Thursday, June 30, 2016

Review: The Last Legacy: Season One by Taylor Lavati @taylorjlavati

The Last Legacy
by Taylor Lavati
Published June 15th 2015
Genres: Horror, Zombies

Disaster strikes North America, leaving people without the most basic amenities. Lana is taken from her home and forced to accept a world full of infected, violent beings. Life as humans know it is over, and in its place is a constant fear of death, paranoia, and savagery.

The mission in this new world is simple: survive. But survival comes at a cost few can bear.

As Lana and Jim find more survivors, new threats surface, their past decisions haunting them as they pass through abandoned towns. Armed with nothing but the pack on her back and a long-handled knife, Lana fears whether or not they'll make it to their destination--or if she'll perish along the way.

Author Interview:

What inspired you to write The Last Legacy?

My first novel is called The Thousand Year Curse and it was inspired by a dream. A lot of my ideas come to me in my dreams, and after, I write them down. I decided to go back to this idea inspired by greek mythology and some of my favorite stories and went with it!

When or at what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I didn't realize I had the skill or drive to write novels until I was 18. After I wrote one novel and clocked in around 100k I decided that I really loved the outlet it created for me mentally, and once I knew I could do it, I had a confidence that made me want to write more and more. I just really loved writing and decided that as long as I had the ideas, I would keep writing.

What is the earliest age you remember reading your first book?

I read my entire life. My aunt lived with us and would read stories to me every single night. I remember around at 8, she moved out. We would have a phone date every night and she would read to me through the phone until I fell asleep! I just remember trying to stay awake as long as possible and remember the books.

What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

I personally love fantasy and paranormal. I love learning about new worlds and trying to come up with awesome fantasy elements. I think I'm more creative that way. Though my personal writing style tends to be more realistic, I love reading out-there books!

What is your favorite book?

That's completely impossible. Though I can say Beautiful Disaster was the first "new adult" novel I ever read and was the first novel that showed me there are books about people my age (20's) and that they're relatable. At the time I was reading more adult novels or young adult, there was never a sweet spot for my age. Once I found about about new adult, my mind was completely open.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

My all-time favorite would have to be Jodi Picoult. I love her style and realistic tone. I love the way she takes difficult topics and makes you think about them, no matter what your stance is. I think she can write about anything and make it understandable for anyone. She's so inspiring.

If you could travel back in time here on earth to any place or time. Where would you go and why?

I would love to travel back to the 90's but be the age I am now. I was born in '91 so I feel like I was so young for a lot of the fun things, like the culture and music. I would love to go back and see how fast technology moved and how the world changed so drastically, yet so fast.

When writing a book do you find that writing comes easy for you or is it a difficult task?

It comes easy when I'm in the right mindset. I find that lately I'm crunched for writing time so it's more stressful. But when I set aside a day or a few hours to just sit down at the computer and write, I can get a lot done. I write in a more stream of consciousness way when writing a first draft, so I just let my mind go and see what happens. It makes the flow easier to get my ideas written.

Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

Yes! I have a dog named Beau who I rescued when I was 19. He's my bestie!

What is your "to die for" favorite food/foods to eat?

I'm definitely a salty over sweet kind of person. I would pick out a salty bag of chips over a cake any day. My favorite foods are the fatty ones. I'm a big mac & cheese, hamburger, potatoes kind of girl. Although I love me some vanilla ice-cream!

Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to be an author?

I always tell people to just write. It sounds obvious but if you don't take the time to write, it won't happen and then you'll get frustrated and give up. It you write and get your ideas out there, a story will happen. And I never take word counts into account. They really don't matter. Write for yourself over anything. You're the only one who matters.

My Review:

Lana is a young woman who lives alone and has always been alone and that is just the way she likes it. Lana doesn’t trust anyone or anything. She depends on one person and one person only and that is herself. Growing up in foster care and never having anyone or a reason to trust has left her with no friends or family.

Lana was home alone when the bombs started falling. At first she thought it was earthquakes until she turned on the tv and saw the news. Whatever was in the bombs was turning people into zombies or eaters as they called them.

Lana with not knowing anyone or nowhere to go decided to stay in her home alone until looters came into her home and took her away. She was lucky in that the first person to see her was Jim and not his brother John. John wanted to take Lana for himself and use her and then kill her like all the other women they had taken since the world had ended. But Jim knowing this got to her first and told her to do as he says if she wanted to live.

Jim knew that he couldn’t protect Lana while they were with his brother and I think he wanted out for a while or maybe never wanted to be a part of what his brother was doing from the beginning so he took Lana and they left and were on the run from not only the eaters but John and his gang as well. They met up with a few more people while they were running from the eaters; some I really liked and some not so much. Some of the characters I kept wishing that the eaters would get them.

