Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tattle and Wrye column March 2017 edition


March 2017


Wrye Balderdash entered the office dressed in tails and popping open his top hat as he took a spin, balancing on a silver-tipped can. “A trampoline is perfect for what season, m’literary snoop?”

Tattle snatched up her parasol and bounced to her feet. “Spring-time!  And I know a blooming oak tree that told spring… what a re-leaf.”

“Corny to the core, madam.”

She batted her lashes. “And proud of it.”

“Ready for a spring time stroll?” He crooked an elbow for her to grab.

“Not til later, first our Love of Literature Leap Review.”

“Ah, then our attire must be more sophisticated than ole time.”

Upon changing into matching suits with Fedoras, the two leaped into a new review.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER (Champions of Elonia, #1) by Carmen Fox, an urban fantasy.

This story hooks you on the first page, no foreplay, just direct, intense action with the Shades attacking Nieve, warrior and Royal Champion. Nieve had one last mission before the King would finally release her. And the Shades weren’t going to make it easy. They used their magic, which forced Nieve to use her own. Despite not enough sun to refuel, she did what she had to do. Getting Lea back to the Elonian world and persuading her she was part of the prophesy was paramount.

Lea, an intelligent scientist, intended to shine in her chosen field but wasn’t expecting to be snatched from her routine life and tossed into a world of magic or into the arms of a man who appreciated her quirky bent. Though knowing life held more than being a translator, Lea wasn’t convinced she was the chosen one. Having to battle Shades, who had their own plans for Lea, and learning to become a warrior under Nieve’s tutelage, wasn’t in Lea’s quiver of hopes and dreams. Neither was the friendship that soon bonded the two women.

Nieve does her duty, and despite emotional attachment being alien to her nature, she identifies the benefits of having Lea as a friend. At the same time, however, she meets a kindred warrior soul who makes her question her allegiances. 

The gods had created a divide between earth and the Elonian world. Those with powers of light and air wanted to preserve the divide and Lea was pivotal to that success. Those with powers of dark and earth planned to have the divide fall. But despite prophesy, the past could be rewritten and the future had yet to unfold and memories were slowly erased with each moment that passed. Lea and Nieve were pawns in a dangerous and possibly lethal game, where all might be losers.

“This action stuffed urban fantasy refuses to release you from page one til the last page.” Wyre had the look of one who had been up the entire night. “Each character has its own unique style and definition while the worlds’ backdrops are edgy and crisp. Carmen Fox created a unique universe and  a storyline that keeps directing the reader one way only to snap you back and force you in a different direction. Every snag is remarkably placed with every foothold disintegrating. It leaves you dangling and desperate for what comes next. This author displays a forward thinking literary style that hasn’t been experienced before. This is a must-read!”

“Having read other books in this genre, I was prepared for a shadowy reflection of stories I previously read. Instead, I was smacked upside the head with Fox’s new, unique voice.” Tattle tapped the back of her head for emphasis. “The magic and action scenes have their own defining qualities that unfold so vividly it is as if you are watching a movie rather than reading words. The dialogue indentifies each character’s individualism while the sprinkling of humor is much appreciated in this otherwise intense tale. The dual heroines with their own POVs gives the story extra dimension as they tackle secrets, romance, and betrayals. This brilliant debut novel will make an urban fantasy fan out of anyone. Don’t pass it up.”

UNTAMED (Duty Bound #3) by J.S. Marlo

Living in her grandfather’s Newfoundland cabin in the outskirts of nowhere, Hannah Parker defended both herself and her young son by using simple tenacity and persistence. Many would consider being deaf a weakness, Hannah ignored it, not allowing the disability to define her any more than she allowed her damaged reputation to brand her. Still, troubles followed her. Deceit stalked her. A killer lurked in the woods and she anticipated no one will believe that truth. Then again, she oft suspected most who come across her path. After all, she didn't even report the local constable’s sexual harassment, believing they would take his statement over hers.

Having been tossed into the remote Newfoundland detachment, the irresistible, slightly knavish Constable Avery Stone immediately delves into unraveling the truth behind unsolved crimes and the death of a dishonored officer. During his investigation, he came upon Hannah and took an interest in the spunky woman and her young son. Knowing few things were as they appeared, he believed in her more than what appeared in reports or what was rumored by those who only thought they understood.

A tangle of deceit mired with a surplus of danger has Hannah accepting Avery’s help, and both falling for the other with instinctive trust.  Only, Hannah’s past relentlessly shadowed her in ways she doesn’t even comprehend, and death set a trap to keep the truth hidden. Would either her or Avery be able to  unravel the endless knots of deception before Hannah and her son were destroyed?

Wrye paced, shaking off the intensity of the story he just devoured. “Wow! Another well-plotted, nicely paced, and mystery oriented story in the third of the Duty Bound Series. UNTAMED has not lost any of the steam or power of the previous two books. It is a stand-alone yet for those who read the first two, it has a few past references to keep the connection alive. Once again, J.S. Marlo has taken us on a journey filled with twists and complications that leave us guessing. There is just enough romance to make you cheer on not only the individual characters but the couple, hopefully to be a family. Hannah, her son Rory and even the dog Snowflake are endearing. Avery beams hero in every possible way, yet has enough tarnish to make him real. This is the perfect read with an unexpected climax and satisfying end. I’m looking forward to more from J.S. Marlo.”

Tattle sipped ginger-spiced tea and sighed. “The Duty Bound Series as a whole is so absorbing and mesmerizing. Each story is unique, and it is difficult to define a favorite. This latest though has taken intrigue to a new level. Imagine being alone in a far off place with a young son to protect, and then imagine you can’t hear. Following this heroine made every shadow, every new turn, every unexpected danger more intense. As always, the writing was tight, the characters realistic, the plot complex and the villains were nasty even though discovering who was villainous was left to the end. And that wasn’t the only obscure identity in the story.” Tattle ran a finger across her lips as if zipping up and locking. “I can say no more. You have to read to discover the reality. And not just this story, but the whole series. You will be enthralled and entertained.”

Hope you enjoyed this month’s reviews. More to come in April!

Happy Spring!
Dona Penza Rutabaga Tattle, Esq. and Associate Wrye Balderdash
of Blather City, Wannachat

Created and written by:  Angelica Hart and Zi

Books by: Angelica Hart and Zi
Books by: Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane

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