Hello Lovelies! Please excuse our dust while we do a bit of construction on the blog. We will still be posting exciting reviews, brilliant guest posts, and exciting giveaways but we are in the process of transforming the blog and adding new content and features for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Skye Eagleday Guest Post & Giveaway



  Hello Lovelies!
Please help me welcome Skye Eagleday to Royal Reviews as she tells us about her shifters and the inspiration behind them.

Does it seem like the year of the Shifter to you? They’re everywhere! I’ll be honest—when I started writing full time I thought I’d be focused on vampires, but suddenly Werewolves and an extremely Alpha Werebear took center stage. Not that I’m complaining. I’m American Indian and I was trained as a traditional Storyteller. I grew up hearing of legends about all sorts of Shape-Shifters, and the ultimate one was Coyote who could not only change shapes, but genders as well. There’s a long history of many Native Nations who claim descent from various Spirit Animals. Most readers encountered their first Native Werewolves in the Twilight novels. The Quileute People featured in Twilight are like many Natives whose stories say they are Children of the Wolf.
 
I should mention there are no known Native American equivalents to European style


vampires, so when I created the Native American vampire Ash (who appears in Thirst: Tales of Vampire Romance) I used the European mythos in shaping him. I didn’t necessarily feel the same restrictions with my Shifters. Native tales don’t have the “full moon” requirement, so I started doing a mix of modern and ancient, where my Alphas could shift at any time, but most non-Alphas had to wait to be Called by the Moon. One of my personal favorite characters that basically wrote himself is Josh, the young hero in Virgin Gay Werewolf, where he has just started as a Freshman in college without ever having Shifted. His immediate focus is on finally Shifting and finally getting laid. I liked the metaphor of Shifters being “different” in the way the LGBT community is “different.” In both cases, their identity intersects all ethnicities, genders, ages, and classes. They can also “pass” as “standard people.” It’s not until they “out themselves” one starts to publically see what those differences are.
 
That was on my mind when I wrote “Roots & Fangs” (with rising star Ripley Sage) my contribution to the new boxed set, Highland Shifters. There are three main characters—a Scottish-American retracing the steps his grandfather took from Scotland to the States, a male Scottish Fae, and an Irish Pooka.   Like Coyote, the Pooka is a Shape-Shifter who can become anything, and after seducing the Fae as a female, the Pooka becomes a male and starts the seduction dance once more.  One of the themes I consistently play with (and especially in Highland Shifters and Thirst: Tales of Vampire Romance) is the challenge of being practically immortal as a Supernatural being. It seems to me one either strives to stay connected to the “Now,” or one stays too “locked” into the past. Living in a past that no longer exists can result in becoming progressively crazy and disconnected, which happens to a lot of the oldest vampires in my works. Ash deals with this by constantly completing college degrees and surrounding himself with university students. My Pooka does it by becoming a computer expert and a jewel thief, combining the new with his old experiences.
 
It was also fun doing research for my Highlands setting and discovering the story of the Wulver. Originally from the Shetland Islands (my Wulver is just attending a local Highlands Fae festival) who is said to have a kind heart and leaves gifts of fish for poor humans. Even in the older tales, not all Shifters are monsters.

Buy Links
Highland Shifters
Thirst: Tales of Vampire Romance
Romancing the Wolf (BBW Paranormal Romance)
Virgin Gay Werewolf
Amazon (exclusive to Amazon)
Tales of the Werebear:


About the Author:
NY Times and USA Today Best Selling Author and the winner of many awards, Skye Eagleday has over seventy titles, with a focus on Paranormal and BBW Romance. He also publishes specific Native American books under the name Ty Nolan. His Tales of the Werebear series has been consistently popular among readers, along with Romancing the Wolf: BBW Paranormal Romance. Skye is a retired university professor and family therapist who spends his time outside of Phoenix as well as Seattle, both of which have provided the settings for his writings. And yes—he’s also written about “Cowboys and Indians,” (it’s genetic) although the Native Americans have all been BBW.

You can find Skye on Facebook, visit his website: SkyeEagleday.blogspot.com, and sign up for his newsletter: http://eepurl.com/T3F-j 




Giveaway

Skye is giving away two $10 Amazon Gift Cards and a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Enter Below
 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Title:  Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Book 1 in trilogy)

Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers  Sept 2011
ISBN:  9780316134026
Pages:  424 pages
How I Read It: ebook
Genre: fantasy, paranormal, young adult
Rating: 5 crowns

Synopsis:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My thoughts:

Here we go, another young adult fantasy book – but wait! This is not your average angel (good) versus devil (bad) story. In fact, this novel is so complex and cleverly composed that it brings to light how something can be perceived as evil just because it’s different. And what of those born and raised into the hatred of a race just because, well, that’s how it’s always been? Laini Taylor has written an incredible and touching story that explores prejudice and war as well as romance in one of the most amazing fantasy worlds I have yet to encounter.

For you see Taylor, unlike numerous other young adult authors out there, is so far removed from the stereotypical, with writing that holds a magical flair and a sophistication that is not only rare but an absolute pleasure to read. Her stories are richer, her characters more highly developed and so very interesting. In fact, her style is bordering on art.

This story tells the age-old tale of forbidden love, but with an amazingly mythological twist. Karou and Akiva are portrayed as Romeo and Juliet – but unlike any other you’ve come across. Taylor creates an incredible fantasy world of humans, seraphim, and chimaera with the mythology being so sophisticated and storylines that are truly thought provoking. I was captivated by her literary prose – it was just exceptional. I loved the geographical descriptions of Prague, Marrakesh, and Elsewhere – I walked the streets, ate the goulash and spoke to the vendors right along with the characters. I was shocked by the severe punishments for fallen angels like Razgut; intrigued by the magic system; and listened to the individuality as each character had their own unique voice and message. On top of all that, one cannot forget the forbidden love; the young adults we once were read enraptured:
“Love is a luxury.”

“No. Love is an element.”

“An element. Like air to breathe, earth to stand on.”
 And, in spite of the divided and war-torn world Taylor has created, she also presents an undeniably optimistic underlying tone:
“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic.”
 Utterly and absolutely spellbinding, this isn’t a book; it’s an experience, deserving to be read by anyone of any age who truly appreciates quality writing and storytelling.
“Madrigal’s hands started to shake. She didn’t understand, quite, but something was starting to take shape, out of magic and will. Smoke and bone.”


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