Lana thinks that she is not strong and has lived her whole life letting people run over her and not standing up for herself. But she is trying real hard now to change all that and not let people run over her or use her. But Lana has a very big and strong heart that really and truly cares about people and wants to see everybody happy and safe. Lana is trying to take on everybody’s safety and wellbeing. Lana thinks she is weak but she is the strongest person in their little group. She has become their leader and she was the one kidnapped.

She takes on the role of mother to a little boy who needs loving when his mom and dad both decide to check out when things start getting too tough for them. Both of his parents only think about them themselves and not their own children and what they will be doing to them and their little hearts.

I have really loved reading The Last Legacy and can’t wait for the next season. I can’t wait to see if Lana and her little group will make it. What about Lana and Jim will they be an item? I loved all the characters or well most of them anyway. But if it were not for the characters you love to hate then you probably wouldn’t have a great book. I would love to see The Last Legacy on the big screen. I think Taylor Lavati is right there in league with Robert Kirkman and one day The Last Legacy will be at the top with The Walking Dead. Taylor Lavati is going places as they say.

If you have not read The Last Legacy and you love shows like The Walking Dead then you are going to love The Last Legacy. Pick up your copy today!

Connect with Taylor Lavati:

Book Blitz + #Giveaway: Nuclear Heat by J.L. White @XpressoTours

Nuclear Heat
J.L. White
(Firework Girls #4)
Publication date: June 28th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

They call us the Firework Girls.

I’m Sam. Let’s get one thing straight. Marriage is fine for some people, but it’s got nothing to do with me. If you knew the truth about my past, believe me, you’d understand.

But hey, I’m not complaining. I’ve got a good job. Great friends. And when I need a little something in the man department, well… I’ve never had any trouble getting that when I want it either.

Then Jack has to come along and screw it all up.

I never saw it coming. I mean, we’ve been friends for six years. Years. But in one moment… one gooseflesh-inducing, world tilting, alarming moment… it all starts to change.

Let me tell you something, the last thing in the world I wanted to do was freaking fall in love. But that Jack snuck right under my radar.

I’m not too happy about it either.

Not one damn bit.


(Jack’s POV)

When I first saw Sam in this hospital bed a couple days ago, I’d wanted to stroke her cheeks and kiss her forehead. She was so frail and sick. I wanted to comfort her. Now she’s starting to get her color back along with a little bit of her orneriness—a good sign—but I still have this pinched, panicked feeling in my chest. I don’t know why it won’t go away.
But now, as I look at her sleeping, that feeling starts to take on a life of its own.
Something warm is blooming in my heart and my chest. Meanwhile a strange, queasy sort of feeling grips my stomach. I don’t just want to pet her cheek and kiss her on the forehead. I want to pull her into my arms and cradle her head against my chest. I want to climb right into this bed and hold her against me, feeling her body against mine from head to toe. I want to kiss her on the forehead, and on her cheeks, and on her lips.
My heart is pounding. That warm feeling is flooding my chest, my arms, my face.
As I realize how badly I want to hold her and kiss her again and again, I feel the entire world flip over.
Oh, god.
Is this for real? Is this what I think it is?
I look down at her hand in mine. I want to kiss that too, press my lips against her hand until I make her mine.
I look back at Sam’s face and see her like I’ve never seen her before. My breath catches. My heartbeat is resonating in my chest. Her presence washes over me and envelopes me.
Holy god.
This little voice inside my brain is thinking, But, but, but… we’re friends. Just friends.
We may have been friends for a long, long time, but these feelings I’m having are brand freaking new.
At that moment Ashley comes in, giving me a quick smile before looking at Sam. “Oh, she looks so much better,” she says. She deposits her purse on the counter, flips her long braid behind her, and comes over to sit beside me. “Don’t you think?”
I’m barely breathing. Ashley’s looking at Sam, but I’m looking at Ashley. Maybe my brain is just playing tricks on me. I’m tired from practically no sleep and exhausted from being so freaked out about losing my best friend.
So I try it on Ashley. I try to see her the way a man might see her, a man who hasn’t looked at her for years like a sister. But as I continue to stare at her, all I manage to do is draw her attention and make her give me a quizzical look. My heart draws a blank.
I try to imagine kissing her and can’t do it. It’s kind of freaking me out, actually.
“What?” she asks.
My voice sounds funny. I look back to Sam and it all hits me again. Bam.
Oh, god.
Oh, god.
Oh, god.
Oh, god.
This can’t be good.

Author Bio:
J.L. White writes steamy romances featuring smart, sexy women and the swoon-worthy men who adore them. Her sexy love stories are full of passion but don't skimp on the tenderness. 

