#BookReview: When Darkness Falls by Ellen Chauvet

Amazing! Honestly, I have fallen a bit out of love with vampires, but this book has brought the love back. Poor Lexie has a week from hell, from losing two best friends and the love of her life, and now she is prepared to kill and gain a sense of normalness to her life. There is a hint of Buffy in the heroine, but the author manages to eclipse the show and surpass it with ease.

About the #Author: Chantal Gadoury

Chantal Gadoury is a young author who is originally from Muncy, PA. Chantal enjoys to paint in her spare time, drink a good cup of coffee when she can and appreciates watching her favorite Disney classics with loved ones. When she’s not busy crafting or reading, Chantal is dedicated to her family at home: her mom, sister and a furry-puppy-brother (and her Dad, who has now lives in heaven.) As a 2011 college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative Writing, writing novels has become a dream come true!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cgadoury16

Blog: http://chantalgadoury.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chantalgadouryfans

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8059023.Chantal_Gadoury

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cgadoury16/

Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Chantal-Gadoury/e/B00MTLD0P0/

Chantal

 

 

Another #BookExcerpt from Allerleirauh

I could feel my whole body shaking as I stood in front of my Father’s chambers. I could see my hand shaking as I lifted it towards the wooden door. I had not ever been so nervous to see my Father before. The idea of my Father now frightened me after what had taken place in my room earlier in the morning; the idea of my own unknown fate terrified me the most. I slowly brought myself to knock and wait in silence. Lord Haven’s face greeted me as the door opened slightly.

“Princess…” he said with surprise in his voice. He should not have been surprised. He should have known I would keep my word and come to the King. I could hear my Father asking, “Is that her? Is that Aurelia?” Lord Haven gave a small nod towards the other side of the room, where I could imagine my Father leaning over his desk; his fingers tousled in his hair. The door parted more for me and Lord Haven gestured with a bow for me to enter. I tucked my hands behind my back and took a breath. I had to remember the plan Myriah and I had created.

“Could I speak to my Father, the King, alone?” I asked delicately as I kept my gaze to the floor. I could hear the silence between the two of them; the unspoken questions and commands. Perhaps Lord Haven already knew I had come here to agree to my Father’s wishes, and perhaps my Father felt as if he had won. I just hoped my plan would work.

“Aurelia, the King has much to speak to you about.” Lord Haven’s voice was nervous, shaky even and I nodded in reply.

“Yes, I know.”

“Leave us.” My Father’s voice caused an array of shivers to run down my spine. The hairs on my arm rose as I watched Lord Haven leave the room, and my Father took a step towards me. He looked regal and different from the night before in his cloak, his hair matted against his forehead and his crown, the large weight of his responsibility on his shoulders. I felt his finger touch my arm gently, rising and falling up and down my skin. I wanted to shrink away, but knew I could not. I had to stay firm and strong just as Myriah had told me to be.

“Aurelia…” he whispered softly. I took a step towards his desk and placed my hands on the oak wood, remembering him here, snapping his fingers at me as if I were a dog just the night before.

“Your Grace.” I replied, turning to look at him. I felt as if it were the first time I was truly seeing my Father for who he was now, then whom he had been before with my Mother. I hoped the way I spoke to him made him realize the change which had occurred. He was no longer a Father, but a stranger to me.

“I’ve come to make an arrangement with you.” I said directly.

“And what is your arrangement?” There was a hint of amusement in his voice as he spoke to me. I bit my lip and looked down at my bare hands, trying to remember everything Myriah and I had spoken of. “What is it you wish from me?” He asked again.

“You have told me this morning I am to be your bride.”  I caught his gaze, keeping it as long as I could until he turned, brushing a hand through his hair.

“Yes.” he replied simply. “I’ve searched long and wide for a wife to meet the late Queen’s…”

“My Mother.” I interjected. He stared at me; a tense moment between the two of us.

“The late Queen’s request.” He finished as he rounded his desk. He began to take steps closer to me as his hand very close to mine; his face seemed to draw itself even closer.

“You are so very beautiful Aurelia. I’ve watched you grow in the past two years, and I never knew. Never knew how truly beautiful you were.” I felt a strange disgust build in the coils of my stomach. I wanted to turn my face away from him, to turn my back and stride out the door; I wished with all of my soul, I would never have to face him again, yet, I knew it would never resolve so easily. I could not stay a moment longer in his presence but I knew I must.  As he came closer, thoughts of the night before flooded my mind; how easy it had been for him to press me against his bed, for him to take my clothes and to take me in a way only a husband should have.

