#Bookreview The Lost and the Chosen by Ivy Asher #tuesdaybookblog #urbanfantasy

I stumbled on The Lost and the Chosen as the series title is the same as my fantasy book The Lost Sentinel – book 1. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but even after reading the blurb, I knew I had to read it, and I’m so pleased I did. First the blurb…

Blurb

My name is Vinna, and I’ve been keeping a lot of secrets.

You would too if you’d experienced some of the weird shit I have: red-eyed monsters chasing me, markings on my body appearing out of nowhere, a strange power that crackles colorfully over my skin from time to time, and don’t get me started on the weapons I can conjure up almost out of nowhere.

Lucky for me, I have yet to meet someone whose ass I couldn’t kick, inside the ring or out. I put that to the test when I run headfirst into a fight that brings all my secrets, and reality as I know it, crashing down around me.

Now, I’m looking for answers and trying to piece together what the hell is going on. Paranormal is my new way of life. It’s not going to be easy, and I’m not exactly welcome.

That is, until I meet the boys, and trust me, they are anything but boyish.

I’m up against elders who think I’m too powerful, a family who views me as a threat, and something lurking in the shadows that’s been coming for me my whole life.

There’s not a chance in hell I’m going down without a fight. I’m not lost anymore, and I’m about to show this world exactly what I can do.

Author’s Note: This is the first book in The Lost Sentinel Series and ends with a cliffhanger. This book is a medium burn reverse harem story, intended for ages 18 years and older. This story contains strong language, sexual situations, and violence.

the lost and the chosen

My Review

First off, this is a very attractive cover and sets up a picture in your mind of Vinna and the story to come.

This is very different to anything I have read before. I see it as Urban fantasy, though the author classes it as Paranormal Romance. I think readers of most genres would enjoy this book, so don’t be put off by classification.

Vinna is a likable, kick-ass heroine right from page 1 when we meet her preparing for a fight. We learn she’s earned quite a sum of money in these arranged fights, besting opponents much bigger than she is. After the battle, she stumbles on a fight outside, between Casters and shifters.

From here the story gets even more interesting as she joins the Casters in their secret town, Solace. The community of Casters and shifters live under a magical barrier hiding them from the normal human (nons) world.

I found Vinna’s immediate friendship and attraction to a group of young Casters difficult to accept at the beginning, but stick with it; everything is explained and makes perfect sense. Especially now as I re-read the blurb and see the mention of a reverse harem! The title of the book also becomes clear.

There is a lot of swearing, but it fits with Vinna’s personality and feels natural. There are also a lot of sexual references and steamy moments, thus the 18+ warning.

I loved the magic and action running through the book and especially Vinna’s ability to conjure weapons from nothing. The last few chapters flew by as I raced through to find out what was going on. The half unexpected twist at the end choked me and I shed quite a few tears before being disappointed that the story was over and I would have to wait for the next book.

This was a fun and entertaining 5 star read. I recommend if you like modern day fantasy settings and stories with shifters, vampires and witches.

Check out The Lost and the Chosen now on Goodreads and Amazon .

Have you read this book? What do you think of urban vs paranormal fantasy?

***

Note – The author states the second book is due out in January 2019 so we shouldn’t have long to wait to continue Vinna’s story. I can’t find any reference to it yet, but I’ve followed her on Amazon so that should inform me when the new book is released.

I’ve had a search around for a website / twitter for Ivy Asher but cannot find anything. If you know when the next book is coming out, please let me know!

***

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review. As I stated in my post yesterday, I won’t be posting many this year unless I read tons of books I love of course!

 

You can follow me on:

Twitter  Goodreads  BookBub  Amazon  Facebook

cropped-website-banner

2018 Wrap up – My writing year in review #amwriting

2018 has been a major year for me and it’s been good to look back over the highlights and have the opportunity to share them with you.

