The Prince with Amnesia by Emily Evans

16140037

Despite the fact that the title could be a little more alluring and that the reader has to suspend all reality for this book, (because no way is a hot, seventeen year old, European prince, second in line to his county’s throne, going to go to a public high school in Texas. That’s just stuff of fairy tales, not real life.) (Damn it!) this is a surprisingly good story. In fact, in my opinion, if it had been fleshed out a little, with more character development, more insight into the hero, Kai’s family, and had not left the reader hanging at the end, I would’ve given it 5 stars.

**Spoiler Alert**

Kind of…

The ending is not really a cliff hanger, per se, more like it just ends without any elaboration. We get the bones of the plot but not the meat. We’re given little hints about things, such as Kai’s grandmother’s involvement in the cause of his amnesia but no further explanation. There’s the whole reality show set up that we’re led to believe is to bring attention to the small country, but seems to just be an elaborate cover up for Kai’s… assassination? (It’s not spelled out but that’s what I concluded even though he’d been in Texas for most of it.) And what’s with Violet’s overbearingly strict parents not letting her date all through high school but allowing her to run all over Europe with a group of her classmates, with just her eighteen year old male cousin and one woman teacher as chaperones? See? Just not enough build up and transition from one plot point to the next.

I know it sounds like I didn’t like, The Prince with Amnesia, on the contrary, I liked it a lot. I think that’s why I’m leaving such a critical sounding review. I’ve read other books by Emily Evans and I know this one could’ve been something great.

Best wishes for great books,

Charli

Advertisements

‘Enjoying the Chase’ by Kirsty Moseley

Image
Click photo for Amazon link
 
 First, let me say that I love Kirsty Moseley’s stories. This is the third one I’ve read, and I’ve enjoyed them all, very much. Her characters have a lot of depth with realistic personalities and I found myself really falling in love with them. I’d even go so far as to say, that the main male character, Nate Peters, is my new favorite male character! He’s not only extremely masculine and good-looking but he’s romantic, thoughtful, affectionate, loyal, honorable and has a terrific sense of humor! I could go on but let’s just say that he’s pretty much perfect, and leave it at that. 
 
The plot kept my attention, was very believable and put me through a lot of different emotions. I found myself saying, ‘Just one more chapter’ a lot, and was a bit sad when it ended. The ending is a very satisfying, happily ever after, though, and there’s even a brief glimpse into the future, which I love! 
 
Now comes the hard part, the things I didn’t love…. 
 
It’s very apparent that Ms. Moseley doesn’t use a professional editor, if one at all. There are so many errors that I was taken out of the story several times, which I hate. I read as an escape and I don’t want to be reminded that it’s just a story by grammatical errors and misplaced words. Unfortunately, this book is riddled with them, and it’s a shame because it’s really a wonderful story. It’s also apparent that Ms. Moseley is not from the U.S., where the story takes place. This isn’t as big a problem for me as it was in the first book in this series but it can be distracting. If you can overlook the errors and misplaced words, I think you’ll truly enjoy this story.
 
I gave it 4 stars despite the errors because I enjoyed it that much. I truly hope that Kirsty Moseley finds a good editor, preferably from the USA, because she’s doing herself and her readers, a big disservice by not using one. Once she does, I think her story-telling talent will take her far as an author. I’m looking forward to reading more from her.
 
Happy Reading! 

‘Twas the Darkest Night by Sophie Avett (A Sinister Stitches spinoff)

20581684

I received this book in exchange for an honest review through the Goodreads group, Lovers of Paranormal. When I first started reading, I thought I’d made a mistake by agreeing to read and review it. I was a little overwhelmed and didn’t think I was going to like it. That changed very quickly. Before I knew it, I was in deep. I didn’t want to put it down and found myself stealing time to read it here and there.

The writing is like poetry or the lyrics to a song. The author doesn’t just tell the reader what’s going on or what the scenery looks like, she paints you a picture with her words. It’s definitely not a book you can just walk through, you have to pay attention but, if you do, you’ll realize what a beautifully written story it is. Surprisingly, the story has a lot of Dom/Sub elements in it, that I didn’t expect. These were also written in such a way as to bring a sort of beauty to the scenes. There are occasional ‘raunchy’ words thrown into the dialogue but it’s done in a way that adds to the personality of the character speaking, and doesn’t really take away from the prose-like narrative.

