Monday, April 30, 2012

Primal Heat ~ Donna Grant


I picked this one out thinking it might be a nice change of pace from all the YA I have been reading lately. Let me tell you this was a big change. This is an adult only book. Primal Heat falls into the erotic fiction catergory without a doubt. As far as the question of if it will get your blood pressure up the answer is yes. If you are looking for a hot read then this one would be an easy pick.


From Amazon: 
Being an American in Britain isn't easy. For Krista, its downright hard especially when she's plagued by erotic dreams that increase as Halloween approaches. So when she's given a dare by her co-workers to pluck a rose from the most haunted house in Cardiff, she agrees never thinking it would be more than a scare tactic.

As a Time Agent, all Orrin wants to do is capture the Weres before they feed off the people of Cardiff, but when he lands on Earth and discovers the woman he's been sharing dreams with is there, he can't help but find her. All he planned to do was talk, but the lust that flared between them left no room for talking.

But the Weres have come for more than food. They've come for Krista, to claim her as the mate to their leader. To resist their seduction is futile. Unless a Time Agent is involved.



What I thought:


Looking at the storyline, there are some possibilities. Unfortunately this is more of a novella so there wasn't enough time for any great character development. But the characters had potential. Seeing as this is  a storyline focused on well, the heat between the two main characters there was way more focus on that then who they were as people.  There was also a few questions left unanswered at the end of the story. For one thing why are they called Time Agents? What happens to humans who are "claimed". If they travel through time whats with the space ships? I'm not sure if there is a sequel to Primal Heat out, maybe set in the same universe? I will have to check it out and see. Either way I did like this book. It was a quick read and the steamy scenes were well written.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Moon Trilogy ~ C.L. Bevil

The Moon Trilogy by C.L. Bevil is composed of three separate novella's. Since I recommended them this week as freebies on Amazon I figured I should let you know what I thought of them. As a whole I enjoyed the trilogy. If you were to read them all together I would give them 3.5 stars. As individual Novellas my favorite was the last one because it really tied everything together.


So here's the rundown. In a world much like our own there is an organization set out to watch, and sometimes control, supernaturals. Some of theses supernaturals are actually from other worlds and travel here through portals. Others suffer from a sort of blood disease which causes them to be more than human.


The first book in the series is Black Moon. Black Moon follows Donovan a werejaguar and Isabella a librarian who works for the Committee as they try to get a deadly relic out of the clutches of some equally evil werewolves. Now lucky for Donovan and Isabella they find love along the way. As a stand alone this book was interesting. I enjoyed the world C.L. Bevil has created. Her characters live in an interesting world that is well crafted and believable. 


The second book in the series is Amber Moon. This time the Committee has sent two operatives to watch over an Elvish Prince whom may be hiding the second deadly artifact. This time we are treated to The land of Light and even get to meet some new creatures, like a shapeshifter with turns into a house cat.


The last book is Silver Moon. Now Silver Moon picks up a few months after Amber Moon with our old friends Jack and Asta back on the hunt for the moon artifacts. This one really ties the series together. We even get to see Donvan and Isabella once again.


I think it is worth noting again that I do love the world C.L Bevil has created. The characters are real, with flaws and problems. Their good shines through as well as their bad. I loved how each book was a piece of the puzzle and how well all three fit even though each focused on a different set of main characters. This is also the type of urban fantasy I truly enjoy. When it is set in a world like our own, with just a  little twist.


I'm hoping everyone took my suggestion and downloaded these from Amazon already but if not what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday ~ Biting Cold


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This weeks Waiting on Wednesday is

by
Chole Neil 
Due out Aug 2012



This is the next installment of her Chicago land Vampires series. Check out the description from The Chloe Neil website...


Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans.
Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed. No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.
Sounds like fun! If you have never read any of the Chicago Land Vampire series they are fun, easy to get through books. They are written like a YA but for adults. Its always a nice afternoon when you spend it seeing what trouble Merit has gotten into now.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Free on Amazon today

Found these while surfing through Amazon.....


