Talented British author Emma Mills has done it again. This paranormal romance author has release book three in her WitchBlood
series. Audiences everywhere rejoice. To give our readers a taste of her main character, Jess, she's provided a character interview. Enjoy. Interviewer:
Hi Jess, so we last chatted with you a year ago when you had just been turned into a vampire. How are you now, I notice your eyes have changed color?Jess:
Ha! Yeah that was a bit of a shock for the clan. (She laughs and twirls a strand of hair around her finger). What a year I’ve had, huh? Well, I guess I get the best of both worlds now.
Interviewer: Last time we spoke you basically admitted that you were a hopeless vampire. Is that still
Nah… I don’t know. I guess I’ve come to terms with my new diet. I certainly don’t ever find myself craving human food anymore that’s for sure. I think Eva would agree that I’ve found my fangs!Interviewer:
So if you have come to terms with being a vampire how do you feel about the part of you that is half witch?Jess:
Now I can control my power and have my license it’s pretty awesome, but when I was just stressing out and blowing all the electricals it was a pain in the rear. I guess when you’re half and half you run the risk of not quite being accepted into either group, but in my case I have to be wary of the wrong types welcoming me, for the wrong reasons.Interviewer:
Are you talking about Brittany’s grandmother now or the Coven of the Blood Moon?Jess:
Hmm, I suppose both. The drama with Brit’s grandmother was difficult because she’s family, but the coven has supposedly been disbanded… though I’m not sure how true that is.Interviewer:
So, at the moment you are staying with your Aunt in Massachusetts. Do you have any plans to go back to the UK?Jess:
(Jess smiles shyly and resumes the hair twirling.) Yeah, I think so. At the moment Brittany is studying for her license and I think my Aunt is enjoying having us around but I miss Manchester and…Interviewer:
And there are rumours that a certain someone is back in your life?Jess:
…Maybe… there are actually several reasons for me to come back to the UK. Luke is currently up in York fighting this weird human insurgency who hates supernaturals. I want to check in on him and the Council have yet to find Mary… the vampire who killed my friend.Interviewer:
So you’re not going to answer my question about Daniel then?Jess:
Ha! Maybe… and maybe not! It’s personal. It’s hard talking about things that mean so much to me. It still feels very raw.
Thanks so much for hosting me on Underground Books. Here is the information on my new book WitchLove
, which is book 3 in the Witchblood series.
With the reappearance of a lost love, Jess flees to the only people who can help her control her increasing powers and gain independence – her family’s coven. But with a bruised heart can Jess learn to forgive or will she find new love in the United States? Witchlove, the third installment of the Witchblood series, is a new adventure that takes Jess from New England to Voodoo country in the South.
Thanks to Emma's generosity, we are giving away 5 Kindle copies of Witchblood
(the first book in the Witchblood
series) to our Weekly Newsletter subscribers! If you don't have a subscription already, subscribe
by Friday, February 22 and you will receive instructions under "Book Giveaways" at the bottom of your Weekly Newsletter email.
Author: Emma Mills
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Length: 330 pages
Though there seems to be a glut of paranormal romance novels flooding the virtual shelves these days, Witchblood
, by Emma Mills, has struck a chord with readers as an adept blend of something borrowed and something new. Although not a totally original premise, this novel about super hot vampires walking among humans adds interesting twists to the standard, making Witchblood
a hot commodity with current audiences.
This book (the first in the successful paranormal romance series aptly titled Witchblood)
opens with a prologue that absolutely works. Jess, our main character, has been changed into a supernatural being and stands watching her human boyfriend mourn her loss. The raw emotion is palpable. We sympathize with her plight. Mills moves quickly from there to a London bar scene where Jess and her best friends are doing their best to enjoy the nightlife. Jess meets the handsome and mysterious Daniel who offers to buy her a drink. Though Daniel is a ten, she refuses, staying faithful to her boyfriend, another likable trait that draws us further in. The plot thickens when Jess leaves the club and a group of malicious teenagers attack her and fatally stab her. Before she breathes her last, Daniel swoops to the rescue. Here’s the catch: she must drink his blood to live, but his blood will change her. Thus begins her new life. She’s now a vampire, but soon realizes she’s not your run of the mill vampire. Witchblood surges in her veins. Only now she must learn to control her powers, deal with her new brethren, and reconcile her past.
