Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The End of The Road

The time has come. I didn't think it would come so soon, but somehow it did. My book blogging time is up. It's not fun any more, the drive is gone.

I apologize to every author that has sent me his or her book for review that I hadn't come to yet. I will keep reading and probably keep reviewing, but only through my Goodreads account. I will come to your book sometime, and I would like to thank you all for sending your books, I really appreciate it.

Nyx Book Reviews will stay online for at least a few more months, so the interviews I have done and guest posts I've had can still be read, but there won't be any new posts on here.

A big thank you for everyone that has followed me and read my posts. I hope to see you around, be it Twitter, Goodreads or your blogs.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Sunday Stew #9

Around the Web:

Last weekend I went to the festival called Pinkpop, where I got to see some terribly AWESOME bands.

The act that concluded the weekend were the Foo Fighters. Of all closing acts (Coldplay, Kings of Leon) I thought the Foo Fighters had the best performance. And it's always fun to see front singer Dave Grohl bouncing behind his microphone.

One band I was quite looking forward to were the Kaiser Chiefs, but I was a bit disappointed. They opened with a song from their new album, which isn't that successful here in the Netherlands. Musically they were perfect, but they didn't manage to get the audience to join in.

One of the best bands I've seen on Pinkpop was definitely Alter Bridge. The high notes lead singer Myles Kennedy can reach are almost inhuman, and their guitarwork is absolutely flawless. What made it also very cool is that I was standing second row during their concert.

The band I enjoyed most was Avenged Sevenfold, hands down. I waited three hours just to stand front row at their performance, and it was absolutely worth it. Not only did they have beautiful solos and catchy riffs, they had some impressive pyrotechnics going on. There were pillars of fire on the stage, and the gates spelling out A7X started to burn throughout the concert. It was good to see them with their new drummer, after the old one passed away. Even though he looks fairly young to be in the band, he is quite talented, and I hope that they will stick with this one. And last but not least, I got a guitar pick from lead guitarist Synyster Gates, and everyone knows he's the awesome guitarist!

Around Me:

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Review: The Apothecary by Samantha Jillian Bayarr

The Apothecary by Samantha Jillian Bayarr
3 out of 5 stars

Published by Livingston Hall Publishers
Review copy received by the author

I accepted this because of the blurb, and the quite professional looking cover. I was expecting a nice paranormal-historical mix with a bit of romance to bind the thing together. What I got was a mix that needed a lot more stirring.

When Claire discovers that she is the heiress of a big property, she finds out the girl from her dreams used to live here once. Is she going crazy, or is there more going on here?

I really liked Claire's voice, and her friendship with best friend Emily. The spooky-little-girl-in-your-dreams concept might not be very new any more, but I still enjoy a good ghost story. Unluckily, this story didn't get its cold-shivers moments from the ghost plot, but of the crazily irresponsible choices Claire makes.

I'm going to rant & spoil a little bit in this part. I've warned you.

How in earth can a woman marry a man that she has met two days ago? And even better, adopt a kid with him, the day after? I have asked the author about Claire's personality, and she told me she had to make her impulsive to make it believable that she would actually enter a haunted house. I agree, I think it's good the author thought of this. But oh my... this goes far beyond impulsive. This is completely insane. Who wants to commit oneself for a lifetime with a guy who might as well be a mafia-boss and a kid to complete the instant family? Really, things like this make me scared. I can imagine divorce rates are so high in the US if everyone has this mindset...

End of little rant. Completely organised thoughts coming up.

I think this book would have been a lot better if Ms Bayarr had picked up her story, thrown it in a mixer, and let it whirr for a long, long time. It has great elements, but it has such a clear structure that in the whole middle part of the book, there isn't even talk about the ghost. It goes a bit like this: introduction with the spooky ones, romance, romance, romance, put spooky ones to rest. I would have liked the romance spread out over the entire story a lot better. Now romance is the focus point of the whole middle part, taking the speed out of the ghost story. And don't get me started on the so-called "romance" again. I've been there already.

