Tag Archives: magic

Soul Blade #BookReview

  • Title: Soul BladeSoul Blade (The Sword of Light Trilogy Book 3) by [Hodges, Aaron]
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 300
  • Publication Date: November 28, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

This is the third and final book in the Sword of Light trilogy, and I loved it. We open with a sword fight, which held my interest greatly with all the visible action within the words. Then once we get back the into the lives of Eric and company, we’re reminded of plenty of back story. Because of this, if you haven’t read Stormwielder or Firestorm, don’t worry, you’ll pick up pretty quickly. However, I highly recommend Soul Blade’s predecessors because then you’ll get the feel of the characters, and the books are also enjoyable.

There is a lot of showing, rather than telling throughout Soul Blade, although I’d become more interested in reading more than to dwell on it. Possibly I was in the mood to escape my own world and dive into a completely different place. I’ve read the Sword of Light trilogy from beginning to end and have to praise Hodges for being able to keep consistent. The wonderful thing about fantasy is that you set your own rules and guidelines. The downfall is when you start to write a series, you’re bound by your own rules. And Hodges did a great job at making his characters grow into their own being and painting the scene around them.

As I concluded the Sword of Light trilogy, I found I was saddened that it must end. However, I believe Aaron Hodges has the potential of continuing this new world he built, adding brand new heroes to fight brand new demons.

This was a wonderful, compelling and hard to put down conclusion of the trilogy. Well done.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars


Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Today, his adventures continue…


Firestorm #BookReview

  • Title: FirestormFirestorm (The Sword of Light Trilogy Book 2) by [Hodges, Aaron]
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 314
  • Publication Date: June 11, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres:
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Although I believe this series can be read out of order, I’m glad I read the first before getting to Firestorm. I managed to learn the nature of the characters so I could even appreciate their growths even more. The second book in the Sword of Light series picks up where it left off in Stormweilder while giving us just enough of a glimpse to its predecessor for those that decide not to read in order.

We’re reacquainted with old friends, while some of them, including Eric’s mentor, Alastair, meets a terrible fate. Our protagonist, Eric, has learned a great deal of his magic and task. He’s now more able and willing to fight without hesitation. During the journey of magic in search of Light, Eric and his team is met with darkness as they battle their own demons, as well as each other.

There were quite a few misplaced punctuation, or absent of, which tended to distract me as I read. The dialogue was engaging, for the most part, though at times it slipped and didn’t provide the correct language for the time. The scenes were painted so well, I felt I was a part of the story.

Firestorm starts off slowly, but soon the action very rarely lets you go. For those who enjoy twists and turns, this book will not leave you disappointed. There is a cliffhanger at the end, which will make you want to pick up the third and final book of the Sword of Light trilogy just to figure out what happens next. If you enjoy demons, gods, magic and dragons all rolled in one, then I highly recommend you pick up this series.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars


Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Today, his adventures continue…


Stormwielder #BookReview

  • Title: StormwielderStormwielder (The Sword of Light Trilogy Book 1) by [Hodges, Aaron]
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 321
  • PublicatioCopy a Postn Date: December 1, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

This is the first book of the Sword of Light Trilogy. Eric is a young man with powers that is capable of wielding mass destruction. He doesn’t know how to control it, so he spends much of his time in exile from anything and anyone that he knows. That is until Alastair, a mysterious old man, who seems to know more about Eric that even Eric does. After Eric unintentionally destroys a town, he and Alastair set out to escape from Eric’s enemies. Through his guilt of destroying people’s lives, Eric has to fight for his own while learning to control his powers. During the times you think it can’t get any worse on their journey, you find that you’re wrong.

I enjoyed reading Stormwielder. When I started, I couldn’t seem to put it down. It was very well written. As soon as the story opens with death and destruction, it rarely lets you go as Eric and Alastair and our other heroes fight to survive their enemies. The characters were all likable and sympathetic…including Gabriel who stops at nothing to get revenge on Eric. The scenes also painted a pretty picture, however, at times it was a little too descriptive.

The main issue was a lot of grammatical, spelling and punctuation problems. It was hard to overlook those, however, after finishing the story I’m eager to find what’s next in store for these characters I’ve learned to love in Firestorm. Beginning the series with Stormwielder is a great way to get to know the characters before continuing their journey on through the next chapter of their stories.

