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.

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New and Future Happenings

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Hello out there! Long time no share. I do apologize but have been busy. Let me share some recent events.

First, I am pleased to announce that I was included in a wonderful anthology entitled Mirrored Voices: Best Contemporary Poetry, compiled by poet/author Paul Morabito. The anthology was ranked #1 on Amazon’s best new poetry anthologies. I’m pleased to be included with some of these quite extraordinary poets. If you are looking for a small compilation of current poets, you might consider this one. I do not get anything for this anthology (it all goes to the editor) but it is a good kindle present! Click here.

In case you missed it on Facebook, I’m delighted to announce that By Light Betrayed received a 5 Star Review from Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards AND I was named a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards. So, my vampires are happy.

Next, I’m delighted to announce that I have finished Midnight Assassin, the novella that was promised in the back of By Light Betrayed. Expect a release in 60 days or less! I’ll keep you posted.

While I work the publishing (and promotions and all that good stuff), I’m busy finishing some other works (a memoir, a fairy story, a vampire novel/series).

And of course, a part of me is thinking ahead to National Novel Writing Month because I am one of two Municipal Liaisons for the Charlotte region in North Carolina and it’s time to start planning for this month of hell. Seriously. Month of HELL. What to write? What novel can I get 75% finished in November? Oh the pain.

Finally, looking forward, I am going to appear on The Ron Shaw radio show on Oct 26 (more on that as we get closer) and then next year I am already planning on two author signings (on in NC and one in FL).

Whew!

Lots to keep up with and I promise you’ll be in the know going forward! Also, I’ll be publicizing some of my friends’ releases and I hope you’ll join me in helping them launch some terrific books.

If we haven’t connected on Facebook or Twitter, please lets do. I’m more often there than here for personal stuff but this is where the key events are happening.

Thank you for hanging in there. I’ll be back in a day or so to talk about more serious things.
Now, go back to your writing!

Yours Between the Lines,
Sherry

5 Stars for By Light Betrayed!

By Light Betrayed – Poetry of the Vampires has received a 5 Star rating by Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards! I’m so very pleased and I wanted to share with you. This is the first step in the preliminaries for awards. Only four and five star winners will be eligible for awards, so I’m in!

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Reviewed by Charity Tober for Readers’ Favorite

By Light Betrayed: Poetry of the Vampires by Sherry Rentschler is both a distinctive and interesting read. There are over thirty poems featuring haunting and melancholy vampire themes. For example, in the poem Crossing the Line, it reads: “Sunlight teases behind the tomb. Dandelions wilt against the concrete. I dance on sidewalk shadows, death between the lines.” And in the poem Royal Street, the author states: “Time is for memories, frayed recollections, fraught with our chaos and short on regret. We are the remnants of innocent wishes lost in the pavement, too sharp to forget.” The author does a good job keeping each poem distinct and includes various color pictures (mostly graveyards and such) to accompany the poems.

First off, the cover for By Light Betrayed: Poetry of the Vampires is superb (both alluring and haunting) and really sets the tone for the book. I typically do not read very much in the poetry genre, but I did enjoy reading this book. The flow was nice and I liked how it included pictures to go along with the text. The empty graveyard scenes went well with the atmosphere and narrative of the poems. I felt the author focused on the dark, struggling, wandering and mysterious aspects of vampires (and not the sparkling, angst-ridden kind). You can tell through the poems that the author is really a fan of vampires and understands all of the myths and popularity that goes along with them. I think the book would appeal to fans of both vampires and poetry.

***

No sparkly vampires for me! haha

If you were wondering if you should give the book a try, I hope this might encourage you. Thank you to Readers’ Favorite for their generous comments.

Feel free to see the review and leave comments (via Facebook or the site) from the page. Thank you.

Thank you

This is the last day of National Poetry Month. Thank you to everyone who participated in my Monster Giveaway (thru Rafflecopter) and to all those who registered for books via my Goodreads Giveaway. I’m humbled by all your interest. The winners feedback has been heartwarming!

Unfortunately no one was interested in an ebook, so those gifts will go unclaimed for now.

Take today and read some wonderful verses and tell a budding poet to never give up.

You may look forward to fiction from me later this year. Meanwhile, there’s a wee sample in the sample tab which will be changing….soooooon.

I leave you with this final thought:

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Winners of Goodreads Giveaway!

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Thank you to everyone who participated in the Goodreads Giveaway for copies of Paper Bones (430 entries) and By Light Betrayed (406 entries)!

I’m pleased announce the following winners:

FOR PAPER BONES:

Mary M. in FL

Cheryl B. in TX

FOR BY LIGHT BETRAYED:

Izzie B. in MO

Dylan K. in PA

The books will be mailed early next week so you’ll receive prior to the end of National Poetry Month. Thank you for your support and participation!

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ANNOUNCING!! For those of you who used iBook:  I’m delighted to announce that By Light Betrayed is now available on iTunes!! Here’s your link.

Again, Congratulations to the winners!

Bits and Pieces

Lots of little notes to cover today on this World Book Day!

First, you have until midnight TOMORROW (Apr 24) to enter my Goodreads Giveaway. See my previous post.  You can enter for one of two softback copies of Paper Bones and/or enter for one of two softback copies of By Light Betrayed.  Don’t miss out. This will be the last print giveaway for a while, so get a good poetry book for National Poetry Month!

