Review: Breaker (Exile, Volume 1) by Kelly Wyre and AF Henley

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

** spoiler alert ** “Everybody meets the dark alone.”

Breaker (Exile #1) takes us to a place where some people (called Estranged) have superpowers that could annihilate the world. The danger that the Estranged pose caused them to get hunted, shunned, and feared even by their own family. Feared even by their own selves for what they could do to the people around them.

Eddie and Kaeva are two of such people. In this book we feel their fears, their pain, and the great lengths they go through to isolate themselves–to ensure they do not harm others.

I love Breaker (Exile #1) because of these two relatable characters. Like everyone else they seek for their true purpose in life. I also love that they are a walking contradiction. They are strong and yet they are weak, flawed. They are independent and yet they continue to long for that someone who will make them whole. They want to be alone and yet deep down they know they can’t. The loneliness for living alone is heartbreaking.

Five stars for Breaker (Exile #1). I hope to read more about Rivet, Mecken, Oberon, and Lake.

exile-breaker-coverThe Teaser

The cab slowed. It was one of many moving along the six grid lanes that would take them into the airport, and Eddie eyed the fading afternoon sky through the dirty windshield. The sun always seemed to set so fast in the metro centers, and Chicago was one of the worst when it came to heavily polluted metropolises. At home—in any of the rural developments, really—it was easy to forget that large stacks had once puffed unfathomable quantities of filth into the air, and had damn near poisoned the entire planet. Here, though, on what the books used to call Interstate 90 and what they now called Gridline Ninety, where the damage had lingered and everything from lungs to concrete finishes had suffered, it wasn’t hard to believe in the slightest. The entire city wore the scars of humanity’s abuse.

The airport loomed to the right of the grid lanes like a giant gray beast. Its old fashioned concrete exterior had a faded, dismal appearance. Not worth the trouble to tear down, a large tower still stood in the middle of the property, but it was no longer used for air traffic control. When he’d taken an interest in air travel a few years prior, the ‘Net had cheerfully told him all about the computer programs and grid-style management that the airlines had developed back in pre-Cure days.

Post-Cure advancements were vague. The ‘Net had advised him that most of his questions were of a classified nature. “Security management”—Security breach – search failed, please try again—and “Proprietary development”—Classified information, please try again with a different search—were not discussed.

Gillian had not been the only person on the planet with extra special talents, everyone knew that. And on more than one occasion Eddie had wondered if those “afflicted” people now ran the airlines. Someone with the right power to control heavy machinery. Someone who could save the airlines, which were all government controlled, some serious cash when it came to pilots and equipment maintenance. A human slave who carried the title of “Estranged” and worked under the scrutinizing eye of government officials.

Of course, his mother had told him the idea was ridiculous, that nobody used the Estranged for anything good. Ever. That was why they had to keep Eddie’s little “issue” a secret. No one could know. She’d make sure she kept him safe and out of the sights of the government if it killed her. If for no other than she couldn’t bear the thought of her friends finding out one of those belonged to her.

He heard her speak as though she sat next to him, “Do you want to end up like Gillian?”

Breaker (Exile Volume 1)

Copyright © 2017 by Kelly Wyre and A.F. Henley

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Blurb

Breaker

In the wake of several near-cataclysmic events, humanity created the Cure, a DNA-altering antidote to death by disease and old age. But all cures come with side effects: a small percentage of the population develops a wide range of powers, some of which are lethal to others, and some which are lethal to the wielder.

These people are called the Estranged, hunted and shunned, safe only on the Island of Exile. It is here that Kaeva and Eddie meet—and where they set a prophecy in motion, quite possibly sealing their own demise, and even the end of Exile.

Genre: Gay, Urban Fantasy

Notes: contains some explicit content and includes thoughts and discussions of past and potential suicide

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Purchasing Link

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About the Authors

Kelly Wyre enjoys reading and writing all manner of fiction, ranging from horror to romance. She used to work in advertising but is now happily chained to her writing desk and laptop. Kelly relishes the soft and cuddly and the sharp and bloody with equal amounts of enthusiasm. She’s a coffee addict, a workaholic, a chronic night owl, and loves a good thunderstorm. Currently Kelly resides in the southeastern United States.

Connect with Kelly!

❧ Website ❧ Blog  ❧ Twitter ❧ Facebook ❧ Fan Page ❧ Google Plus

❧ Tumblr – NSFW! ❧ Pinterest ❧ Amazon Author Page ❧ Goodreads

Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica. A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish. Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012.

Connect with Henley

♥ Website  ♥ Twitter  ♥ Facebook  ♥ Amazon Author Page

♥ Google Plus  ♥ Tumblr – NSFW!  ♥ Instagram  ♥ Goodreads

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Book Review: My Boyfriend’s Back by Elliot Cooper

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

I enjoyed reading My Boyfriend’s Back very much.

I must admit I didn’t read the blurb before reading this book because, hey, it’s Elliot Cooper, I love him! Needless to say I was surprised when I started reading. Not only is it a story I didn’t expect, it was both dark and tragic as well.

The problem is, I don’t like it when main characters die and a few pages into the story I kind of got where it was going. I almost stopped reading because, well, I hate tragic stories but I’ve read two of Elliot Cooper’s works before and he’s always created something new and magical out of something old and somehow I knew he would do the same thing with this book. Didn’t stop me from getting horrified when Dax died though. Few pages in and I already loved the guy, that’s how powerful this writer’s writing is, he managed to make me care for the love interest in the span of a few paragraphs.

Anyway, I’m glad I pressed on even if some scenes horrified me tremendously. Lol. It is fast-paced as well so the reader need not worry about getting bored.

