Book Review: A Ranger’s Tale

9781612351209_p0_v2_s600Title: A Ranger’s Tale
Author: Mysti Parker
Release Date: April 2010
Length: 257 pages
Series?: Tallenmere #1
Genre: Romance, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Format: e-book
Source: author

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis

In the fantasy world of Tallenmere, an elven noblewoman longed to leave her gilded cage. A half-breed former pirate wanted nothing more than to escape his guilty past. Easier said than done… 

Caliphany Aranea, nearly a century old, leads an enviable life as high elf King Leopold’s niece and daughter of Sirius, Leogard’s most famous wizard. Yet, being forced to follow in her father’s footsteps and being betrothed to a man she doesn’t even like makes her want a taste of life outside the city walls. 

As a young boy, half-elf Galadin Trudeaux witnessed his parents’ death at the hands of pirates. After being raised by those same murderers and forced to do their bidding, he escaped and now lives an honest life as a sea merchant and ranger. 

When two brutes at Leogard Harbor attempt to kidnap Caliphany while she dreams of faraway lands, Galadin comes to her rescue. Impressed by his skills, she asks him to train her as a ranger. Though he is hesitant at first to train a woman of her class, Caliphany’s hefty sack of gold finally persuades him. Unfortunately, her father is not amused, and the two must escape before Caliphany faces a forced marriage and Galadin faces a noose. 

From that moment on, to the finale, where Caliphany must decide where her heart truly lies, she and Galadin embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Only if they can survive the trials ahead, will they find a love that stands the test of time. 

Review

This book is more than meets the eye. Do not be fooled by the cover! (You may find it with a slightly different cover, and a slightly different beginning.)

Caliphany has grown up her entire life living a privileged life, as the niece of the king. But right under his nose her father torments her with his cold cruelty, even locking her away at times. After the death of her older brother at a young age, she has been in line to take over as a Mage to teach wizardry – and betrothed to an annoying intellectual boy she grew up with.

Since following in her father’s footsteps is a requirement, a family legacy, doing anything else is out of the question. Caliphany is terrified to openly defy her father, but while he’s away she asks a very resourceful, skilled Ranger to teach her how to survive in the wild and use various weapons…and falls in love in the process. Only, fate would have it’s ugly way when everything seemed perfect.

Caliphany is forced to make many decisions about herself, her life and her future and must truly determine where her heart lies.

Once Caliphany’s life seemed on the up-and-up, I smelled the bigger issue from a mile away. I had an inkling of what the disaster was that was going to strike, and the closer I approached it when reading, the more painful it became for me to read. I will say this though: Parker did surprise me in the turn of events that take place once Caliphany returns home.

Once back at home, Caliphany’s relationship with her father undergoes some TLC. It’s surprising how certain life events can change someone. But, as fate would have it, things don’t remain that way for long, and a very unsuspecting character thinks to take it all.

I tremendously enjoyed reading this first installment of Parker’s Tallenmere series. I found Caliphany an interesting mix of a character: scared of her father, yet defiant in a “safe” environment (aka when he’s gone and she thinks he won’t find out). She shows an amazing amount of compassion and is given a lot of trials to struggle through. She is put in several compromising and tough decisions.

About the Author

200025_103787076370825_4452630_nMysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger’s Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series, Serenya’s Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, has already received some great reviews. The Tallenmere series has been likened to Terry Goodkind’s ‘Sword of Truth’ series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey.

Mysti’s other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University’s six week free course, F2K.

Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder’s Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway + Book Review: Must Love Otters

18715353Title: Must Love Otters
Author: Eliza Gordon
Publisher: West 26th Street Press, NYC
Release Date: October 2013
Series?: n/a
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance
Format: e-book
Source: purchased
Challenge: n/a

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway! 

mustloveotters

Synopsis

Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.

Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.

Review

Sorry. Batman died. What was I supposed to do, tell his Catwoman to call Robin for help? 

Hollie is a tiresome woman, who works as a 911 dispatcher with some, er, eclectic coworkers, to say the least. She comes home to paramedic boyfriend Keith, who hogs all of the DVR space for his medical shows, brags about his daily activities, thinks he’s a doctor with God-given talent never seen before, and has these horrible, disgusting dogs he treats better than Hollie.

