Seeing is believing… most of the time. In the case of Sinnie, to see her one would never believe that she is a fairy. For all intents and purposes, Sinnie is strong-willed, highly-trained, woman of confidence and skills. Descending from the Captain of the Queen’s Guard himself, Sinnie has everything she could possibly want and knows where she is headed in life–but something is missing. Much to her family and friends’ chagrin, that something is an unseelie, one of the darkest members of the fairy world. Sinnie’s heart knows what it wants and, unfortunately, her heart wants Hueil.
Bound Darkly, the second in the Darkly series by Tarrant Smith, primarily follows Sinnie, a strong woman and fairy–one of the seelie clan. Sinnie, though a fairy, is battling many of the same feelings as any mortal when it comes to love. She knows what she wants, but is leery of pursuing it for fear of the reactions of others. Like many a mortal woman, Sinnie is attracted to the rebel–the bad boy–and Hueil is, without a doubt, one of the worst. Their story more than makes the book a worthwhile read. The chemistry between the two and the true feelings of love experienced by Hueil are raw and relatable.
Hueil is a well-developed character and appealing in all the wrong ways. Readers will love to hate him and likely grow to understand very quickly Sinnie’s attraction to him as the bad boy. Smith goes to great lengths to make Hueil as colorful as possible and details everything from his exploits to his determination to have Sinnie and to do the job with which he has been tasked.
Jen, another fairy but not Smith’s main focus in this installment, possesses a unique ability that I found to be quite captivating. The emotional shielding Jen is able to demonstrate is an amazing facet of her personality and life as a fairy. Though it is draining and taxing, watching her put it into play is fascinating.
In my opinion, Bound Darkly easily fits into two genres. It is clearly a beautifully crafted work of fantasy with the fairy realm as its primary focus. Warriors and fairies alike have the most unique and stunning powers. Their abilities keep the pace of the book moving and the amount of action in the book is perfect when compared with some books that seem to be overfilled with such scenes. In addition, Smith gives her characters a fair amount of romantic encounters and is especially explicit in detailing their escapades.
Smith has succeeded in offering readers a sequel to Book 1 that is easy to follow for those new to the series. I highly recommend Smith’s second book in the Darkly series to any reader who seeks books with a combination of fantasy and romance.
Pages: 338 | ASIN: B0041OSG66
Sabrina London is now Queen of the Water Fairies. The problem is she doesn’t really want to be, and she is expected to marry Lord Raion of the Tainted. Sabrina and Dunyasha, the ancient vampire, devise a plan to solve Sabrina’s problems and free her from marrying Lord Raion. They recruit Amber, a Fire Fairy, to become Sabrina’s double. Through extensive surgeries and training Amber takes on the persona of Sabrina and is able to fool most people into believing she is in fact Sabrina London. Her mission is first to dispel of the people that could tell she was not in fact Sabrina, three tests to make sure she would be able to fool Lord Raion. Through these tests and missions, Amber and Dunyasha’s true motives come out. They are not looking out for Sabrina, they are not really on her side, what motivates these otherworldly beings? Who will survive in the end as each race clashes and fights for dominance over all the others?
Kevin Breaux returns to his world of fairies, vampires, and other creatures. We learn more about who Dunyasha is, what her past is, and how she became the cursed undead. Characters such as Jackson and Cade return, well-loved characters from past novels that played integral parts of Sabrina’s development. Three Burning Red Runaway Brides is a complex novel with so many different plot lines all intertwining that you almost need to keep notes at times to keep up with who is on who’s side, what plots are being planned, and is there even a good guy or bad guy anywhere? The deeper you go into the novel the more complex each character gets, and you find things you love and hate about each of them. Learning how the water elements all interact in the water kingdom and move about is fascinating. Learning more about the traditions the water fairies have in place adds to the complex character that is Sabrina as you figure out how she became the person she is now. Amber, also known as Skipper, starts out like a spoiled brat you just want to dislike. As we learn more about her though, we find out she is much more cunning and determined than what she appears on the surface. She has glimpses of good intentions, but most are self-serving in the end. Sabrina while she tries to grow into the role of queen, you see her reverting back to the way she was in the first novel, her growth is less developed, and even regressing in this novel. She reminds me of the teen rebelling more so than Amber as the book continues.
