finish. Warning: Hot sexual content and graphic gore. Language.

Characters

There are really two main characters: Raina and Marcus. Marcus is exactly what he is, without remorse, though he does try to change. He is a very depraved individual but that is somewhat to be expected from a very old vampire. I appreciated the complexity of the characters. Raina at times felt like a leaf on the wind. Being pulled this way and that until closer to the end where she takes a stab at making her own happiness.

There were lots of other POVs throughout the book, which was very confusing sometimes because they just changed suddenly. It was very confusing at times because I’d think I was following on character but then suddenly it is another character’s POV. The worse was between Marcus and Raina.

Plot

This book is filled with fascinating plot lines. The big problem was there were too many of them – which I normally like but not all of them felt necessary in this instance. They might be necessary later in the series but some of them wrapped up and kind of felt like they didn’t fit the rest of the story. That being said there were some awesomely described macabre scenes that were super epic. That being said there is the main plot of Marcus wanting to possess Raina, Jack the Ripper, and all of his past coming back to haunt him.

Furthermore there were historical inaccuracies and verbiage that took me out of the era of the book. A ripe example is near the end she takes off her dress by using a zipper. Problem is the zipper wasn’t used widely in clothes until after the 1900s, but Jack the Ripper terrorized London in 1888.

Overall

I wasn’t sure if I liked this book. I really liked Raina and I was sucked in at the beginning but my interest quickly waned. This was partially because I found myself disliking both Marcus and Raina (although I warmed up to her closer to the end but never fully liked her again). I also felt some of the gore and scenes were unnecessary – like repeatedly making a point that was well done the first time. In the end the middle part of the book felt long. However, the sudden and unexpected change at the end was very rewarding.

Rating

3 Stars

Loved the beginning and loved the ending, but struggled through the middle. This book has a lot to offer, but needs some work and is not for the faint of heart. This is dark, but entertaining.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Themis by Paul Weil

**Cannot standalone**

Summary:

SARAH CASTLE is a young celebrity reporter from London who stumbles upon the mystery of twelve extraordinary teenagers. One of them is HENRY BAXTER, an eighteen year-old unknown runner who just won The London Marathon. She accepts a position as the public relations chief for their new charity—THE THEMIS FOUNDATION. Sarah experiences events that can only be described as supernatural; including a cottage that appears normal from the outside, but is infinitely large inside with doors that open all over the world. However, Sarah’s proximity to this extraordinary family might just get her killed. In THEMIS, Sarah discovers the family she desperately wants, a love she didn’t expect, and herself at the center of events that will change the destiny for all of humanity. Themis is the first part of a five book series that will take the reader on an adventure into ancient mythology, a fantastic mystery, and deep inside the most unusual family on Earth.

Characters
Sarah Castle is the main character…or at least I think she is supposed to be. There are so many characters, which normally I like, but I struggled with Themis because the back of the book only really talks about Sarah but she is almost non-existent in the second half of the book. Really there are twelve ‘main’ characters with other critical characters like Titus. The biggest problem I had was I didn’t really connect with any of the characters enough to be invested…which made them all a little flat.

The switching characters messed with me a few times because of some unexpected POV shifts where I wasn’t sure who was actually the main character in that chapter. Also there is this part where Sarah falls and I just went ‘are you serious right now?’ because it was painfully predictable and made me dislike Sarah a little…in many ways she never rebounded from that.

Plot

Absolutely loved the multi-faceted plot. I was curious where the story was going to go because of all the pieces and I could easily see some of the future threads. I could easily see this being made into a TV series and I’d totally watch it. The first book was chock full of plot threads that I found absolutely fascinating. It is a really slow read in a few parts but I actually enjoyed the depth most of the time. A downside is the action scenes left me scratching my head a few times –  some of the movements happening in the matter of seconds seemed excessively fast. Also some of the scenes seemed over the top (the gore and sequences).

Overall

I enjoyed the writing but there were some noticeable editing errors – particularly in the second half of the novel. I also found myself somewhat bored during some parts because the writing was too drawn out and excessive but this was due to my inability to connect with the characters and not the writing or the plot. That being said the settings were brilliantly executed and even with the shifting places the reader gets to visit were painted in such a way that I could easily envision them. The complex plot was fascinating, but some of the action was jarring and not fleshed out.