The Apothecary has everything a story needs, it has a likeable narrator (when she's not off doing something irresponsible), it has some cozy mystery. It took Claire a little while to understand what really happened at the manor, but I liked how everything was wrapped up. If you have nothing to read on a rainy day, I would certainly recommend this, just with a slight warning.


When Claire Mayfield suddenly finds herself the new heir of a property that has lain vacant for over one hundred years, she becomes leery of the rumors of the hauntings from the three young children who were said to have been murdered there. As Claire explores the manor, she discovers her great uncle, Dr. Blackwell's apothecary and traveling medicine show from the late 1800's, and even stumbles upon clues that could help her solve her ancestor's one hundred-year-old murder-mystery—all with a little help from a young girl who has been dead for over one hundred years.

More links

Friday, 17 June 2011

Blog Tour: Raven's Kiss by Toni LoTempio (Interview)

I would like to welcome Toni on Nyx Book Reviews! She's the writer of paranomal romance Raven's Kiss. She has been so kind to answer my questions. This tour is part of The Bookish Snob Promotions. Click the banner to find more blogs participating!

Nyx Book Reviews: Hi Toni, welcome to Nyx Book Reviews! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Toni: Sure. Well, I’ve been writing off and on since I was twelve :) More off than on, unfortunately. In 1995, I joined the staff of SUSABELLA PASSENGERS AND FRIENDS, where I have been a staff reporter for over 10 years. In January, I joined the staff of NIGHT OWL REVIEWS as the suspense reviewer/columnist. My column, DARK STREETS, is featured on a monthly basis.

In 2007, Whiskey Creek Press published BOUND BY BLOOD, a tale of possession, and EBONY, which deals with zombies and the dark side of man. I have several other titles published by WCP, and Echelon Press published WITCH’S PAWN in 2008. In 2010 I self published NO REST FOR THE WICCA, which made Amazon’s list of top one hundred in Occult in March 2011, and my short story, THE SACRIFICE, appears in the e-published anthology KISS ME KILL ME. My latest, RAVEN’S KISS, debuted in April of this year.

I enjoy writing in the paranormal genre, but I can also write contemporary romance/mystery as well. Most of my writing is done on the weekends as I work full time and live in Clifton, NJ, with my muses: Rocco, Maxx, Gata and Trixie. Rocco is also known as Rocco the SciFi Blogging Cat and has appeared on the SciFi Saturday Night website and radio show, and also on the Kids Need To Read website where he holds the distinction of being the first (and possibly only!) blogging cat to support this charity.

Could you describe your book, Raven’s Kiss, in one sentence?

Hot Shapeshifter travels through parallel time in search of the demon who cursed her and becomes involved with a hotter than hot Scotsman.

When and why did you decide to become a writer?

I don’t know as anything actually inspired me, or if it was even a conscious decision. it was sort of a natural progression. My mother taught me to read when I was three, and growing up I loved comics – Superman, Batman, etc. If I didn’t like the way a story ended I’d just rewrite it LOL.

Where do you find your inspiration for your novels?

I get inspiration in the oddest places sometimes. :) It can come from the name of a street, sometimes someone will say a catchy phrase and I’ll build a story around it. And one book, a YA fantasy I wrote, got its name and the inspiration for the character from the side of a garbage truck.

Can you still find time to read yourself? If so, what books did you enjoy in particular?

Oh I always make time to read. I believe you have to be an avid reader in order to be a good writer. I tend to gravitate toward mystery and suspense, and I love books by James Patterson, Tess Gerritson and Alex Kava, as well as cozies by Rita Mae Brown and EJ Copperman. On the paranormal side I LOVE LOVE LOVE Michelle Rowan. I worship at her altar.

What are your plans for the future? Any more books coming up?

