Reading Challenge: Sorceress of Truth by J.D. Groom

About the challenge

The challenge was set by World Indie Warriors on Instagram. They created three #WIWBingo boards; YA, Romance, and Fantasy.

The aim is to read and review the books on Instagram and tag @worldindiewarriors

The goal is to get three in a line, and help indie books get seen.

I’m doing the challenge. I’ve already read some of the books on the board so I’ll be reposting them this month, and I’m hoping to read some new one too.

The Book Review

Here is my post of my old review for Sorceress of Truth by J.D. Groom. I shortened it for social media.

[kofi]

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Below are some affiliate links. Check out my Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

Summer Reading Challenge

Summer Reading Challenge

World Indie Warriors is a nonprofit organisation that has a mission to bring indie authors together so they can collaborate and help each other. They are a lovely bunch and a joy to work with.

#WIWBINGO

Over on Instagram @worldindiewarriors have created a reading challenge for indie books.

Readers are encouraged to get a line of three by reading books on the bingo cards.

When readers post their review, WIW would like readers to tag them in it.

My debut novel Ocean Heart is featured on one of the bingo boards!

Fantasy books to read this summer!
Romance books to read this summer!
YA books to read this summer!

If you want to join in, you might be interested to know that Ocean Heart is available to borrow from all good libraries. The library might need the ISBN to order it in. You may find this pic useful.

Ocean Heart ISBN

As a supporter of indie authors & indie books, I already have a few of the books ticked off the bingo card, but no lines.

Check out the reviews below:

Crown of Conspiracy by Kara S. Weaver review

Sorceress of Truth by J.D. Groom review

Agent Undone by Cassidy Reyne review

Duet Rubato by Claerie Kavanaugh review

Amelia’s Story by Nicola Hebron review

Brave New Girl by Grace Herbst review

Red Blood by Kaitlyn Legaspi review

Read the first 3 chapters of Ocean Heart

I’ve been meaning to post the first three chapters of Ocean Heart online ever since I published. I wanted people to be able to sample the book before they buy it.

Amazon does allow a peep inside but not everyone shops with Amazon.

I decided to post Ocean Heart to two places:

Wattpad

Ocean Heart on Wattpad

I’ve been on Wattpad for years but I’ve struggled to get seen amongst all the voices there. I liked how easy it was to use.

You can follow me @Redfae on Wattpad and read Ocean Heart there.

Movellas

Ocean Heart on Movellas

I’ve had an account here for years but never really used it as I didn’t find it as user friendly. I recently got encouraged to give it another go as it’s being revamped.

So far, I am impressed. It’s a lot more user friendly appears to be more social and engaging than Wattpad. I’m looking forward to their new app coming soon.

You can follow me @Redfae on Movellas and read Ocean Heart there.

Ocean Heart for Free

Both the above sites are currently free to join. Writers post their stories (content) and readers enjoy it, comment, and rate it.

I also included in the books about when Ocean Heart has been given away free. This isn’t something I can do all the time.

Ocean Heart by Ally Aldridge ISBN

I also reminded people that Ocean Heart can be ordered in by libraries. If you have a library card, you can borrow and read Ocean Heart if your library stock it. If they don’t, you can ask them and they’ll need the ISBN.

I hope you enjoy the chapters enough to treat yourself to a full copy. I also look forward to connecting with you on either platform or social media.

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About Ocean Heart

Ocean Heart is free on Smashwords

About Sky Heart

Sky Heart needs Beta Readers

[kofi]

Ocean Heart is on Smashwords

My paperback is in libraries and I wanted my eBook to be available too. You see growing up, I really valued the library. I couldn’t afford loads of books but the library gave me access to them.

It felt like Christmas walking through the doors and knowing I could take home any book. Pre- pandemic, I took my kids to the library so they could experience the same joy I had (and still do). My kids are always so excited, I struggle to control them but the lovely staff never judge. It’s given me a greater appreciation of my mum for taking me and my siblings (three under five) to the library so often, and hauling home the heavy bounty of books.

These memories have made the library important to me. And, I know I’m not alone. That’s why it’s been so important to me to have my books in libraries.

But it turns out, Overdrive will not deal with authors directly. So, I had to find an aggregator to be the middle man. They recommend D2D or Smashwords. I chose Smashwords as during my recent review of Aggregators I was impressed by their own store and the deals they do to promote indie books.

