Book Review: Specular

Specular
L.K Brooks-Simpson
(IXI COMICS, #1)
Publication date: August 16th 2018
Genres: Superhero, Young Adult

The first installment of the IXI COMICS series by author L.K BROOKS-SIMPSON

This novel is of the fantasy/superhero fiction genre and tackles some important implications of mental health and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

Imagine being afraid to fall asleep in fear that you will not wake up to the life you know. This is exactly what Tre Moon experienced at nine years old. He awakes to his second dissociative identity having set his house aflame. With his home ruined and his parents murdered at his own hands, he is sentenced to trial for a life sentence. Young Tre Moon is forced to walk a path that will change his life forever.

When seventeen year old Tre comes into contact with a prohibited substance called Colloidal Supersilver his life will change forever when he finds out he has the ability to change how light refracts from his body. His new powers come with new challenges to an already complicated life, having battled Dissociative Identity Disorder for the majority of his youth.

Follow the origin story of IXI COMICS first hero as he becomes Indiana’s newest vigilante, Specular! In a city full of crime, recession, drug underlords and other mysterious vigilante’s, the legend of Tre Moon will unfold, all the while, his dark past tries to catch up with him…

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My Review

Well, today looks like a day full of surprising reviews. This is another story that melted my heart on so many levels. We all have a world inside us, we all build fantasies and somewhere in our own universe, we have our Prince Charming, we are superheroes, movie stars, or just simply living the life we imagine. In part, this is what “Specular” is all about – a boy dealing with his mind.

Tre has never been alone. This voice in his head has always pushed ugly thoughts in his head! All until one day when the voice takes over and everything changes. Years later, he tries to put his life back together, trying to cope with Dissociative Identity Disorder, school and other teenage normal items – like becoming a superhero.

This was such a great combination between a story that anyone would read and one that presents something much more important like dealing with mental illness. The author did a splendid job mixing the two, but not once shadowing the important elements. We have the adult presence, the guidance of a specialist which was yet another item that marks the beauty of this story.

Overall, I liked it so so much and I enjoyed every page and every aspect of it. We all have to be aware of our mind, we all have to recognize when something is wrong. Yet we are all lost sometimes in our own thoughts and universes. So who are we really? Let’s see what the series tells us J

 

Author Bio:

L.K. Brooks-Simpson is a native of London, England. He is an English Literature graduate and Film Production student.

Aside from his creative ventures, he is a strong supporter of philanthropy. He cites his biggest influences as J.R.R. Tolkien, Sanyika Shakur, J.K. Rowling, Tsugumi Ohba, Stan Lee and Maya Angelou, among many others.

Three sentences he would use to describe himself – A book is for the mind. Travel is for the heart. Family is for the soul.

Lara has always considered himself a student of literature and story form and for this reason, his taste is eclectic. Ranging from novels to manga – poems to screenwriting and even comic book story boards. Just as genres define certain works, there are a lot of elements that define his creative process. He has aspirations to write in many different genres.

 

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Book Review: The Princess of Baker Street

The Princess of Baker Street
Mia Kerick
Published by: Harmony Ink Press
Publication date: January 22nd 2019
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

“Always wear your imaginary crown” is Joey Kinkaid’s motto. For years, Joey, assigned male at birth, led the Baker Street kids in daring and imaginative fantasy adventures, but now that they’re teenagers, being a princess is no longer quite so cool. Especially for a child who is seen by the world as a boy.

Eric Sinclair has always been Joey’s best friend and admirer—Prince Eric to Joey’s Princess Ariel—but middle school puts major distance between them. As Eric’s own life takes a dangerous turn for the worse, he stands by and watches as Joey—who persists in dressing and acting too much like a Disney princess for anybody’s comfort—gets bullied. Eric doesn’t like turning his back on Joey, but he’s learned that the secret to teenage survival, especially with and absent mother, is to fly under the radar.

But when Joey finally accepts who she is and comes to school wearing lip gloss, leggings, and a silky pink scarf, the bullies make her life such a misery that she decides to end it all. Eric, in turn, must decide who he really is and what side he wants to stand on… though no matter what he chooses, the consequences with be profound for both teens, and they’ll face them for years to come.