I was the kind of kid at the zoo and aquarium with her head squeezed between the bars or face pressed against the glass trying to get the babies to understand that I love them, that I want to be their friend…

Hollie has a person who dies on her, and she gets a review memo. Her boss is a stuffy, pushy woman. Hollie hates it when people die on her, but she loves it when things turn out OK and callers tell her stories, like life-long loves Mona and Herb. She can’t stand the sight of blood. Her dad keeps pushing her to go further into the medical field. She has a crazy ex-mother and self-made millionaire non-sister who annoys the crud out of her.

All women are like that. We look at each other with the harshest eyes. 

One day, Hollie snaps. She takes the resort vacation her dad has graciously gifted her with – with the idea of Keith purposing in mind. Hollie goes on the trip as a last-ditch effort to jump-starting her life back, to reclaim her person. Little does she know the adventures she will have, the incredible people she will meet, and the ex-NHL hockey hunk who will keep saving her from her misadventures…until he’s the one who needs saving, and Hollie must get over her fears and put her dispatch skills into use.

That’s what I want to do. Retire and become a pirate. 

Hollie’s love for the otter, a symbol that represents her estranged mother, runs deep. She has otter figurines, otter PJs, otter documentaries, but she’s never seen an otter…until her little excursion into the wild with Concierge Ryan. It’s an experience she won’t forget, and it will give you warm fuzzies. 🙂 A great read, with plenty of laughs.

About the Author

Eliza Gordon is a forgetful girl who relies on Post-It notes and cellphone alarms to get her through the day. An avid eater of cookies, she can be found with her hand in the jar when not in her cubicle. A purveyor of fictions, Eliza is confident that the life she lives is merely the imaginings of someone else’s hand, poured from a dull pencil on cafe napkins, and that she is simply an understudy, waiting for her turn to take the stage. She has excellent taste in books, shoes, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone.

Find the author: Website  Facebook | Twitter | PinterestGoodreads

Author Interview: Mary Hart Perry

MaryHartPerry_author photo

Mary Hart Perry is in today for an interview! Check out what she has to say about writing. Her book is below, AND there is a chance to win some prizes. 🙂 Make sure to check out the tour stops to see who’s giving away!

Thank you for your interview. Can you tell readers a little about yourself?

I live in Maryland with my husband and two feline writing partners, Tempest and Miranda. I’ve written and published over 40 books, under my own name and a variety of pen names, including Mary Hart Perry, Kathryn Jensen, KM Kimball and Nicole Davidson. I also enjoy teaching fiction-writing workshops for The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. I developed a popular 8-week course, The Extreme Novelist, which supports and encourages class members through a full first draft of their novels. In 2008, I founded Write by You, a writer’s mentoring service, to aid individual authors in reaching their publication goals. I think it’s important to pass along reliable information to new writers, and I enjoy the teaching process. I’ve been nominated for the prestigious Agatha Christy Award, and won the Heart of Excellence and Bookseller’s Best Awards (sponsored by the Romance Writers of America), which makes me terribly happy. It tells me that I’ve brought pleasure into my readers’ lives. How cool is that!

What inspired you to become a writer?

Reading great books. And then, because I couldn’t find all the kinds of books I liked–romance, mystery, historical fiction–all in one place, I started writing them. That’s what my latest series is–a combination of my favorite genres!

In the past you have written under several pen names. Why did you write under so many different names?

The pen names started because I was writing both for adults and young readers, and I didn’t want kids looking up my steamy romances. Later, when I started writing in different genres, my editors asked for different names to help them “brand” the books. I would rather have kept everything, except the kids’ books under one name. But sometimes you have to listen to the boss. 😉

The Shadow Princess is not your first novel about Queen Victoria or her children. What inspires you to write about this time and these characters?

I love the Victorian era because of the atmosphere–very Sherlock Holmes–and the garments and all of the changes that were happening during that time. Suddenly, inventions like photograph, steam locomotives, steam ships, industrialization were appearing. It must have been a fascinating time in which to live. Imagine, for the first time ever in history, people could travel faster than a horse could run!

Who are a few of your favorite authors? What are a few of your favorite books?

