Author Archives: Fickle Fiona
While Escape by L.S. O’Dea isn’t exactly unique in the genere of YA dystopian fiction, I really enjoy the way the author went about telling the story. The character development is really well done. Better physical descriptions of the non-human characters might have bumped the rating up a notch.
Publisher’s Description: Backbreaking work from dusk to dawn is just a typical day for sixteen year old Trinity, but that is about to change.
Harvest is over which means that it’s time for the less than perfect teens to be removed from camp. Trinity is okay with that. It’s just another stage of a Producer’s life, but she fears her new home will be like her old one unless she can figure out a way to make friends.
She’s different than the other Producers and even though she’s hidden her fangs and claws her entire life, the others still sense her strangeness.
She concocts a plan to sneak into the forest and discover where the teenagers are taken every year. Once she figures that out she can return home. The other kids will be dying to learn the secret which means that they will have to talk to her and once they get to know her, they’ll like her.
Escaping into the forest is simple; she’s done it before, but never at night. That is different. So is the feeling that she is being followed.
When she stumbles across a new creature, a large fish-like river man, that is only the beginning of her adventures in the forest.
She is hunted, captured, and befriended but she still needs to discover the fate of her kind and return home before the week is up or her mother will be punished for her escape.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Fickle Fiona says…
I was pleasantly surprised with this book. While the core of the story is similar to other YA dystopian novels, the author did a good job of telling the story in a different way and creating characters to both love and to hate.
While the main character, Trinity, whines and complains at times, I like how the author has her snap herself out of it and face the situations she is in. It makes Trinity come across as maturing throughout the story. And given that she’s a teenager, that fits. 😉
Since this is the first book of a series, there is a lot of world building and setup for the next story. I had to remind myself of this when I got frustrated with the amount of detail; but, it’s exciting to think of what is going to happen later in the story!
The development of the speaking characters is very well done. I think a little more attention could have been paid to the physical description of the non-human characters to give the reader a better image of how each one looks. Otherwise, I like the world outside the gate.
Inside the gate, I wish there were more description about what each class does to contribute to the community and what defines their classes. Some things are hinted at, and a few are described later on in the book; but, it would be nice to know some things – like the limit of the skills Trinity is taught growing up – before entering the forest.
Once Trinity finds out the dark secrets that lie in store for her community, she seeks to save them all. This is an exciting tale of an outcast-turned-heroine and the journey she embarks on. I say give it a read. It’s worth it.
If you like this book…
Today, we not only have a great book for you, but the author is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card. Be sure to check it out!
Publisher’s Description: Life isn’t exactly normal for Eva Parker: the stronger Eva’s emotions, the faster nearby electrical devices die. Eva can’t have a cell phone, use a computer, or be in a car for more than a few minutes without killing it. Dealing with her electricity-killing curse makes living in modern-day Los Angeles complicated enough for Eva—and that was before she was blackmailed into hiding a stolen baby elephant and partnered with Hudson, a sexy electrical engineer Eva just met.
Dodging repeated attempts on her life made by ruthless corporations hunting the elephant is easier for Eva than quelling her growing affection for Hudson, and while protecting an elephant is hard, controlling her curse is a lot harder. However, Eva must do both, because if she lets her emotions free and falls in love with Hudson, neither of them will survive.
Enchanting and quirky, TINY GLITCHES fuses electrifying romance and high-voltage suspense in a rollicking adventure.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Fickle Fiona says…
What would you do if you couldn’t use any electrical devices? Well, Eva Parker knows exactly what it’s like. Due to her “curse,” her emotions drain electrical energy from anything she’s near. On top of that, she has now been blackmailed into hiding a baby elephant. Then there is Hudson, the hunk she literally just met, that gets wrapped up in all the chaos and believes the elephant is cursing the electronics around them. Now, while keeping her emotions in control, Eva must figure out what to do with the elephant, who is after her, and why on earth is Hudson sticking around through it all?!
