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Free Amazon Books Week 1: 5 Paranormal Book Collections

January 12, 2018

Seven Against the Dark: Seven Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Series Starters

Authors: Annie Bellet,‎ Deanna Chase,‎ Kate Danley, ‎Colleen Gleason,‎ Helen Harper,‎ Christine Pope,‎ Anthea Sharp

Amazon Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars




Seven books! Each an introduction to a bestselling urban fantasy or paranormal romance series. All from USA Today bestselling and international bestselling authors who are consistently on the bestseller charts.

BLOODFIRE by Helen Harper

Mackenzie Smith has always known she was different.

Growing up as the only human in a pack of rural shapeshifters will do that to you, but then couple it with some mean fighting skills and a fiery temper and you end up with a woman that few will dare to cross.

DARKANGEL by Christine Pope

Finding the man of your dreams can be a real nightmare....

As the future prima, or head witch of her clan, Angela McAllister is expected to bond with her consort during her twenty-first year, thus ensuring that she will come into her full powers at the appointed time. The clock is ticking down, and her consort has yet to make an appearance. Instead, her dreams are haunted by a man she’s never seen, the one she believes must be her intended match.

FEYLAND: The Dark Realm by Anthea Sharp

What if a high-tech computer game was a gateway to the dangerous Realm of Faerie?

Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and fifteen-year-old Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But she doesn’t suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch — or that she’ll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries.

HAUNTED ON BOURBON STREET by Deanna Chase

Jade loves her new apartment—until a ghost joins her in the shower.

When empath Jade Calhoun moves into an apartment above a strip bar on Bourbon Street, she expects life to get interesting. What she doesn't count on is making friends with an exotic dancer, attracting a powerful spirit, and developing feelings for Kane, her sexy landlord. Being an empath has never been easy on Jade's relationships. It's no wonder she keeps her gift a secret. 

JUSTICE CALLING by Annie Bellet

Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress. 

Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she’s finally safe. 

As long as she doesn’t use her magic. 

MAGGIE FOR HIRE by Kate Danley

"If urban fantasy could be bottled, then this story is a shot-glass full of awesomesauce." - Dark Side of the Covers Reviews

When monsters appear in Los Angeles, Maggie MacKay is on the job. No one is better at hauling the creepy crawlies back where they belong. No one, that is, except her dad, who disappeared in the middle of an assignment.

Now an elf named Killian has shown up with a gig. Seems Maggie’s uncle teamed up with the forces of darkness to turn Earth into a vampire convenience store, serving bottomless refills on humans.

The only hope for survival lies in tracking down two magical objects and a secret that vanished with Maggie’s dad.

THE REST FALLS AWAY by Colleen Gleason

“Sophisticated, sexy, surprising!”— J.R. Ward

“Colleen Gleason’s irresistible…series is deliciously dark and delightfully entertaining.”
—Chicago Tribune

“Gleason’s publishing debut turns vampire stories—and romances—on their ear.”—Detroit Free Press

Beneath the glitter of dazzling nineteenth century London Society lurks a bloodthirsty evil…

In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake. But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous moonlit streets, Victoria’s heart is torn between London’s most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her dark, dangerous duty.

Crimson Fire 

Author: W.J. May,‎ Chrissy Peebles

Amazon Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



From bestselling authors W.J. May and Chrissy Peebles - each story is a different genre of fantasy, paranormal and romance – all from different series!

***These stories are the beginning of each author's series. All your questions won't be answered without purchasing the next book in that author's series. Some stories are full length while others are novellas***

If you love free fantasy, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, and free paranormal, then give this book a try!

Fans of Amanda Hocking, Richelle Mead, Stephenie Meyer, Bella Forrest, and L.J. Smith will love this young adult paranormal romance first-in-a-series by W.J. May & Chrissy Peebles. 

The Paranormal 13 (13 free books featuring witches, vampires, werewolves, mermaids, psychics, Loki, time travel and more!): Now with a bonus 14th novel!