Oh, I loved all of Arthur Conan Doyles’ Sherlock Holmes stories, and Agatha Christie. She was just marvelous. Today I think Ken Follett does a marvelous job. And I’m reading Donna Tartt’s new book, The Goldfinch. Amazing.

Where do you like to write?

I write wherever I am. In my office, in bed, in the living room with a cat on my lap, on an airplane. You can’t just limit yourself to working in one location. That gets boring and limits you.

Do you have any books in the works?

Yes, I’m thinking that I might want to do more of the series with Queen Victoria’s children. But I’m actively planning to launch a contemporary series of thrillers this year. The returning character will be the wife of an American diplomat who gets sucked into all sorts of dangerous international plots. It’s a lot of fun to write these stories, and I think they will speak to a lot of women readers today, who enjoy “traveling” to interesting places through their fiction reading.

What is the number one tip you would give to fiction writers hoping to reach publication with their works?

Persistence. Don’t give up. It’s hard for everyone. But if you work at your craft, seek the support you need through writers’ groups, and pay attention to detail, you’ll get there. Good luck!

Book Synopsis

To catch one of history’s most notorious killers, a princess risks losing her family, her life—and her heart…

MaryHartPerry_TheShadowPrincessLondon, 1888: A year after Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee terror mounts in the city’s slums. A killer has butchered two prostitutes, the crimes brutal even by London’s hardened standards. Rumors of the murders reach Princess Vicky, daughter of Queen Victoria and grieving widow of the German Emperor Frederick III. When her niece Princess Maud visits, she brings with her even worse news–the Metropolitan Police have a suspect. It’s Vicky’s nephew, Crown Prince Eddy. Desperate to clear her family’s name, Vicky rushes back to England.

Detective Inspector Thomas Edmondson believes there is a royal cover-up behind the killings. He will stop at nothing to expose the truth and bring a murderer to justice before he can kill again. But when Vicky joins him in searching for the man who will become known as Jack the Ripper, neither of them foresee the overpowering attraction that will draw together the royal and the commoner—or the danger their love puts them in.

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | NetGalleyAmazon | Barnes & Noble

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Tour Stops

For more of Mary Hart Perry and The Shadow Princess, check out all of the tour stops. There will be a giveaway!

Feb 17 – http://booknerdloleotodo.blogspot.com/

Feb 18 – http://www.delightedreader.com

Feb 19 – http://www.cluereview.blogspot.com

Feb 20 – http://www.romantichistoricalreviews.com

Feb 21 – https://girlof1000wonders.wordpress.com/

Feb 22 –  http://stephaniesbookreviews.weebly.com/

Feb 22 – http://www.mybookaddictionandmore.com/

Feb 23 – http://ilprofumodellepergamene.blogspot.co.uk/

Feb 24 – http://thebookishowl.wordpress.com/

Book Review: The Shadow Princess

MaryHartPerry_TheShadowPrincessTitle: The Shadow Princess
Author: Mary Hart Perry
Publisher: Diversion Books
Release Date: February 2014
Length:  pages
Series?: Yes
Genre: Romance
Format: e-book
Source: Diversion Books

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | NetGalleyAmazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis

To catch one of history’s most notorious killers, a princess risks losing her family, her life—and her heart…

London, 1888: A year after Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee terror mounts in the city’s slums. A killer has butchered two prostitutes, the crimes brutal even by London’s hardened standards. Rumors of the murders reach Princess Vicky, daughter of Queen Victoria and grieving widow of the German Emperor Frederick III. When her niece Princess Maud visits, she brings with her even worse news–the Metropolitan Police have a suspect. It’s Vicky’s nephew, Crown Prince Eddy. Desperate to clear her family’s name, Vicky rushes back to England.

Detective Inspector Thomas Edmondson believes there is a royal cover-up behind the killings. He will stop at nothing to expose the truth and bring a murderer to justice before he can kill again. But when Vicky joins him in searching for the man who will become known as Jack the Ripper, neither of them foresee the overpowering attraction that will draw together the royal and the commoner—or the danger their love puts them in.

Review

This novel was more than I expected. Somehow it this short historically-based novel, Mary Hart Perry covers a lot of ground.

