Book Review: Skies of Dripping Gold by Hannah Heath

Skies of Dripping Gold by [Heath, Hannah]

5/5 stars

Hannah Heath is a part of the Phoenix Fiction Writers, a marketing collective of speculative fiction authors of which I am also a part. PFW authors consistently put out quality work, and Heath is no exception. Everything she puts out is pure gold (see what I did there?) She is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

Skies of Dripping Gold is my absolute favorite short story I’ve ever read. Heath manages to create a grand, epic scope of a world in just one short story.

Skies of Dripping Gold is a beautiful, haunting story. I read a lot, yet it is rare to find something that really touches you, in your heart and soul. But this story did. The sibling relationship between Gabriel and Lilly was unique. The concept of faith was illustrated in a way I’ve never read before. The themes of pain, suffering, special needs, and love were powerful. There is really no reason why this story shouldn’t be read widely. I loved it.

Go grab this one now for only 99 cents. Or add it to your Goodreads TBR. It’s a steal. Trust me on this one.

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Book Review: We Ride the Storm

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When I first picked this up in my quest to read all the SPFBO finalists this year, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’d heard great things, of course, but I tend to not get my hopes up when it comes to high reviews of books. I’m so happy this book exceeded my expectations.

The start of the book was a bit too brutal for my tastes, so I almost DNF’d it. But the characters made me love them right off the bat, so I kept with it. Although the violence is heavy, and the content dark, I was sucked into this world where light shines in unlikely places.

First, the characters are fantastic. Rah, with his honor, and the way he stands up for even his enemies. Miko, with her courage and loyalty. Cassandra, with her wit and intelligence. All three fight against internal and external struggles, making them well-rounded, fleshed-out, and downright believable.

Second, the plot has just enough twists to keep you on the edge of your seat, but without sacrificing world building. This is a hard balance to navigate when writing fantasy. The author does a phenomenal job.

Third, the magic system is understated without being forgettable, and unique without being overdone. Again, the way the author balances this tightrope act is incredible. There isn’t any explanations for WHY some things are the way they are, which is one reason this isn’t a total 5 stars for me, but I’m hoping it comes out in the next book. I don’t mind a good mystery, or leaving the reader questioning, but my personal preference is to have a broader understanding of the magic in the world.

All in all, this is a phenomenal read if you like dark epic fantasy with creative work building, well balanced magic, Deep characters, and flashes of light to break up the shadows. Can’t wait for the next book.

4.5/5 stars

Now Available: The Coming Light

Volume II of The Rodasia Chronicles is here!!!! Once again, the amazing Susie Poole of Poole Publishing Services is responsible for the beautiful cover. Isn’t Charles looking good!? Maybe I’m a bit biased. Anyways. You can grab The Coming Light on Amazon in eBook, print, and free for KU subscribers. Happy reading!

 

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Married to a stranger, her country on the verge of destruction, can Queen Gwyneth Jada avoid catastrophe? 

Charles is captured, and the Speaker of Highland has double-crossed her. Gwen is faced with mounting pressure from within and without her kingdom. Rodasia is in the brink of collapse, and the Emperor of Devin proposes a Summit to discuss the future. But when betrayal comes from all sides, Gwen doesn’t know who she can trust.

Soon she is on the run, and when all hope seems lost, Gwen must find a way to not just save herself, but save her people and all those she loves. And the solution is nothing like what she thought it would be.

Step into Book II of the Rodasia Chronicles, a story of trust, love, and friendship, from fantasy author Janelle Garrett.

Book Review: Girl Desecrated

Girl Desecrated: Vampires, Asylums and Highlanders 1984 (The Fergus She) by [Cowtan, Cheryl R]

So I’ll be honest with you. This isn’t the usual type of book that I find myself drawn to. Vampires and demons aren’t my thing. I don’t jump up in down at angsty teenager drama heavy on the romance. I read Twilight cringing, but kept to it because my younger sister liked it. And let’s be honest… Jacob. But I digress.

So when I found this book, I don’t really know why I decided to read it. The cover was appealing. The tagline was clever. Maybe that’s why? Either way, I’m glad I did.

Cheryl Cowtan manages to pull at your sympathies for a truly unlikable hero. Rachel is everything you hope your daughter doesn’t become. Disrespectful. Snarky. Has a chip on her shoulder the size of a bowling ball. But as the layers are pulled back, you realize there is a lot more to her than meets the eye.

And just what IS the Fergus She? As the details are revealed in all their horrible fascination and heart-pounding terror, I realized that I really did care what happened. And it was almost without me even being cognizant of it. I pulled for Rachel, even as I knew that things weren’t going to end well. That’s the beauty of what Cowtan does with the story; she lets you see where the end is going, and much like a car wreck you can see happening even before the collision happens, you very much want it to NOT happen knowing it will regardless. Yet you can’t put the story down.

Angus, the male love interest so to speak, is a stereotypical male heartthrob. That’s one of my only complaints about this book. Why oh why does every romantic interest have to have huge muscles, dreamy looks, and an attitude? But that’s par for the course with this particular genre of writing, I suppose. Part of me wishes the author had branched out of this, but I can also see why she didn’t. Besides, he’s Irish. Everyone knows Irish men are all good looking… right?