Author: K.A. Poe,‎ Christine Pope,‎ Cate Dean,‎ Nadia Scrieva,‎ Nicole R Taylor,‎ Stacy Claflin,‎ Kristy Tate,‎ Dima Zales,‎ C.J. Archer,‎ Kyoko M.

Amazon Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



13 full length paranormal and urban fantasy novels featuring witches, vampires, werewolves, mermaids, psychics, Loki, time travel and more!

1.3 MILLION words! 3,500 PAGES!
  • Darkangel by Christine Pope
  • Twin Souls by K.A. Poe
  • The Girl by Lola St Vil
  • More Than a Feeling by Cate Dean
  • Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva
  • Wolves by C. Gockel
  • The Witch Hunter by Nicole R Taylor
  • Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent by Kristy Tate
  • Nolander by Becca Mills
  • The Medium by C.J. Archer
  • Dream Student by J.J. DiBendetto
  • Deception by Stacy Claflin
  • The Black Parade by Kyoko M.
  • The Thought Readers by Dima Zales

Each of these novels are FULL LENGTH BOOKS and are the first in each one's respective seri

Heroes of Medieval Wales: Daughter of Time/Cold My Heart/The Good Knight/The Last Pendragon: Four First-in-Series Romances

Author: Sarah Woodbury

Amazon Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



Time travel, mystery, magic ... journey to a time of knights and castles with these four historical romances, each the first installment in series of adventure and romance set in medieval Wales!

Daughter of Time (novel): Time travel to medieval Wales ... A medieval man with an uncertain destiny and a modern woman with a troubled past. Only by working together can Llywelyn and Meg navigate the shifting allegiances that threaten the very existence of Wales-and create their own history that defies the laws of time.

Cold My Heart (novella): Myrddin and Nell, two of the king's companions, have a secret that neither has ever been able to face: each has seen that on a cold and snowy day in December, Saxon soldiers sent by Modred will ambush and kill King Arthur. Together, they must decide what they are willing to do, and to sacrifice, to avert that fate.

The Good Knight (novel): Intrigue and rivalry among princes casts a shadow on the court of the king of north Wales. When a royal groom is murdered on the way to his wedding, the bride's brother tasks Gareth and Gwen, his two best detectives, with bringing the killer to justice.

The Last Pendragon (novella): Rhiann knows that demons walk the night. She has been taught to fear them. But from the moment Cade is dragged before her father's throne, beaten and having lost all of his men to her father's treachery, he stirs something inside her that she has never felt before. When Cade is revealed to be not only Arthur's heir but touched by the sidhe, Rhiann must choose between the life she left behind and the one before her--and how much she is willing to risk to follow her heart.

Four and a Half Shades of Fantasy Anthology: 4 Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy Books; including vampire, werwolves, witches, tattoos, supernatural powers and more

Author: W.J. May

Amazon Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



4 (and a half) thrilling fantasy/romance genres in one!

From bestselling author W.J. May - each shade is a different genre of the fantasy, paranormal and romance – all from different series! There are four (and a half - because two paranormal genres are similar)

*UPDATE* full version of Courage Runs Red now included! 5 first-in-a-series now included! 

Rae of Hope – The Chronicles of Kerrigan

How hard do you have to shake the family tree to find the truth about the past? 

Fifteen year-old Rae Kerrigan never really knew her family's history. Her mother and father died when she was young and it is only when she accepts a scholarship to the prestigious Guilder Boarding School in England that a mysterious family secret is revealed. 

Will the sins of the father be the sins of the daughter? 

As Rae struggles with new friends, a new school and a star-struck forbidden love, she must also face the ultimate challenge: receive a tattoo on her sixteenth birthday with specific powers that may bind her to an unspeakable darkness. It's up to Rae to undo the dark evil in her family's past and have a ray of hope for her future.

Seventh Mark Part 1 – The Hidden Secrets Saga

Like most teenagers, Rouge is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to be. With little knowledge about her past, she has questions but has never tried to find the answers. Everything changes when she befriends a strangely intoxicating family. Siblings Grace and Michael, appear to have secrets which seem connected to Rouge. Her hunch is confirmed when a horrible incident occurs at an outdoor party. Rouge may be the only one who can find the answer. 