In all honesty, the fact that there was an elephant in this book is what caught my attention. I love animals! Rebecca Chastain does a great job with the elephant scenes and giving you a picture of exactly what is going on. The relationship between Eva and Hudson is well developed, and appropriate given the tumultuous adventure they are on. The supporting characters help bring comedy and drama that rounds out the story.
Due to her curse, Eva can also see apparitions around people that express their emotions. While I really liked the fact that she drains energy from electronics nearby, and it really adds to the story and makes simple things like riding in a car a big ordeal, I don’t think that the apparitions really added much to the story. I found myself skipping through these descriptions, wanting to get on with the actual story plot. I’m also not completely sold on the cover. I feel like it doesn’t do the story justice.
Overall, I think Tiny Glitches is a light, quirky story that draws you in to the madness Eva and Hudson experience. You want them to win, to come out on top, but the twists and turns throughout the story keep you on edge.
Tiny Glitches can be found at:
- Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017Z9NROY
- Amazon (everywhere else): http://smarturl.it/TinyGlitches
Win A $25 Gift Card to Amazon
Rebecca is giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon.com to one lucky winner! The giveaway runs from January 12 to February 12, 2016 and is open internationally. Go to Rebecca’s Rafflecopter site to enter.
Rebecca Chastain is the international bestselling fantasy author of A FISTFUL OF EVIL, A FISTFUL OF FIRE, and MAGIC OF THE GARGOYLES. She has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. Dreaming up the absurd and writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old. She lives in northern California with her wonderful husband and two bossy cats. TINY GLITCHES is her latest novel.
Find Rebecca at:
- Website: http://www.rebeccachastain.com
- Newsletter: http://www.rebeccachastain.com/newsletter
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebeccachastainnovels
- Twitter: @Author_Rebecca or https://twitter.com/Author_Rebecca
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5660379.Rebecca_Chastain
If you like this book…
…you might try the Undead series by Mary Janice Davidson, Notes from the Underbelly by Risa Green, or Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella. Also, try Rebecca’s Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer series, winner of One Book Two’s 2015 Standout Award!
Stay Tuned For A Review of Troll Later This Morning
Seductive teens & trolls meet #Gameofthrones!
Get ready for a rollicking action and adventure story set in a magical world where a creature emerges from thousands of miles underground, seeking revenge, treasure, and a key that once belonged to an old enemy. Fans of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and The Vampire Diaries by J. L. Smith will be enchanted by this new YA novel selected by Kindle Scout readers for publication!
Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card from author, Ashley Harris. Enter via Rafflecopter.
Author: Ashley C. Harris
Author Location: FL, United States
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Words: 319 pages
Publisher: Kindle Press
Format: Digital eBook
Synopsis: At the age of sixteen, Abby is undergoing major household changes. Her mom is getting ready to remarry and her new step-brother is driving her insane. She is just trying to keep herself busy with school and her part-time job when a most deliciously handsome stranger moves to her little seaside town and won’t leave her alone.
New arrival Wilhelm is unlike any other student at Abby’s school. His emerald eyes and tattooed body don’t truly reveal what he really is: a creature emerged from thousands of miles underground, seeking revenge, treasure, and a key that once belonged to an old enemy – a key Abby wears suspended from a chain around her neck. Why she has it is a mystery that Wilhelm will need to solve, and fast, in order to defeat a powerful mortal adversary.
As an attraction between Abby and Wilhelm develops, more creatures like Wilhelm are drawn from beneath the ground to Abby’s town; wreaking havoc as they offer Abby’s classmates the fulfillment of their deepest desires. Will Abby and her new family survive as a game of magical warfare is unleashed? Her ability to reverse Wilhelm’s bargain depends on it.
Available at Amazon
Excerpt from Troll:
Seconds went by and he found nothing, except a distraction. It wasn’t the human’s heartbeat drumming steadily on the second floor that he found unnerving, most likely it was the fact that she was reading a rhyme aloud – that wasn’t a human thing as much as it was a trolls’: “A kiss was made,” he heard her voice whisper, trying to ignore it. “A rose was dropped.” He looked up when she said the word rose. “A heart was snapped in half. The love of your life has left you in a world that’s dark and black.”
