Monthly Archives: February 2014

Phantom Knights, Sleepless Nights

Karen here! This week I decided to review two books. The reason being, they came out at the same time, and I read them back to back. And let me tell you, I couldn’t put it down until the second one was finished! The ‘Phantom Knights’ series, by Amalie Vantana, is one of the most action packed, gripping reads I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. Seriously, I started the first book, Phantoms in Philadelphia, and didn’t stop reading until I finished it at two in the morning. Which I promptly decided to start book two, The Charleston Chase, which lasted probably until three am when I decided I absolutely had to get sleep. That one I finished the next day. lol. These two stories are unique, in that I haven’t read many books like them, and I will admit that I look very much forward to the rest of the series.

Starting with Phantoms in Philadelphia, the book had me hooked from the beginning. Set during the days after the War of 1812, this book centers around a group of young men and women who call espionage their profession. Employed during the war to spy on the British, now their mission is a bit deeper. America may be safe from outside forces attacking, but its new enemy lurks in the shadows, hiding behind symbols of secret societies. And only the “Phantoms”, as they call themselves, can stop it. Led by Bess, a young woman of society, this group must weave through not only the back-alleyways, but the social elites, to discover the secrets, and hopefully destroy an organization before it kills them. I loved how this book focuses on Bess, a woman who is so strong, and her little brother, Jack, who has no problem helping his big sister. This story focuses on the relationships of friendship, and the sibling love that all the “Phantoms” have for each other. Yes, there is a bit of romance, but to me, I found the fact that the story focused more on them as individuals, and a family, brought the characters out more. The narrative is so well written; it just flows from page to page, carrying you along until you realize that you’ve read five chapters when you were planning on one. It is full of suspense, and intrigue, and honestly a good dose of mystery. As the “Phantoms” have to discover who is behind these societies, I couldn’t help but try to guess myself. 

The Charleston Chase is no less intriguing, carrying me along just as hurriedly. I found myself having to figure the puzzle out, trying to learn who to trust and who not to. So many characters found themselves in this category for me, and I loved it! Like the first, it mainly focuses on the siblings, but this time it brings in more of the romance aspect. As a die-hard romantic, I couldn’t help but enjoy watching the banter between Bess and her beau, a rare man whose wit, intelligence, and strength matches her own. Nor could I help but sigh for the romance between Jack and his lady, full of secrets that I was dying to learn. This story had some amazing twists, some that I guessed, but many that I did not see coming. I love it when a book offers me a surprise twist! 

Together, these two are just the start of the series, and one that I cannot wait to read the rest of! It reminded me a bit of National Treasure, only with more intrigue and espionage than treasure hunting. And the best part, Phantoms in Philadelphia is free! You can get it for either Kindle or Nook. And The Charleston Chase is really reasonably priced as well! (Also available for Kindle and Nook). If you want to find out more about the author and her upcoming works, including sequels, check out her website, and feel free to follow her on Twitter

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Party week 2!

So, like I said last week, MaryLu Tyndall is hosting a pre-release party for her newest book, The Ransom. Like I said, I am SO excited for this one. This week, we’re introduced to the ‘hunk’ of the book. And yeah, when you’re modeled after Thor, you’re a hunk. lol. So, check it out, and be sure to leave a comment to enter to win this book for free!!!

http://crossandcutlass.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-ransom-pre-release-party-week-2.html

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Swept away!

Karen again. 🙂 So, this week I thought I’d introduce you to a wonderful friend of mine and her debut novel. Heather Manning just recently published her first novel, Swept to Sea, and I have to admit, it ‘swept’ me away. The story was very well written, the pages flowing together seamlessly. I loved the descriptions, the setting so beautifully described that I felt like I was on the ship as well. I loved the characters. Eden was such a sweet character but with a great inner strength. And Caspian, while plenty rough around the edges, has such a sweet heart. The banter between the characters is hilarious, but I could not help but ‘awww’ as their romance deepened. I will gladly admit that I could not put this book down. And the best part? Not only was this a debut novel, though it feels like a seasoned author’s work, but Heather is only 16. That’s right, 16! And you would never guess it, her writing is so very mature. This is definitely a novel that I recommend. 🙂

So, having Heather as a friend of mine has a few perks, including getting a few minutes of her time to have this interview with her. 🙂

 

Hello, Heather! First of all, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to be here on my blog. I have to say, as soon as I got my hands on Swept to Sea I couldn’t put it down. My first question is what inspired you to start writing?