An ancient journal, a Sioghra necklace and a special mark force life-altering decisions for a girl who grew up unprepared to fight for her life or others. 

All secrets have a cost and Rouge’s determination to find the truth can only lead to trouble…or something even more sinister...werewolves.

Shadow of Doubt – Part 1

What happens when you fall for the one you are forbidden to love? 

Erebus is a bit of a lost soul. He's a guy so he should be out to have fun but unlike the rest of his kind, he is solemn and withdrawn. That is, until he meets Aurora, a law student at Cornell University. His entire world is shaken. Feelings he's never had and urges he’s never understood take over. These strange longings drive him to question everything about himself. 

When a jealous ex stalks back into his life, he must decide if he is willing to risk everything to be with Aurora. His desire for her could destroy her, or worse, erase his own existence forever. 

Radium Halos – The Senseless Chronicles

Everyone needs to be a hero at one point in their life.

The small town of Elliot Lake will never be the same again.

Caught in a sudden thunderstorm, Zoe, a high school senior from Elliot Lake, and five of her friends take shelter in an abandoned uranium mine. Over the next few days, Zoe’s hearing sharpens drastically, beyond what any normal human being can detect. She tells her friends, only to learn that four others have an increased sense as well. Only Kieran, the new boy from Scotland, wasn’t affected. 

Their senses develop into stronger, supernatural powers. Fashioning themselves into superheroes, the group tries to stop the strange occurrences happening in their little town. Muggings, break-ins, disappearances, and murder begin to hit too close to home. It leads the team to think someone knows about their secret – someone who wants them all dead. 

An incredulous group of heroes. A traitor in their midst. Some dreams are written in blood.

Courage Runs Red – The Blood Red Series

What if courage was your only option?

When a raging blood feud between vampires spills into her home, Kallie gets caught in the middle. Torn between love and family loyalty she must find the courage to fight, even if it means risking her own life in the process.



Review of Beautiful Mistake by Vi Keeland

January 09, 2018

Vi Keeland, for me, is one of those authors who I know is famous and has already published a lot of books but I have yet to read her work. I bought three of her novels (Egomaniac, Playboy Pilot, and Beautiful Mistake) sometime last year and they have been patiently sitting quietly in my phone's reading app. 

However, with the new year, a surge of energy came to me that made me want to catch up on my reading that I missed out on in 2017. I decided to start off with good ol' contemporary romance, and as I was scrolling through my digital library, I came across my small collection of Vi Keeland's work. Hot man on the cover? Hell, yes. 

Basically, I had no expectations when I swiped my ebook copy of Beautiful Mistake open, but a few pages in and I knew Vi Keeland would forever be one of my favourite authors. 

Title: Beautiful Mistake
Author: Vi Keeland
Publication Date: July 17th, 2017
Published by: EverAfter Romance
Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Source: Bought
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36107506-beautiful-mistake



SYNOPSIS:

A sexy new standalone from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Vi Keeland

The first time I met Caine West was in a bar.

He noticed me looking his way and mistakenly read my scowling as checking him out.

When he attempted to talk to me, I set him straight—telling him what I thought of his lying, cheating, egomaniacal ass.

You see, the gorgeous jerk had wined and dined my best friend--smooth talking her into his bed, all along failing to mention that he was married.

He deserved every bit of my tongue-lashing and more for what he'd done.

Especially when that lazy smile graced his perfect face in response to my rant.

Only it turned out, the man I'd just told off wasn't the right guy.

Oops. My mistake.

Embarrassed, I slunk out without an apology.

I was never going to see the handsome stranger again anyway, right?

That’s what I thought…until I walked into class the next morning.

Well, hello Professor West, I’m your new teaching assistant.

I’ll be working under you…figuratively speaking.

Although the literal interpretation might not be such a bad thing—working under Professor West.

This was going to be interesting…

PURCHASE LINKS: 

Amazon
iBooks
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Google Play
Paperback

REVIEW: 

Confession: I pictured Theo James as Caine and it worked for me.

