Thursday, July 26, 2018

Review: The Iron Flower by Laurie Forest


Synopsis

Dark forces are on the rise in this sweeping sequel to The Black Witch by critically acclaimed author Laurie Forest.

Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs when they rescued a Selkie and freed a military dragon. The last thing they expected was to be thrust into a realm-wide underground resistance against Gardnerian conquest.

While the Resistance struggles to fight back against the harsh rulings of the Mage Council, more and more Gardnerian soldiers descend upon the University…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the nearby military base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm's length, Lukas is determined to tie himself to her, still convinced that she is the heir to the power of the Black Witch, a legacy of magic that will decide the future of all Erthia. As his own magic calls out to her, seeking to awaken a dark force within, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she's truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.

Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.

Rating: 5 stars (Because unfortunately, I can't give it 10)

Review

“Welcome to the resistance.”
The final line of The Black Witch. Enough to keep me on edge for months while I counted the days to read The Iron Flower. The wait was more than well worth it.

Laurie Forest exceeded my expectations tenfold with an action-packed epic sequel. The Iron Flower is an emotional rollercoaster full of adventure and romance that won't let you go until you finish, and maybe even after. It has taken me days to organize my thoughts, there is a lot going on.

Gardneria has become the most dangerous place on Erthia for those who are not Gardnerian. The mage council's rulings becoming more and more repressive, and brutal than ever under the leadership of  Marcus Vogel. 
Elloren and her friends, the lupines, the selkie, the Fae, a Kelt, elves, and Icarals, are more in danger than ever before. But that doesn't stop them from creating even deeper bonds and fighting for what's right.

During the first half of The Black Witch, I wanted to slap Elloren a few times. Not anymore, she has become the kind of heroine I root for in The Iron Flower, defying old age prejudgements and breaking the rules; risking her life to protect those she loves. Fighting with everything she has not to fall into the dark temptation that the dark power coursing through her veins carries.
Lukas Grey, one of Elloren's love interests is back with a vengeance. His power call's to her and creates a dangerous temptation hard to resist. I didn't much like him before, I definitely don't like him one bit now. 

My ship has been one since The Black Witch, Yvan and Elloren. Yvan, the mysterious kelt with incredible powers that helped with Elloren's wake up call. He is without a doubt one of my biggest book crushes. And the level of chemistry he shares with Elloren reaches new burning levels in The Iron Flower. 

There are a lot of tear-jerking moments, so be warned and prepared. The plot twists left my head spinning more than once. The character development was on point; new characters enrich the plot giving you more people to love and hate. 

The Iron Flower is a heartbreakingly beautiful book. I can't wait to read it again and dive into the rich world Laurie Forest has created.

Get The Iron Flower here:
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2XmO5iy
Universal link: books2read.com/TheIronFlower


Friday, July 20, 2018

Immortal Heritage 1: Starlight. Chapter 1

Here's a little taste of my debut novel Starlight. A blend between YA Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy, Urban Fantasy with a touch of star-crossed romance.  If you enjoy it, please share :)





