Tagged: Diverse Books

Darker Still – Review

Featured on this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner: Sam reviews DARKER STILL by Leanna Renee Hieber, YA Gothic, Mystery and Suspense

About the Book:

Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul by Leanna Renee Hieber

Teen/Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy

Sourcebooks Fire (original publisher) November 1, 2011

A lush gothic tale that begs for reading…I couldn’t put it down.” —New York Times bestselling author Sarah Maclean

I was obsessed.

It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I’d ever seen—everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable…utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I’ve crossed over into his world within the painting, and I’ve seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked—bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. And unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.

About the Author:

Leanna Renee Hieber is an actress, playwright, artist and the award-winning, bestselling author of Gothic Victorian Fantasy novels for adults and teens such as the Strangely Beautiful, Eterna Files and Magic Most Foul sagas. She grew up in rural Ohio inventing ghost stories, graduating with a BFA in Theatre and a focus in the Victorian Era from Miami University. She began her theatrical career with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and began adapting works of 19th Century literature for the stage. Her novella Dark Nest won the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in the genres of Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Her debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (Strangely Beautiful series) hit Barnes & Noble’s bestseller lists, won two 2010 Prism Awards (Best Fantasy, Best First Book), the 2010 Orange County Book Buyer’s Best Award (Young Adult category) and other regional genre awards. The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess won the 2012 Prism Award (Best Fantasy). Books one and two are now available as STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL in a revised, author-preferred editions from Tor/Forge. DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, hit the Kid’s/YA INDIE NEXT LIST as a recommended title by the American Booksellers Association and a Scholastic Book Clubs “highly recommended” title. Leanna’s short fiction has been featured in anthologies such as Willful Impropriety: Tales of Society and Scandal, “Too Fond”; a short story on Tor.com, “Charged” in Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells and the Mammoth Book of Gaslight Romance. Her new Gaslamp Fantasy series THE ETERNA FILES, is now available from Tor/Forge. Her books have been translated into many languages and have been selected for multiple book club editions. Leanna is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She is proud to be a co-founder of the original Lady Jane’s Salon Reading Series in New York. Leanna was named the 2010 RWA NYC Chapter Author of the Year. A member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, Leanna has been featured in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire. She loves nothing more than a good ghost story and a finely tailored corset, wandering graveyards and adventuring around New York City, where she also works as a ghost tour guide. Active on Twitter @leannarenee and Facebook.com/lrhieber, more information as well as free reads, author resources, links to her art and Etsy store and more can be found at leannareneehieber.com

Sam’s Review:

Ever wished that you could enter a painting? Ever hoped that the loved of your life had a soul that only you could set free? Natalie has all of these abilities and more in the book Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber.

Natalie is mute, has ever since the trauma of losing her mom took her voice. Certain her lack of voice will chase away everyone, she finds an unexpected friend in Mrs. Smith, a widow whose interested in a painting that was made not long before the disappearance of Lord Denbury from England. And from this, Natalie finds herself unraveling a mystery far greater than she could have imagined.

Gothic, spooky, and tense, Darker Still had me into the story from the first page. Natalie is more than just a pretty face, and she earns her place as one of my lifetime heroes. I don’t think I can stress how much I loved this book, despite having a few “heated” moments.

In this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, Sam explores the world of DARKER STILL by Leanna Renee Hieber - YA Gothic, Paranomal, Mystery & Fantasy

Buy this Book:

 Thrice Read Books has one paperback copy of this book in very good condition, and you can buy it right here: 

Kindle more your type? Amazon has this book in Kindle and paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

Miao Shan – The Awakening – Cover Reveal

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

About the Book

Miao Shan – The Awakening by G.A.M. Morris 

New Adult to Adult, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, 286 pages

Indie Published, to be released January 15, 2019

**Please note that the author has rated this book as 18+ due to graphic violence.**

When ten-year-old Chow Lei witnesses her parent’s brutal murder she becomes emotionally scarred for life. Her maternal grandmother adopts her and attempts to help her, but only when Chow Lei joins a Shaolin Kung Fu school does any emotional healing occur.

