All posts by LRWLee

Author - I am passionate about helping people live better lives by overcoming frustration, impatience, fear and a whole lot more. I weave these narratives throughout the entertaining novels that I write.

#BOOK REVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF RITE OF REDEMPTION BY SARAH NEGOVETICH

RiteofRedemptionRite of Redemption is the third and final book in the Acceptance dystopian trilogy by Sarah Negovetich.

SUMMARY (from back): Rebecca escaped the PIT, found a family among the Freeman…and watched too many loved ones die. All she wants is the Cardinal to leave her in peace, but he’s made it clear that’s never going to happen.

When the Cardinal attacks other Freeman villages, she finally understands that no one is safe from his wrath. As the only one who’s stood up to the evil that is the Cardinal, it’s up to her to convince the others that they can’t hide forever. It’s time to fight.

The Machine predicted Rebecca would become the Cardinal’s enemy. It may have gotten that one right.

In the conclusion to the Acceptance series, enemies become allies and old friends emerge, but in the end, sacrifice may be the price of freedom.

WHAT I THOUGHT: I will be the first to say I am not a huge dystopian fan, but Negovetich’s writing hooked me in the first book and kept me buying the subsequent books in the series.

Plot – As with all dystopian books, the world as we know it has been reorganized after a cataclysmic event. The Cardinal is the epicenter of power in this society. In this book, Rebecca, the central heroine, is after taking him down. And of course, only she, as the face of the resistance, can do so. I thought the stakes were set high and Negovetich delivered on suspense, obstacles, and distrust among characters/entities. One thing that drives me crazy with some authors is that they set these elements up then make the resolution way too easy. This was not the case in Rite of Redemption for the most part. I won’t give away the ending, but I would say all but the absolute end where Rebecca “just happens” to run into the guy and it resolves rather easily, gave me a great “ride”.

Characters – I loved Rebecca! I loved how she matured throughout the series based upon everything that happened to her. She becomes the one to save that world by default as a result of who she is and what she values rather than some artificial “nomination” by outsiders.

Her now-husband, Daniel, I didn’t appreciate so much in this book. I thought he bordered on the whiny, petulant side and while I suppose his behavior could have happened in real life, I didn’t care for the change in this guy who used to be so supportive of Rebecca.

Pacing – I liked how the story unfolded. I loved how the Cardinal’s move triggers the beginning of events that must play out. And the author created a logical progression of events, visiting various Freeman villages, etc. I particularly loved how Rebecca’s childhood best friend appears once more in the final installment to wrap up that connection.

Overall, I give this 4.5 stars!

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Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA SCI FI AUTHOR JONAS LEE (VIDEO)

Meet YA Sci Fi author Jonas Lee and watch as he reads from A TIME TO REAP, Book one in The Legend of Carter Gabel. Then get to know him as he shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter to win one of two signed paperback of A Time to Reap. The contest is open internationally.

https://youtu.be/DQeyO3-4IaU

Summary: Pemberton Academy is not just a school, it’s a gathering place for the children of the future that are afflicted with Temporal Displacement and Telepathy; in short, time travelers and mind readers who have been diagnosed with this “disease.” The Academy is not all as it seems after an explosion nearly takes one of its classmates, but not before Carter Gabel rescues her by using an unknown symptom related to his described illness. An unsanctioned group called the Program begins taking notice as the two classmates exhibit stronger abilities when they are together. Carter’s sense of reality begins to unwind as he learns more about his estranged father’s involvement with it all.

Carter will have to overcome the past of his father leaving, the present of an unknown adversary hunting him down and a future that seems to change with each decision he makes. He will have to learn who to trust out of the people in his life if he wants to conquer the looming notion that the government may be hunting him down because of his developing abilities.

