Thursday, July 27, 2017

Four Feasts Till Darkness Series by Christian A. Brown


Today I’m excited to share with you a Promo for the Four Feasts Till Darkness series by Christian A. Brown. This is a Dark Fantasy series. The first book 'Feast of Fates' was published in 2014. I read and reviewed this book last year  (check out my review here), and it was so good!! 
Find an interview with Christian A. Brown and more info on this series here today!

'Feast of Fates' (Four Feasts Till Darkness #1)


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23664877-feast-of-fates?from_search=true
Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her — visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land. 

With Morigan growing more powerful each day, the leaders of the realm soon realize that this young woman could hold the key to their destruction. Suddenly, Morigan finds herself beset by enemies, and she must master her mysterious gifts if she is to survive.

This book is available at Amazon



'Feast of Dreames' (Four Feasts Till Darkness #2)


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26406375-feast-of-dreams
As two queens plot each other's destruction, a small band of adventurers continues its quest for the knowledge needed to defeat the mad King Brutus and his unearthly parasite, the Black Queen. Their search brings Morigan and the Wolf to the perilous forests of Alabion, where they and their companions will face the darkness of their pasts -- and discover equally dark destinies. Meanwhile, far from Alabion, the queens of the East and West continue their deadly dance. One seeks a relic of great power, while the other puts her faith in a mix of military and technomagikal force. Both are aware they have a slim window of opportunity to settle their power struggle -- after all, Mad Brutus's recent defeat is at best a setback. The mad king is already amassing a new army of soulless husks in the wastelands of Mor'Khul.

Unknown to the great powers struggling for control, a father and son wander those same wastelands, scavenging what they can as they weather Brutus's gathering storm. They too have a role to play in Geadhain's fate -- a role which may just provide a last remnant of hope.

This book is available at Amazon

'Feast of Chaos' (Four Feasts Till Darkness #3)


Menos has been destroyed. No corner of the realm of Geadhain is safe from the Black Queen’s hunger. Zionae—or the Great Dreamer, as she has been called in ancient tongues—has a thirst that cannot be quenched until all of Geadhain burns and bleeds. She preys on the minds of weak men and exploits human folly for an unhuman end. She cannot be defeated in her current state, but the answer to her downfall may lie in the land of her past.

It is with this aim that a Daughter of Fate, Morigan, and her brave and true companions venture to the mysterious Pandemonia, the land of chaos itself. Ancient secrets and even older power lurk in its swamps and deserts. Life itself becomes uncertain, but the Hunters of Fate have no choice: Pandemonia must give up its secrets if they want to find the Black Queen’s weakness.

Elsewhere in the realm, alliances form and break. Dead men rise and heroes fall. Eod prepares for war. In hiding, Lila, the bearer of its destruction, will be given a chance to atone and answer for her sins. Will her actions save Eod, or has she damned it with her crimes?

This book is available at Amazon

An Interview With Christian A. Brown:


In your books, you’ve created an incredibly detailed, immense world -- how did you keep all of it straight when you first started writing? 

At first, and when starting any story, I feel it’s important to simply write. Make that messy first chapter and see how, what and who you want to portray; get a feeling for where the Muse is leading you. If you’re writing a “show” and not “tell” tale, the mechanics and laws of the (fantastical) world will fall into place as your characters and narrative voice move through the story. Once the details of the world start fleshing themselves out, I start writing down everything pertinent to the tale, even if it’s just as margin notes that are later compiled into a “World Bible” if you will. Geadhain (my world) now has both a bible and a style guide for reference for my work. 

Why was it important to you to have so many strong female characters in your series, good and evil? 

Historically, women (and minorities, of which I am one—well, two, actually) have been grossly underrepresented in fantasy; typified into the maiden, witch, whore, mother stereotypes. I grew up in a house of dominant successful women, and those influences and personalities found their way into my work. My mom, for example, was once a roller-skate waitress (just to make ends meet), then later a real estate broker, a bank teller, and finally a lawyer—after putting herself back into university as a mature student at the age of 50. And of course, during all these vocations, she juggled the needs of her children, her partner, and herself. She built a business with my father. She helped to elevate us from poverty to working middle class—she, herself, once in foster care and utterly destitute after her parents’ marriage collapsed. Despite all of the negative forces conspiring against her, she was a woman of hope, strength and character. I couldn’t not have written strong women, given her role model behavior. My mom, my sister, my aunts, my teachers, my primary editor…I’m blessed to have known so many accomplished, inspirational women.

