Review: Kier- Landra’s Take

Genre: Sci-Fi Romance

Rating: Maybe

Enter a sci-fi universe that transcends race, gender, and even individual thought…

That’s at least how I felt following Quin and Kier’s haphazard adventures jumping between planets and points in time. These two travelers seek redemption in their own way, as a well as a path to follow for the remainder of their days. There’s action, plots, and plenty of discovery in this story. This book really felt like a two in one, and I found myself easily drawn to the second half of the book more so then the first half.

What I liked:

The fantasy/sci-fi aspects. Pippa has created a wonderful universe outside of our own with multiple races that vary in looks and cultures followed with brilliant scientific technologies. I honestly wanted to be in the universe and be able to jump to planets just like Quin; dark powers or not. I enjoyed the romance, of course I did, I’m a romance junkie. The sweet aspects of the budding attraction and tension were well-developed and attended; no rushed romance here. Quin is not the average heroine. She’s flawed and has had multiple relationships before Kier. This isn’t about soul mates, but about finding someone to share time with. There’s also no clean-cut, black/white decision-making. The conflicts and resolutions require some grey line hovering where Quin and Keir can’t fully condemn those who seek to either destroy, meddle, or help them. Finally I liked the villains. I wanted more history about them, origins and all the fun stuff. Pippa will you please give me more Sentiac early stories?

What I didn’t like:

The setting descriptions dragged a bit. I was so jockeyed up by all the action and dialogue interactions my attention lacked when a descriptive paragraph came. I paid attention for the 3-5 sentences, but anything longer had me skipping to the next piece of dialogue. I didn’t like the internal wishy-washy that Kier had for 3/4 of the book. I’m sorry I really liked Kier’s desire to be better than what anyone thought of him, but besides his powers and massive size I thought Kier was a bit of a wimp. I didn’t seem him surviving very far without Quin. Sure he’d survived on his own before meeting Quin, but even I was a bit surprised at that. If course I’m a fan of the alpha male and Kier is not an alpha, so that could be a bit biased. Finally, I felt a bit disjointed mid-way through. This felt like two short stories molded into one book and I think the jarring wouldn’t have happened if there was something to announce the transition or segway from one part of Kier’s development to the next part of his journey.

Overall, this is a good merge of Sci-Fi and Romance. If you’re a sci-fi/fantasy fan you’ll enjoy Kier hands down. Romance fans, you’ll enjoy the second half of this book the most. This was more of maybe for me because I felt so in the middle with everything. There were good aspects and turn offs. I think Pippa Jay is worth a read if you’re at all feeling a bit of interest and I look forward to seeing what she’s got coming next.

Kier is available at:

Lyrical Press Inc

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Advertisements

This Week’s Read: Kier by Pippa Jay

keir (2)Outcast. Cursed. Dying. Is Keir beyond redemption?
For Keirlan de Corizi–the legendary ‘Blue Demon’ of Adalucien–death seems the only escape from a world where his discolored skin marks him as an oddity and condemns him to life as a pariah. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise: Tarquin Secker, a young woman who can travel the stars with a wave of her hand.
But Quin has secrets of her own. She’s spent eternity searching through space and time with a strange band of companions at her back. Defying her friends’ counsel, Quin risks her apparent immortality to save Keir. She offers him sanctuary and a new life on her home world, Lyagnius.
When Keir mistakenly unleashes his dormant alien powers and earns instant exile from Quin’s home world, will she risk everything to stand by him again?

 

Get your copy of Keir here:

Lyrical Press Inc

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Interview: Jenn Leblanc

Jenn LeblancMany of you may remember Jenn Leblanc, author of The Rake and the Recluse from her week here on IBRU last March. If you need a refresher, check out Landra’s review, my review, and Jenn’s interview.

Just in case you missed it, Jenn is not only a talented wordsmith, but she’s also the talented eye behind the lens. All photos in her book as well as the cover images are her work. We’ve got the scoop on her business, Studio Smexy, for you today!

