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Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

I love this author!!! My dream is to one day be as successful as her, to sign books at the same function. Ahh, did I mention daydreaming is a big deal for me. If you’re a fan of Fantasy Romance, then I strongly recommended you read this series. Check out my reviews A Court of Thorns & Roses and my personal favourite A Court of Mist & Fury. So without further delay, here is my review of the third installment of this series #ACOTAR


Blurb.

A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN FANTASY ROMANCE NOVELFeyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.


I Award this Novel 5/5 Starsmy Heart and Soul with it.

My favourite quote from the novel is one that rings true in my own life.

‘If I had not met a shadowslinger, I would not have known that it is the family you make, not the one you are born into, that matters. I would not have known what it is to truly hope, even when the world tells you to despair.’

Feyre is lethal and daring, a female that holds her own. Rhysand is still charming, cunning and a force to be recommend with. He makes my heart melt. He’s ruined me for real life, nothing can compare to the emotions their love invoked in me. Truth be told, I found a lot of similarities between Rhys and my hubby. Particularly the way he treats her, lets her hold her own, but is always there to turn to.

What most inspired me, was the friendships that formed into family. The dynamics of the complex characters and how they all work, sometimes don’t work, together… because that’s what a family is. This novel delves into the other characters more, we start to unravel their pasts. To see what makes them all tick.

The war fair, is gritty, catastrophic and brutal. My heart was in my throat for most of the novel. I couldn’t predict the ending and when it arrived it was spectacular, heart-breaking and beautiful.

Sarah J Maas knows how to put her readers through the wringer. The whole series is complex, rich in belief systems, diversity, races and social status. Her world building is breath-taking; she weaves a rich, lush tapestry of realms and characters.

Spoiler: I only have one Qualm with this story and its Mor’s revelation. I have no issue with her choices; it makes a lot of sense. I’m just disappointed for Azriel. Unrequited love is a hard pill to swallow. Something I’ve had to deal with. I hope brighter things are aligned for his future.

Have you read this series? What did you think? If you’re a fan of fantasy Romance, what other series did you enjoy reading?

Author Lorraine Ambers YA fantasy romance

The Night Circus Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Blurb

The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternThe circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads:

Opens at Nightfall, Closes at Dawn

As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears.

Le Cirque des Rêves – The Circus of Dreams.

Now the circus is open. Now you may enter.


I award this novel 5 stars.

My Review of Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel – The Night Circus.

The Night Circus is imaginative, dark and magical. A mix of fantasy and realism that portrays a tale of coming-of-age. The novel is thrillingly wonderfull, a delicate blend of romance and friendship. It fired up evocative images, played to my senses and delivered me into the marvellous world of The Night Circus.

I read this book when I was in Disney World. The magic and tantalising playfulness of the creation blended seamlessly with my holiday. In fact, it heightened my experience. Each caramel popcorn stall I passed reminded me of the vibrant story. The acrobats performing at the Cirque du Soleil blurred with vivid tale of The Night Circus. In the day I was transported into childlike wonder and at night Erin’s debut novel whisked me away, with the rich tapestry of her character’s lives.

I adore the book cover, with its timeless beauty, simplicity and cleverly designed intricate details. Simply stunning!

Throughout my holiday I carried the book in my heart and soul. Like the Reveres in the story, I too fell in love with the fantastical circus.

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

Have you read The Night Circus? What did you think and do you have any similar favourites? Let me know I love hearing from you.

 

A court of Mist and Fury Fantasy Romance Author

Review – A court of Mist and Fury.

A court of Mist and Fury Fantasy Romance Author

Feyre struggles with what she endured under the mountain. Worse is Tamlin’s controlling behaviour in a bid to ensure her safety and his lack of empathy for all she’s been through.

Feyre is mollycoddled, paraded like a trophy in front of the Courts but ignored. She’s suffocating in this new world. Until Rhysand arrives, calling in his end of the bargain.

Prythian is revealed in a rainbow of colours, vibrancy and life. All is not as it seemed in the spring court. With her new fae body, Rhysand helps Feyre discover her hidden powers enabling her to become whole once more.

In this novel Feyre grows from a young girl with romantic of love and blooms into the woman she truly is. I love how Feyre and Rhysand’s relationship is harsh, gritty and full of teasing.

The introduction of new characters deepens the world. Enriching the story, filling it with a complex structure. The plot expands, growing seamlessly from book one without leaving unfinished business.