From their physical descriptions to their personalities, your characters are so vivid -- where does the inspiration for them come from?

I read a lot of comics as a child; watched plenty of anime and horror; played video games till my eyes shriveled. Before that darned Nintendo ruined my eyesight, and when I was younger, my parents also used to take my sister and I on walks through the woods, and the richness of a woodland stirs even the most stagnant imagination. In our adolescence we played outdoors and read, extensively, since we couldn’t afford luxury items (like NESes) at the time. I’m much more into physical disciplines now, though my mind still works in a sensory format.  

How do you think your approach to the fantasy genre differs from other writers? 

Well, there’s the portrayal of women, first and foremost. Although, these characters stand toe-to-toe with men and other forces who are equally as formidable. I’ve lived through the reality of oppression, intolerance and poverty, and likewise many of my characters deal with the same issues. While the series is definitely dark fantasy, and not for the faint-of-heart or those shy to reading about violence and oppression, there is a definite undercurrent of hope: this sense that even though the odds are impossible, the movements of many, disparate brave souls can make a difference. Structurally, the world is an interesting blend of science fiction, mythic and high fantasy elements, too, where some advancements dwarf what we here on Earth have accomplished, while other advancements are stymied by natural (mystical) forces that inhabit prosperity. So there’s this really cool play of old vs. new, Tecnhnomagik vs. Nature. Which leads into a subtle environmental dialog on man’s use and participation in a planet’s sustainability or destruction. “Four Feasts till Darkness” are dense books that deal with topical and sensitive subject matter, which certainly helps them to stand apart from lighter or more traditional fantasy stories. 

If you were able to sit down and discuss writing with three authors, who would you choose, and what would you talk to them about?

Ursula K. LeGuin. Clive Barker. Stephen King. Ursula and I would chat about her Earthsea trilogy, which is one of the greatest fantasy series I’ve ever read. Clive Barker and I would talk about how he’s fared as an openly gay author, and what that process of being public and gay has been like. Whereas Stephen and I would write something horrible together, a ghastly masterpiece with his wit and my penchant for visceral verbosity. 

Do you think the diversity in your own life reflects in your writing and the characters you’ve created?

Definitely! I’m a biracial gay man married to a M├ętis amputee. Just so we’re clear, I’m not a “diversity fetishist,” it just so happened that a.) I fell in love with a man and b.) he happened to have one leg. But whatever weight he’d lost in flesh, he’d gained in heart, and he’s an absolute gem. Between the two of us, and as men of color (I, more than he), we’ve experienced the full onslaught of intolerance and slurs—N-word, jigaboo, faggot, you name it. Now the funny thing about hate is that it either makes the victim hateful, or ideally, it makes the victim sympathetic, a warrior, one passionate about dismantling bigotry. My partner and I are of the latter camp, as was my mother, who married a black man in an era when that wasn’t too popular. Therefore, in Feasts you’ll see a real menagerie of characters, and none so bizarre as to simply tick a “diversity checklist” (blind, transgender, PoC in a wheelchair—cause reasons), just real people, with real issues that come in a variety of shades, sexualities and makeups. Every hero has their flaws—flaws that others see and to which they react—just as none of us are perfect. Without my negative experiences and positive enforcements and reactions, I could never have written a cast so patently human. 

Why was it important to you to include a message of hope despite the dark nature of the books?

