When Smoke Rains Down by Cecilia Earl #BookBlitz

 

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Kingdom Come #2

Release Date: May 31, 2017

Genre: Young Adult/ Paranormal/ Fantasy

Goodreads link

When Smoke Rains Down Cover

 

Blurb:

In the aftermath of an explosion and Homecoming battle, Julia tries to form some semblance of a routine: work, study, visit her brother. Unable to confide in anyone about her double life of being both human and angel, and fearful she’ll bring death and destruction to those she loves, she pulls away from her family and best friend.

When demons once again start to show up at every turn, seemingly bringing about her brother’s deepening depression, she demands her sword from Nicholas. Ever the stern Guardian Angel, he forbids her from using it. Isolated, she takes protecting her brother into her own hands.

Thrust into a dark world of conspiring demons, Julia is in more danger than she ever imagined possible. To stop evil from spreading and overtaking those she loves, she’ll have to seek out the one person she mistrusts most.

Enter a complex world where humans, demons, and angels collide, all battling to rule the Earth. For readers who enjoy young adult paranormal romance and dark fantasy. Fans of City of Bones, Hush Hush, Unearthly, Halo, and Hidden Wings will be captivated by this unique take on angels and demons.

When Smoke Rains Down is Book Two in the Kingdom Come series. Book Three, the final installment, will be out Summer 2017.

 


author bio picAuthor Bio:

Cecelia Earl graduated with a degree in education and has been teaching ever since. She’s a wife, a mom of three boys, and an owner of a magical laundry pile that never stops growing. She lives near enough to Green Bay, WI that her refrigerator is always stocked with cheese, and the first colors her children learned were green and gold. She’s a teacher by day, a mom always, and a writer in her sleep, but that’s okay because being an author is a dream come true. She writes angel books for young and youngish adults. If you feel young, she writes for you—whether or not you feel particularly angelic.

 

Author Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15972302.Cecelia_Earl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorcecelia/

Website: https://ceceliaearl.wordpress.com/

Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr: @authorcecelia

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cecelia-Earl/e/B01MYUYV8U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Author Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cdvvIj

Purchase links:

When Ash Rains Down
When Smoke Rains Down

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Review: Crimson Death by Laurell K Hamilton

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Published by Headline Publishing Group

3 stars

Synopsis:

In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.


This is the hardest rating and review I’ve ever had to do – Anita Blake books have been my staple literary diet for the past 10 years and books 1-10 would have had their bonus stars created just to show the world how much I loved them.
Obviously this has a lot to do with Anita, the heroine, being a short, grumpy and powerful woman who gets shit done. I’m at least two of these things at any given time so I identified closely with her.

This book is very much one of two parts (and not equal parts either), which is much like the more recent books in the series. The parts that I love are where she’s doing her police work and setting the world to rights, or freelancing in the monster community to make sure everyone stays safe. Sadly, these parts are now in the minority.
There was a tiny bit of this in this book, but it really was minor and Anita has definitely lost her edge where it comes to holding her own. She has more powers than ever before and she keeps making stupid mistakes and having her ass handed to her, which drove me insane.

The majority of the book was about the dynamics of her sex and romantic life. Not the fun parts, but the actual specifics of how she manages to juggle having relationships with what must be over 20 people at this point. It takes up a lot of time to explain everything and is a lot of repetition for those of us who have kept up with the series so far.
Another qualm, while I’m at it, is how cruel Anita has been to Damian – she knows that they are linked and that he needs her nearby to survive, but has utterly neglected him all the same.
I’m starting to go off Anita as a main character which is very confusing as she was my hero in my late teens, she talks a good line about being selfless and loving all of her people but her actions don’t really back that up. She fails to notice huge events in the lives of the people close to her and take stock of how they might be feeling.
Which brings me to Nathaniel, my favourite of all the characters; He is finally sick of being overlooked by everyone around him so he’s starting to push back – HALLELUIAH! Hopefully the next book will show his partners taking note of his new behaviour and treating him with the respect that he deserves.