I’m currently working on two – no, wait – three other books I hope will become series, and since I’ve recently acquired an agent they will have to go through him first (the traditional pub route). On the indie side, I’m also working on two novellas which will be sequels to Raven’s Kiss and No Rest for theWicca, which I hope to release around the holidays. I still havent’ decided if I’ll release them seperately or as one book. I’ve also got a YA with a Dark Shadows tie-in planned for release next April.

Thank you for answering my questions! (:

And thank you for having me on your blog! I so enjoyed this chance to connect with readers, and I hope you all enjoy the book!

Official Book Blurb

Raven Grace was a college senior with ambitions of a career in law enforcement when she met the demon Aega, whose bite turned her from mortal to Shapeshifter. Now a member of the Recovery Organization, Raven keeps the peace between humans and errant Hellhounds, trolls, wizards and the like while trying to track down Aega and bring him to justice. After a particularly dicey encounter one night with a Hellhound, she goes to the aid of a girl who’s been attacked and near death—and is amazed to find Aega’s bite mark on the girl’s arm. Determined to get to the bottom of this, she revisits the victim’s apartment and there discovers her closet is a portal to a parallel universe, where people she knows lead vastly different lives. 

She also gets a glimpse of the Recovery Captain there—a six foot, redheaded Scotsman named Finn McPhee, whose sexy accent and even sexier bod sets her senses aflame. Seeking answers, Finn takes Raven to the magickal underworld, where an ancient fae informs them the demon’s quest is rooted in Scottish mythology and magick. As they delve deeper into legend, the truth comes to light—Aega is only a pawn, subservient to another, darker demon…a being who knows the truth about Raven’s heritage, and who orchestrated her return to this parallel universe for the ultimate showdown. Now, Finn and Raven find their passion for one another must take a backseat to Raven’s battle with a dark force who won’t be satisfied until he’s claimed her soul for his very own…

Buy This Book

Visit the next stop: The Great, The Good And The Bad

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Review: The Demon Kiss by Lacey Weatherford

The Demon Kiss by Lacey Weatherford
(Of Witches & Warlocks #2)
4.5 out of 5 stars

Published by Global Authors Publishers
254 pages
Received a review copy from the author
This review may contain spoilers for the previous books in the series

The sequel to the romantic The Trouble With Spells, The Demon Kiss gives us a lot more suspense.

We come back to Portia and Vance after Vance is turned into a half-demon, and Portia is left behind while Vance goes on a search for his evil father.

What I really appreciate in these books is that Ms Weatherford doesn't keep you waiting for the action until the very end. There is enough going on throughout the book to keep you entertained. There were a lot of moments in the book that made me giggle, which is always a very good sign.

The most significant change in the series is that the focus of the story is shifting a bit from the romance between our main characters, to some more action and plot. Trust me, there is still more than enough romance to satisfy your fix of Vance, but it's nice to read some more about his father and learn more about the demon lore.

There is a little bit less magic in The Demon Kiss, but I still love the fact that it all feels so natural. The descriptions make it feel like a second nature of the characters, and not something the author forced on them. It was also nice to see Portia's friends getting some minor powers of their own. I hope to see more of them in the third book of the series.

The relationship between Portia and Vance is clearly more mature now, and I'm very glad for that. They're still deeply in love, but they now realise that there will always be disagreements within a relationship. It was interesting to see them deal with their problems.

Overall The Demon Kiss is a really nice sequel for The Trouble With Spells. It has the same atmosphere as its predecessor, but a bit more mature and with an exciting plot to keep you urging to read on.


Can someone else's past come back to bite you?

After being drained of nearly all the blood in her body, novice witch, Portia Mullins, wakes up to find that her warlock boyfriend, Vance Mangum, has fled in search of his demon father. Determined to keep him from facing the evil alone Portia follows after him, unknowingly setting herself on the path of a new adventure that will take her, Vance, and their coven over international borders, into a foreign place where they will discover that the black magic which awaits them is far worse than they ever imagined. Portia finds herself tangled up in a web of lies and deceit in another's quest for demonic power in the excitingly romantic second paranormal novel in the Of Witches and Warlocks Series, The Demon Kiss.