“It is very lonely without a partner to live a life with. The late Queen knew how to entertain our people and myself. She knew how to hold herself with poise and grace, and she knew how to tend to her husband diligently. I see much of her in you.” It seemed strange he would. I hardly thought I was anything like my Mother. Perhaps, yes, she was graceful and delicate, but she hardly knew how to take care of anyone but herself. I began to think of the ball, and the golden dress and how I had resembled her so much it seemed my Father fell in love with me.

My Father took another step towards me and I backed away instinctively. His hand grabbed mine and pulled me towards him, so that I was standing pressed against him.

“Have you forgotten your Mother’s last wish? I promised her I would marry someone as beautiful as she. You’re the only one who has the same golden hair, the same smile, the same beautiful eyes. You are the only one who will do, who I can love. The only one worthy of my love, my power, my body. You will be my bride.” He declared as he ran a finger through my hair. My teeth clenched at his touch; the only thing keeping me in the room was the hope my arrangements would ultimately save me from this fate. I could not live this life with him.

“If I am to marry you,” I began softly, letting out a deep breath. “I have four simple requests.”

My Father grinned and nodded, “Go on…anything.”

Perhaps he thought he was about to have everything he wanted. Perhaps in this moment, he was. I slowly uncurled my fingers from the fist I had created and licked my bottom lip.

“For my marriage, I will require new gowns. I request three gowns, one spun from the ray of sunbeams, the second, as silver as the moonbeams that dance along the night sky, and the third, woven from the star dust that falls from the heavens.” My Father looked slightly surprised but continued to listen. I knew he would remember these from the night he had declared he would do anything for me to keep me happy and by his side.

“My last request,” I continued, “A fur coat made of all the Kingdom’s wild animals, so when the harsh winters come I can keep sickness and death at bay.”  I could feel my hands shake from trepidation; I couldn’t believe I actually made these demands to him. What would the people think once they heard of him going to these lengths to marry me? Would they think I was a harlot? Would they think I encouraged my Father’s inappropriate behavior towards me?

“And this is all you request from me?” he asked, surprised. I could see the amusement light up upon his face as I slowly nodded to him. Maybe this would actually work. Perhaps he would not see through the façade and agree to these. If he did, this would grant me more time to collect my things, arrange an escape from the palace, and more forward with my plans. I would never again be Princess Aurelia, but I would avoid the marriage between my own Father and myself.

“And if I agree to these things, you will marry me?” A smile crept upon his face as I gave a fast, curt nod as I swallowed my fear.

“Consider it done then, my love.” My Father embraced me as he pressed a kiss upon the corner of my lips. I felt his finger lift my chin gently and I quickly took a step back away again. My eyes darted to the ground and I twisted a part of my dress around my finger nervously. I needed to play the park but protect myself.

“I have much to plan.” I said quickly, fumbling and turning towards the door. For those who heard me, perhaps they imagined I’d create a beautiful wedding, but for me I knew I had other things to plan.

“Dearest,” My Father’s voice caused me to stop in my foot-steps at the door. My hand had only been inches away from reaching the doorknob.

“I shall have these gifts to you within a week. Mark my words, the day after I present them to you, we shall marry.” There was no question in his voice. This was how it would be. I only gave him a silent nod as I avoided his eyes and opened the door. I escaped quickly out into the hallway, far away from him before he could see the tears I fought so hard to keep at bay.

#BookExcerpt: Allerleirauh

Prologue

“If you ever decide to remarry, you must marry someone who is as beautiful as I and has my golden hair.” The words seemed to echo all around the darkened, red room as my dying mother whispered them. Candles were lit all across the room, creating a gloomy and death-like atmosphere around us as they flickered against the stone walls; the only solace of light were the flames, curling out from the fireplace.  My mother’s hair, like spools of golden thread, lay against her forehead, clinging to her dying, pale skin as she lifted her hand, reaching out to my Father for his answer. My mother, the Queen, was dying in her bed with my weeping father on bended knee, taking her hand and kissing her knuckles and the corner of her lips.

“My wife…” His words were soft and full of a clouded grief I knew I didn’t understand. My father and mother were hardly ever affectionate behind closed doors. I often saw them together in the throne room, together in my father’s den, but never close; never touching. His loss of her was a mystery to me.