My favorite part of the book was how the author could drop hints about what was coming and really get me interested in what was going to come next with the story. Overall the real issue of the book for me was the lack of cohesion of the individual character plots and the underdeveloped characters that all of a sudden became really important near the end, but were a footnote in the first half of the book. It really left me scratching my head.

***SPOILER***

Don’t read this unless you want a spoiler, but I felt that there were some clear threads with the Terminator movie. Now that can be a good thing or a bad things but the main character being a Sarah really reminded me of Sarah Connor and not just her name. There were a lot of facts that fit into that similar plot thread that I quickly figured out where this whole thing was going to go by the end of the book, especially after she ‘connected’ with the reluctant leader. I say this hoping that Sarah Castle becomes as awesome as Sarah Connor did, either way it struck a cord with me.

***SPOILER OVER***

Rating

3.5 stars (rounded down)

I really want to give this 4 stars, but between the flaws and the fact that I think I would only recommend this to a select few people, I’m stuck at 3 stars. To give it that extra edge though, I’m going to add the 0.5 because I actually would consider reading the second book. In the end a highly complex but enjoyable plot with characters I struggled to connect with.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Small side note only for this blog but I really dislike the cover of this book – I feel like it doesn’t capture what this book is about at all and undervalues how good it is. 

Second Quarter Writing Updates

We are already nearly through July and it is time to see where I am on my goals.

Goals for my writing/the year:

  1. Building Mailing List – I’d like to get a mailing list so when I have giveaways and such, I can let everyone who is interested know.
    1. Mailing lists can be found HERE.
  2. Finish Writing The Gate Trilogy (I expect this to happen within the next month). (I’m done writing, now on to the editing)
    1. Get all 3 covers done for The Gate Trilogy, reveal the first one.
      1. Book cover 1 is done (Reveal completed!).
      2. Book 2 is done.
      3. Prequel was done – pushed off completion of book 3.
      4. Book 3 is in draft.
    2. Publish The Sixth Gate on July 7, 2017
      1. Published on July 7th! On Amazon.
    3. Finish editing all 3 books – get ready for Beta readers.
      1. Working on editing book 2 – about half done.
  3. Choose which book to have done for Audio Book
    1. Find a ‘voice’ for the audio book and pick a date for release next spring (2018).
    2. Send a poll in the fall for which book through Mailing List. (SEE BELOW!)
  4. Start writing next book. Decide between 1001 Islands #2, Unfathomable Chance #2, or the new YA Fantasy novel – Temporum: The Four Seasons.
    1. I’ve started writing Temporum: The Four Seasons
      1. 10,000 words in as of today!
    2. I’m planning to write Unfathomable Chance #2 for NaNoWriMo and am working on the Outline
      1. Ongoing – About 3/4 done but still really rough concept.
    3. I’m also working on the Outline for 1001 Islands #2 which will be a backup for NaNoWriMo if I haven’t completed the outline for Unfathomable Chance #2
      1. Finished outline for Book 2 just today! Will be the book I start writing in November!
  5. Work on Seven Eves – Alaskan Supernatural Crime Novel
    1. I’ve written three more chapters and hit 10,000 words!
  6. Edit and Get to Beta Readers An Honest Misunderstanding and consider publishing (maybe just on Wattpad).
    1. One Beta Reader is editing
  7. Breathe new life into my Historical Mystery Novella. Finish writing ‘The Red Door’ – SO MUCH REWRITING/EDITING!
    1. Edited and started jotting down notes.
  8. Editing/rewrite Truthseer 
  9. Participate in NaNoWriMo
  10. Keep up momentum on writing events, speaking events, and conventions.
    1. Attended YukiCon.
    2. Attended Steamposium and TaikaiCon
    3. Scheduled/booked SenshiCon and Colony Christmas.
    4. Attend SensiCon
    5. Attend Colony Christmas
  11. Read 45 30 8 books before December 31st.

Writing updates:

I’ve published The Sixth Gate and already have 3 reviews on Amazon! Make sure to check it out.

Temporum: The Four Seasons is a YA Fantasy. Eva is a 17 year old heroine who falls through a mirror and ends up where the word is divided into four courts based on the seasons. I finalized the outline and just hit 10,000 words! This one is really coming together!

I’ve really thrown myself back into Seven Eves and making progress on that but I am getting sidetracked by summer and Temporum!

Audiobook:

Make sure to vote on the below poll! I’m taking multiple polls from different areas and will be tabulating them all through the next month. I’ll make a decision early September!

