Cover Reveal For: Daybreak Rising (Embers Of Redemption #1) by: Kiran Oliver

Happy Friday, Peeps! ^_^

So, I have an exciting post for you all today. On September 21, 2016, the F/F fantasy DAYBREAK RISING will be arriving to an e-readers near you from Torquere Press! Today, we get a first look at the amazing cover, designed by the amazing artist Kris Norris over at Torquere.

Here’s a bit about DAYBREAK RISING:

22-year-old Celosia Brennan spent sixteen years being raised as the heroine her nation needed. A dual-touched Elementalist with both the power to conjure fire and see glimpses of her future, Celosia was the best hope at overthrowing the oppressive Council in a mission called Daybreak, an attempt to secure justice for the massacre of her people and so many others. There’s just one problem: she couldn’t. Celosia broke down after realizing the enormity of her task, and is struggling to make things right while the blood of her fellows stains her hands.

Now branded a failure, Celosia desperately volunteers for the next mission: taking down the corrupt Council with a team of her fellow elementally-gifted mages. Leading the Ember Operative gives Celosia her last hope at redemption. They seek to overthrow the Council once and for all, this time bringing the fight to Valeria, the largest city under the Council’s iron grip. But Celosia’s new teammates don’t trust her—all except for a powerful ice Elementalist named Ianthe who believes in second chances.

With Council spies, uncontrolled magic, and the distraction of unexpected love, Celosia will have to win the trust of her teammates and push her abilities to the breaking point to complete the Ember Operative. Except if she falters this time, there won’t be any Elementalists left to stop the Council from taking over not only her country, but their entire world.

 

So here it is…The moment we’ve been waiting for…

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The Stone Legacy Series By Theresa DaLayne Review For Books 1-3

Happy Monday, folks. So, today I have my first ever book series review to share for The Stone Legacy Series by Theresa DaLayne. Hosted by HEA Book Tours, PR & More.

Overall, The Stone Legacy Series is an easy story and concept to follow with a steady pace that allows the reader to become immersed in the cultural and paranormal universe built into the narrative.

I found the characters layered, powerful and even some darkly intimidating. I think most readers will enjoy these books because of their even balance of action, danger, and bidding love triangles in this Paranormal, YA Fiction series. I’ve never done a book series before, so I thought it would be best to section my review by book and give individual ratings as well.

NOTE: since this is a series review post, it was kind of difficult not to include a few spoilers on a few plot points. Okay enough chit-chat. Strap in for a long review post :-D.

 

MAYAN BLOOD by Theresa DaLayne
The Stone Legacy Series #1
|| SYNOPSIS ||
Their empires have fallen, but their mythology lives on…
 
Zanya Coreandero is a seventeen-year-old orphan with only a single friend and no hope for a normal life. Diagnosed with anxiety and night terrors, no one believes her cuts and bruises are a result of an evil entity, and not a brutal case of self-harm.
 
With the only home she’s ever known being the isolated institution—where breakfast is a handful of medications, the psychiatry sessions are mandatory, and her every move is watched—the only relief is her red-haired roommate named Tara, who’s more like a little sister than her best friend.
 
Free will is strong, but destiny is stronger…
 
When Zanya is kidnapped, she meets a group of gifted Mayan descendants, each with a unique ability. Gone from a nameless castaway to the only hope of mankind, Zanya is forced to make a grueling decision: bond with an enchanted stone and save humanity from rising underworld forces, or watch helplessly as Earth falls victim to a familiar dark deity from her dreams. This time, he’s playing for keeps.
 
A wicked secret hides behind a handsome face…
 
When Arwan, a dark-eyed timebender, takes interest in Zanya’s mission, it’s unclear if his intention is to help, or if he’s on a hell-bent mission for revenge. Wary of falling for another guy with major secrets and a tainted past, Zanya fights to keep her distance. If only her heart gave her a choice.
 
|| PURCHASE TODAY! ||

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1ldFdrY        AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/1IHMPYH

Mayan Blood Book Review  (Rating: 4 stars)

From beginning to end, (so far) this book remained my favorite. The character and story introduction and walk through Zanya’s life pre-guardian and post following the unexpected revelation of her Mayan/Riyata heritage. I found Zanya’s reactions and resistance relatable and naturally unique to her situation and I loved her connection and devotion to her best friend, Tara. I feel other readers will effectively feel the pain and fear Zanya struggles with when she’s faced with having to actually face the tormentor from her dreams, Sarian.

I found the Mayan warriors (aka Peter, Hawa, Arwan, Renato and Marzena) dedication, and support for Zanya and her mission endearing. While Jayden’s character (technically a Mayan warrior, but considered an outsider to the rest of the group) annoyed me 2/3rds of the book, I found his character really started to come around or become less annoying toward the end.

