Deseré: A Love Story of the American South by Maris McKenzie Book Review

  • Book Description (via Goodreads): Deseré, a skilled seamstress and slave, lives on a South Carolina cotton plantation. Fair-skinned and astonishingly beautiful, she is owned by a kindly master and given his permission to marry the man she loves, a carpenter enslaved on a neighbouring plantation yet when her master dies before her wedding and his nephew inherits the plantation and it’s slaves, Deseré’s marriage is indefinitely postponed, pending consent from her new owner. Lawyer Anthony Sinclair arrives from Ohio on the mend from a broken heart, leaving behind a career derailed by scandal. Owning a plantation presents a vibrant opportunity. Yet torn by inklings of abolitionists beliefs, Anthony struggles with the damning prospects of owning human beings. Upon first seeing the alluring Deseré, Anthony is immediately dazzled by her golden skin, shimmering blond hair and ocean blue eyes. Yet Deseré perceives the tall, dark-haired and handsome “Masta” Anthony as rather stupid. He knows nothing about running a plantation, not being a planter. But as long as he allows Deseré to marry the man she loves, she will be happy. Anthony, however, desires Deseré for himself. To what lengths will he go to win the forbidden love of a slave? Will owning Deseré be the only way Anthony can ever possess her while her heart belongs to another man? Continue reading
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April Wrap Up

I’m well and truly behind on my posts which I never wanted to happen, but unfortunately life has gotten in the way this time! Finally, my partner and I have moved in together after a long year and two months of being let down by previous properties we had put offers on. May 3rd was our completion date and we couldn’t be more happier! However with this in mind I have found it difficult to focus on my reading, so I’ve been in a very stressful place without being able to relax and unwind with a good book.

Only twelve days late from the beginning of May, I am getting my April Wrap Up post published! So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

I completed reading four books in the month of April, these were:

  • Expecting Ty’s Baby by Empi Baryeh, I gave this book five out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ you can find my book review for this book here
  • Murder in the Heart Of It All by Michael Prelee, I gave this book five out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ you can find my book review for this book here
  • Vermilion Lies by L.D. Rose, I gave this book four out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ you can find my book review for this book here
  • The Onyx Crown: Part I of a Trilogy by Alan Hurst, I gave this book four out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ you can find my book review for this book here

I started a book called Deseré: A Love Story of the American South by Maria McKenzie over the end of April which will be featured in my May Wrap Up post.

How many books did you end up reading in the month of April? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading,

Claire 📚

The Onyx Crown Blog Tour and Book Review

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Front CoverThe Onyx Crown #1

Publication Date: January 27th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure

The Onyx Crown is an exciting foray into the world of African fantasy. From the searing heat of the desert to the vastness of the savannah, it tells the story of three children–Sania, Gesi, and Jorann who grow up in a pre-medieval era of wars and successions, not fifteen years after the greatest king in the history of the continent has been deposed and assassinated. They must overcome the traumatic circumstances of their birth as well as many dangerous trials to fulfill the destiny bestowed upon them as infants. Can mere children use their courage, wits, and uncanny abilities to defeat legendary warriors, entire tribes, provinces, and kingdoms–allowing them to lead the worthy to the greatest prize of all, the Onyx Crown?

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Excerpt

The Equinox Hunt was the once-every-ten-moon foray into the chakkha, or jungle, made by only the most celebrated hunters of the Nabii tribe of Numeria. It’s primary purpose was to keep the beast population to manageable levels, and stop them from foraging into the grasslands, but had long ago become a reliable way to create fortune for some Nabii tribesmen (simply called ‘the Hunters’), and their families.

Although wealth and riches beyond all imagination could be found beyond the gates of the chief Nabii citadel, Abir City, if the Hunters knew where to look, for most families it was more likely that they would return to the gates destitute, starving, and missing several family members.

K’Nan knew this as well as anyone. He knew he was looking at mostly dead men. Damn men are such fools, he thought. Most of these hunters were already successful enough to provide for their

families, own property, perhaps even bribe for themselves a pathetic position on the council. Success was never enough, and, in fact, it spurs on the hunger drive for more success.

This time, he th ought, things just may turn out differently for them. Why he had decided to lead the Hunt this year was a puzzle even to himself.

He knew better than to rely on the nonsensical rumors that had been trickling out of the wilderness for the last year and a half. Tales of mythical beasts and fearsome fighters attacking the Numerian migrants seemed just that, more myth than reality, except…

Except he’d also dreamt of them for the last ten years of his life. He could probably count the number of peaceful nights he’d slept in that time quite easily if he stopped to think about it. There damned sure hadn’t been many.