She's addicted to trendy coffee houses, poolside lounging, and HEAs. When not tapping blissfully away on her laptop, she takes time to enjoy life with her husband and their children. 

Don't miss a new release! Join the JL White mailing list for updates on new books, sales, and other goodies: 
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Book Blitz + #Giveaway: Rising Tides by Katy Hayes @katyhaye @yaboundtourspr

Cover Reveal: 5 Chances by B. Austin @MagicProse @XpressoTours

5 Chances
B. Austin
(Outcast, #2)
Publication date: September 13th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Ivory vows to find out more about what is going on at Dead Horse Bay but she wrecked the Renegade and must find a rogue replacement, a fixer-upper boat someone threw away a long time ago. Ivory is a Smuggler, a member of one of the Outcast underground groups of New York City.

Ivory is obsessed with saving Outcasts from vanishing from the Commonwealth of Earth. She has smuggled an Outcast out of Dead Horse Bay, but can she smuggle herself in to learn more about the secrets the Commonwealth is hiding?

Or perhaps the answers she and her friends seek are in Lockup, the dreaded insane asylum Outcasts are dragged to when they have accumulated 50 demerits. At Lockup is the Mortuary, a tunnel leading into darkness. All Ivory must do to be throw into Lockup is to act even more rebellious and gain the attention of Behavior Drones and the FRE (Fanatic Rule Enforcers).

Ivory will do whatever it takes to save herself and her friends from extinction in a world where people have become immortal, except for Outcasts, the thorn in the Commonwealth’s side.

5 Chances is the second book in the Outcast series.

Sequel to:

Author Bio:
Author B. Austin writes Dystopian and Science Fiction Books. She is the author of the Young Adult Dystopian series Defective. 


Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Last Great Race by Mark Morey @markmorey5 @GoddessFish

The Last Great Race
by Mark Morey
GENRE: Historical Fiction


This story is based around the life of one of the most fascinating and enigmatic sportsmen of his era, Achille Varzi: multiple race winner, twice Racing Champion of Italy and a hero to his many followers.  Told partly through the eyes of Varzi and partly by fictional Italian-Australian racing journalist Paul Bassi, we follow the many triumphs and tragedies of Varzi's life: his passionate love affair with Ilse, his tragic morphine addiction, his recovery from his addictions, his marriage to Norma and his re-signing to race for Alfa Romeo.

Only war intervenes, and Paul and his wife Pia leave Achille to spy for the British at the naval base in Naples.  Paul and Pia endure hundreds of Allied air-raids, they join the partisans who fought off the German army until the Allies could rescue them, and then they survive in a near-ruined city as best they can.

By 1946 Italy is still shattered but life is returning to normal, and no more normal is Achille Varzi winning the Grand Prix of Italy that year.  Over the next two seasons Achille Varzi scores more successes, until he makes his only ever driving mistake and is killed in Switzerland in 1948.  Even though he died too young, Paul and Pia know that Achille Varzi would never have lived in his life in any other way.


The porter nodded slowly.  “My name is Ludwig Broder and I was a journalist once.”

“What happened?”

“It’s the way of things.”

Paul wondered the way of what things, until he realised.  He looked around and nobody was close.  “Persecution?” Paul asked quietly.

Herr Broder nodded slowly.

“I’m sorry to hear about your misfortune, Herr Broder.”

“It was only a newspaper in Koblenz, but....”

Paul was sure that persecution would get worse.  “Should you leave?” Paul asked quietly.

“To where?  My family has lived in this region for more than four generations.”

“If you leave, one day you can come back when it’s better.”  Paul thought about options.  “You speak good English.  Go now, while you can.”

Herr Broder demurred.

“I was born and raised in Australia and I moved to Italy two years ago,” Paul said.  “Because I spoke Italian, Italy became my home.”

“Where are you staying Herr Bassi?”

“Hotel Ringhaus.  We can take our luggage; it’s not far.”

Her Broder nodded and Paul opened his wallet and took out a twenty mark note.  “Thank you for your trouble, Herr Broder.”

“Thank you,” Herr Broder said before placing the note in his pocket.

Paul picked up his case and bag and Pia, looking baffled, grabbed hers.

“One day it may be too late,” Paul said.  “Goodbye and good luck.”

“Enjoy your racing Herr Bassi.”

Paul headed towards the hotel with Pia alongside.

“Che cosa?” Pia asked.

“He’s Jewish,” Paul said in Italian.  “I told him to leave now, while he can.”

“People shouldn’t have to leave their country just because they’re Jewish.”

“If you were Jewish; what would you do?”

“I would leave.”

“He used to work for a newspaper, but as you know....”