1.) If I want exclusive rights to an image how expensive

One of Jenn's military covers

One of Jenn’s military covers

can that get? Is there any special hoops I need to jump through? 

Exclusives start at $400 and that pulls the set of images comprising the specific pose you choose. No special hoops, all images are available exclusively and I much prefer they sell that way, because then my authors all have original covers! 🙂 If someone is interested in an exclusive, they just email me from the image page and I can tell them if that image has sold as stock previously, and how many times, so they can decide whether they want to buy it as an exclusive. Of course I have many images that have not been sold for stock yet, and I have a few images that I’m not releasing to stock sales, like this one:
http://jennleblanc.photoshelter.com/image/I0000cdE9uVV1LAE
This one will go exclusive, so I’m holding out for that ONE special author to stumble upon it. 🙂
20120407-Romance-6-JKL_00502.) Do you design covers too or just provide the image we can use for the cover?
I have designed covers, I design all my own covers, and I’ve designed a few others, but I prefer not to. I prefer to shoot, that’s what I do best, and leave the design to the experts.
3.) What if I want something you don’t have on your site? Can I request it, and how much can that cost? 
Requests start at $75 for non-exclusive, non-extenuating images. Meaning, you can tell me you’d need something BDSM with a brunette man looking away from a blonde girl. I’ll work it into my next shoot (no deadlines) if it works? $75 for the image. Or $400 for the exclusive.
If there are specific props, poses, models, etc then those requests are the cost of an exclusive image (the image will be an exclusive). They will be shot at the next shoot as well. With the understanding that other poses from the shoot WILL be sold as stock.
If you need something incredible specific, I can quote that. Upwards of $1,000 for a fully exclusive one-image shoot.
4.) If you don’t create covers can you recommend anyone? 

I might write a book around this cover.

I might write a book around this cover.

ABSOLUTELY. My designers are amazing. I say my, but they’re all freelancers. These are some of my favorites (in no particular order:
 
5.) What if my book isn’t a romance? Can you take pictures for other genres?
I’ll take that on a case-by-case basis. I prefer the SMEXY.
🙂
20120208-TRUMBULL-JKL-475Speaking of smexy, my novel is what started all of this, Just FYI. These ladies know. *nods* The Rake And The Recluse is available on Amazon, Kobo, B&N, Smashwords and  iTunes
Amazon
Barnes And Noble
All Romance Ebooks
Itunes
Goodreads
Thanks for spending time with us again, Jenn! Always a pleasure to have you (and your *ahem* bodies of work) on the blog!

Guest Post: The New Reviewer is Here

Hello Indie readers! I’m Mari, the new reviewer round these parts. You might have seen my work with Thy Fearful Symmetry this month. If you haven’t, shame and dishonour on your family, and go read it.

Wait. I promised myself no shaming. Scratch that.

So, I live in Australia, the land where everything—including the weather—tries to kill you. Despite all of that, I somehow manage to hang out at the beach a few times a month, and make my way down to the grocery store for supplies. I’m an avid cook, gamer, and writer.

And I have a cat overlord. He runs the household on his schedule.

Don't let this soft kitty fool you. He's a menace.

Don’t let this soft kitty fool you. He’s a menace.

I’m a voracious reader. Every year, I set a reading goal on Goodreads. This year’s goal is 60 books, but I’m hoping to go way over that. While I will read any genre, my favorites are fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, and any offshoots of those. Basically, if people are dying or making magical sparkles, I’m there.

I also have a soft spot for certain types of romances, but we don’t talk about that. Ever. Except here, where I probably will have to.

I’m thrilled to be here with Cate and Landra, who are two of the funniest women I know. And as a reviewer, I promise to give you the skinny and fat on every book I read.

Thanks for having me on this trip, ladies. It’s gonna be one hell of a ride.

Author Interview: Shifted Perspective

I got busy asking J. Bridger the deep questions about Shifted Perspective, and here’s what I found out.  🙂

1) First off, the mythos in this book was a 360 from other fantasy novels, which is good because I’m always on the lookout for something different. You’ve got magic and shifting canines… that’s it. Why? And is there a plan for future books to include some creatures that the shifter community isn’t familiar with?