As I said, I had no expectations when I started reading Beautiful Mistake. But only after a few pages, when Rachel and Caine crossed paths, I was instantly hooked. I'm a sucker for witty banter and the way Vi Keeland wrote the exchange between the two, I was a goner. I couldn't keep the goofy grin off of my face because the dialogue and even Rachel's internal monologue was hilarious. 

I'm not going to lie -- I didn't know what the story was about because I didn't even bother to read the book's blurb until after I was done. But honestly, I never would've guessed that it would go the way it did, based on the book's synopsis alone.

Honestly, the synopsis doesn't give much away about the plot, aside from our female protagonist is the Teaching Assistant of our male lead. Spoiler alert: the storyline is so much more complicated than that. 

I did not expect the author to go the route that she did. I mean, I had my suspicions that Caine and Rachel share a deeper connection than that of a romantic nature, but it still blew me away when the dots have been connected. 

I love that the author gives us glimpses into different timelines that give the story more depth. We get to see our characters in a different setting, at different moments in their lives. We get to see them vulnerable and in a generally bad place, but despite all that, they managed to become who they are at the present time. 

I know what I'm saying doesn't make much sense, but needless to say, the plot twist was so good that I don't want to spoil it for anyone. 

We've already established that I'm in love with Vi Keeland's writing style. Now, we have to talk about Rachel and Caine. The chemistry and sexual tension between them was so palpable, it's frustrating. Like, get to it already! And boy when they finally caved in, oh my goodness. The author has a gift of making you laugh one second and turning you on the next. Caine is such a strong and intense character that you know when he gives his full attention to you, you'd melt into a big, horny puddle. But more than being completely sexy, he also carries a lot of guilt and regret which stops him from being truly happy. He tends to consider himself responsible for a lot of things and people, and when things go bad, he instantly blames himself. 

It's not uncommon for male leads in novels to be dark and broken, but Caine stands out in a way because he doesn't want whatever messed up past he has to consume him and in turn hurt Rachel. Same goes with Rachel who has been through a lot at such a young age and yet she flourished because she wants to help and be an inspiration to others. The two leads complement each other a lot and seeing how they went from Teaching Assistant and Professor to lovers is exciting.

SUMMARY: 

Beautiful Mistake is wonderfully written. I loved the arc of the story and how it all came back full circle. This novel offers hope and wisdom while showering us with sexy innuendos and humorous conversations. 

There's no doubt that I would read more of Vi Keeland's work, and I have no doubt in my mind that I would love those as well. I strongly recommend that you add Beautiful Mistake to your reading list.

RATING: 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over ninety Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.


Book image from Goodreads

Have you read Beautiful Mistake? We'd love to hear your thoughts! Share it in the comment section below.


Movie Review of To The Bone (2017)

January 01, 2018


To the Bone (2017), A Double-edged Sword
“Don’t fade away.” Let’s put the controversial movie under the spotlight. 

Directed by Marti Noxon
Cast: Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, Carrie Preston, Lili Taylor, Alex Sharp
Runtime: 1 hour, 45 minutes


I’m going to be honest here. The main reason why I watched this movie was because of this scene.

John Wick sidelines as a doctor, apparently. Because, hell yes. Photo from joblo.com

That’s right. Keanu Reeves. As long as he’s got the John Wick hair going on, I’d probably buy anything he sells me. Anyway, it didn’t take long until I started to see how the movie mirrored the 13 Reasons Why dilemma; the movie was said to be “glorifying” the disease. Before I begin my rant about this particular issue, let’s get on with the review. 

When I pressed play… 

It seemed like a typical Netflix production. Awesome lighting, pretty characters. We find the anorexic Ellen (Lily Collins) winning a “who gets kicked out of rehab first” bet. It was petty, I admit, but I remind myself the protagonist was a college dropout. She wears eyeliner, dark clothing, and has an annoying stepmom who, despite helping Ellen, didn’t shy away from expressing ignorant comments regarding her disorder. 

After that, I get to the part I was waiting for: stepmother booked a check-up with the rather famous Dr William “Dr Becks” Beckham (Reeves). The audience is quick to find out that his treatment is untraditional, although still bound by medical disciplines. He’s a legit doctor here, but a really, really cool one. 