(Manipulating me into the next story is my pet peeve. Sure leave a subtle twist or a few teasers but for the love of god, complete the story that was set out in book one.)

Thankfully Sarah J. Maas does not do that. She’s a goddess in my opinion. I’m a huge fan girl of hers.

Sarah J. Mass tore my heart out and left me grieving for her world. I was desperate for the next instalment but couldn’t risk my obsessive nature. I have a tendency to live in the fantasy realm. I have a family. I’ve promised myself that once my second novel is complete, I’m delving back into her world. I can’t wait to meet Rhysand again. He’s my favourite book boyfriend.

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016.
NA PNR Malefica by Katie H. Weill

Malefica by Katie H. Weill

Are you a fan of New Adult Paranormal Romance? Check out Malefica this debut novel by Katie H. Weill.


Blurb

Claudia Matthews turns 18 tomorrow – as long as she can make it through the first day of classes at Oakley High School. It’s more than her inherent strangeness that keeps her from fitting in. Her ill-tempered service dog, Luca, isn’t winning her friends and her class schedule is even less welcoming, dropping her into the government- mandated, “The History of Witches”.

They are real, she’s been told. They are powerful, and evil – yet Claudia wants to know if that’s actually a universal truth. Are all witches really that bad?

When a mysterious gift appears, dark secrets are cast into the light, and the world as she knows it may change forever. Now armed with questions, Claudia will need to figure out if it’s truly worth finding the truth when textbooks don’t hold all the answers. Drawn into a world of hidden covens and regulated magic, she may learn more than she bargained for. Now Claudia has to fight the lure of power and a temptation much more passionate…or lose herself to both. The truth could set her free… or damn her forever.


Follow Katie

https://www.katiehweill.com/

https://www.facebook.com/KHWeill/

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

© Author Lorraine Ambers & http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016
water sunset beach fantasy writer Lorraine Ambers

Look how far you’ve come

 

love pen book tea - Author Lorraine Ambers fantasy writer

Four months ago I finished my first novel and submitted my book baby to a select few literary agencies. It’s equally exciting and nerve wrecking. Patience is proving not to be my strong suit, especially when I’m awaiting a reply from an agent who has blogged that it will take her a lot longer if she’s torn on a MS.

While part of me pats my shoulder for at least hooking an agent, the other half is wondering if my submission ever made it to her slush pile. As I’m not planning on embarrassing myself by asking for confirmation, I’ll have to hang tight.

During these months I’ve busied my obsessional brain by starting book two of the Shadow Knight Series. I’ve almost finished! I know how I’m going to tie up the two remaining subplots to conclude this novel, but my writings floundering. I’m dragging out scenes and adding pointless interactions with characters. I know why, fear, I never planned on finishing the novel so fast.

Book Petals Love Writing Novel Author Lorraine Ambers

I heard a great mantra today, ‘Look how far you’ve come and not how far you have to go.’ It put my author career into perspective. Three years ago I joined a creative writing class to discover my sense of self. Six months later I discovered my niche and started a rough draft of my first novel.

During the past two years I’ve designed my brand, built my platform and as of a year ago launched my blog. Thank you to my 400 followers; you’ve been a constant source of encouragement and kindness.

Most of us writers have family and work commitments that need to be juggled. Looking at the bigger picture, I’m reminded of how far I’ve come in a short amount of time.

So take a look at your own journey and congratulate yourself on your hard work and dedication. You deserve it.

Drop me a message; tell me about your progress. We’re all on this journey together and I love hearing from you.

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

© Author Lorraine Ambers & http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/23138441@N00/9473071730″>tinkerbell/mermaid.</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;
elfine_2_by_lamuserie-Fantasy-Writer-Lorraine-Ambers

Excerpt Knights of Shadows and Lies

My debut novel has been in submission since spring time. It’s still early days. So while I fly through the first draft of Empress of Mischief and Mayhem, here’s a little teaser of the first book in my Shadow Knight Series. Enjoy!   

With a desperate urge to be far away from Aeverlon, Sander pulled Alysia into his arms, wishing her closeness would dampen the rising turmoil. Instead desire swirled with dread, a lethal conncoction that fired through his veins.

‘Hold on,’ he said in a gruff tone that he didn’t recognise.