Other reviews you might be interested in
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Giveaway Winner (A Season Of Transformation)

And the winner of A Season Of Transformation (by Jayne Fordham) is...


Congrats! I have sent your email address to the author.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Review: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
(Black Dagger Brotherhood #1)
5 out of 5 stars

Published by Signet Eclipse
416 pages

Black Dagger Brotherhood, where have you been all my life?!

When Beth suddenly finds a leather-clad mountain of a man in her apartment, her life takes an unexpected twist. He tells her she is the daughter of a vampire warrior, and will change into a vampire herself. He is the leader of a band of brothers, The Black Dagger Brotherhood, that protects civilian vampires from extinction. Should she believe him?

Dark Lover takes some time to get in to. The point of view shifts repeatedly from Beth, to Wrath, to the Lessers (the bad guys). This made it harder to connect with the main characters. There are also a lot of brothers to get to know; and with names like Phury and Vishous, I had a hard time telling them all apart. I did appreciate their different appearances and personalities, making it easier to remember which one is who.

When the romance started building, I instantly became hooked and couldn't put this book down any more. J.R. Ward's writing is so awesome. She is one of the first authors that make me actually believe that the main characters truly love each other. Not mere lust, but that they will do anything for the other. And I have a huge soft spot for the big bad-ass guy in leather pants that on the inside is loving and protective and so incredibly cute. He made me go "aawwww" all the time, which is quite an achievement.

The lessers point of view didn't interest me that much, but their story gave the book some action and made sure Dark Lover isn't only about the lover part. I loved how the brothers fight, with each their own technique and style.

I can't wait to read more from this series, and get to know the other brothers some more. I really loved Thorment because he's actually a nice guy. Phury is pretty interesting, and so is Rhage. I'm curious to see which one of the brothers will find his true love in the next book in the series, Eternal Lover.


In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

More links

Friday, 10 June 2011

Follow Friday #21

 Hosted by Parajunkee
This week's feature: Nicki J Markus @ Nicki J Markus

Weekly Question:
The magic book fairy pops out of your cereal box and says "You and your favourite character (from a book of course) can switch places!" Who are you going to switch with?

Eek, I hate these hard questions! I guess I would probably want to switch with Rachel Morgan of the Hollows series (by Kim Harrison). It's a contemporary setting where paranormals are out of the "closet". I don't think I could live in a historical romance, without any electricity!

Leave a comment so I can return the visit!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Giveaway Winner (Accidental Abduction)

And the winner of Accidental Abduction (by Eve Langlais) is...

Sharon C!

From Obsession With Books! Congrats (: I have sent your email address to the author.

Blog Tour: A Season Of Transformation (Giveaway & Book Excerpt)

I would like to welcome author Jayne Fordham with her book, A Season Of Transformation! She has been so kind to share an excerpt of her book, and to give away one copy to a lucky reader of Nyx Book Reviews.