The year started off with a huge bang when I was approached by Albatros Media, a major publish in the Czech Republic. They are publishing a Czech translation of my debut novel, Visions of Zarua in the fall this year. 2018 saw one of my dreams come true and I earned (and spent) my first ever advance! I hope to be able to share a cover reveal with you very soon, I think the czech cover is perfect.

***

I received my first full MS request from an agent. This was a huge high point, though I’m very sad to say that I haven’t heard back from her since.

***

I published book 2 in the Silent Sea Chronicles – The Sentinel’s Reign at the end of June 2018 and it’s been seeing quite a lot of action on Kindle Unlimited, but unfortunately reviews are very slow to follow.

The Sentinel's Reign book cover

Please check the blurb and reviews on Goodreads and feel free to get in touch if you would like a copy to review.

***

In November I celebrated the 3rd birthday of Visions of Zarua with a birthday blitz hosted by 25 blogs and organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. It was a great day and I highly recommend Rachel’s services. I received 10 new reviews and had so much fun answering questions, writing guest posts and sharing extracts. Click here if you want to see the tour hosts involved and for Rachel’s info. I also posted about the day here part 1 and part 2.

VOZ blitz

***

I went to the Gollancz Writers’ Day. It hasn’t led to any breakthroughs with agents or traditional publishers, but it was a lot of fun going to an event centred around my genre. I spoke to other writers, bestselling authors, editors at Gollancz and a top agent. I feel more confident about attending days like this in the future. Here’s my review of the day.

***

I dusted off some of my favourite short stories, had them edited and beta read and then entered some competitions. So far, nothing has come from it but I have been inspired to produce my own short story anthology at some point in the future.

***

On a non-writing related topic, I lost 2 stone with Slimming World and feel so much happier about myself. I’ve tried dieting on and off for years, but it was only joining a group that really helped me reach my target weight and keep to it. I recommend it if losing weight is one of your new year’s resolutions.

***

In conclusion 2018 was a slow writing year, but I plan to change that in 2019. I hope to share the new technique I’m hoping will increase my output once I’ve tested it fully.

Join me next time where I will post about my plans for reading, writing and life in general for 2019. See you then.

My favourite shows, films, music and books from 2018.

I have been very quiet on my blog and social media lately and I don’t really have any excuses other than I just haven’t been feeling the drive to write anything. However, looking back over my reading year has inspired me to share with you a few of my favourite things from 2018.

TV Shows

Starting with TV shows. We recently binge watched both seasons of Sneaky Pete and loved them. Roll on season 3.

sneaky pete

Then along came Lucifer…

lucifer 2

Wow, I can honestly say I have never been so affected by a TV show before. We’ve just watched the last couple of episodes of season 3 and I really don’t know what I’ll do while I’m waiting for season 4. To think they almost didn’t make it at all! How could they even consider leaving the fans with such a cliff hanger… forever?

Lucifer has everything you could want in a show – emotion, comedy, romance, friendship, fun, action, murder, mystery, and Tom Ellis is a wickedly sexy and camp devil that I adore. I’ve never been one for angels and demons etc, but I think I’m going to try some books along this theme. Any recommendations?

A final word about Lucifer; if it can grip my 14-year-old son’s attention, who would normally rather game on his Xbox ahead of eating and sleeping, then anyone should be able to enjoy the show.

 Favourite film this year…

Venom – This is the easiest one to call as I loved this film so much that I wanted to stay in the cinema and watch the next showing. I can’t wait to watch it with the family when it comes out on DVD, only a month to go!

Tom Hardy was excellent and really, what more is there to say. Action, laughs, adventure, love…

venom

Favourite band

I’ve just discovered Halestorm, and wow does Lizzy have the most incredible voice or what? One of her songs has given me the inspiration I’ve needed to get on with book 3 in my Silent Sea Chronicles series. ‘I am the Fire’ is an amazing song and it reflects the book cover for The Sentinel’s Alliance, which I hope to reveal soon.

