Nothingness: Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Story Challenge

I sit in this chair and ponder the nothingness as it consumes the land that surrounds me.

I sit in this chair and as my earthy energies wane the emptiness compounds on me.

That a world so full of life could be dissolved into nothing but a crust astounds me.

Why before now hasn’t a hero come and found me.

Maybe I am supposed to be the hero and fight the nothingness from within. This thought it empowers me.

I sit in this slowly dissolving chair and read a book from the library of fight and suddenly the nothingness clears.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Fields where writers around the world create 100 word stories inspired by the one image.

This week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

For more information, CLICK HERE to see Rochelle’s website.

Or CLICK HERE to view the other Friday Fictioneers stories for this week.

The New Year

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Christmas is over for another year

and as it goes it drains me of all my cheer

Regardless of your religion I hope you got to be with the ones you love

And found solace in whatever you believe is above

We go into the new year with the world in distress

The minority hurting the majority and making a mess

Mother nature is crying but no one hears

Because some bloody mongrels are shouting out bad ideas

Ignore these monsters

We can block them out by standing together

Forgetting our differences

and just loving each other

It is in mankind’s nature to only think of its self

Hence why the earth is disintegrating into hell

plant a tree and get to know your neighbour

recycle as much as you can and never renege on a favour

We’ve all got problems

but this world is in serious decline

I want there to be a happy healthy world in which my children can grow

Not this dark and decaying one that is starting to show

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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and you got be be with the people you love. I was lucky enough to get to be with most of the people I hold dear.

Now I’m going to have some time away from the internet; bar Facebook and Instagram, as I don’t want to give up seeing everybody hanging out taking happy snaps and enjoying time with family :-).

I’ll be back on the 8th of January with a release day sneak peek for a lovely lady and her paranormal detective series. I’ll return to my regular posting schedule on the 17th with my first Bookish Babble of 2016. I’ll see you then.

Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

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Saga, Volume 1 (Saga: Collected Editions #1) by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist)

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

* * * * * *   My Thoughts   * * * * * * 

Saga debuted in 2012. This 160 page paperback ‘Saga Volume One’ collects the first 6 monthly issues.

In these first six issues we see Hazel’s birth, learn a back story for her parents romance and see her parent’s constantly fighting to keep her alive and free. We are introduced to some key players; Hazel and her parents Marko and Alana, Prince Robot IV, The Will and Lying Cat – all setting up for a truly epic long running comic series. I’M EXCITED. I only wished I hadn’t waited so long to get on board.

This comic series has action, humour, forbidden romance and a witty cross breed alien baby (Hazel) as the narrator. I would have to say it’s the best comic I have ever read – sorry Batman, sorry Batgirl, sorry Starfire, sorry Scooby Doo, sorry Xmen, sorry Green Arrow, sorry Outcast, sorry The Walking Dead. Ok so you really can’t compare most of those comics to one another, but you get my point.

This right here is an adult comic, and I’m not saying this because it’s got a few inter species sex scenes. Underneath the battle, the bloodshed and the humorous respite, this is a story of a mother and father battling the odds and the universe to give their little girl the best life possible.

I read Frank Miller’s Batman because I love bad boy heroes and vigilantes. I read Amanda Conner’s Starfire because she fricking adorable and orange. With Saga I had the action and fighting the good fight of Batman and Starfire, plus more. I connected with the characters. By the end I wasn’t just reading it for entertainment. I was reading it because I gave a shit about what happened to the world I had just entered.
I was enthralled from page one of issue one “Am I shitting? It feels like I’m shitting!” to the last page of issue six “And then my grandparents came to live with us”.

Not to mention the artwork is stunning!

I’m hooked, good thing I’ve already got the next four collections ready to go. Issue #32 is out today, but if you’re like me and prefer the compendiums over the single issues, it’ll be four more months before the ‘Saga Volume Six’ is available.

