“Ella: The Slayer” by A.W. Exley

The flu pandemic of 1918 took millions of souls within a few short weeks. Except it wasn’t flu, and death gave them back.

Ella: The Slayer by A.W. ExleySeventeen-year-old Ella copes the best she can; caring for her war-injured father, scrubbing the floors, and slaying the undead that attack the locals. Vermin they’re called, like rats they spread pestilence with their bite. Ella’s world collides with another when she nearly decapitates a handsome stranger, who is very much alive.
     Seth deMage, the new Duke of Leithfield, has returned to his ancestral home with a mission from the War Office — to control the plague of vermin in rural Somerset. He needs help; he just didn’t expect to find it in a katana-wielding scullery maid.
     Working alongside Seth blurs the line between their positions, and Ella glimpses a future she never dreamed was possible. But in overstepping society’s boundaries, Ella could lose everything – home, head and her heart…

This is an Edwardian retelling of Cinderella

My Review: I thoroughly enjoyed the new take on this older fairy tale! Zombies are very much my thing and instead of the usual apocalyptic group of survivors, this author put a lot of thought into the twisted plots of this story. Despite the many changes to the original Cinderella story, she is still recognizable in this book due to her bravery, step-family, and the romance that ensues. I couldn’t help but read this book in one sitting and I look forward to the other books in the series!

You can purchase your own copy on Amazon.

“Jeremy Cutler and the Torch of Time” by Michael Faix

Five stars! From the moment I began reading, I thought to myself, this reads just like Harry Potter! The narration has a similar tone of voice as the first two of Rowling’s books and I couldn’t help but begin to feel excited about this. The book did not disappoint. This is a wonderful story about a young boy that all ages are going to love reading. Can’t get your child to enjoy reading? Hand them this next.

Summary – 

JEREMY CUTLER knows nothing of sailing with pirates, visiting a cursed villagejeremy, or confronting dark magic. All Jeremy wants is his family to be the way they used to be, and to have Christmas again, which had been cancelled three years ago, after the horrible accident.

But worlds collide when two ghosts arrive, sending Jeremy down a path to a fantastic place to search for an invisible castle that holds a grand destiny. But first, Jeremy must make it past the terrors of the forest… before something much worse finds him.

Purchase link.

“The Bow of Destiny” by P.H. Solomon

Five stars! Wow. The characters are larger than life in this. You could almost expect them to climb out of the pages, I’m not even kidding (and promise I’m more sane than Athson at the beginning). This story is very well-written. It certainly leaves you desperately wanting more. There’s a good thing there are more books, though I can hardly contain my excitement for the next one. Another awesome author has made it onto my reading list. Do yourself a favor if you love fantasy and adventures. Give this a read. Comes highly recommended.

Summary – 

Haunted by his past.

Hunted in the present.

Uncertain what is real.

This unique epic fantasy will keep you turning pages as Athson discovers his destiny is both inconvenient and unavoidable.

Athson has seen things that aren’t there and suffered fits since being tragicdestinyally orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the mage who serves Magdronu the dragon.

When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, Athson’s not sure it’s real.

But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And they serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu.

Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra.

But Athson isn’t always sure what’s real and who his enemies are.

With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson faces frequent danger, his grasp on reality, and the reasons behind his tragic past.

Purchase link.

“Firebolt” by Adrienne Woods

Four Stars! This book was amazing! I read it in one sitting. Thoroughly enjoyed the new ideas this author had when creating this world. The writing is definitely aimed for young readers, but I still enjoyed it! The only reason for four stars instead of five is because of the simple mistakes found through the manuscript. Looking forward to the next installment!

Summary – Firebolt

Dragons. Right. Teenage girls don’t believe in fairy tales, and sixteen-year old Elena Watkins was no different.
Until the night a fairy tale killed her father.
Now Elena’s in a new world, and a new school. The cutest guy around may be an evil dragon, a Prince wants Elena’s heart, and a long dead sorcerer may be waking up to kill her. Oh. And the only way Elena’s going to graduate is on the back of a dragon of her own.
Teenage girls don’t believe in fairy tales. Now it’s time for Elena to believe – in herself.