Overall Rate: 4 out of 5 stars


Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Today, his adventures continue…


Silver Lightning Q&A with @AuthorWDarling

wendy-darling-star-trekRW: Wendy . . . dahling, where are you from?

WENDY: I grew up in a tiny little caravan (trailer) in the south of England. My family migrated to South Africa when I was 12 and we lived there until I was 17 when we returned to England. When I was 30 and married with 2 wonderful daughters, my husband was ‘headhunted’ by a company in Chatsworth, California and we moved to the US in 1988.

RW: You’ve seriously gotten around. I moved around a lot as well, and I think that had a huge impact on who I am. Were you extroverted and a trying-to-fit-in type of kid?

WENDY: I was one of those quiet, shy kids who tried never to draw any attention to herself but my love of reading helped make me a sponge when it came to school – masses of free books to read about so many interesting subjects! Needless to say, English was my favourite subject and I was always the first in class to finish reading assignments!

RW: Okay, so we’re sounding a lot alike here. What got you into the Lit World as we know it here on LWI?

WENDY: My grandmother used to bring me bags of books from the Oxford University Press, where she worked. Reading became my lifeline and I started reading aloud to my two younger sisters at an early age. I often read until I was hoarse because they kept clamouring for ‘just one more chapter!’

The years went by and I read everything I could lay my hands on, wrote poetry and stories; often illustrating them too, read to my kids and tried to make a living. At that time of my life, I had decided I wanted to be a graphic designer or an actor so I started on a Theatre degree and took acting and voice lessons but finally decided to go with graphic design. As I love to read, write, and research, I also got a Paralegal Studies degree.

Life changed, as it has a habit of doing and what I’ve gone though over the last several years (I could write a library) finally took its toll. I moved in with my oldest daughter’s family where my amazingly patient son-in-law told me that maybe it was time to ‘regroup’ and work out exactly what I needed to do to be happy… and I knew exactly what that was. I needed to write. I needed to read. I needed to draw, and I needed to become independent.


5.0 out of 5 stars Silver Lightning is a about a fifteen year old boy … November 15, 2014

By GiftofReading

Silver Lightning is a about a fifteen year old boy that finds a magic motorcycle. He becomes a hero of sorts, saving lives and stopping thieves in action. He has to be careful though. Only someone worthy can keep the bike. Plus, he has other teenage worries to sort out along the way.
I can see a young reader liking this book right away. I believe the three year rule applies to book. Since the hero is a fifteen year old, the targeted reader could be around twelve, give or take a couple of years.


RW: Let’s move into why you’re here for a little bit. What inspired your debut novel Silver Lightning?Wendy Anne Darling

WENDY: Much like my character, Alex, I had a dream. I woke up one morning and the book was in my head, vivid and real, as if I’d been there and seen it all. Over the years of trying to just live and make a living Alex and the bike would occasionally pop into my head and say “Is it time to write our story yet?” and I would say “One day.” Until I finally woke up one morning and whispered “It’s time, guys.”

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

WENDY: Silver Lightning is either a book about a boy who finds a rather unusual motorbike OR it’s about a rather unusual motorbike who finds a boy. A boy it has been looking for for a very long time. Of course, it could be both. Yes… probably both.

RW: Silver Lightning falls into the Middle Grade Fantasy genre, why do you write in this particular genre?

WENDY: I’m actually a sci-fi/fantasy nerd. I love new worlds, futuristic tech, Doctor Who, Star Trek, and dragons (Ooh… LOVE dragons!). My long-term goal is to write an entirely new world like The Lord of the Rings or a world-within-a world, like Harry Potter. My thoughts on this subject haven’t really coalesced yet though so I may end up genre hopping or combining a bit while I settle down. Do hope that doesn’t confuse readers too much!

RW: With that bit of information, who are your favorite authors?

WENDY: I love Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, and just about any sci-fi or fantasy writer who ever wrote anything, ever. I particularly like writers like Douglas Adams as I have a pretty weird sense of humour, as anyone who sees my Facebook posts can probably tell you!

RW: Anyone else afraid? Now tell us about your main character(s) and what you think will make them connect to readers.