It all revolves around Queen Victoria’s family. In this particular novel, the focus is primarily on Princess Vicky, Empress of Germany. Her niece shows up to Germany in tow with some very scandalous news: the English Crown Prince is under suspicion – for murder!

This novel delves into the division between classes, the differences between royalty and “commoners.” It is a topic that is generally considered in bad taste for the time, but comes up quite a bit from several characters. It is a blunt, honest and real look at how your “station” in life really was.

It also gives valid insight into the times in which these women lived, with London all but up in arms trying to aid in finding the fiend stalking the streets and striking fear in the heart of all. The sensational fear that struck London with the Whitechapel murders, commonly known to be done at the hand of Jack the Ripper, is not to be taken lightly – and indeed, Perry does this period in time justice. No one feels safe, even on their own street.

In stark contrast to the luxury and sedate lifestyle of royalty, Inspector Thomas Edmunson is working the beat, a “copper.” He grew up in the dredge of the low-life end of the city, and he swears he won’t go back to it. He has dedicated his life to helping the people, and he refusing to give that up, even at the suggestion from a royal. He is a working man, and quite intrigued by Vicky’s requests and offers in aiding the police in pursuit and investigation of Jack the Ripper.

Perry has starkly shown the contrast between the two classes, and yet these characters do not quite fit the exact stereotypes one would assume. She has brought each character to life with his or her own faults, fears and assumptions, and it all makes for a wild ride of a read!

MaryHartPerry_author photoAbout the Author

Mary Hart Perry lives in Washington DC with her husband and two feline writing partners, Tempest and Miranda. Author of over 40 novels, she’s written under her own and a variety of pen names that include Kathryn Johnson, Kathryn Jensen, KM Kimball and Nicole Davidson. She teaches fiction-writing workshops for the renowned Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. In 2008, she founded Write by You, to coach other writers interested in reaching publication. She has been nominated for the prestigious Agatha Christy Award, and won the Heart of Excellence and Bookseller’s Best Awards (sponsored by the Romance Writers of America) in 2011.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Tour Stops

For more of Mary Hart Perry and The Shadow Princess, check out all of the tour stops. There will be a giveaway!

Feb 17 – http://booknerdloleotodo.blogspot.com/

Feb 18 – http://www.delightedreader.com

Feb 19 – http://www.cluereview.blogspot.com

Feb 20 – http://www.romantichistoricalreviews.com

Feb 21 – https://girlof1000wonders.wordpress.com/

Feb 22 –  http://stephaniesbookreviews.weebly.com/

Feb 22 – http://www.mybookaddictionandmore.com/

Feb 23 – http://ilprofumodellepergamene.blogspot.co.uk/

Feb 24 – http://thebookishowl.wordpress.com/

Book Review: Rebels Divided

????????????????????Title: Rebels Divided
Author: Lance Erlick
Publisher: Finlee Augare Books
Release Date: June 2013
Length: 294 pages
Series?: Rebel #2
Genre: YA/Science Fiction/Dystopian
Format: e-book
Source: author

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis

Rebels Divided was written as a standalone dystopian action story. It is also part of the Rebel series, three years later. [Read my review of Rebels #1, The Rebel Within, here.]

The first time he sees her, they meet as enemies and she doesn’t kill him. That’s worth something. Geo (19) is a rugged frontiersman who hungers to see more of the world than the impoverished Outland glen where he and his pa hide from local Rangers. To prove himself, Geo fights Union Mechanized Warriors and Outland Rangers to protect friends, neighbors, and refugees fleeing the Federal Union. Annabelle (19) is a tough yet fragile tomboy who lost her parents at age three to the Mech Warriors. Then she’s forced to become a Mech.

After the Second American Civil War, the nation divides into two ‘utopias’. The Federal Union enforces Harmony and an all-female society with the help of EggFusion Fertilization and Female Mechanized Warriors based near Knoxville. The Appalachian Outland promotes rugged individualism, but Thane Edwards holds a monopoly of power with his Rangers, loosely modeled on the legendary Texas Rangers. The Union’s Tenn-tucky governor and the Outland warlord conclude a secret deal, pledging Annabelle to the warlord to provide him heirs, and putting a bounty on Geo and his pa.