Thanks so much for having me! I am very glad you enjoyed Swept to Sea. I have always kind of written, but I never realized it. I would write stories in my spare time but I didn’t think it was anything special. Then, my 5-8th grade English teacher had me write some short stories, and I discovered I loved doing it. She gave me good feedback, and that’s when I really realized I loved writing and I could actually make something of it.

 

Tell me the story of Swept to Sea. Where did the idea come from? What made this be your debut novel?

Swept to Sea is about a young lady, Eden, who stows away on a pirate ship to escape marriage to an abusive man. The idea kind of just came to me. I wanted to write a trilogy about three best friends and their adventures in the Caribbean, and Eden’s story kind of just happened. This became y debut novel because I poured so much time and energy into it. I knew as I was writing it that I loved the story and the characters, so I was determined to make it happen.

 

Now, the romance between Eden and Caspian is so wonderful, but there are some delightfully tense scenes between some of the secondary characters. Is there a chance that we’ll be seeing them a bit fuller in the future?

Why, yes, there is! I have a trilogy planned, and Ivy, Gage, Aimee, and Matthew will all make some appearances. 🙂

 

Are there any future publishing plans in the works, or is it all hush hush? 😉

Hopefully! I am working on a sequel, but haven’t signed any contracts as of yet. 🙂

 

Now, a little bit about you. How does it feel to be published at sixteen?

It feels pretty great! I remember when I was fifteen I heard about another young author, Rachel Coker, and I wanted to be like her and get my book published young. I want to get a head start in my career. Some kids get summer jobs at McDonalds and places like that, but I love being able to start working in my dream career. 🙂

 

Do you have any favorite books or authors you like to read?

I have three favorite authors, whose books I could re-read and re-read and re-read: MaryLu Tyndall, Mary Connealy, and Deeanne Gist.

 

Aside from writing, and I’m assuming school, I also hear that you’re into theatre?

Yes! I adore theatre. I perform in local community theatres and a local college. Right now, I am deep into rehearsals for “The Dixie Swim Club.”

 

Do you have a favorite play/musical of all time? Or that you’ve been in?

Hmmmmm. I like so many! Haha 🙂 Phantom of the Opera is one of my definite favorites. And recently I saw a one-man production called “Dracula: the Journal of Jonathan Harker” and it was absolutely fantastic. My favorite play.

 

It seems like you have a very busy life. How do you juggle it all?

My life can get crazy busy at times, and I really am not sure how I do it. I try to create a familiar schedule and stick to that. For example, I will get my homework done at school, and then come home and eat. Then I head to rehearsals and have time to write when I get back. Sometimes it is difficult, but I just keep trying. 🙂

 

If you want a fast-paced adventurous romance, then I definitely recommend you check this amazing book out! Though only in e-book at the moment, it’s real easy to download a kindle or nook app for a phone or even your computer. 🙂 (Not to mention, it’s really affordable, under $5!) It’s available for both Kindle and Nook. Also, if you want to find out more about this wonderful author, be sure to check out her blog and Facebook page, and feel free to follow her on Twitter. Oh, and did I mention that it’s been on Amazon’s top 100 bestseller list for romance for 40 days in a row? No? Well, it is. 😉 So take a moment and check it out!

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Pirate Surprise!

