(Upcoming Release) Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character

Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?

Or maybe you’re just really confused about what “opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs” actually are?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.

As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat.

Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me by Carrie DiRisio is a book that I’m looking forward to reading. If you are a Twitter follower I highly recommend that you check out Brooding YA Hero @broodingYAhero. Created by Carrie DiRisio @writer_carrier. Snarky, broody, and egotistical the wit in each tweet succeeds in capturing ever male teenager trope in the industry.

Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me was recently announced and is slated for release October 3, 2017. It will be released on all major devices and in hardback. And, as announced on her Twitter feed, Carrie RiSio is promising a very special bonus for those who preorder.

 

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Last Chance Baby (Review)

Last Chance Baby by [Gallegos, Ashley]When pregnant Hailey returns to New Mexico, she’s happy to play along with the rumor that she’s running from the child’s father in Seattle—as long as it keeps the people she loves safe. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to trust ex-Navy SEAL Chuck with her life and the life of her unborn child. But Chuck has his own secrets, and he can’t ignore the red flags coming from Hailey, even though his heart says to trust her. The two soon find themselves plunged into a world of crime, espionage, and a danger that neither had anticipated.

Last Chancy Baby was thoroughly my type of book. While I certainly enjoy and can lose myself in a variety of novels, I enjoyed this one the whole way through from the plot to the characters to the writing itself. It was well paced and had great character development over the course of the story. There was an amazing blend of romance, action, suspense, and surprising twists. I genuinely couldn’t put it down from start to finish. (It helped I read it on a road trip!)

Oddly enough, one of the things I enjoyed the most was learning more about one of the characters that technically isn’t there: Erin Dalton. Through the eyes of the main character, Hailey, I got to know Erin and I genuinely loved her as a character and felt sorry for her at the way her life went. I understood that it led to Hailey’s happily-ever-after, but it still sucked!

Still, it also truly added to the terror of her husband, Derek. The villains of the story were genuinely evil in perfectly real human ways. Which also made them even scarier. The possibilities of what could’ve happened to Hailey definitely crossed my mind as the reader numerous times and that small sparkle of hope in a happy ending drove me with a passion to see it through.

Finally, Chuck was probably one of my absolute favorite characters. Who wouldn’t want to be whisked away on a dream trip by a guy who’s not only smoking hot, but has the connections and personal capabilities to protect you from the entire world? And to top it off, he’s madly in love with you? I was definitely rooting for Hailey on that one.

I definitely recommend this book if you’re someone who enjoys fast-paced, action-packed, and surprising sorts of stories.

Overall, I give the story 4.8 stars for scattered editing errors throughout. I was asked to review this book.

If you would like to check out Last Chance Baby it’s available from Amazon for $7.99.

If you would like to submit a request for a review, send to kldimago@kldimago.com.

Legacy of Luck (Review)

51ej9uyzfilIrish Traveler Éamonn loves gambling, women, and drinking, not necessarily in that order. But he’s entangled in a true mess when he falls for fiery redhead, Katie. When she’s married to a Scottish Traveler, Éamonn travels to Scotland to find her, with the help of Katie’s sister and cousin, and the magical brooch gifted by his father. Their quest takes them across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Skye, encountering war, betrayal, death. In the end, Éamonn must make his own luck.

Legacy of Luck is the third in the Druid’s Brooch series, though also works very well as a stand-alone story. Christy Nicholas clearly knows her stuff when it comes to this time in history and Irish folklore. The book was fairly well written, except for scattered typos or editing mistakes toward the end, and had the qualities of a classic novel in many aspects.

My favorite part of the story was definitely the elements of Fae magic and Traveler legends. Despite the fantasy aspects, Nicholas did a fantastic job of weaving in elements of both reality and folklore in such a way that every bit of it was believable. I felt swept into the possibilities, the sparks of light, and wistfully imagining it was real.

Overall, I also enjoyed the characters and the different dynamics I could understand their individual points of view, backgrounds, and personalities which then made their decisions fit and logical.

The main complaint I had was that I felt the plot moved rather slowly at times and there wasn’t much in the area of character growth and development. I felt the characters were mostly the same except for small changes throughout the story, except perhaps the sharp turn of events toward the end with two of the main ones. There were several moments where I was quite frustrated with the turn of events as they played out.

Admittedly, I’m a hopeless romantic. I could accept that the events were realistic and the most likely outcome of the events had they been real situations. Yet I was still left wanting when I saw the characters suffering helplessly with no apparent light at the end of the tunnel. However, I will also say that this frustration pushed my curiosity on how it would end and spurred me onward.