“Fuck fault,” the doctor says during family group therapy -- and then and there, you know it’s going to be an interesting ride. But then again, the story does not revolve around the charming doctor. We go back to Ellen, who eventually, albeit reluctantly, agrees to join the inpatient program to recover. You can tell she already wants to leave, but she eventually finds herself bonding with all the residents in Threshold, but of course, it doesn’t take long until a trigger pushes her off the track to recovery and back into the landslide of her disorder.

MOVIE BUFF REVIEW: 5 STARS

The story is predictable, but the way it was written and how each character was portrayed hit the right spots. This movie wasn't created to impress, it was crafted by the people behind it to tell a story about hope. To be fair, I did get why critics were saying it was a “trigger” to anorexic patients and the like. Take the first act as an example; we get a peek into Ellen’s life. She was damaged ala Girl, Interrupted. In my books, that made her mildly cool. It didn’t help that Lily Collins was a beautiful woman; despite the attempt to make her all skin and bones, you can already imagine tweens and teens wanting to be her despite the alarming sickness she was depicting. I, for one, enjoyed seeing her pretty face (albeit worrying about her weight and well-being) look so bored and uninterested in the world around her. She was just misunderstood, and that’s what most people feel, regardless of age and health. Life was harsh, hard and confusing, and it was easy to see that Ellen knew that.

However, what I appreciated in this movie was its persistence to send a message. It wasn’t just that people with eating disorders needed more understanding and patience from the people around them, or that there’s always a reason to hope, but it was actually the single line uttered by Ellen’s biological mother during the failed group therapy session in the movie. 

We need to show it’s there, no matter how sucky it may be.  Picture from Buzzfeed.com

“The art has to exist!” 

This movie encapsulated those words well. Everything in this world could be a double-edged sword. But with the right guidance, this can be a movie that can shed light on people suffering from eating disorders. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for some, but as the movie presented its message, you have to take the “Charcoal of Courage” and hope for the best. It’s not easy, but you will make it through. 

It was heartwarming to know that the story, was indeed, semi-autobiographical. Noxton only had the same amount of courage to traverse this sensitive issue because it meant something to her. She wanted to share her story because she was a survivor. And honestly, there isn’t quite anything like the telling of a tale of a strong woman. 

The film is, in all sense, sincere. For instance, even if Ellen was a snappy, irate protagonist, you would find yourself listening to her reasons, trying to understand her inability to just “choose to be better”. Also, take for instance the two male leads in the show: one being her doctor, and the other, her optimistic housemate/love interest. They were such huge contrasts to Ellen’s absentee father, who literally had zero screen time. Doctor Becks and Luke (Alex Sharp) continuously reached out to her (don’t miss out on the amazing field trip scene), wanting nothing more but for Ellen to see that her life was worth living. However, their efforts were not the solution to this story because the only person who can save Ellen was herself. She had to be her own hero. 

CRITIQUE REVIEW: 4 stars

On the flip side, the movie could, however, come across as yet another representation of white privilege. Perhaps, one of the reasons why others found offence in the movie, was that here was another white girl who had all the access to mental care and rehab, yet she didn’t want to get better, and the movie was rubbing it to their faces. 

Still, it’s important to say that there was a turning point in the movie where Ellen herself made peace with her seemingly tactless stepmother. When she realized that it was her stepmother who had been actively trying to make her healthier, it made me think whether this was the director’s way of telling the world that she had forgiven her detractors, the ignorant masses who continue to judge or express their “concerns” in ways only they knew how. At the end of the day, some battles just can’t be won. 

One of the highlights of the show was Ellen’s relationship with her younger sister Kelly, played by Liana Liberato. For the record, Kelly’s characterization was superb. Whenever they were on the same screen together, you could see how healthy she was compared to Ellen. Still, their chemistry was spot on.  What made the sisterhood worthy of praise was that despite their close relationship (they laugh at the stepmother’s antics, agree that family group therapy sucked) was when Kelly, who seemed like a really cool and easy-going sister, struggled with her tears when confronted about the effect of Ellen’s disorder to her life. It was such a short scene, but I think it was one of the best parts of the movie. 