Many claim paranormal romance is dead. As a reader of many paranormal romance stories, sometimes I feel authors are beating a dead Twilight
horse with their many variations of this template. This book did not have enough new ideas in it for me to make it a Top Pick. The hot, brooding vampire love is tired. The twist regarding Jess’s witch ancestry is unique, but I don’t think Mills did enough to separate herself from the pack. However, the book is selling very well on Amazon, as is the sequel, so who am I to argue with success? Audiences are reading and liking this book. That definitely counts for something. Mills has done a great job with the cover, the blurb and the marketing as well, which likely helps garner such a wide audience.
Paranormal Romance fans, buy the book. Thought it may be a tad derivative, it is definitely worth 99 cents of entertainment. 4 out of 5 stars.
You can find Emma Mills here.
You can find Witchblood here. If you enjoyed this review you can follow Underground Book Reviews on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow Katie French on Facebook, Twitter and on her website.
Review by: Katie French
In the realm of Paranormal steaminess, The Forever Girl
does not disappoint in turning up the heat. This romance is centered around twenty-two year old Wiccan protagonist Sophia. From the onset it is clear Sophia is not an ordinary girl with her mental static, her reputation as the town witch and her bad luck at being around whenever strange deaths occur. Then, if things weren’t weird enough for her, she begins hearing voices, dead people and animals with sulfur-green eyes that glow in the dark. Ominous signs abound. So then the next logical progression? Enter the vampires.
Okay, so in this book they are not called vampires, but elementals. They have some creative new powers and a mythology that stems back decades. Sophia finds herself wrapped up in all this when her friend Ivory takes her to a mysterious night club. There she encounters Charles, the sexy and mysterious dream guy who of course is a paranormal creature, one she is extremely attracted to. Now the question is, how can she uncover the secrets of her past, while managing her feelings for Charles and staying alive against the forces that seek to destroy her and her love?
Buy the book to find out. The Forever Girl
has many striking similarities with Twilight
. Critics have pounced on this, calling it a rip off. However, sales alone indicate that Hamilton is merely tapping into a fad that people want. Women want the sexy and dangerous love interest; the kind, but troubled damsel in distress; and the evil, fanged antagonist. Sure, this story is similar to Twilight
, but I think that is what most readers find appealing. While reading I found myself making connections between Twilight
and this story, but it did not detract from my enjoyment. Hamilton is a clear professional. You won’t find errors, weak subplots or stilted dialog. This book reads like any you would pull off a store shelf. And the passion between Sophia and Charles? Stephenie Meyer has nothing on Hamilton. A word of caution: while the sexual references are tasteful and by no means pornographic, this book is not intended for children. It is written for “New Adults” a burgeoning category that seeks to entertain the 18-30 crowd. And those 18-30 year-olds have not been disappointed.
You can find The Forever Girl here.
You can find Rebecca Hamilton here. If you enjoyed this review you can follow Underground Book Reviews on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow Katie French on Facebook and on her website.
If mermaid is the new vampire, Tangled Tides
by Karen Hooper has a fighting shot as the new hit in paranormal romance. Tangled Tides
follows Yara, a spunky, take-no-nonsense girl who finds herself immersed in mermaid culture when the sexy male lead Treygan rescues her from a tropical storm. Yara wakes up underwater with fins. And of course she freaks out. Little did she know that she had mer blood in her veins. Now Yara must try to uncover her past, while vying for the attention of two powerful brothers caught in a feud that could lead to the salvation or destruction of the underwater society. And Yara is the key.
From the onset I could tell this story was top notch. It is clear that Karen Hooper knows her stuff when it comes to plot development, character arcs and climaxes. The mythology interwoven here is fresh and interesting. Readers get a sense for Greek lore with a new twist. Siren’s still trick sailors into giving their lives away, but are also flirty, mercurial and sexy. Selkies, like mermen only part seal, hang out in ice cold bars and drink blood that conveys the emotions of its giver. The vast imaginative layers in this story make it worth the $4.99 alone. And then there’s the love story.
Warring brothers fighting for the love of a beautiful woman is anything but new. At first I was worried that we were heading down a path well-traveled. Luckily the characters are three dimensional and the romance feels real. Somehow Hooper makes a man who is half mackerel sexy, a feat I thought pretty much impossible.
There were moments when I felt bogged down with mer-customs like Yara’s welcoming ceremony, but some may find themselves fascinated by the culture in Tangled Tides
. Either way, readers won’t be disappointed under the sea.
You can find Tangled Tides here.
You can find Karen Amanda Hooper on Amazon
and on her website
. If you enjoyed this review you can follow Underground Book Reviews on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter.
You can also follow Katie French on Facebook and on her website.
As the first acquisition from HarperCollins’ InkPop site, Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon sets a bold precedent. Starting as an unknown title, Carrier climbed the ranks until it gained the illustrious top five spot on InkPop. There it gained attention of a top editor and the rest is history. Please welcome author Leigh Fallon to The Underground!
Katie: First of all, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to
answer a few questions. I have to say I was very interested in your path to
publication when I learned you were HarperCollins’ first acquisition from
InkPop. How have things changed for you now that you are a published author?
Leigh: No problem! It's my pleasure.
Things haven't changed hugely. I'm a mom of four so I've had to keep my feet firmly on the ground and balance my time carefully to fit in my kid's hectic schedules and still have time for writing, marketing, and of course all the travel associated with being published. It's a tough task, but I'm managing.
Katie: You incorporate a lot of mythology in Carrier of the Mark. What research
did you do to include those elements in your story?
Leigh: I was always fascinated with celtic mythology. In Ireland, from a very young age, we are introduced to mythology and the folklore associated with it. We are also brought to the sites and locations from where the mythology originates. Most of the lore I've used in Carrier of the Mark is from places I visited on school tours. It kind of got into my bones and stayed with me. When I started writing Carrier of the Mark, I researched the myths further and pulled from other sources to make my story tie in with old stories and the historical sites. I wanted to try and make my story grounded in history. It made it feel more tangible.
Katie: Tell us about the process of taking a draft through to publication. What
was the most daunting?
Leigh: My rough draft of Carrier of the Mark was three spiral bound journals of my handwriting. I wrote the whole 150K story in longhand. Once I realized I had a book on my hands, I sat down and started typing it up, editing it down to 100K words. This was my real first draft. It was long, scrappy, and in need of a great deal of editing, but it was my first ever book, and I loved it.
Then it went through a first round of edits with my editor. This was the most daunting part. Looking at a 15 page editors letter and a marked up manuscript covered in green pen can kind of take your breath away. The hardest part is knowing where to start. But I found my editing groove and we sliced and diced the story, tightening it up, cutting chapters, and tweaking characters until it was reading much better. Then we hit a second round of edits, again, editing down to improve pacing. Editing is tough, but I really enjoy it. My editor, Erica Sussman is wonderful to work with. A book is a real team effort.
Then it was on to copy edits, which weirdly enough found the most taxing part of editing.
Katie: What can we expect from the sequel, Shadow of the Mark?
Leigh: As the name would imply, Shadow of the Mark is darker than Carrier of the Mark. From the first chapter you realize things aren't really going according to plan. The Marked Ones are getting stronger, but all is not as it should be. Things get complicated as newcomers and people from the past work their ways into the lives of the Marked. There's quite a bit of action as Megan flexes her elemental muscles and discovers what she's really capable of.
In the past five years, the paranormal romance genre has exploded on the literary scene following the heels of Twilight. Vampires, werewolves and other mythical creatures have been brushed off, spruced up and given the sparkle treatment. Though some say paranormal romance is on the decline, Coral Moore’s Broods of Fenrir dashes boldly into well-charted territory and carves its own path.
The novel revolves around Brand Geirson, a werewolf living in modern times. Brand is the rightful king of a vicious brood of werewolves that he has shunned for their brutal ways. A lone wolf (pun intended), Brand lives a secluded life away from most of his brood-mates. Brand makes one exception in Alice, a runt of the litter, who was brutalized by another male some years back. Brand rescues her and takes her in. It is here, through his protection of Alice, that we see the kind of man and wolf Brand can be. He is as selfless as he is courageous. Throughout he puts himself on the line to save his weaker brethren from the violent tactics werewolf leaders use to keep their underlings in check. The story heats up when he meets Dagny, the sexy, yet damaged daughter of his former advisor. Their steamy romance complicates Brand’s life dramatically, but he will stop at nothing to protect her, even if it means his life.
This story cannot be classified as strictly young adult fiction because the characters are adults and the sexual content gets R rated. However, older teens and adults will find themselves drawn in by the sympathy they feel toward Brand and his predicament. He is a true hero to his core. The sex scenes are gratuitous, but I have to admit kept me riveted. This story is a quick, light read, somewhere around 260 pages. Brand is likable. The conflict is engaging. There were times when the tension dwindled and the setting lost some of its luster, but those issues did not detract from my enjoyment of the story Moore tells. Overall, I’d say for the cost of a cup of coffee, this book is definitely worth the price and will likely keep you satisfied longer than your grande mocha frapachino.
To check out Broods of Fenrir follow this link.
You can find Coral Moore at her webpage.If you enjoyed this review, you can subscribe to the Underground or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.