Posted on

Welcome to CyCon’s Urban Fantasy Blog Hop

Hello Lovelies, 
How exciting! CyCon has begun again! I’m excited to participate in the discussion of fantasy’s integration into society as part of the CyCon’s Urban Fantasy blog hop. (In case you missed it, you can find the first stop on Lin Ryal’s page) 

 We live in an amazing time where it is chic to be geek. Where Game of Thrones is the most popular television program, where LARPing happens in city parks and no one bats an eye, where fantasy has become an integral element of society. From Harry Potter to Supernatural, fantasy realms bleeding into our own world are not only common, they are deeply desired. 
It is such an exciting time for those of us who were always drawn to the fantastical. But what has led to this rise of popularity in Fantasy? I remember reading a fascinating article while at university (that, of course, I cannot find now) that talked about how in times of struggle, fiction entertainment rose rapidly as it was a way to escape. Is that what we’re seeing with the rise in Fantasy? 

​​Perhaps. But I think it is more than that. See, what makes Fantasy so wonderful is that it is a safe space to explore hard topics such as racism, sexism, classism, what it means to be a hero, what it means to be good. These are societal questions that plague every generation and you can see their response in the literature of their time. I think that is a huge reason we’ve seen such a rise in all fantasy, but especially in urban fantasy. Because urban fantasy brings it just a little bit closer to home. We’re not just exploring the hero’s journey through a male hobbit who lived in a whole other time and place, we are looking at a modern boy who grew up under a cupboard. We’re looking at a group of teens who’s town has been invaded by vampires (as happens in my series The Hunters) and their struggle to protect the ones they love from the monsters. As the series goes along we discover a hard truth, that most monsters are monsters because they were victims first
Urban Fantasy is a great mirror that allows us to look at many different hard truths, as I explore in The Clear Angel Chronicles. Truths like the concept that those who are different are still often not accepted by most of society. Clear’s struggles as a psychic mirror the struggle of those with sensory processing issues. Her visions that she cannot block out or control are much like those on the autism spectrum who are unable to process all the stimuli that hits them every day. 

​​  While I appreciate the sentiment that “escapist fiction” is there to entertain, I think that most of us read it not only to be entertained but also to see these lessons and reflections. To explore these deeper thoughts and ideas. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below! 
And don’t miss out on the other exciting conversations happening in this fun blog hop!

Want to see the other Urban Fantasy fun events we have happening? Check out the masterlist! 
And then take some time this weekend to explore some of your other favorite genres as well! 

Until next time, 

Keep Reading! 

Posted on

Under a Hunter’s Moon Re-Release

Under The Hunter's Moon Re-release

Hello Lovelies, 
As some of you may recall, about a year ago I reviewed Under A Hunter’s Moon, an interesting urban fantasy shifter novel by Timothy Bateson. *Hint, I enjoyed it!*
Well, Tim has some exciting news:
He’s got “Under A Hunter’s Moon” re-release on wide distribution, with a live date of June 26th 2018, and currently available for pre-order at many ebook retailers. I absolutely LOVE the new cover!

​​About “Under A Hunter’s Moon “Richard Parsons is a maverick wolf-shifter with a tendency to find trouble. When a traveling exhibition returns to the McCaw Museum Richard finds that he has personal reasons to visit after hours. His audacious plan goes awry when a particular display forces painful memories to the surface. Can Richard face down the demons of his past before the police become aware of his presence? Where to order: 
AmazonSmashwordsKoboBarnes & Noble & iBooks

Retail Price for eBook: $0.99 (USD)eBook ISBN: 9780463358368eBook ASIN: B07CS1SQ8T  

About The Author
Timothy Bateson is a writer who broke into the market in 2014, with three short stories being featured in Halloween and science-fiction anthologies. In 2016, Bateson self-published a re-release of “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, the first of several stories set in the “Shadows Over Seattle” world, which he co-writes with his wife, Sandi Bateson is also a blogger who often spotlights books and fellow indie authors, alongside his other interests, such as the Brain to Books Cyber Convention events, falconry, journaling, quotes, and reading.

So go get this fun summer read and get hooked on the world of Shadows over Seattle today! 
Until next time, 

Keep Reading!

Posted on

Book Review: Darker Daze: The Storms Within by A.L. Mabry

Book Review: Darker Daze: The Storms Within

Hello Lovelies, 

I am so excited to be part of the Darker Daze tour for A.L. Mabry! This is such an awesome collection of Dark stories. Full confession, this is published by my publishing house, OWS Ink LLC, and I am the project manager for this book, meaning I helped with editing and all that such. So I won’t comment on that aspect of it, because I am probably biased. But I picked this project to manage, as is our process, because I absolutely love the stories in this collection.

Let’s get started with an honest review. 

​​ Genre: Dark short story collection


Darker Daze: The Storms within is a collection of short stories that explore that darker side of the human condition. Each story pulsates with tragedy and a sense of desperate hope that only the suffering could understand. Ms. Mabry weaves personal experiences into fictional webs in a way that draws the reader in for a hug, then punches them in the gut. While these stories may be too emotionally charged for some readers, they give voices to the voiceless among us. Do not shrink away, the demons are not yours…or are they?