“No public servants, no teachers, no writers, no academics, no journalists.”

“I’m sure it will get worse.”

Pia shrugged her shoulders and Paul wondered how much worse it could get.  But he was sure it would get worse.

Author Interview:

What inspired you to write The Last Great Race?

I have followed Formula One car racing since the early 1970s, and through that I was aware of the story of Achille Varzi, a good racing driver of the 1930s, until his private life got in the way of his racing career.  When I looked into the facts about Varzi I didn't realise that he was the best racer in a legendary era, certainly one of the best of all time, and that his love affair with Ilse was so passionate and ultimately so destructive.  I had a great story of passionate love, the tragedy that came out of it, and his recovery with the help of Norma.  Norma Colombo was a woman against the odds.  She lived with Achille Varzi unmarried when women didn't do that, and when Achille broke up with Ilse she came back to him.  One man and two women who adored him completely, totally and absolutely.

I had a story which in parts seemed too unbelievable to be true, but was true, and characters who seem larger than life but who really were like that.

When or at what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I have always liked reading good books, and one day about 10 years ago I went to the local library to borrow a book, but I couldn't find one. Particularly the books by male authors had stereotyped, cliche characters, the loner who eventually rights all wrongs but never finds love or companionship.  I thought I could do better than that, which became the inspiration for my first novel, The Red Sun Will Come.  I liked the characters in that story so I wrote a sequel Souls In Darkness, and by then I was thinking of my next story to tell.

What is the earliest age you remember reading your first book?

I can't remember exactly but it would have been pre-teen.

What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

I read all genres except fantasy or romance.

What is your favorite book?

I have several novels I have enjoyed very much but I don't have a particular favourite.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

My favourite author is Paulo Coelho who has a unique voice when telling stories, who's characters are always interesting, and who tackles themes not commonly used for fiction.

If you could travel back in time here on earth to any place or time. Where would you go and why?

I would stay where I am, born as I was in the late 1950s.  In my lifetime our society has made much progress on addressing inequality in particular, and I can't think of any other time which is so free and so egalitarian.  We have our problems like any time has had its problems, but I sense the mood is there to tackle these problems.

When writing a book do you find that writing comes easy for you or is it a difficult task?

Writing always comes easy for me, however like all authors I do get blocked from time to time. I take a long walk and by the time I get home I always have the answer.

Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

No pets, but I have two adult children, one who is still living at home with us

What is your "to die for" favorite food/foods to eat?

I am diabetic so I have to watch what I eat.  My favourite food is Italian, except pizza which we have destroyed.  But anything else Italian I like.

Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to be an author?

If you think you have a story to tell, then firstly you must read many novels by many different authors to get a feel for how stories should be told.  Once you do that then write the best story you think you can tell, and then get it professional to do a developmental edit.  Friends, family members and other authors can only go so far, while a professional will evaluate plot, characters, pacing, grammar, use of language and many other aspects.  This does cost but by then you will have a story worth selling and publicising.

One thing which works well is to make your writing as active-voiced as possible.  Many will write 'he was walking' where 'he walked' is much better, or 'he had been waiting' where 'he waited' is also better.  Cut out all those extraneous, small words and your writing will flow, and while readers won't exactly pick what it is, they will tell you that your story is easy to read.  They will read several pages in no time and be surprised by that.


Writing technical documentation and advertising material formed a large part of my career for many decades.  Writing a novel didn’t cross my mind until relatively recently, where the combination of too many years writing dry, technical documents and a visit to the local library where I couldn’t find a book that interested me led me consider a new pastime. Write a book. That book may never be published, but I felt my follow-up cross-cultural crime with romance hybrid set in Russia had more potential. So much so that I wrote a sequel that took those characters on a journey to a very dark place.

Once those books were published by Club Lighthouse and garnered good reviews I wrote in a very different place and time.  My two novels set in Victorian Britain were published by Wings ePress in July and August of 2014. These have been followed by a story set against the background of Australia's involvement on the Western Front, published in August 2015. Australia's contribution to the battles on the Western Front and to ultimate victory is a story not well known, but should be better known.

Staying within the realm of historical fiction, one of the most successful sportsmen of the 1930s, Achille Varzi, lived a dramatic and tumultuous life.  It is a wonder his story hasn't been told before, beyond non fiction written in Italian.  The Last Great Race follows the highs and lows of Varzi's motor racing career, and stays in fascist Italy during the dark days of World War Two.