 

Books of 2018

I just about completed my reading challenge on Goodreads, managing 35 books which was the target I set myself. Only 2 of those are audiobooks, which is a surprise as in 2017 I think I listened to quite a few.

You can see my book challenge on Goodreads here .

Here are my favourite reads from 2018.

Fantasy / YA

I discovered a new favourite author this year – Maria V Snyder. The two books of hers that I read, Poison Study and Magic Study were my favourite fantasy reads this year. I was totally gripped by the characters and the story, and I’m so pleased to see that she has quite a few more books written in this world.

Here are my reviews of Poison Study.

Writers Guides

I’ve read a couple this year but the most inspiring one has been Take off your Pants by Libbie Hawker. It’s all about outlining novels, something I have struggled with in the past. I have lots of ideas but no idea where they are going. This guide lays out a way to outline your book and keep the pace exciting. I hope to do a proper review of the book once I’ve used the method fully. In the meantime, I really recommend giving the book a go. Goodreads link.

take off your pants

Thriller

I’m surprised to see that I haven’t read many thrillers this year. My favourite is by my writing hero fantasy author, David Gemmell. Rhyming Rings isn’t on the same level as his fantasy books were, but it’s still a great page-turning read and you care for these characters, which is a skill of David Gemmell’s I’ve always admired.

51l1Op8hRFL._AC_US218_[1]

Romance

I like to read a couple of romance books a year and this year I’ve really been spoilt with the quality of those I’ve chosen. They’ve all been excellent but if I have to pick a favourite I think I will go with The Cornish House by Liz Fenwick. Here is my review. I cannot sum up the story any better than Elizabeth Buchan does on the cover… Just read it!

51ZeMGa4VoL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

I’ve really enjoyed sharing my favourite reads from the last year, though these are not the books I planned to read during 2018. In fact I’d say my plan last year was an epic fail. I had good intentions of finishing a few trilogies and didn’t manage to complete any of them. It’s not that I don’t want to read them, I think it’s because I’m a mood reader and quite often pick my next read on the spur of the moment. Maybe in 2019 I’ll just see what takes my fancy and not put pressure on myself.

***

What do you think of my choices? Have you read any of these books or watched Lucifer and Venom?

Join me again when I review my writing year and achievements of 2018.

cropped-website-banner

Last chance to buy Visions of Zarua for 99p worldwide #fantasy #epicfantasy

Just a quick reminder that the special birthday price for the ebook of Visions of Zarua – a standalone epic fantasy, is increasing tomorrow.

I reduced the price in November during the book birthday blitz hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources. You can see my highlight posts here part 1 and part 2. I’ve had some wonderful reviews and am really pleased to see the avg Goodreads rating of 4.26 based on 46 ratings. You can see the reviews here, but for now here are a few quick quotes.

‘I loved everything about Visions of Zarua! From the flawed, relatable characters to the intricately planned out world of Paltria, and the ancient abandoned city of Zarua…this book had everything I want to see in a fantasy novel.’ – Jessica Rachow

‘I was captivated about this book as soon as I saw the cover, it had that vibe that said this would be an intriguing, epic, spooky, mysterious novel. And that’s what I got.’ – Jessica

‘What a great mix of fantasy, magic and mystery this proved to be! The talented author has built a unique version of a medieval style world where there are barons, Kings, wizards, magic and monsters.’ – Elaine

I’d love to sell a few more copies. If you fancy picking up Visions for just 99p, you need to act fast. Why not check out this preview to help you make up your mind.

 

FANTASY MEETS MYSTERY IN THIS STANDALONE EPIC FANTASY.

***

cropped-website-banner

WWW Wednesday 5th December 2018 My reads to the end of the year #amreading and mini #bookreviews

I’m not very good with posting on WWW Wednesday, but I do enjoy sharing the books I have been reading when I get the chance. I thought today I would share my planned reads for the rest of the year and give a couple of mini reviews for the books I’ve just finished. But first here are the rules if you want to play along with WWW Wednesday weekly meme.