My Take:

Y’all, these stories are… dark. Gripping. Kind of awful, and yet so good! There are 10 stories in total, and as with any collection, some are amazing, others are just ok or didn’t grab me. So here are my favorites, in no particular order: Sweet Release was a wicked punch because it is about a woman living in an abusive relationship with a plan to escape. The end… I just… tears, y’all. Belladona, wow. so dark. As one who has seen up close how pedophilia destroys lives, this story had me ROOTING for the antagonist! Sibling Rivalry had my heart in my throat, as any parent in a blended family can relate to the fear of conflict. Beneath Salem… I cried again. Seeing ignorance and hate so real and brought to life is just… it made me sick and sad, and was so real! Rooftops and Teardrops- Again, with seeing first hand how sexual abuse destroys lives… the ending, it just… tears. The Next Best Seller– I actually first read this story before I became business partners with A.L. Mabry.

​​ knew she was a practicing Wiccan and this story kind of gave me chills. I was like, nope! Lol. But even after knowing Amanda and how sweet and good she is, this story still gives me chills. As an author, I could relate to the jealousy of the MC, but when she goes dark… holy crap! 
Now for the ones that didn’t grip me. Again, this is just personal taste. They were well-written, I just didn’t connect to them as well as the others. Last Call- It’s dark and I just couldn’t feel anything but meh for the MC or the girl. Bonita- I felt sorry for the MC, but couldn’t really connect with her reasons or purpose. The ending was just a tragic Deus Ex. (Intended, not bad writing.) The Last View: I was heartbroken for the MC, but his choice was just one I couldn’t connect with, which is weird because I’ve written similar stories. But mine were left with a sense of hope. Did she or didn’t she… This was quite final. More than Stolen Hearts– Kid was an idiot and deserved what he got. (I’ve become the grumpy old man, “Get off my lawn!” Lol) 
But all in all, a great read! I will warn readers, this is a very dark collection. There is violence, death, some pretty heavy topic matter including murder, child abuse, abuse, rape, and revenge. The only one that is graphically sexually explicit is Last Call. Definitely not one I would recommend to my mother or my children. But if you like exploring the darker side of the written word and thinking on whether they deserve what they get, this is definitely a thought-provoking collection. 
You can pre-order Darker Daze: The Storms Within on Amazon for only $2.99and be sure to join the tour and get to know more about the stories and the author. It will be a ton of fun! 
Until next time, 

Keep Reading!

Posted on

Book Review- The Triplet’s Curse- Hope’s Story by Marsha Black

Trioplet's Curse Hope's Story


YA Urban Fantasy


When the moon is full

High above the Earth

Three daughters shall be born

On their 16th birthday, their destiny will begin

One daughter, born with the knowledge of the future, yet blind of those closest to her

As Hope’s 16th birthday nears, weird things happen. Then on the night of her 16th birthday, she awakens with a scream. An unbelievable nightmare becomes her reality, and she questions her sanity.Bryce, a new guy in town, arrives to help.In order to survive, three must work as one, or all is lost.Will Hope learn to use her ability in time?

My Take:

I received an advanced reader copy for the purpose of review. And man, am I glad I did. This story is the first in a three-part series about three sisters who are cursed. Hope is definitely a character I can relate to. Grade oriented, not really part of the popular crowd, and with no desire to be, she is just a normal teenager struggling with getting along with her sisters, looking forward to getting her license… and having the joy of always being thrust into the spotlight she hates, because she is one of the only sets of triplets ever born in their small Wisconsin town. 

​​Then she meets Bryce. Oh, Bryce. I can’t decide if I like him or not. I mean, he’s ok. At least he’s not the sullen brooding boy that seems to be the hot “it” thing in YA UF of late. But (and I think this is true to his character, as opposed to the bad writing I’ve seen from other authors) Without Hope, he is kind of nothing. I mean, literally, this kid has been raised in a cult society, his sole purpose of existence, to find the triplets from the curse and aid them in training and preparing to battle evil. We get a brief glimpse of this young man who doesn’t really believe in his mission, and kind of isn’t happy with his life, but then the spark happens (No, y’all it is a LITERAL spark, sounds SO cool. I want to see a movie version of this JUST to see the spark, lol) and suddenly he is a born again convert to his cult’s beliefs. Which, is probably a good thing or poor Hope would’ve been screwed. 
But it would’ve been fun to see him maybe buck the system a little bit? I have hopes, thanks to some teasers for the next books, that one of the heroes/ heroines might, though. After all, Fate can only do so much, am I right? 
So, yeah, each book is about one of the sisters, and their coming into their power, as far as I can tell. I loved the baddie in this one, and the way it was revealed. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, but at the same time, it was a surprise. The author did a great job balancing the reader’s knowledge and expectations. And holy crap, the teaser at the end for the next book!? As soon as it’s available for preorder, I am ordering it! 
If you enjoy stories where the hero is fated to save the world, with a dash of romance, and a splash of snark, then The Triplet’s curse is definitely for you.

Take a Peek Inside A Triplet’s Curse- Hope’s Story

Until next time, 

Keep Reading!