After a year of training at the Kung Fu school, her grandmother reticently agrees to send her to the Shaolin Temple so the emotional healing can continue.

After many years in the Shaolin Temple, once she had reached enlightenment, Lei returns home only to discover that her grandmother has also been murdered.

Alone and in tears she swears to bring justice to those who have killed her loved ones. Little does she know that she is destined to become, Miao-Shan, the living Goddess of Justice! Justice for all!

Cover reveal and promotion for a new adult/NA Fantasy fiction novel by G. A. M. Morris - Miao Shan - The Awakening

About the Author: 

Author G. A. M. Morris, creator of Miao-Shan: The Awakening

I was born in London in 1963. We moved to Cape Town, South Africa when I was 8 years old. I studied at the University of Cape Town Business school. For most of my working life, I have been a collectibles, art, and antique dealer. In 2007 I became a commercial property broker. I started writing fiction professionally in 2010, during which time I wrote two complete novels, of which Miao-Shan is the second one. At the end of 2010, I returned to the property industry, without having acquired an agent. For the next six years, I wrote part-time. Two years ago, I started to work full-time as a self-published author, mainly selling on Amazon, under a pen-name. I currently have two other books completed (one an unusual spy thriller, and the other a time-traveling paranormal fantasy), which will be published at a later date. The time-traveling paranormal fantasy novel, I intend to convert into a graphic novel. I’m now concentrating on getting Miao-Shan published.

Cover Reveal: 

Ta-Da! The moment you’ve been waiting for: 

Cover reveal and promotion for a new adult/NA Fantasy fiction novel by G. A. M. Morris - Miao Shan - The Awakening

Okay… now THAT is an awesome cover – right? Be sure to stay tuned. Brian will be reading this book next, and the review blog will be live on January 15, 2019.

Buy the Book

Miao Shan – The Awakening isn’t available for pre-order just yet, but it will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iTunes. We’ll update this post when preorder links are available and have links for all the major outlets in our review post coming in January.

Lady Arabella and the Dwarven King – Review

Jenn Reviews Lady Arabella and the Dwarven King by Jaci Chandler this week on Thrice Read Books' review blog

About the Book:

Lady Arabella and the Dwarven King by Jaci Chandler

Dwarven Gold, book 1

Published by Amazon Digital Services, LLC on 28 January, 2018

98 pages Adult Erotic Romance

I’ve spent my life trying to ignore the haters. As strategies go–it’s not working.

Sealed into my room to lose weight, I’m kidnapped into a stunning underground world, where males outnumber females by a hundred to one. It doesn’t take long to discover I’m the fated mate of the newly ascended king, Thorin the Tenth. He’s loud, rude and arrogant, but I’m stunned by glimpses of his vulnerability, and find myself wanting to seize this chance at love. But Dwarfholme is changing, and Thorin is in danger. The gods have limits and enemies are everywhere. I’ve finally found the partner I’ve so desperately longed for, but is it love or just really good sex? With my future mother-in-law out to destroy us, and my mate’s childhood friend a bloodthirsty god, time is running out. I need to discover the truth between us, before it’s too late.

Lady Arabella and the Dwarven King is the first of six novellas in the DWARVEN GOLD fantasy erotic romance series. It is a complete story with no cliffhangers, a great HEA, and contains hot dwarfs who look like Vikings, a world on the verge of war, deadly royals, and lots of meant-to-be romance between fated mates.

If you like fun, steamy fantasy romance set in unique new worlds, Lady Arabella and the Dwarven King is for you. Buy your copy and start the adventure now!

About the Author:

Jaci Chandler lives in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, where the trees grow close and tall, and the skies are a brilliant blue. She loves to sit on her deck, gaze at Mt. Rainier, and think about hot dwarfs and their fated mates. When she’s not writing the Dwarven Gold series, she’s making cake and thinking of adding recipes to the backs of her books. 

Talk to Jaci on Twitter or sign up for her newsletter. Just click the link (and let her know if you like lobster patties or Mont Blanc!)