Is there a chance the two teens can be friends again, and maybe even more?

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My Review

I am not usually venturing into books that involve LGBT characters, mostly because I found out I have difficulties in relating with the characters and their emotions. However, „The Princess of Baker Street” was a beautiful surprise. I didn’t even realize how time flew by and how much my time spent with Eric and Joey captivated me.

It was interesting for me to discover that the book is not told by Joey, but Eric – Joey’s best friend. It was refreshing to see how Eric deals with the changes in his own mind and heart and his reactions to Joey’s. So even if you may not be a reader of books involving LGBT, it’s easy to relate and I think having Eric narrate the events is one major plus.

Two best friends, a strong friendship being altered by time and passage to teenage – that’s one way of expressing what the story is about. There is so much more to it. We have Eric dealing with his personal struggles, dealing with losing his fantasies from childhood (his escape world) but also we have Joey – in search of identity, facing changes and facing bullies. There is so much depth to all the scenes in the book and so much to learn.

All in all, this is a story that changed me, it left a mark on my soul and I would gladly reread it. It’s revealing, but not in a hurtful or shameful way. It reveals how much a friendship can change, how strong one has to be to face the world, how freeing the truth can be. I loved it! 5 stars!

 

 

Author Bio:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another a professional dancer, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son, heading off to college. (Yes, the nest is finally empty.) She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing scholarship essays. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it’s a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled people in complex relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to her wonderful publishers for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award for Young Adult e-book Fiction, among other awards.

Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit at http://www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.

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Book Review: Analiese Rising

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Analiese Rising analieserising-1600
by Brenda Drake
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: January 8th 2019
Entangled Teen

Summary:

When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world—from herself.

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My Review

Woho! What a trip! Give me some Greek mythology, spice it up with a drash of my lovely Romance and I am hooked. „Analiese Rising” has an interesting story, an interesting character and a lot more to show.

The blurb just about sums all the idea of the plot. The last line is amazing J So that’s the idea and it sounds easier than in reality. Being a descended of the God of Death is not an easy thing, I mean… she has responsabilities… raising the dead and so on. How can one ignore such a thing ? Ha-ha! Comming to that realization is also not easy, but at least she is not alone. Marek is there with her, as interested to find out what is going on as she is.

The mystery and the relationship between the main characters is well built, the intesity grows slowly, until the great ending. The research is there, with al the mythology aspects and gods and all that. So what’s not to like ? What would you need more? Action, romance, gods, wars, dead people coming alive, or …trying to stay dead.

I wished the writing were a little more developed and the phrases to flow one into the next more easily. The tone of the story felt too abrupt for my taste and took away that natural feel, that normal course of words. I do believe the story is predictable to a point, but that didn’t bother me that much becose it’s more important how we get from point A to B.

But all in all, I liked it. It was a nice ride and I hope to see more of these characters. It’s my first book by Brenda Drake and I heard a lot of great things abouther other stories, so it definitely will not be my last. Enjoy 🙂

4 stars

About the Authorbrenda drake

Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. With kids of all ages populating Brenda’s world, it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical for both younger readers and the young at heart. And because she married her prince charming, there’s always a romance warming the pages.

Her favorite books are The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Kings Row by Henry Bellamann, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. When she’s not writing, she hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. In her free time, Brenda enjoys hanging out with her family, haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or just reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

 

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Book Review: Wrong Bed, Right Roommate

Wrong Bed, Right Roommate
Rebecca Brooks
Published by: Entangled: Brazen
Publication date: January 14th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

It’s not every day you wake up to a stranger getting into your bed.

Only, he isn’t a stranger at all, he’s my best friend’s hot older brother…and apparently my new roommate.

Having him in my space, driving me crazy, isn’t a problem at all. Nope.

All I need to do is keep control of the situation…

But that’s easier said than done. Shawn Lassiter is the kind of distraction I don’t need. First he accidentally gets into my bed, half-naked, the night before my first day at my new job. Hello, muscles and tattoos! Then he’s there, in nothing but a towel, making me coffee in the morning. It’s more than any girl can resist. Right?