Chapter 3- Makenna’s Emerging Abilities

The morning approaches too quickly. I groan and slam my hand on the alarm clock. Is it just me or did the buzzer turn off a split second before I hit the off button? Okay no more crazy thinking Makenna! Today I am going to return to living a normal life. No more odd forces, old boxes or contemplating strange things happening in my room.
I can’t count how many times I have yawned by the time I enter the kitchen of the main house. I shouldn’t have stayed up so late last night. At least I only have to get through one more day of school, before the weekend starts. Oh how I love Fridays. I think about what I might do with myself over the weekend as I open the pantry doors in search of the cereal.
I scan the containers stacked side by side in matching Tupperware containers. Cornflakes, Weet-bix or Coco Pops? I think I’ll go with Cornflakes today- something reasonably healthy after the whole packet of fairy floss that I shared with Tamsin and Aliysha last night. Before I reach up to grab the container I stifle a yawn and rub my eyes and try to open them up real wide to help me feel more awake.
I scream and jump backwards when my eyes re-focus. The Cornflakes are hovering outside the cupboard… in mid air. My eyes widen.
How could this be happening? Am I that deliriously tired?
“What’s the matter hun?” My mother asks with concern as she enters the kitchen behind me.
My body tenses up as I am startled even more by my mother’s voice and the possibility of her witnessing this unnatural experience. I quickly reach up and grab the container out of the air before my mother can see.
I peer at my mother from around the pantry door; her eyebrows are furrowed down, her eyes peering at me curiously.
“Uhh. I thought I saw a spider,” I stammer.
“Oh. False alarm then huh,” she smiles.
“Yeah I guess so,” I smile back weakly.
My mother is dressed in her usual professional attire. She wears a black pin stripe pencil skirt with a matching vest. Underneath she is wearing a teal button up shirt which brings out her blue eyes and is a nice contrast against her honey blonde hair. Although she is in her early forties she could easily pass for a woman in her early thirties. She is often asked by strangers if she had me when she was a teenager. She politely explains to them that she is older than she looks. I secretly admire her and hope that I take as much pride in my looks when I get older as she does.
“Well how was the carnival last night?” She asks chirpily.
I try to avoid further eye contact with her as I pour the cereal into a bowl.
“It was fun.”.
“Oh that’s good hun.”
I nod, shovelling cereal into my mouth in an attempt to finish it as soon as possible so I can leave.
“So what are your plans for the weekend then?” Mum asks, trying her hardest to engage me in conversation.
“Um not sure yet mum. Might hang out with Tamsin and Aliysha tonight. Haven’t really thought about what I’m doing over the weekend yet.”
“Okay well just so you know I will be working tomorrow. Tonight I have a dinner on with the partners so I won’t be back until late.”
“Okay no problem.”
“Have a good day,” mum says as she plants a kiss on my forehead and leaves the kitchen.
A good day. Well it wasn’t quite starting off that way. I can only hope that once I get to class I can forget all about the cereal container floating in mid air in the centre of my mother’s kitchen.

Official Book Blurb

A Season of Transformation is a young adult fantasy/ romance novel set in the contemporary world. It is the story of five young people drawn together to complete a Quest, to protect their town from destruction. In order to defeat the story’s villain, Maxvale, the five virtual strangers must come together and not only forge a bond of trust but become proficient with the ‘abilities’ temporarily bestowed upon them.

In the midst of the lead up to the battle each of the young people has their own personal struggles they are trying to deal with. Lucas, an adopted and bitter teenager struggles to become the person he wants to be whilst developing feelings for Makenna, a rich kid who doesn’t like his attitude. Bonnie is a ‘gothic’ that is dealing with an alcoholic father, Ben the school nerd and Adam the class clown are trying to break free from their high school stereotypes. These five teens need to put aside their differences so they can defeat Maxvale and save their town.

Author Bio

Jayne Fordham is a psychologist, freelance writer and debut author of A Season of Transformation. She resides in South-West Sydney with her boyfriend and loveable cocker spaniel, Buddy.

Buy This Book

Giveaway of one ebook copy of A Season Of Transformation (International)

Fill in the form to enter!
This giveaway will run until June 16th.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

I won't be online today, as it's my birthday! I'm going to have dinner with my family and boyfriend, and hopefully be getting some awesome gifts!

I'll see you all again tomorrow, one year older and (not) much wiser.

Short Review: Foreplay by Jill Myles

Foreplay by Jill Myles
(Succubus Diaries #0)
4 out of 5 stars

Short story

This prequel to the Succubus Diaries series was a pleasant surprise for me. Foreplay can easily be read within half an hour, but has enough story in it to make you curious for the rest of the books.

We meet geeky Jackie Brighton when she hears her dream-job is about to be filled by a woman way less qualified than her. We get a glimpse of her personality, and I found her voice very entertaining.