Purchase link.

“Road of the Lost” by Aidan Russell

Four Stars! Absolutely loved this book! Thoroughly enjoyed the eloquent writing, the larger than life characters, the setting, the adventures! Reminds me very much of R.A. Salvatore’s writings. The only issue I had with it was at the beginning when POVs are changed, it’s not so obvious and was very confusing at first. Everything else was wonderful!

Summary – 

Ancient evils awaken. The glades overflow with blood. If the forest dies, the world will burn. Reslo wants nothing more than to be home in time for supper, but ancient evils want to drown his forest homeland in blood. An outsider from birth, he is at last given an opportunity to serve alongside his people and save their mother forest. But if he thought fighting against the cruel Dark Elves and their Ogre allies would test his endRoadurance, Reslo must also keep alive two bungling, novice knights from a foreign kingdom on a quest to find their lost champion.

Fresh from squirehood, Jerah and Gratas are tasked to find the missing knight and the holy sword entrusted to him. If they perish, their kingdom’s armies will march, and war will be unavoidable. Road of the Lost is an epic-quest fantasy that features wise-cracking characters pitted against world-shattering adversity. The pages are filled with an abundance of intense, vivid, and consuming action. If you like classic fantasy with gritty combat and captivating heroes, then you’ll love this book!

Purchase link.

“Our Dark Stars” by Audrey Grey & Krystal Wade

Five Stars! Absolutely loved it and cannot wait for more from these authors! I read this book in one sitting and literally could not put it down. The action, story line, mystery, twists, characters! So much life and adventure in this one book. These two are definitely on a fast track to being added to my list of favorite authors!

Summary – 

While she sleeps, the whole universe changes.

Princess Talia Starchaser has it all. Wealth. Status. Adoring citizens. But on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she’s forced to publicly betray her best friend, a companion mock she’s had since birth, setting events into motion that lead to the destruction of the humans, and the princess floating through space, a remnant of a time when humans ruled over droids.
stars
One hundred years later, half-mock captain Will Perrault and his ragtag crew discover a device floating in space. When a very human Talia emerges from its depths, Will suspects she’s the key to buying his way back into the regiment he once commanded against the last remaining rebel humans—and the ruling mock queen’s good graces.

Both Talia and Will would rather get space-tossed than trust one another, but with the queen’s forces chasing them across the galaxy and the fate of both worlds hanging in the balance, they’ll forge the unlikeliest of alliances to survive.

Purchase link.

“A Choice of Crowns” by Barb Hendee

Absolutely loved this book. It was so riveting, I finished it in one sitting. I enjoyed the writing style, the larger-than-life characters, the intrigue and mystery woven by this author. The only complaint I have about this were the grammatical errors within. It sometimes distracted from the story itself and could easily have been avoided with the help of a good editor. Looking forward to the next installment coming later this year!

Summary – 

Olivia Geroux knew her king was reluctant to marry her, whatever the negotiations had arranged. But she never expected to find handsome, arrogant King Rowacrownsn obsessed with his stepsister instead. And before she can determine what course to take, she overhears her greatest ally plotting to murder the princess.

Olivia must act quickly—and live with whatever chaos results. As the assassin hunts his prey, a magic mirror appears to show Olivia the three paths that open before her . . .

~ If she hesitates only a moment, the princess will die—and she will become queen.
~ If she calls for help, she will gain great power—but she must also thrust away her own happiness.
~ If she runs to stop the murder herself, she will know love and contentment—but her whole country will suffer.

As she lives out each path, her wits and courage will be tested as she fights to protect her people, her friends, and her heart. And deciding which to follow will be far from easy . . .

Purchase link.

“To Kill a Kingdom” by Alexandra Christo

Definitely five stars! This was an amazing book! I tore through it in a single sitting and though the ending was perfect, I find myself wanting more from this author. The sarcasm and sass! Events to keep you on the edge of your seat! This is an entirely new take on books about legends of the sea. I couldn’t put it down and it comes highly recommended.

Summary

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a tkingdomwist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most–a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen and or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby–it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of siren kind for good–But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

Purchase link.