He moved toward the sound. Perhaps she was really one of his kind in disguise, here to spy on him.
“Thunder sounds, the sky turns gray, there is nothing recognizable at all. The love of your life has left you in a world that’s sad and small.” The words made him think about Helena, his Helena, kissing Klaus, while he had her fully under his control. It was sickened him and pissed him off.
He crept down the bookcase where a girl was reading from a book out loud, unaware of his presence. She was definitely not a troll, he concluded when he got a good look at her, growing bored. “But then the sun comes out. A rainbow appears. An angel has come to tell you, your hope is stronger than fear.”
“Are you sure that’s what an angel would say?” he asked.
Her blue, puppy-like eyes shot up, her body nearly jumping out of its skin from being startled. “Where did you come from?” she squeaked as she looked around, her heartbeat doubling.
“About five shelves over,” he answered as he looked her up and down. She was a tiny, petite thing compared to himself, with light brown hair and blushed fair skin that made her blue eyes pop. She also had four freckles on one cheek and three on the other. This human was both plain looking but also strangely captivating compared to others in the building.
“Oh, I see, and were you standing there the entire time?” she asked, her free hand going to her hip, as she tried to stand up straighter, trying to seem tall and authoritative. He could see she was irritated at being disturbed, and that was the most entertaining thing of all.
“Yes, is that a problem?” he asked with a smile.
“I’m sorry … I thought you worked here. I was just looking for some help,” he lied. Did she think he wouldn’t notice the fact that she was standing next to a filing cart and wearing a library badge that read: Abigail? That, and the feelings of servitude and obligation that he could smell all over her.
“Oh, I – I do,” she said, as if this had just occurred to her. She was unable to wipe the annoyance and unease off her face, as she looked down his arm, judging him because of his numerous tattoos. Humans…so sadly sheltered. “How can I help you?”
He didn’t answer. This irritated her more.
“The college used book section is downstairs, and so is the art and tattoo section,” she suggested, trying to guess his reason for pestering her.
“Do I really look old enough to be in college to you?” he asked, half insulted because college years for humans were death years for his kind.
“Yes,” she said honestly as she took in his tall, six-foot-five frame. “You look at least twenty.”
“Nope, time to get your eye’s checked maybe?” he asked, stepping closer, letting her guess his age; this seemed like a game she didn’t want to play.
“Well you’re definitely a least eighteen,” she replied as she turned part of her body away from him, her eyes back to her books; as if being eighteen put him in a different category than her. “You’d have to be to get a tattoo, now is—”
“Or maybe I had really cool parents,” he cut her off. “And I’m seventeen. That was an enchanting poem you read by the way. Who was it by?”
He took another step closer as she took a step back, nearly colliding into a bookshelf. “Amber Paris.” She handed him the book she’d read from and appeared much more comfortable when he was looking at it and not her. He examined it with only partial interest. “She got it published when she was fifteen.” she seemed to know all about the subject.
“Well, that explains why it’s so good, then. People always come up with their best work when they’re young. I bet at twelve her poems were even better.”
Each word he spoke was like a hook, spinning magic to pull her in to him even as she wanted to get away. “Where are you from, exactly?” she asked as she noticed what he was wearing; heavy jeans instead of the more typically Floridian surfer shorts, and a thick dark green shirt that went down to his elbows, only showing off half of his tattoos. Probably weird attire for the hottest months of Florida, but as a troll he craved warmth and hated the cold. “Are you from up north?”
“No, not at all,” he said, offering no other explanation. “So, why read a poem aloud? What about you does it relates to?” he asked with a grin, it was a pretty personal question and yet she’d have to tell him. Soon his powers if he kept talking to her would be able to push Abby to do all sorts of things… for a short time anyway, until a price was paid.