What struck me the most about this short is that even though it has a rather dubious name and what looks like a naked girl on the front, this was not just a chance for the author to show off her sex-scene writing skills. There is some sexual tension, but nothing graphic or shocking. This story's main mission is to introduce you to the main character, Jackie, and the mess she's got herself into.

I really enjoyed this short, and would love to read more from this author.


How did Jackie Brighton get turned into a succubus? She can’t remember – all she knows is that she woke up in a Dumpster. This short story tells the tale of that night, and sheds a little light on her masters’ motivations...

More links

Monday, 6 June 2011

Giveaway Winner (Hedgeland)

And the winner of Hedgeland (by Ann Nyland) is...


Congrats (again)! I have sent your email address to the author.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Sunday Stew #8

Around the Web:

Upcoming Saterday through Monday I'll be standing on a big field with 40,000 other people, enjoying the awesome music of the Foo Fighters, Coldplay, 30 Seconds to Mars and other great bands! From the air it looks somewhat like this:

And with this festival called "Pinkpop" come these characteristic pink hats (of which I have accumulated about 3 throughout the years):

I really can't wait (:

Around Me:

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Giveaway Winner (Daughter of Deception)

And the winner of the Daughter of Deception (by Kara Thorpe) is...


Congrats! I have send your email address to the author.

Review: The Fury by L.J. Smith

The Fury by L.J. Smith
(The Vampire Diaries #3)
4 out of 5 stars

Published by HarperCollins
256 pages
This review may contain spoilers for the previous books in the series

Hurray, Elena has finally join the ranks of the undead! And with this she completely loses her awful personality, and gains one that doesn't make you want to slap her. I'm finally liking this series.

The Fury finally has an interesting plot that doesn't involve petty high-school schemes. For those who haven't read this book I can't tell much about it, but there is a nice surprise in this book, that I didn't see coming. A "force" that has been around for about two books finally gets revealed, making for an exciting read with a real story arch.

I even didn't find the love triangle between Elena, Damon and Stefan so annoying any more, because Damon actually shows a bit of his good side in this one. It isn't just bad-boy sexiness that attracts Elena to him, but at vulnerable moments he is being a nice guy. He gets some more personality, showing different sides of himself. This also means that there is less focus on Stefan though, and he is more one-dimensional in this book. Being a total Damon fan myself, this didn't bother me at all. I can imagine though that the team Stefan members will be a bit annoyed with where the story is heading.

This book reads like it's from a completely different series. Elena shows not only compassion, but also a small tad of heroism, and maybe even intelligence. She finally understands being popular is one of her least problems right now, and being Prom Queen even less. Being a vampire has humbled her, and made her a very likeable person and enjoyable character.

I almost feel at loss of words here. About every problem I had with the previous books in the series, is solved now. And here was I expecting to continue my VPD-rant. After reading The Fury, I'm contemplating whether I should watch the TV adaptation. I would love to see what they'd do with this book.


Love can kill.

Elena: with Damon at her side, and wild with her craving for blood, the changed Elena struggles to control her desires.

Damon: his hunger for the golden girl wars with his hunger for revenge against Stefan.

Stefan: tormented after losing Elena, he will do anything to get her back. Even if it means becoming what he once despised. . . .

Getting what they want may come at a deadly cost.

Other reviews you might be interested in

Friday, 3 June 2011

Review: Like Clockwork by Bonnie Dee

Like Clockwork by Bonnie Dee
4 out of 5 stars

Published by Carina Press
137 pages

This is the first book I have read on my shiny new Kindle! Yay!

Okay, on topic now. I picked this novella up because it was available for free for a while, and I quite liked the cover. I'm still new to the steampunk genre, but so far the steampunk books I read were pretty awesome, so I started this book full of good hope.

In Like Clockwork, the automatons are taking over the jobs of the lower classes, resulting in massive unemployment. Victoria, the inventor of the synthetic skin that makes the automatons look so human, finds herself kidnapped by an organisation called The Brotherhood, a group that is determined to give all jobs back to humans. What her kidnapper didn't know is that Victoria regrets her own invention too...