Free for your enjoyment today 


The Moon Trilogy Novellas


Black Moon (Moon Trilogy 1)
Amber Moon (Moon Trilogy 2)
Silver Moon (Moon Trilogy 3)


Now from what I gather all three are adult only. They look like they are going to be good though so you should check them out. 
I also downloaded Harvest Moon which I think i some kind of spin off. (also free right now)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Spellbround Bride ~ Theresa Meyers

The Spellbound BrideThe Spellbound Bride by Theresa Meyers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I scored this novel on Amazon for free a few months ago and it has been sitting on my kindle ever since. Upon reading the product description I figured it would be worth a shot, and I was right. Even though The Spellbound Bride is not my usual read I found it thoroughly enjoyable.




Amazon Summary : Twice married, twice widowed and still a virgin, Sorcha MacIver is far from a merry widow. Her clan suspects her of using witchcraft in the deaths of her husbands and her latest father-in-law wants her burned at the stake. She has lived with the cruel and bitter fact that everyone she loves dies. As a child, her mother and siblings died in a fire. Her father fell to his death from the parapets of their keep. Now that she's been twice married and widowed within hours of her vows, she's convinced she's cursed. While Sorcha wants nothing to do with another relationship, her uncle, wanting to save himself-and her- from the taint of witchcraft, arranges for her to marry a mercenary with a reputation for cheating death. All Sorcha wants is for the mercenary to take her damnable virginity and leave, so that she can spare him from her deadly love.
A Mercenary already Damned
Ian Hunter is running out of time. He needs money fast to pay the taxes on his French inheritance. Without it, the property will revert to his older brother, who has already stolen Ian's bride, Mary. When Ian is offered a lucrative proposal, to marry the MacIver lass, no questions asked in exchange for the money he needs for the taxes, Ian leaps at the opportunity. At last he'll have what he needs, and means to begin a future away from Scotland...and his brother.
But when he discovers his wife is no witch, but rather the pawn in a deadly play for the throne of Scotland by King James' cousin, the Earl of Bothwell, he has no choice but to fight and save her from a vicious political game of death, deceit and power where witch-hunts are only the beginning.
What I thought...


The characters are very well done. You can easily feel the tension build between Ian and Sorcha. Ian starts out as an unlikely hero but works his way into your heart, and of course Sorcha's. Sorcha is easily lovable as she puts everyone else ahead of her own well being. I do have to say Sorcha's belief in the curse is at times mind boggling but due to the circumstances and time period it is easy enough to understand why she would believe in something like a curse.


I think Theresa Meyers did an excellent job weaving a story filled with political powers plays and personal vendettas. It is not often that a story without supernatural creatures holds my interest and this one certainly did. Every once in a while you just need to read a feel good, happy ending kind of story and this was a great one.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Shaman, Healer, Heretic by M. Terry Green

Shaman, Healer, HereticShaman, Healer, Heretic by M. Terry Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Right off the bat I'd like to say this book is in a class of its own. I literally have nothing to compare it to because even after googling Techno-Shaman I got next to nothing. M. Terry Green has succeeded in creating a completely original theme in a genre that is saturated with werewolves, vampires, demons and even angels.




Summary from Amazon: 
2011 Semi-Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards 
Top 1% of 5,000 books entered. 

Even for a techno-shaman, a kachina in the bedroom isn't exactly part of the drill. When Olivia Lawson wakes to find one towering over her, she panics. A Hopi god visiting the real world isn't just wrong-it's impossible. 

Or is it? 

Soon Olivia learns that the kachina is the least of her worries. As she struggles to save her clients, clashes with other shamans, and fends off the attacks of real-world vigilantes, Olivia finds herself in the destructive path of a malevolent ancient force intent on leaving the spiritual realm to conquer this one. 

Left with few options, Olivia is forced to defy centuries of shaman prohibitions. As she and her allies risk everything in their bid for survival, Olivia ultimately learns that the rules are there for a reason and that breaking them has a terrible cost.


Now I will say I was a little lost for the first few chapters. Since I know little to nothing about Shamanism I spent some time scratching my head going "huh?" but but the third chapter I figured out what was going on and was glad I stuck it out. Livvy is a techno-shaman who is just getting by. Getting jobs through her handler SK she arrives at clients houses to preform spiritual healing. These healing rituals involve Livvy taking a trip to the multiverse using special googles that replace the drugs of the past. A profession steeped in tradition, the shamans are not supposed to have contact with one another only with handlers like SK.