“Shattered Secrets” by Karen Harper

Shattered_Secrets_frontWhen I first picked up the paperback version of this book, I instantly loved the convenient size of it and the thinness of the pages. Once I began reading, it dragged me in. The author only gives you bits and pieces of information throughout so it takes a while to fully piece together what happened that day of the kidnapping. It’s not your usual mystery where you can immediately tell who did it. This one took me until 2/3rds of the book to figure it out and it was a wild guess. Fans of mystery mixed with romance will love this story and I highly recommend it for all of the wonderful plot twists it holds.

“The Blade of the Destroyer” by Andy Peloquin – Review and Interview

Copyright © Andy Peloquin
Copyright © Andy Peloquin

“First off, this is not the kind of book that I would normally read. I’m used to books having all original names for locations and fast-paced action scenes amidst massive plot twists. I enjoyed the idea of this world with the characters, but I wasn’t hanging on the edge of my seat. The imagery was extremely vivid with words like “permeate, putrid, and inexorably.” Only a couple of times did the eloquent words distract me from reading a scene. While this book had a lot of action, it occurred in between long lapses of information and didn’t lure me in enough to devour the entire book in one sitting. Don’t get me wrong though. This is still an awesome book and the characters are amazing, especially that of the Hunter. I look forward to the sequel!”

Following closely behind my review of his book is an interview with the author himself!

  1. What genre are your books? — My first novel was a mash-up of science fiction/fantasy/historical fiction/metaphysical, but my new series “The Last Bucelarii” will be square in the dark fantasy/grimdark/Gothic genre.
  2. What draws you to this genre? — I am attracted to the darker side of human nature. I prefer to write about the monsters in my head rather than the ones under my bed.
  3. What project are you working on at the moment? — I’m most of the way through Book 2 of the series, but I’ve also got a secret side series in the works. It’s part of a trilogy that will be published all at once after I finish The Last Bucelarii.
  4. What’s it about? — Notice the word “secret”. Heh. I’m only willing to say that it’s called “Queen of Thieves” (Working Title) and it’s about a young woman who is sold into service to the Thieves’ Guild.
  5. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is special? — In The Last Bucelarii, my main character is an assassin. He’s built up a whole mystique around himself over his 50 years of living in the city of Voramis. When anyone needs a high value target taken out, he’s the one to do it–and for a VERY hefty fee. He’s so effective because he’s not quite mortal; he’s faster, stronger, and more skilled than humans, and he can’t be killed.
  6. Have you written anything else? — As mentioned above, my first novel was a mashup of a few genres. It is called In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent, and it’s set in Atlantis before it sank. It’s pretty much adventure and fun, and a great read! (Fun Fact: I’m giving it away for free on my website–definitely worth checking out.)
  7. What are your ambitions for your writing career? — I LOVE writing, and it’s what I want to do full time. I don’t care about getting rich or making a fortune; I just want to make enough of my writing that I can live well, write all the time, and enjoy my family.
  8. Which writers inspire you? — I wouldn’t say writers “inspire” me, but I will say that I regard Brandon Sanderson’s writing as the “gold standard” when it comes to fantasy. His writing style is excellent, and any time I get stuck with structure or phrasing, I’ll refer to his writing to see if he did it.
  9. When did you decide to become a writer? Why do you write? —I’m a creative person by nature, but with no other creative outlet. I’m not handy, I have ZERO skill at art or graphic design, and I can’t paint or take photographs to save my life. I’m just damned good with words, so writing serves as the tap through which I can pour out my soul.
  10. Do you have a special time or place to write? — I love writing first thing in the morning, when the house is silent, the kids are sleeping, and I’m fresh. I also like writing late at night, as the house is silent, and the kids are asleep. With a cup of coffee, I’m ready to roll!
  11. Where do you get your inspiration? — It comes from quite literally anything and everything. I’ve found inspiration in people passing by, in movie titles, in video games (the idea for the villains of The Last Bucelarii came from a silly iPad game), in other people’s books, and so on. The flow of creativity is never truly turned off in my brain.
  12. Do you work on an outline or do you prefer to see where the idea takes you? — A bit of both, really. I’ll outline a lot of the main story line, but when it comes to the little details, I’ll often leave it for later. For example, in Book 2, the Hunter (the protagonist) finds a line of text in a book that gives him details about his past and sort of points him in the way he should go. I planned to have him make that discovery, but I didn’t write what that discovery was until it came time to sit down and actually write it out. I do like to be surprised!
  13. Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you overcome it? — I do not. I have things planned out far enough ahead that I don’t have to worry about running out of ideas. That being said, I do sometimes feel like my writing is sub-par or just not good enough.
  14. What is the hardest thing for you about writing? -­- The hardest part of writing is probably the editing work, something I’m sure most authors face. I’m not a marketing guy by nature, so it’s not easy to organize myself, to reach out to people, to promote my book, etc. I wish I had a full-time marketer that could handle things for me so I could concentrate on writing.
  15. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route? — I’ve focused a lot on reaching out to other authors and asking them for help. First of all, word of mouth is the best marketing tool. Second, a lot of writers are also voracious readers. It makes a wonderful combination, and I believe it will prove effective in helping me reach my goals for marketing the book.
  16. How much research do you do? — I sort of do research as necessary. I love creating worlds, but I make sure that those worlds adhere to proper societal rules and guidelines. I try to make the worlds as realistic as possible, and that takes some research.
  17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? — I’m all about the computer! In fact, I type so much on my computer that the first thing to break on my last two laptops have been the important keys (the “E” key and the “Spacebar”).
  18. What are some of your favorite books/authors? — My favorite book is probably the Gentlemen Bastards series by Scott Lynch, especially the audiobooks.
  19. Are you currently reading any books? — I’m reading through Brandon Sanderson’s works at the moment and loving them!
  20. How can readers discover more about you and your work? — You can hit me up on my website, my social media links, and my author page.