$10 Amazon or B/N GC

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Book Blast + #Giveaway: Drop Dead Handsome by M.K. Scott @morgankwyatt @GoddessFish

Drop Dead Handsome
by M.K. Scott
GENRE: Cozy Mystery


The Painted Lady Inn is open for business and limping along in the B and B world. A high school reunion package assembles Donna’s least desirable classmates, including the backstabbing cheerleader, her narcissistic high school crush, and Arnie, whose cheesy poem had everyone calling her, hot mama. It’s all something she liked to forget. These are the normal guests.

An octogenarian self-proclaimed sleuth, Father Christmas, a dognapping couple, and a pair who is copying everything in the Inn to set up their own competitive establishment rounds out the group. Maria, the sister-in-law, has a matchmaking agenda for Donna. Daniel, her brother, finds himself serving as a referee with one guest’s multiple wives.

High school reunions can be murder. Detective Mark Taber is on the trail of the murderer, when he isn’t interfering in a smitten Arnie’s determined bid to woo the no nonsense innkeeper.


The last thing she needed was a one-star review about no elevator. As for the lack of an elevator, she got around it by designating the bedroom she used as a handicapped suite. There was a ramp to the side door, since there was no easy way to put one to the front door without making it an eyesore. She had explained to the inspector that it made a shorter distance between the parking lot and door. The inn wasn’t big enough for a person to become lost. All the public rooms were on the first floor, too. “Room C4 is on the top floor. I could change the rooms around where you wouldn’t have to trot up steps.”

Eunice boosted herself up onto one of the tall stools surrounding the island. “Could you?”

Donna gave her a forced smile as she considered what she’d have to offer Arnie to get him to move up to the top floor. “I’ll go take care of it. Maria could make you some tea.”

“That sounds lovely.” Eunice placed her hands in a prayer position as she spoke. “I’d love some little finger sandwiches. Haven’t had a bite to eat.”

“Sure.” She agreed, anxious to get the room switch done. Good chance she’d have to clean the room. A prolonged tea might do the trick.

“I can’t wait.” Eunice’s excitement fizzled as she asked with a plaintive expression, “Do you have any of those delicious looking scones or pastries featured on the website?”

The woman was determined to wiggle high tea out of her while she changed her room. “I’m sure Maria can find some for you.”

Her hand was on the door when Eunice asked, “Clotted cream?”

“Yes. Perhaps you’d be more comfortable in the dining room.”

The woman spun her stool to rest her hands on the island countertop. “No thank you, I prefer the kitchen, which is where everything happens.”


M. K. Scott is the husband and wife writing team behind The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries. Morgan K Wyatt is the general wordsmith, while her husband, Scott, is the grammar hammer and physics specialist. He uses his engineering skills to explain how fast a body falls when pushed over a cliff and various other felonious activities. The Internet and experts in the field provide forensic information, while the recipes and B and B details require a more hands on approach.  Morgan’s daughter who manages a hotel provides guest horror stories to fuel the plot lines. The couple’s dog, Chance, is the inspiration behind Jasper, Donna’s dog.  Murder Mansion is the first book in The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries. Overall, it is a fun series to create and read. Drop Dead Handsome is the second book in the series. Killer Review should be out in October 2016.

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Forthcoming on KOBO, iTunes & Barnes and Noble


$50 Amazon Gift Cards, $15 Target or Groupon Gift Cards and other GCs and books - Multiple winners

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

Cover Reveal: Aria & Ethan by Kad Rayan @yaboundtourspr

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Blog Tour: The Mermaid and the Treasure of the Bay (La Sirena #1) by A. Algeri @yaboundtourspr

The Mermaid and the Treasure of the Bay
(La Sirena #1)
by A. Algeri


"The Mermaid and the treasure of the Bay" is the first adventure of Brinn, a young woman who had recently returned to her homeland, Nyar Kaad, after years of being away.
For her mother and sister it’s only supposed to be an episodic stay, because their intention is to return to the capital, Adaria, held by both aristocrats, by then, to be their home. Brinn, however, isn’t interested in living in the golden cage of high society and aspires to a different existence, that will push her to oppose the decisions of her family and to pursue a destiny according to her own wishes.
The accidental discovery of what looks like a map to hidden treasure, buried in Nyar Kaad, according to tradition, by pirates once dwelling in the settlement, will push her to search for the hidden riches- an undertaking that the protagonist will face courageously, at the cost of challenging her fears, the rigid social conventions, and more literal dangers to her person, venturing on a journey into the local legends and the past of her own family, until reaching an unexpected epilogue.
Set to Isara, a fantasy world inspired by the period between the seventeenth and the first decades of the nineteenth centuries, "The Mermaid and the treasure of the Bay" is a journey full of mystery in the universe where real and supernatural coexist intersecting in a subtle and insidious way, a world divided between palaces and largely unexplored expanses, an opulent capital and boundless oceans.