Answer these 3 questions…

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Then add a link to your post on Taking on the World of Word. Here’s the link to this week’s blog page.

Visit other blogs taking part.

www wednesdays

 

What are you currently reading?

magic study

Magic Study – Maria V Snyder

I’m half way through and loving it just as much as I did book 1 – Poison Study. See my review of book 1 here.

couch to 50k

Couch to 50K: How to write 50,000 words in a month without burning out – Rachel Tonks Hill

I’ve actually just started this book and am hoping for some insightful ways to up my word count. I’d say I have about 50k to finish on the draft of book 3 in Silent Sea Chronicles so this is perfect timing if we ignore the fact that Christmas is just around the corner!

 

What did you recently finish reading?

34523623 sweet dreams

Sweet Dream by Tricia Sullivan

This was my book group choice for December (we are actually meeting to discuss it tonight so I may share a bigger review at some point).

I was immediately drawn into the story by the strong first person narrative. Charlie is a very interesting character and her world is very strange. The fact she is a dreamhacker with narcolepsy should indicate that. At times it was hard to understand the world she lived in, but then dreams are weird and the book captured this element perfectly.

I really enjoyed the story and would recommend it to people who like something different, a unique blend of scifi and mystery.

30258320

Gilded Cage – Vic James 

This was an audiobook read and I did enjoy it that way, though I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I’d read it. The narrator’s voice really worked well and brought life to the characters, but I did find some of the set up boring. I had a couple of times when I thought about DNF, but I’m so happy that I stuck with it. The last couple of hours were non stop action and I really enjoyed it. I will certainly be continuing with the series, that ending is just crying out for me to pick up the next book!

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’ve won a couple of books and feel that I should make an effort to read these as soon as possible – after all it’s what I hope for when I run giveaways myself. You know, Karma and all that…

So I want to read next – Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce and City of Lies by Same Hawke.

I also have my first ever Netgalley book. I don’t need to post a review until January, but I want to make a start on it asap because The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan sounds really good.

gutter prayer

Finally I have my annual Christmas read by Rachel Caine. I really enjoy escaping into the world of The Great Library and this is book 4 in the series Smoke and Iron. I have it on good authority (my son) that it is brilliant.

smoke and iron

I also love to read a Christmas story around this time of year, but I think I have my work cut out with this list. If I do manage it all, then I’ve have smashed my Goodreads reading goal of 35 books. Dare I up the challenge next year?

What do you plan to read for the rest of the year?

My #SPFBO book buys during November 2018 promo #fantasy #tbr #amreading

I thought I would do a quick post on the books I bought during November’s SPFBO promo. I’m excited to add these to my Goodreads TBR, but I won’t state when I’ll read them as I still haven’t read the books I purchased during the previous sale. My TBR pile keeps growing and has reached 410. That is one of the reasons I only bought 8 books this time around, the other is I’ve spent all my money on ads. Anyway here they are…

Between the Shade and the Shadow – Coleman Alexander

Phoenix Descending – Dorothy Dreyer

The Dragon Song Saga – J C Lang

Sorcerous Rivalry – Kayleigh Nichol

A Keeper’s Tale – J A Andrews

Song – Jesse Teller

The Fire Eye Refugee – Samuel Gateley

Balam Springs – Travis M Riddle

I’m really excited by this collection. I tried to be guided by the blurbs and the covers rather than be influenced by reviews or what I’ve heard through the SPFBO pages. A couple of these I’ve had my eye on for a while so I was really pleased to find them in the sale and be able to support my fellow indie authors.

I can’t promise when I’ll read them, but I will review them on my blog, Amazon and Goodreads eventually.

I think I may have sold a couple of copies of my own 2016 SPFBO entry – Visions of Zarua but with the birthday blitz and a couple of ads running at the same time, its hard to know what sparked the purchases.

What did you pick up during the sale?