When Annabelle refuses the arranged marriage, Thane Edwards kidnaps her and her beloved sister. She escapes, but can’t find her sister without help. That’s when she tracks down Geo, a sworn enemy she feels connected to. While trying to survive, and pursued by their own and opposing military forces, Geo and Annabelle wrestle with attraction and mutual distrust as enemies. Yet, only together can they confront Edwards to rescue her kidnapped sister and gain justice for the murder of Geo’s pa. Time is running out.

Review

Annabelle has grown up in a world where females have weeded out the men and boys from their society and their lives. Her adopted mother, a Tenn-tucky state senator, still remembers the husband and son she sent into the Outlands to protect. Annabelle has grown up believing her brother George is a monstrosity of a boy. 

This novel picks up three years after the ending of The Rebel Within (read my review here). Annabelle is still paired with Dara in the Mechanized Female Warriors, and still is trying to evade and brush off the amazon’s advances. Her younger sister Janine has now joined their ranks, and they are sent on a mission into no man’s land, the strange common ground between the female Civ society and the male retreat of the Outlands.

Governor Battani is still pressing forward with her own political agenda, the mechs are amping up their border patrol and missions, and Senator Scott is still opposing Battani on many issues…until Battani gives Mama Scott an ultimatum she can’t refuse.

Annabelle and Janine are both captured in the Outland and held hostage, but Thane Edwards has underestimated Annabelle’s resourcefulness. She must impost her much-hated mech presence on the very thin hospitality of those trying to sustain a life during the hard times on the frontiers of the Outlands. She’s not leaving without her sister, even if it means taking a stand against the much feared and well-trained former mech Thane Edwards.

The novel’s chapters alternate between Annabelle’s world and a young Outland man’s world, until they eventually find each other in the Outland.

Annabelle and Geo are both betrayed by their people, fighting against both of their worlds to do the right thing, and forging something new of their quickly deteriorating civilizations before civil war can strike again and take its toll.

This is not a novel to be missed! While the first was hard for me to get through at times, this novel pretty much lays it all out on the table. The past of Annabelle is fully explained, the truth of George’s banishment is shown clearly, and shows the strength and willpower of young individuals, which is something I find quite lacking in today’s time.

Annabelle continues to grow as an individual, even deceiving Geo along the way for his help. She shows a softer side in this novel, as does her mech commander, Sam, which is totally out of place based on the hard-nosed character she was portrayed as in the first book. Geo is a character that grows throughout the novel in so many ways. He is a young man trying to be a man but is oppressed by the societal structures of the Outland and the cause his father has taken up to protect others. I loved Geo’s character; he has a heart to match Annabelle, even if he was unfocused at times.

I am intrigued to see how Annabelle and Geo will build a new Appalachia, in hand with their mother and Sam, and how their relationship will progress. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a third book!

About the Author

600388_10201010092153744_210253767_nRaised by a roaming aerospace engineer, Lance Erlick grew up in various parts of the United States and Europe, as well as traveling through Asia. He took to stories as his anchor, including the works of Asimov, Bradbury and Heinlein, and has been writing since age eleven. Growing up, he was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future.

Lance received his BS in political science and his Masters in business from Indiana University, before studying creative writing at Ball State, the University of Iowa, Northwestern University, and the University of Wisconsin.

Numerous detours along the way included solving business problems for companies ranging from automotive, to electronics, kitchen cabinets and boats. This involved significant professional writing, supplemented after hours by writing science fiction. Now a refugee from the business world, he is focused on writing.

Lance lives with his wife in the Chicago area, where he’s working on his next novel. He writes speculative fiction, science fiction, dystopian and young adult, and likes to explore the future implications of social and technological trends.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Review: The Rebel Within

perf5.500x8.500.inddTitle: The Rebel Within
Author: Lance Erlick
Publisher: Finlee Augare Books
Release Date: March 2013
Length: 270 pages
Series?: Rebel #1
Genre: YA/Science Fiction/Dystopian
Format: e-book
Source: author

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis

Forced to grow up quickly, Annabelle (16) faces adult dilemmas and a fight for her life. Orphaned at age three when the elite military corps took parents, she’s a tomboy who rebels against a conformist society. The state pushes her to become a cop intern to catch escaped boys. Then she’s forced to choose between joining the elite military unit that took her parents or being torn from her beloved sister and adoptive mom.