He read over the beginning lines of the poem again. “A kiss was made, a rose was dropped.” The words tripped him up, making him think about Rosabel’s last feelings before she died. Feelings that held a deep meaning for him, letting him know that even though she had never been able to claim him as an inheritor, she still had cared about him more than any other treasure.
His eyes could have almost teared up just thinking about his murdered mother. Trolls could be insanely emotional – good thing for him he was better at shielding how he felt than most. He turned his face away, getting a hold of himself, as the little human rambled, her voice a comforting distraction.
“I don’t think it relates to me. I just write poetry so my teacher asked me to look over another writer’s work.”
“Because maybe you want to be like this writer, famous and well liked?” he stated to test if her interest in the author was shallow, sensing what she didn’t even know was one of her most hidden desires. Humans could be so naive about their own ambitions, but these were easily recognized by trolls. This one clearly had no idea what her body and mind were capable of yearning for.
“No,” she lied, as if insulted. “That’s crazy. I’ve never wanted that; it’s just an assignment.”
“Are you sure?” he asked, as her hidden wants started calling to him – they tasted satisfying too. Her craving for freedom, he could use that to trap her, and then trap all the humans here. He’d have some real fun after a day of anger and sorrow as he played with these fools until they broke.
Leave her alone! a small boy’s voice suddenly screamed into his ear. He turned around, startled, only to find no one behind him.
“Are you okay?” he heard Abby ask him. His face must have looked haunted. That’s when he sensed where the book that he had been searching for was.
“Yes.” Finding the book and his key were far more important than this girl or having a little fun. He looked back in Abby’s direction, now needing to get rid of her. She looked nervous and still confused by his presence, still not knowing why she was continuing to talk to him. He decided in that moment to show her the kind of mercy and kindness his mother Rosabel should have received. Besides, he really didn’t feel like killing anyone innocent so the knights couldn’t find them later.
Before she could move, he reached out and gripped her shoulder, sending heat through her body, making her look deep into his eyes. “If you ever see me or anything like me again, anyone that has markings like this…,” he lifted his sleeve so she could take in his entire arm. His tattoos on it came to life and moved hypnotically, numbing her senses and making her go into a trance. “… you probably shouldn’t trust us. You should be smart and stay away from anyone like myself that you ever come in contact with.”
And with those words, he had given her a precious gift he hadn’t given any other human in a very long time. If any more trolls came along she’d stay out of their way now, wanting nothing to do with them. He watched her walk off in a beautiful daze. She’d certainly stay away from him if he changed his mind in the next few moments and decided to pursue her after all. Trolls often did change their minds about most things. He imagined her lips would have tasted pretty good, for a human anyway. Her body would have most likely felt nice …
Please leave her alone! he heard the boy scream again, the voice coming from his head. He was hearing a past memory, one that was too dangerous for him to think about. He ran his fingers along the book spines one more time. They led him right to the familiar texture he had been looking for. To the very storybook a young knight had checked out and carried in his backpack years before Wilhelm had found him.
About Ashley C. Harris
Author and film director Ashley C. Harris resides in Florida. Ashley was first recognized for her edgy writing and unique film work when she wrote and directed the teenage film “Lines”. Lines was the first feature film in the world captured using only Mac Laptops.
In 2013 she teamed up with Barclay Publicity to release the first in a new young adult novel series, “Shock Me”. Ashley then went on to author eight other titles, in multiple genres, as she also worked behind-the-scenes on a morning news show that aired on ABC. In 2014, four of Ashley’s books landed on the Amazon’s Best Selling Top-Ten-List. In 2015, she received her first publishing deal for “Troll”, a KindleScout novel winner.
When Ashley is not dreaming up new manuscripts and working on film sets, she loves spending time with her family, obsessing about biblical mysteries, and watching lots of Doctor Who. Keep an eye out for her newest releases!
Two sisters have a normal summer off of school. Well, as normal as can be when they are both succubi, kissing a guy will give him a cold, and “going all the way” will sentence him to death!