He cursed his wicked wants as they sunk their claws into his blood. Alysia’s eyes mirrored his own carnal inclinations. She nibbled on her plump lower lip. He wasn’t thinking clearly. Maybe he needed to cool off before facing Theo. Get some distance between him and Alysia before he misunderstood the signs, again. His fingers clenched her hips with more force than he intended, as frustration welled up, adding pressure to the intoxicating moment.

valkyrie_3_by_lamuserie-Fantasy-Writer-Lorraine-Ambers
Artwork attributed to LaMuserie http://www.lamuserie.net

He flashed them, catching remnants of her gasp as they exited the realm and entered the outskirts of the Vale.

Sander released her and crouched down behind a boulder. He pretended to keep a watch over the rugged, barren landscape. ‘Get down, we can’t be seen here.’ He ordered.

Thick tension crackled between them. It wasn’t her fault and yet a lifetime of rejection bubbled under his skin. The ground crunched and settled, signalling Alysia had obeyed his order. The silence stretched on, becoming an obstacle to overcome. Sander blew his hair from his eyes and glanced at Alysia. Her back rested against the rock with her chin resting upon her knees.

Fae-by_lamuserie-Fantasy-Writer-Lorraine-Ambers
Artwork attributed to LaMuserie

He knew he was acting like an idiot. There were too many variables and reasons behind his behaviour. The lies and confusion pooled into an insurmountable mass. Sander twisted and dropped beside her, stretching his legs out over the patchy terrain.

‘What was Theo like before?’ Alysia asked.

Sander offered her a puzzled expression.

She waved her hand theatrically. ‘Before all this mess and destruction?’

‘Different but the same—it’s hard to explain.’ He picked a stone up and began rubbing it between his thumb and fore finger.

‘We have the time.’

It crossed his mind that time was the last thing they had. He’d forgotten what it was like to be understood by someone better than you knew yourself. He’d forgotten that it was more than a physical, chemical reaction with her. His soul felt whole. The festering chasm in the centre of his rib cage eased off and closed. She was giving him the chance to breathe. To calm down and gain control. So, he took it.

A massive thank you to Antoine R for allowing me to use their visual masterpieces. If you’re a fan of fantasy artwork check their pages out. 🙂

All the artwork is copyrighted to digital artist LaMuserie

www.facebook.com/Lamuserienet/

Antoine R – Artist| Digital Art www.lamuserie.net

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

© Author Lorraine Ambers & http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016

 

king_dragon_2_by_dezilon-Author-Lorraine-Ambers

The Dragon Within

I’m at war with a dragon,
who is deceitful and cunning.

There’s no place to hide since the beast arose,
she blurs the line between life and death.

My dragon whispers white lies, weaving her delusions.
She hides in shadows, scratching her talons in the midnight sky.

I disguise the monster afraid that others will fear her presence,
so my mask stays in place, in case they shun away.

My castle bridge is drawn and the shield’s held high,
but the courtyard’s void, with only the ghosts to keep me warm.

For the dragons taint has taken route…
finally, she sleeps. Letting me fall from her grace.

I cast off her flames, emerging battle scared and weary.
At last able to chase the fleeting moments of joy,

I thought I’d defeated her, slain the stalker and walked away victorious.
She tricked me, for her eggs have already been hatched.

king_dragon_2_by_dezilon-Author-Lorraine-Ambers

Thanks to dezilon.deviantart.com for the allowing me to use his amazing artwork – thegalaxyjumper@gmail.com

Author Lorraine Ambers YA fantasy romance

© Author Lorraine Ambers & http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016.

Searching for an Agent

After two and a half years I’ve finally done it. Completed my novel, the endless edits and revisions are over.

Last week I sent off my MS to five carefully selected agents. I spent nights trawling through the Writers & Artists year book, and hours researching each firm to find the perfect match for my novel. Then, more days following them on social media or checking out their blogs. To find out about them and how I could connect. It’s tricky business. Agents hate it when authors approach them on a broad range biases, it proves they have not done their homework. I can not be accused of that.

I followed their guideline: submit first 3 chapters, double spaced and in font size 12, making sure to use an appropriate script. Each agent specifies slightly different terms, some want PDF or word document attachments other only want them in the email body.

That was fine, but what what about the ones that don’t specify?