The Rebel Within turns our male dominated world upside down. After the Second American Civil War, the Federal Union pursues a utopian society without men by rounding up the remaining males, and enforcing Harmony. Central to their plan is EggFusion Fertilization and Female Mechanized Warriors based near Knoxville.

In this world, Annabelle faces a cop intern boss who hates her, a military commander who demands too much, and an amazon bully who won’t leave her alone. She meets a handsome boy who escapes prison. As she tries to survive rigorous military training and hunt for her imprisoned birth mother, Annabelle must choose between capturing the boy and helping him escape, while she wrestles with the consequences of her actions.

Review

I don’t like people bringing up family connections, as though the sins of the mothers fall upon the daughters.

Annabelle is a strong young woman, not at all deceived by the utopia that political officials paint. She works as a cop intern, and sees the daily grind of what the reality of her all-female society is really like. Of course, it doesn’t help that her mother holds an opposing view to that of governing officials and is a state senator.

Mom says women stopped having boys because of high rates of autism, violence and social disruption, and they didn’t read. That made it hard for them to adjust to our knowledge-based economy. After the war, most of the males fled. Then the city zoned our neighborhood and school to exclude them. Harmony Director Surroc and Captain Voss say liberated women don’t need men. Governor Battani says the only way to make females safe is to eliminate the source, men. 

And that’s just what they do. Boys, even as a young child, are strictly forbidden from being outside of their “zone,” with rezoning happening constantly, and consequently catching usurpers of the law. The women of Annabelle’s society fear boys and men, and the lucky boys are regulated to all-boys boarding schools that are highly regulated by the government and surveillance industries.

Who knows what men are really like? Most fled to the Outlands before I was born. 

Annabelle’s society, the Federal Union,  was created after “21st century right-wing extremists tried to turn back the clock.” Obviously, they failed and thus seceded, causing the Second American Civil War. The result was the split between the Federal Union and the Outlands (Appalachia and TexSoCal), where men take off to hide and escape persecution.

During this process, Sam Hernandez came to have a powerful position by mechanizing female warriors – literally making them almost indestructible and amped up on illegal performance-enhancing drugs of a new generation. Given how much Annabelle’s society has regressed, it is surprising, as well as some of the technology that is mentioned throughout the book. This new all-women society has even come up with a solution to reproduction without using males: EggFusion Fertilization, where one woman’s egg fertilizes another. Sam has continued this program, Mechanized Female Warriors, in the state of Tenn-tucky. Just as in Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games, mech tournaments (which include a variety of mech vs. man and mech vs. mech fights that also include fights to the death) are televised every six months.

It’s horrible to have to wear a choker like a dog, which is how cops I work with track males. 

This all-female society is surprising in the fact that women are allowed to take multiple wives. Annabelle has two other mothers, each with three children. She has two younger sisters that are her mother’s children – but she’s adopted. Her younger sister Janine, who seems heavily dependent on Annabelle, wouldn’t understand that she’s adopted. Truly, Annabelle and Janine’s mother fights for a cause – the very reason which landed Annabelle with her, and the reason behind her losing her own husband and son. Annabelle hasn’t forgotten what the Federal Union has done to her family, and neither has her mother. They are bent on gaining more information, helping boys escape, and seeking justice.

On top of everything else, the government regulates everything, right down to the “harmony” of one’s clothing, one’s ambiance in a place of business, and the food choices and food content of restaurants. No sugar, no caffeine, no MSGs – in other words, the bland cardboard that is now being pushed in public schools today. Annabelle hopes of opening a restaurant to avoid the unpleasantness of her society, and it’s a lot of work. Governor Battani makes sure that Annabelle’s dreams of her future are shut down. The book also mentions that some things that are a normal part of our lives today are banned in this future society, like the King James Bible and The Diary of Anne Frank. I would be interested to know what else is restricted in their society.