Between the complex plot line, fast-paced action, scary scenes that keep you up at night, and clever writing, I’d give this a 4 out of 5 stars. Why is not 5? Three reasons for me. I’m not a huge fan of explicit sex scenes (this one had some). There were a few grammatical errors that were consistent enough to be a bit frustrating (periods in the wrong place, etc). And lastly, the stereotype super sexy hot dude who is the epitome of perfection. But none of those things detracted from the story in the least. Give it a try if you enjoy gothic fantasy!

Link: Girl Desecrated

Authors website: http://www.cherylcowtan.com/

Author’s email list: http://www.cherylcowtan.com/novelnews

 

Rift in the Deep is FREE For Five Days

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In anticipation for the release of Rise of the Warlock King being published on June 23rd (pre-order it here), Rift in the Deep is FREE on Amazon for five days. Yes. This is not a cruel joke.

You’re welcome 🙂 And share the love… let your friends know!

-Janelle G.

 

Want a free book?

Yes? I thought so. If you have read Rift in the Deepyou might have been left with questions. And if you haven’t read it (why not!? Just kidding. Kind of) then you’re in luck. You don’t have to have read it to enjoy this FREE (yes, free) eBook novella.

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Introducing The Tale of Briton’s Fury. A free novella available now. Check out the blurb below, and dive into a Steward Saga story unlike any other.

A dangerous warlock. A beautiful stranger. Three Lands amidst the havoc of war. Can two accessors make the difference?

 Briton the Brown is a madman. Or so it would seem. Colin wants nothing more than to hide away at the top of the sphere and live in peace. But with Briton entering the Scrape Lands, the Warlock Council summons him to tell his story. A story that sends shafts of fear through his core just thinking about it. When he travels to Shroud, he encounters a young woman with strange power and sparkling eyes. But does her power control him? Are the feelings that arise really his own?

Tiberius leads the Brotherhood, tasked with recording history and protecting the Jin’tai’s way of life. But when the Warlock Council sought refuge, he couldn’t refuse. And now? Briton invades the peace talks, and he brings chaos with him. There is only one way to protect the Scrape Lands from becoming engulfed in the war that has wreaked havoc through the other Lands. But is the price worth it?

Step into a tale of fury and romance, of friendship and hate, of loss and sorrow. This is the tale that started it all…and that has far reaching effects into the history of the Stewards.

Short Story Tuesday: The Warlock Council

Below are the first 500 words from my book Rift in the Deep, available for e-book pre-order here. 

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Colin Redstone inched backwards over the smooth stone, the sound of his shuffling feet masked by the raucous shouts of the Warlock Council. How had it come to this? Yet he knew how, deep down inside. Briton the Brown made it clear as soon as he invaded the peace talks and demanded an audience with the Council.

Never had Colin seen such anger and animosity. Or fear. The Council shouted at the diminutive man in their midst. Briton’s flowing brown robes were the same hue as his skin and eyes. At first glance, nothing about him demanded attention. Colin knew who he was, but if he hadn’t, he would have thought he was a drake, wandering too far from his temple.

But he was no drake.

Hence the shouting and anger.

Colin stopped his slow escape from the Council chambers as one voice rose above them all, twisting his neck to observe the commotion.

“We demand you cease your perverted ways!” Spittle flew from High Councilor Radan’s mouth, specks glittering in the air. “You have embroiled all the Lands in your war, and have forced the warlocks into hiding, even from our own nations!”

“You cannot blame me for this.” In contrast to his small stature, Briton’s voice rang deep and commanding. Colin felt the impact, a burning desire to believe him burning in his chest. But no. Briton was a madman.

Colin paused and leaned in to hear what he had to say. The whole room stilled, silent. As if the other warlocks wanted to believe him, too. It wasn’t true, since Colin had many a discussion with the assembly about Briton, and the consensus was that he was a manipulator.

That must be part of Briton’s accessing power; the ability to turn men’s hearts to him. It was a dangerous, seductive thing. And probably part of the reason the Lands were now embroiled in war. Actually, not probably. Most certainly the reason.

“We most certainly can,” Councilmember Josiah said, his calm demeanor a direct contrast to Radan, who sat red-faced next to him. “This war must end, Briton. And you are the one who can end it.”

“Am I to blame that the common people are afraid of us?” Briton’s dark eyes swept the assembled warlocks, turning from the table where the Councilmembers sat to appraise the other warlocks present. The room was packed wall to wall, mostly standing room. Colin stood closest to the door. Wedged as he was, he had a good view of the men present, and their wide, inquiring eyes watching Briton the Brown’s every move.
No doubt, Briton would hold them in his grasp, only to wrench the rug out from under their feet in an instant. His silver tongue couldn’t talk its way out if this predicament. A shaft of fear, icy and cold, crept up Colin’s spine at the thought.
Briton had made his bed. Violence is never the answer. Surely he knew this.
All roads led to him. All Lands feared the warlocks because of him.

***

Want to know the rest of the story? You can, March 1st! And don’t forget to sign up for my email list and receive a free copy of Infraction by JE Purrazzi.