The characters are multi-faceted and, though they are paranormal creatures, they have a realness to them that only enhances the story. Humans and monsters have learned to live together, for the most part, and the supernatural beings live and work just as humans do, only after dusk. You get the fantasy of a paranormal realm with a bit of reality thrown in. Not too much, just enough to give it a sense of believability, with a twist. The main heroine, Elsa, is a strong being who gives the impression that nothing can phase her but we get glimpses of her soft underbelly the minute she reveals her attraction to the main hero. She brought tears to my eyes on a few different occasions with her vulnerability. The main hero, Marshall, on the other hand, actually believes he’s a strong, cold-as-ice, hard-ass with no weaknesses. As the story unfolds, we find that he’s as layered as any other being, once you chip away at his shields.

Speaking of characters, there are so many awesomely, interesting characters in this story that anyone with a fascination for myths, legends, fairytales, and the like, will be spellbound. You’ll find a variety of beings here, from ghosts and pixies, to vampires and brownies, each with distinct personalities and quirks. It was amazing to me that I could keep them all straight but they’re so well-written and individually interesting, that I had no trouble at all.

I’m not going into detail as to spoil the ending but I just want to say that I loved that Marshall wasn’t appalled by Elsa’s ‘true form’. That part, to me, was so very beautiful and, I admit, I got a little teary-eyed. Elsa deserved to be loved completely, and so did Marshall, for that matter. Lovers of happily-ever-afters won’t be disappointed, and that’s all I’m going to say.

Happy Reading!!!

Click on the photo to see book for link to Amazon.com

Wow! A Shade of Vampire is one of the most original books I think I’ve ever read…

With so many vamp books around, it’s very difficult, at best, to come up with a unique spin on the subject. Bella Forrest has accomplished that, and then some!

Image

http://www.bellaforrest.blogspot.com/

Combining some common vampire themes, modern day thinking and major imagination, A Shade of Vampire goes where no other vampire book has. Sure, the heroine being kidnapped to become a slave to a vampire, has been done before but the meat of the story goes way off from there.

Taken to a secret haven for vampires, this feisty heroine is unknowingly destined to be a slave for the prince of the vamps, who’s been asleep for 400 years. Kind of like a blood-sucking Sleeping Beauty, except, instead of being awakened by a prince, he is the prince!

I won’t go into any more details so as not to spoil the plot but, if you like vamp books, I’d suggest giving this one a try. There’s danger, intrigue, romance, magic, and mystery, and the characters are three-dimensional in a way that makes you think they could be real people, if vampires really existed.

The ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger, as this is the first book in the series, so I’m more than looking forward to reading the next one when it comes out.

Where to find it…

Paperback:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shade-Of-Vampire-Bella-Forrest/dp/1481280767

eBook:

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/295599
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/A-Shade-Of-Vampire-ebook/dp/B00AOHDMFE

Luminescence, Book 1, by J.L. Weil, is wonderful!!!

Image

4.0 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book! The beginning was a teensy bit slow but, once it got going, it just pulled me in. The heroine is your average teenage girl, except, she’s not. Turns out that she dreams about a boy that is very real to her. He’s her best friend and they spend a lot of time together, just in her dreams. Suddenly, she runs into another boy at school and she’s torn. Being attracted to two cute guys is okay, isn’t it? Even if one of them’s in your dreams and the other’s a witch!

My only complaint about this book, was the same as most other reviewers’, the editing. There are a lot of typos and misspellings. So many that I had to go back and re-read a few sentences before I was able to figure out what some of them meant. In my opinion, though, correct the errors and the story is wonderful!

Available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Luminescence-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B008530G4O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345741604&sr=8-1&keywords=j.l.+weil

and B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/luminescence-jl-weil/1110973168?ean=2940014347013

Charli’s review of Antichrist 16: The Becoming

Available at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Antichrist-16-Becoming-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0083AB0EO/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

It’s taken me a while to figure out what to write in the review for this story. Not because it was bad, on the contrary, because it was so good! I wanted to be able to do it justice. It’s a very original plot, at least one I’ve never run across before, and I really enjoyed it from the first page.