But Shawn is off-limits, even if his eyes are saying differently.

Years ago, back when I still had my crush, he destroyed friendships with his reckless playboy antics.  There’s no way I’m touching those perfectly formed abs now. I don’t care how nice and responsible he’s acting. I don’t want a boyfriend anyway. That’s what my trusty vibrator is for.

I’m the smart girl—the glasses-wearing, book-reading workaholic. I can totally do this. After all, it’s only for two and a half months. I’ll be on my best behavior…even if Shawn isn’t.

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My Review

Falling for the best friend’s brother may not be one of the most complicated tropes, but it may cause some issues and we will find out about some of them from Jessie and Shawn’s story. I liked them as a couple and I liked how each has to break some rules to be together. Somehow, they both get out of their comfort zone and find out it’s really great to do it.

Jessie has always been focused on anything she was doing, be that school, books or work. So having the opportunity to prove herself as an editor is a major thing. She must focus on her job, even though her roommate is… hard to ignore. Almost the same for Shawn – he realized he was good at something, he likes his bear and likes making it, he savors the process of creating that special aroma. And he also needs to prove his worth to his boss. Lust after his sister’s best friend has no place, especially since she is off limits (like: „been there, done that, but with another best friend of the sister. And then another…” ).

Sometimes, as much as you say „No”, it’s kind of visible you want to say „Yes” and when one (feel good) mistake happens, for sure the next will too. I liked how Shawn slowly started to break Jessie’s walls and how he managed to tempt her. There is another side of her, behind the glasses and the books.

There were some parts of the book where I had the impression that he did a lot for her, while in return she was not willing to do the same. I would have preferred to see them come together differently in the end. These are my only two negative comments.

All in all, this was one of those books that make you feel good and experience that first crush emotions. I read it in one sitting and I had a very fun time reading it. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well 🙂 4 stars! Happy reading!

 

 

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Brooks lives in New York City in an apartment filled with books. She received a PhD in English but decided it was more fun to write books than write about them. She has backpacked alone through India and Brazil, traveled by cargo boat down the Amazon River, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves in Peru, trekked to the source of the Ganges, and sunbathed in Burma, but she always likes coming home to a cold beer and her hot husband in the Bronx. Her books are about independent women who leave their old lives behind to try something new–and find the passion, excitement and purpose they didn’t know they’d been missing. Learn more at http://rebeccabrooksromance.com. To sign-up for her newsletter, sign-up at http://rebeccabrooksromance.com/newsletter.

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Book Review: Two Thousand Years

Two Thousand Years
M. Dalto
(The Empire Saga #1)
Publication date: December 11th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.

Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy set in motion so many years ago.

Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world apart as she attempts to keep the Empire’s torrid history from repeating itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice – or her fate – that determines how she survives the Empire’s rising conflicts.

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My Review

 

This cover is amazing! It’s impossible not to notice it even before reading the blurb. The color scheme is very much to my liking and I adore it completely! It also matches the story very well.

This is step one from my process of falling in love with the story. Stept two came when I read the blurb. The combination between a kingdom, a profecy, love, different realms is always a key to success in my books. Add to that an author that really knows her job… wat more could I have wanted?

My undoing was reading the story. I loved it so so much! I loved its intrecacies and the Empire world. Alex has so much to deal with all at once. Her strength of character is so well presented and her position is always firm, even if sometimes this proves to be difficult. I was surprised to descover characters so well done and to see them develop even more. Even the negative character has traits you may like (in a twisted way, but yes, you will come to like the negative character).

The plot is complex and has layers and layers that will suprise you a lot! The love interest is amazing. I’ve fallen in love with Treyan and the way he treats Alex. They are perfect for eachother and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for them.

All in all, this is a series worth following and definitely a book worth picking up time and time again! I loved it so so much. According to Goodreads, two novellas will be published in February and there is no launch date mantioned for book 2. At least I have something that will keep me entertained until then.  Enjoy ! (5 stars, obviously!)