Karen again. So, I know I already posted a Valentine’s post. But I thought I’d give a bonus. 😉 From the amazing MaryLu Tyndall comes her newest pirate adventure, The Ransom. A sequel to her Legacy of the King’s Pirates series, I can’t tell you how EXCITED I am to read this! It comes out in a little over a month, but until then it’s PARTY time over at her blog! Check out a glimpse into her newest heroine, and don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in a drawing to win this book! 🙂
http://crossandcutlass.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-ransom-pre-release-party-and.html

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A Valentine’s Romance

Karen here! It’s February 14th, Valentine’s Day! In case you can’t tell, I love Valentine’s Day. Now, I really don’t want to hurt those who are celebrating ‘alone’; I’ve definitely been there myself. But even in the bad years, when I didn’t have that ‘significant other’ and I was hurting for it, I still loved this holiday. Why? Because to me Valentine’s Day isn’t about the sweep you off your feet romance by that significant other. Granted as a hopeless romantic I can’t help but like it when my husband does give me those romantic gestures, but that’s not what this holiday means to me. Growing up, I always awoke Valentine’s morning to a small box of chocolates by my bed. My dad had gotten them for me. He always did, just as he always gave my mom an even bigger box. And that evening he would take the both of us out to dinner. It was always a celebration of love, but the love we had as a family. That’s why I like Valentine’s Day, because it is a celebration of love. It’s the love of a parent to a child, or siblings for each other, or even the love between friends. So why not join me and instead of celebrating ‘singles awareness day’, celebrate love for each other.

Now, this is a reading blog, so I better stop reminiscing about the holiday and start blogging about a book! lol. I figured, in honor of the holiday and my first real book review blog post, I would write about my all time favorite author, MaryLu Tyndall. I discovered her back in 2008, right after she published the The Restitution, the third book in her Legacy of the King’s Pirates series. (I’ll definitely be blogging about this series later; it’s one of my favorites of all time.) Today is devoted to her newest work of art, Elusive Hope. I absolutely love her Escape to Paradise series (this is book 2). The premise is based on a little known fact of U.S. History. After the Civil War, a large number of Confederates fled the ‘reconstruction’ of the south, sailing to what they believed was a new paradise, where they could build a new south: Brazil. Even today, their descendants celebrate in true Southern fashion.

This is a brilliantly written work, telling the story of Magnolia, the epitome of a Southern Belle, and Hayden, the self-made con man. Both characters want something, and both are very willing to use others to get to their end goal. But what happens if you start falling for a person you’re trying to con? What is more important, your original goal or your new found love? And what of God’s plan? Both characters have to deal with whether or not what they want is what God wants for them. Hayden’s past, that of a lifelong search, is thrown in his face, and he has to answer the question if it’s really worth pursuing. And Magnolia, the beautiful Southern Belle, is forced to look at the beauty she so prizes, and whether it’s is truly as important as she believes. As with her first book, MaryLu unabashedly gives the readers a glimpse into the life of Southerners after the Civil War. She opens the minds up for us to understand their thoughts, but also shows how their own beliefs change over time. With beautiful prose, plenty of adventure, a romance that’ll warm your heart, not to mention a good dose of God’s love against Satan’s lies, this book is an absolute must read.

If you want to learn more about MaryLu Tyndall, especially about the Escape to Paradise trilogy, and upcoming works, check out her website. And feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you wish, you can pick up a copy for yourself of this wonderful book here.

Thanks for ‘listening’ to me rant, and I hope you enjoy all the love you have today. 🙂

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Welcome!

Welcome to the blog of Ron and Karen Martin, the Two Warrior Readers! We’re just a couple who love to read… a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. Together, we own over a thousand books, and have read who knows how many more. We have some books that we both absolutely love, but we mostly have very different reading genres, within fiction of course. I (Karen here) fall for a good (clean) romance, preferably the historical or fantasy variety, and it doesn’t hurt to have a good adventure along the way. My husband (Ron) really likes sci-fi. Just ask him! (which you will; he’s definitely going to be part of this blog, though probably less than I am.) So, we hope you’ll hang with us, and enjoy the ride we take together as we explore the fascinating worlds trapped within the pages of books. 

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