Without giving away key plot elements, I can say the story of Dunyasha is one of my favorites, how she ended up one of the cursed undead, how she created her family, her history and her plans for the future. I can see this plot line continuing into another book as her story continues to unfold and fate of the vampires and their awakening continues.
Kevin James Breaux has a great talent for drawing the reader in with his detailed story lines, descriptive writing and unique plot twists. Each novel builds on the last but stands alone to tell a story unlike the past without feeling like you are rereading the last novel.
Pages: 357 | ASIN: B07MC57D12
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Presented with a captivating plot line, charming characters, and a world full of fantasies, C. Penticoff blends worlds of reality with a captivating realm of fantastical discoveries in Weathering the Wicked.
Introducing Book One in the series, C. Penticoff demonstrates a clear focus and powerful imagination in her creation of fictional fantasy. With her sister missing and her total existence going up in flames, Jane attempts to find out what is going on, and what has happened to her sister.
Penticoff captives her readers by blending the ideas of magic, wonder and prophecies. Right from the beginning readers are drawn into a fantastical world of discovery in the hopes that June finds her sister, January. Without giving too much away, the story is set in a spiritual land called Folklaria which blends together the good and the evil. The readers then join June on her journey in this magical land in search for her sister. With June’s hopes resting on a complete stranger, can she control her fears and uncertainty to find her sister and restore the peace?
Magic, evil, suspense and mystery… are all words that I would use to describe the themes and narrative of this book. From evil wizards to witch doctors and fairies, C Penticoff really does her best to enter a world full of pure imagination.
What makes this read a truly great one is how the book is presented to the reader. In the table of contents, we see that the book has been broken into lots of small chapters, each with a character’s name. This highlights what the chapter is going to be about, which allows the reader to anticipate what is to come.
Overall, I would rate C. Penticoff’s Weathering the Wicked a 4 out of 5 stars. Whilst I appreciate a strong writing style, creative flair, and original thoughts, I found the concepts a little far-fetched. Of course, this is something you would usually expect from this genre, and would be appealing to a lover of fantasy books.
I applaud Penticoff in her creative writing and articulate use of words; and can honestly say that it offered a compelling read; something that I find often lacks in fantasy books. A triumphant and artistic piece of writing brought to you by C. Penticoff. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who takes an interest in artificial intelligence, compassion, and a longing for discovery and resolution. I look forward to reading Book 2 of this series, Weathering the Wicked.
Pages: 228 | ASIN: B075W2KYWK
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For the Devil Has Come with Great Wrath by Emma Plant provides a glimpse of what havoc the Devil and his disciples wreak when they come to earth for the End of Days and in search of Emma Plant. Emma, a young Office Manager, notices that things aren’t quite normal in the valley where she lives. Accidents and fatalities are on the rise, and Emma herself is even visited by strange people and creatures that seek to do her harm. She is visited one night by two gnomes who explain the devastation that is taking place and seek to whisk Emma away into the mountains that overlook the valley. Their goal is to hide and protect Emma from the Devil while he wages war against civilization. It is in the mountains that Emma is introduced to more fantastical creatures, such as witches and fairies, and it is also where she begins to make a new life for herself – a life that is a far cry from the one she once knew.
Author Emma Plant adds interesting fantasy elements to her novel by the inclusion of a variety of mythical creatures, such as gnomes, fairies, witches, demons, and other creatures. The novel is entertaining in that each type of fantasy creature has its own magical powers that are displayed throughout the novel. For example, Ben and Ella, the gnomes that help protect Emma have the ability to shrink larger items in order to be able to carry them easily. Another interesting element of the novel is that, apart from the demons, these characters work harmoniously together. Abela, the witch, provides guidance and protection to Emma, the fairies provide powers and protection to the gnomes, and so on and so forth. These magical characters add a creative depth to the novel.