Twitter    Newsletter

Jenn’s Review:

**NOTE: The Dwarven Gold series is adult erotica romance and is intended for mature audiences, over the age of 18, only.**

Lady Arabella and the Dwarven King is the first installment of a series I would easily classify as erotic romance. When Ms. Chandler contacted me about reviewing the first two books in her series, she warned me that this book has a polarizing effect. Readers either love it or they hate it.

I fall into the former group. This is a quick read – I read the entire book in a single 2 hour sitting – and it moves quickly through the plot.

While Arabella and Thorin are fated to be together, and they seem to be decently developed characters, I would have liked a bit more development of both characters and plot. The setting is beautifully wrought, full of the contrast of Dwarven stone work, magic and colored details. And sex. The story is liberally peppered with a variety of sexual tastes.

The love story in this plot takes a back seat to the hedonistic tendencies in Lady Arabella, and having not dived into book two in the series yet, I am hoping that this book is meant to set the stage for a longer plot line.

I loved the creativity, the world building, and the potential in this story. I missed deeper development of the relationship between hero and heroine, and I think too many loose ends were left flapping in the breeze.

But, once more unto the breach, dear readers! I’m off to read the second book in the series (linked below), and am crossing my fingers that loose ends are wrapped up.

On this edition of the Thrice Read Books blog, Jenn reviews Lady Arabella and the Dwarven King, book 1 in the Dwarven Gold series by Jaci Chandler

Buy the Book:

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Other Books in the Series: 

Lady Deidra and the Lord of the Deeps (book 2)

Lady Deidra and the Lord of the Deeps – Review

Jenn Reviews book 2 in Jaci Chandler's Dwarven Gold series. Read about Lady Deidra and the Lord of the Deeps on the Thrice Read Books blog

About the Book:

Lady Deidra and the Lord of the Deeps book 2 in the Dwarven Gold series 

by Jaci Chandler

Published by Amazon Digital Services April 30, 2018

128 pages Adult Erotica Romance

My name is Deidra Cavendish and I need a rich man who’ll marry me, and take me and my mother off to a gilded castle filled with food and keep the bill collectors away, but deep down inside where my secret dreams live, I long for love. My only solace is my cousin, Arabella. She’s my best friend and confidante, and I think she was murdered. When an accident at the Cavendish Winter Ball sends me flying into the arms of a penniless nobody, my abrupt craving for him threatens to derail me. He’s poor and so am I; a relationship between us isn’t going to work! Even if he makes my blood simmer with longing.

My name is Jerred Bloodaxe. I am the Earl of Whitemarch; the King’s left-hand man. I fight behind the scenes to keep the kingdom safe, stop royal intrigues from turning into royal murder, and prevent assassins from killing my cousin, Thorin. Most importantly, I run politically sensitive and dangerous errands no sane dwarf will take. When Arabella, the queen-in-waiting, asks me to bring her cousin, Deidra, to safety in Dwarfholme, I immediately leave for Cavendish Castle. But it’s a different world where I have no power or resources, and bringing her back to her cousin is more difficult than it looks. Little do I know, fate has ways to bring two mates together, even if one is a Dwarven Lord and the other is a regency miss!

Lady Deidra and the Lord of the Deeps is the second of six books in the DWARVEN GOLD fantasy romance series. It is a complete story with no cliffhangers and contains hot dwarfs who look like Vikings, steamy m/m scenes, delicious cakes, a hidden world on the verge of war, vengeful gods, ex-lovers, trolls, zombies and “lots” of hot, steamy romance between two mates who are lost without each other.

If you like a spicy clash of personalities, a vulnerable, but deadly hero, and a unique fantasy world, you’ll like Lady Deidra and the Lord of the Deeps! Buy your copy now and feel the love.

About the Author:

Jaci Chandler lives in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, where the trees grow close and tall, and the skies are a brilliant blue. She loves to sit on her deck, gaze at Mt. Rainier, and think about hot dwarfs and their fated mates. When she’s not writing the Dwarven Gold series, she’s making cake and thinking of adding recipes to the backs of her books. 

Talk to Jaci on Twitter or sign up for her newsletter. Just click the link (and let her know if you like lobster patties or Mont Blanc!)