The story starts, actually, with a romance, and while it’s steamy and seems as if it might lead to bodice-ripped escapades, it never does. The romance between Morigan and the Wolf is merely the hook and foundation for a story that’s built on love: romantic, fraternal, love for power, love when corrupted into hate. If you look at the history of human success and folly it is predicated by passion, by love or hate. In the grand sweeping plot arcs of epic fantasy, the drive that has begun a campaign of war or terror is often overlooked. “Feasts” has a gargantuan plot, and many moving parts, and to tell a more personal, more involving story, each of those most necessary parts needs to have their desires and wants explored. It makes for an immersive and heavy read, but I feel (and readers seem to agree) that the focus on characterization pays dividends. Besides, too much darkness and blood, and not a moment of levity or love in-between, and the story will crush the reader. In the words of Josh Whedon, “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”

What’s next for you after the completion of “Four Feasts till Darkness” series?

I’m working on a super-secret project (standalone from Geadhain’s novels), which requires me to plan a second trip to England. I had the idea for the manuscript when last I was there and it’s a thought-bug that’s finally gnawed its way into my brain, and into a grand idea!

About the Author:


Bestselling author of the critically acclaimed “Feast of Fates” Christian A. Brown received a Kirkus star in 2014 for the first novel in his genre-changing “Four Feasts till Darkness” series. He is currently working on the fourth and final book in the series, “Feast of Darkness.” He has appeared on Newstalk 1010, AM640, Daytime Rogers, and Get Bold Today with LeGrande Green. He actively writes a blog about his mother’s journey with cancer and on gender issues in the media. A lover of the weird and wonderful, Brown considers himself an eccentric with a talent for cat-whispering. 

For more information please visit his website. Or visit him on Facebook and Twitter

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Favorite.. Book As A Child



My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

As I’ve told you guys many times before my favorite books are the Harry Potter series. I’ve read the first book when I was eight years old, so that’s definitely my favorite book as a child. But since I’ve talked about Harry Potter so many times before. I’d like to share with you guys another book I’ve loved as a child.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39988.Matilda?ac=1&from_search=true
One of my favorite books as a child was ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl. Boy did I love that book. I’ve read it several times, and I could never get enough. I just loved Mathilda, and I so wanted to be her. Being able to read that fast and that good, was just something I was really envious about. And I loved the look of the Dutch version of the book.

Next to reading ‘Matilda’ I also loved ‘James and the Giant Peach’, ‘The BFG’, ‘The Witches’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ by Roald Dahl. I still have those books standing on my shelves. These were definitely the books that made me fall in love with reading when I was growing up. 

Which book did you love as a child?

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Review 'Home Field' by Laurie Winter


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29243691-home-field?ac=1&from_search=trueOne year after her husband is killed in action, Julie Ellis is back in her hometown and focused on raising her young son. Then Reagan Harrison bursts into her life—a cocky, charming linebacker who leaves her off balance.

As a successful, professional athlete, Reagan believes he has it all. But after meeting Julie, he finds every excuse in the book to spend time with her. Despite his best efforts not to fall too hard, Reagan envisions a future with Julie, along with the little boy he’s come to love as his own.

While Reagan’s protective love begins to mend Julie’s spirit, she can’t suppress her continued deep devotion to her late husband’s memory. And when a letter arrives from beyond the grave, Reagan resolves to provide her with the answers she desperately needs to heal. Now Julie must choose either to keep her heart closed off or remove the lock and fight for a future with Reagan. Can a second chance at true love be just as sweet?

The Facts:


Publication Date:
June 30th, 2017
Series:
Warriors of the Heart #1
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Pages:
278
Formats:
eBook
Available at:

My Review:


When I read the book description of ‘Home Field’ I just knew this was a book I’d like to read. I love romance novels, and a romance novel about a professional athlete just sounded perfect. And that cover definitely made me want to read this book even more. 

In ‘Home Field’ we meet young widow Julie Ellis. Julie lost her husband when he was employed in Afghanistan little over a year ago. The only thing that keeps Julie going is her beautiful young son. When Julie gets invited to go to a banquet, she really doesn’t want to go. But her mom insists on her having a little fun for once. It’s time Julie start living again! But that’s easier said than done. At the banquet Julie meets handsome Reagan Harrison. Reagan is a professional athlete who’s has gained a lot of fame and he is known for his charms and being surrounded by many beautiful woman. But when he meets Julie, everything changes. But how can he win the heart of a woman who loves another man?