The trouble arrises when other Shamans begin to have trouble waking up, and one even ends up dead. Livvy and her newfound friends have to figure out a way to heal the multiverse or else they will never be able to help heal people again. Livvy must break some age old rules in order to find some answers.


M. Terry Green has done an excellent job weaving a world so close to reality it could be true. This really is an excellent Urban Fantasy Novel and worth the read. After showing the novel to a few friends the only feedback I got was that the name of the novel wasn't very catchy. The cover art is beautiful and eye catching though. If you are looking for a change of pace from the normal Urban Fantasy this novel is the one for you.


Check out M. Terry Green on her website. 


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dark Kiss ~ Michelle Rowen

Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers, #1)Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I was lucky enough to score a copy of Dark Kiss through Netgalley. Sometimes Netgalley reads can be hit or miss but this one was definitely a hit for me. Dark Kiss is just the kind of YA I really enjoy.


Summary from Goodreads:
I don't do dangerous.  Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising..


First off the story is written in an intelligent fashion. Even though the main character is a 17 year old girl, she is not made to have an annoyingly stereotypical vocabulary. For me this is where many decent YA stories go wrong. Some authors try to dumb down the characters to make them seem more like teenagers. I may not be a teenager, but I can't imagine 16 and 17 years olds like to read stories that make their age bracket sound like morons. Michelle Rowen did an excellent job creating believable teenagers, who I actually liked and felt bad for.


OK I'll get down off my soap box now and get back to why Dark Kiss is worth the read.
Now maybe I just haven't read a large amount of Angel/Demon novels but the way the author has the Angels and Demons working as a team is completely different from anything I've read so far. I really liked the whole Ying and Yang feel. I would have to guess something pretty sinister in lurking about if Heaven and Hell have decided to team up.


Sam finds herself in the middle of what could be an epic battle, but she has no idea why. What starts as a chance encounter turns her whole world upside down. To make matters worse, or better, Sam finds that she is drawn to the strange boy she meets sitting on a park bench. Should she trust him? Can she trust anyone? The whole novel was so fast paced that I could not put it down. I read the whole thing in one sitting. I may have stayed up way too late but I just couldn't put it down. I really can't wait till the next one comes out and I am putting this series in with my favorites. 


Of course since this one isn't actually out till May 22 I am going to have to wait a bit.
My suggestion to you is put in that pre-order today. You will be glad you did!



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Monday, April 16, 2012

Tangled Blood Lines ~ Deborah Noel

Tangled Blood LinesTangled Blood Lines by Deborah Noel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I should start out by giving a shout out to the 
Vamptasy Book Club  Via
facebook  as I got the free ebook of  Tangled Blood Lines
 as one of their group reads! As you can tell my by my rating this is one ebook that did not disappoint.


Summary via Goodreads;
This is not your sweet sparkling vampire story. Oldschool vampires have resurfaced, responsible for brutal murders and more blood than anyone can cope with. In "Tangled Blood Lines", Cianna Fitzgerald, a young but "retired" crime scene investigator, finds herself back in a world she walked away from some years ago.

She grew up in twentieth century Pennsylvania countryside knowing she possesses superhuman powers from her "Irish pixie" bloodlines. She had retired after a particularly tough case where the victim was her husband's twin brother. After her brief respite from murders and homicides, Cianna witnesses a killing where the murderer is a vampire. Her daughter goes missing soon after the killing. Cianna and the love she had once pushed out of her life, her estranged husband Declan, travel halfway around the world to try to save their child.

As the mystery unravels, she learns that although she is a halfbreed, the other half isn't "Irish pixie" as she grew up believing weaving her into a more tangled history and frightening future than she had bargained for.



My Take on it...


One of the things I enjoy most is reading truly original ideas. In a genre that is flooded with the same old Vampires and Werewolves Noel has managed to give us a new perspective while staying true to the nature of the beast, so to speak. By a third of the way in I was hooked and couldn't pull myself away. The characters are well done and each have a surprising amount of depth. I will say that I found Mattie a tad bit unbelievable at first. This mostly comes from my own experience as a mother and child photographer. Mattie just seems a tad bit too mature but maybe because of some other revelations later in the book she is mature due to something in her genetics? I guess we will have to wait and see in the next book.