WENDY: Alex is 15 years old when the story starts. He is a little like me; quiet and shy but with a lot of loud thinking going on under the surface. He is not a hero but has dreams of being one. Unbeknownst to him, there is a magical force out there who has been patiently waiting to help him become the type of hero he always wanted to be, deep down. Silver Lightning is a character in, and of, himself and I can’t say any more than that with a spoiler alert.

5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK that took me back to my childhood where … October 11, 2014


I have written 3reviews and they ended in cyberspace. GREAT BOOK that took me back to my childhood where magic was real and to adulthood where the REAL IS MAGIC


RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

WENDY: I learned that I can do whatever I have the passion to do! I’ve learned to quit wishing and keep working and I’ve learned that I’m nowhere near as good at it as I hoped I might be but also nowhere near as good at it as I’m going to be.

RW: That may be the most honest answer I’ve ever had. Well they have all been honest but this one just really laid it out there. Now for the tough one, describe your book in one word.

WENDY: If I MUST boil it down to one, single word it would probably be ‘compassion.’

RW: Where can we get your book now?

 You can find it on Amazon in ebook and physical form at

(U.S.): http://amzn.to/17Qe2fL

(UK): http://amzn.to/1C8bDbm

I still need to get ‘Silver Lightning’ ready for audio but, if there’s one thing stranger than hearing your own voice reading someone else’s book aloud it’s your own voice reading your own book! It’s proving a challenge but I promise to share a section with you all when I have faced those demons. Maybe I’ll have to set my dragons on them.

RW: Let’s get into my oddball questions.

RW: Okay, you continent cavorting . . . hmm, need a c word here? Ahh, creator. There we go. What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

WENDY: Once upon a time it would have been red wine. Or margaritas. Or something else with alcohol in it. Now, it’s good, old-fashioned water. (Yes, I could write a book about that too!)

RW: All that build up I gave her and she gives me water? Not even flavored water, bottled water or like rain water? Water. Okay then. Dare I ask what is your getaway from writing? Will she say pencil making?

WENDY: Reading or… no, that’s it. Reading. Oh, and Netflix.

RW: I bet she puts the captions on so she can read the dialogue of the movie. What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

WENDY: Build your presence AHEAD of time! I didn’t. ‘Nuff said. LOL!

RW: What book are you  closed captioning at this time?

WENDY: I am trying to help out as many new or newer authors as I can by writing reviews. I just took a break from that and read J.S. Frankel’s YA ‘Catnip.’ Loved it and will be posting a review soon.

RW: Okay, had to go look at that one. Interesting premise. Like the cover and the title design. What other projects do you have to share with us and can you tell us a little about them?

WENDY: I am working concurrently on the second Silver Lightning book and also an adult sci-fi murder mystery. You’ll all know about it when they come out! LOL!

RW: Okay, before you answer further, there is another cool reason I have you here today and that is you do audio books. What do you have out there people might want to check out at the moment?

WENDY: I have 3 audio books completed with Amazon as well and 3 more in the pipeline which include Silver Lightning and the third and fourth in Nicolette Pierce’s ‘Nadia Wolf’ series. The third of the completed books is ‘Blood and Bane’ by CJ McKee and is a sci-fi fantasy about dragons!

If you’d like to hear some of my narration, here are the audios out now or in the next couple of weeks; you can click on the ‘Listen’ link below the product picture.

Narration: The Big Blind by Nicolette Pierce (1st in a series of 4): http://amzn.to/1yKczDl

Narration: High Stakes by Nicolette Pierce (2nd in series of 4):       http://amzn.to/17yoMPR

Narration: Blood and Bane The Dragon Sage series by C.J. McKee (1st in series): Currently in Amazon QC phase and out soon. http://amzn.to/1xaPFzc

RW: And while we are doing all the links, how do people connect with you through all forms of social media?


Blog: http://wendyannedarling.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Wendy-Anne-Darling/1515036022113419

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorWDarling
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/AuthorWDarling/

LinkedIn: Just search for Wendy Anne Darling. (or click her name)

If you would like to hear how Wendy sounds, click here to listen to a brief excerpt from Silver Lightning recorded just for this interview.

Why the long links? I know it doesn’t look professional but some people just won’t click a link they can’t see. So, I sometimes include the actual link.