I would like to think that I’ll just stop reading this series now it’s evolved into something I can’t get into, but in all honesty I don’t think nostalgia or curiosity about how all my favourite characters are doing will let me stop following them yet. All I can do is hope that the future books in this series are going to have Anita getting her shit together rather than swooning over everyone with beautiful eyes that crosses her path – it’s her competence and power that makes her an amazing character, not her ability to sexually satisfy an entire Circus of the Damned…

Author Guest Post: ‘Writing About Your Twenties in Your Thirties’ by Sarah Tierney #BlogTour #SandstonePress

As part of her blog tour for her newly released title, Making Spaces, the author has kindly written a short essay entitled ‘Writing about your twenties in your thirties’. I love that the author has clearly put a lot of herself into her main character, Miriam.
As a woman in her miiiiiid….late…. twenties, it’s nice to hear from someone with such a wonderful way with words that life really does get its sh*t together!


The author: Sarah Tierney

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Sarah Tierney completed the Novel Writing MA at Manchester University in 2001 and will have her first novel, Making Space, published in 2017. She can’t really account for the 16 years in-between except to say she did a bit of journalism, a lot of copywriting, and somewhere in there, wrote a short story, ‘Five Miles Out’, which was made into a short film by the director Andrew Haigh.

She spent her twenties in Manchester before moving back to her home town of Glossop, where she lives with her husband and daughter.

Website: http://sarahtierney.co.uk/


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Check out my review of the book here

 

‘Writing about your twenties in your thirties’
by Sarah Tierney

 

Miriam, the narrator in my novel Making Space, is about to turn 30. She’s ending her twenties without achieving any of those life goals you’re supposed to get sorted in that decade: a long-term partner, a steady career, a decent place to live.

Instead, her jobs are as temporary as her relationships. And her home – a tiny flat she shares with a friend she’s fallen out with – feels distinctly un-homely. She’s ready to leave those years of flux and instability behind, but she doesn’t know how to create something more lasting. The only permanent thing in her life is an unshifting feeling of failure.

In two months’ time, I’ll turn 40. But unlike the big Three-O, the approach of this milestone birthday isn’t beset by a sense of gloom. My life is much more stable than it was ten years ago. It has been for a while. It’s one reason I finally managed to finish a book.

I tried writing a novel when I was in my twenties but something always got in the way. A hangover usually, or a heartbreak, or a sudden influx of freelance work that ate up all my time. I’d re-emerge from those fugue states having lost all connection to my writing. I’d open up my manuscript and wonder who the characters were, and what it was I was trying to say.

And when I was in my twenties, the need for recognition – for a pat on the back from the rest of the world – was strong. I went into journalism and copywriting for the satisfaction of finishing a piece of writing in a day, and having an audience, and getting a pay-check.

When you’re writing a novel, you don’t have those things. You sit on your own in a room for hours, weeks, years, with nobody cheering you on and the end nowhere in sight. Most people you know assume that ‘writing a book’ is your excuse for not having a full-time job, or your way of avoiding the challenges of an adult life. If you want to feel successful, writing a novel is probably the last thing you should do.

So, for a lot of those years, it was the last thing I did. But by 35, I was leaving that stage behind. I cared less about what my life looked like from the outside, and more about how it felt to be living it.

When I started writing Making Space, I was newly-single and living alone in a flat that got the sun in the mornings. I had a steady part-time job, and an emotional life that wasn’t constantly freewheeling between highs and lows. Life was quiet but I was fine with that. I liked it. I was ready to begin.

I had my writing schedule, based on time spent at my computer rather than a word count. And without all the dramas and distractions I’d had in my twenties, I was able to stick to it. I gradually watched a few chapters grow into a full-length novel.

And what I found was that my fixed writing schedule – that guaranteed time spent at my desk in my own little fictional world – gave me the peacefulness and permanence I’d been craving all those years and hadn’t been able to find.

I wish I’d known it could be like that when I was younger. That if you can just keep your writing going by doing it regularly – even if only for an hour, a few set times a week – you’ll always have something fixed and stable to return to, no matter what chaos is unfolding in the rest of your life.

And from those few hours a week, something permanent will take root: a solid sense of accomplishment, or a book, or hopefully, both.