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** Cover Reveal ** FROST by E. Latimer

Frost Front Cover
Frost by E. Latimer
Expected: August 25, 2015 by Patchwork Press

Book Description:

Megan Walker’s touch has turned to ice. She can’t stop the frost, and the consequences of her first kiss are horrifying.

When her new powers attract attention, Megan finds herself caught up in an ancient war between Norse giants. One side fuelled by a mad queen’s obsession and an ancient prophecy about Ranorak, the other by an age-old grudge. Both sides believe Megan to be something she’s not. Both sides will stop at nothing to have her.

Fire or frost. It’s an impossible decision, but she’ll have to act soon, because the storm is coming.

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Pre-Order Links:
About E. Latimer:

Erin Latimer is a young adult fantasy writer who currently resides in Vancouver, BC. She writes books, makes silly vlogs about writing with the YA Word nerds, and reads excessively.

She has had an article featured in Chicken Soup For the Soul, and another in the Dear Teen Me online anthology. But mostly she writes about murderous queens and the magical teens who fight them.

You can find her online at elatimer.com/

This Cover Reveal was organized by Patchwork Press.

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Extinction: Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Story Challenge

I knew it was pointless, that I would be too late. But I had to see it for myself.

The door popped open and my nostrils were assaulted with the foul stench of decay.

I gingerly stepped outside, my eyes taking in nothing but burnt land and smoldering Furly-Pon skeletons.

They had been a peaceful race and never stood a chance against us.

If my engines hadn’t failed I would have got here sooner and been able to save at least a few of them.

Another world conquered. Another race wiped out.

Well done humans, when will it be enough?

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Fields where writers around the world create 100 word stories inspired by the one image.

This week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroypleisiosaur_

For more information CLICK HERE to see Rochelle’s website

Or CLICK HERE to view the other Friday Fictioneers stories for this week.

Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking

18132923Ice Kissed (Kanin Chronicles #2) by Amanda Hocking

Publish Date: May 5th 2015

A big thank you to Net Galley, Amanda Hocking and her publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read and review Ice Kissed.

Synopsis mk3

In the majestic halls of a crystal palace lies a secret that could destroy an entire kingdom…

Bryn Aven refuses to give up on her dream of serving the kingdom she loves. It’s a dream that brings her to a whole new realm…the glittering palace of the Skojare.

The Skojare people need protection from the same brutal enemy that’s been threatening the Kanin, and Bryn is there to help. Being half Skojare herself, it’s also a chance for her to learn more about her lost heritage. Her boss Ridley Dresden is overseeing the mission, but as their undeniable attraction heats up, their relationship is about to reach a whole new level—one neither of them is prepared for.

As they delve deeper into the Skojare world, they begin to unravel a long-hidden secret. The dark truth about her own beloved Kanin kingdom is about to come to light, and it’ll change her place in it forever…and threaten everyone she loves.

My Thoughts mk3I liked the synopsis of this book and requested to read and review it without realising it was the second book in a trilogy. OOPS!! But I read it anyway. I kinda wish I’d read the first book Frostfire first. I really enjoyed Ice Kissed anyway. I grew to love the characters, but I assume I would have already loved them if I’d read Frostfire first. And more than likely the big moment at the end would have meant more. I didn’t understand the depth of the ending of Ice Kissed until reading the synopsis of the first book while doing up this review post and I had an “Oh Snap!” moment.

A lot of the books I’ve been reading lately have been third person. It was so refreshing to step into a first person story via Bryn. I find first person to be so much more emotional and personal, I know it doesn’t work with every story – but it works wonders with this one.

The story starts with Bryn recapping a failed mission with Ridley and beating herself up over the failure. From the beginning scene of Bryn riding on horseback through the snow along high city walls, I was thinking “yeah I love medieval times, bring on some epic king Arthur settings and battles”. Then the words drove and SUV popped up and I was like “um, what, where the hell am I!”