Did you pick up any of the books above? Or have you already read them?

Last reminder to pick up 99p bargain #fantasy books by #SPFBO #indieauthors #IARTG

Reminder

Today is the last day of the sale for 100 (ish) fantasy books from authors who have taken part in Mark Lawrence’s brilliant Self Published Fantasy Blog off competition.

spfbo sale banner nov 2018

Travis Riddle has kindly set up a page with book covers, blurbs and to buy links of all the books taking part. Please take a look here and see what you fancy. My book, Visions of Zarua is on the list too!

I’ve been picking up a few bargain books myself and will share those buys and why I chose them tomorrow. For now, take advantage of the sale and help support us indie authors. Thanks very much.

nov promo

Visions of Zarua’s Birthday Blitz – Part 2 #highfantasy #fantasy #blogtour

Hello again. Today I will share the remaining stops on Visions of Zarua’s birthday blitz which took place on Friday 16th November. 25 lovely bloggers took part with reviews, guest posts, extracts, Q&A’s and promo posts.

Visions now has a very healthy rating on goodreads – 40 ratings with an adv of 4.33 and 23 reviews. Amazon UK has 21 reviews and Amazon US 14. If you have read it, would you consider leaving a review too?

Yesterday I shared the first 13 blogs that took part in the birthday blitz, here’s the page if you missed it.

Now for the remaining blogs taking part in the birthday blitz

VOZ blitz

Extract – Jazzy Book Reviews

I shared a scene where Paddren makes an important decision. You can read it here.

 

Q&A – Bound to Writing

I had some fun answering questions here.

 

Guest Post – Booksaremycwtches

I discussed some of my most inspiration places here.

 

Recipe – Dash Fan Book Reviews

I shared my family’s favourite carrot and courgette recipe here.

 

Q&A – Donnasbookblog

I answered a few questions of Donna’s blog here.

 

Review – The Treasure Within

‘I loved the mashup between genres, and think that Suzanne Rogerson handled it really well – weaving clues with magic in a clever way, and being able to keep the book feeling like both an epic fantasy and a mystery novel and the same time.’  See the full review here.

Q&A – Nesie’s Place

Some more fun questions and a couple of fun photos of my cat. See it here.

 

Review – Seansbookreview

‘Magic is the cornerstone of a great fantasy read and this had a magic system that I liked. Its epic fantasy at its finest.’ Read the review here.

 

Guest Post – Writing with Wolves

I shared how Jago’s story and the dualtime of the novel came to life. Read it all here.

 

Promo – The Northern Witch’s Book Blog

A lovely promo post here.

 

Promo – The Magic of Worlds

Another promo post here.

 

Promo – Zooloo’s Book Diary

The last promo post of the day here.

***

Thank you to everyone who took part and who read the posts. It was a lot of fun and now I’m ready for a rest! It’s back to work on book 3 of the Silent Sea Chronicles for me on Monday.

Don’t forget the giveaway ends today, but the ebook will be on sale for the next couple of weeks 99p worldwide.

Have you enjoyed the blog tour? Please get in touch. And if you’ve been inspired to read Visions of Zarua, please let me know. I love to hear from readers and if you have time to share your review it will make my day.

Until next time…

cropped-website-banner

 

Visions of Zarua Birthday Blitz round-up Part 1 #fantasy #epicfantasy #blogtour

Yesterday was an amazing day for Visions of Zarua and sharing the book birthday with so many people was brilliant.

The birthday blitz was huge fun and a great success as far as I’m concerned. I got to visit 25 blogs in one day and there were 10 new reviews for Visions all between 3.75 to 5 stars.

I would love to share every word here, but the post would end up being massive. Instead, here are some of the highlights from the first 13 blogs on the list. Tomorrow I will share the remaining 12.

