Author: The Book Breeze

Where writers and readers meet with book reviews, author interviews and new releases.

Review: BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART by Amanda Hocking

Cover Between the Blade and the HeartBETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART by Amanda Hocking / YA Fantasy / Released Jan 2, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

When the fate of the world is at stake
Loyalties will be tested

Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.

As one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.

Review:

This is the first Amanda Hocking book I have read and I must say that I am a FAN.  My taste in books include Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, Colleen Vanderlinden’s Home series and Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series so I am no stranger to the fantasy world.  Ms. Hocking beautifully builds a world that is both familiar and fascinating and fills it with richly developed characters.

Familiar are the challenges of a college-aged daughter’s relationship with her mother, juggling an ex-girlfriend and a new heart-throb and having a pet.  Fascinating is Malin’s role as a Valkyry, her questions about destiny and free-will and the fact her pet, Bowie, is a wolpertinger.

Seamlessly paced, BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART is a page-turner and I can’t wait for the second book in the series, FROM THE EARTH TO THE SHADOWS coming out in April 2018.

 

Book Excerpt BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART by Amanda Hocking

BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART by Amanda Hocking / Young Adult Fantasy / Released Jan 2, 2018 by St. Martin’s PressCover Between the Blade and the Heart

 

ONE

The air reeked of fermented fish and rotten fruit, thanks to the overflowing dumpster from the restaurant behind us. The polluted alley felt narrow and claustrophobic, sandwiched between skyscrapers.

In the city, it was never quiet or peaceful, even at three in the morning. There were more than thirty million humans and supernatural beings coexisting, living on top of each other. It was the only life I’d ever really known, but the noise of the congestion grated on me tonight.

My eyes were locked on the flickering neon lights of the gambling parlor across the street. The u in Shibuya had gone out, so the sign flashed SHIB YA at me.

The sword sheathed at my side felt heavy, and my body felt restless and electric. I couldn’t keep from fidgeting and cracked my knuckles.

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Interview with Amanda Hocking, author of BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART

Cover Between the Blade and the HeartBETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART by Amanda Hocking / YA / Released January 2, 2018 / St. Martin’s Press

SUMMARY:

When the fate of the world is at stake
Loyalties will be tested

Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.

As one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.

INTERVIEW:

Q: What or who was the inspiration behind Between the Blade and the Heart

A: I have already written several books inspired by Scandinavian folklore, and I was always fascinated by Valkyries. But because I had already done in Scandinavian fantasy, I wanted to come at this one from a different angle. I imagined the Valkyries helping to police a gritty, diverse, cyberpunk metropolis, in a world filled with not just Norse figures but from many mythologies.

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New Release: ANOTHER ONE BITES THE CRUST by Ellie Alexander

51NAmMcluHLANOTHER ONE BITES THE CRUST (A Bakeshop Mystery) by Ellie Alexander / Cozy Mystery / Released January 2, 2018 by Minotaur

Torte—the beloved small-town bakeshop run by Jules Capshaw—is set to hit the stage. But who would have guessed that murder would makes a surprise appearance?

It’s the role of a lifetime for Jules. The Shakespeare Festival has returned to Ashland, Oregon, for the season and Torte has been cast as the supplier of Elizabethan-era treats for the main event. But on the eve of opening night, a brawl between Jules’s friend Lance, the artistic director, and a strapping young thespian named Anthony almost brings down the house. . .and the next morning, Anthony is dead. Jules knows that Lance loves his drama—and his just desserts—but she also knows that murder is way off-script for him. Now it’s up to Jules to cut through a bevy of backstage betrayals and catty co-stars who all have their own secrets—before the curtain drops on someone else. . .

It is Not a Breeze: Writing Romantic Suspense by Karen Harper

In the years I have written my 25 romantic suspense novels, I’ve learned a lot of things, including that writing a face-paced, scary but touching romantic book is not a breeze. A lot of hard work and agonizing goes into it.
Of course, the more I write, especially with my new SOUTH SHORES series (book #4 is out late Feb.) the easier it gets—I think. Let me admit where my challenges are, where the breeze of loving to write gets hit with a big headwind of challenges.

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Patience, One Key to Unlocking a Great Story by Barbara Townsend

Writers dream that a reader, an agent, or a publisher will fall in love with our words. All too often a writer will send that story to agents, to publishing houses, or click “publish” before it’s ready. Then the author wonders why their precious words are rejected, sales are low, or the reviews are scathing.

One obscure cause for the disappointment could be the writer’s lack of patience. Patience is a necessary and an oft-times overlooked element that gives our brain a rest. After a break we can review our work with a clear mind and sharp focus.

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Interview with mystery author Shelia Lowe

sheila-uscLike her fictional character, Claudia Rose, Sheila Lowe is a real-life forensic handwriting examiner who testifies in court cases. The mother of a tattoo artist and a former rock star, she lives in Ventura, CA with Lexie the Very Bad Cat. Despite sharing living space with a feline, however, her Forensic Handwriting mystery series is definitely not cozy. If you enjoy psychological suspense and in-depth exploration of characters, they may be for you. She also writes nonfiction about handwriting analysis.

 

Tell us about your new release WRITTEN OFF

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