Magic: After reading further on I was able to figure it all out: this is a story of trolls. I saw them in my head as human, oops. It is set in current times. The human world still exists, just as it is and the Trolls use a lot of our modern technology, hence the Range Rover they were driving in. I’m sure in the first book the whole world would have been built and I’d have already known this. We don’t see this Troll world thanks to magical Troll enchantments. Amanda Hocking really has beautifully blended our modern world with that of a Troll world secretly going on under our noses.

Romance: Bryn and Ridley have a forbidden romance thing going on. Ah it’s always sweeter when it’s forbidden. It’s always more exciting – well that’s my opinion.

At the 34% there is a sex scene which I wasn’t expecting, it’s not over the top or porno feeling. Stress less people. But it did make me realise I had no idea how old the characters were supposed to be. Also my brain went “Troll Sex, Um, well Trolls are humanoid, yes, yes, I’m imagining this correctly”. And really they are very human these trolls, they just live in secret from humans and have magical abilities. I’d been imagining Bryn as about 17-ish, but she may have been older, I really don’t know. She started working at twelve and after that I found it hard to figure out her time line.

Action: After the 34% mark the books takes off at light speed with Bryn leaving Ridley and her home with the Kanin to help the Skojare. At this point I delved into a fast flowing world of danger and mystery and Bryn fighting for what she feels is right. And I loved it. And I’m devastated that I have to wait until August to read the next book and see how things turn out.  And I’m not going to tell you anymore about it or I’ll give away all the  twisty turny awesomeness.

I really enjoyed being in Bryn’s head, I found her really engaging and her life captivated me. FIVE STARS.

AesomenessAuthor’s Links mk3Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3486415.Amanda_Hocking

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amanda_hocking

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amandahockingfans

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/aehocking/

Wattpad: www.wattpad.com/AmandaHocking

Website: www.worldofamandahocking.com

Incite by Erica Crouch

21971646Incite (Ignite #2) by Erica Crouch

Synopsis mk3

Earth is in ruins, and the war of Heaven and Hell has spilled over into the mortal world. In the frozen wasteland of the apocalypse, Azael and his band of cohorts search for Pen and Michael with orders to kill. Little does he know that his sister has incited a rebel army of her own.

Angels and demons alike stand side by side, ready and willing to fight for a future they didn’t realize they could have. Change doesn’t come easy, though. Pen is wary of joining New Genesis’s revolution, but when Azael shows his hand and Pen learns all that he holds over them, she chooses to fight back, no matter the risk. She only has to survive, one hour at a time.

My Thoughts mk3

“Strength does not come from remaining untouched and unaffected. It comes from picking yourself up again and again, no matter how many times you’re thrown to the ground and shattered.” Micheal  – I loved this quote in the book.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first. I was apprehensive going into it thinking that I was going to hate reading from Azael’s perspective, but I did enjoy it.

Nothing is accomplished in this book and we are left with a rather large cliffhanger. It’s really just a bridge from a good first book to what feels like it will be an epic finally (hopefully in the third book).

There is a lot of running/flying away from danger, which does lead to a fast paced story. We meet New Genesis a group of Angels and Demons banded together by the same beliefs that we saw bring Pen and Micheal together in the first book.

It was well worth the read and I am looking forward to the next installment, until then I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Pen’s heart will beat again :-).

Three Stars

My Review of Ignite >> https://sarahfairbairn.com/2015/02/04/1257/ 

Author’s Links mk3

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21971646-incite

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ericacrouchbooks

Twitter – https://twitter.com/erica_crouch

YouTube – http://youtube.com/moreerica

Blog – http://ericacrouch.com/

Ignite (Ignite, #1) by Erica Crouch

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Ignite (Ignite, #1) by Erica Crouch

Publication Date: June 11th, 2013

Pages: 346

Age: Listed as 12+

A BIG thank you to Net Gallery & Patchwork Press for allowing me a copy of this book to read and review.

Synopsis

Penemuel (Pen) fell from grace over a millennium ago, yet there are still times she questions her decision to follow her twin brother, Azael, to Hell. Now that the archangel Michael has returned, threatening Lucifer’s vie for the throne, she begins questioning everything she has always believed.