The Antichrist, Nathan, is one of those characters that you feel you actually know. He’s a typical teen that has the uncanny ability to charm his way out of trouble, most of the time. He enjoys hanging with his close friends, he routinely gets picked on by bullies, he gets along pretty well with the teachers at his school, and he has a pretty good relationship with his family. The only thing in his life that causes him pause, besides the bullies, is that he’s adopted and occasionally mentions wondering about his real parents. He takes it all in stride, though, and doesn’t feel as though his life is lacking in any way. For the most part, he appears to be well-adjusted with a great, snarky sense of humor.

Feeling this way about Nathan, I had a problem knowing he was the Antichrist in the story. I wondered how the heck he could be something evil when he seemed to be so sweet. As the story progresses, the author explains their version of the Antichrist as not being evil so much, as being the Uniter of the survivors after the Apocalypse. This put a totally unique spin on the concept of the Antichrist for me. Now, I’m not saying there’s not some badness going on there but I don’t know that evil is the word I’d use to describe it.

I’m not one to include spoilers in my reviews, so I’ll just say that the journey from the explanation of Nathan being the Antichrist, and the end of the book, is one hell of a ride. There were so many twists and turns I stopped trying to anticipate where the story was going, and just enjoyed it. It was definitely worth the ride! I read the last page with some disappointment not knowing when the next installment was due to be released. I sure hope it’s soon!

Goodreads | Charli Denae Mercer’s review of Antichrist 16: The Becoming.

Hold the Front Page! Cover Art is Going Out of Fashion?

In an article featured in the Observer, on Saturday, September 22, author, James Bridle, had this to say:

(Article shown in its original, unchanged form. See link below article to view original.)

Given that e-readers have no use for color illustrations, how will books of the future be displayed?

Leaf through a copy of Phil Baine’s Penguin by Design, and you’ll see the evolution of almost 80 years of book covers. From the stark formalism of Edward Young’s horizontal orange bands (admittedly offset by his cheeky logo), through German typographer, Jan Tscichold’s even starker redesign of the late 1940’s, to Germano Facetti and Romek Marber’s 1960’s grids, and a host of visual experiments in the Pelican, Penguin Specials and Classics ranges, Penguin’s covers stood for many things besides the brand itself: for quality in literature; for a range of genres; for mood, atmosphere and style. And while Penguin’s succession of superstar art directors may have been masters of the form, the cover has remained of central importance in publishing and bookselling for all involved, not least authors, up to the present day – but not, perhaps, for much longer.

Covers increasingly exist not as foot-high billboards and paintings on shelves but as blurred, compressed little icons in lists on websites and devices, inscrutable jumbles of pixels that tell us little about the work. When read on an e-reader, books open to the first page of the text; the traditional cover increasingly seems irrelevant.

So will a new method for displaying books emerge? One possible path is offered by musical platform Soundcloud, where songs are presented in the form of soundwaves. Could a book’s text give form to its cover in a similar fashion, becoming its own representation? It’s not so far-fetched. The work of a designer like Stefanie Posavec, whose Literary Organism visualizes Kerouac’s On the Road, as a branching flower of sentence structures and themes, is more like a book as we understand it in our era of increasing information literacy than any photograph or drawing.

“Never judge a book by its cover”, runs the adage, but if text and cover become inseparable, then it may be possible to do so.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/sep/23/cover-art-out-of-fashion?CMP=twt_gu

Charli’s opinion…

I think the book cover is an important part of the whole story experience. I’ve picked up some of my favorite books because the cover caught my eye. I know you can’t ‘judge a book by its cover’ but a lot of the time, you can tell what kind of book it is, by the cover. If it’s a romantic comedy, the cover is usually colorful with a quirky female character in a silly situation, like walking dogs with leashes wrapped around her legs, for example. A historical romance may have the heroine in a long, flowing gown while likewise dressed couples dance in the background. A western romance may have a hunky cowboy pushing his hat back while he watches horses prance across a field. If you love books, you know what I’m talking about.