How could he sleep? The unimaginable horror of some of the things he’d seen during those dreams weren’t easy to forget—man-eating beasts, blood thirsty warriors, and infants dying in the wilderness.

It was this last dream, the one about three infant children that spurred him toward the savannah. The innermost reaches of the savannah were referred to as the chakkha—the destination of the Equinox hunters, the Win-Daji.

“Why does it bother you so much?” he said to himself. “It’s just a dream like any other, and those other three are long lost now.”

And yet here he was. All because of a dream.

He shook his head at himself. “When will you finally give up hope?”

The winds started blowing even more briskly now, bringing a mini-sandstorm to the town gates. Instinctively, everyone covered their eyes and faces, through conditioning more than fear.

It was apparent that they were in no danger from sand this far from the wilderness, but hiding from it was a habit both born and bred in them from childbirth. Heat can indeed kill you, but in the wilderness you learn to fear the sand much more than the heat.

Luckily for the Win-Daji, the summer had not begun. In the summer, sandstorms morphed from deadly catastrophic—it was widely known that the one approaching would last for many months and be one of the hottest ever recorded.

The hunter talking with the sentries now was unique enough to catch K’Nan’s interest. This man was tall and pale-skinned (a rarity this far south) with a scar leading from the corner of his left eye to his left ear, a love kiss from a Deluthian rhino most likely, K’Nan’s imoya, or spirit, told him.

He wore his hair in the traditional Nabii tribesman style, shaved on the sides with a strip of hair about two inches high down the middle. On his hip he carried a crescent sword, very worn and very menacing, and two bows slung carelessly across his back.

Tied around his left thigh was a two-cubic-long dagger with a polished bone handle covered with notches. This man has done some killing, thought K’Nan, and without a doubt not confined it to beasts.

Whatever he was arguing with the sentries about must’ve been important. Gradually all of the other Win-Daji and Halanbi moved closer to them to listen in. Some were nodding and raising their weapons. Every now and then there’d be a little shout of encouragement from the group. Meanwhile the guards were shaking their heads all the more emphatically.

K’Nan ended his reverie and motioned his two companions, Semri and Semarion, to follow him down the rocky path toward the gates. The steadfast twin brothers hastily complied.

They had fought and hunted with him the better part of the last five years and were two of the only people he felt he could really rely on, despite the fact that they were not full-blooded Numerians. So, he’d asked them to accompany him, without telling them the true reason.

What are you so worried about? He asked himself. Aren’t you K’nan the Savage Slayer, a legend in all three territories of the savannah, defender of the Numerians, the scourge of all Panthia? How many countless men have died under your two-bladed spear, deservedly all?

How many beasts have you saved these wretched villagers from? You’ve dined with tribal chieftains between both seas, shared their spoils, and bedded their daughters. How could a life as full as yours end so quickly? Have you forgotten what the prophetess told you?

Now Available on Amazon and for Nook!

My Review

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I have given The Onyx Crown by Alan Hurst four out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book is about an ancient African fantasy which follows chaos, conflict and calm. These are three representations of three human identities otherwise known as Khuselas. This book was very well-written by the author and I really enjoyed reading the fantasy behind this African story.

The first half of the book I found it quite difficult to grasp. There are three main characters in this story, however they are all following different paths so as their stories haven’t intertwined with one another yet we are surrounded by a lot of other characters as well. This was one of the difficult parts for me to grasp as there was a lot going on and a lot of different characters to try and remember. As I read about half way into the book I started to pick up the pace and feel more of a connection towards certain characters which then helped me to remember who is who. My favourite character so far is Sania; she’s brave, sassy and independent.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing style and especially liked the fighting sequences that took place as I found them very gripping. I found it very interesting to read about African fantasy and would definitely like to read more of this material as it’s very informative and also goes into great detail about different topics.

This book felt creative and a completely fresh story concept which I don’t think I’ve come across before and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m very anxious to read the next book in this series to find out what happens!

Giveaway!!!

For your chance to win a digital copy of this exciting new fantasy, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

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Alan Hurst is an author and entrepeneur. Hurst who spent most of his childhood reading Asian wuxia fiction, Marvel comics and encyclopedias is delving into trilogy territory with THE ONYX CROWN. He briefly studied religion at Harvard. Later, he settled in Washington, DC where he founded a software consulting firm, hosted the Urban Nation Radio podcast, and occasionally played the World Series of Poker. When not writing or enjoying time with his family, he prefers to take his Ducati motorcycle out for the occasional spin!