 

sandstone press

Book Review: Making Space by Sarah Tierney

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Published by Sandstone Press

5 stars

Synopsis:

Miriam is twenty-nine: temping, living with a flatmate who is no longer a friend, and still trying to find her place in life. She falls in love with Erik after he employs her to clear out his paper-packed home.

They are worlds apart: he is forty-five, a successful photographer and artist and an obsessive hoarder still haunted by the end of his marriage. Miriam has an unsuccessful love life and has just got rid of most of her belongings.

Somehow, they must find a way to reach each other.


Reading this book was like reading poetry (except I enjoyed doing it), there isn’t a single thing about this book which isn’t beautiful. It’s terribly sad in parts but you can only sit back and enjoy the elegance of the author’s writing.

We read this story from the perspective of Miriam, a young woman whose life isn’t where she thought or hoped it would be at 29. She doesn’t have a stable career, a partner or even any friends – she lives her life day by day, without any satisfaction.
To make things clear here, a career, boyfriend and friends are things that she actually wants – there’s no assumption that these are things that every single 29 year old woman needs to be happy.

After a bad day at her temp job, Miriam throws out almost all of her sparse worldly goods so she can build a new identity. Trouble is, she doesn’t know who she wants to be.

The following Monday, she visits the house of Erik for work – a 45 year old man who is just starting to admit to himself that he has a hoarding problem. They’re on the opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to their living habits, but they’re both lost souls who need a connection, in whatever form that might take.

You need to read this book for yourself to find out the story and pick up on the nuances, but the parts that I enjoyed the most were the conflicts between the two characters who desperately need to connect but can’t understand how the other half lives, so to speak.

The beautiful writing is what lifts this story up to a 5 star review for me, it’s so hopeful and moving. I’m not normally one for the mushy stuff, but this book really did make a great impression on me – it’s definitely going on the rainy day bookshelf to be re-read in future.

Pick up your copy:

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Review: Pecker Tracks by R.S. Dees

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Published by BookBaby

3 stars

Synopsis:

It’s 1979 and fifteen-year-old Ronny and his pals are all virgins. In fact, they’ve rarely spoken to real, live females. That all changes when Mary Ellen comes to town. Ronny and his friends, six-fingered Melv and mutton-chopped Butch, are charmed by the Texas girl who is staying with her aunt for the summer.

Mary Ellen, a year older than the boys, is beautiful and confident—two things the boys are not—and seemingly out of their league. She befriends the trio who find themselves tumbling over each other for her affections, all the while doing what they do best: fishing for lunkers, catching frogs, evading the cops, and jamming to seventies rock anthems.

Ronny appears to be winning the race, and falls the hardest for Mary Ellen. Their relationship blossoms as the summer progresses, but Ronny begins to suspect everything is not as it seems. His suspicions are confirmed the day after Mary Ellen leaves town when Ronny learns of a gut-wrenching deception. And later, he’ll discover an even greater surprise.


Happy Release Day!

Now this book is outside of my usual wheelhouse, as I’m sure you can gather from the synopsis. So please take that into account when you see my rating of the book.

What the synopsis doesn’t tell us is that this book is very centred around fishing. As in, most of the book is about a bunch of teenage boys going fishing all summer, it’s idyllic and entertaining an’ all but it doesn’t really tie in with your expectations based on the book’s description. As one would expect from a book about teenage boys in the 70s, this story entails a healthy quantity of dick jokes (it is called Pecker Tracks, after all), staring boobs and setting fire to farts.

In my opinion, the romance element takes a back seat to the storyline of boyhood hijinks. It’s not sensational enough a plot element to drive the story forward it’s more of a ‘here’s a thing that happened’ which keeps the story along its pleasantly meandering course. This is a lazy Sunday of a book rather than my usual Friday night vampire massacre read.

Dees’ writing style is impressive and he brings to life that whole last-summer-of-childhood feeling, though I feel like he’s made the classic debut author move and put in too much detail. I know the expression ‘killing your darlings’ applies to just this situation – you love every single word you’ve written and got everything just right, but then those damn readers go and think that you’ve put in too much. You can feel the author’s passion for the things that he writes about, especially the fishing and small town living.

If you’re looking for a feel good nostalgia read, particularly if you’re a die-hard fishing fan, pick up this book!