Now, Ocean Heart is on Smashwords, I celebrated by enrolled it in their Summer/Winter Sale. This means Ocean Heart is FREE for July 2021!

Ocean Heart free on Smashwords for July 2021

If you are looking for your next Summer Read go check out the sale. You can download Ocean Heart for FREE. I didn’t need to enter the code but if it asks, it’s: SW100

You can then read the ePub on whatever app is your favourite eBook reader.

Ocean Heart ISBN Numbers

If you missed this deal, you should now be able to borrow the paperback and eBook at your library. If it’s not in their catalogue, ask how to request it in. It helps to provide your librarian with the ISBN number.

Below are affiliate links:

Here’s the link to the Summer/Winter sale: https://www.smashwords.com/shelves?ref=Redfae

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About Ocean Heart

[kofi]

Sky Heart needs Beta Readers!

Yes! I’m pleased to announce that I have finished my first edit of Sky Heart and now need Beta Readers.

Click here for the Beta Readers Sign Up Form.

NB:  Sky Heart doesn’t have an official cover yet.  The image used is my Work In Progress cover.
Beta Readers Wanted – Sky Heart

What is a Beta Reader?

You get to read the full story before anyone else, and can help shape the future version with your feedback.

Tell me if you like a character or not. You can say if a scene is too slow or too fast. Suggest what to cut or add to the story. Basically share your thoughts to help me improve it.

This version has only been edited by me. It will have mistakes. It won’t be as polished as a final version that has been professionally edited.

What type of story is Sky Heart?

Sky Heart is book 2 in The Soul Heart series but has a new main character, Keily.

You can read Sky Heart (book 2) even if you haven’t read Ocean Heart (book 1). It is a complete story, however, it will have some spoilers for book 1 as it assumes you’ve already read it. In addition, it is part of a series so although the main issue is resolved in the story, there are things that will be unresolved as they are dealt with later in the series.

Sky Heart is a YA Contemporary Fantasy. Here is the blurb:

Beta Books

I want to try out a site called Beta Books.

This site enables me to easily share Sky Heart with my Betas. It will also organises any feedback to make it more manageable for me.

Readers can share their feedback as inline comments, at the end of a chapter, and I can even ask readers questions about specific things.

If you want to help me but prefer not to use Beta Books that’s fine. Please still sign up using my Google Form and I’ll consider another option for you.

Sign up

If you’ve read this far, thank you. I’m so pleased you’re interested. Please fill in my Google Form so I can send you details on how to access Sky Heart.

Google Form: Sky Heart Beta Readers sign up

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[kofi]

The following links are affiliate…

July 2021 – Ocean Heart is free on Smashwords in the Summer/Winter Sale

Behind the Book: Chasing Sunrise (The Sunrise Prophecy book 1)by Emily Mah

Thank you Emily for agreeing to a Behind the Book interview about your YA Urban Fantasy book, Chasing Sunrise.

This is book 1 in a trilogy. What can readers look forward to in this vampire series?

Very few vampires, actually, but the series will explain why there are so few. You’ll also learn the origin of vampires and how they fit into Judeo-Christian mythology. These books also set up a world where I plan to write a lot of urban fantasy/paranormal romance, so I hope people like the world-building too!

Can you introduce the MC, Liana?

Liana was a nerdy, quiet, high-achieving, prep-school attending girl who had a weakness for a guy who told her he needed her. Unfortunately, what he needed was her blood, and the way she let him drain her makes her face a lot of uncomfortable truths about herself. She realizes that if she wants to be the strong, independent woman she always thought she was, she has to make hard choices. And when her father is killed and she is left an orphan, the hard choices start coming at her fast.

Can you introduce the love interest, Corban?

He’s more of a cypher to begin with. When he meets Liana he’s very hostile to her, but he also asks her a lot of questions that don’t quite make sense. Despite their rough first meeting, she comes to believe he’s one of the only people she can trust with her deepest, darkest secret. She figures out who he is by the middle of the book. Suffice it to say, it’s complicated.

What drew you to writing a YA novel about vampires?