Alan Hurst | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Happy reading,

Claire 📚

Sketch by Didi Oviatt Cover Reveal

Sketch cover

Wow! Talk about cover love! I am so happy to reveal this unique cover of upcoming book by Didi Oviatt, Called Sketch. Today, I also have a sneak peek for you, so be sure to read on!

Sketch

Expected Publication Date: June 2019

Genre: YA Thriller/ Psychological Thriller

Publisher: Creativia

When the body of the local girl, Misty Crawl, is found dismembered in an underground bunker, the town is thrown into a whirlwind of panic and speculation. Times aren’t exactly smooth sailing with a depression in full swing. The spaced out community of farmers pull together as one, trying to uncover the guilty party.

Thrown smack in the middle of such chaos, is a group of teens. They’re known troublemakers, but have good hearts. Although they’re innocent, the local law enforcers believe otherwise, and the true killer is lurking far too close for comfort. Will the four be able to uncover the truth before one of them pays the price for Misty’s death? Or will the brutal killer strike again, attacking the heart of the four?

*Sketch is a young adult psychological thriller. It’s a quick easy read, appropriate and gripping for mid-teens and up, with no sexual content and some bloody gore. Parent’s be advised.

Excerpt

As soon as Steven’s dad, Robert Smith, pulls down the road, they look mischievously at one another and then take off in a sprint down the steps into his basement. Steven’s always wanted to know what’s locked away down here. His father told him years ago that it was just a room full of old newspapers. But, Steven’s always known there has to be more to this dingy looking door all locked away. It doesn’t take Chloe long to pick the lock. She’s getting better and faster at it with every lock she opens. The door creaks as it swings open, and there it is.

“Holy shit,” gasps John.

“This is the best day of my life,” says Michael.

“Look at the dust on all this stuff. I’ll bet this door hasn’t been open in years! No one will even notice if we take it!” adds Chloe.

Steven whispers in fear, “I don’t know guys, my dad will kill me if he finds out.”

“No he won’t, Red, I can take him,” jokes Michael.

Staring back at them from the wall to wall metal storage shelves are two small crossbows and an open chest of arrows. Along with old war paint, hatchets, a couple machetes, rope, and one box of newspapers setting on the floor.

“What the hell was my dad doing with this stuff?” Steven asks, more to himself than the others.

Steven’s dad isn’t an adventuress man, and aside from the yearly deer and occasional bear he shoots, he doesn’t even like to get out and do much.

“The bears are getting out of control around here,” and, “we gotta’ have meat to survive,” is his logic for hunting.

He doesn’t enjoy hunting as a sport like the majority of other men and even women in town. It’s more of a chore for him. Which is only one step away from insanity, in Steven’s point of view. Hunting is Steven’s favorite thing to do with his dad, aside from throwing a football.

“Who cares why he has this stuff!?” John says, always the planner of the group. “Let’s just take it now and hurry, in case he forgot something and has to come back home. We don’t want to get caught carrying it all out of your house.”

They grab as much as they can lift and head straight for the woods. Distracted by all the cool things, they don’t even bother to glance at the newspapers in the box on the floor.

Pre-Order your Copy Today!

About the Author

Didi's Pic

Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Sketch, Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, Justice for Belle, and New Age Lamians. Along with a six- piece short story collection called the Time Wasters. She’s also collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology The Suspenseful Collection. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid back outdoorsy life. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, sun-bathing in the desert heat, along with watching the relaxing dance of a campfire plays an important part of her day-to-day lifestyle.

Didi can be found on her Website/Blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and most importantly AMAZON!

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Vermilion Lies by L.D. Rose Review Tour and Book Review

Vermilion Lies, an all-new Dark Paranormal Romance by L.D. Rose is NOW LIVE!

 

 

Wherever Dax Knight sets foot, hell is bound to freeze over.

As a mercenary for the Order of the Senary, Dax departs for New England to assist his comrades in battling the vampire forces threatening to consume the Northeast. The last thing he expects to find is a gorgeous vampiress who surrenders to him entirely. Ensnared by her allure, their intense attraction ignites, and he discovers she isn’t what she seems.

Cindel Konstantinov has been on the run since she escaped her sire’s possession, trading one life of abuse and imprisonment for another. As her hope for freedom wanes, she encounters one of the infamous Knights, and his dangerous appeal is undeniable. After a life-altering moment of mercy, they careen down a path of secrets, lies, and a forbidden passion neither of them can resist. But when her past comes back to haunt them, they’ll have to face the consequences of their actions—and their desires.