Tagline/Elevator Pitch:

A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past.  The Hunter of Voramis–a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether? (Blade of the Destroyer–dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature)

Book Blurb:

The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer

The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.

When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?

Book Info:

Title: The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer

Author: Andy Peloquin

Official Launch Date: August 21st, 2015

Publication Date: July 11th, 2015

Paperback Price: $15.99

Digital Price: $3.99

Pages: 298

ISBN: 1515038955

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Destroyer-Last-Bucelarii-Book-ebook/dp/B012EI9M4A/

Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Destroyer-Last-Bucelarii-Book/dp/1515038955/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25269614-blade-of-the-destroyer

Book Launch Event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1625045874438351/

Bio:

Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious

Copyright © Andy Peloquin
Copyright © Andy Peloquin

Andy Peloquin–a third culture kid to the core–has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child.

When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn’t looked back since.

Andy’s first attempt at writing produced In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent. He has learned from the mistakes he made and used the experience to produce Blade of the Destroyer, a book of which he is very proud.

Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for his innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.

His website (http://www.andypeloquin.com) is a second home for him, a place where he can post his thoughts and feelings–along with reviews of books he finds laying around the internet.

He can also be found on his social media pages, such as:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndyPeloquin

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

www.linkedin.com/in/andypeloquin/

https://plus.google.com/100885994638914122147/about

https://www.amazon.com/author/andypeloquin

https://www.facebook.com/andrew.peloquin.1

10 Things You Need to Know About Me:

  1. Hot wings, ALWAYS!
  2. I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
  3. I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
  4. Marvel > DC
  5. I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
  6. Selena Gomez and Five Finger Death Punch are both in my playlist.
  7. Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
  8. Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
  9. I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
  10. I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Reviews:

“Creative, gritty, and beautifully dark…fantasy addicts will love it!” — Peter Story, author of Things Grak Hates — http://peterjstory.com/

“The fantasy world has a compelling new antihero…the Hunter will terrify and captivate you.” – Eve A Floriste, author of Fresh Cut

“From the first words on the page this fantasy holds the reader spellbound even after the book is finished…his character is very well-defined even if his past is a mystery. Root for an assassin? Oh, yes, one must!” — Carol Conley, for InDTale Magazine