The one common thread in my romances is making good guys sexy. It really bothers me how many male leads are abusive, narcissistic, reckless, and even criminal, and vampire stories tend to be some of the most extreme in this regard. There’s a lot in these books about what it takes for love to last a lifetime, and selfish, obsessive vampire behaviors aren’t it. While I don’t believe in preaching to anyone, especially young people, nor in writing propaganda, I do think as a writer that it is my job to be honest and to ask hard questions. The YA audience is more than capable of grappling with those.

Who do you think would enjoy your series?

I think if you like, say, Tamar Sloan or Ilona Andrews or Carrie Vaughn, you’ll probably like these books. They’re meant to be a fun ride with a few heavy topics laced in there. But first and foremost, they should be fun!

The book is set in a boarding school, what was your school life like?

Only the first chapter is in a boarding school. I did go to a boarding school for two years of high school, but it was the United World College, which is an unusual boarding school. It’s international, most of the kids are on scholarship, and the curriculum is the International Baccalaureate. So, it’s not much like Liana’s boarding school. Before going to boarding school I went to the public high school in Los Alamos, New Mexico, one of the big rivals to Taos High School, where Liana ends up as a total fish out of water.

Can you share a short snippet of the story?

I sat on a patch of dead grass beside Aunt Cassie’s house as the sun rose. My skin already tingled as if I’d rubbed it with heat cream. Even though it was winter and the temperature below freezing, my jacket lay on the ground behind me, leaving my arms bare. With a deep breath of clean, chilled air, I braced myself for the full force of the oncoming pain.

The desert around me was quiet, and I was glad for that. It seemed that every animal I could think of that lived out here was poisonous in some way. Scorpions, rattlesnakes, various types of spiders—and I wasn’t an outdoorsy person to begin with. I found myself taken in by the stillness of it all, though. There were no birds chirping, or leaves rustling in the wind, no distant sound of cars whooshing down the road, or buzz of an errant porch light attracting insects.

There was just the broad, flat Taos Valley with its deep, jagged line of canyon in the distance, and beyond that were the mountains, their sharp angles softened with a layer of evergreen trees. Now the sky was turning a deep, vivid pink with wispy clouds looking like they’d caught fire.

I felt more than saw the sunrise. One moment my skin burned with an annoying tingle, and the next it felt like I was laid out atop a hot griddle with molten metal poured over me. I was certain that my flesh was being incinerated this time, but I’d thought that last time and the time before. Clenching my teeth and holding my breath, I waited for the sensation to break. It had before, so it had to this time. Still I gripped my small gold cross pendant and prayed to any deity who would listen. I begged, mentally, for forgiveness for my weakness. Please, give me another chance, another day.

Tears leaked from my eyes, and that was the first sign I had that the pain was abating. Their cool tracks down my cheeks quenched the fire and that sensation spread across my face and down over the rest of my body.

And then it was all over, the external pain at least. It was just me, the silent desert, and the yawning chasm of emptiness I felt inside. Tears didn’t ease that pain though. It was bottomless.

Chasing Sunrise by Emily Mah

Where can readers go to find out more about you and your books?

The buy link for the book is: https://books2read.com/Chasing-Sunrise

My social media:

Website: emilymah.com

Twitter: twitter.com/emilymah

Instagram: instagram.com/emilymahauthor

Facebook: facebook.com/emilymahauthor

The below are affiliate links. Read Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

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Behind the Book: Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom

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Behind the Book: Wiccan Romance: Amelia’s Story by Nicola Hebron

[kofi]

Book Review: The Rookery by Deborah Hewitt (The Nightjar book 2)

I received an ARC copy of this book from Net Galley, in return for an honest review.

Setting

Technically the novel is set in the present day, however, The Rookery is a fantasy world which they travel to using a portal. Most of the story is set in The Rookery, which has magic, a 1920s decor, and is a lot like London but without modern devices.

People have a soul bird. It’s linked to them by a glowing cord that is severed when they die. There are magical houses that specialise in certain types of magic like earth, water, stone, etc.

Characters

Alice is the main character. She is completing a number of challenges to earn membership to House Meilaki .

It’s apparent that in book 1 she discovered her parents are not her biological parents. Alice loves them but is keen to find out who her real parents are, especially as powers are inherited. She has Meilaki earth powers, but is concerned she also has powers connected to death. In addition, Alice has the rare ability of being able to see other people’s bird as well as her own.