“Promise me,” she hissed at him, her breathing was growing faint as she shifted and grunted, trying to look at him more closely. Perhaps it was her only solace that her husband, my father, would never truly love anyone after her. Perhaps she hoped a new wife would only be a constant reminder of his first.

I stood in the background, watching the scene between my mother and father, clinging to the thick red bed drapes, my own golden curls tied back with a black ribbon. I had been pulled from my tutoring lesson with Mousier Rayner, learning French from the brittle books of my father’s library and had dressed for the occasion of my mother’s death in a simple black dress. I hadn’t known how to feel as the black silk brushed against my skin. I felt almost as if we were being paraded into her room to watch her die like an animal. Was this how life truly was?

We were born, lived the life God granted us, and then, just as quickly, our flame dulls until it becomes a wisp of smoke in a darkened room and we’re gone. As the servants and house-hold hands guided me into the room, I stood frozen in the back. It was often said by the Courtiers I looked much like my mother; I had the same golden hair and the same blue eyes. I wondered now how true it really was. Did I truly?

I felt fear as her last breath slipped between her lips, her hand slowly falling from my father’s shoulder. Everyone in the Kingdom knew the King did not have a male heir, and in turn, would need one to carry on the Royal Line. Who would be next? I could see eyes staring at me; I was my Mother’s reflection: my Mother’s legacy. I felt a cold shiver run up my spine as I heard my father reply, “I promise.”

#ASI: Nadine Travers

Hi Nadine Travers, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?  I got a lot of titles. I’m an accountant by date, wife and mother 24/7 and a writer for the rest of the time.

Discuss your newest book.  My new book, Unbind, will be released May 3rd. This book is the first book of ten. This is a group, Supernatural Intelligence Agency or call SIA, that will have to investigate in the Paranormal Facility. They will discover an ancient evil wizard that was banned in dimensions, tried to get back by killing witches.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?  I always did it. I got a story idea that it’s not written yet, which I was sixteen years old.

What are your current projects? I got book 3 of my Scotland Lovers, time travel series that will be out this fall, also the other book of SIA and an angel series, which will start this fall too.

What books have most influenced your life most? Lord of the ring (3 books) that was the biggest story that I read not only once but 5 times in each different age.

What inspired you to write your first book? For SIA series, I wanted to have a group that was investigated, I love paranormal and it’s easy for me with all those creatures. That give me latitude to write more intense scene.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Her name is Azura, she’s a witch and can control the 4th elements. Well, she tried too. She’s very powerful but she needs her lovers (which she didn’t want him) to bring her magic at the powerful level. Rook is the commander of the SIA team. He is a werewolf; he dedicates himself to his work. Until, his mates (Azura) show up and his world became to be upside down. Sounds interesting.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? If we are not perfect but clumsier, in a way. We can evolve and transform to be better but with the help of the right person in your life.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? For Rook: Kurt Urban, for Azura: Amy Adams but with red hair

When did you decide to become a writer? Secretly I always want too. But since my first language is French and that I wanted to write in English. That give me more difficulties and still do.

Why do you write? I need it, I got too much story in my head not to get out of it.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? I was turning in circles for many years. I was looking at the RWA website at least once a day. I wanted to be part of it. I decided in to join in April 2014, and I was in the learning process. I took so many workshops; it’s been like a brainwash.

Do you write full-time or part-time? For now, part-time but in a very close future I want to do it full-time.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Editing, to be honest. Working my world build and do the first draft. It fun for me.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Plan my 10 books with the main story of the villains and each book individual story.

What is the easiest thing about writing? My first draft.

What book are you reading now? Mostly, historical, paranormal, MC bikers, new adult too. I have recently discovered the MC books myself.

What is one random thing about you?  I love to help other.

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computers? Computer all the way, Scrivener was my lifesaver.

What does your writing process look like? Usually, I do mind mapping of my story, series or individual book. After, I work my character, they bring other aspects in the story but also strong villains. World build if we need it or at least the basic. After I write my first draft.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? I write in my commute time, in a train that I took each day.

How important are names to you in your books? They are, they mean something that is close of the story. Unbind was for the starting release binding of the evil wizard.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? I love my imagination; I never know most of the part my muse will bring my character to be in this way. I discover during my writing process.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? Tried to put my pre-order too close. I have to wait at lease to have my book comes back from my editor.

What is your favourite motivational phrase? I got a lot, but one is never give up your dream.