Birthday Blitz round-up Part 1

VOZ blitz

Review from Nemesis Blog

‘Wow! Wow! Wow! What can I say?! This is an epic standalone fantasy. The world building Suzanne did for this book is incredible! …if you like fantasy, mystery, wizards, a bit of romance, the bad dude and monsters! I cannot recommend this book highly enough!’ Read the full review here.

 

Review On Odd socks and Lollipops

‘Visions of Zarua was a really enjoyable fantasy read, it reminded me of the older style fantasy novels I have read. It has a shattered timeline spanning 350 years, a mystery to solve, a host of vivid characters. I found the start was a little on the slow side, though it did set the scene well. The world-building was really interesting and I found that I really liked the world of the past, Zarua of 350 years ago.’ See full review here.

 

Guest post – Between the Lines

I shared the story of how Visions of Zarua will soon be traditionally published in Czech! Read the post here.

 

Extract – Laura’s Interests.

Read the scene that sparked off the idea for the whole book here.

 

Review – Pagefarer book blog

‘The characterisation is strong (I think Leyoch was my favourite), the world-building is very able and the story is well-paced…’ Full review here.

 

Guest Post – B for Bookreview

I shared character profiles for my 4 viewpoint characters. Read it here.

 

Extract – Read. Write. Inspire.

I shared an important scene from Jago’s perspective here.

 

Review – Jessica Rachow

‘I loved everything about Visions of Zarua! From the flawed, relatable characters to the intricately planned out world of Paltria, and the ancient, abandoned city of Zarua…this book had everything I want to see in a fantasy novel.’ Full review here.

 

Extract – Ali the Dragon Slayer

I shared a terrifying moment for Leyoch. Read it here.

 

Review – Splashes into Books

‘What a great mix of fantasy, magic and mystery this proved to be! The talented author has built a unique version of a medieval style world where there are barons, Kings, wizards, magic and monsters. You can never be certain just who you can trust…’ Read the rest of the review here.

 

Review – J Bronder Book Reviews

‘This is an amazing read and one that I strongly recommend checking out. Fantasy might not be your thing but definitely try this book. I think it will become a fast favorite.’ Read the full review here.

 

Review – Birdie’s Bibliotheca

‘The story itself progresses in a fairly standard manner: disastrous events lead to a staggering reveal which leads to a quest whereby more reveals are made, further inciting the need for the quest. The final climax is drawn out and convoluted, and maybe my favorite part of the story. Overall, I give this about a 4…’ Read the full review here.

 

Review – Jess Bookish Life

‘The author created an amazing world with relatable characters, many secrets, magic and a touch of romance in a great recipe for a wonderful fantasy standalone novel.‘ Read the rest of the review here.

***

Thank you so much to the above blogs for featuring Visions of Zarua yesterday. Please visit them and show your support to these bloggers. A huge thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources who made this possible. I highly recommend her services.

If you want to check out the remaining blog of the birthday blitz, visit this page for the links.

The giveaway is running until sunday night, so why not try to win a signed paperback for yourself. Visions of Zarua 3 book giveaway.

The ebook will remain on sale at 99p worldwide and you can purchase that here or check out the free sample below.

 

Thank you for following the birthday blitz and please join me again tomorrow for the remaining stops on the tour.

***

cropped-website-banner

Happy Birthday! Visions of Zarua is 3 today! #epicfantasy #fantasy

I can’t believe I’ve been a published author for 3 years!

Today is a big day for Visions of Zarua too and I’m celebrating in style with a massive book birthday blitz. I must say a big thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising it all.

VOZ blitz

Today there will be reviews, guest posts, Q&A’s, extracts, promos and a giveaway to win 3 signed paperback copies. There is a special page of links here for all the blogs taking part. I will be visiting these blogs and sharing their posts throughout the day, so keep a look out and share where ever you can.

Visions of Zarua is also on sale for 99p worldwide universal link.

And you can try you luck with the Rafflecopter Giveaway here.

I will run a follow up post with links to all the posts tomorrow, but for now I would like to thank everyone involved.