Chapter 1


NICK



“If you don’t get out of the car, I’ll drag you out,” David promised.
I sighed, knowing my lunatic brother well enough to know he would fulfill the threat.  He never went back on his word when he intended to push someone’s buttons; especially if that someone was me.  Controlling the urge to run away I got out of the car, barely restraining myself from slamming the door.
The small-town atmosphere was everywhere, from the few cars in the parking lot to the size of the faded red brick building that was high school.  I could not expect anything more from one of the smallest cities in Washington State – Lakeport.  I would definitely have preferred to move to a larger city; it’s always easier to appear normal if there are enough people to mingle with.  Lack of novelty instigates gossip; gossip leads to suspicion and suspicion – never ends well.
Most of the students in the parking lot looked at us curiously, which was to be expected since we were the newcomers and the school year had already started.  Most of the girls had their eyes on David; some with admiration written on their faces, a few others nervousness and confusion.
It would suit them well to listen to whatever their human instincts were screaming; probably danger, danger!
He smiled at all of them flirtatiously, enjoying their admiration; he gave the angry boyfriends a threatening and partly mocking smile.  I deeply pitied the poor kid who thought he could face the 6'5", 200 pound beast that was my brother.
“Look at that; so much to choose from and so little time,” he complained.  “The move would have been good for me a year ago.”
I ignored him; he chuckled.  I relaxed when we arrived at the office to pick up the class schedule; there were blue walls, a clutter of papers and a worn carpet that used to be yellow.  A red-haired girl in a cheerleader’s uniform smiled at me, forgetting the papers she had been examining.  I gave her what I though was merely a kind gesture.  I regretted it instantly when she winked at me and approached us, ignoring the secretary who greeted us warmly.
“Hello, I’m Anna, and you are—?” she gushed, smiling widely as she reached for my hand.  Before I could shake it, David pulled me out of the way and grabbed her hand harder than he should have.
“David, gorgeous, but you can call me whatever you want,” he responded, examining Anna from head to toe; the hunger in his eyes was the same as if he were looking at a steak.
I shook my head and turned towards the secretary.  The middle-aged woman rolled her eyes, gave me the schedules and disappeared into a small office behind the reception counter.
“Yes, but I didn’t ask you,” Anna replied to him in annoyance, pulling herself away from the sudden squeeze and turning to me.  Her hand would probably hurt for the rest of the day.
Only a couple of years ago I would have been delighted with a girl preferring me; now not so much, not at all.  Still, I decided to be pleasant.
“Nick,” I answered.
She took me by the arm and pulled me out of the office.  David scowled at me as I turned to give him the schedule.  He’d probably find a way to take revenge on me later.
“What’s your first class?” she asked hopefully, clearly hoping it was the same as hers.  I made an effort not to shake her hand off.
“Calculus.”
I almost sighed with relief at her expression of disappointment.
“Language,” she volunteered, pouting, but then she smiled again.  “I’m sure I’ll see you at lunch.”
So, I guess I’m not hungry today.  “Sure,” I muttered without trying to hide the boredom.  She seemed happy with my answer.  I slipped out of her grip as gently as I could and walked to my class reluctantly.
On previous occasions, I’d been in the same situation.  Flirting with girls wasn’t really my thing but sometimes they approached me.  I preferred it that way; it spared me the unnecessary problem of being attracted to someone David wanted.  He was very territorial and it would surely end up in a fight.  Most times it wasn’t a problem; our tastes were as different as ourselves.  His type of girlfriend; spoiled, selfish and hungry for attention, was just the type of girl I avoided.
I handed the paper to the calculus teacher.  He barely looked at it and didn’t make me go through the stupid introduction, for which I was grateful.  I sat at the back of the class, trying not to think about her, but I couldn’t; I could see her by my side even though she had never been there.  I miss you, I wish you were here.
I shook my head firmly, blocking the images I treasured more than anything but which caused me pain.  I had to keep those thoughts away for at least eight more hours.  Then I could lock myself in my room and stop pretending I was okay and just an ordinary guy.
Calculus and Language passed without incident; simple subjects I barely needed to pay attention to.  I may not be a genius but most of the assignments were easy; especially the ones with numbers; a small advantage to which I hadn’t given importance until that moment.  I didn’t meet David or the very kind redhead in any of my classes, to my great relief.  It wasn’t an effort to ignore the shy smiles from some of the girls; I was as interested in them as I was in the weather.
I sat down the back in history class.  I hated history it already happened so what’s so interesting about it?  The redhead sat in one of the front rows; she waved to me.  I nodded slightly at her, grateful the seats either side of me were taken.  To my left was a plump, dark-skinned boy and to my right sat someone I assumed was a girl because of the size and delicacy of her hands.  Her face was hidden in a hoodie; she was drawing flourishes on her notebook.
I wanted to close my eyes and sleep for a while.  I hadn’t slept the night before and the tiredness began to weigh on me.  The nightmares only disappeared a couple of times a week when exhaustion didn’t allow me to dream.  Maybe I should steal a couple of sleeping pills from mom or give myself a blow on the head.  An angry voice brought me out of my reverie.
“Miss Clark, take off that hood and answer my question,” the professor grunted; a fifty year old bald guy with a bossy attitude combined with primitive and depressing rhetoric.
The girl next to me straightened and reluctantly removed her hood.  Her short black hair fell over her eyes; a silver ring pierced her left nostril.
“Which was?” she answered in a sullen voice, almost grunting, fixing her hate-filled gaze on the professor.  Her sapphire blue eyes framed by long lashes seemed to cast flames, the dark makeup giving her a curiously threatening appearance despite her size.
“The duration of the court of the Holy Roman Inquisition,” he demanded, annoyed.  The girl snorted.
“What the hell is so holy about the massacre of innocent women and philosophers?” she demanded through clenched teeth, her pale cheeks coloring a little.
“You did not answer my question,” he cried, reddening with anger.
“You haven’t answered mine,” she growled.
“I think you already know what your participation grade will be this semester.”
“Oh, the horror!” she exclaimed with a twisted smile.
Several of the students glared at her with contempt; others, like me, chuckled.
“Freak,” murmured Anna with disdain.  Several others murmured insults.
“I bet she’s a witch,” murmured a girl with glasses.
“Bah, she’s just crazy,” her friend replied.
I turned towards the girl, who hadn’t yet hidden her face under the hood.  The black eyeliner, piercing and short black nails seemed to indicate she was gothic but the black and androgynous clothing seemed to say, “don’t look at me.”  Despite my usual apathy, I could not help wondering what lay behind that appearance.  There was pain and sadness as well as fury in her expression.  Her icy, intimidating gaze met mine.