"The Mermaid and the treasure of the Bay", is the first publication of
A. Algeri, the author of the novel. He began writing while he was a teenager, setting most of his stories in the world of Isara, a fantasy universe of his own creation, where Brinn, the main character of this adventure, is often the protagonist.


My return to the ocean shores was a wish that remained unchanged in me despite the natural succession of the years: I always refused to bury my dreams underneath my immediate needs, believed by other necessary or set them aside after giving up, coming to consider them impossible. I would never have accepted discovering one day that all my aspirations had been extinguished by an existence lost in a myriad of empty mundane gestures after being forced to turn down a path able to deaden forever the light that had illuminated my heart and to be destined to a dusty series of days one identical to the other. At that point I would have only been able to realize how much time had passed and what I had given up; I would have only been aware of an unfulfilled happiness in a past relegated to a far off time.
I wasn't willing to accept a similar future: returning to Nyar Kaad had always been my dream, jealously hidden in me, that I could see every time I closed my eyes- immobile and perfect, a moment frozen in the eternal and inconstant waves of time; the house on the sea, the very white sand, the waves that died on the shoreline, the breeze blowing off the sea every morning. And yet, as with every wish no matter how much I wished to go back to the bay and the ocean and hear its voice again with all my heart, this dream seemed to me, or least I believed so, destined to never happen.
With the passing of time my life changed. I grew up and my childhood, as with all things, came to an end. It was a slow and gradual transition marked by many little details: mom became progressively much stricter regarding the way I could behave, both at home and on the occasions in which I found myself in public. Not that my mother had even been tolerant, but it became practically an obligation to be unimpeachable in every moment. It became an obligation to follow her, growing up, to every socialite event which she believed appropriate to participate in, without mentioning the receptions from which being absent from would have been, at least according to my mother, a true crime.
Initially the occasions in which I would have been able to meet, even casually, a boy of the same age disappeared completely. Then after I turned sixteen my life became a continuous attendance of balls and receptions organized by our family and by those in the circle of people we knew.
My mother saw to it that I received appropriate instruction in dance, governing the servants and organizing the daily life in a manor, dinners and receptions in addition to the inevitable lessons in etiquette. Mom regularly gave Jennifer and me a list of rules and little rules, for the most part not written, that made any situation in which a noblewoman could find herself in the course of her public life a complex and particularly tedious social ritual. Because in Adaria any lady wishing to attend court more than a few times a year, the entire day was directed towards preparing herself for the inevitable appearances in the aristocratic world. It was a matter of an endless series of ceremonies and celebrations on a stage that deliberately ignored the daily reality lived in the rest of the Empire and the conditions of the majority of the subjects of the crown, even those only a few steps from the palace gates.
Most of the books I considered interesting from the history of Isara to its thinkers, from its sovereigns to its statesmen, from the cultures in the various imperial provinces to the nations beyond the boundaries, from sacred and profane art to the novels and poetry considered the classics of the national literature, I owed to my father who was convinced that I had all the right to be cultured, even if my mother, like most women with the means necessary to dedicate themselves to literature or study, believed without any doubts that a young lady shouldn't be too educated. And possibly not at all.
It was in fact a common opinion that excessively dedicating one's self to intellectual activities would cause a young lady to lose her sense of reality and would tend to forget as a consequence her proper position, inevitably ending up lost in some silly dream or desire for some adventure that would only compromise, generally irremediably, her reputation. Reputation, as if that word ever meant anything to me. It was only a gracious and deceptive term to describe what was no more or less than an eternal prison: unfortunately it was also the only criteria according by which a woman of the Empire was usually judged.
Even though my father, the Baron Aidan Fairland, generally agreed with my mother, he was convinced that the position of the wife ought to be slightly mitigated. He agreed with her about the unseemliness of a girl of marrying age undertaking a "serious" conversation at a reception, but in his opinion it didn't mean that a girl couldn't read as much as she wanted in private.
As one would expect, the majority of the writings regarding the history and society of Isara were thoroughly examined by the censors, most of all if it had to do with far away countries out of the sphere of influence of the Empire; moreover whatever philosophical or even narrative text that contested, even covertly, the Church of the One God not only couldn't be published but could even cause the author to be condemned to burn at the stake by the ecclesiastical courts in the case that their writings contained particularly radical ideas.
Until my father was with us, I enjoyed some freedoms, maybe illusionary, but still important to me since, if not anything else, my imagination and my desire to learn was never forced to be suffocated for convention.
My life was far from perfect, I had an unusual character and my nature wasn't easily adaptable to the life that ought to have been lead by someone of our status that was forced to aspire to court, but for years I had been able to carve out my happiness. Even though I wasn't particularly interested in the girls my age that talked about future boyfriends, parties and dresses, I could always close my eyes and imagine that I was in one of those far away places that I was so fascinated by and that I had read about so often in books.
Despite the many remote places that I had learned about the existence of by reading, the most precious continued always to be Nyar Kaad. My thoughts inevitably went to the aquamarine ocean waves on the shores where I was born.
Nevertheless nothing could remain static and unchanging in time, not even my little island of happiness that I had tried so hard to build. With the passing of time, day by day, unavoidably, it became eroded. If at first the society commitments were only something for which it was necessary to educate me, with the passing of years and the progressive insertion of our family into the aristocracy of the capital, all the preparatory frame that they anticipated became the main reason for my mom's life and as a result, for me and my sister. My father was however increasingly more often away for months, sometimes years having started to navigate for the Crown towards the still unexplored regions of the known world put on the edges of the map.
By then both my sister and I were young women and while I became bit by bit considered increasingly stranger and more eccentric as the other girls learned how to behave appropriately in society, she was assimilating perfectly into the circle of friends and acquaintances needed for a young lady of a noble family.
That life made of false courtesy and unending protocol, cornerstone of court and of whoever wished to be admitted to it, had become for me increasingly less tolerable. It simply wasn't an existence I intended to conduct. In reality not even all the imperial aristocracy equaled out the rank of nobles admitted to the palace and I simply wanted that which for generations had been the life of my ancestors. Maybe my ancestors never had more than a title and the estate of the Dawn's Light in Nyar Kaad but for me it would've been enough.
Not that a title alone was strictly necessary to take on an elevated social position: for several centuries the aristocracy, while still conserving notable ancestral privileges, didn't govern the Empire for the Crown anymore, substituting this role were the functionaries nominated by the chancellor's office or locally by the provincial government. Numerous imperial dignitaries obviously continued to belong to the nobility and often after a prestigious career they were given a title if they weren't the first born or if they already had a title they were elevated to a superior rank but only for a question of census and political status the public magistrates appeared often in an ancient lineage: just as many functionaries came from bourgeois families and if believed to be worthy enough, they generally became part of the aristocracy in virtue of service to the crown.
Even if duels were still relatively frequent for futile reasons and being that a great part of gentlemen, as in the past millennium, have been always ready to get themselves killed for absolutely frivolous reasons, like honor and the prestige of one's house or getting one's self involved in some questionable power game, the politics of the Empire, during my time, was in fact regulated by economic interests and by the most pragmatic reasons of state. There were in fact more than a few families of antique nobility, both in the capital and the provinces that had more prestige than wealth and whose means had been sensibly reduced in respect to a good part of the well to do merchant class.