Speaking of the next book, talk about some big questions. Will they find Mattie? What is the deal with Cianna's dad? How do the werewolves come into play? The end of this book will keep you on the edge of your seat waiting for more!


This was such an interesting story that there were only a few small things that kept it from 5 stars for me. One was the focus on how much German/Gaelic Cianna understood. I know its important to the story line for her to have a base knowledge of other languages but it would be just as easy to glaze over it, I think the readers wouldn't mind some kind of a blanket statement in regards to her abilities. I also felt like it had the feel of the second book in the series. Some of the earlier flashbacks had the same feeling as when authors "remind" readers as to what happened in the last book. Otherwise this book was fabulous.


It is worth pointing out again how enjoyable it was to see vampires in a more classic form, but without the gore that a more horror focused novel would portray. If you are looking for a fast paced read with twists and turns you will not be expecting then Tangled Blood Lines is a must read. I have not read a novel with a more perfect title in a long time!


View all my reviews

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Interview with Jeremy Burns


Wolf Majick Reviews would like to welcome Jeremy Burns for a quick interview about his new novel From the Ashes.


Delia: About From the Ashes:


Jeremy: From the Ashes is a historical conspiracy thriller that has been described as The Bourne Identity meets National Treasure, a genre comparison that I don’t think is too far off the mark.  A far-reaching conspiracy dating back to the Great Depression threatens to rear its terrifying head in modern-day America as a brilliant history student named Jonathan Rickner investigates the sudden death of his older brother.  While digging into his brother’s dissertation research, Jon discovers the threads of this decades-old conspiracy, threads that lead back to the Hoover Adminstration, the Rockefellers, and the rise of Nazi Germany.  Featuring a covert government agency of assassins that has kept the shocking truth of this conspiracy hidden since the last days of World War II, the secret history of a McCarthy-era rogue agent found hanging off the Brooklyn Bridge at the height of the Cold War, and a labyrinthine treasure hunt hidden in the monuments and museums of Manhattan by John D. Rockefeller himself nearly a century ago, From the Ashes is “a thrilling race against time to expose a diabolical conspiracy that would shatter everything we think we know about the 20th century” (Boyd Morrison, bestselling author of The Ark and The Vault).




Delia: Did you have any specific inspiration for your novel?


Jeremy: I’ve always been a history aficionado, and I grew up on the globe-trotting historical mystery treasure hunt adventures of Indiana Jones and his ilk.  During my first trip to New York City in June of 2006, I came across a rather famous Manhattan monument that really stirred something in me, and I immediately realized I had to do something with it.  I’m being intentionally vague as to the identity of this site, as it’s where I set the novel’s climax, but it was my research into this site, and the history (and historical personages) surrounding it, that led me to the conspiracy at the heart of From the Ashes.


Delia: Who is your favorite character?


Jeremy: I really love Jon, but that’s at least partially because there’s a lot of me in him.  Ultimately, though, I think Wayne might be my favorite character.  His haunted past and internal struggles really allowed me to write a conflicted, dynamic character.  In the original outline of From the Ashes, Wayne didn’t even exist as a character.  In the early stages of the novel, a friend of mine asked off-handedly if he could be a character in my novel, and, considering it for a moment, I agreed.  While my friend joked immediately thereafter that I’d make him a cab driver or something, his request challenged me to look at the story with a fresh eye and to see what new dynamic he could add to the story.  Now, I can’t imagine the story without him, and I’m incredibly grateful to my friend, Wayne Wilkins (who, sadly, I have lost touch with), for his off-hand request five years ago that lead to a tremendous character and a whole new level of storytelling for From the Ashes.


Delia: I hear there is going to be a giveaway.  Can you give us some info on that?


Jeremy: The Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and eReader editions of From the Ashes will be free on Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14.  Starting on Sunday, April 15, those versions will be available at a special discounted price of only $2.99 for a very limited time.


