Book Review: ‘Not Your Abuelita’s Folktales’ by Maria J Estrada

This book contains four unique young adult short stories that are full of the colours and textures of Southwestern America.  

These are very entertaining and interesting stories, populated by a variety of diverse characters who all face various challenges common to youth, from issues of cultural acceptance to boys manipulating girls to get what they want. The challenges faced by the characters are often complicated by differences of culture or understanding that set them apart from those around them. 

All four stories have quite thought-provoking elements that pique the reader’s curiosity and invite them to engage in the story at a deeper level. By making the reader intimately familiar with each main characters’ thoughts and responses, the author cleverly immerses the reader in each story and leads them to feel as though they are watching over the characters’ shoulders as a silent eyewitness to the events that unfold. 

Magical realism and paranormal elements create additional layers of mystery and intrigue within each narrative. Because some of the protagonists are not human, the stories are highly original and their outcomes are not predictable. 

This is a most enjoyable and diverting book with a fresh perspective on YA literature. 

Book Review: ‘Tails Always Wins’ by C.A. King

As humans, we tend to think of ourselves as being at the pinnacle of creation, the most developed and intelligent species. Yet history attests to the selfishness, the prejudice and the cruelty to which humanity is, above all other species, susceptible. 

‘Tails Always Wins’ is a paranormal romance suspense story that highlights just how hateful people can be to those who are different in some way, and the long-lasting effects their cruelty can have on the victims.  

There is a lot at stake for the characters, but the story also reminds the reader that we too must resist complacency and never turn a blind eye to the schemes of evil people. 

When Brodie finds himself at the mercy of a scheme designed designed to bring about the eradication of his kind, the reader realises that such a plan is a quite believable proposition because, sadly, we have seen humans do that kind of thing to others in the not-so-very-distant past. 

This highlights the wisdom of both Brodie and Tails concealing their true nature from the rest of society, even though their stories and their reasons for doing so are quite different. 

While each of them is morally opposed to the evil that confronts them, it is their true nature that unites them against the common enemy. In this, it is also a story of the power of acceptance and alliance in the lives of those who have fought for too long on their own. 

The story is well crafted with highly individual, likeable lead characters with whom it is easy to sympathise, and some characters that the readers will readily dislike. The author makes very effective use of suspense and subtle suggestion to engage the reader and keep them hooked on the story right to the end. 

‘Tails Always Wins’ is a most enjoyable read, and has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

Find your copy here

Book of the Week: ‘Fallen Captive’ by Aliya DalRae

‘Fallen Captive’ is the second book in a suspenseful and exciting new series of paranormal romance suspense novels by Aliya DalRae.  

Held captive from birth for crimes ultimately committed by another, the Vampire, Nox, escapes the Primeval only to spend his first hundred years of liberty searching for somewhere to belong. The last place he imagined he’d call home is with the Fallen Cross Legion, a military faction serving the very entity responsible for his wrongful imprisonment. The only complication is the fire-haired female who saved his life, if not his eye.

From the moment she laid eyes on him, Rachel found herself drawn to Nox. However, the loss of her human husband after a lifetime of devotion left her with no desire to put herself through that brand of heartbreak ever again. She doesn’t need a male in her world to feel complete. 

When the Primeval demands an audience with Nox and the Legion Warriors, they find themselves far from home and at the mercy of a madman. Compelled by the Seer blood running through her veins, Rachel joins the Warriors on their journey to London, knowing full well they’ll be lucky to escape with their lives.

But her heart has betrayed her, and Rachel knows she must do whatever it takes to rescue the male that she loves. 

Of course, you may want to start at the beginning of the Fallen Cross Legion series with Fallen Prey, which has been reviewed previously on this blog.

Aliya DalRae is the author of the Jessica Sweet trilogy of paranormal romance novels and the Fallen Cross Pack paranormal novella series.

Book of the Week: ‘Tails Always Wins’ by C.A. King

‘Tails Always Wins’ is the first in an exciting new series of paranormal romance thrillers by C.A. King. 