DAHLIA



I gave Professor Adrian a wry smile while assessing him negatively; there was something about that man that bothered me.  Perhaps it was due to his disingenuous and prudish characteristics.  I still remembered the tantrum he threw over my appearance.
“A creature of God doesn’t do that to herself!” he had argued upon seeing my piercings.  I’m sure that if he could’ve, he would’ve dragged me to an exorcist or a lobotomist.  How I wished that would cure all my ills.
The usual idiots murmured a few insults they thought I couldn’t hear.  I restrained the urge to scream and run; the longing to administer a beating to everyone was stronger.  I was about to hide in my hood when I felt someone staring at me; that was rather a novelty.  I turned to see a hazel-eyed boy staring at me; dark brown hair, high cheekbones, and straight nose.  I hadn’t noticed him previously; he must have been new in school; that had to be why he was drilling me with his eyes, he wasn’t used to the town freak.  I scowled at him, covering myself when he didn’t look away.  But, what was wrong with him?
Had no one ever taught him that staring was rude?
I was relieved when the feeling of discomfort subsided; surely he had found something or someone more interesting to see.  Anna stared at him with a mixture of craving and anger.
Welcome to hell, I thought.  The empty redhead was like a dog with a bone when it came to boyfriends, which is why they didn’t last her long.  Of course, she had jumped on the new guy without thinking; immediately after the second most wanted idiot had dumped her.
Could she be more pathetic?  I gritted my teeth when the answer came.  Of course, she could.  She could be like me.
I ended the thought right there; the last thing I needed was a panic attack at that moment.  A surge of pain ran through my body.  I hugged myself tightly, suppressing a moan; I knew it was just the beginning of the pain.  I clenched my teeth and fists hard enough to hurt myself, trying to contain it in some way; despite knowing it was impossible.  To my great relief the lunch bell rang.  I stood and left the room as fast as I could, avoiding contact with anyone who crossed my path.
***
I stopped when I finally reached the edge of the forest, pressing my back against the first tree I found, trying hard to breathe deeply.  Thankfully I’d not eaten much that morning; otherwise, there was a good chance I’d be retching; the air I breathed was too dense and my lungs closed.  I knew that feeling could only get worse as the hours passed.  I choked out a scream as the pain pierced me again like an electric shock.  My body went limp when the attack subsided, my legs barely handling my meager weight.
The only good thing about that damn school was its proximity to the woods; the humidity, the smell of the damp soil and the trees were some of the few things that could calm me down a little.  Cold tears ran down my cheeks.  No matter how much I tried to control myself I always cried when the pain became too intense; it was completely humiliating.
“Just one more year,” I mumbled in a choked voice.
In a year, I could get away from everything that bothered me; everything except myself.  I took a few steps towards a large tree that hid me from the sight of anyone who might pass by and sat on the ground, hugging my legs.  By then my whole body was shaking; I felt nauseous and thirsty simultaneously; it was unbearable.
Why?  Why? Why?  I have done something very bad in a past life to deserve my destiny; there seemed to be no other explanation.  If I were religious I would think it were a curse, if I were clever enough I would try to find a cure.  If I had enough courage I would jump off a cliff or put a bullet in my head, if that could work.  I doubted it.
A dull ache ran through my body again.  I moaned, hugging myself harder, hoping the night would come faster.  After almost three years I should have become used to it but I hadn’t.  The pain and the need flared within me as intensely as the first time; even worse now I knew exactly what I needed to quench it.