As Hell prepares for war – spreading a demonic virus and pilfering innocent souls to build an army – the lines separating the worlds blur. Fates erase and the future is left unwritten. Azael is determined that he and his sister will continue to serve as demons together, but for the first time in her life, Pen is not ruled by destiny. She has the freedom of choice.

With choice comes sacrifice, and Pen must decide which side she’s willing to risk everything fighting for: the light, or the dark.

My Thoughts

This book is set in modern times with the POV character a the fallen angel named Penemuel (Pen) who now as a demon spends her time with her brother Azael (Az) killing and reaping the souls that they are assigned. We find Pen struggling with the demonic assassin life she leads and feeling that she doesn’t belong anywhere.

Enter Michael a newly born angel with an angelic past life set to hunt him down. So we end up with a demon that’s not pure evil and an angel that’s not pure goodness. Circumstances see them brought together and they awkwardly fall in love. For all Michael’s saying that he loves Pen and believes in her, he is quick to doubt her when it comes to the crunch – that annoyed me. But she never loses faith in him. And he wakes up to himself in the end.

We find out that the reason that Pen fell from Heaven was so she could stay with her brother who was always destined for Hell. We find out that Pen had always being alone in Heaven with a Az as her only friend. We see her struggle to cut the ties with her brother even though she knows she no longer belongs in Hell.

Oh and there is the drama with the half demons who can turn humans by biting them. Demi-Demons with werewolf abilities and vampirey desires. And then there is the small matter of Hell’s war on Heaven and the Apocalypse.

The story ends with the lines between the worlds erased; there is no Heaven or Hell, just an impending war on Earth.

It took me about the first 30% of the book to get into it. Nothing is black and white, just various shades of grey, various shades of right and wrong. There was one section near the end that frustrated the bajesus out of me, Michael and Pen are having a deep and meaningful when they’re about to get attacked. I was screaming in my head at them to “SHUT UP AND FLY AWAY NOW talk lovey dovey later”. So yeah I got into the story in the end.

I give it 4 stars. This novel is available now.

I’ve gone out and pre-purchased the 2nd book Incite, it’s released on the 17th Feb. The next book should be exciting, seeing what becomes of all the angels and demons stranded on earth. Michael regaining his memory of his previous life and Az being sent out to kill Pen and Michael on Lucifers orders. It’s written from duel POV, so as well as seeing into Pen’s Mind we see into Az. I didn’t like Az so it’ll be interesting to see how I find being in his head.

Goodreads

My tag line for this book; An action packed love story between a demon that’s not pure evil and an angel that’s not pure goodness

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More Info:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ericacrouchbooks

Twitter – https://twitter.com/erica_crouch

YouTube – http://youtube.com/moreerica

Blog – http://ericacrouch.com/

Contact – http://www.erica.patchwork-press.com/contact/

Arcane (The Arinthian Line, #1) by Sever Bronny

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Synopsis

Warlocks before their time …

Fourteen-year-old Augum and friends Bridget and Leera dream of becoming warlocks. But with a kingdom in total chaos, it will take courage, sacrifice, and an iron will to make that dream come true.

The Lord of the Legion, a vicious tyrant, has overthrown the king in a relentless and murderous quest for seven mythic artifacts–and Augum’s mentor, the legendary Anna Atticus Stone, possesses one. While Augum struggles with demons from a painful childhood, a betrayal puts him, his friends, and his mentor through a harrowing ordeal that threatens to destroy them all … and change the course of history.

Arcane, the debut novel in the fantasy adventure series The Arinthian Line, follows three friends as they navigate an ancient abandoned castle, endure grueling training, challenge old mysteries, and learn that a bond forged in tragedy might just be the only thing to save them from a ruthless enemy.

 

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this book from the author, through the Goodreads Group “YA Lovers” in exchange for and honest review. So first, I am going to say Thank you!