Publisher’s Description: Allison McKready is a succubus. So is her twin sister. But while Allison spends her summer break hiding in the library behind her Goth makeup, Jade fools around as often as she can. Allison can’t believe Jade would ignore their mother’s fatal example so recklessly, but concealing a cursed bloodline and its dangerous effects is far from Allison’s only problem. Mean girl Julie’s snob mob is determined to ruin her summer, and Aunt Sarah’s Bible thumping is getting louder. Only her new friend, Ren Fisher, offers safe haven from the chaos of her life.
When one of Jade’s risky dates leads to humiliation and sudden tragedy, Allison reels, and Ren catches her. But as her feelings for him grow, so does her fear that she’ll hurt him—or worse—in an unguarded moment. The choice is coming—love him or save him—but Allison might not live to make it. One way or another, the curse will have its due.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
I liked it. I liked that it was a teenage succubus book but it wasn’t preaching abstinence. And then the unexpected twist! That was a real slap in the face. Not at all what I was expecting. I went with it, though, and it turned out being pretty good!
I agree. I liked the book as well and I was surprised. The author got and held my attention for nearly two thirds of a book with no mystery, just plot of two teenage girls on summer break. I really liked the supernatural aspect to the story, but I liked the characters as well. I liked Jade and Alison and their interactions. I liked that Alison wasn’t a know-it-all. She caught onto a few things really well, missed a few things completely, and had to have a few things explained to her.
I was really hoping it wouldn’t be too sexual. I mean, it’s meant for the YA audience. Then we got to a point where the characters were going further and further, although still shy of sex. I would say this is obviously for older teens; I think it went a bit too far for a young adult. It is different than when I was a kid, though, and I’m a prude, so I’m glad they stopped where they did in those scenes.
It also surprised me how much sexuality they did have. What the girls were willing to do or try, knowing it would be dangerous to have sex. For me, it was a nice twist on how far you can go without having sex. I also thought it highlighted the dangers of sex by taking it to the extreme. I thought that was a good twist.
I agree. I liked the distinction between the sisters and the aunt. One of the sisters likes the attention and the other is going out of her way to be goth and go unnoticed. And then the contrast to their aunt, who is all preachy and embracing celibacy and Christianity. I liked how each of them had their own way of dealing with it and that it fit the characters.
That was another good point of the book. In fact, what stopped this book from getting a five from me was only that they didn’t go into the supernatural world enough. I wanted to know more about the supernatural. Are they the only ones? Is it only their family? I think it would have fit for Alison to do research on succubi and for the author to use that as a way to introduce her mythology, whether real or made up, into the story.
I also wondered how much longer until the family curse is over? They are paying for something done over two hundred years ago. When will it be over? Are they the last ones? Will it continue? From that perspective, I wanted to know more. I also wanted to know how tough it was for the sisters to live with their aunt, who looks just like their mother! Was it a daily challenge they dealt with? Or had it been long enough that they didn’t notice it anymore?
I also enjoyed how the author worked the title into the narrative. That was very well done!
I agree. I expected the title to be tied into the romance angle and when it wasn’t, it was done very well. It was a very pleasant surprise to me. The only bad thing is that I liked this book enough that I will have high expectations if there is a next book!
Percy Procrastinator says…
This was quite an enjoyable read. A solid 4. I’m wanting more in this fictional world!
Things I didn’t like: Not knowing the romance genre very well, I found there to be too time spent with nothing really happening until the mystery started. I did think Alison was perhaps a bit too smart or intuitive at times but nothing terrible. I also thought the resolution of the mystery was quick.
The big thing for me was that I wanted more information on the supernatural side. (If more books are published, this is a great intro to that world. If not, I will be really bummed at the wasted potential. I want to see a wider world and how Alison reacts to that!) For my own entertainment, there wasn’t enough about that side of the world. Even if it was only via Allison reading legends to find out more about their heritage, or why her mom did what she did, I think this could have added that extra bit that I would want to see.