“Are you okay?” inquired a worried male voice.
I stood immediately, ignoring the discomfort and pain; it was the boy from History class.  I looked up at him and scowled, clenching my jaw.  He was almost a foot taller than my 5'4".
“Do you feel okay?  Do you need a doctor?”  His interest seemed genuine; there was neither mockery nor scorn in his voice.
“What are you doing here?” I demanded, using what I expected to be a menacing growl; instead, my voice sounded shaken and weak.  Quickly I wiped my wet cheeks and cleared my throat in silence, embarrassed.
“I wanted to be alone,” he answered with discomfort, his hazel eyes staring directly into mine.  “And I also wanted to give you this.”
He handed me my notebook and pen.  I grabbed them, avoiding touching him more abruptly than I intended.  I looked at him with a little less anger than before.
“Thank you,” I grunted.  His lips lifted in a half smile.
The feeling of need and pain hit me hard again.  I gasped; he was the cause now.
My body reacted immediately, straining to take what I needed so badly by force.  That wouldn’t be necessary, I could handle it without even causing him pain.  He was so close and I was so hungry.  No, no and no, I reprimanded myself.
How low was I willing to fall?  Not that low.
“You’re very pale, you should see a doctor,” he advised, reaching for me.
I glared at him with mixed desires; one part of me wanted to take his hand and end the pain while the other shouted to the first that she would kick her ass if she did.
With effort, I drowned a moan.  I was going crazy; I must’ve looked like an insane person.  I couldn’t completely control the trembling of my body; the pain became more intense every second, my pulse rumbling in my ears.  But, what was wrong with him?  The others fled and feared me even though they didn’t know the real reason.
“No, I need you to get out of here,” I hissed, taking a step backwards, trying to protect both of us; me from regret, him from me.  “This is my hiding place and I will not share it.”
He frowned at my furious expression; perhaps I should go before I went completely mad and tackled him.  He looked at me for a moment longer, nodded, turned his back and left me alone.  I waited until he disappeared before sitting on the ground again, relieved to recover some of my most precious sanity.
The night was far away; I wouldn’t be able to endure the whole day.  Delaying the feeding was a bad idea; the signs of weakness had appeared several days ago.  I rose from the ground and leaned against a tree; I decided to walk to the bus stop at once.  It meant I would arrive a little early in the city, putting me at risk of being discovered but I couldn’t take it anymore.  As much as I hated to admit it, I couldn’t fight the consuming hunger any longer.  I walked slowly and stumbled, barely seeing where I was going, my eyes full of tears.  I had lost the battle one more time.
****

Wish to keep reading? 

Here's the link: https://amzn.to/2U4q51S
Buy here: https://books2read.com/StarlightImmortalHeritage



Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Between the Bleeding Willows by D.A. Roach





At eighteen years old, Cassidy has suffered more loss than most… 

At the end of her senior year, her boyfriend, Jace Peters, was killed in a car accident, and her grandmother died only weeks later of a heart attack. Emotionally lost, Cassidy desperately searches for an heirloom her boyfriend was wearing in the crash—her mother’s gold ring. But during her search, Cassidy discovers more than her ring. 

She finds a gate to the Demon Realm….

A battle is brewing, and Killian—head of the Demon hunters—preps his Clan for the approaching conflict. They’ve been working to secure the gate between his realm and the mortal world. But it’s been nearly impossible since Rya—a voracious demon on a quest to expand her power—devoured the soul of his Clan’s necromancer. Now Rya is possessed with the necromancer’s powers and she may break through the gate at any moment.

