Big Changes Coming!

Hello out there!

I hope your summer has been exciting. Now that most school systems are back in session (and most college students are headed back to class), life begins a shift toward Autumn and change. And I’m here to whisper in your ear about a few changes headed your way with Between the Lines.

First, a reminder that Midnight Assassin, my character novella, is on track and still projected for 09/30.  I’m finalizing the interior and the cover designer is working hard. When I get ready to release the book, there will be a few giveaways so stay tuned for those!

Additionally, there will be some other rather large surprises coming about this blog and other stuff. Between the Lines will be changing. So keep a look out because when it happens it will be fast. Maybe new colors. Maybe new direction. Maybe…

I’m breaking in a new computer – purchased an HP Envy – and it has a touchscreen and weird menus. Have to load my Word and iTunes and all my social media plus Scrivener and all the most used programs. Sheesh. Takes so much time.  Then there are the programs I like that aren’t issued in updates to Win 8.1 or IE 11 or Chrome…and so I have to hunt those down….Arg. It takes me a while to break in a new computer and learn all the new stuff. I’m no designer/programmer/creator but I am one helluva great user. You only have to show me “how to” once and I’m off and running. So give me time and I’ll be back to “normal” in short order.

Autumn means spring fever for me. Although we aren’t there weather-wise, there are early morning hints in the air. Soon I’ll be able to open windows, air out sweaters, and break out the firepit.  Autumn is a time of change and renewal. So it will be for things here at Between the Lines. Get ready! The vampires are coming….

Oh, and I’ll be looking for some reviewers for Midnight Assassin – A Tale of Lust and Revenge. The genre is urban fantasy/vampire. If you are interested in being an early reviewer, fill out a contact form and let me know. Tell me why you are interested and be sure to be a blog and Facebook Author page follower!

I’m excited for Autumn. I’m excited about where Between the Lines is headed and I’m excited to share it with you. Change is in the air!

Thanks for hanging in there!

Yours Between the Lines,
Sherry

Book Review – Wicked Embers by Keri Arthur

Wicked Embers (Souls of Fire, #2)Wicked Embers by Keri Arthur

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book 2 in the Souls of Fire series picks up right after our initial foray leaves off. The Crimson Death is being used by a tool, vampires and red cloaks (sindicati) alike are spreading fear and terror and slowly gaining ground. Emberly Pearson, our heroine and phoenix, is trying to recover lost research that will lead to a vaccination or hopefully a cure.

Wow. I mean I love Keri Arthur’s writing. Her previous series (The Dark Angels novels) hooked me and that’s why I dove into this new offering (that, and there’s a phoenix. Hello!). And Keri never disappoints. You have action, passion, dynamic action and intricate characters. Even our villains are rich and deep. You have to love a book that is so fulfilling!

This particular book deals with a mysterious killer, one whose form shifts and changes and yet can disappear like smoke. Not a shapeshifter. Not a vampire. And it getting more daring and more lethal…and Emberly’s dreams are not giving her much notice for stopping it.

All the characters from the first book are back – Emberly, Rory (her spiritual phoenix mate), Jackson (fire Fae), and her ex-lover Sam who is part of the undercover, unmentionable police force that works the non-humans. And then there are the vampires. And oh boy are there plenty of those!

This is a can’t-put-down-book and I finished it off in three big gulps. Can not wait for the next volume because this one leaves me hanging! Do give Keri Arthur a try — she’s top drawer in fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal and gothic fantasy.

View all my reviews

Book Review – Tobacco Barns of Western KY

Tobacco Barns of Western KentuckyTobacco Barns of Western Kentucky by Lynn Bartlett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An incredible book by a talented photographer over three years in the making, this volume is a colorful panoply of delights. The old barns of Kentucky’s tobacco past are disappearing as the land and “progress” reclaims them. Here, Bartlett has captured the look and feel of a people’s history, a land reclamation and a sense of retrospective. But there’s nothing sterile here. Instead you get a true sense of the land, the love the author feels for the subject and the sense of protectionism that she feels for her subject. The compassion arrayed in her layout if obvious and you come away with a real sadness for a lost history but sharing her love and joy for the land and the memories of a people’s once thriving industry.