This book had a great blend of real and fantasy elements that made it feel like a well-written classic and simultaneously a modern historical tale. If you enjoy stories surrounding folklore and adventure, this is definitely for you.

I give it 3.8 out of 5 stars due to the slowness at times and the editing mistakes scattered throughout.

I was asked to review this book.

If you would like to check out Legacy of Luck it’s available from Amazon for $4.99.

If you would like to submit a request for a review, send to kldimago@kldimago.com.

Combatting Fear (Review)

Mild-mannered kindergarten teacher Neve Botticelli leads a double life. Thanks to a childhood tragedy and her paranoid father, she’s a survivalist who’s learned to live off the grid.

When self-made billionaire Micah Kincaid storms into town in search of his son, Rowan, he’s pushy, entitled, and stands for everything she despises. Micah can’t believe a kindergarten teacher is barring the way to him getting crucial information or even just a glimpse of the boy his cheating ex kidnapped. They share only one thing in common: either will do anything to protect the four-year-old, who they soon discover is being held for ransom by an outlaw motorcycle gang.

But as they work together to get Rowan back, they start to see beyond each other’s masks. Could falling in love be even more dangerous than hunting down deadly criminals?

This book was difficult for me to rate. It felt like there were two parallel aspects to the plot, so I’ll talk about each of them in turn. The main line of the story centers on Micah Kinkaid trying to regain his kidnapped child and explores the extent of the question: how far would a father go for his child?

This aspect of the plot was well done as it progressed from what seemed to be a mere case of run-away mom to a full-blown gang threat and lives at stake. At each twist and turn, whether Micah would be reunited with his son and have a happy ending in that regard was made even more suspenseful and toward the end, my heart lurched for Rowan. It was definitely full of action and kept you guessing at how everything would play out in the final showdown.

I loved how fully Micah threw himself into finding his son, and his desperation and raw emotion were very believable. Despite his worth as a rich businessman, his desire to physically find his son spoke volumes to his love for him and very much supported his consistent claim throughout the story that family was the most important thing to him. It definitely was a huge aspect of his character and the progression of his development throughout the book.

The other aspect to the story was the development of a romance between Micah and the other main character, Neve. This part of the story felt forced to me. It was made very clear that Micah and Neve were different, and I suppose opposites attract, but the actual explanation and development of their romance at times seemed contradictory to the actual characters.

Neve did not seem like the type of character to lose control of herself and as the reader, trying to understand her feelings and thoughts was difficult. Half the story was supposedly told from her point of view, but I never felt like I was in her mind or seeing things from her perspective, other than visually. I felt like there was more ‘telling’ than ‘showing’ when it came to some of their behaviors and at times, it seemed that Micah and Neve were physically attracted to each other, but beyond that I didn’t understand what was really there.

While I could fully understand the confusion when in Micah’s point of view to Neve’s motivations for helping him, when in Neve’s point of view, it was still very unclear.

As for Micah, I could see his confliction and emotional instability for much of the story. Though there were still times that I didn’t quite understand his being drawn toward Neve either. I think he was conflicted due to the situation he was in trying to find his estranged wife and kidnapped son, though at times it felt more like he just wasn’t sure what to make of Neve or if she was really a woman he would be in to.

I will say that toward the end, it was clear that they did love each other and wanted to find a way to be together despite their differences. And their romance was much more warming and believable once the official showdown was closer. As a result of the entire conflict with the kidnapping and rescue, the characters’ trauma and changes were very felt and made a difference that was understandable to their development. I would definitely say it ended well.

Overall, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It really was difficult for me to rate since I loved the action and it was clear the plot with the kidnapping was thought out and well written and developed, but the two main characters left me confused and wanting at times. However, if you’re looking for something filled with action and a warming story about what a parent would do for a child, check it out and see what you think.

I was asked to review this book.

If you would like to check out Combatting Fear, it’s available from Amazon for $4.99.

If you would like to submit a request for a review, send to kldimago@kldimago.com

Book Review Submissions

As someone who has been in love with books from the time I knew what they were, I will read and review just about anything, with the exception of horror/thriller and erotica, in general. I’m not stuck on any one particular genre since there are works in most genres that can draw me in. So here’s the deal.

If you’re a reader, and you’ve been debating whether or not you want to take that step and get that book… send me a request to review it and I will! Or at least, I’ll consider it. I love to know what readers are looking for and are interested in aside from my own tastes and it’s fun to chat about shared or different viewpoints.

If you’re a writer and you’re looking for reviews for your work, feel free to send my way as well.

Please keep in mind that all of my reviews are 100% honest and are my true thoughts and feelings about the work and the writing.