I may not be on the same page with everyone else, but I didn’t care much for the Zanya, Arwan and Jayden triangle that manifested at the half way mark because locating the stone and fighting Sarian seemed to take a back seat to the trio drama. I also felt like it stole precious time away from Zanya immersing herself in her mission and her role as guardian.

Spoiler–> I mean traveling back in time to meet her mother was a big deal, yet I felt like not enough time was spent on this pivotal focal point. Zanya has been an orphan her entire life and she knew nothing of her life, her family or her destiny. The time with her mother was over too quickly.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the fact that Arwan and Zanya were growing closer, but it is no secret that I am a fan of the slow burn and subtly when it comes to budding romances. (hint for my notes on the other two books) Plus, I just found it odd and irrational that on the brink of war, a supreme under-lord ruler with a heart of darkness (Sarian) Jayden and Arwan are consumed with bickering over Zanya……

As odd as it sounds, I liked the difficult place where the characters end up in at the end of book one because of the interesting physical and emotional directions Interlude and Aurora of Lights takes them in.

INTERLUDE by Theresa DaLayne
The Stone Legacy Series #2
|| SYNOPSIS ||
Tara may have spent years in an asylum, but that doesn’t make her crazy–just fearless. 
Dropped in Moscow with a the group of enchanted Mayan descendants, seventeen-year-old Tara Weeble is forced to wait on the sideline while her best friend—the Stone Guardian— battles to reclaim a friend’s soul trapped in the underworld. 
It sucks being ordinary when everyone else is superhuman… 
A mortal girl with a tainted past, Tara is left to deal with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. Her boyfriend, Peter, is a healer. Her best friend is The Guardian, and everyone else is a powerhouse of awesome strengths. Meanwhile, she struggles to leave her childhood of abuse in the past, and while Peter picks her up every time she falls, it becomes clear he deserves better. 
When they opened Pandora’s Box, hell came pouring out… 
When she’s given a chance to aid in the group’s mission, Tara is eager to pull her own weight, even if it means uncovering buried memories of being held prisoner by the underworld general. Now haunted with flashbacks of torture, Tara wanders from the safety of Peter’s arms into a city of depravity and corruption. And amidst all this evil is a young man with an agenda of his own, who leads her down a road that will either prove she is a hero at heart, or drag her into a world she’s always feared. 
He wants revenge, she wants redemption. And in an underground ring of missing girls and bloody sacrifices, only the fearless can survive…

|| PURCHASE TODAY! ||
AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1JxP9Y6       AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/1T8tzwO

Interlude Book Review (Rating: 3.7 stars)

This book left me in a different mind set than the first book. I loved that with Interlude, the reader gets to see things from Tara’s perspective and learn more about her troubled past and the affects Sarian’s torture had on her. I think it was important for the second book to only focus on Tara’s voice and the development of her character, but I have to admit it took me a while to really get into the narrative.

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Audiobook Review: Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba #1) by Daniel José Older

Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba #1)  Author: Daniel José Older

Narrated by: Daniel José Older

Length: 7hrs and 56mins

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Thriller, Romance,  NA

Rating: 4.5 stars

Format: Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 1/06/15

Publisher: Audible Studios

Goodreads | B& N | Amazon | Audible

Synopsis:

“Because I’m an inbetweener—and the only one anyone knows of at that—the dead turn to me when something is askew between them and the living. Usually, it’s something mundane like a suicide gone wrong or someone revived that shouldn’ta been.”

Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead.

But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death…

My Review:

Before I start to talk about this audiobook, a bit of context here, I love old movies and film noir rooted material. I’m kind of obsessed with it actually, but I had no idea that this book was going to border that kind of genre. I mean, yeah sure, it says Blues in the title, but that really could have meant anything.

If you’re a old films lover, like myself (or not), I want you to think along the lines of Maltese Falcon (‘41), Out Of The Past (’47), The Night of The Hunter (‘55), DOA (’50) and for some reason I want to also say The Stranger (‘46).

The dark, mysterious, urban, paranormal, and comedic blends in this book also brought to mind movies like Interview With A Vampire and Beverly Hills Cop (mainly the sequel) following the skeptic, slightly troubled, drifting, lost loner lead, Carlos Delacruz.

I don’t want to harp on this book’s similarities, simply explain the way the author has successfully created such a tantalizing bridge between the old and the new. Yes, this book resembles classic favorites, but it also offers a uniquely fresh and original paranormal concept of the dead and undead underworld lurking in the shadows of New York City.

My interest was instantly piqued the moment I was introduced to Carlos and his ‘line of work’ for the council. I loved discovering, as he did, his connection to a new mark, Travis, which ultimately lead to the discovery that after three years of believing he was alone in the dead/undead universe, Carlos was actually one of a few.

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