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Review: End of Mercy (The Mercy Series #3) by C.C. Marks @CherieMarks

End of Mercy
The Mercy Series #3
by C.C. Marks
Published July 14th 2015
Genre: Dystopian, Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult


After a treacherous journey, Charlie is finally safe behind the walls of The Mercy Research Hospital. Yet, even as she’s relieved to be free of danger, things aren’t all they seem inside this secure world. Revelations about the research conducted in The Dead Forest and the role she played flips her world on its head and makes her question everything she knows as truth.

Once again, with much against her, Charlie must take action for Star, Thomas, and all those she’s come to care about in order to prevent the plan to wipe out everything…and everyone…remaining in the forest. And even as Charlie allows herself to relax, she meets Dr. Drake, the medical researcher who insists she’s creating a better world. Of course, once you’ve fought off Draghoul and all the stuff of nightmares, a doctor with unclear motives is just one more challenge to meet.


Other Books in the Series:
Read my Review of Edge of Mercy

Read my Review of Heart of Mercy

Read my Review of Mercy

Read my Review of Range of Mercy


As we walked freely down the open road, I realized I’d forgotten the crisp smell of cold air and the security of sunshine on the top of your head. Being outside without worrying about running for your life was beyond fantastic, and I couldn’t erase the smile from my face as we walked in a small group together. Nervous energy filled my abdomen at the thought of no shelter once night began to fall, but in the fading light, we walked on.

As we traveled along the two-lane, paved road, we passed several houses. All seemed completely abandoned. A large, faded-red barn loomed ahead as I took everything in. The closer we walked toward the barn though, the stranger its appearance became.

The road veered to the left away from the barn in a field to the right. The rest of the group walked on, but I stopped and stared. A message had been painted onto the side facing the road, and my mouth dropped.


The words were clear and the message unmistakable. Who had painted it? And why didn’t the others even pay attention to it? They passed by it like they’d done it a thousand times, and it no longer meant anything to them.

“Charlie, you coming?” Ben stood in the middle of the road, looking back at me.