If you are sending me a request for review, please provide:

-An image of the book-cover to be used in my review

-A brief synopsis of the tale

-Your preferred purchase link for convenience to review readers

-Whether you’re a reader or a writer and your purpose for the review (since there are different options)

In order to add clarification, I will not accept work outside of the guidelines. I do not accept work that is:

  • Horror/thriller
  • Erotica

Feel free to submit in the comments below, or send an email to kldimago@kldimago.com with the title Book Review Submission. Please be at least willing to provide an advanced reading copy.

I am currently booked for monthly featured reviews through October. If you are okay with waiting for your book to be featured, send my way! If you want the review sooner on other platforms, and still want it featured in the future, include that in your email.

I look forward to reading!

A Shade of Vampire (Monthly Review)

51v6ohmpbml-_sx331_bo1204203200_On the evening of Sofia Claremont’s seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake. A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

She is kidnapped to The Shade, an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine. An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.

Sofia’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is selected out of hundreds of girls to take up residence in the tree-top harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Okay, so I was a fan of the Twilight books. Particularly the plot. When it came to A Shade of Vampire, I saw the ad on Facebook and decided to check it out on Amazon. I read the good reviews, and the bad ones and I’ll admit, my first approach to it was judgemental and critical. But as soon as I was into the second chapter, I was hooked. As I continued to read, I found my criticism slowly ebbing away and giving way to excitement. I literally couldn’t put it down and even purchased the second in the series immediately after finishing the first.

Here’s what I liked about it. Every chapter kept me going. I was intrigued to see what was going to happen next. I was entertained by the differences in perspectives and how the two main characters, Sofia and Derek, could experience the same thing and see it in completely different ways. Derek views Sofia as brave and intelligent. Meanwhile, she’s terrified but stubborn and defiant. It wasn’t necessarily that the writing was exceptionally amazing in and of itself… but it was well paced, the world of the Shade developed and the imagery used perfect.

I also liked that the vampires are actually vampires. They hunt humans, they attack them, they even enslave them. The humans are not just in danger. They know they are and they act like it.

What I didn’t like was that some of what happens in the story seem slightly out of character, even given the growth and development of the characters. And while it was clear the writing was edited well for flaws, there were aspects that could have been better. Several of the negative reviews have been valid, such as why Sofia so quickly falls for Derek after the first chapter builds a hinted relationship between herself and her best friend Ben, or how he wakes up from a very long sleep without truly questioning many modern aspects. However the book does go into detail about the reasons and let’s be honest: Sofia is a teenager. She’s apt to fickle emotions, hormones, and brash decisions.

Overall, it was a captivating tale and I, for one, am totally drawn in by the author. If you were a Twilight fan… not to sound cliche, but I definitely recommend it. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

If you want to check out A Shade of Vampire, it’s available on Amazon for 99c.

If you would like to submit a request for a review, send to kldimago@kldimago.com. Next month: Infernal Bonds by Holly Evans.

The Interpreter’s Tale: A Word With Too Many Meanings (Monthly Review)

So I’ve been mentioning here and there my intent to begin doing book reviews and I’m so excited to be announcing my first one. Especially one as pleasing as The Interpreter’s Tale by E.M. Epps.

First a brief synopsis:

41wiyut8qpl-_sx318_bo1204203200_As a linguist and military interpreter, Eliadmaru Faraa has always been a supporting character in other people’s stories. And so far, that’s been just fine with him: it’s words he loves, not swordplay or affairs of state.

Now he’s been asked for help by the Emperor’s nephew. Together, along with an irritating ambassador and a sorceress with a secret and a high sex drive, they aim to save an ailing princess and stop the trade of weapons to the border war.

Let me start off with everything that’s great about this book. I LOVED it. It was a captivating tale. The book could almost have been a resource shedding light on being an interpreter, but throw in sorcerers, magicians, heartbreak, and a royal court and you’ve got the makings of an epic adventure. The book was excellently written from the aspects of fantasy portrayed as real as if it all happened in our own history to the language jargon and occupational terminology (which I thoroughly enjoyed). It was clearly well-researched and the author masterfully wove in fact and fiction to bring a non-stop read. The action was brilliant, the sex tasteful, and the pace well done.

My biggest complaint was the lack of chapters. One thing I like when reading is the thought, “Only this many pages and I can take a quick break between chapters.” Not because I actually want to put the book down, but because my life is full and these small breaks are often necessary. The lack of distinction between one part to the next caused a dragging feeling.