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AdobeStock_85x100Interview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

Be sure to leave a comment:)

GET TWO FREE EBOOKS – Power of the Heir’s Passion (Prequel) and Blast of the Dragon’s Fury (Book One) in the award-winning Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series are available for free download. Just tell L. R. W. Lee where to send them.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA PARANORMAL FANTASY AUTHOR D. NICHOLE KING (VIDEO)

Meet YA Fantasy author D Nichole King and watch as she reads from THE SPIRIT, Book one in The Spirit trilogy. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter to win a signed paperback of The Spirit, book one in The Spirit trilogy by d. Nichole King. The contest is open internationally although an international winner will receive an ebook, rather than the paperback.

https://youtu.be/Aig63vUNta8

Summary: While seventeen year-old Carrie Reese’s parents were working out the details of their divorce, she headed to Villisca, Iowa to stay with her grandparents.

Villisca was home to the infamous Axe Murder House… It’s known to be haunted by the ghosts of the victims and their killer. Carrie doesn’t believe in ghosts, but the moving curtains and red flashes of light in the windows of Lot 310 were starting to give her reason to watch her back.

Then in walked Lucas… Within days, Carrie knew she was in love. But Lucas seemed strange: his hands were cool and hollow, he barely touched his food, and there was sadness behind his brilliant green eyes. Lucas was falling for Carrie but knowing that loving her puts her in grave danger, he reluctantly slips out of her life…. He struggles between staying away and telling Carrie his darkest secret. Unable to stand being apart from her any longer, he decides she must know.

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AdobeStock_85x100Interview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

Be sure to leave a comment:)

GET TWO FREE EBOOKS – Power of the Heir’s Passion (Prequel) and Blast of the Dragon’s Fury (Book One) in the award-winning Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series are available for free download. Just tell L. R. W. Lee where to send them.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

#BOOK REVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF THE CROWN’S GAME by EVELYN SKYE

TheCrownsGameA fun tale with a hint of Russian history mixed in. That’s how I summarize The Crown’s Game by debut author Evelyn Skye.

SUMMARY (from back): Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side. And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know.  The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

WHAT I THOUGHT: The concept of a wizarding duel is what hooked me on the book. Well, that and the amazing cover. That said though, I felt like the book didn’t quite live up to the expectations set.

The book started out slow. The first half was filled with introducing characters etc, and I nearly put it down. But with the promise built up for the book, and the fact that it’s traditionally published, I hung in there.

I enjoyed the three main characters: Vika, Nikolai and Pasha. Vika and Nikolai are enchanters while Pasha is heir to the throne of Russia. The three end up in a love triangle, which I didn’t mind, but my problem is I don’t feel like I got t o know the characters well enough to cheer for any of them. Things happen, but I’m left feeling incomplete. I wanted more depth.

As for the plot, this, too, disappointed. I was never clear why either character chose to do what he/she did each turn. Short of one-ups-man-ship, I found what they did creative, but lacking context other than, do the next move bigger.

Then there was the ending. I was hoping neither protagonist had to really die, that their magic would save the day somehow. I was disappointed.

This is the debut of YA author Evelyn Skye so I will give her that, yet with it being traditionally published, I’d hope for more.  I give this book 3 stars.

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Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR ALI CROSS (VIDEO)

Meet YA Fantasy author Ali Cross and watch as she reads from BECOME, Book one in the Desolation series. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two signed paperbacks of Become. Giveaway is open to domestic & international entrants.

https://youtu.be/JjWfWBD0UBw

Summary: The battle over Midgard begins with just one girl …

Earth has been without a Guardian since its creation, but Loki means to take it for himself. His daughter, sixteen-year-old Desolation, wants nothing more than to stay in Hel where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent to Midgard to make her choice–and what she chooses will determine not only her own future but the fate of all the worlds.

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

Be sure to leave a comment 🙂

GET TWO FREE EBOOKS of the award-winning Prequel and Blast of the Dragon’s Fury, the complete Book One in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series. Just tell L. R. W. Lee where to send them.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

 

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR R. K. RYALS (VIDEO)

Meet YA Fantasy author R.K. Ryals and watch as she reads from MARK OF THE MAGE, Book one in the Scribes of Medeisia series. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two signed paperbacks of Mark of the Mage. Giveaway is open to domestic & international entrants.

https://youtu.be/R7WIrI5KmwA

Summary: Books never die, but they can be forbidden.