When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.
– Cynthia Heimel
I guessed and made that leap!
Agents and publishers want to know:
  • who you are,
  • what your novel is about,
  • what experience you have,
  • who its targeted at, and so on and so forth.
I polished individual cover letters for each agent. All specially chosen from specific companies, and then rounded down, like a bizarre version of the Hunger Games. Where only one agent with in the agency can be victorious.
Inevitably I forgot something! I didn’t include the word count. I can’t go back. I can’t add it in another email or resend the whole lot again. They class that as harassment, perhaps I’m over exaggerating. The amount of conflicting information, surrounding this process is mind boggling.
I panicked! Why did I tell them my novels a crossover between genres? What was I thinking when I claimed my story is a romance fantasy, interlaced as a psychological thriller. I don’t even know what that genre is…
That was when I mentally slapped myself! I know these thing are true. I know my own story. I might fumble and go bright red when someone asks me what its about, but I still know it inside out.
The whole process is confusing, scary and shadowed in the artist Achilles heel – DOUBT.
Now I wait and refresh my emails daily. Now I plan book 2. Now I keep going.

Thank you for reading my post. Are you almost at the finish line? Or perhaps your starting out on a new adventure, Let me know about it. I love reading your comments and discovering I’m not alone in this process. 🙂

Author lorraine ambers logo© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Author Cait Ashwood

Author Interview ~ Cait Ashwood

A huge thanks to Cait for taking the time to answer my questions. Warning to future fan’s this post contains spoliers (Don’t worry too much, Cait gives plenty of notice.) If you havn’t read Caits debut novel The Seekers (Order of the Lily Book 1) then check out my review. Plus Cait has given us a excerpt from Order of the Lily Book 2, Wow!

Banner The Seekers Author Cait Ashwood

1) What drove you to write fantasy?
Fantasy is where I grew up and have spent the bulk of my time as an adult. It seemed the most natural place for me to write, as it’s what I’ve been reading. That, and I often grow weary of reality. Give me something fantastical to occupy my hours, and I’m a happy girl.

2) Who are your favorite authors, and what genre do you enjoy reading the most?

Sherwood Smith, R.A. Salvatore, Mercedes Lackey, and J.R. Ward top my list of favorite authors. I’ll spend time in epic fantasy, romance, PNR, and just about anything else that catches my interest, including softer sci-fi.

3) Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?

The earliest memory I have of reading a book was most likely a Little Bear chapter book, and the only impactful thought I had about that book was that Little Bear got in trouble with his mom, too.

4)  How did you come up with the idea to write about The Seekers and the Chosen?

This started off as a daydream of mine, about a simpler time. Obviously, the more time I spent in this little daydream of mine, the more complex and complicated it got. I had never thought to write it all down; it just kept growing and expanding in my head. It was my escape when life got too real. Then I met this crazy lady with explosive brown curls tapping away madly on an iPad. When I asked her what she was doing, she said she was writing a novel. Those of you who participate will understand my meaning when I say that this auspicious meeting occurred in November – that’s right, I had run into one of my area’s two MLs for NaNoWriMo. The first draft took two years, and then I floundered about attempting to edit it for six months. I took another two months, read every book on the writing craft I could, got a few good critiques and suggestions, and re-wrote the entire (then) one hundred and twenty-four thousand word manuscript. The re-write took two and a half months. A month and a half later, and my little world floated out onto the internet to sink or swim on its own.

Author Cait Ashwood The Seekers

5) Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Always a gift. The curse is the number of hours in a day and those pesky things called bills.

6) Where do you write? Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

I have a few places I write. My NaNo group meets weekly year-round at a local Panera. My bestie writes weekly at a local cafe on open mic night. Then…there’s my desk with Muse the black moor goldfish and Calliope the snail for company.  As for quirky habits, my muses have this fun thing they like to do where they make me work and fight and claw for every word before 10:30pm. After 10:30, it’s like they clock into work and I can finally get some work done. I can occasionally woo them with some wine, but that’s hit or miss.

7) Do you have any further romantic plans in the future for Audrey?

Why yes, yes I do. While trimming for spoilers, I’ll share an excerpt from Order of the Lily with you. If you haven’t read The Seekers yet, you may have no idea who the mystery man may be.

“How…how long?” His voice broke on the words, and more emotion showed in his eyes than she’d ever seen.
His grip on her bicep was strong, but she didn’t even feel the discomfort, nearly hypnotized. “I don’t know, really. It’s like,” she paused, fishing for words, “it’s like it was always there, but I never dared to hope—”
She didn’t get to finish as his lips crushed down on hers. She froze for half a second in shock, then responded, letting her eyes flutter closed. This was no romantic kiss; this was a claim staked.