 

Author Bio:

M. Dalto is a fiction author of adventurous romantic fantasy and her debut novel, Two Thousand Years, won one of Wattpad’s Watty Awards in 2016. She continues to volunteer her time as an Ambassador, where she hopes to engage and inspire new writers. She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to pursue her literary agenda. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.

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Book Review: Hidden

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Hidden (Fire and Iceland #1)
Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy
Date Published: October 31, 2018
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
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After a breathtaking journey through Iceland, Vanessa Evanston finishes her dream vacation with her two best friends in the capital city of Reykjavik—and wakes up the next morning on the ground, on a tiny island 250 kilometers north, with no memory of how she got there.
Luckily, handsome and kind-hearted local Gunnar Heimirsson stumbles upon her—unluckily, he can’t explain her mysterious journey either. Nor can anyone explain why Vanessa soon discovers “last night” actually happened a year ago, and everyone thinks she’s dead.
Iceland is known for its folklore, but beyond the elves and mountain trolls, there are other creatures: beautiful, powerful, and vengeful, known as the huldufólk. Gunnar has been alive for a century, trapped by their curse after angering them. From the far flung Westfjords to the black sands of Reynisfjara, the answer to Vanessa’s missing year might be connected to Gunnar’s punishment—as well as his long-lost wife, Hera—but the truth lies somewhere in the realm of magic, myth, and love, and Vanessa has only just discovered fairy tales are real.
My Review

I liked this book enough to continue with the series. It was interesting and refreshing. It’s full of surprises and the research behind it is impressive. For most, there may be a lot of information and I agree, to a point, but it was a good time. I liked my time with this one.

Vanessa wakes up one morning without remembering much of what happened last night, which was two years ago. Confused and a bit scarred, she learns the ins and outs of this new place. Gunnar Heimirsson is there to help her all the way. Vanessa will learn a lot about tradition and will soon discover there is more to it.

There is a lot of world building and there are many things to discover. But I think the author did a good job with Vanessa and Gunnar’s story. As a couple, their attraction is built well and I like how the cover matches them as a couple.

Yes, many things to discover and some I didn’t see coming. I liked it and I cannot wait to have taste at book 2. Let me know your thoughts, if you have already read it, if not, I do hope you’ll give it a try. Happy Reading!

About the Author

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Megan Morgan is an award-winning paranormal and contemporary romance author from Cleveland, Ohio. A mild-mannered airport bar supervisor by day and purveyor of things that go bump in the night, she lives on the often-wintry shores of Lake Erie with her spoiled cat and adult son, both of whom shed too much.
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Happy Anniversary!

3 years have passed already and so much has happened. I can barely say I know how to handle a book blog, let alone write a proper article. There are so many amazing books out there, there is so much to talk about and I have not even scratched the surface.

 

What happened in one year?

 

Well, first and most important thing is that I have learned my lesson and I can say I know how to manage my time. I know what I want from my blog and I know where I want to take it. I have met incredible authors from whom I have learned so much and I have discovered incredible books. Readathons, book groups, buddy reading, author reader groups, interactions with amazing people and contacts with publications: this is what happened in one year. LBW is growing and so does my dedication and affection for this world I love so much.

Where are we?

This little world of mine expanding and I feel more confident and mature. You will see many more fun facts, interesting articles (I hope) and more bookish news. Even if one of my resolutions is less book tours, this does not mean less book reviews, just more unique content. So we will have a stronger personality 🙂 a blog with character – sounds nice!

aaa

What about you guys?

There is nothing more important than the followers. What I post here is for you, so that you can have an idea about a book or an author, or for each author and publisher to have one additional source of exposure. I hope I will be able to repay the time you spend reading these articles by investing more time in having the quality you would expect from a book blog. I am so grateful for having you guys along for the ride, I am so grateful you spend time with me here. For all the fellow book bloggers, keep up the great work you are doing and let’s engage, let’s work together to promote the books and authors we love so much!

Thank you for being around for another year, thank you for your nice words and encouragements and may your year be full of amazing things!

In the meantime, I’m celebrating my blog’s birthday 🙂 Happy Anniversary LBW!