‘Home Field’ is a beautiful book that grabbed me from the very first page. Julie Ellis is a very nice, and caring woman who has lost the love of her life. And it’s hard for Julie to keep going. The only thing that keeps her going is her son. And boy was it nice to read about Julie and her son. I loved how Julie loved her son, and did everything to make his life good even though his father would never be coming home. 

The romance between Julie and Reagan is from the very beginning very beautiful, sweet and enchanting to read about. I loved those two! I love how this big strong athlete Reagan fell in love with Julie, and tried to do everything is his power to win her heart. I loved how Reagan was with Julie’s son. It was touching and I just couldn’t stop reading this book.

I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. Most times I have trouble loving a book about second love. Not that there’s something wrong about it. I just always kind a feels sad that the first love didn’t work out. And I’m always a little scared that the ‘new’ romance will always feel like the second best thing. But in this book the romance between Julie and Reagan definitely didn’t feel like the second best. 

Honestly, there was nothing about ‘Home Field’ I didn’t like. It was a charming book, with some amazing chemistry and I just loved it. I definitely need to read more books by Laurie Winter.

My Rating:

About the Author:


Laurie Winter is a true warrior of the heart. Inspired by her dreams, she creates authentic characters who overcome the odds and find true love. She keeps her life balanced with regular yoga practice and running. When not pounding the pavement or the keyboard, she's enjoying time with her family, who are scattered between Wisconsin and Michigan. Laurie has three kids and one fantastic husband, all who inspire her to chase her dreams.

For more information about Laurie Winter please visit her website. Or visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest and Instagram.


I received this book in exchange for my honest review by the author and Lola’s Blog Tours.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Sunday Post #58: Bye Bye Birdie



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ Its a chance to share news ~ A Post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Life:

This week has been a busy one. On Monday I came out of the Nightshift, so I was able to sleep for only three hours before I had to wake up again. I decided to get paint for our living room. And since I sometimes lack any patience, especially when I’m tired, I started painting two walls in our living room around 3.30 p.m. Let me tell you something.. Don’t go painting your walls when you’re tired and just got out of the nightshift. The result was good, but I was super clumsy and had to clean the floors even though I put some plastic sheets down. And I definitely spilled more paint than is probably normal.
My Face When I Wondered Why On
Earth I Started Painting After my Nightshift!!

So why did I paint our walls? Last Sunday my husband brought our agapornis a.k.a. lovebird to his new home. And without his cage there, you could see how dirty our wall was after having a little bird there for eight years. I was really sad about having to say goodbye to our lovebird. But I know it’s for the best. We just didn’t have enough time to clean his cage, and give him the attention he deserved. And he was really loud in the mornings, which made my husband unable to sleep long. We also have a cat, but it’s much easier to give him some attention when we get home after a long day of work then a bird who is sitting in its cage all day. I know it’s for the best.. but still.. I feel bad about not being able to take care of him. But having a nice clean wall definitely is a positive part.

The rest of the week went by really quickly. I had lunch with my BFF on Tuesday. And because the weather was so nice we were able to sit on a terrace for hours. Loved it!! 
I also had to work four days, including this weekend and our nights were also pretty booked. I can’t wait for Monday to come.. It’s time to do some serious reading.

Books & Blogging:

Reading wise I definitely didn’t get enough time this week. I tried, but time just went by so fast. Hopefully I will be able to catch up on my reading this Monday.
Blogging wise I had a nice week. I shared some reviews, and I shared my list of Books I Really Need To Read ASAP. I didn’t get to visit all of you guys this week, but I’ll keep trying this week.

Last Week on the Blog:


This Week on the Blog:

  • Review ‘Home Field’ by Laurie Winter
  • My Favorite.. Book As A Child
  • Promo Four Feasts Till Darkness series by Christian A. Brown 
  • Book Blitz ‘Wheeler’ by Sara Butler

New Arrivals:


Received by the Little, Brown Book Group

Random Pic:


 
Imagination Designs
Artwork from: www.createthecut.com