Monday, February 19, 2018
Fire and Bone
Rachel A. Marks
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
“Gossip Girl meets Percy Jackson in the glitz and grit of L.A….”
In Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.
Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.
Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she is of age, she’s asked to pledge her service to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means possible. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glam, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could boost her rank in the Otherworld.
As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out who to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing’s for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.
I try to hide my shivering as I wait before the altar, in my position as the Bonding begins. Around me, shadows dance over the cairn walls from the restless flames licking up the ram’s body—the sacrifice on the pyre behind me—and the smell ofsweat and burnt flesh smother the smoky air.
The King of Ravens paints an alarming image, standing almost naked across from me on the other side of the blood circle. He wears the corona radiata, the golden laurel-leafed crown, on his head of onyx hair. His short beard is neatly trimmed, combedwith lavender oil for the ceremony. His sharp silver eyes study me beneath a heavy brow.
I try not to think about the past. Or future. I try not to think about what those hard hands will feel like on my skin when he seals this Bond.
I study the stone floor rather than look in those metallic eyes. I feel them on me, though, the same way they have been for the fortnight I’ve been here preparing for the ceremony. He hasn’t touched me; he’s only brought me gifts and insisted I sit with him beside the greatfire in the evening before he goes out for his hunt. Sometimes I smell him in the hallway outside my rooms. But he never comes in, thank the goddess. The scent of blood is heavy on him in those moments. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if he’d attempted anything.
After this is done, it won’t matter. My bed will be his. As will my life.
A druid walks back and forth behind me, tossing rosemary and lavender onto the pyre after each stanza of his spell. He calls to the wind from the east, he calls to the waters in the west, and he pulls the spirit of flame and earth into the cairn with us, asking the Penta to approve the Bond set to be made between the two most powerful Houses, as he pleads for a blessing from our mothers, Brighid and Morrígan, and thanks the Cast for their permission to seal the Bond between the two very different powers.
A female druid comes to my side with bowl and brush, beginning to paint my skin in blue woad, tracing patterns of knots and runes across my back, then baring my chest and continuing.
The king’s gaze follows the woman’s strokes, and when she’s finished, he raises his chin at me in approval but says nothing. What does he see when he looks at me? My wild copper hair? My simple features? The awkward birthmark just above my heart? I’m round of cheek and hips and not much of a beauty. But however I look to him, I will belong to him.
Determination is set in hard lines on his face, and I wonder if the torque on hisneck is working properly. I can see his dark energy lifting in silver and black curls over his shoulders now. It should be tight inside his skin, as mine is. The iron shackle should be holding it in place so that we don’t harm each other in the first merging, before we can get used to the feel of each other’s powers.
The female druid moves to the king next and begins painting the woad in circles over his torso. The druid chanting behind me recites the final section of his spell, walking the ram’s-blood circle painted on the floor. He holds a rowan stick aloft, flicking rosewater over the king and then me as he passes by, mumbling, “A price paid, a covenant sealed, in earth and blood and ash, in spirit and flesh and fire.”
The price is my will, my soul, in payment for the life of the human prince that I took.
In the center of the circle, between the king and me, is an altar with two bowls set atop, one full of salt, one full of rye.
The iron union dagger rests between them.
I stare at it, imagining the blade cutting into my flesh. And I can’t help when my gaze moves to the king. I want to blink and make this moment a dream, perhaps findmyself in the thicket with Lailoken, among the bluebells in the Caledonian wood.
I should run from this son of Morrígan, deny him, deny our mothers, and let the world burn. But my heart twists at the thought. I was running from duty when fate took my heart from me, when the prince succumbed to my fire’s will. It was the childish notion of freedom that tore him from me.
Now it’s time to accept my punishment for allowing the humans to glimpse ourworld. Time to atone.
The druid’s voice fills the room again. “When moon gives birth to stars,” he says, in a droning hum, flicking more rosewater over us with the rowan stick, “let this Bond be sealed in blood.”
My skin prickles with fear as the king takes the cue, reaching out to pick up the ceremonial dagger by the leather-wrapped hilt. I focus on not moving, not making a sound, as I watch him bring the blade to his chest, tip pricking his left breast. A drop of crimson pearls up at the spot.
With a slow hiss of breath, he cuts across.
Dark blood slides down his abdomen in a thick swath of red. “My blood with yours,” he says. And he turns the knife, holding out the hilt for me.
My hands clench into fists at my side, and I force my shaking limbs to still.
I breathe in slowly again. Then I reach out, taking the ceremonial dagger from him, careful not to touch his fingers.
I pretend not to care about the cage I’m about to be locked in. About the pain in my soul from loss, from the goddess Brighid abandoning me to this darkness, pain from the reality of everything in front of me.
I press the tip of the blade to the center of my chest, the point breaking the skin. I look into the silver eyes of the king in front of me. And consider my fate.
One deep plunge to the heart and the pain will end. One plunge.