Apparently Rya isn’t the only one Killian has to worry about…

When Cassidy accidentally crosses into the Demon Realm, Killian can’t understand how a human girl survived the transition. Now he has to find a way to return her to her own world, or risk her being caught in the crossfire, which is a complication he definitely doesn’t need.

Once back in the Human Realm, Cassidy readies herself for battle. She signs up for Krav Maga classes, where she meets Tyler Romaitis—a handsome, tenacious, humble guy. He seems almost perfect, but nothing is ever that easy.

And as the balance between good and evil shifts, Cassidy finds herself—and her ring—at the heart of the conflict for the survival of mankind.


Interview with D. A. Roach 

What was your inspiration behind Between the bleeding willows?
I wrote the book during my favorite season, fall, and asked my daughter for a mythical creature to write about, she suggested demons because they terrify her. I took my love of autumn, demons, and the lore of a haunted cemetery close to my childhood home and Between the Bleeding Willows was born.

Who's your favorite character?
Tyler - he's snarky and easy to write. In fact, he was only supposed to be in one chapter, but his character ended up dominating book 2!

What famous actor would play your main character on a movie or TV series?
Tyler Hoechilin of Teen Wolf



Take a look at Between the Bleeding Willows by D. A. roach here:
https://goo.gl/7dpozA

Tweet this: https://ctt.ec/kfQH7


Monday, July 16, 2018

Bittersweet by Michele Barrow


Don’t miss the first in the series, Fire and Ice, optioned for a motion picture.

To save the Faery world and her mother’s life, seventeen year old Lorelei sacrificed everything, and the dangerous bargains she made in Nevermore had lasting repercussions. Now safely back in her own world, Lorelei seems the same to her high school friends and her supernatural boyfriend in spite of the dark magic growing within her. Yet love across dimensions is complicated, especially when an invisible veil between the two worlds is sealing, threatening to separate Lorelei and Adrius forever.

Determined to find a solution, Lorelei resorts to exploring her new found powers. But when her friends fall ill, Lorelei can’t help but wonder if she's responsible. 

The nightmares from Nevermore tighten their icy hold when someone arrives determined to destroy Lorelei’s world, starting with those closest to her. Once again she’s forced to choose between her family and friends… and a love that was ill-fated from the start.

Interview with Michelle barrow

What was your inspiration behind Bittersweet?
I have always loved fantasy. And romance. And stories. So naturally, I mashed them all together. When I first started the story, years ago, it began as something I could read to my son when he was about 8 yrs old. We’d been reading a book series together and I had the thought, like many 'humble' authors have had at some time, I could write that. And so I started writing what became Fire & Ice (book one of the Faerie Song Saga). But the story wanted to become so much more than a short middle grade novel, and so I set it aside for a few years. I took an amazing online fiction writing class and fresh new ideas for how to shape it into a full length novel sprang to life, including making the characters older teens. It sort of snowballed from there, because once I gave the characters a new lease on life, they wouldn’t leave me alone until I’d finished writing the entire book. I was thinking it would be a trilogy, but when we sold the film options, my publisher thought a longer series would be a good idea. So then came the second, third and forth, and the fifth is underway. My plan was for six books, Fire and Ice, Bittersweet, Freeze, Melt, Burn, and Darkest Light. But now I’m not sure the characters will let me stop there, as ideas are bubbling for more books in the series. It's a bit of a runaway freight train now, lol.

Who's your favorite character?
I would say Zanthiel, the dark Shadow Fae is definitely my favorite character. I love how he struggles with his more hedonistic dark attributes, while trying (and often failing) to embody more humanity, by being 'good'.

What famous actor would play your main character on a movie or TV series?
This is such a fun question, especially since the series was optioned for film and is currently in development for a major motion picture. I would love to see Zendaya play Lorelei, my main character, since she's also a signer in the series (Faerie Song Saga).