Alice has a range of friends. Each bring out a different side of her. She’s also dealing with the death of a friend who died in book 1. She blames herself, and can’t forgive Crowly. Crowly is a guy she has romantic feelings for but hates. He isn’t in the book much for the first half but plays an important role towards the end.

Review

The book is written in third POV which isn’t my preference. I struggled at the start to connect with Alice and to get into the story as I hadn’t read book 1. But, I’m pleased I kept reading.

Something strange is going on in The Rookery, and people are dying. It feels like Alice should be doing something about it but she’s going to work, and parties, training for the competition, and keeping quiet about the less public attacks in her room.

But as the magical attacks get bigger, Alice takes action. She realises there’s a connection with her boss and her past. As secrets unravel, Alice is spurred into action and this is where things get really good.

This book has loads of magic and I loved seeing the different powers. The soul birds were new to me and I loved them, and how Alice’s unique gift gives her insight into the motives of others.

It felt a bit like a mystery with fantasy, as the MC collects info, pieces it together, and saves The Rookery. If you enjoy mysteries and fantasy then you’d love this.

Below are affiliate links. Visit my Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

[kofi]

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Behind the Book: Tenebrasco by Hannah Reed

Tenebrasco by Hannah Reed (Behind the Book)
Tenebrasco by Hannah Reed (blurb)

I was excited to interview Hannah about her book as I’m currently reading it and it’s a mermaid story. As an author of a mermaid story myself, I’m always fascinated to see how others do it and how different the worlds we create can be.

This is book 1 in a trilogy. What can readers look forward to in the Pearl Wielders series?

Mer, magic, adventure! Some readers have even described Tenebrasco as a Little Mermaid retelling! It’s a very contemporary take on the mer world. I basically wanted a story that avoided some of the standard mermaid tropes. So, for example, the mer wear normal clothes (hydrodynamic of course!), the humans (or legged as the mer call them) know that the mer exist and the mer live in a world and society that is as advanced as ours. 

From a plot perspective, the Pearl Wielders series starts when the peace treaty between the mer and legged is attacked derailing peace and setting the two worlds on the brink of war. 

In the aftermath of the attack, April (MC) ends up stranded on a poison shrouded island grappling with her powers as they start to consume her. 

Can you introduce the MC, April and the sort of powers your mermaids have?

April, or Princess April Meridia, is the most powerful pearl wielder in the seven seas. She loves marine wildlife, is a very caring and loyal friend and would do anything for her mer but… she has never been fully in control of her pearl powers in the way her mum and society expect. 

As the heir to the throne of the seven seas April wields all seven of the original pearl powers. She can manipulate water and the weather, grow plant life, communicate with animals, heal and connect with the life force of other mer.

Who is your favourite mermaid- other than April of course?

This is a difficult one and it changes across the books! In the first one though, I think it’s Alex.

I won’t give too much away but… he’s the best friend everyone needs!

What inspired you to write the Pearl Wielder series?

Several things inspired me to write the Pearl Wielders. The earliest version was a draft I wrote when I was ten years old. I woke up from a dream about a mermaid with golden hair who attended a boarding school on an island. I only wrote a couple of pages back then but it became a comfort story. Whenever I was bored, lonely, travelling etc. I would add to the Pearl Wielders world and continue telling myself the story. 

The story has changed to a point that it’s unrecognisable, but when I finally started writing it properly (some ten years later) the one thing that stayed the same was the mermaid with golden hair. 

Who do you think would enjoy your series?

If you like the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Alanna’s Quartet by Tamora Pierce or The Selection Series by Kiera Cass. 

The Pearl Wielders series is enjoyed by all ages but the target demographic is Teenagers. 

Can you share a short snippet of the story?

A deep cold washed through April. Dark tendrils of energy writhed towards her. Panic flooded her brain and the compulsion to reach the Merdevil was broken. She tried to drop the stone but it clung to her hand. Her panic levels increased and April thrust all her powers outwards. She propelled herself upwards and the Merdevil dissipated as she found herself back in the lake.