However, I felt that there was a lack of detail and explanation in the novel. I did not understand why demons are inhabiting earth and wreaking havoc. More importantly, I did not understand what the Devil wanted with Emma. What exactly makes her the center of his attention? I think that there wasn’t enough explanation given to fully develop the events. I felt like there was an overabundance of ‘telling’ rather than ‘showing’. So, I felt I was reading long sections of text rather than an organic delivery of information while the story is unfolding. But with this story being part of a trilogy, I feel much more comfortable knowing that there is two more books on the horizon that will dig deeper into this world and it’s characters.
I felt like the climax was not as climactic as it could have been. Emma spends nearly two years hiding in the mountains. During that time, she reunites with a former flame and they have a family together. Much has happened to her as a person, but it’s a small detail in what, I felt, was the overall point of the novel. Towards the end of the story, Emma is hiding out in Abela’s house when the Devil decides to unleash his wrath on the valley that was her previous home. I expected that the Devil would eventually make his way up to Abela’s home and try to take Emma away. But I expected a battle between the Devil, Emma, and her protectors up in the mountains; however, the devastation doesn’t make its way to the mountains and stays contained within the valley. I felt that there was no real climax or resolution that is reached by the end of the novel. Ultimately, I felt like this novel lacked character development that makes me invest in the characters. For the Devil Has Come with Great Wrath by Emma Plant is a fascinating fantasy story with many opportunities for a surreal story that plays off of biblical legend.
Pages: 251 | ASIN: B01L0FLHY6
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Playing with power can land a girl in all sorts of trouble with her man, as six ladies soon discover. Whether she’s a witch who disobeys the no-magic rule, a fairy making lust cakes, an amateur sorceress casting a spell on her boyfriend, a victim of an enchanted necklace, a revenge fairy messing with a deity, or a pleasure fairy abusing her abilities…
Once they’ve experienced the sensual consequences of playing with their magical powers, can these ladies find their happily for now with a hint of forever? Or have they spoiled their chances?
Publisher’s Note: This steamy anthology contains elements of power exchange.
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Nahia follows the turbulent efforts of a faery princess as she tries to lure her human obsession into the faery realm to maintain her relationship with him. What was your inspiration for this book’s direction and plot?
When I finished writing Cradle Gift (book 2) I knew I’d have to tell Nahia’s story to explain in detail Maité’s discovery at the end of Cradle Gift—that the woman Anahí in her family tree was actually Nahia.
When we met her in Faery Sight, we learned she was a willful creature whose heart, thankfully, was in the right place. It seems that throughout her youth, the motto ‘better to ask for forgiveness than permission’ was the driving force behind her actions.
Nahia is my full-fledged faery and as such she embodies the whole gamut of faery traits; she’s selfish, she holds grudges, she steals human babies, she arranges things in her mind whichever way suits her best. But she is also passionate, determined, courageous and has a great capacity to learn and to love.
The books in this series span several generations and move through time very quickly. Was this a reflection of the faery’s life or was it necessary to tell the story you wanted?
I think Nahia fits in a philosophical fiction genre (is there such a thing?) and because of that it is geared toward a more mature audience (the other 2 books in the series are YA). I wanted to describe the evolution of Nahia’s heart and mind in detail, it was important to me to put her through the motions of going after her own desires, disregarding those around her, then realize that that kind of behavior only begets heartache or a passing satisfaction at best, so that in the end she considers and actually chooses to expand her heart and embrace a greater purpose, even if it involves sacrifice.
Your books are always highly imaginative and wonderfully descriptive. What is your writing process like?
From a procedural standpoint, here’s what I do:
Chapter Outline/Synopsis; this is where ideas fly through my brain—imagination is in high gear.
First Draft and First Round of Editing done by me; this is stage where characters usually crop up in my dreams to make suggestions and poke me with reminders or corrections. I make all kinds of sleepy notes that I have to decipher the next day.
Second Draft and 1-2 Rounds with Critique Group; this is where I bite my nails waiting to hear back from a handful of friends/family who’ve kindly offered to read my work.
Produce and send out Advance Review Copies;
Third Draft, Second Round of Editing done by me, Fourth Draft to Pro Editor; this is the most feverish portion of the process. I can feel the end is near so I apply flattening-strength pressure on myself.