Take a look at Bittersweet here: https://goo.gl/FpsUzD


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Interview with Alina Lesnik (ONCE Band)

Music is a must when I'm writing; both a source of inspiration and a tool to calm my nerves and focus. Today, I have the pleasure of featuring Alina Lesnik, the lead vocalist of ONCE, one of my favorite bands. 

Interview.


*Tell me a bit about yourself
My name is Alina Lesnik and I am a mezzo-soprano singer from Germany. Beside creating YouTube covers, I am working as singer for trailer music and as lead vocalist and lyricist of the band ONCE, so music is my main passion. Moreover I am studying the Master of Education in History and German Linguistics. I always loved history, old languages and poetry a lot and felt attracted to the stories of the past, but at some point I realized that music is the only thing I really can imagine to do for the rest of my life, so I decided to finish the studies, but to concentrate on music ☺ 

*What sparked your passion for music?
I always loved to sing along with different Disney characters and dancing around as a child - still do ;-) - so the seeds were planted in young ages. It was simply this feeling of releasing power you gathered within after being loaded with a special emotion. Singing always was like medicine for me.
When I noticed that my singing also touches people around me, the spark became a flame and I wanted to create moods and atmospheres people need in different situations of life. When I hear a known song, I usually get the images and feelings I had when I listened to it for the first time. For me music works like a diary full of memories and feelings. 

*Do you play an instrument?
I played a little bit acoustic guitar before I started to concentrate on singing, but I don’t play an instrument on a professional level, even though I would love to learn Piano or a folky instrument like the Nyckelharpa.

*What’s your favorite genre?
Next to Metal, I am totally into old school rock music, folk music, soundtracks of movies and games and classical music. I would say those are my favorite genres! 

*Please mention some of the bands/singers that have inspired you.
To start with the metal and rock scene, Anna Murphy is one of my idols. I love her natural performances and the tone and power she creates with her voice beside playing the hurdy gurdy, which always fascinates me! 
Floor Jansen also is an inspiration, because her achievements show what you can reach if you just stay passionated and keep living your dreams. The music business is hard sometimes and I can understand people who are frustrated because they need to put so much energy into their career but never get something back. You always have to give a lot first and spent much time, energy and money into this, but then there are those people you look up to, because they already achieved what you wish most and then the flame is burning even brighter. For example, just listening to Floors  live performance of “Ghost Love Score“ triggers something within, which tells me “Continue! You can reach this too”. 
I am a folky music head and there are some really wonderful musicians I like a lot, just to mention a few would be Wardruna, Loreena McKennit or the german band Faun. They reconnect me with my surroundings and nature when I am to much lost in thoughts. 
And at last there are soundtrack composer and YouTuber who are really inspiring, just like Two Steps From Hell and the YouTuber Karliene. 

*How long ago did you begin to make covers? 
I started to record my covers when I did a christmas CD for my mother in 2013. I picked up some songs she liked a lot and simply recorded them and uploaded “Tale As Old As Time”  from “The Beauty And The Beast“ on Youtube. My friends told me I should try it out, so I did ;-) 


*Do you have a favorite one? 
That‘s a difficult question, because I like all of them, even the old ones! They show a development and each cover reminds me of a special situation in life.  But if I had to choose I would say  “The Last Ride Of The Day“ by Nightwish!




*You have a band called ONCE. How did this project begin? 
It is a long, looong story, but I will try to sum it up! In 2012 I wanted to form a band and already had Marco with me as guitarist. We tried out different band projects, but all failed. One day I read a notification in the local newspaper and went to an audition for a Progressive Metal band. We didn’t really matched but when I told the guys that I was searching for someone who plays keyboard, they suggested Frank who also had an audition before. Fortunately he lived close to us and he brought a friend with, our drummer Alex. So ONCE was formed and through the years we developed a really strong friendship.




*Do you guys write your own lyrics? 
Yes, I write all the lyrics. 

*What’s the name of your latest album, and what inspired the concept? 
The upcoming album is called After Earth and the main idea behind the concept was to create a piece of art, in which everything is connected. 
We want to tell a story and invite the listener to sit down and to imagine the world we created in music, lyrics, artwork and structure. It should be like being a part of a movie, reflecting own thoughts and feelings while wandering through the protagonists story.
The structure is inspired by an Aristotelian drama  and the story is builded around the life of a main character. You can see him on the album cover artwork and he is also the main actor in our music video “The Hour Of Eden’s Fall“. 