Order of the Lily Cait Ashwood

8) Which character from your novel do you most identify with?

I have to go with Audrey on this one, as she’s the only character I’ve created to actually sort of be based on myself. Everyone else is different and unique but Audrey…she’s mine.

9) Out of the world you have created, where would you most like to spend the day, and why?

This is actually our world in the future, so a lot of things we have today are ruins. Still, I’d love to have a Seeker whisk me off around the world to see all of the great archaeological feats that are left standing, and all of the beautiful places with pristine lagoons. And at the end of the day, I can sleep in my own bed with no jet lag. Best of both worlds.

10) Did you find any specific challenges in writing The Seekers, and what would you do differently next time?

Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing the first time around. I had no plot, no outline, just a super vague plan. I ended up cutting out the first four chapters, re-wrote my beginning about four or five different ways, and didn’t have a villain until I randomly decided to change a character into a bad guy half way through, simply to fill the void. This messed up a lot of the dialogue, as the character was originally sugary sweet and then seemed bipolar when they were revealed as a villain. It was a disorganized mess! I’d definitely do all of my character sheets in advance next time I’m writing in a new world, because starting with everyone as a blank slate, there was a lot of distance. I couldn’t connect with them. By the time I finished writing the first draft and started on the re-write, I truly knew who they were and could bring some life into them. I’ll definitely make sure to do some practice writing and character sheets ahead of the actual writing of the novel next time so that I don’t have that awkward dissociative phase to work through.

11) If you were a Chosen, which power would you wish to have?

I love animals, so I’d definitely choose to be an animal seer if I had the choice.

12) Give us an interesting fun fact about The Seekers.

Semi-spoiler warning, but not a horrible one. Hound was actually originally supposed to die samurai-style upon his discovery of his condition. My alpha reader and bestie literally begged me to let Hound live, no matter what the cost. Especially during the re-writes, this enabled me to give him a lot more of a story arc, and I really like the finished product and how everything turned out. It’s definitely had a series-wide impact but is probably one of the best changes I’ve made to the manuscript.

13) Were there any scenes that you found particularly challenging to write, and why?

This may sound silly, but the hardest scene for me to write was when Audrey has to leave Mia behind. Mia is based on my own Great Dane, Naomi, and the thought of ever having to leave her behind like that made me cuddle her for about an hour straight after writing that scene.

14) What got left out of the final draft?

The first original four chapters, for certain! The biggest casualty there was the description of Audrey’s bathroom in her house before she goes back with the Seekers. Gosh, that place was heavenly. If my books ever make me rich and famous, I’m building her bathroom for myself.

Author Lorraine Ambers Banner

15) Were there alternative endings you considered?

Well, Hound was originally supposed to be dead. The other answer is going to have a spoiler, so don’t read it if you don’t want to know.

Are you still with me?

You sure?

Okay. Hound originally wasn’t supposed to be able to work for the Seekers at all. Once Gretta took control of him, he was supposed to be their man, through and through. While writing that, I decided I really couldn’t do that to him. He was supposed to be leading the opposing forces at the Battle of the Institute and, despite my alpha reader’s pleas, I still hadn’t decided if he was going to survive the battle. As I sat down to do the re-write, Audrey decided to skip ahead and figure things out faster than I’d intended, but it made sense with the plot. This meant that she had a chance to tell Hound about himself and free him from Gretta’s control before the actual battle, so he no longer had to lead the enemy in the attack against his own brethren. After that, he was going to decide he was too dangerous for society and seclude himself in a cave and become the Ghost of Calanon, preying on bandits on the main roads. He became sort of a mythic figure that Gwyn (who originally was quite a bit more assertive) searched for until she found him. Book 1 ended with Gwyn being the first to lay eyes on Hound since the Battle of the Institute. Her mission was to slowly begin healing him and convince him to return to the fold.

16) What’s next for you? What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on the sequel to The Seekers, Order of the Lily. It’s about half-way written at this point, and time has been reserved with the editor to get cracking on it. Exciting things are afoot!

Cait loves to have new followers, this is where you can find her:

www.caitashwood.com

www.facebook.com/cait.ashwood

www.instagram.com/ashwood.cait

www.twitter.com/caitashwood