My only concern was the last act. This was during Ellen’s relapse, triggered by a love confession. Her instinct was to bolt, and she does, rather swiftly. She returns home to her mother and her mom’s wife (yes, another stepmom), and the movie gives you a rather unconventional scene. First, the mother says she “accepts” that Ellen chooses death (as she doesn’t want to get better), and then they share a very strange feeding/bonding moment that is better watched in the movie than read in a book. Then, it was followed by a dream sequence that felt too fairytale-ish. 

I almost wanted the movie to be longer just so we can see Ellen get better, as her character development’s turn for the better felt rushed. My doubts regarding Ellen’s character have to be appeased by the last scene of the movie: she’s wearing white, fresh-faced, and smiling genuinely for the first time. 

Yes, it’s a happy ending. :) Photo by looper.com

Watch it or Ditch it? 


Definitely, watch it! But not when you’re planning to get frisky afterwards — unless you’re still thinking of the sexy Doc Becks, that is. By all means, proceed… 

OVERALL RATING:



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jacal Ste. Worme is a writer by day and an even crazier writer by night. Still working on her first official novel, you can read her countless mumbo-jumbo in various websites from fanfiction.net, Wattpad, and Ao3. You can follow her on Tumblr or Twitter. 



Have you watched To The Bone? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.


Movie Review of Evil Dead (2013)

December 22, 2017


Evil Dead (2013), A Review
“The most terrifying film you will ever experience.” or is it?


Directed by Fede Alvarez
Produced by Bruce Campbell, the original star of the Evil Dead franchise,
                       Sam Raimi, the original director
                       Robert Tapert
Cast: Jane Levy (Suburgatory, Don’t Breathe), Shiloh Fernandez
Runtime: 1hr 37m


Before watching the movie, my BFF/horror movie buddy and I were already lowering our expectations once we decided we were going to watch something on Netflix. We’ve discussed that when it comes to horror movies, it’s a hit and miss. We wouldn’t mind a bad movie as we’ve always seen worse. First, we picked The Babysitter, a Netflix Original, but we had to back out after ten minutes. It gave us “coming-of-age” vibes than a mysterious/frightening premise. So I picked Evil Dead. 

I’ve already seen the original years ago (the campy 80s version) and decided it would be nice to see the remake. It didn’t hurt that the movie poster was freaky. Couldn’t seem to Google it now, but it was a colourful retro drawing of the lower half of a human’s face, and in Evil Dead fashion, the tongue was split in the middle. Groovy. 

When I pressed play… 

What we missed to feel in The Babysitter, Evil Dead made up in the first few minutes. The movie starts in the woods, a woman running for her life until a group of dirty hillbillies capture her. She blacks out and wakes up tied to a post. Tools for torture are laid out on the table. The token evil book is there, and then, drama and begging transpire when the girl realizes it was her father who had her put there. Depending on your compassionate nature or immunity to horror movie surprises, you’ll either fall for the girl’s charms or say you called it when it’s revealed after a few lines that she was possessed. The kind father calls her “baby” fondly a few times, but the man knew shit had to be done. He takes her out and BAM! Justice served.

It was an exciting start, but my friend and I were still doubtful. The main act was just about to begin. Then again, we already had an idea about how everything would pan out from now. We’re dealing with indescribable evil, and someone eventually is stupid enough to set it free. 

Enter our group of mid-20 somethings meet-up in a cabin in the middle of the woods; Mia; the pretty addict, Eric; the nerdy asshole, and Olivia; the no-nonsense friend. It’s an awkward reunion when Mia’s brother David joins them (he also brought his girlfriend Natalie); apparently, he’d been MIA for the past 10 years and has returned to finally “be there” for his sister. Still, Mia tells him she needs her brother more than ever; she’s determined to clean up her act.

Fun fact: First letter of their names is spelt out as D-E-M-O-N. Photo from sbs.com.au.

Regardless of the scary scenery around them, (it’s lost on me why they would pick such a depressing place to rehabilitate their friend), they talk about giving Mia tough love this time around, bygones be bygones,. When they enter the old shack, Mia is the first to voice out her literal disgust. 