Delia: Do you use social media to help promote your book?  If so, can you share your pages so readers can check them out?


Jeremy: I have been on Facebook since it was only available for college students (Mark Zuckerman and I are the same age), and my Facebook page at  HYPERLINK "http://www.facebook.com/JeremyBurnsBooks" www.facebook.com/JeremyBurnsBooks is one of my main sources for keeping in touch with my fans (my other being my main website at  HYPERLINK "http://www.AuthorJeremyBurns.com" www.AuthorJeremyBurns.com).  I also have a Twitter account ( HYPERLINK "http://www.twitter.com/AuthorJBurns" www.twitter.com/AuthorJBurns) that I’ve just recently started using, and I anticipate it becoming more a part of my networking and promotions in the near future.


Delia: Do you have any plans for a second novel?


Jeremy: I am working on the second Jonathan Rickner adventure now, titled Of Faith and Treason.  Its historical and geographic scope are even grander than those in From the Ashes, and the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been.  At present, I’m shooting to have Of Faith and Treason hit bookshelves later this year.  In this series alone, I have a further four novels in various stages of planning (as well as another twenty-plus ideas for later books in the series).  Stay tuned to my websites for further developments on Of Faith and Treason and future Jon Rickner adventures!


Delia: Any suggestions for aspiring novelists?


Jeremy: Stick with it.


No author’s first draft of a book comes out perfect, so don’t get frustrated and quit if your first attempt isn’t up to snuff.  That’s what second (and third, and fourth…) drafts are for.  A large part of the early drafts of writing From the Ashes was me learning how to write a novel. Read a lot and read widely; there’s really no better way to learn how language works, how to craft characters, how to plot and pace, and all the other tools in the writer’s toolbox.


Don’t follow trends for a quick cash-in.  If you’re not truly passionate about the characters, plot, and subject of your novel, how can you expect your readers to care?  Your apathy will show in your work, and readers will be turned-off.  And don’t try to emulate another successful author’s style or voice.  That’s fine for early-stage writing exercises, but when you’re actually writing your novel, make it yours, from the story and characters to the way you use your writer’s toolbox of diction, syntax, and figurative language.  The writers whose style you want to emulate are successful with that style because it is genuinely their own.  Find your own voice, and let it grow into something that your readers will admire as being distinctively yours.


Network with other writers.  There can be a temptation to be reclusive when it comes to writing, particularly when you have the idea that you’re so excited about and you don’t want any other writers to steal, but my experience has been that fellow writers – at least, the professional ones – are more excited to write their own ideas that they’re passionate about than pilfering anyone else’s ideas.  The tradecraft insights and publishing insights you can glean from other writers can be invaluable.  Besides, one of the coolest things about meeting (and ultimately, hanging out with) some of the biggest names in the thriller industry when I was still unpublished was the realization that they are just regular people, just like you and I.


Which brings me to my final point: Stick with it.  The only reason to ever give up writing a story is if it ceases to interest you anymore (heaven forbid!).  If you have a story that you feel needs to be told, take the time to learn the tradecraft necessary to tell it well.  And then tell it.  The publishing industry is a volatile one to be sure, but with the rising popularity of eBooks and a recent boom in independent publishers, there are more opportunities for new authors to break into the industry than ever.  Step one is to write the best story that you possibly can.  And if your story is good enough, it’s just a matter of persistence and that one lucky break to get your start as a published author.  And whenever things feel hopeless, take heart in remembering that every single one of your favorite authors was once just as unpublished as you are now.




Delia: What is your favorite novel?


Jeremy: That’s a tough one.  I read about 150 books a year, and many stand out as phenomenal.  If I had to pick just one, I’d probably say Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum and The Name of the Rose, Michael Connelly’s Void Moon, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, George Orwell’s 1984, and Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy also stand out as favorites.  Beyond that, I have too many favorites to count.




Delia: Do you have anything in your TBR pile that might interest readers of your novel?