Then comes the sigh of relief when the Final MSS finally leaves my hands.
Nahia is book three in the Faerie Legacy series. Do you plan to continue the series with book four or will you be writing a new book?
Nahia ends with a Summer Solstice Celebration during which the hybrid faery-human family is reunited. In that reunion, Maité’s daughter is not yet 2 years old, so I’m considering a book about the baby Aintza; she could only see her mother in dreams and in person once per year. This went on during the first 7 years of her life.
I’m also considering a series of picture books featuring the adventures of my hybrid faery-human family in the Faerie Realm.
As far as unrelated projects go, I have the 7 Ghostly Spins, a collection of seven paranormal tales based on true ghost legends and nightmares come true. Coming on All Souls Day, 2018.
Daughters of the Bride; is another philosophical fiction project I’m working on. After the death of their father, three women embark on a distressing journey of reflection; to know themselves and the mother they thought they knew. No publication date yet.
A rebellious faery princess struggles with satisfying her own desires over what’s best for her loved ones. Following her heart in pursuit of the human she loves, Nahia hides her faery identity in order to enter the human dimension.
After giving birth to a daughter, Nahia’s secret is revealed, as is the realization that she has forever altered the genetic human footprint. Faced with death, Nahia returns to the faerie realm only to have its dormant weight thrust upon her after the demise of its magical keeper.
To save her home and renew ties with both her human and faerie family, Nahia must find a way to reawaken the realm, become the new Faery Queen, and provide a royal descendant for the new Keeper of the Forest.
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Cradle Gift follows Maité as she discovers the origins of her gift and the meaning behind her ability to move in and out of dreams. What were some new ideas you wanted to expand on in the second book in the series that you didn’t, or couldn’t, get to in the first book?
Here are a few of the things I wanted to explore with Cradle Gift:
- I’ve always been fascinated with Lucid Dreaming, so to continue expanding my knowledge on that subject was very satisfying. Although I put it to my readers as acradle-giftedability, Lucid Dreaming is something you can develop and perfect through practice… maybe not to the astral projection level Maité achieves, but it’s as close to having wings or gills as we can get.
- I wanted to establish the 200-year gap between Celeste and Maité, and plant the seed of curiosity over what happened with the family during those 2 centuries.
- I wanted to highlight “adaptability” without denying the suffering and struggle it takes a person to achieve it. I agree with Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Maité is strong, intelligent, adaptable and therefore, a survivor.
You were able to craft a world that was equally as beautiful as in book one. What were some lessons learned in book one that helped you write book two?
Book 1 was my first full-length novel and through its production I learned a great deal about the technical aspects of publishing, but more than anything, that is where I began to develop “my voice.” Faery Sight became my go-to document for Cradle Gift because locales had been established there along with coordinates for the Faerie Realm—I was so glad that I kept my drafts, maps, and notes! I took with me a briefcase stuffed with all my papers when I traveled to San Sebastián, Spain. I stayed there for one whole blustery week in March to round up my research.
Maité continues to be a dynamic and intriguing character. I find that authors are sometimes exploring their characters when writing just as much as readers are when reading. Do you find this to be true? What kind of exploration did you do with Maité’s character in this book?
The women and girls in my family are the inspiration behind my stories—the series really is a family affair.
The girl on the cover of Cradle Gift is my niece (my older sister’s first born), some of her character traits and astrological attributes account for a big part of Maité’s personality.
FYI: My younger sister’s first born is on the cover of Faery Sight, and my daughter is on the cover of Nahia.
Nahia is the third book in your Faerie Legacy series. Where can readers expect the story to go in the next installment?
Nahia is a common denominator whose story covers the 200-year gap between books 1 and 2.
I consider this novel is a philosophical-fiction of sorts because it is about Nahia’s journey to know herself, to find her place in the world. She’s willful and stubborn, she’d rather ask for forgiveness (grudgingly) than permission, but when the weight of the realm is thrust upon her, Nahia, accepts the challenge, realizing that the time for her to grow up is at hand.