Things I liked: The big twist almost ended up in the things I don’t like side. When it happened, it didn’t make sense to me. However, instead of making me put the book down, it kept me reading to find out if it happened if it was described or not. I was not disappointed. Stepping back, the book starts out very well. I’m introduced to the sisters and quickly get a sense of them, their aunt, and their world. The author does a great job of describing them and kept me interested even as they did mundane summer things. It helps that Alison likes to read books; while I have not read the ones she references, at least I could relate.
I was very happy with this book at the end of the read. As I said, I would like more in this world to see it expand and what else might be in it. I might be asking too much from this genre, though.
This book was nothing like I expected it to be, and I liked that! I was drawn to this book because of the teenage succubus character. Having read succubus books before, I am well aware of the sexual content these books usually discuss, and was intrigued to see how it was handled in a YA genre. I felt that the way the author approached the topic in this book was very creative. It does not tout abstinence or condone sexual behavior amongst teens, but takes the path of self control.
As for the main storyline, Allison and her twin sister, Jade, are opposites. While Jade flaunts her good looks and charming personality, Allison hides behind them to avoid temptation. But when Ren notices her and won’t let her walk away from him, she starts to fall. And hard. While the “love” story of this book is very heartwarming, the author hits you with tragic events that make you feel for the characters and want to hug those you love a little closer. Unexpected twists and turns in this story will keep you reading to find out just how Allison will survive.
If you like this book…
… you might like Kelley Armstrong’s YA series, Darkest Powers, or Shiver Cove Part 1: Tamyra by T.J. Shortt. For an adult succubus tale, check out the Georgina Kincaid series by Richelle Mead (who is also the author of the popular YA series Vampire Academy).
T.J. Shortt pulls you in with her characters and makes you want to discover what the big secret is in Shiver Cove.
Publisher’s Description: Tamyra Costa flees the complications of big city life and becomes the new girl in mysterious Shiver Cove. She’s a painfully shy girl starting her senior year and is terrified of being left an outsider. Luckily, one of the popular boys has taken notice of her. Too bad his interest also draws a bully’s attention. Unfortunately, dealing with bullies isn’t the worst thing Tamyra will have to face in her new home.
Tamyra has a secret she’s desperate to protect. Her family genetics are of a long line of werewolves and her wolf form is emerging.
Something stalks the streets of Shiver Cove. Could her deepest fears be coming true? Could her werewolf side be killing or has something far more sinister than Tamyra can imagine made Shiver Cove its home?
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
After being deserted by her father at her first “change,” Tamyra and her mom move to her aunt’s house so that she has more support and guidance about her developing werewolf form. As she gets ready to start her senior year in a new school, she dreads the idea of being the focus of the mean girls crowd again. And she’s so shy she can barely talk to people she doesn’t know. But when a friendly group of kids invites her into their inner circle, she decides Shiver Cove may not end up being that bad of a place.
The story we read here deals a lot with making new friends in a new place and how much trust you put into those people. Do you divulge every secret to them? What is it that you choose to share and you choose to hide from those in your life? As the friendships develop and her friends start to open up to Tamyra more, you learn more and more about each character. As the book progresses and strange things start happening around town, this group of friends decides to do some sleuthing to see if they can discover what is really going on.
The style of this book was a little odd to me, but that helped make it interesting and enticing. So, the way this series setup, I believe you are going to hear each person’s side of the story as the main overarching storyline develops. However, because of that, there was no major climax in this book and it seemed to end abruptly.
Despite that, it kept me turning page after page wanting to know what was going on, what’s going to happen with these characters!!! There was certainly build-up and the main character in this book, Tamyra, had her conflict/resolution story — there just was no big reveal/fight scene/whatever like there normally is in stand-alone books.
The writing was good – simple, yet in depth. I liked that. Easy to get through, but still had substance and didn’t play down to the younger audience. The character development was really good. I mean, really good! It definitely made me want to read more details about each character individually.
If you liked this book, try…