I wasn't disappointed. This was a fun quick read, and as it's not a full length novel, I wasn't expecting a full length plot either. In a novel there could have been more attention to the background of the story, and the surroundings in which our main characters live, but with the glimpse we get of this world, I was quite satisfied. There are basically three plot lines, that all three tie up nicely by the end of the book.

What I didn't really get was the whole kidnapped falling in love with the kidnapper. It was explained properly throughout the book, but still I would be pretty upset with someone that drugged me and than carried me into an underground chamber. Doesn't seem romantic to me.

I really liked the characters, especially Victoria. I guess that could be my feminist side cheering for the female scientist in a male dominated field. But I also thought her to be very brave to not be stopped by the difference in social standing between her and her true love. Particularly in a time like the Victorian era, where appearance is more important than anything else.

This book has gotten so many bad reviews, but I couldn't find any obvious flaws in its story. I would love to see this author write a full length novel in this same world; I'd definitely read that.


Victoria's work with automatons has gained her renown and changed the face of London. But her concern that the clockworks are taking too many jobs away from humans, creating social unrest, is ignored. Given the ugly mood of the underclass, she fears more outbreaks of violence similar to the murder spree of the notorious Southwark Slasher.

Dash, unemployed thanks to the clockworks, has pledged fealty to The Brotherhood, a group determined to bring about the downfall of the automatons by any means necessary. His plan to kidnap Victoria goes awry when the unorthodox scientist pledges her assistance to their cause.

Despite their opposite social classes, a bond grows between them, and Victoria begins to feel emotions she never expected for the passionate Dash. But when the Slasher strikes close to home, Dash and Victoria realize that the boundaries of polite society are far from the only threat to their happiness...

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Books I Love: Sword & Sorcery Fantasy

Books I Love is a weekly feature hosted by Nyx Book Reviews where a guest blogger can gush about his or her favourite genre of choice. 
This week's Books I Love guest blogger:

Sabine about Sword & Sorcery!

Fantasy has many sub-genres, such as epic, high, low, sword and sorcery, urban, etc. Sword and Sorcery is one of my favorite genres in fantasy. If you have read Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane (1970) novels, then you know what I am talking about. I also think Terry Brooks’s The Sword of Shannara (1977) series is more of sword and sorcery than epic fantasy as it is normally classified.

The main difference between epic and sword and sorcery is the scale on which the story is set. Epic fantasy has a larger than life hero who fights for the survival of his world. There are grand battles and there are many other characters who play vital roles in order to bring about the victory for the hero. Since the story is set on a big scale, it usually becomes a trilogy or a series and in the end, the hero saves the world from destruction. Sword and Sorcery might have a hero who saves the world but the story usually starts with the hero’s quest for personal gain or motive. The overall scope of the story remains centered around the main character and the adventures he has.

Sword and Sorcery has two key elements: sword, that is a magical talisman or weapon and sorcery, that is magic.

Let’s talk about sorcery. The use of magic involves creating a magical system and rules. Without that, a writer will simply end up blundering in the dark. A good sword and sorcery fantasy book requires a well-developed magic system with limits. You cannot have a sorcerer doing everything possible with a simple shake of his hands. Magic needs to have boundaries so that sorcerers are not invincible. Instead, they are vulnerable and mortal. They can be injured or killed. They make mistakes and live ordinary lives but do extraordinary things.

Sword is the magical weapon. It doesn’t have to be a literal sword. It can be a stone, a dagger…or anything that grants its user special powers. Usually the hero (or heroine) will have to first acquire this sword, then learn to master it and finally wield in an epic battle that will decide the fate of humanity. In some cases, the hero actually makes or creates this magical weapon or it is created for him by his companions or some other person in the story.

I like the fact that Sword and sorcery fantasy does not always have to be about good versus evil. It can stem from the hero’s desire to avenge his family or for some other personal reason…but it does usually end up being about good versus evil and sometimes the hero is the reluctant protagonist dreading every step to the final battle. It does not make the hero weak. Instead it makes him stronger because he is doing something for others even though he personally does not want to do it.