I really like all mystical entities. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is probably my favorite show of all time. It’s just that when you start introducing a parade of other mystical creatures—especially vampires—then the werewolves and shapeshifters get a bit overshadowed. In this series I want to be specific about my focus with the shifter community and its relationship to the witches and gypsies out there hunting them. So vampires and George Romero style zombies, as well as more out there things like angels/demons/fairies just aren’t a part of this world.

However, I do have plans to introduce other types of shapeshifter and, in fact, am using a selkie in the sequel, Second Skin.

** Super excited about this tidbit, since my last encounter with a selkie in a novel was awesome! **

2) There’s a pretty strict round of rules and a crazy hierarchy for the shifters in this story. Some of it’s based on when you turn and what you turn into. I found the entire structure fascinating because I’m an operations guru. How did you develop the hierarchy and did you have to do any special research for it?

Not especially with research. I learned a lot about group mentality and dominance from studying lemurs and other primates in college so I guess that was a background fabric of my life. I’ve also read a lot of werewolf tales and there’s always explanations of pack structure, which can vary a lot.

I just thought a world where you could change into anything from a toy poodle to a werewolf had to have a pecking order and that the Chihuahuas and Pekinese dogs wouldn’t be on top!

**Oh,but how fun it would be to see a Chihuahua in charge.**

3) This book is from the first person perspective of Caleb only. Was this your original plan for the story? Do you plan on all future works in this series to be first person as well?

Yes, I always wanted to give Caleb his own voice and show how all these changes affected his life via inner thoughts and monologues. It seemed like this was an intimate story and needed first person. I do plan on other works being first person as well, some from Caleb’s perspective and some from different characters’ PoV.

4) Caleb’s cousin, Kalista, is a shifter with a special hobby and an affinity for chew toys. I loved these little quirks and want to know if any of the ‘doggie’ traits some of the characters have are based off your own pets?

My Yorkie, Mellie, is a huntress and loves to go after lizards, birds and squirrels so I think that influences Caleb’s own hunting needs. He’s not big or ferocious, but you don’t have to be to want to hunt, I think. We all know that Yorkies or Cockers aren’t known for being the scariest dogs out there.

5) Finally what’s next for Caleb? Is Joanna going to find out the truth about him? Will Caleb and Penny ever be more than just friends? This is what I’d call a loaded question.

Agreed, definitely loaded!

Joanna’s going to keep digging, but the questions really are how far is she daring to go and is she going to get into massive trouble? Caleb might not ever tell her if he had his own choice, but now he has to keep it under wraps to prevent the Alpha and the Council from killing a human who knows, should she find out.

Penny is actually getting a love interest of her own in the sequel, but we’ll see if anything ever happens romantically with her and Caleb. She might just enjoy having him as her free go-for and prop manager! I admit that’s a sweet deal.

All I have to say is, I think me and the other Indies gals enjoy the Shifter Love. And since J. is a fan of Buffy, well, she can do no wrong.

J. Bridger has had an eclectic life. She’s worked in the psychiatric ward in a hospital in La Paz, Bolivia, been a veterinary intern giving all sorts of better-left-to-the-imagination exams to dogs and cats, and had her own spate in creating and running a television ad campaign. Currently, in her day job, she is getting her certification as a medical Spanish interpreter in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina.

By night, she’s a fledgling author, who has just penned her debut novel, Shifted Perspective; she is currently working on its sequel, the next installment of The Tails of Change Series. J.’s always loved things that go bump (or that howl) in the night and devoured Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Clive Barker starting in middle school. Her favorite shows are no less preternatural and include Big Wolf on Campus, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Teen Wolf. While she’s been writing fiction for eight years and been published in several academic journals for her psychological research, this is her first venture into published original fiction.

J. Bridger lives in Raleigh with two Yorkies, a beagle, and a Schnauzer-Yorkie mix (as well as far too many dust bunnies).