Medeisia is a country in turmoil ruled by a blood thirsty king who has outlawed the use of magic and anything pertaining to knowledge. Magery and scribery are forbidden. All who practice are marked with a tattoo branded onto their wrists, their futures precarious.

Sixteen year-old Drastona Consta-Mayria lives secluded, spending her spare time in the Archives of her father’s manor surrounded by scribes. She wants nothing more than to become one of them, but when the scribes are royally disbanded, she is thrust into a harsh world where the marked must survive or die.

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR DANIELLE JENSEN (VIDEO)

Meet YA Fantasy author Danielle Jensen and watch as she reads from STOLEN SONGBIRD, Book one in the Malediction Trilogy. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a signed paperback of any one of the three books in the Malediction Trilogy. Giveaway open to domestic & international entrants.

https://youtu.be/zt1TMA8JMKw

Summary: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR JENNA NELSON (VIDEO)

Meet YA Fantasy author Jenna Nelson and watch as she reads from THE SNOW GLOBE, Book one in The Winterhaven Chronicles. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two ebook copies of The Snow Globe. Giveaway open to domestic & international entrants.

https://youtu.be/97YRnYUZhIA

Summary: By day, Sondrine Renfrew works at Cimmerian’s Curio Emporium, her aunt’s apothecary and antique shop in London, 1875. By night, she weaves fire, water, and air into both inanimate objects and living creatures. When a hooded stranger offers Sondrine a snow globe in trade for medicinal herbs, she accepts, enchanted by the castle, forest, and sea encapsulated under the glass. Her enchantment fades, however, when her deceitful aunt betroths her to one of London’s wealthiest men—a complete stranger.

Determined to escape the marriage, Sondrine trades her corset for trousers and decides to run away. With one foot out the door, she falls down a veritable rabbit hole into Winterhaven, the haunting world inside the snow globe. Sondrine soon discovers her arrival in Winterhaven is no accident. There, she meets Shán, a man who broods more than the darkened sky above. Turns out Shán is not to be trusted. Not only is he the man who sold Sondrine the snow globe, he is a bounty hunter employed by the king. The beginnings of a sovereign war have been set in motion and an Immortal queen, one who uses fire as a weapon, is set on destroying Winterhaven. Because of her Elemental gifts, only Sondrine has the means to stop the queen. If Sondrine refuses the king’s request, he will behead her. If she rises to the challenge of killing the Immortal queen, her death is just as imminent. After all, an Immortal queen cannot be killed. Or can she?

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#BOOK REVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF A COURT OF MIST AND FURY BY SARAH J. MAAS

ACourtofMistandFury

Amazingly beautiful cover! So many unexpected twists. An ending I had to read twice as more and more depth was revealed. Oh so good! That’s A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.

SUMMARY (from back): Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.

WHAT I THOUGHT: Maas is a master at storytelling. Period. And this book is even better than the first in this series.

I chose to reread A Court of Thorns and Roses to get back up to speed before reading this one. And I’m glad I did because I’d forgotten so many of the details Maas gave us. For instance, I’d forgotten just how broken Feyre is from her time “under the mountain.” This installment picks up with Feyre reeling from that trauma. She’s back with Tamlin and we’re breathing a sigh of relief…but not for long for he wants to put her in a glass box to protect her from every danger (to protect his fragile heart), while she withers from the stifling confinement…confinement not unlike what she experienced under the mountain, and she fractures.

As if that’s not a complex enough beginning, the Lord of the Night Court intervenes… I love how Maas uses characters she’s coached us to hate, just to reveal another side that explains why they behave as they do…and from motives we not only accept, but actually advocate, launching us in a whole new direction. As a side note, I loved the banter between Feyre and Rhys–It’s clear they both use it to protect themselves from being vulnerable and exposed, but at the same time in my head I’m thinking, just lay yourself open and bear, you won’t regret it. Oh feels…

Sarah introduces a host of five major new characters, an inner circle, that are each so different from each other, wounded and traumatized just like Feyre. I loved how they each grow and develop throughout the story helping Feyre sort through and begin to heal from her brokenness. What awesome friends.