4.5 Stars Out Of 5
It's like I won a weekend at a five-star resort. With deadly creatures and mayhem, but still...It's pretty close.I am always looking for new urban fantasy books to escape into and I was excited when Fire and Bone crossed my radar- I loved the cover with the bright color choices as well as the synopsis caught my attention. I was going to read this, it was only a matter of when- luckily my friend Sarah over at the Clever Reader website offered me a copy to review. Well, I am so glad that I could read this right now, especially since I am on an urban fantasy kick- and keep in mind that I read a LOT of Urban Fantasy (it's my favorite!). I was really happy with what I discovered beneath the gorgeous cover of Fire and Bone- an equally developed, complicated and unique world unlike anything I have delved into before. The book was roughly 450 pages but only cover a few days time, so the pages were so full of action, descriptions of the world and magical creatures (from vampires, pixies, ghouls, selkies, Demigods, Goddesses, wraiths, druids...) that sprung from Danu the goddess, mythology and legends that the world builds on, as well as fleshed out characters. There is a little bit of something for everyone wrapped up in this book.
Rachel A. Marks is a cancer survivor, a writer and artist, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. Her four kids and amazing hubby put up with her nerdiness with tremendous grace, even when she makes them watch Buffy or Smallville re-runs for days on end. She was voted: Most Likely To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse, but hopes she'll never have to test the theory.
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The Amber Elixir
(A Two Realms Novella, #1)
Publication date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Viviane, the new Lady of the Lake and High Priestessof Avalon, accepts a challenge from Merlin unaware her bold actions will have tragic consequences. Two of her priestesses are turned to stone. A forbidden love deserts her. Now alone, she has six young handmaidens to train and protect.
When Morgan le Fay demands assistance with a spell that could change the balance of power in the Two Realms, Viviane refuses her. But what if Morgan’s secret knowledge could restore the stone priestesses? Will an alliance prompt Viviane’s love toreturn? Or will the gamble cost her all she holds dear?
Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman and former teen to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her series include The Two Realms Trilogy, a medieval Scotland and Fairy fantasy adventure, and The Teen Wytche Saga, a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances. Moon’s “Covert Hearts” appears in Second Chances: A Romance Writers of America Collection.
Ms. Moon spent her childhood flying to rooftops in her dreams and searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. She lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and a media-shy dragon.
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Sunday, February 18, 2018
Author: D.T. Dyllin
Narrator: Ashley Holt
Length: 6 hours 52 minutes
Series: Starblind, Book 2
Publisher: Tik Tok Press
Released: Jul. 10, 2017
Genre: Romantic Science Fiction
Tamzea, a Mazatimz healer, found a home as part of the crew on the starship The Pittsburgh. But when a part of her past crashes into her present, she's forced to face the uncertainty of her future. Dragged back to a place Tamzea had hoped to leave in her worst nightmares, she discovers Eron, a man she thought dead. Determined to save each other, Tamzea and Eron must find a way to work together, despite their torrid past. With partial truths, and political games, will Tamzea be able to fix Eron, or is he too broken for even her to heal?
My Review: 4 Out Of 5 Stars
D.T. Dyllin is a bestselling author who writes paranormal, sci-fi, and contemporary romance. Basically, anything with a love story is her kryptonite. Her obsession with affairs-of-the-heart is what first drove her to begin twisting her own tales of scorching romance. D.T. was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Black & Gold for life, baby!) She now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband, and two spoiled German Shepherds. Former NPR PBS FM radio host/announcer in a major media market, with a warm mezzo female voice. I have a background in opera and can present in English, Italian, German, French, Latin. With a background in the performing arts and opera, I can sing as well as do some accents. Home includes a husband shaped person, 2 cats, volunteerism and an active online gaming presence. No audiobook genre is taboo, which makes for very interesting dinner table discussion. Member, Audio Producers Association
Starblind, Book 1Feb. 6th: Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews The Book Junkie Reads . . . T's Stuff Feb. 7th: Audiobook Romance Jazzy Book Reviews Feb. 8th: Buried Under Books Feb. 9th: Notes from 'Round the Bend La libreria di Beppe Feb. 10th: Lilly's Book World Haddie's Haven Feb. 11th: Smada's Book Smack Loves Great Reads Feb. 12th: The Book Addict's Reviews
Parallax, Book 2Feb. 13th: Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews The Book Junkie Reads . . . Feb. 14th: Audiobook Romance T's Stuff Feb. 15th: Lilly's Book World Jazzy Book Reviews Feb. 16th: Notes from 'Round the Bend La libreria di Beppe Feb. 17th: Buried Under Books Loves Great Reads Feb. 18th: Smada's Book Smack Haddie's Haven Feb. 19th: The Book Addict's Reviews
Flux, Book 3Feb. 20th: Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews The Book Junkie Reads . . . Feb. 21st: Audiobook Romance Feb. 22nd: Up 'Til Dawn Book Blog T's Stuff Feb. 23rd: Notes from 'Round the Bend Feb. 24th: Lilly's Book World Haddie's Haven Jazzy Book Reviews Loves Great Reads Feb. 25th: Buried Under Books Feb. 26th: The Book Addict's Reviews
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