Jeremy: I have shelves upon shelves of books in my TBR “pile”, not to mention the numerous books I want to read but don’t yet own.  One book that immediately stands out to me, though, is Steve Berry’s upcoming historical thriller The Columbus Affair, about which I will be interviewing Mr. Berry for the May issue of International Thriller Writer’s monthly webzine, The Big Thrill.  Another is H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, one of the first and most enduring classic adventure fiction novels, the protagonist of which (Allan Quatermain) was one of the key inspirations for the character of Indiana Jones (and one reason why Jon Rickner’s middle name is “Allan”).

Thanks so much Jeremy for stopping by and sharing your insights! Hopefully everyone will check out your novel, free on Amazon till April 14th!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sequoia

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to my beautiful 30 year old Appaloosa gelding RunningWolfsAppitude known to all who love him as Sequoia. Sequoia and I have been through a lot over the years, more than I could ever express in words. It is impossible to describe the hole I already feel in my heart so instead I would rather tell you all about the things I will cherish forever.

I suppose its best to start at the beginning. Shortly before my junior year in high school my horse Risky had to be euthanized due to a tragic paddock accident that broke his  left front leg. Risky had been the perfect first horse. An older chestnut Thoroughbred who had been retired from the Dressage arena. Risky had been an excellent babysitter for a teenage girl who thought she knew everything. I felt the loss of him greatly.

My grandparents became concerned that I would give up horses all together and in the hopes to keep that from happening my Nana called one day to tell me it was time to buy another horse and that she and Papa had saved some money for me to do so. Over the years I have received many gifts, but this one will always shine in my mind as the greatest.

I found new hope in my search, a new spark so to speak. But being a teenager and still hurting I decided to only look at horses that were drastically different. No more quiet older horses for this girl. I was ready for something different. I was ready to try something new. So instead of the English style horses I had always ridden I went on the hunt for a stock horse. It was on this hunt that I found Sequoia. A short and stocky Appaloosa gelding who his owner had been training for the western pleasure ring. I knew he was the one from the moment I looked into his soft brown eyes and rubbed his his amazingly mottled ears.

I brought him home a week later and over the next few weeks learned that for as much as Risky was a babysitter Sequoia was a teacher. He taught me how to sit a buck and a spin. When I had mastered those we moved on to bolts and rears. He had as much attitude as any teenager with 1,000 lbs to back it up.

The first show I took him too he dumped me twice, but we won two classes so overall I decided it was a win. My instructor offered to find him a new home but I wouldn't even think of it. He and I were an excellent team, we were still just working out the bugs. By the end of the first summer I was riding him bareback with just a neck collar through the trails behind the barn. By the end of the second summer we were winning in classes for halter to English please and trail. (I gave up on the western pleasure, Sequoia always liked to move out better)

He became my super horse, one weekend camping in NH the next weekend showing all day. We enjoyed long walks through the castle woods in Haverhill or swimming in plugs pond. He would lay down in the paddock and allow me to climb on his back before he stood. In short we were more than horse and owner, we were partners joined together at the soul.

At some point I decided to become a riding instructor and Sequoia followed suit training young riders and carrying them safely into the show ring. He would dazzle them with his antics and bow for treats of all kinds, but Nacho Cheese Doritos were always his favorite. On an average show day he would compete in three divisions and it was not uncommon for him to come home champion in more than one.

When my life changed so did Sequoia's. I finally got a "real" job and instead of standing in a ring all day shouting orders I began managing a photography studio. Sequoia and I still gave the occasional lesson but we both knew our show ring days were done. I moved him and the rest of the heard to a small private stable in Salem NH were we both made some great friends and had the ability to see some of our young students grow into amazing people. They never forgot Sequoia and always made sure to bring him a treat even if they were going to ride someone else. He and I still enjoyed riding together until shortly after my husband and I bought our house.

The spring after I moved the horses home Sequoia had his first bout with Laminitis. It was a constant battle with which he never never showed anything but grace. My little stocky gelding had a huge heart and even till the end his amazing personality showed through. He was never afraid, even at the end he looked nothing but strong, its funny how he seemed like he was holding on for me. Waiting till I was ready to let him go. Your never really ready, but when you love someone you know when its no longer fair for them to suffer, no matter how much you don't want to let go.