In book two, we also discover what that “minor” detail in book one accomplished when all seven Lords gave a drop of their power to bring Feyre back to life.  Look out. Talk about power…I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when Feyre masters these new abilities in book three because the story is just begging to go there, especially when the King of Hybern needs to be dealt with. And we already have forewarning that the dude plans to use Feyre, and not for good.

I have to add a plug for the world building as well. Maas added a lot more depth to several of the courts in book two–the political divisions between, the relative power of several, different races, and how betrayal can emerge without warning.

I must confess I JUST finished rereading the last five chapters of this book because the first time through I had to know how it ended, but Maas throws SO MANY details in those last chapters that my reread left my head spinning, it was so good.

CAVEAT: I need to mention that while this book is technically listed as “Teen,” there are several explicit sex scenes that had a purpose in the narrative, but if you are turned off by that kind of thing, you’ll probably want to steer clear.

I give this 5 stars!

Buy A Court of Mist and Fury on Amazon

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Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you thought.

FREE EBOOKS: I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR MICHELLE MADOW – NEW RELEASE!

Welcome back YA Fantasy author Michelle Madow and enjoy the baby shower for her brand new release ELEMENTALS 2: THE BLOOD OF THE HYDRA. Watch as she reads a portion from it, and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a an ebook copy of the book!

https://youtu.be/TK3odcY7m-w

Summary: A demigod who can kill with a touch. It’s an ability that must be kept secret, even from those trusted most.

Finding out that she was a witch was strange enough, but now Nicole must face the realization that she has the rare power to kill with just a touch. No one can know her secret — not even Blake, who she’s had undeniable chemistry with since first moving to town.

Now Nicole, Blake, and the three others with elemental powers must journey abroad to stop a series of monsters that they previously believed to be dead from rising once again and destroying the mortal world. Will they all survive the quest? And how long will it be until Nicole is forced to use her ability to kill in front of everyone, revealing the true darkness of her powers?

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#BOOK REVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES BY SARAH J. MAAS

CourtofThornsandRaoses_CoverUnique in a way that makes you fall even more in in love with the characters–that’s how I summarize this Beauty and the Beast retelling by Sarah J. Maas.

SUMMARY (from back): When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.

WHAT I THOUGHT: This is my second read of this book. I read it the first time when it came out a year ago in May 2015, but with the release of the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury days ago, I needed to reread it to remind myself what had happened. I found the second reading even better than the first, filling in details I hadn’t noticed before.

So, lets first touch on the amazing and beautiful world that Maas built. Humans live in fear of the powerful fae living north of an invisible, but magically strong wall. Fae who live forever and must manage the politics by and between seven courts: Spring, Summer, Winter, Autumn, Dawn, Day, and Night. And then there’s Hybern, a monstrous island that is set up as a threat to the fae for later, in another book in the series. When I first saw the names of the courts, I remember rolling my eyes thinking how unoriginal, but Maas does a good job giving us enough detail and flavor for differences between that the lack of originality actually worked, although I’m looking for even more rich differences as the series progresses. I’m particularly looking to understand the different powers each of the High Lord’s of these courts wield.

And then there’s the characters…

Feyre is a nineteen year old who has been the provider for a family, formerly of means and status, who has fallen on very hard times as a result of her father getting greedy with his business dealings and losing everything. She’s the only one who is mobilized to hunt and do anything pragmatic to help her, her two sisters and father survive.  From the get go we see a character who is strong and who cares for others at her own expense, but whose heart is fragile after everything she’s been through. Such a great foundation.