Find J. at:

Blog – http://www.jbridgerwriting.blogspot.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JBridger1313

Tumblr –http://www.tumblr.com/blog/jbridger1313

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/J-Bridger/216174885176369

Snag a copy of Shifted Perspective at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

Review: Shifted Perspective- Landra’s take

Rating: Maybe

Caleb Bryne’s had big plans to go pre-med until the morning he woke up with a fur, four paws, and a tail. Now he’s roped into learning about a society within a society. There are rules, which he thinks are crap. There’s a hierarchy, which is also crap. At the end of the day Caleb would trade just about anything to get rid of his shifting ability. Since he can’t he’ll settle for just surviving in the world of the pack instead.

This book had me going back and forth multiple times, hence the maybe rating. It started out a bit slow for me and I found myself getting lost in the text rather than absorbed. Slowly the story sucked me in though, especially with Caleb’s first transformation.  Caleb himself is definitely the intelligent teenager longing for a way to fulfill his dreams and live up to his self-imposed obligations to his father. The protagonist hasn’t enjoyed an easy life, but he’s working to make it better. The shifting thing takes him completely by surprise, though there are plenty of hints leading up to the whole snafu. Honestly, I thought an pre-med teenager would have picked up on some of the weird things his extended family did or the changes occurring within him. There were times I felt Caleb was a bit dumb-downed for the benefit of the story.

The secondary characters are a hoot: from the Lois-Lane-esque girlfriend Joanna to the protecting family pet Sampson. I found plenty of enjoyable personalities and a couple of people I wanted to hit because they naturally turned me off. The characters are extremely life-like; though I will mention that there was a few times I got confused between Caleb’s Uncle and the pack leader. Names are definitely something to keep up with, along with the hierarchy and terms dealing with the canines.

From the Appalachians in North Carolina to Hollywood’s famous Rodeo drive the settings of the story were also fun and live up to creating the two different worlds Caleb is surrounded by. He’s got to adjust to one and miss the other, and he’s not exactly a city a boy. I felt the author did a wonderful job of placing me in the different locations.

Finally the plot jumps from a coming into one’s own story to a bit of mystery. Caleb gets involved, and with another shifter solves the problem. The interesting part is that this part of the story seemed more interesting then first half. I found myself wanting more of this unlikely shifter, investigative duo then the ‘I just found out I can shift and life sucks’ deal. Almost as if the first half of the book was a pre-quel to the bigger and better things coming for Caleb.

Overall, my big issues were with pacing, a bit of Caleb’s ignorance to something he should have been more on alert with, and a little plot. Characters and setting were enjoyable and unique. I would give the next book in this series a shot for the hope of more ‘Caleb, Shifter Investigator’, and Bridger provides an interesting back drop for the next story.

Check out Shifted Perspective at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

This Week’s Read: Shifted Perspective by J. Bridger

shifted coverCaleb Byrne is a bright high school senior who has enough to deal with between college choices, taking care of his single dad, and dealing with his headstrong girlfriend Joanna and an eccentric set of cousins in California. He was managing to get by until the day he woke up a Cocker Spaniel. Even if it only happens monthly and is more embarrassing than painful, the so-called ability is something that he’s anxious to be rid of.

He didn’t realize his transformations would drag him into a hidden society of canine and lupine shape shifters as well as a family legacy he hates. To make matters worse, after moving to Los Angeles to learn more about his heritage from his Aunt Moira and his cousin Kalista, Caleb now struggles through life-and-death matters. He keeps angering the werewolves in charge of the shifter world, especially Kalista’s boyfriend Peter, the Southern California alpha’s son, who also happens to be grade-A sociopath. Worse, Caleb’s floundering to keep his secret from Joanna.

While his family offers him some support, they may not be enough as Caleb realizes that the rules in shifter society—number one is supposed to be don’t kill humans—are not so ironclad. Some werewolf out there is leaving a blood-soaked trail across the Midwest and it might just be with the alpha’s blessing…
Links to buy:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

Previous Older Entries