Her strengths and weaknesses lead her to change the genetic footprint of humanity, and to a bitter sweet victory.
At seventeen, Maité’s mortal world is torn apart with the tragic loss of her parents. Uprooted from the only home she’s ever known and isolated in a foreign country, the young woman struggles to make sense of her new life. But the conflict in the realm of Faerie is about to bleed over into Maité’s reality. She finds herself in the middle of an ancient struggle between Nahia and the Beautiful One as they furiously clash for control over the realm.
Through her Cradle Gift, Maité uncovers the extent of the Faerie Realm’s involvement in her life, and in her quest to come to terms with it, Maité has the help of best friend Emily, and David; a young man whose interest in genetics illuminates possibilities that will change her identity forever.
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Faery Sight follows a young woman raised among faeries as she is confronted with the tragedy surrounding her birth. What was your inspiration for this book and how did that help you begin your Faery Legacy series?
I come from a family where women are more numerous than the men, and over generations, our alpha-females have effectively organized us into a matriarchy. In my mind, I’ve likened us to Faeries, as they are the ultimate matriarchal society and in that light, I might say my series fits the ‘autobiographical fiction’ genre.
The women in my family—their spirit and beauty, our strengths and weakness, how we manage our relationships, inspired the magic in Faery Sight and the others.
When I set out to write Faery Sight, my intent wasn’t to produce a full length novel, much less a series. I just wanted to entertain people in my family with a short story, a novella at best.
Indeed, the original manuscript went through multiple revisions, and not only that, its first working title; Once Upon a Faery, changed fleetingly to Ersatz, until at last, close to launch date, Faery Sight revealed itself to me.
Celeste’s discovery of her love for Etienne, a human destined to marry another woman, is a captivating relationship. What were some things that were important for you when writing their relationship?
Celeste and Etienne have a very special place in my heart; they came out of my imagination with such genuine attitudes it was impossible not to cheer for their beautiful love story. She is impulsive and free, he is trapped in a traditional life-style. When they meet, Etienne’s heart skips a beat and he finds the courage to defy tradition.
Over the years, various members of my family, myself included, have been a Celeste or an Etienne, at one point or another, and it is my hope that whenever choices come up, we will always follow our hearts, just like Celeste and Etienne.
I enjoyed Celeste’s character, and it seemed she became multilayered as the story progressed. What were some obstacles you felt were important to her character’s development?
Celeste has a stubborn streak, a highly competitive nature (although not as nuclear as Nahia) and she is also impulsive. Therefore her character development needed to involve attaining a degree of maturity, while staying true to her heart.
As her story progressed, any inherent negativity in those traits were flushed out of her, painfully, as was the case with the death of her mother, but also blissfully, like when she realized that Etienne loved her too, and that Nahia’s bad temper had been due to her fears that Celeste might trade their special “sisterhood” for a man!
Where does the story take readers in book 2, Cradle Gift?
Whereas Faery Sight was set in the 1800’s, Cradle Gift is a contemporary tale where we meet Celeste’s latest descendant, Maité. She is born in 1992.
She knows nothing of the connection her family had with the Faerie Realm, and she’s clueless as to the Cradle Gift Nahia gives her on the day of her birth. From there… A journey, a manuscript, and a family tree unlock the mystery behind Maité’s lucid dreaming ability.
At seventeen, the realm of faerie is the only world Celeste knows, and she aspires to become as close to a faery as a human may. But daunting revelations made by her dying mother knock her plans off course. Orphaned and anxious to establish where she fits in, Celeste’s convictions waver.
Is she the human princess her mother raised her to be, or is she the human faery she longs to become? Is she to avenge the wrongs done to her parents by an evil sorceress?
Is she to honor a betrothal she’s known nothing about? Or should she keep at the side of the true love that recently walked into her life?
Celeste chooses to be the avenger of her parents, even if it means having to acknowledge her rightful place in the human dimension.
Urged by the faery, Nahia, and championed by the faerie court and her true love, Celeste sets out to expose the deceitful sorceress, Arantxa. She trusts that nothing can keep her from returning to the realm of faerie, nothing that is, until the identity of her betrothed becomes known.
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