I know now I will never really let him go. He will live on through my memories and the memories of all of those who's lives he has touched. He has been my closest friend and safest confidant. A forgiving soul through my teenage years and early adult blunders. A babysitter and teacher for students and my own young children. He will always be the horse I built and entire wedding around (so I could ride him up the isle). The horse who I rode into a building up a flight of stairs and who stood in a school playground year after year letting elementary students learn a little about the "Pioneer days". He is the horse I will forever hold all horses up against, and forever they will never be able to come close because a horse like this is a one in a million, and I am so much better for knowing and loving him.



Sunday, April 8, 2012

Unwind ~ Neal Shusterman

Unwind by Neal Shusterman





From Amazon:In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them


4 stars



All I can say is Wow. I received this book as part of a giveaway at The Hunger Games Movie premiere. Just like The Hunger Games after reading the back I had no interest in opening the book. But since I loved The Hunger Games I figured I would give it a try, I'm so glad I didi. Unwind is a highly distirbing book placed in a future where the pro life and pro choice people have agreed to a sick and twisted answer to both of their problems. People as so naive that they think its morally ok to Unwind someone because their parts will live on. Since they probably need you to be of a certain size to make your parts use full, and teenagers are the worst in attitude, the age your parents can Unwind you is from 13-18. One wrong move and off you go. 
Now that their are no abortions, and it sounds like birth control must be out as well, it seems like there are very many unwanted pregnancies. These kids are either "storked" by being dropped off on some ones doorstep or they are dropped off at a state home. 
These state homes are filled with kids who will end up being Unwinds. If you are not exceptional then you will be used for spare parts. Freaky to say the least. I will say I don't find this world as believable as the world of The Hunger Games. I just can't imagine that the overly religious organizations would find it ok to Unwind people. That doesn't take away from the story for me, though. Shusterman has created a fractured reality that follows the lives of three children whose lives are scheduled to be over. His characters have depth and seep of the raw emotion teenagers their age should not have to face. His description of the Unwind process is so real I had to stop a few times so I would not be sick. Having had a C-Section and knowing what its like to have a doctor pulling at you, wondering what was going on, I know what an amazing job Shusterman has done with the explaining the process. 
This is a a book that might make your skin crawl, but its so well done how can you not at least try it? Well here is your chance. I actually got two copies of this book at the premiere so I'm giving one away! Just comment on this review with your name and email. I will choose a winner April 30th!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Universal Mirror ~ Gwen Perkins

The Universal MirrorThe Universal Mirror by Gwen Perkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Summary from Amazon:

On the island of Cercia, the gods are dead, killed by their followers and replaced with the study of magic. Magicians are forbidden to leave their homeland. Laws bind these men that prevent them from casting spells on the living—whether to harm or to heal.

Quentin, a young nobleman, challenges these laws out of love for his wife. His best friend, Asahel, defies authority at his side, unaware that the search for this lost magic will bring them both to the edge of reason, threatening their very souls. The Universal Mirror shows how far two men are willing to go for the sake of knowledge and what they will destroy to obtain it.




This is an interesting world, where God is dead and magic has survived. But why? In the land of Cercia magicians are trained at the University in the art of magic and of its many rules. They are so well trained it seems they never use any magic at all. SInce most magicians come from rich families there seems to be no practical application for magic at all. These kinds of situations almost always lead to some kind of rebellion which is where we find Asahel and Quentin. They may not realize that their actions show the sparks of rebellion, yet anyways.


The Universal Mirror is as much about human nature as it is about magic. Much like The Radleys it is a story laced with magic that could stand alone even if you exchanged the word magic for something like medicine. It is a reflection on the way society treats certain classes, even if they are as gifted as the people "above" them in life. There is also the something to be said about the blind faith we, as human beings, have in what society tells us is right and wrong. Anyone who challenges those truths may suffer humiliation or even physical harm. It is these individuals who push on for the greater good that will help mold our world into a better place. Whether they mean to of not.


I did find the beginning a little slow moving but by the middle the story had swept me up and I couldn't wait to find out what happens. The author even threw in a few big curve balls I wasn't expecting, making the story that much better. This was a nice change of pace from my usual werewolves and vampires, a real human interest kind of story.


You can Check out Gwen Perkins website for more info on The Universal Mirror and check out her Author interview here at Wolf Majick.