When she kills a fae in disguise on the human side of the wall, we meet Tamlin who claims Feyre and drags her north to the Spring court. Tamlin is set up as a mysterious character who only after conversation with his second in command do we come to learn his name, and only after conversation with a creature who Feyre ensnares and must tell the truth, that he is High Lord of the Spring court. This unveiling does a good job at building the secrecy that is prevalent among the fae. And based upon how Tamlin treats Feyre, protecting, caring for, and more, when she deeply understands she is nothing in Fae society as a human, I found myself rooting for the pair.

And then there’s Lucien, Tamlin’s second in command who has a gold fake eye, replacing the one someone or something dug from his head. The detail sets up the mystery of his background. We observe his indifference of Feyre and only later come to understand and appreciate  all the trauma he has endured as a member of the Autumn court now living in Spring court.

The details of these main characters and their flaws make them relatable and endearing.

And then there’s the plot. I feel like there should be ominous music playing LOL. Wow, Maas’s amazing imagination is fully on display and satisfies the need for gripping suspense, rooting for the underdog, and hoping the best for lovers pining but separated by a powerful, evil villainness, Amarantha. As you might imagine, Feyre is the target as the weak human, used as a tool to get at Tamlin who has fallen madly in love with her.  Oh goodness… what a series of conflicts that has you cheering the whole way.

I won’t spoil the ending but will just say that Maas sets up book two in a satisfying, but not in-your-face announcement kind of way, giving Feyre more powers than she started with.

This is a must read! I give it 5 stars!

Buy A Court of Thorns and Roses on Amazon

NOTE: I would call this New Adult, not YA based on the mature situations detailing torture and some explicit sexual content.

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Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you thought.

FREE EBOOKS: I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA DYSTOPIAN & FANTASY AUTHOR ARIA MICHAELS

Meet YA Fantasy/Dystopian author Aria Michaels and watch as she reads from KILLSHOT, Book one in the Icarus series. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two ebook copies of Killshot, book one in the Icarus series by Aria Michaels. She may also give away a paperback if there’s lots of entries. She is also reserving the last slot of beta readers for book two in the series that’s releasing June 1st for one lucky winner!!Giveaway open to domestic & international entrants.

https://youtu.be/CVy41oN3GHc

SUMMARY: After the death of their parents, seventeen year old Liv Larson and her younger brother are separated by the foster care system. Her grades slip, her friends drift away, and she gives up on her plans for college. The only thing that matters is keeping the promise to get back to her brother. After months of solitude and anti-social behavior, Liv’s best friend Riley drags her to their high school’s rooftop solar flare party. Despite the beautiful lights dancing in the sky, Liv finds herself captivated by Zander, a mysterious boy with a crooked smile. For a few hours, she allows herself to feel normal again.

That is until what should have been a small flare erupts into a massive solar storm. Cut off from the rest of the world with no sign of rescue, fear and paranoia begin to take their toll on the group. Battle lines are drawn and their ranks are divided. Soon, those left behind must embark on a perilous journey to save one of their own…but, something sinister awaits them in the shadows and it’s undeniably connected to Liv.

Can she keep her promise to reunite with her brother? What are Liv and her friends willing to do to survive? Will their bravery and determination be enough to save them all from a rogue military unit, a terrifying virus, and the things that go bump in the night?

Or was Icarus really the KILLSHOT?

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
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IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

“SEX SELLS,” THEY SAY BY @LRWLEE

sexsellsAfter publishing the fifth book in my Andy Smithson coming-of-age, epic fantasy series I noticed something that helped my book sales. “What is it?” you ask, leaning forward, spellbound to learn how you, a fellow author, might exploit this nugget.

I noticed readers consistently report experiencing a roller coaster of emotions as they read the book. In fact, one woman reported she cried…which had her award my book five stars (how strange that seems, we feel hurt and award the author who hurt us with a perfect score…gotta love human psychology, LOL! But I digress).

These responses got me reflecting how earlier books in my series were received. With book two, I remember reviewers commenting on a small portion of the book. Book three had readers sighing and cheering as well but these responses were not as enthusiastic as what I was hearing about my latest release.