Twitter     Newsletter

Jenn’s Review:

 **NOTE: The Dwarven Gold series is adult erotica romance and is intended for mature audiences, over the age of 18, only.**

Another speedy installment to the Dwarven Gold series by Jaci Chandler, Lady Deidre was a hot little erotic romance.

Deidre was left behind when Arabella was taken by the dwarves expeditionary forces in the previous book, and her situation is probably more tenuous than Arabella’s was. She’s desperate to find a wealthy husband before her family’s house party ends.

Jerred is fighting his own demons when his king sends him after Arabella’s cousin, Deidre. It’s definitely not love at first sight, though he knows Deidre is his fated mate. 

As with book 1, I enjoyed the world building, and the little plot twists, but I would love to see these stories developed a bit more. There are copious amounts of hot sexual interaction with a thread of romance tying it all together. Ms. Chandler has written stories with good conflicts, but I felt rushed through the resolution.

That said, Jaci Chandler is on my list of authors to watch. She has tremendous potential in her writing career, and I look forward to her next release.

on the Thrice Read Books blog: Jenn reviews Lady Deidra and the Lord of the Deeps - book 2 in the Dwarven Gold series by Jaci Chandler

Buy the book:

This book is available in Kindle edition from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Other Books in the Series: 

Lady Arabella and the Dwarven King (book 1)

Tribute – Review

Sam reviews Chris Knoblough's Middle Grade Horror novel TRIBUTE in this edition of the Thrice Read Books review blog

About the Book:

Tribute by Chris Knoblaugh (The Cleaners, book 1)

Middle Grade Horror/Latino Fiction 255 pages

Self-published through Amazon Digital Services, LLC April 13, 2018 

When twelve-year-old Miguel’s gang member Papa makes promises to Santa Muerte, someone in Miguel’s family loses a soul. The last time, it was Miguel’s gentle aunt. This time, the target is Miguel’s brother, Juan.

Santa Muerte, the skeletal patron saint of drug traffickers and murderers, always claims her fee.

The trouble is Miguel won’t let Juan’s spirit go. The resulting paranormal possession attracts demons, doppelgangers, and an ancient soul slayer from the depths of Hell — all of whom must be vanquished if Miguel is to live. 

Even with help, Miguel’s refusal to release Juan threatens the lives of those Miguel loves most. Miguel must choose to release his brother or lose yet another loved one, for the bargain was made with Santa Muerte and the price must be paid.

About the Author:

Chris Knoblaugh runs Dancing with Words Tutoring along with her husband, Mark Dooley. She currently teaches English at a middle school in south San Jose, California. Her interests have expanded to include self-publishing and blogging. Her blog, https://dancingwithwordstutoring.blogspot.com, is structured to help reluctant students learn to be comfortable with writing. She and her husband live in California with more books than necessary and two rescue kitties. Her much beleaguered daughter, Monica, holds her own in this raucous family.

Chris has a B.A.in English Literature with High College Honors, a B.S. in Biology, and an M.A. in Teaching with Reading Specialization. Her novels and stories incorporate myths, cryptids, regional traditions, and historical settings. She enjoys writing for her students and for her tutoring business. You can find her at her blog, at FaceBook, or at Twitter.

Happy hauntings!

Sam’s Review:

Welcome to the land of Tribute, AKA, a book about demons, possession, and a heck ton of danger and ghosts. Tribute was written by Chris Knoblaugh, and is about a Mexican-American family living in San Jose, California.

Miguel has lost his brother, Juan, and is bound determined to find his killer. But Juan hasn’t found his peace, and is stuck in purgatory. This makes him a ghost, and when Miguel ticks him off, he summons a ton of demons that put him and his loved ones in danger.

For me, this book was a trip to crazy town, with a whole bunch happening at once. Several times, I had to shake my head and go, “what? Just, what?” Please know that this book has swearing, and some violent moments, mainly about the demons. It was still interesting, though.

On this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, Sam faces Santa Muerte in Chris Knoblaugh's middle grade horror novel, TRIBUTE

Buy the Book:

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle format only, here. [affiliate link]

Additional Information about this book:

 Ms. Knoblough was featured in her hometown newspaper about the same time she submitted her request for review. She talks more about her motivation behind writing and publishing Tribute. You can read the story here.