Nevertheless I found myself sucked into the story and when I had to put it down I couldn’t wait to pick it back up. I read the entire thing over the course of a day. I definitely recommend this book! I’m giving it 5 stars overall.

If you’re interested in this book, you can check it out on Amazon.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Amethyst by K. L. Dimago (Reviewed by Penna Fischer)

If you are interested in purchasing Amethyst, it is available as both paperback and digital. You can also purchase it from Amazon.

amethystHoping to escape a violent past among the fae people, Amethyst set sail on a ship that will bow to no one. Cadell is a captain who must reign in vampire instincts while still squelching anyone who would oppose him. When the two join forces, they must fight back against an enemy who would kill them both. With each turn, Amethyst battles for control and at last, this fae captain must make a decision that could set her free, or cost her everything.

Amethyst is a wonderful story that flips primarily between two character perspectives: Ex-Captain Cadell and Female Captain Amethyst, but there is a large cast of very diverse characters that were both fun and full of surprises. Cadell himself was a captain with ideals despite his cutthroat pirate nature. Amethyst herself is depicted as a strong female captain with eccentric tendencies, and a horrific past. The cast, including the villain of the story, was probably the most delightful part of the story. I could easily draw parallels with stories such as Pirates of the Caribbean, but the characters never fell into those archetypes and always managed to remain original and unique. Add to that fantasy elements and magic, and the recipe was absolutely delightful.

The story was outshined easily by the cast of characters, but it was not easily outclassed. While there were moments that the story almost seemed trivial and vague, later into the book as the events grew upon themselves the story started to really shine. At first it seemed as if the story were a trivial romance where all the male characters inexplicably wanted Amethyst with very little reason. As the story progressed it became a fun ride with pirate battles and a few surprising twists. By mid-book I honestly could not put the story down.

A few flaws to mention for the story. Obviously written by a first time writer there were small issues in both pacing and transition. The story could potentially jump from one scene to another leaving the reader trying to guess where they have now been dropped. Once the reader regained their location, they were often left with the feeling that the story that had been moving rapidly had suddenly ground down to a slow pace. Perhaps if the transitions were smoother the pacing would not have been as jarring. The sub characters could have also been made to be more dynamic. They were wonderful characters all, but the depth was shallow.

Regardless of the book’s small flaws, it was immensely enjoyable. The author shows a lot of promise and I love the imagination. She left enough unanswered questions at the end that I am looking very forward to a sequel, but was still very pleased with the novel that I read. I highly recommend the book and look forward to reading more.

Book Shout: The Quick by Lauren Owen

One of the things that I want to do on my blog is do book reviews which I will affectionately call “Book Shouts” because honestly I hate book reviews and think they are boring and I don’t have the attention span to write them. So…. just a quick explanation of the book and why I like it… with a whole lot of rambling in between.

The first one I’m going to do is called The Quick by Lauren Owen. I’m currently reading it right now, not done – not even by half, but so far I absolutely love it.

There are three loves I love most in a good story. Dragons, Angels, and Vampires! And, no, I’m not talking about the love sick, teenaged angst of Twilight (dear God don’t make me barf). I love the down and dirty, evil night creatures that was created by Bran Stoker in one of my favorite books Dracula. The original, the classic.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my vampire sex novels (Sherrilyn Kenyon is a goddess), heck I even enjoyed the movie Blade. But I love the stories that present vampires in the light that they were meant to be presented. Dark creatures. And I do respect initiatives to be taken (the movie Daybreakers holds a special place in my heart).

But in a world that is now dominated by the vampire-sex,-Twilight-induced-star-crossed lover phenomenon, it’s refreshing when someone returns back to the roots of what vampires are.

So far The Quick is doing just that. I respect that the writer even pays a little love to the LGBT-world in the opening portion. James and his lover forever have my heart. For a while I actually started to wonder where the vampires were going to show up – and then bam. Suddenly they are there. And I love these vampires. The author, intentionally or not (I hope intentionally) pays homage to Bran Stoker in some of her writing style and how she is piecing together her story. It intrigues and thrills me.

I have run into moments already where I’ve thought “well… that was a boring story scene, where was the importance of that?” and then chapters later the importance is revealed. The writer has a great grasp of her story. She feels like she has a purpose and she’s weaving it together. I’m enjoying it and I so look forward to how her story will progress.

Thank you, Lauren, for giving me the vampire story that I crave but authors so rarely provide anymore.

The story is set in 1800s London. It follows the life of James Norberry just after he graduates college and attempts to start his life as a writer. But things take an unexpected turn in his life when he takes up residence with his new housemate Christopher Paige.

It’s beautiful, it’s gothic, and it is about vampires.