I started thinking about the books I enjoy reading…lots of YA fantasy, with a splash of romance thrown in. I love it when an author develops characters who connect with one another in a way that is vulnerable, yet pure and healthy—the characters who experience deep insecurities yet come to a point where they are able to share with one another the depth of their worry and pain without fear of being laughed at, knowing their confession will be respected and held in strict confidence. These are relationships, and in turn books, that get my heart a pumpin’ – I adore them. Put another way, I connect with them.

An example, I think of Air Awakens and Fire Falling. In this series, Elise Kova constructs a relationship between the crown prince and a relative “nobody” who, of course, is not of social status appropriate for him to fall in love with, let alone marry. That relationship is vulnerable and seemingly pure and I find myself rooting for the pair. The Divergent series is another example is Bea and Tobias’s relationship. You feel their pain and cheer their triumphs. And there’s so many more awesome examples I can point to, but I share that to prove my point. We adore these relationships because they touch us deeply, emotionally, many times over.

When I’m writing a particularly vulnerable part of a story, my whole body experiences it. It’s hard to describe the sensations: my heart feels soft, my emotions are raw, and I feel “twitchy” as I approach writing (much like someone before confessing a deep secret). Then once the dialogue begins my whole heart is consumed by an essence of purity for what my characters are truly feeling. Emotion pours out of me until I’ve gotten the scene down on paper. That may sound strange, but I don’t know how else to describe it. Its purity and heart poured out. And these are the scenes my readers have commented specifically about as touching their hearts—they’vealways started this way.

This realization has shifted how I orient as I write, for I see that causing my characters to connect with my readers on this deeply vulnerable and emotional level IS the difference between creating books readers like vs writing a novel readers adore! So, yes, I’m sure the old adage “Sex Sells” is true, but so does the creating of characters who connect with each other on a deeply vulnerable level. Having come to understand this principle I now work to create scenes that tug on my reader’s heart strings like never before.

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Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you thought.

FREE EBOOKS: I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#BOOK REVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF THE ROSE & THE DAGGER BY RENEE AHDIEH

TheRoseandtheDawnI loved The Wrath and The Dawn, and could not wait for this second book in The Wrath & The Dawn series by Renee Ahdieh!

SUMMARY (from back): In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

WHAT I THOUGHT:  I have great respect for authors who can craft tight, flowing sentences and such great writing, as I’ve come to expect from Renee Ahdieh, filled the pages of this book:)

In this book, I appreciated the author giving us more depth into some of the co-stars of the series: Tariq, Rahim as well as Despina.  In fact, she gives us a great shock with Despina for I never expected to find out what I did about her. That, combined with another shock related to Khalid at the very end, made the book one I’d recommend reading.

Despite my excitement at the release of this book, I have mixed feelings about this second installment. The Wrath and The Dawn posed an awesome conflict with a king forced to kill his wife at dawn every day until a curse had been fulfilled. The premise intrigued me and I thought the author’s narrative proved consistent and compelling with Shahrzad standing up and refusing to allow it to continue.

This book, to me, lost the focus and pace. In this installment, the curse is addressed although we never truly find out (we are left to infer) that the curse is broken. I found the pace dragging for the first 25% of the book with characters doing a lot of sitting around, waiting. Only after that do we finally get the plot truly moving.

I also found the end dissatisfying with how the author wrapped up the story with Shahrzad’s father, a conflict that I thought a lot more could have been done with. Initially there is the set up that the guy won’t let the book out of his sight, and all it takes is a daughter to spike his tea and that conflict is fixed. I was disappointed that the author chose not to make this into a much bigger problem before the book’s resolution. It could have been epic.  But all we see is a weak character when he had so much potential. The end of his character arc wasn’t any better. I won’t say what exactly happens to him, but it certainly wasn’t epic.

I give this 4 stars!

Buy The Rose and The Dawn on Amazon

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Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you thought.

FREE EBOOKS: I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR JENNIFER ELLISION

Meet YA Fantasy author Jennifer Ellision and watch as she reads from THREATS OF SKY AND SEA, Book one in the Threats of Sky and Sea series. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for the first two ebooks in the Threats of Sky and Sea series (giveaway open to domestic & international this week)!

https://youtu.be/XM-Re_xI18s

SUMMARY: Sixteen year-old Bree has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the King’s army.

Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and he’s thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR BJ SHELDON

Meet YA Fantasy author BJ Sheldon and watch as she reads from HEAR THE CRICKETS, Book one in The Gibborim series. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a paperback of the book (open to domestic & international this week)!

https://youtu.be/yuvi34uql6w

SUMMARY: Skyy’s a freak. She’ll tell you so herself. Her past – a mystery. Her future – uncertain. Having spent most of her life avoiding humans in an effort to conceal her wings, she wants nothing more than to end it all, leaving behind the solitary life she’s been forced to live. But numerous attempts to die have proven immortality is both a curse and a nuisance. She now lives out her days in self-imposed seclusion to stay hidden from the world. But that quiet way of life is shattered when mysterious siblings arrive and reveal a destiny which sends her running for the hills. When an earth shattering discovery is made in the Badlands, history and science collide furthering the mystery behind Skyy’s past – and her future. Skyy will need to embrace her fate and confront an evil so ancient, only a miracle can keep the world from ceasing to be.

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#BOOKREVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF WATER’S WRATH

WatersWrathCoverMy love affair with the Air Awakens series continues with the newly released Water’s Wrath!!!!! SO GOOD!

SUMMARY (from back): Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet.

The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla’s fate, finally come to light. Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she’ll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover.

WHAT I THOUGHT: Elise Kova does it yet again. If you follow this blog, you’ve seen my reviews of the first three books in the series and they have all been glowing with 5 stars…well deserved 5 stars at that for she never ceases to disappoint.

I love the situation we find Vhalla in at the beginning of Water’s Wrath, having fled the grasp of Aldrick/Emperor Solaris at the end of Earth’s End. She is helping in a bookseller’s shop. While it’s not the library, it’s about the next best thing. So be still my heart. I enjoyed Vhalla’s interaction with Roan, the owner, and how they just seemed to enjoy one another’s company with no expectations attached…something that’s been foreign to Vhalla for too long. She desperately needed the break and it gave her a chance to begin processing events and heal.

This proved the springboard to Vhalla coming in to her own and becoming a stronger woman, comfortable in her own skin and not gaining her identity as a by-product of Aldrick. That was cool to see. And then we also get to experience Aldrick maturing and going through a similar change, on his own. As we experienced with the violent upheaval in their relationship at the end of Earth’s End (I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that:) ) maturing was needed on both their parts.

And then there was a part that… *breathes deeply to hold back tears* it was yet another heart-wrenching story with a character we have all come to know and love. I will not give it away, but suffice it to say, you’ll know when you get there. But because of Aldrick’s and Vhalla’s maturing prior to this, they both endured, certainly hurt, but able to go on.

Elise plotted this book very well, using the crystal axe and people’s motives surrounding it, to move the action forward, which certainly came to a head at the end in a very unexpected way. I won’t say more for I will not ruin the ending, but it set up the final book, Crystal Crowned very well. I can’t wait to see what Kova allows our beloved characters to experience in the end, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that Vhaldrick will live happily ever after…PLEEEEAAASSEEE.

I give The Water’s Wrath 5 Stars!

Buy Water’s Wrath on Amazon

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Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you thought.

FREE EBOOKS: I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR CASEY BOND

Meet YA Fantasy author Casey Bond and watch as she reads from REAP, Book one in THE HARVEST SAGA. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a paperback of the book!

https://youtu.be/qOonhVh2zeI

Summary: The remnants of the United States of America have been divided. From five enormous, technologically-advanced cities, the Greaters rule over the Lessers.