Something smells, she said, and true enough, she was onto something. The tricky part was, no one could smell it, so they immediately blamed her road to relapse for her being weird. Eventually, however, they discover a barely-hidden basement (a flimsy rug hid the trapdoor in the living room). Dried blood crusted the floor. It didn’t even take much to open the damn latch. The group didn’t apologize to Mia because she was right all along; something WAS literally stinking, and they just chose to call her crazy. 

The group enters the basement and it’s best described as a torture chamber. It looked like a dark torture chamber. Carcasses were hanging from the ceiling, same torture devices were there on the table, the same burnt post from the opening scene was there, and of course — sitting comfortably on the table was the spooky, black Naturom Demonto. It’s sealed by barbed wires and it’s obviously bad news, but of course, the not-so-unsuspecting idiot picks it up and brings it back up to his room. 

He gets a “leave the book alone” warning from Olivia, but Eric persists in his quest for truth. When he cuts the barbed wires and opens the book, he leafs through the pages and basically stumbles on the most important thing in this movie’s story.

Yup. The info is RIGHT THERE. In plain English. 

But of course, Eric doesn’t stop there. We already know he’s into witchcraft, so I don’t know why the hell he would start reading PASSAGES in the book… OUT LOUD. Yup. What makes this worse is the book

And of course, that’s when everyone starts dying one by one. The deaths are raw and gory and it was almost orgasmic to see the Eric douche suffer. He single-handedly destroyed everyone’s lives thanks to his ability to read. 

MOVIE BUFF REVIEW: 4 stars

I know it seems like I’ve had plenty of rants in the past few paragraphs, but truth be told, it was a pretty good movie! The horror movie buff in me really had fun sitting through the entire thing. Although I would have appreciated a more gruesome death for Eric, the gore was awesome. There were scenes that would be pretty hard to forget; a needle poking through the eyeball scene, lots of self-mutilation, and 3rd degree burns care of a simple overheated shower.

Even if it was Eric’s fault, I’m willing to forgive him for it because we were given a good thrill. There were good scares throughout the movie, and there was no dull moment. Even if there were comedic twists to the scenes where the demon was taunting the group, it was a rather welcome distraction. 

Peek-a-boo!!! Photo from Movies.com. 

CRITIQUE REVIEW: 3.5 stars

The glaring flaw of this movie was not its Eric, no. Not at all. It was the acting. Although I’m impressed by Fede Alvarez for his directing chops, it seems he had only spent enough time directing Jane Levy. She was the only stand-up act in the entire movie, her co-stars paling in comparison. Take, for example, David’s girlfriend Natalie was such a waste of a character. She had the least lines and her acting was as flat as an unsalted cracker. The worst offender, however, is David. I mean, we’re supposed to be rooting for this guy and yet, his reactions were lacklustre. I quote my friend, “I’ve reacted more to a cockroach” than David reacting to the reality that his sister was possessed by pure evil. 

Aside from this, the script was passable, the special effects were great, and the soundtrack was just right. And did I mention the great pacing? It’s been awhile since I’ve watched a movie that didn’t rely too much on drama or artsy cinematography. 

Watch it or Ditch it? 

WATCH IT!!!! Best watched during sleepovers. (I’d probably watch it before chill, but that’s just wishful thinking.)

OVERALL RATING: 




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jacal Ste. Worme is a writer by day and an even crazier writer by night. Still working on her first official novel, you can read her countless mumbo-jumbo in various websites from fanfiction.net, Wattpad, and Ao3. You can follow her on Tumblr or Twitter. 



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Review of Heart of the Highlands: The Beast by April Holthaus

November 30, 2017

I've always been extremely picky when it comes to historical romance because I find it difficult to deal with the different setting and the terminologies and culture that go with the time frame. But I've decided to give Heart of the Highlands: The Beast a chance because the book has won several awards and it was highly recommended. And to be honest, I had the hots for the man on the book cover. So here's what I thought about this story set in 1500's Scotland.