View all my reviews

Author Interview ~ Gwen Perkins


Wolf Majick reviews would like to thank Gwen Perkins author of The Universal Mirror.

Delia :Let's talk a little about The Universal Mirror, what gave you the idea for such an interesting story?

Gwen: The Universal Mirror was first conceived when I joined a writing community on LiveJournal and was working on it as part of a group of people who were spending a year to write a book.  At the time, I'd been trying to write a SF novel about windfarms and failing.  I decided to see if I could create an epic fantasy as a way of jogging my writer's block, not thinking that it would be anything more than a brief interlude from science fiction.

I went back to the community and found this snippet of apology to the fellow writers that I wrote when I switched projects: "… I beg your forgiveness that it isn't about windfarms or apocalypse and instead is something perhaps much more traditional."  This is ironic since, in the end, The Universal Mirror didn't end up being the standard fantasy romance that I intended but instead, a series about grave robbing, defying authority, and trying to save a marriage while all of these things are happening around it.

Delia: Do you have a favorite character from The Universal Mirror? If so do they resemble anyone in your real life?

Gwen: I love all of the characters in Mirror, to be honest, although some also drive me a little insane.  (Quentin would be the obvious one simply because he and I aren't nearly as alike in our attitudes towards other people.)  There is a lot more coming for several of the characters in future books.

I don't intentionally model my characters after people in real life although I hope that they're real enough for others to find something in one or two of them that they can relate to.  A lot of where any resemblance comes in is in everyday happenings or the culture around them.  I often take conflicts that are happening in the media and translate those into how they would play out in Cercia.  When you look at the plot of Mirror, for instance, one of the greatest problems experienced in that world is poverty and the inability of the poor to receive adequate healthcare and treatment.  Cercia is quite definitely a culture in potential decline or transition, much as some would say our own is, and the novels discuss some of that within the context of that universe.

Delia: Would you want to live in the world of the Universal Mirror?

Gwen: To be honest, it would depend on who I was and how much money I had.  ;)  If I was a noble and a magician (and a man), my life would be pretty good.  But there are a lot of prejudices within the island of Cercia towards women and the lower classes.  We'll find as characters visit other parts of the world, however, that this greatly varies.

Delia: I hear your working on your next book, any hints for readers?

Gwen: Well, the next book is titled The Jealousy Glass and it's planned for release in February of next year, pending no major changes or production delays. 

This novel takes place a year after The Universal Mirror and events have caused some significant changes in the status of both Asahel and Quentin.  Asahel and Felix are sent overseas to the Empire of Anjdur as part of an attempt to stop a war but after they arrive, they discover that there is much more to the story than they ever could have expected.  The Jealousy Glass is full of action--from shipwrecks to swordfights—and further delves into the magic and history of both Cercia and Anjdur.  I think those who liked the first novel will like the second even more.

Now just for fun...

Delia: What is your favorite novel?

Gwen: Oh, it'd be hard to choose just one.  Right now, I would say either Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler or The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, depending on my mood.

Delia: Do you believe in magic?

Gwen: Yes.  I believe that any act of creation, be that art, writing, music, etc., is a kind of magic.  People do wonderful things in their everyday lives all of the time without thinking about them that would have been considered magic even fifty years ago.  (Think about your cell phone, for instance.)  It's both amazing and terrifying living in times like these, when technology changes so rapidly.

Delia: What is your favorite part about being a writer?

Gwen: There are a few different parts.  The act of writing itself fills me with joy.  I love to create characters and give them life, hoping that some part of what I have made touches others. 

I also love the community of readers that exists and supports the authors that they love.  I have met some of the most wonderful people through this first book, both fellow writers and new fans, and I hope that I'm fortunate enough to keep in touch with them as more novels appear.  I can't stress enough how encouraging it is to see a new Amazon review or chat with someone over Facebook or email about the story.  It makes it all worthwhile.

Delia: Thanks for stopping by Gwen and for giving us some insight into your book

Gwen: Thank you so much for having me for this interview!  And thanks to the readers for taking the time to learn more about my novel.  If anyone wants to find out more about the book or get in touch, my website is at http://theuniversalmirror.com