In the Lesser village of Orchard, things are not as perfect as Abby Kelley thinks they are. When the apple harvest draws near and the Greater’s engineered fruits become too much for one village to handle alone, reinforcements from neighboring villages are called upon.
Having to choose between her best friend, whom she has no romantic feelings for, and mysterious newcomer Crew, Abby finds herself in the middle of a harvest that she had no intention of becoming a part of. She becomes involved in a situation that threatens the strict rule of the Greaters, and just might give the Lessers hope for a better tomorrow. But, can she help the Lessers without losing Crew? And if she chooses Crew, will she lose her best friend?

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#INTERVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF YA FANTASY AUTHOR K. K. ALLEN

Meet YA Fantasy author K. K. Allen and watch as she reads from THE SUMMER SOLSTICE: ENCHANTED. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. US viewers, be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a signed paperback of the book!

https://youtu.be/6FLCVM3z4bY

Summary: After Katrina Summer’s mother dies a mysterious death, she is hurtled into life at Apollo Beach where she learns the legends of her Ancient Greek ancestors. Kat’s world unravels as secrets from her heritage are exposed—secrets that her mother purposefully concealed. Leading to her 16th birthday, the day of the Summer Solstice, Kat becomes frightened when enigmatic visions and disturbing dreams haunt her. As her visions become reality fear turns to terror as powerful forces threaten the lives of those around her. Amidst the turmoil, Kat meets neighbor, Alec Stone, who becomes her sole solace in an evocative world of mythological enchantment and evil prophecies that lurk around every corner …

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Book Nerd ParadiseInterview by Book Nerd Paradise
Twitter: @BookNerdParadis
FB: bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseFB

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought.

ALSO, BE SURE TO follow our host YA Fantasy author L. R. W Lee at:
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

DOWNLOAD the FREE ebooks of the award winning Prequel andBook one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

#BOOKREVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF THE WRATH & THE DAWN

TheWrathTheDawn TheWrathTheDawn2

This cover is SO cool and is just one reason I love this book so much!! I was very familiar with the red cover and when I went on Amazon to download it I found this new version…and that’s when I realized the image behind the original red cover. I’d never noticed before. How beautiful and fun is that?

SUMMARY (from back): A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

WHAT I THOUGHT:  The plot is what grabbed my attention first, but the writing and slow reveal of a deep and dangerous mystery kept me intrigued. The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of 1001 Nights (sometimes called the Arabian Nights).

I found the heroine, Shahrzad, to be a delightfully intelligent woman who, despite being filled with a narrative of avenging the death of her best friend Shiva, for the most part, manages her emotions and bides her time. This plotting allowed the author to slowly unfold the depth and mystery of her husband, Khalid, king of  the land and uncover why he murders his latest wife each morning. Books with overly emotional female protagonists tend to drive me crazy for I don’t see most women behave that way, and this author painted our heroine with grace and dignity.

The author adds more depth to Shahzad as she reveals some of the inner turmoil she experiences as love, and its tendency to overwhelm reason, have her falling for the very man she has committed to destroy, and guilt threatens to overcome…but she fights that battle.

Plot: If I overthink the plot this story would have very little appeal, for what emperor kills his wife every morning just to have a new woman replace her during the day? But since this is a retelling, I chose to just go with it and see where I ended up. And I would say it was a very enjoyable journey.

I particularly loved the scene where the relationship between Shahzad and Khalid is clarified and made different for both of them. They both understand their relationship can never be the same from that point forward. I do wish the author had developed Khalid’s thinking prior to this more fully so we better understood the gravity of this choice for him, as I think it would have completely rocked his world, but we don’t get a peek, only a hint that “something’s” afoot…darn😦

The swoon factor is well done throughout as the pair confront their own inner turmoil. I loved the intimacy and vulnerability they both showed and how the author slowly developed not just a sexual relationship but slowly revealed the very essence of who each character is. Well done.

It’s clear book one sets up the next for we are left wondering how Shahzad will be reunited with her love and more. But this will be a short wait as the next installment is set to release April 26th. I’ve already pre-ordered mine and you’ll probably, too, if you choose to read this book!

I give The Wrath & The Dawn 5 Stars!

Buy The Wrath & The Dawn on Amazon

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Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you thought.

FREE EBOOKS: I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.