Jesse Frankel‘s review Jan 09, 15

4 of 5 stars

Gee whiz, Batman, what are we gonna do now?

Alex Bascolme is your typical fifteen year old who worries about life, moving around the country, and making friends. When he moves from Colorado out to the West Coast and he and his newfound friend Logan find a motorcycle that magically repairs itself and turns out to be more than a little magic, well, that’s when the story takes off.

Alex becomes a bit of a superhero, saving people on his magic bike (and no, I’m not going to give away the secret) and having a high old time. When things get rough, the ‘keepers’ of the motorcycle let him in on the deal and things get better again. Happy endings and all that, and since this is a YA book geared for young adults–I’d say in the ten to thirteen age range–maybe that’s the way to go.


RW: Let’s leave everyone with your favorite word.

WENDY: Cuddle. 

Well, there you have, Wendy Anne Darling. Fits her name, right? And she really does. She’s one of the sweetest ladies I know. Ready to buy her book? Of course you are. Click here and get it. .99 is less than a cup of coffee or a soft drink. Buy a book and help an author out. So get it now before the price goes up.







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Review of Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene.

Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene
Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene

Title:   Atonement, Tennessee

Author:   Teagan Geneviene

ISBN-10: 1481826948

ISBN-13: 978-1481826945


Published:  21st December 2013

Pages:  296

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

If there is such a thing as your “standard novel” and I’m not sure there is, Atonement, Tennessee is definitely not it. Although some aspects of the story might seem familiar to readers (we have a newcomer to a small and seemingly fairly quirky town, a catalogue of slightly odd characters, hidden and dark stories behind perfect surfaces…), others definitely will not. Although we spend most of the time in Ralda’s head (her given name is Esmeralda and that plays quite an important part in the book), we also see things from the point of view of Lilith, her cat, and that allows us to gain more knowledge than Ralda has, but from a peculiar viewpoint that means we are observes and what we see is unfiltered by either reason or prejudice.

Other novel and original aspects are its mixing of the everyday and the magical/paranormal. There are dogs barking, cats sneaking out, moving companies that keep getting delayed, but also strange and eerie mirrors, a cemetery that is part of the property and hides many secrets, attractive but strangely bizarre men, unknown magical birds, and fairly unusual dreams.

Ralda is self-reflective and we not only see things from her point of view (for the most part) but her internal dialogue works as a narrator who accompanies us. But how reliable a narrator is she? The many everyday worries that surround her (will the cat get out of the house? Will she finally get her possessions back? How much will it cost to repair the house?) keep pulling her attention away from the many strange and fantastic things that are also happening. She doubts herself, but she’s shown as dealing well with other people’s problems and being highly effective. When it comes to herself, though, things are more complicated and she does not want to accept that she can be at the centre of unknown powers and events. It is not so much that she’s trying to misguide us; it is that she does not even want to allow herself to think about certain things (like what she might feel for the male characters).

Although something mysterious happens early in the book (that seems connected to one of the objects), this is by no means the main mystery. Why Ralda is there and who she is are at the heart of the book and by the end we might have our suspicions, but like the protagonist, we lack information to come to any conclusions. We have the answer to some of our questions, but can only speculate about others.  But this leaves room for the sequel, on which I understand the author has begun work.

The writing style is engaging and accessible, there is enough description to fire the imagination without being overly detailed and doing all the work for the reader, and the chosen point of view offers fascinating psychological insights into the main character.

What did I love about the book? The setting, the fabulously strange house, the cemetery, Lilith, the sheriff (not as onedimensional as everybody thinks), the friendship between the four women, the locket, the bed, the dreams…It reminded me of Edgar Allan Poe but not as dark.

What didn’t I like? That there isn’t a second part to tell me more about the mysteries that are suggested but we don’t get to know enough of.

Who do I recommend it to? If you like spooky tales, old houses, mystery, cats, legends, magic and stories about women I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Ah, let’s not forget unusual birds and cemeteries…Is there anybody not included?

I encourage the author to bring us part two very soon. We want to know more!

Here the book trailer, in case you want to get in the mood for the story.


Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Buy it at:  Amazon (e-version, paper), Barnes & Noble

Format & Pricing:

Paperback:  $7.45
Kindle: $3.52


Olga Núñez Miret