With a slow jog, I caught up to him but threw another glance over my shoulder before keeping stride with him.

“What’s that about?” “What’s what about?” Such an evasive answer. He didn’t even look back.

I pointed to the area now behind us. “Um... the warning on the side of that barn.”

We’d caught up to the rest of the group by then. “Didn’t you know? Mercy’s a dangerous place. Better go somewhere else.” Tyson laughed as he met my gaze. “It was a well-executed public relations plan to keep people away. Too many people kept showing up at the hospital’s doorstep for help. Can’t help them all, so a few people went out and tried to find a way to keep people from coming any further.”

I glanced around the group. Everyone but Ben nodded. His jaw tightened noticeably as he avoided looking at anyone, and I got the feeling he knew something the others didn’t.

Rachelle added, “There’s another one up here that says, ‘Your children will be taken!’”

It did sound like scare tactics, but I still thought Ben was avoiding the subject for some reason. He knew something about the messages that he wasn’t sharing with the group. I was sure of it, but I just nodded and walked on.

Sure enough, we turned the next curve and another barn loomed beside the road. The words Rachelle said would be there were, but I couldn’t believe the sense of dread seeing the words gave me. When I thought back to the population of Mercy, it occurred to me that there were very few adults. Though there certainly were a handful of adults, they were young, maybe in their twenties but barely out of their teens. Much of the population were children. I’d thought it was odd but figured many of their parents had been lost to the Dead Forest. What if something else entirely were going on?

My Review:

Charlie Little and her baby sister Star have finally made it to the safety of Mercy Research Facility. When Charlie finally steps foot in the halls of Mercy she believes that she will now find the answers to all of her questions and she does have a lot. She soon learns that the answers that she has been seeking for so long just might not becoming her way after all or will they? It would seem that Mercy may not be the place Charlie thought it was. There is just something that is slightly off about the place. You know something that is just not quite right. Whatever it Charlie is just the person to find out. When Charlie sets her head to do something she usually does it.

Dr. Drake is just the person to give her all the answers she is wants but Dr. Drake is not one to spill all of her secrets at once. She will only give as much information as is needed at the time or as much is needed to get someone to do what she requires of them. The answers she has for Charlie though are probably not want Charlie has been looking for after all. But they are the only answers there is. Charlie has survived The Dead Forest and the Draghoul among other things so one more obstacle in her way is not going to stop her from keeping Star and all of her friends back at the Community safe. Charlie will do whatever it takes to keep Star safe and find her way back to Thomas.

Thomas has known since the beginning that Charlie was not a boy but he has kept her secret all this time. Thomas, Peter and the rest of the people at the Community have run into a little trouble of their own. Someone in the Community is trying to sabotage them and put them all in danger and without a safe place to live. But Thomas is not going to let anyone else die if it is in his power to stop it. Thomas must find a way to get everyone out and find a safe place for them before it is too late. After saving everyone at the Community Thomas has plans to go find Charlie and Star so they can be together again. Thomas also has no intentions of letting anyone else on his watch die. He is determined to find out who is sabotaging them and put a stop to all of their shenanigans.

I have read all of the books in The Mercy Series and loved them all. I love the new twist that Cherie has put on what we would probably call zombies or undead but what she calls the Draghoul. Draghoul are people that have changed with claw fingernails and razor sharp teeth. A bit or a scratch will change a human into one of these monsters. I have enjoyed following along with Charlie, Thomas, Peter, Star and all of the other characters fighting and just trying to survive in a world that has been overcome by Draghoul or undead. Each of the characters has a story of their own and loved ones that they have lost in one way or another. They all have had their own heartache. I can’t wait to read more of Charlie, Star and Thomas’ journeys and following along with them wherever they end up.

If you have not read End of Mercy then I strongly recommend that you do. Warning it may keep you up at night. Not because it will scare the living daylights out of you but of course it might. No not that no but because you won’t be able to put it down. But I do suggest that you read book #1 Edge of Mercy first and then go on to the second book. Oh and don’t forget about the book that started it all the short story Mercy. There is also a shot story Range of Mercy from Thomas’ pov you will want to check out as well.


It all started with an old fashioned typewriter. When my family brought it home, I knew what I wanted to do. All those stories rolling around in my head could finally get out. The press and click of the keys were satisfying in their own right, but when I pulled out a finished page, I knew this was for me. Since then, I’ve graduated to a laptop, but the stories still find a way out.

I’m a breast cancer survivor, a teacher, a wife, a mother, and from the very beginning—a storyteller. Always a hint humorous and honest to a fault, I love to make people laugh, smile, and have “a-ha” moments. My goal in life is to achieve tact and stop procrastinating. The battle wages on.