I met Amanda B. last night, one of the winners in the Monster Giveaway. She thrilled me to no end with her “squee” as she opened her box of goodies — a canvas bag, a hard cover of Paper Bones and By Light Betrayed along with some swag. Big smiles as she tweeted her prize. Fun! Most of the time we don’t get to meet the people who win the giveaways, so this was a treat.

AND MORE GIVEAWAYS! Next week I will be giving away TWO ebooks of Paper Bones and gifting FOUR ebooks of By Light Betrayed. More details next week. Stay tuned!

Commentary

Commentary

Update on Works in Progress:

The memoir I’ve been working on is one chapter away from being finished. That’s the first draft. I expect to do edits and get it to beta readers in just a couple weeks. I’m hoping for a late summer release.

My ebook, Midnight Assassin, is in second draft. I had to scuttle an entire section because, well, it sucked (no pun intended!). But I’ve worked it out and think I solved my problem. So I’m headed for a third draft before I go to final. I’m still expecting to do this this year as promised. Think I need to hit a friend of mine for some advice on ebooks. Never done one alone and not in a whole package. Hm.

Also about 30% complete is my four-part Faerie novel.

The vampire novel, Time and Blood,  sits in different drafts as I work on the first two projects. But things are progressing.

Truthfully, my “inspiration” took a nose-dive earlier this year and delayed my progress. But fortunately I know good people who helped me pull up my socks and now it is “Onward!” Writers do sometimes hit little bumps in the road. I admire those writers that do nothing but work and write. I probably would do that too if I weren’t married and interested in other things. But I wanted you to know the work continues.

A cool thing happened in a dream — I thought of an idea for this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I don’t know if it is a novel or a story yet, so I’m planning on fleshing and finalizing in July. Then we’ll see. But how cool is it when your dreams suggest who plots to you? Like, yes!

Finally time for another book report. Hope you are reading for World Book Day!  Catch you after the Goodreads Giveaway!

A Summoner's Tale: The Vampire's Confessor (Order of the Black Swan, #3)A Summoner’s Tale: The Vampire’s Confessor by Victoria Danann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book three in Victoria Danann’s series Order of the Black Swann was a slow starter for me. I didn’t like the way it opened, lacking the pizazz of her previous two volumes. In fact it was 40 pages or so in before I could say I was “hooked.”

First, let me say that Danann’s writing is dynamic and exemplary. She understands how to turn a phrase and uses her talent to tell a wonderful story. However, in this book there were way too many plots going on all at the same time. They weren’t even blended that well or made to look like subplots. Now this may be how Danann intended it but I didn’t like it. The book jerked too hard when the plots changed and (I speak from a print copy), there was little to distinguish the separation of tales while in the same chapter. Of course you figure it out, but not nearly as smooth as in her previous books. I rate this four stars instead of three because of the quality and caliber of the writing.

We get tales of all our old knights, the ones who we’ve met in the first two books. We continue to meet female characters meant to be introduced to our male characters and I have to say that it seems very obvious to me. I thought at first the book was YA but there are no teens here. So I hoped that the romances would be less contrived.

This tale is about our once vampire Baka and the trail he faces while at the same time Elora faces a real test of her survival as she meets enemies from her old dimension and all the while we meet a new talent in Heather who will be tasked to aid Baka. There is plenty of mystery and a good set up of adventures to come. But again, I felt the transitions could have been smoother.

A note. I don’t mind sex in books but this one seemed to have sex as filler, used in great detail when that was unnecessary. Oh I know it is titillating but unless it serves the plot (like Elora’s pregnancy) then I don’t find it useful. I would prefer my senses to be teased and skip the intimate details. I did not want to get an erotic novel in this series and though I love a good tight sex scene, I still want it necessary to the story and not for the readers to just have something to pant over.

Two things Danann does very well. One, she gives you well-executed and fully fleshed characters that you can identify and care about. Two, she sets you up going from one book to the next. And I already have book four. I hope that the dynamics I experienced in books one and two returns. I have read exceptional fiction from this author and I am eager to return to it.

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Book Review – Broken Souls by Blackmoore

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Broken Souls (Eric Carter, #2)Broken Souls by Stephen Blackmoore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I dove into this second book by Stephen Blackmoore like a dehydrated gal in the desert. And wow, am I sated!

First, I thought I was going to have trouble with Blackmoore’s writing style. Nope, totally digging the way he presents his characters and his plot. It is Alex Verus, meets the Iron Druid meets Harry Dresden meets Mike Hammer. Seriously, our anti-hero is a tattooed necromancer who is uber power right now (thanks to Santa Muerte), and man can he work the spells!

This is real urban fantasy. Takes place in LA and don’t you know there’s plenty of magic and bad-assery to be found there.

Eric is in trouble and it keeps getting worse. I can’t tell you more because that would mean I have to do spoilers. Let me just say, ghosts, blood, a knife, a promise, a betrayal, lots of hate and a really BIG surprise. I love Blackmoore because he can weave a yarn so tight that I have trouble finding any holes. He makes urban fantasy sing.

Invest in our foul-mouthed, beat up, kill and be damned anti-hero and experience the talent of a one of today’s best fantasy writers. Where is book 3? June 2015. Good grief, but I’m ready!

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