Title: Heart of the Highlands: The Beast (Protectors of the Crown Book 1)
Author: April Holthaus
Publication Date: July 2015
Published by: Grey Eagle Publishing, LLC
Genre: Adult Fiction, Historical Romance
Source: Copy Given by Tour Organizer
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25732358-the-heart-of-the-highlands



SYNOPSIS:

For hundreds of years, Scotland has battled the English for their freedom. Now, they face a new enemy. In a divided world between politics and religion, the young King James V faces the threat of his own people rebelling against him. As civil war breaks out among the Highland clans, James recruits a secret group of warriors for protection. He calls them the Protectors of the Crown.

Ian MacKay has one mission; to defend the crown no matter the cost. Along with his men, Ian's mission is to hunt down one of the most dangerous men in the Highlands. But when the daughter of an enemy enters his life, his heart becomes captured instead.

Keira Sinclair has lived a life of peace and simplicity until now. With her clan on the verge of losing everything, she is forced to wed a Laird from a neighboring clan to ensure that hers survives. During her travels to her new home, her carriage is attacked and Keira is taken hostage by a ruthless man.

Caught in the middle of a war that she does not understand, will Keira's secrets be safe, or will she succumb to the Highland warrior who now threatens to capture her heart?

REVIEW: 

Going through the first few pages of Heart of the Highlands: The Beast, I was greatly intimidated when I realized that the story takes place in Scotland during the 1500s. I have to admit, my brain's Scottish accent (the one I use when I picture the scenes happening in my mind) needs some serious work and so I worried if I could truly immerse myself in the dialogue and the scenes. But lo and behold, when I got to Ian MacKay's POV and saw the action and rawness of the setting, I was hooked. 

I loved that, as the story unfolds, the complexity of the plot deepens. There were a lot of hidden ties, unclear agendas, and treachery happening at every corner. This isn't just a simple historical romance about how a man and a woman came together and encountered a speed bump on their way to their happy-ever-after. No, this amazing tale also involves matters of character, politics, war, alliances, etc. It's some serious Game of Thrones-level sh**. 

I would be remiss if I don't talk about the chemistry between Keira and Ian. From their first meeting, I already knew that their relationship would be explosive and intense. The strength of our hero matched with the feistiness of our heroine makes for a fun read. Their exchanges were definitely amusing. 

I have to point out though that, in the book, Keira referred to Ian as a cold-hearted beast a bit too often for my liking. But in my opinion, he doesn't really deserve that description. From the very beginning, he has shown her tenderness and consideration that belies her assumptions of him. I mean, maybe it's because of the customs or -- I don't know. This is why I've always found historical romance to be tricky territory sometimes. 

Anyway, this is excellent work, in my opinion. The characters were not dull and one-dimensional, there's a lot of backstory that we only got a glimpse of, the future still has a lot to behold, basically the foundation has been perfectly set. I'm excited for what's in store for these characters in the future.

SUMMARY:

When I opened the book, I never expected the story to turn out the way it did, and that's a good thing. Sometimes, when you've read one too many romance books, it can be quite predictable. And I'm glad Heart of the Highlands: The Beast broke away from that mould. 

I definitely enjoyed every minute I spend reading it and getting to know it's characters. I felt excited, nervous, scared, curious, maybe a bit turned on *cough cough* all while absorbed in the intricate storyline of Heart of the Highlands: The Beast. I look forward to reading the following instalments in this series because I want to find out more about Ian and Keira's future (the ending was too abrupt, in my opinion) as well as his brothers. 

RATING:


AWARDS:

2017 Reader's Favorite Book Award Honorable Mention
2016 World's Best Story Award 2nd Place Winner
2015 RONE Award Nominee

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



April is an Award-Winning Author for her Scottish Historical Romances. For more than ten years, she has worked full time in the direct marketing business, but developed a passion of historical romances through her love of reading, history and genealogy.

Website: http://www.aprilholthaus.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.april.holthaus/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AprilHolthaus?lang=en
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/aprilholthaus/books/?lp=true

TOUR ORGANIZED BY: 



Book image provided by iRead Book Tours

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