What is your favourite book and why? OMG! I got too much. But I will think that Lord of the ring series is want of my favourite of all time. Why? Because this is pure imagination and this brings you in other countries.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Never give up. We have to try and learn. Make mistakes and learn from them. But if this is what you wanted to go for it. I means I have three books in my second language. Editing is rough, but it’s very possible.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?  I love to read, also to play video games.

From where do you gain your inspiration? Anywhere, it could be some news or someone talks about a situation, I could say that I good ideas for a book. I look around, taking the train, you see a lot of people talking to each other. That could give you ideas.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? Both had advantage and disadvantage, the only good question to ask is this one. What do you want in your writer life? Do you want to write only and others took care of everything or been in control and decide, even, with small experience that you have, or you could have both too?

How do you market your books? I got my newsletter for my fan, I put my release of Facebook and Twitter. I will try to do a Facebook Party and also Facebook Ads and to see how it work.

Why did you choose this route? I didn’t have the patience to wait for the answer to be honest. I discover that I love the manage project like the cover design.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I got a VA which it helps me. Working full day, family time during the day. My social media was poor at the beginning. For me it’s an investment, he is able to do other work that I’m not able either.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? I think it’s learning and mistakes. I don’t think that you could have a step-by-step guide and to give you magical readership. I think you need to try different ways but also to be comfortable in those ways too.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? When I’m in my first draft mode. I don’t have a lot of time to do. Maybe 1 hour per week. But when I’m waiting for my book to come back from my editor, I got more time to work those and to set up automated processes, to promote my book but also to promo book that it’s coming.

What do you do to get book reviews? Now, people do it without me asking them. I think that an honest review from someone you don’t know, it’s like candy for children. Even, bad review is good, if they are constructive.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? I could say so-so, with Unbind I will do more and experiment more with it.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? None so far, but I plan to contact blogger and other reviews in this case.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? I think that if it’s constructive is good. Even a bad one. You can’t please everyone and that’s fine too.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? Yes, I set up a Facebook party, for my book, which will be May 15th. I didn’t see this even was private. I invite everyone but until I saw my mistake and I got to redo another even and reinvite everyone.

What’s your views on social media for marketing? Good, I think this is the way to be close of your reader. They love to have a portion of your life, it means a lot of them. It’s like they are part of the family in a way.

Which social network worked best for you? I could think Twitter so far, second Facebook.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do? You need to be real, fake writer it shows very fast. In the same time, you keep your private life private, you show them only portion that you want to show.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? I will do my first Facebook Party May 15th, I will probably try Goodreads too. I will see what I could find and work it.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? OMG! So much for different reasons. Tolkien to ask him tricks how to create a big saga, Lee Child to ask him about to write good tension and action in a story and JK Rowling how to make a powerful series.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?  Harry Potter, because you don’t need a big degree to write a success worldwide.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Never give up! I think that writer stop writing to trying to when they think it’s going nowhere, give yourself time to learn and to write. But also, have other writer friend, even it’s online. To talk and to other when the other people wonder why you still doing it.

How can readers discover more about you and your work? They could find me here:

Website: http://www.nadinetravers.com

Twitter: @NadineWriter

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/NadineTraversWriter/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/nadinetravers

#BookReview: Craving the Alpha by Kate Kent 5/5 Stars

Overview: Kristin has just finished her camp counselor job for the summer and is hanging back to clean up with Beverly and Todd when the camp owner drugs them and feeds them to a pack of wolves. A second pack, in need of child-bearing aged women, save them and bring them into their home. Upon waking, Kristin learns that werewolves are real and two have chosen her as their mate. Under the gun to choose now, she picks one with the assistance of a natural pack member. Now she is regretting her choice as the first night of her turning is upon her and he is nowhere to be found.

Review: I love it. I hate that it is so short, but can’t wait to read the next book! It keeps you on your toes, wondering if she made the right choice and if she is going to stick with it. It’s full of suspense, comedy and steamy.

Recommend: Yes

#BookReview: Highland Repress by Riley Morano 3/5 Stars

Overview: Ashley and Tristan celebrate the arrival of their first child, but the day is soon turned dark when the clan tart appears to badger them about her child being his. She persists and later insists that Ashley’s father is the father of her child instead. A battle is stopped before it is begun and a second almost takes the life of brother and sister.

Opinion: Way too fast paced. You almost get whiplash from all the action. It is just go, go, go without a break in between one child being born, to a wedding, then almost death and sudden premature labor.

Recommend: Maybe.