Augum; I really liked him. He had it tough as an abused orphan slave boy, until he ended up in the care of Sir Tobias Westwood. Westwood taught Augum to read, hunt, etc. and it is thanks in large part to Westwood that Augum survives to end up with Mrs Stone. Augum has spent all of his life ridiculed and beat up on for being a gutter born orphan and it is beautiful to see that turn around for him as he finds true friendship.

Mrs. Stone; the awesome elderly super powerful bad arse Mrs. Stone. I loved her. Go Grandma, Go, Go. I think it is probably the mother in me that loved her as the hero / saviour in this novel so much (I would be interested to see a teenage boy’s response to her character)

Bridget & Leera; Augum’s back up besties. I quite liked the girls and think that they balanced Augum out nicely. Leera got to kick some butt in the book alongside Augum and I hope that in the future books they get their chance to shine independently.

Prince Sydo; I have to mention him as, Sydo is nasty spoiled foul mouthed brat and I hated him. I think you are meant to hate him, but I found him really disrupting my enjoyment of the story at times. I hope he wakes up to himself in the next book.

The story follows 14-year-old Augum. I found the story a bit hard to get into at first and some of the chapters lagging early on and towards the middle as we are getting crammed with background information. There are some cool plot twist along the way and we get a new style of magic with the Arcane discipline. Once I got into the vibe of the book and stomached all the world building, I really started to enjoy the story, but I cannot really say too much about the story without giving all the twists away.

So I will just say the Last 20% of the book was a fantastical rush. The end of the book is an exciting frantic flurry of action, with a brilliant ending, bring on the next instalment Mr Bronny.

Goodreadsauthors website

I am going to knock this up as number one for my Debut author challenge; it is Mr Bronny’s first book and was published last year. I was intending to purchase any of the books I read for the debut author challenge and I was given this one, but I think as I am going to buy the next book Riven (The Arinthian Line, #2) due out in February that it counts.

Debut Author Challenge Button

The Griever’s Mark by Katherine Hurley

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Synopsis

Astarti would bet her life on one thing: she will never escape her master Belos.

After Belos found her as an abandoned infant, he planted within her a Leash, which he uses to control her power. Astarti is a Drifter, able to manipulate the energy world of the Drift–to shape weapons, to bind others, to travel great distances in mere seconds. Astarti’s job is to strike deals with desperate souls who would Leash themselves to Belos for political or personal gain. Her other objective is to kill any Earthmaker–those who wield the power of the elements–whenever possible.

But when Astarti lets one handsome Earthmaker escape, she sets into motion a chain of events that will lead her to question everything she knows about herself and her power. Even her Griever’s Mark tattoo, the symbol of her mother’s abandonment, may not mean what Astarti has always been told.

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this book from the author, through the Goodreads Group “YA Lovers” in exchange for and honest review. So first up I’m going to say Thank you!

The more I like a book a book the harder I find it to say anything about it without gushing like a school girl high on sugar holding hands with her crush for the first time. So I will try to contain myself.

I dived into the world that Ms Hurley created and was in love. She gives as an immensely rich world with forbidden love (My favourite kind of love) earth magic (my favourite kind of magic) evil twisted bad guys, treason, turf wars and a heroine with a dark and mysterious past. Yes please, give me more! I can’t say too much about Astarti, her mother, The Drift, Logan or Earth Magic without giving away the big plot points of the story.

As this is the first book in a series there is a lot of world building and background information given to us, but Ms Hurley makes it all flow beautiful into a enthralling story. In this book we met Astarti and through her adventures we learn all about her life and discover her secret family history with her. We also get to meet Logan the delicious earth maker as she does. We learn a little about Logan and his world in this book, but at the end of the book we are left with questions of his heritage and what his fate will be. So yes we are left with a cliff hanger; the ending brings a whole load more to be answered in the next book and plenty more adventures for Astarti to tackle.

I am looking forward to reading the next instalment.  Five Stars.

Goodreads authors website