Annabelle really gets in a scrape when she stands up for her sister at a school basketball game, and is embroiled in a fight with the other team. She has two choices: go the the Resocialization Facility in Nashville…or join the Mechanized Female Warriors. Annabelle is in a hard spot: be put far away where she won’t have access to information she needs to seek justice or her family, or join the group responsible for her family’s downfall?

I stare at the retreating boy, a scared mouse caught in a trap. You don’t treat humans like this. 

Annabelle has to make some very difficult choices, and put aside her own opinions of her world in order to further herself, gain trust of others, and hopefully get what she’s wanted all along. Despite joining an organization that discriminates against men and the weak and going through weeks of tear-down and build-up exercises, Annabelle retains all of her heart, spirit and opposition of her society. She supports her sister warriors, roots for them, and ultimately shows the compassion her society is sorely lacking.

About the Author

600388_10201010092153744_210253767_nRaised by a roaming aerospace engineer, Lance Erlick grew up in various parts of the United States and Europe, as well as traveling through Asia. He took to stories as his anchor, including the works of Asimov, Bradbury and Heinlein, and has been writing since age eleven. Growing up, he was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future.

Lance received his BS in political science and his Masters in business from Indiana University, before studying creative writing at Ball State, the University of Iowa, Northwestern University, and the University of Wisconsin.

Numerous detours along the way included solving business problems for companies ranging from automotive, to electronics, kitchen cabinets and boats. This involved significant professional writing, supplemented after hours by writing science fiction. Now a refugee from the business world, he is focused on writing.

Lance lives with his wife in the Chicago area, where he’s working on his next novel. He writes speculative fiction, science fiction, dystopian and young adult, and likes to explore the future implications of social and technological trends.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Guest Post by Eri Nelson

BookTourBannersDHC2

Testing the Line Between Writing and that Dreaded Life (Wicked Chuckle)

Sitting at my desk where three screens lie open and post-its litter it’s surface, I debate whether to move away from the page at hand or clean the house (she grins). Not that I live in an overly dirty house (she says as her Christmas tree is still up) but if I am writing and totally into the words at present the writing will win every time.

I would have to say in the true face of things I can balance that dreaded real life in comparison to the fantasies that find their way out from under my fingertips. However, if you ask me about my work all bets are off (she smirks in remembrance). This particular statement reminds me of my Tuesday. Where I was thirty minutes late for a two o’clock appointment because my lunch date went longer. I had been asked about my series and then it was like… “Game On” (she laughs out right).

The balance I think depends on your ability to control your passion. If you can moderate a semblance of self-control, (stuffing doughnuts in her mouth Eri contemplates her next sentence). However, as to my self control…. It is vastly limited (she chuckles).

Thank you so much for allowing me this time with you and your readers.

Best Wishes

Eri Nelson

20140212_001228About the Author

Eri Nelson born Erica Walcott is a Indie Author and the youngest of three in a family of five. Erica became Eri (airy) from her mother who called her that for as long as she could remember. The short take on her name took on a more solid base with the love of her life and husband, Jeff Nelson.Together they have been for over twenty years.

Writing is a passion for her and an abundance of never ending joy. Only one thing tops that for Eri… and that is when a reader enjoys the read……

Eri Nelson is a nontraditional indie author who manages all areas of her fiction, fantasy, paranormal, action, adventure and sometimes-erotic writing. Eri handles all the groundwork of her books, even the editing. Because of this Eri strives to improve her abilities along with trying to explain to readers her far from traditional sentence structures. However, she will openly admit that typos follow her.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis

From the unorthodox author Eri Nelson comes an introduction into the dark primal world of the DHC (Dearhart Clan Series). Where an adult tale creates the foundation for untamed passions no longer bound by humanity but unleashed under the push of extinction.

An unknowing waitress by the name of Kristen Still slips off to sleep with her illusions of normality. Only to be awoken by heated dreams for an unknown traveler’s face who had visited the diner in which she works. Although as the dream subsides her reality is disrupted by a wolfly protector unmasking a deadly mistake in which held Kristen against her will. 

Under uncontrollable duress the wolf unfurls to, Owen, the man from her dreams. With fear and doubt discarded under their hastily following pursuers, Kristen flees with Owen’s guidance only to learn more than she had ever bargained for let alone the desires she and Owen create.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon