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Blog Tour Review – The Mesmerized by Rhiannon Frater

The Mesmerized Blog Tour BannerThe Mesmerized is the most recent published novel from Rhiannon Frater and it does not disappoint.  While reading I was reminded of books like The Stand and Under the Dome by Stephen King and movies like The Happening from M. Night Shyamalan.

Minji, our main character, is a wife and mother who will do what it takes to protect her family.  She is tough, smart and doesn’t back down.  She and her family are visiting Las Vegas when people are suddenly stricken – bleeding and becoming unresponsive.  Minji is one of the few that is able to continue functioning and it’s up to her to find out what is happening and save those that have been Mesmerized.

If you like fantasy or horror with a strong female lead, this is for you.  The character development was exceptional and Minji is just what I look for in an MC.  No cookie cutter Mary Sues here.  The pacing works well within the story and it pulls you through all the way to the end.  I didn’t want to put it down.

5/5 stars and highly recommended.  (And the e-book is on sale for $2.99 through 12/19).  Grab it now!  Or enter here for a hardcopy giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e14451c620/

mesmerized

Excerpt from The Mesmerized

By

Rhiannon Frater

“Okay, the tigers are at The Mirage. So that’s our first stop,” Jake decided. “Then we can head to the Hard Rock. I want a t-shirt from there.”

Minji looped the end of the leash a few times around her wrist before taking Ava’s hand. “Perfect. Let’s get this show on the road.”

“It’s really crowded right now, so everyone stay close. I’m looking at you, Ava.”

Ava gave her father a plaintive look while tugging on her leash. “I can’t run away!”

“Good! I’d like my little girl to not go splat in the road.”

Minji winced at the memory of her daughter dodging into the road to greet Jake when he’d returned from an evening run. Luckily their neighbor had seen her in time and jerked her car onto someone else’s lawn, avoiding Ava completely. The mere idea of losing any of her family was enough to make Minji sick to her stomach.

Shoving negative thoughts away, Minji kept in her husband’s wake as he threaded through the crowd toward the escalators that descended from either side of the waterfall. The atrium loomed ahead filled with bright sunlight that reflected off the creamy walls and pillars.

The first sign that something was wrong came when her brain was assailed with what felt like millions of cold needles burrowing into the gray matter. With a whimper, Minji pressed her fingertips to her temples in a futile attempt to stave off the pain. Then the sensation intensified.

Screams echoed through the vast resort in a horrifying chorus. All around her, people flailed about, or gripped their heads in their hands. Jake grunted and stumbled as Bailey let out a shrill cry. Woozy, Minji reached for her screaming baby just as another stab of unbearable agony tore through her brain, blinding her. Rapidly blinking her eyes, she desperately attempted to restore her sight.

“Mommy! Mommy!” Ava wailed. “Mommy, my head hurts! I can’t see!”

Howls of agony reverberated through the mall corridors. Minji tugged on the child leash, dragging Ava into her arms. Unable to see, she clutched her daughter close. Paralyzing fear churned in her gut. The pain diminished, but the blindness remained.

“Jake!”

“I’m right here.” A familiar, warm hand floundered against her back then found her shoulder. “I’m right here, hon. I got you.”

Again there was a flash of icy discomfort, then the world returned to sharp focus. To Minji’s horror, blood streamed down the faces of some of the shoppers close to her. Bubbles of the rich liquid formed in their eyes, noses, and ran from their lips. Swaying slightly, the bleeders stared blankly past the faces of their frightened companions. Minji swiftly checked Ava, Bailey and Jake. None of them were bleeding. Lifting Ava onto her hip, Minji pressed against Jake’s side.

“Jake, are you okay?”

“My head is killing me,” he answered. “Check the baby.”

“She’s not bleeding, just crying. What the hell is happening?”

“I don’t know. Keep Ava close!” Jake wrapped his arms around his wife, pulling her toward the far wall.

You can find info about the author, this book and others at:

Website: rhiannonfrater.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rhiannon.frater

Twitter: twitter.com/rhiannonfrater

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=340109912&trk=spm_pic

Google+: https://plus.google.com/113336058823746385572/posts

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rhiannon-Frater/e/B0027DLFL6/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2310121.Rhiannon_Frater

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rhiannonfrater/

Email: rhiannonfrater at gmail.com

 

Thank you to the author for providing an e-book as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

Guest Post and Giveaway – Jodi McIsaac

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I am so happy to welcome Jodi McIsaac to the blog.  Below her post, check out the links to the books, her website, twitter and facebook.  There are also two giveaways for you to enter – one on her website and one for my blog. 

After reading both books and noting the strong female MC, I asked her to talk about writing fantasy as a woman and the struggles (or not) of working in this traditionally male-dominated genre.  Take it away, Jodi:   

“Being a relatively new writer, I have to say that while I’m aware of the struggles of women writing in fantasy, I have yet to experience it myself. I work in my basement office by myself, and my male editor has been nothing but marvelous—so there hasn’t been a lot of opportunity for discrimination. My sub-genre, urban or contemporary fantasy, is dominated by women writers such as Charlaine Harris, Diana Gabaldon, and Patricia Briggs, so there are many excellent examples to follow. But I’ve heard enough stories from other writers of sexual harassment at cons and unequal treatment of women in the industry as a whole to know to know that it is a problem—and just because I haven’t experienced it personally doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

What bothers me the most in fantasy is the way women are depicted on many book covers. Even though I love reading urban/contemporary fantasy, there are some of my colleague’s books that I refuse to read because I just can’t get past the overly-sexualized, ridiculously-contorted woman on the cover. You know which ones I’m talking about—the heroine with the halter top and tramp stamp, holding a weapon in one hand while twisting her spine so that her butt and her boobs are both showing. I just can’t get past these covers, no matter how good the words are on the inside. And don’t even get me started about cover art for epic fantasy, where the female warriors apparently don’t need any armor covering their vital organs; as long as they have a few flimsy pieces of leather or shiny gold dangling from their bodies, they’ll be juuuuuust fine. 

Fortunately, I get a lot of say into the cover design for my books (which is one of the reasons I chose to go with 47North in the first place), and I very specifically told my publisher that there were to be no halter tops (I have nothing against halter tops in general, but my protagonist definitely wouldn’t wear one), no tramp stamps, and no contortionism on my covers. (I think in order to be safe they removed people from the covers altogether!) Other people have said it much better than me, but no one has said it—and shown it—better than fantasy author Jim Hines, who did a series of photos in which he attempted to pose like the women on fantasy and urban fantasy covers, with eye-opening (and muscle spasming) results. 

So while I haven’t experienced any direct gender-based discrimination myself, I recognize that there is still a rather, er, twisted perception of women in fantasy, particularly when it comes to cover art. And hopefully as more people talk about it, more and more authors, publishers, and designers will stand up make the changes that need to happen.” 

Jodi McIsaac is the author of the Thin Veil contemporary fantasy series, where Celtic mythology and the modern world collide. INTO THE FIRE, the second book in the series, is being released tomorrow, on November 12. You can pre-order or buy it here.

Links:

THROUGH THE DOOR (book 1): http://www.amazon.com/Through-Door-The-Thin-Veil-ebook/dp/B00AJXXA4G/

INTO THE FIRE (book 2): http://www.amazon.com/Into-Fire-The-Thin-Veil-ebook/dp/B00C1IPQTY/

www.jodimcisaac.com

www.facebook.com/jodimcisaac

www.twitter.com/jodimcisaac

GIVEAWAYS:

Visit the author’s website at http://www.jodimcisaac.com/#!blog-tour/c1nm6 to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of INTO THE FIRE. 

My giveaway for e-book copies of both books! 

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Blog Tour Review – Into the Fire by Jodi McIsaac

into the fireInto the Fire is the 2nd book in The Thin Veil series.  I recently reviewed book one and highly recommend you read it first.  The review below may contain spoilers for Through the Door.

Cedar has discovered her true family history.  She is the daughter of the deceased King and Queen of Tir na nOg.  Her defeat of Lorcan, the man who murdered her family to become King, has left a power void in her home world.  Cedar, Finn, Eden and the rest of the gang return to Tir na nOg to help with the rebuilding process.  They soon learn that Nuala is vying to become the new Queen.  Since she is the one who kidnapped Eden and tried to use her powers of persuasion to control Lorcan, they know that this can’t be allowed to happen.  Into the Fire describes their journey to defeat Nuala and begin the healing process for their home.

While I enjoyed book one, I found Into the Fire to be even better.  The author works to build the world and, at the same time, keeps the story moving forward with both action and emotion.  There are moments of happiness for Finn and Cedar between all of the battles that they must fight.  I also felt that Eden had grown up a little (who wouldn’t after everything she went through.)  We see another glimpse of her adult self in the dream world and it piques your interest for her future story.

We also learn more about the Druids, Maeve’s history and the bitterness between them and the Tuatha De Danaan.  Note to self: I don’t want to meet a druid alone on a dark night in Ireland.

Seeing Felix and Jane start to fall for each other added some fun to the story.  Jane puts on such a tough front but she is as insecure as the rest of us.  And, she is willing to sacrifice for those she cares about.  I fell in love with her in this book and I could imagine her and Felix on their own adventure – hint, hint Jodi McIsaac.

Into the Fire is recommended for those who enjoy fantasy but I think it will work for science fiction, paranormal and historical fans.  It’s a story of family, betrayal, loyalty and fate.  4/5 stars for a great time.

I received a review copy as part of the blog tour.

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Visit the author’s website at http://www.jodimcisaac.com/#!blog-tour/c1nm6 to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of INTO THE FIRE. 

I am giving away E-copies of books one and two to one of my wonderful followers as well.  Enter for your chance below:

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Giveaway – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander

 

If you follow my blog at all, you know that Outlander is one of my favorite books and the start to a wonderfully entertaining series by Diana Gabaldon.  To prepare for the spring 2014 arrival of the next installment, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (MOBY as named by DG), and the premiere of the Starz series at the same time, the publisher chose several fan ambassadors.

I have 3 copies of Outlander to give away to new fans.  Two of the copies I received are already earmarked for future fans.  And, yes, I kept the MOBY excerpt for myself.  I am an addict, after all.

If you like stories that include time travel, romance, military history or just Scottish men in kilts, then this is the book for you.

Leave a comment below telling me where and when you would want to arrive if you were able to travel through the stones.  The first four that can make me laugh or cry will get a complimentary copy*.  But, be warned, once you read Outlander, you will want more Jamie and Claire.  The rest of the series is in your future!

Happy travelling!

*Open to US addresses only.  Sorry!