The photography is sharp and vivid, the colors a mix of stormy and early morning, with a few interesting black and white mixed in. Comments are kept to a bare minimum but provide needed and necessary historical insight.

I was blown away at both the size (12×9) and the minimum price. If you are a lover of our country’s hidden past, and a Kentuckian, you must get this book. I wanted it because my father was from KY, and I know the author from when we were children. With this book, Bartlett has established herself as both a professional photographer of renown and an insightful author. I hope she will do another such book in other areas of our country because I see her as becoming a much sought after pictorial historian.

View all my reviews

Book Review – Solomon’s Seive by V. Danann

Solomon's Sieve (Knights of Black Swan, Book #7)Solomon’s Sieve by Victoria Danann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, Book 7 in The Black Swan Sage, Solomon’s Sieve is a return to the glorious writing and style that made me like Victoria Danann so much. Events from the last book seem totally forgotten and we are back in the drama of our Black Knights and their troubles and foibles.

This seems to be the end of the saga though I was left hanging. The major plot of the story, the main plot of the reason for the Knights – eradiation or cure of vampire – sorta got lost in the unfolding romance of Book 7. The “trouble” the Knights are sent to deal with, a large recall of knights back to the Jefferson Unit (where the knights are housed and trained) went by the wayside as we have yet another romance between a knight and a young woman. It goes much as the others, love at first sight, lots of sex and a happy resolution.

The other plot of the story is much more intriguing, that of the new Sovereign and the newly almost married now grieving Farnsworth, the Operations/Secretary.

Despite the tale being one that is predictable in the outcomes, the way to the end is peppered with some delicious laugh-out-loud moments, and some very dynamic interactions. I credit Danann with her amazing dialogue and her ability to give her characters a sense of life that is rarely felt in most Indie authors, and does in fact impress as if you were reading a very established famous author. Danann is masterful at scene description and the fluid way her tales moves from person to location.

Additionally, Danann’s writing style continues to flow like a swift flowing river that is a ride not to be missed. It is very enjoyable and enviable. Her style is engaging and you can’t help but be immersed.

Though I continue to dislike Danann’s lack of book formatting and wish she gave as much attention to her print set up (because it would give the same “elegance and class” as her writing carries), the book was a book (not a novella) and I was once again happy in the length. But I do not like the binding, for it is weak and does not like readers, beginning to separate before I finished the novel.

All in all, this seems to be the last in the series of the print volumes. The plot was not actually resolved, as far as I can tell, so maybe there will be more. I hope so. I have enjoyed the ride.

Just remember the rule of the order, (I love this): “The plural of vampire is vampire.”

View all my reviews

Book Review – A Tale of Two Kingdoms (Danann)

A Tale of Two Kingdoms: 6 (Knights of Black Swan)A Tale of Two Kingdoms: 6 by Victoria Danann

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’ve been a huge fan of Danann’s Black Swan Series, gleefully extolling the virtues of every volume and posting reviews. Unfortunately, this book left me sad and irritated. I rate it 2.5 stars.

The good: Victoria Danann is an excellent writer. Her mastery and skill in creative writing is what kept me (and thousands of others) coming back for more. Each book has built upon the last with skill, despite baffling me here and there. But Danann has kept the threads tightly woven and I have really enjoyed that.

Then we get to this volume. I’m unhappy with it. First, in every book we are told in hard bold type, all caps, that reading the books in order is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. Then in every single book Danann gives us a summary of every single book to date. That was annoying but I overlooked it (and skipped the summaries) because the books were that good.

But this volume not only includes the summaries of the last five books but it also has excerpts from the last five books, and the last book has an excerpt of 20 PAGES! Not acceptable! Of course, you clearly understand WHY when you realize that this is NOT A NOVEL This is a novella. The book begins on page 53!!! (Minus a few extra blank pages, inappropriately numbered). And so we get 180 pages to read for Book 6.

I hate to say this but it is a rip off for bibliophiles like me who hate ereaders. 180 pages?? That is but half of a normal book, folks. And it stings more because the story isn’t that great.