*The Hour of Eden’s fall is beautiful. Did you have fun recording the video? Was it hard? 
Filming the video was a really interesting time and one of the most beautiful moments I gathered! We spent nearly 3 days sleepless in a house which seemed to live and breath dust of forgotten tales. 
We had to improvise a lot, but the team was perfect and when we started, everything seemed like working by itself. Thinking back it seemed like being in a kind of trance, where ideas were born and directly manifested into reality. 
Moreover it was autumn already, the lost place was surrounded by the smell of fallen leaves and the sun was shining really bright, even though the air was fresh. I simply loved it! Our families and friends were helping out and our actors William Seidel and Christin Paulzen were simply amazing! 


*Future albums/plans? 
Yeah we have ideas and plans, but nothing which is concrete yet. We will keep you updated ;-)

*Where can we stalk you and ONCE? 
Me on Facebook: https://goo.gl/jRPU6W 
Me on YouTube: https://goo.gl/APtmTE

ONCE on YouTube : https://goo.gl/pkV5Hw 
ONCE on Facebook: https://goo.gl/35uw2d 
ONCE on Twitter: https://goo.gl/PEXx8R 
ONCE on Instagram: https://goo.gl/EQq5gZ 
Website: http://www.once-official.de/


Tweet: #Interview with @AlinaLesnik90
#metal #music #band 
https://selenekallanfantasywriter.blogspot.com/2018/07/interview-with-alina-lesnik-once-band.html

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black


Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

RATING: 4 stars.
GENRE: Fantasy

This is not my kind of book. And by that, I don't mean there's something wrong with it, quite the opposite, it's a really good book.
The world Holly Black created is mesmerizing. It feels real and complex.
There was action from beginning to end, and most chapters end in a cliffhanger, so I was engaged all the time.
The writing style is beautiful, painting a perfect picture of what's happening without affecting the flow. The plot was steadily strong, something was always happening so I couldn't stop reading, hence why I finished it in one day.
The plot twist at the end was perfectly executed, and left me stunned for a while, having to re-read it to believe it.

With that being said, here come the SPOILERS, the reason why I can't love The Cruel Prince. If you have not read it and want to discover everything by yourself, it's time to STOP READING. 

Seriously.

LOTS OF SPOILERS ahead.

Don't say I didn't warn you. 

I don't like Jude, the protagonist of the story. In fact, if she had been killed, I wouldn't have cared, not one bit. Why? Because she gave me no reasons to feel connected to her.
She cares for nothing more than herself and what she wants. She wants to be respected by the Fae, she wants to have power, she wants revenge on her evil classmates...
The only good thing she tries to do backfires horribly, and partly thanks to her lack of empathy. 
For all she talks about how the faeries are monstrous to humans, she can be just as bad, if not worse. There were options for her, she could have left the world of the Fae behind, tried to be different; but the truth is that she was born in the wrong body, the wrong kind. She is like one of the Fae, and one of the crueler ones. 
And Taryn, her twin is no different. In fact, I disliked Taryn even more, selfish, capricious, conceited, and plays the victim.
Vivi, Jude's half-fae sister is far more likable, and I would've preferred to see more of her. She's a rebel and she hates her Fae father, with a fair reason since he killed her mother and adoptive father. Her intentions are actually good most of the time, her rough exterior a mask to keep herself and those she loves safe. 
I can hardly believe it myself, but I ended up feeling more connected to Cardan, the cruel Prince. Don't get me wrong, I don't like him, but he actually does have a good reason to be broken and rotten. His life has been constant torture, so he hurts others not to feel like a victim. Makes sense.
So, you might wonder why the 4 stars. For the same reason I can't say the Godfather is a bad movie despite the fact I'd like to see all the Corleone family wearing matching orange suits. Just because something is not my style, doesn't mean I can't recognize it's brilliantly made.
The Cruel Prince is entertaining, full of schemes and twists that don't let you go, and well written. 
So, as the last statement, if you like an intelligent and strong, but cunning and cruel female MC, this book is for you.

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