Shifters and humans clash in this supernatural thriller based on prejudice, injustice, uprisings, and romance.

It began with a handful of dogs on a dangerous breed registry. Over time, that number grew. Complete species faced extinction. Then the unthinkable happened – the government began adding shifters to the list. 

Brodie spent his entire life keeping his nose clean and his other form hidden from society. 

Tails spent the majority of her life learning the value of favours and how to extract them; a skill she put to good use for the cause. 

Betting against them is a deadly mistake. Wherever destiny leads them, luck is sure to follow. In the end, no matter how many times the coin is tossed, one thing holds true… Tails always wins!

So far, the reviewers are liking it!

Hang On To Your Shirt Tails!  That’s not all!

Book 2 of the series is also available for preorder. 

Book Review: ‘Yardley: An Unconventional Love Story’ by Lucretia Stanhope

Part of Stanhope’s ‘Elemental Witch Trials’ series, this novella tells the back story of Yardley, a minor but mysterious character in the other books. 

It is interesting to gain insight into the nature and qualities of a character who has hovered on the periphery of the story so far, and to see how the connection between Yardley and Sebastian was first established. I was surprised by the appearance of one of the other minor characters from the series in this book, as it was a connection I had not expected.

Testament to the author’s creativity and talent is the fact that even after reading multiple novels in this series, I can still be completely surprised by a cleverly crafted connection or plot twist. 

This was an enjoyable read, easily finished in under two hours. 

‘Yardley’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn. 

Find your copy here

New Release: ‘What The Gods Allow’ by J.S. Frankel

Jesse Frankel and his books are no strangers on this blog. Ether and The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce both won Golden Squirrel awards last year, and a variety of Jesse’s books have received Gold Acorn reviews.

In fact, I’ve never read a J.S. Frankel book that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy.

That’s why I am so excited about this new release. Written for a Young Adult audience, it’s a blend of paranormal, urban fantasy and horror.

This promises to be another fantastic read from this outstanding author.

Medusa, the Gorgon, is free—temporarily. Penned up in Tartarus, the gods—Zeus and Hera—show her mercy. Medusa is given two weeks in which to track down their wayward daughter, Eris. Transformed into a beautiful young woman, Medusa is given only one warning: not to use her powers of transforming those to stone. 

She agrees and adopts the name Meddy Gorgonne. In a stroke of chance, she finds lodgings with the Goldstein’s, Sam and Trudy, and tries to figure out how modern Portland works. Cars, showers, television—all are mysteries to her at first, although she adapts.

Meddy is somewhat naïve about life and especially about love, as she slowly falls for Sam, a teen who is suffering from Usher’s Syndrome, a disease that will blind and deafen him in time. What is more troubling to Meddy is that her powers of turning people to stone have returned, and she is at a loss as to why. 

With the police slowly closing in and time running out on how to get Eris to return to Olympus, Meddy discovers that sometimes old is new, and that time-worn traditions can surmount modernity.

But will they be enough for her to stay with Sam, or will she be forced to return to Tartarus for eternity?

***

Find your copy of ‘What The Gods Allow’ at Amazon or Devine Destinies.

Book Review: ‘Moon Warriors’ by Kayla Krantz

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the bad people and the good. After all, we only see what other people are willing to let us see, and some of them are very good at manipulating our perceptions.

Our understandings of the world and of ourselves would certainly be confronted and challenged by the shocking discovery that one we have always been told was our enemy is actually more of a friend than someone we have loved and trusted. 

Talia, driven to find our the truth behind the death of her boyfriend, finds herself in exactly that situation, The story takes her on a sometimes terrifying and often surprising journey of discovery, during which she finds out far more than she expected at the outset. 

‘Moon Warriors’ is a really good paranormal romance story that can be read in a couple of hours. This is a book that will please lovers of paranormal romance or dark romance, although there is some strong language and graphic content, so it’s not suitable for young readers.  

‘Moon Warriors’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn. 

Find your copy here.