Dax and Cindel will need each other more than ever as their world spirals into chaos. But are they strong enough to survive the oncoming storm?

 

 

Grab your copy Today!

Free in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US – https://amzn.to/2O8b4tw

Amazon Worldwide – mybook.to/VermilionLies

Add to your TBR – https://bit.ly/2TS5bWU

 

REVIEW

For adult readers only due to the explicit language and scenes included.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I have given this book four out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️ I’ve really enjoyed learning about the vampire and hybrid world that L.D. Rose has created. One of my favourite parts is how each book continues from the previous one. They focus on different characters, plot and world building however they all manage to link back to the previous characters from the other books.

Out of the three books from The Order of the Senary series, this book was definitely the hardest to get into. There was a lot of information that we need to learn about the characters and their backgrounds before getting into the nitty gritty parts of the book. Besides the introduction to the characters and plot being very long, I really enjoyed L.D. Rose’s writing style (once again!) and the amount of detail she has put into these books.

I really liked the connection between the two main characters; Dax and Cindel. They have so much passion between each other, despite the fact that they shouldn’t be together makes it all the more steamy and sexy. I loved seeing the incredible transformation of Cindel from being a very fragile woman to becoming a complete strong badass of a character! The humour specifically between Dax and Kayne had me reeling throughout! I absolutely adore their friendship with one another and would love to have had more scenes of just the two of them to be honest.

I can’t wait to read the next instalment in this series!

Have you read any of The Order of the Senary series? If so, let me know in the comments below which book your favourite is or which book(s) you have read.

EXCERPT

Few men could resist the sight of a pretty girl crying.

Even if she was crying blood.

She broke the silence first, her voice silken, low, a seduction in the growing dark. “What does it taste like?”

He’d ceased chewing. And he wasn’t breathing again.

Snap out of it, Dax. Stop thinking with your dick.

Forcing himself to inhale deeply, he filled his lungs then exhaled in a smooth, slow stream through his nostrils. He tried to ignore her scent, but it had intensified upon her waking, stroking his senses.

“Sour,” he replied. “Sweet.”

“Sweet,” she repeated, her eyes settling on his mouth. He wasn’t any better, staring blatantly at hers. The tips of her pearly white fangs flashed every time she spoke, and God, he was supposed to be disgusted, but he was far from it.

Focus.

 

About L.D. Rose

L.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes award-winning dark paranormal fiction and she’s a PAN member of the RWA and FF&P. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive Boxer, and her two devious cats.

Sign up for her newsletter for the latest on the Senary, sneak peeks, giveaways, and other fun stuff: https://www.subscribepage.com/ldrose

You can also join her reader group on Facebook for more shenanigans!

DEVOUR THE NIGHT: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1544747369161573/

Follow L.D. Rose

Website: http://www.writerldrose.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/ldrose
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Book Bub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/l-d-rose

Happy Reading,

Claire 📚

What I’m Watching Wednesday …. Cancelled

I’m so sorry guys, I won’t be continuing with this segment any longer. A few times this week I’ve either forgotten to write down what episodes or films I’ve watched and then others I have forgotten what I’ve done on that day, which really is besides the point of the segment.

I might pick this up again soon but for now I’m going to stop doing these posts.

Hope you’re all well and having a good long Easter weekend!

Love,

Claire 💕

Vermilion Lies by L.D. Rose Teaser

COMING SOON!
Vermilion Lies, an all-new dark paranormal romance by L.D. Rose is coming April 17th!
Pre-Order your copy Today!
Amazon Worldwide – mybook.to/VermilionLies
Add to your TBR – https://bit.ly/2TS5bWU

Wherever Dax Knight sets foot, hell is bound to freeze over.

As a mercenary for the Order of the Senary, Dax departs for New England to assist his comrades in battling the vampire forces threatening to consume the Northeast. The last thing he expects to find is a gorgeous vampiress who surrenders to him entirely. Ensnared by her allure, their intense attraction ignites, and he discovers she isn’t what she seems.

Cindel Konstantinov has been on the run since she escaped her sire’s possession, trading one life of abuse and imprisonment for another. As her hope for freedom wanes, she encounters one of the infamous Knights, and his dangerous appeal is undeniable. After a life-altering moment of mercy, they careen down a path of secrets, lies, and a forbidden passion neither of them can resist. But when her past comes back to haunt them, they’ll have to face the consequences of their actions—and their desires.

Dax and Cindel will need each other more than ever as their world spirals into chaos. But are they strong enough to survive the oncoming storm?