My fondness for Sword and Sorcery stories stems from the fact that there is usually a lot of action, a fast-paced plot, characters who are forced to undergo intense changes in their lives and need to achieve extraordinary goals.

I would like to thank Sabine for her clear explanation of the Sword & Sorcery genre!
(don't forget to leave her a comment and to visit her blog)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Blog Tour: Hard Day's Knight by John G. Hartness (Interview)

The very awesome John G. Hartness is stopping by at Nyx Book Reviews again, this time answering my questions! This blog tour is part of The Bookish Snob Promotions. Click the banner to find more blogs participating in this tour!

Nyx Book Reviews: Can you describe your book in one sentence?

John: Non-sparkly snarky vampire detectives try to save the world and get the girl.

How did you come up with your less than average main characters?

I drink a lot. Not really. Okay, I do really drink a lot, but that’s not where I came up with my characters. I was reading Laurell Hamilton’s Anita Blake books and I wondered “How do these people get anything done? They’re ALWAYS in bed! And don’t vampires ever bite any ugly people?” So I decided to write about my people - the uncool. I imagined if comic book nerds (like me!) ever got turned into vampires.

Which one of the main characters can you identify with most (Jimmy or Greg) and why? 

Jimmy - I’m a horrible smartass, but frequently my mouth outruns my brain, so I can relate to his shortcomings.

Why do you think people should read Hard Day’s Knight? 

Everybody loves vampires, and I really do feel like this is an entertaining new twist on the genre. Because we need to take a break from all the soul-searching once in a while.

What do you like best about being a writer? 

I enjoy the freedom, the ability to go to work without wearing pants. And my megalomania enjoys the world creation aspect of it.

You have also written a sequel called Back in Black. What do you have in store for us next time?

Back in Black sees a little more character development, an actual (gasp!) social issue being addressed, and a cage match. Yeah, really, I’m that much of a redneck that I put a cage fight in my vampire book. Oh, and there’s sparkling, and much griping about the sparkles. It’s a lot of fun, and there will be at least six books in the Black Knight Chronicles before I run out of stories to tell.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. (:

Official Book Blurb

Children are missing.
The police are stumped.
Halloween is coming, with an ancient evil on the horizon.
The vampires are the good guys.

This is not your ordinary fall weekend in Charlotte, NC. Vampire private detectives Jimmy Black and Greg Knightwood have been hired to keep a young client from being cursed for all eternity, but end up in a bigger mess than they ever imagined.

Suddenly trapped in the middle of a serial kidnapping case, Jimmy and Greg uncover a plot to bring forth an ancient evil into the world, and enlist the help of a police detective, a priest, a witch, a fallen angel and strip club proprietor to save the world. This unlikely band of heroes battles zombies, witches, neuroses and sunburn while cracking jokes and looking for the perfect bag of O-negative.

Buy This Book

Author Bio

John G. Hartness is a recovering theatre geek who likes loud music, fried pickles and cold beer. He’s been published or accepted online in several journals including The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, cc&d, Deuce Coupe and Truckin’.

His first novel, The Chosen, is an urban fantasy about saving the world, snotty archangels, gambling, tattooed street preachers, immortals with family issues, bar brawls and the consequences of our decisions.

He followed up The Chosen with Hard Day’s Knight, a new twist on the vampire detective novel and the first in a planned series of at least five books. The second book of The Black Knight Chronicles, Back in Black, landed in March 2011 and has enjoyed immediate success.

John has been called “the Kevin Smith of Charlotte,” and fans of Joss Whedon and Jim Butcher should enjoy his snarky slant on the fantasy genre. His next novel, Knight Moves (Black Knight Chronicles Vol. 3) is due out in the summer of 2011.

He can be found online at and spends too much time on Twitter, especially after a few drinks.

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