Finally, she broke through the surface and hurriedly clambered onto the grass. Clouds had gathered overhead and all the waterweeds had shot up. April looked around in alarm. The beautiful flowers were now overgrown with grasses. She looked to her hand where she was still gripping the black stone. A dark flicker ran across her fingers, she blinked and it was gone. April shook her head trying to make sense of what had happened. She felt cold, very cold.

Connor and Alex were frozen ten metres away from April. Their faces mirrored the horror of the other’s expression. Silence settled over the pool. Even the sudden clouds froze in place hanging ominously above. Only a few seconds had passed but it felt like everyone had stopped for several minutes. The cold was slowly seeping into April’s skin. She looked up towards the sky and wielded her Tempus powers to part the clouds and let the sunshine back through to heat her up. April turned to assess the damage she had caused, but the pool area had reverted back to normal. She stood up and whipped the water from her body with her Factus powers as she walked through the grass. A glow of white Factus and navy-blue Tempus energy surrounded her. As she wielded her pearl powers she heard an intake of breath to her left. Suddenly she remembered who she was with. Alex and Connor still hadn’t moved. Transfixed by April’s actions they were both utterly still. April took a small step towards them and as if the power had been turned back on, they both abruptly burst into life.

Tenebrasco by Hannah Reed

Can you tell us about any special events you have coming up? (MerMay, upcoming releases, etc)

Yes! We’re actually in the midst of an event. This year I’m hosting the first-ever MerMay Readalong! Check out Instagram to see what’s going on!

The third book in the pearl wielders series, Tempus, is releasing summer 2021 (date TBC).

Author Hannah Reed

Where can readers go to find out more about you and your books?

You can find more information at my website hannahreads.co.uk/

For the most frequent updates on my writing journey, Instagram is the place to find me @hannah.reads

And to keep track of Tempus updates you can find me on Goodreads and add Tempus to your Want to Read.

The below are affiliate links. Visit my Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

[kofi]

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Ocean Heart was free on Google Play…

Did you miss it?

Ocean Heart was free on #GooglePlay during the first week of May. If you missed the deal, there’s still a chance to get it!

For the rest of May, my followers on Ko-Fi can still get Ocean Heart for FREE! It’s Free to follow me Redfae on Ko-Fi and by following me you can make sure you don’t miss out on future freebies that get posted there. 😍

Also, don’t forget to checkout my Giveaway on Instagram. Entry is super easy. Also, FREE to enter!

[kofi]

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#WIWSnippetSaturday

During April, for fun, World Indie Warriors did a snippet challenge to encourage people to share their WIP, especially those doing Camp NaNo.

#WIWSnippetSaturday

I don’t post to Instagram on Saturdays. I take the weekend off. But, I worked the snippets into my monthly schedule. The only one that didn’t get posted to Instagram was the bonus, but that went out on 1st May in my newsletter.

The Sky Heart Snippets

3rd Chocolate & Treats

I couldn’t find any snippets involving chocolate, treats, sweets, eating, etc… I guess Kiely isn’t a foodie.

But, Kiely’s best friend wants to start her own makeup brand and enjoys making products at home. The nail polish from this snippet was created using purple sweet potatoes.

10th Animals

Kiely has a black Labrador. I’ve never owned a dog. I’d like to but don’t think I’d make a great owner, so I’m holding back until I can give a dog all the love it deserves.

Plus, I don’t think my cats would approve. They are not dog people [cats].

17th Time For Sleep

Kiely does a lot of sneaking out when she should be sleeping. This naughty habit gets her into big trouble… it’s set in a fantasy world with shifters so you can imagine.

24th Books & Dragons

There are no dragons or books in Sky Heart. But, there are two Dragos possessing humans. These creatures can shift into a shadow dragon which I plan to do in Ana’s story, when I write it, one day, one day…

1st Bonus

Here is the bonus. This happens in the first chapter and writing it was what made me want to give Kiely her own novel. I will likely repurpose this snippet when I release the book.

What’s next?

The first draft of Sky Heart is now finished. Next up is to self edit. There’s a chance the snippets above will change by the time I have a final draft but I really enjoyed sharing what I’m working on.

Want to learn more about book 2, Sky Heart?

Visit my Sky Heart page for more details about the book.

Do you want to buy book 1, Ocean Heart?

Visit my Ocean Heart page for more details about the book and where to buy, or check out these affiliate links:

[kofi]

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