Review: Hyper by John A. Autero

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5 stars

Synopsis:

“Evil doesn’t have a problem finding the middle of nowhere.”

People are being savagely murdered on Decontamination Depot 315 and Charlie Kennedy needs to figure out who’s doing it. Is it the most logical choice, the prisoner visiting the depot who happens to be a convicted multi-murderer? Or is it the goody-two-shoes from Kansas who seems to be everybody’s best friend? Or maybe the soldier from the Russian crime syndicate? And don’t forget about the thug from the south side of Chicago. To make matters worse, the culprit has programmed the depot to self-destruct unless Charlie can figure out some way to stop it.

No matter how far mankind travels into deep space, evil will always be at his side ready to twist his moral compass one hundred and eighty degrees.

HYPER is a “who-done-it” that will keep you wondering until the very last page!


 

This book surprised me at every turn. Even the cover looks like something I wouldn’t normally read but the author approached me directly so I took the time to read over the synopsis and I was ready to give it a go.
I’m so glad that I did because by the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. By the end of the second chapter, it was a different book entirely and I was hooked again.

Autero absolutely nails his characterisation. His chapters alternate between the small cast of characters, I sympathised with each and every one of his characters which is what brought the suspense to a knife’s edge when it came to figuring it out whodunnit.
The author is clearly very experienced when it comes to engineering and machinery, which is what makes the space station element of this so natural. Does the story need to be set in space? No. Does it totally work in outer space? Yes.
His description of the engineering aspects clearly come from a place of expertise – I’ll admit to skimming some of the more descriptive passages, but that’s just because I’m lazy and not particularly mechanically minded. If sci-fi mechanics are your catnip, this is going to do good things for you.
For me, the thing that brought the whole story together was the idea of evil coming from within, that you had to decide who was killing off the other characters based on their moral compass.
It’s amazingly well written, with the clues seamlessly laid out throughout the narrative until they all make sense at the very end without any gaping plot holes. It’s so easy to leave a couple of threads untied at the end of a whodunnit that it’s notable that this one didn’t!

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I finished this book in 24 hours and was delighted to discover that the author has a couple of other books that I can dig in to.
Sci-fi, mystery and horror fans- pick up your copy today!

Review: Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

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Published by Simon & Schuster

3 stars

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs steps beyond her classic Temperance Brennan series in a new standalone thriller featuring a smart, tough, talented heroine whose thirst for justice stems from her own dark past.

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct. . . .

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help.

Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found? It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.


I have read some of Reichs’ books in the past, though I think they were all part of the Temperance Brennan series. 

It’s odd, but no matter how much I want to love these books (and I do really enjoy her stories and her mystery building), I just can’t seem to get on with her writing style. Reichs writes in very short, sharp sentences that just don’t get through to me.

It’s the action and mystery that makes this story and the characters aren’t relatable enough for me to really get involved.The main character in this book, Sunday Night (a nod to the mandatory silly name in cosy mysteries), is a troubled ex-police officer with a shocking past. She’s been enlisted by her friend to take on a private case to investigate the disappearance/possible murder of a young woman whose background bears similarities of her own.

Sunday is your stereotypical tough female protagonist, she’s unbelievably badass, sarcastic and fearless. 

During the course of her investigation, she finds herself being drawn into something much bigger than she could have imagined. 

As ever, my main hook when it comes to books is being able to identify with the characters in any meaningful way and honestly, I couldn’t. The mystery was well written and the story suspenseful as well as satisfyingly well researched but I’m going to finally do myself a favour and just appreciate Reichs as my hero for creating Temperance Brennan. The series Bones got me through A-level science as I binge watched my way through all night revision sessions. I’m going to have to accept no matter how much I wish it wasn’t so, her writing just doesn’t do it for me.

I say ‘going to have to accept’, but I have no intention of accepting it graciously. I’m going to bitch and moan about somehow being too defective to enjoy the way my favourite stories are told. It’s a weird problem for any reader to have – has anyone else ever felt this way?

If you’re a Kathy Reichs fan, I’m certain you’ll love this book – this book takes on some very dark issues and is non-stop action throughout.