In all the previous volumes, Danann has put several stories together and blended them, seamlessly. This tale – of a Romeo and Juliet love story between an elf and a fairy (predictable? Yes) – is not only unoriginal but could have easily been added to a previous or future volume with the skill that I have seen Danann use. The last book was dynamic and this is just — dull. Well-written but ordinary. Even the story needed to be stretched by giving us an entire chapter of our male fairy planning his escape. The detail was needed to expand the 180 pages, obviously.

And so when a book disappoints and does so with unacceptable artiface, one notices the other things that are irritating but previously were overlooked. Like, the binding of the paperbacks is poor and does not hold up well with more than one read. The books are formatted for ebooks but in print, no effort has been made to make them look like a REAL book, ignoring acceptable formatting standards in front and back matter. And though I disliked this in ALL the print books, it was glaringly obvious in this volume with all the added excerpts which should not have been included.

All in all I am seriously disappointed in this book. The story is good enough because Danann can write. But the tale is unexceptional and would have been better served included in with another book.

I have always looked forward to the next book but I am hesitant about Book 7. If I didn’t already have it, I might not be eager to spend the money. I do have it though, so onward. My recommendation is get this in ebook and suffer through the extra “stuff.” And the formatting may not be an issue then either.

P.S. Note to author – with all the summaries and then the excerpts in this book, you definitely do NOT need to read the previous books to get the story.

View all my reviews

Book Review – Moonlight: The Big Bad Wolf

Moonlight: The Big Bad Wolf (Black Swan) (Volume 4)Moonlight: The Big Bad Wolf (Black Swan) by Victoria Danann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another winner by Victoria Danann. This is book 4 in the Black Swan saga and I enjoyed it. As with the last book, there are several plots that require adept handling. Danann does that with ease. I confess it throws me a little when I have to switch rather abruptly but it works in the end.

This one deals with the werewolves and their future. The king of the wolves has a serious choice to make and, as with the other books, he meets his “lady love” (his love at first sight) and pursues. Each book does tend to go the same way with the “fall in love aspect” as all the others and that is why I can’t give this 5 stars. It is too predictable.

However, Danann’s ability to craft a tale is very smooth and I enjoy her storytelling. I’ve already cracked Book 5 and though I think I know how the story will begin and proceed, it is who will be affected and how that intrigues me! One thing I give kudos to Danann for – all her books tie together beautifully.

Give this series a try and I think you’ll agree that this best-selling Indie Author is worth your time.
View all my reviews

Book Review – Refuge by Karen Lynch

RefugeRefuge by Karen Lynch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in Lynch’s Relentless Saga and I have to be honest, I thought it was fabulous! The first book was fluid and dynamic but this, this was exceptional. The story is peppered with humor and gasp-worthy moments, dynamic dialogue (my favorite part) and Lynch weaves several subplots seamlessly. It is impressive work and this Indie author is a breakout, best seller if there ever was one.

I am a devoted follower of vampire books, and this is more than just another fanger special. Within these coveted pages lurks vampires, werewolves, Hale witches, trolls, imps, crocotta, wyverns, hellhounds, and a griffin — enough creatures to set this story well apart from the gluttonous, creature-loaded YA books. Lynch manages to weave a YA/New Adult story that is original and unique. Oh sure, there are momentary similarities with other well-loved series’ (Vampire Academy comes to mind for fight training, City of Bones for places to stay and people to meet) but those comparisons fail to capture the essence and truth of what makes Lynch’s novel exceptional, and that is her personality-rich, deeply defined characters.

I will add that in this volume there is heart-stopping action, and breath-holding moment to make the die-hard romantic swoon with happiness. And sorrow. I did need the kleenex. But no spoilers for you.

I join Lynch’s legion of fans who now wait impatiently for Book 3, Rogue. Given where this book has taken us and where we are going, this is going to be a hang-on-to-your-seat-slam-bang finish. I hope you join in the fun by reading the first two books, immediately, and become a fan of Karen Lynch as I have.

View all my reviews