Thursday, March 29, 2018

Review for Where Worlds Meet by Lucinda Elliot

4.5 Stars. Sherlock Holmes meets Dracula with Time Travel. Set a number of years after That Scoundrel Emile Dubois and the stand-alone Ravensdale, Where Worlds Meet opens with our characters from both novels living in their happily ever after. Emile has retired from his life on the road as a highwayman. And both Emile and Sophie as well as Emile's cousin Reynaud (Ravensdale) and Isabella have children now. You should read That Scoundrel Emile Dubois before reading this, but I don't think anything would be confusing if you haven't read Ravensdale.

The beginning of the book re-caps That Scoundrel Emile Dubois nicely without feeling repetitive and quickly introduces the reader to the threat our characters face. There are also lots of little jokes along the way that reference both earlier books, which was fun.

As the story continues you're pulled into a fast-paced adventure. Filled with all the excitement time-travel, vampires, and other curious monsters can provide. This gothic historical romance was like nothing I've ever read before.

I loved seeing Emile and Sophie again. But I have to say, I was probably most interested in Arthur and Elouise, at least for the first half of the book. We see a much more vulnerable side to Arthur. He’s alive and still a vampire, and while he's seeking revenge he also has a soft spot for Elouise. Sweet Elouise has been tending to him and ends up put in a position where she doesn’t want to see Emile hurt, but also wants to protect Arthur. She seeks to save Author from his half-vampire status. As the story went on I found myself rooting for them. They were the underdogs as Kenrick was still pulling some of Arthur's strings, but it was clear that he was a victim too. It was also funny seeing Longface and Guto trying to protect Eloise from Arthur.

I feel like the time-travel aspects in this novel were handled even better than they were in the first book. I understood the mechanics of this world in this book a little better, and you get to see more of those time travel aspects, which I liked.

Kenrick's monsters were a new element to the story that while new, still felt like classic gothic horror monsters. We're also introduced to other new characters like Guinevere Gwynne, who aids Kenrick with magic books in his attempts to navigate the time mazes. She also has some interesting encounters with both Emile and Reynaud. Together Gwynne and Kenrick seek to not only enter the past but alter it as well with the hope of bringing long-dead loved ones back into their lives.

Emile and Reynaud are a charismatic duo that drive this story. Filled with strong female characters, humor, love, and betrayal, Where Worlds Meet will suck you in.

Was the writing/editing solid?

5/5 - This book was well written, edited and formatted and even provided some nice reminders in the footnotes of things that had happened in the past books.

Did the book have a well-formed plot/subplots?

5/5 - Elliot did a good job merging the two stand-alone novels that came before this into a cohesive tale with plenty of twists and turns.

Could you relate to the characters?

5/5 - Since this was a sequel I already felt invested in these characters and felt like their development and growth was true to the character's I'd been introduced to in the first two books.

Did the story make you feel?

4/5 - There were plenty of parts where I truly felt for these characters and rooted them on or was scared of what might happen to them. However, Emile and Sophie are happily married now as are Reynaud and Isabel, so there wasn't that same "I hope they get together soon," feeling that the first two books had.

Was the book unputdownable?

3/5 - If you don't typically read gothic novels the language can be a little tougher and for me, I found I wasn't able to read this as fast as I've read other books, but it was definitely a worthwhile read.

Indie Book Goal 2018 Notes

This is the second book I've finished for #IndieBookGoal2018 where I've pledged to read at least 10 Indie books before the end of the year.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Made-Up Word of the Month: Fantastorize

Once again I'm blogging about those feelings and experiences that only book lovers can understand, by making up words to describe them. Each month, on the last Monday of the month, I'll post a new word.

1. to conceive fanciful or extravagant notions about what will happen next in a book.
2. to create in one's fancy, daydreams, or the like; imagine: to fantasize the actions of characters which have not (yet) occurred in a book.

“I’ve been fantastorizing about what will happen in chapter five of my book all day.”

This is something I do all the time. I've literally set a book down and gone and done something else just so I can fantastorize about what would happen next before reading it. I think in part this comes from a worry that I'm reading too fast and don't want the story to be over yet, and partly just from being so excited about a story that I can't sit still. I also often fantastorize while at work or running errands until I can get back home to read more. I will admit though, sometimes I'd disappointed when I like the scenario I've made up in my head more than what actually happens in the book - though this doesn't happen often.

Do you ever find yourself fantastorizing about the book you're reading?

If you liked this word, you might like:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Fictional Bucket List

I have lots of things on my bucket list, most of which involve wanting to do more traveling. And, hopefully, over the next sixty or so years, I'll be able to cross most of those things off my list. There are a few things, however, that I know I'll never be able to do because they involve fictional people or places. Every now and then I read a book and wish I could be a part of it somehow. Below is a list of those book-related bucket list wishes.

If Books were worlds I could jump into I wish I could...

Have tea with the Mad Hatter

Go shoe shopping with Cinderella and Dorthy

Attend a class at Hogwarts

Plant a flower in the Secret Garden

Binge watch The Selection

Learn alchemy from the vampire Myrnin

Ride a horse across the moors surrounding Wuthering Heights

Flip into the Territories

Ditch out on digging holes to eat jarred peaches

Attend a Lascivious concert and swoon over Kaidan Rowe

Join the search party to find Amy Dunne

Support the Nosferatu Presumption of Innocence Bill

Learn archery from Katniss Everdeen

What's on your fictional bucket list? Share in the comments below.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Review for Veiled by Stacey Rourke

4 Stars. V for Vendetta meets Buffy. Veiled is a gritty crime drama with vampires that looks at the politics of a world aware of the undead deciding whether or not to allow them to integrate into society. Filled with witty dialogue and a fast-paced plot this was a fun read.

There are some really beautiful descriptions in this book and a few scenes that are downright creepy. You really get sucked into the writing. Veiled is dark and intense and the vampires felt real and scary.

What I enjoyed most about this book was how it used vampires to look at racism and make a smart commentary on how one group views another and how stereotypes form peoples' opinions. The lead character, Vincenza, or Vinx, goes through a lot of character development from the beginning of the book until the end as she seeks both vengeance and acceptance. I had a hard time connecting with Vinx in the beginning of the book. She was bitter and a little full of herself at first. It took me a little while to warm up to her, but by the end of the book, I was definitely rooting for her. Vinx is witty and a little vulgar and a truly interesting character. Her story is complicated and as you learn more about her it's hard not to relate to her.

I loved Vinx's relationships with her friend Mics, who I also thought was a solid character. However, I felt like there needed to be more backstory to Vinx's relationship with Finn and to the relationship that forms between her and Carter. There needed to be more build up to their attraction. I didn't really feel the connection between Vinx and anyone, with the exception of her friendship with Mics which I thought was really well written. Overall, Carter and Finn felt like weaker characters and I wish both of their story arcs had been fleshed out a bit more.

As for the story structure, I liked the alternating flashback chapters at first, but by the halfway point of the book, they started to make the story feel a little disjointed. The storyline definitely didn't flow as smoothly as I would have liked.

By the end, the book left me with some questions that I'd want to read the next novel in the series to know more about. However, while I found the ending satisfying overall, there were a few plot holes that took away from the believability of how things concluded. <spoiler> For example, Vinx and Carter get into a bad situation at the end where they are nearly killed. Carter escapes and saves Vinx, by pulling out his phone and filming what's going on. But, it's not clear why the bad guys don't just kill him and take his phone. </spoiler> There are a few conclusions that are jumped to and a character, <spoiler> Amber,</spoiler> who really just acts like an idiot. But, there are a few twists at the end that suggest the second book in the series will be worth reading.

Was the writing/editing solid?

5/5 - Veiled is really well written with beautiful imagery and was free of errors.

Did the book have a well-formed plot/subplots?

3/5 - The romantic subplots needed more fleshing out.

Could you relate to the characters?

4/5 - Vinx is a little hard to love at first, but she grew on me.

Did the story make you feel?

4/5 - I definitely had the feels at times but wished I could feel more of the chemistry between Vinx and Carter.

Was the book unputdownable?

4/5 - I set it down a few times, but never for real long.

Indie Book Goal 2018 Notes

This is the first book I've finished for my #IndieBookGoal2018 where I've pledged to read at least 10 Indie books before the end of the year.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Reading and Writing Wrap-Up February

I know February is a short month, but it feels like its short a week instead of just a few days. This month flew by and I definitely didn't get as much done this month as I wanted.


Books Reviewed in February:

None. :(

Books Read in February:

I'm almost done with Veiled by Stacey Rourke. So far it feels like V for Vendetta meets Buffy. 

I'm also about halfway through Where Worlds Meet by Lucinda Elliot and have been enjoying that as well.

Books to read in March:

I plan to start another book from my Indie Book List after I finish Veiled and Where Worlds Meet. I have a few books in mind that I plan to look at next, but I haven't officially picked one yet.


Big picture editing for Unraveling in the Night (Book 2 in the Cereus Vampire Chronicles) is officially done. I'm currently doing some "search and destroy" of my usual overused phrases and I plan to start stage one of beta reading this month. I like to get chapter by chapter feedback from betas on Scribophile, and after that, I'll be looking for a few betas to read through the book as a whole.


I didn't blog a ton in February, but I did finally create an Instagram account! You can now follow me on Instagram at laurynaprilwrites

My Favorite Blog Posts in February:

Favorite Post Written: Ways It's Gotten Harder to Self-Publish: I vent a little in this post talking about things that have changed in the self-publishing world since I published my first book almost six years ago.

Favorite Post Read: What is Magical Realism on Book Riot: This is a genre that's interested me and Book Riot does a good job explaining just what it is.


My day-job this past February was a little less crazy than it'd been in January, but I was still working a lot of overtime. The snow also started to melt and my yard has been a mud-puddle for weeks, except for those two days where everything froze solid, but that's Wisconsin for ya.

How was your February?

Indie Book Goal 2018