Reading Goal:

It is my goal to read 45 books. I am very excited to already be 33 books in. I’m now months ahead of schedule! I’ll have to make it harder next year for sure.

Happy reading!

Release of Lights Fall by Nichelle Rae

I am excited to announce that Nichelle Rae is coming out with a new book. I had the pleasure of reading this book while it was an unpolished gem and I’m excited to announce its release after 2 1/2 years of hard labor.

To celebrate this release our coauthored book, Frost Burn, will be free for two days! Check it out HERE.

Here is the back of the book:

Special Agent Bay Kennedy hunts sex offenders. She credits her unusual abilities as to why she is the best Chicago has to offer – enhanced strength and speed among other things – and she only sleeps once a week.

Her reality is challenged when she’s attacked in her apartment by a malicious creature. Saved by four strangers, Bay soon learns that she has more in common with these supernatural beings than she thinks.

Her rescuers ask Bay to help them keep an ancient evil imprisoned. But her ideals are spurned when she must enter the criminal underground of drug smuggling, weapons exchange, and prostitution.

The five of them have the power to save the world, but can an FBI Agent reconcile working in the criminal underground?

Sounds Fantastic? I agree. So go check it out HERE.

The Filmmaker and the Sceptre (within The Wrong Time) by Robby Charters

Summary

A filmmaker of the future, using a new untested medium, gets tangled up in his story in The Filmmaker and the Sceptre.

Overall

A fast paced and clever read. It is a bit jarring at times the way that the scenes change but that is easily fixed the end. I enjoyed the bending and cheekiness of the writing. It is too short to connect in with the charters but the plot is entertaining. There are some editing errors that could be fixed and the writing tightened, but it is minor. Very much a sci-fi meets fantasy read.

Rating

4 Stars

Jarring read that has a very clever ending.

I received a copy in exchange of an honest review.

Naked Desire (Desire #2) by Lydia Larue

Summary

When Kelly Swinson learns that Manuel Alvarez escaped federal prison, she relives the trauma from her past once more, and her common sense says to listen to logic, but her ambition keeps her fighting her husband and his concern for safety at every turn.

As Manuel gets closer to finding them, she feels herself opening up to the idea of placing her family first and grows concerned with what will happen if the ex-drug lord would find them. Her ambition to remain in the public eye is falling, and she begins to envision a life outside of Channel 5 News with her family. But Crazy Manny stands in the way.

Overall

This is a short story – easy enough to read in one sitting although I did take a break in the middle. The characters were alright, I particularly liked Tony. Although I did admire Kelly’s drive but ability at self reflection (even if it was annoying at first). This was as much of a story about Kelly and Tony’s marriage as Crazy Manny trying to get his revenge. It was a good read, the flow was a little off, but the writing was mostly easy to follow. I really don’t like the cover though – it was very misleading. I enjoyed it but was really irritated me was the outcome of the book. .

Rating

3 stars

Thrilling read with an excellently written bad guy. Just be warned about the questionable ending.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Sixth Gate Release – Prequel #Free

Hello everyone! After two years of labor I’m very excited to announce the release of The Sixth Gate, book 1 in The Gate Trilogy. This is a Young Adult Dark Fantasy.*

Summary:

The interplanetary gates have existed between the five planets and the Netherworld for as long as living memory.

Dr. Elisabeth Avery is a woman caught between two worlds. Little does she know that others like her, other half-breeds, are being hunted. When a creature drags a princess into the Netherworld, Elisabeth is determined to save her by any means necessary.

Meanwhile, on the planet of Hystera, a Keeper and his assistant investigate a grisly string of suicides and are in need of someone with Elisabeth’s skills. The Gate Guardians and Elisabeth are aware that something is coming and know that it has something to do with the Netherworld bleeding through to the planets, but not why. 

Will Elisabeth be able to come to terms with who she is in time to face the coming threat?

Goodreads

Amazon

In honor of the release of The Sixth Gate I’ve made the prequel free. That’s right – free! If you’d like a short story introduction to The Gate Trilogy – this is the best way to do it. The Gate Guardian’s Daughter introduces Elisabeth when she is a child and her adoptive father Malthael who is a reformed demon.

You can get it here for free: I’m Free on Amazon! Also free on Kindle Unlimited!

*Includes graphic scenes involving suicide.