 Sadly, this isn’t true for all books, digital or paper. I hate it when the cover doesn’t match the story. A huge point of the story may be that the heroine is a ‘flaming redhead’, yet, on the cover, she’s blonde. Huh? Or the hero is dark and brooding, yet the guy on the cover? You guessed it, smiling as big as the sun with twinkling blue eyes.

 Do some of the people in charge of picking the cover even read the story?

 Probably not.

 Another issue I have with covers is the digital, ebook covers. Some of them are so lame! I know a lot of the books are being self-published, and I truly admire the authors for their bold choice. Some of the best books I’ve read were self-published. I just wish that some of the authors put a little more effort into choosing the cover to represent their hard work. I know that not everyone is artistically inclined but there are all sorts of free digital pictures online (the sites clearly mark the pictures as free and non-copyrighted) and, though it’s difficult to identify books you’ve read by their covers any more, as they all seem to pick from the same site, a lot of these pictures are very attractive. There are even free instructional sites on graphics, and free graphic editing sites. Sure, they’re not all as sophisticated as say, Photoshop, but they’ll serve the purpose. Besides, if you’re not very artistic, Photoshop can be pretty complicated. You just want a cover that’ll attract the readers’ attention so they’ll buy, and read, your book. Once they discover how brilliant your story is, they’ll buy all your books. Right?

 Usually, but you’ve got to get their attention first.

 If you’re like me, books are more than something to read. They’re to be savored and collected. Much to my hubby’s delight (that’s called sarcasm, by the way) I honestly own enough books to start my own used book store. This is after I’ve gone through my books and singled out the ones I could bear to part with and/or figured I’d probably never read, and donated them to the library and local women’s shelter. There’s my ‘To be read’ bookshelves, my ‘Favorites, never to be parted from’ bookshelves, and my ‘I might read these one day so I better hang onto them’ bookshelves. There are also the shelves with the books that the kids might need or want to read some day, like the ‘classics’ or books that might help them in school, and the shelves with the reference/information books. There are also Rubbermaid containers, a lot of them, filled with books that I loved as a child, a teenager, a young adult, and since then. There are books in the attic, books in the garage, books in the closets (Yes, my kids are forbidden to touch my containers in their closets) and books under the stairs. In all those books, the covers are very much admired and appreciated. How else would I be able to identify which book I was looking for, if not for the cover?

 Despite all of these physical books, I do own an eReader. I was gifted with an RCA Rocket eBook many years ago by my hubby (I’m a tech fanatic, too) and then upgraded to the original Kindle and, as of Christmas, 2010, the Kindle keyboard 3G. I still have my Rocket but passed my original Kindle on to a friend when I got my new one. (I’m convinced my hubby thought the ereaders would help to thin out my book collection. Silly man.)

 Oh! How I love my Kindle! *sigh*

 I totally get into the Kindle ebooks offered for free. I subscribe to several of the sites that let you know which books are free and when. I pass these on to my book-loving friends via Facebook and Twitter, and download them myself, religiously. I’ve reached over 20,000 ebooks as of last week. Yes, you read that correctly. 20,000. Thank God, Amazon allows you to keep your books archived. As it is now, I can’t upgrade my phone because I don’t have enough space on it with my Kindle App full. I’ve got to keep some of the books on there, though, or I’ll forget which ones I wanted to read first. I know… I need help.

 My Kindle is full, too, and runs so slow when I’m downloading. I’ve been trying to cull through them to lighten the load and, getting back on subject, this, again, is another place where the covers come in handy. How do I keep them straight on my Kindle if there are no covers? I can’t remember all those titles and authors. I see a cover and get tingles. “Oh, yeah! That’s the book I wanted to read next!” I think, so happy that I figured out which one it was. Because you know, trying to decide which book to read next when you have over 20,000 to pick from, is no easy feat.

 After much contemplation, I’m thinking that book covers are a necessity. Kind of like air and water? You really cannot live without them, you know? I mean, think of all the frustration you save by having the covers to look at. How many awesome books would we pass up if that delightful cover with the sweaty, naked six pack on it didn’t catch our eye? I’m thinking, a lot, and really, life is too short to pass up an awesome book.

 Don’t you think?