Five stars from me; I therefore recommend My Boyfriend’s Back .

Happy reading!

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About the Book

After losing both of his parents, Academy of Magecraft student Steven Durant doesn’t want to see anyone else lose a loved one before their time. Traditional resurrection methods, however, only create mindless, flesh-hungry zombies; they’re no cure for death. He’s certain his unique brand of necromancy—using alchemy and blood magic—is the only answer.

When his boyfriend, Dax Everhart, has a fatal accident, Steven sees no choice but to use his experimental Lazarus Elixir. Dax comes back wrong, but the more humans he consumes, the more human he becomes.

With the help of his best friends, his ghostly aunt, and her living doll homunculus, Steven fights to regain normalcy and repair his shattered relationship with Dax. But with Dax openly embracing his monstrous nature, Steven shoulders the guilt of assisting in a murder spree that could lead the mundane and magical police right to their door.

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About the Author

Elliot Cooper writes speculative fiction featuring queer characters. His novels and novellas come with hopeful and happy endings, though his short fiction runs the gamut of styles and genres. He strives above all to make his readers feel, while also increasing positive representation of LGBTQ characters and their stories.

Website

http://www.elliotcooperwrites.com

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Book Review ~ Bumasa at Lumaya 2: A Sourcebook on Children’s Literature in the Philippines Blog Tour

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

Bumasa at Lumaya 2 is a resource and reference book on children’s literature put together by the the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY). The first one was published in 1994 and it wasn’t until this year, twenty-one years later, that the second book in the series came out.

Bumasa at Lumaya 2 indeed is a reference book on children’s literature. It discusses the status and history of children’s literature in the country from 2000 to 2013 and how far it had come since especially in the advent of picture book apps and ebooks.

It also contains a chapter titled The Writer’s Heart which basically discusses the things a writer must keep in mind when writing a children’s book, who the children are, and how they think. It also enumerated the challenges we face in retelling stories from days of old like the Filipino folk tales, myths, fairy tales, and Filipino legends.

Another chapter was dedicated for the various writer fora titled Writer’s Speak which mainly discusses how one became a writer, when, where, and how one writes; their influences and the publishing process; and most importantly the state of the publishing industry today. A section discussed how to write nonfiction books for the children.

A chapter on The Bookmaker’s Art makes the readers appreciate the growth of the children’s books in terms of illustration and design, the milestones in children’s book illustrations, the recognition that the talent and skill of Filipino illustrators has been getting, the support gained for illustrators throughout the years, and how – with the advancement of technology – everything had become a lot easier. A section on comic appreciation was also included and it discusses the Philippine Comics Industry, the Digital Revolution, recommended titles on comics for children among others.

Being a reader, my most favorite part of the book is The Reader’s Part. It has two sections: For Love of Reading – which discusses how we can encourage and nurture the love and habit of reading. It also discussed the challenge of getting children to love reading and the staggering realization that  how will they love reading if we don’t have books to learn to read with in the first place? To make these books available, Library Hubs was born in 2006 as did various other programs that encourages love of reading such as Sa Aklat Sisikat and Inquirer’s Read-Along Sessions with celebrity readers.

The next section for this chapter discusses the ways in which a librarian and other interested parties can organize a school and home library. This part I also loved because as a high school student, I dreamed of having my own library someday that I can share with the public.

The last chapter titled Book Reading and Learning shows a conversation with reading education advocates where they discussed the gaps in children’s literature, the lack of nonfiction books, the importance of using children’s books in the classroom among others.

I love this book because it delivered everything it promised. It is for the readers, the publishers, artists and illustrators, educators, librarians, authors.

Bumasa at Lumaya 2 shows us that we’ve come a long way but at the same time it also shows us how far we still have to go.

Five stars for Bumasa at Lumaya 2. Here’s to hoping that years from now, when the third book comes out, it will show how closer we’ve come to reaching our goals but for now, let’s celebrate the birth of this book – the one that will serve as everyone’s guide in getting us closer to that elusive goal.

About Bumasa at Lumaya 2

“Twenty-one years after its first ever resource and reference book on children’s literature in the Philippines, the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) again offers readers a second look at where Philippine children’s literature is today: the huge strides it has taken and the many more fascinating destinations it has set its sights on.”

Contributors: Eugene Y. Evasco, Rene O. Villanueva (+), Neni Sta. Romana Cruz, Lara Saguisag, Christine S. Bellen, Ramon C. Sunico, Luis P. Gatmaitan, Mailin Paterno Locsin, Russell Molina, Carla Pacis, Augie Rivera, Zarah C. Gagatiga, Jomike Tejido, Beth Parrocha, Perpilili Vivienne Tiongson, Lin Acacio Flores, Ruben de Jesus, Liza Flores, Paolo Chikiamco, Ani Rosa Almario, Leonor Diaz, Dina Ocampo, & Felicitas Pado.

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Book Review: The Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper

The Clockwork MenagerieThe Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper

Warning: Review contains spoilers

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

OMG. I love this story very much.

There’s a lot to love about The Clockwork Menagerie. For one, while short and sweet, the world that the author created is vivid in my head: historical and yet modern because of the advanced technology used to make mechanical animals which I find unique and beautiful.

The main character Clement Dyers is one of those who eked out a living by making life-like mechanical animals. Unfortunately he is dealing with many issues all at once: business problems, his former lover, and his stark future.

Secondly, every character and scene in this story has a purpose and as with the setting, the three main characters are well-written. Lastly, the love interest Duke Goodwin made me feel “kilig.” Nothing like a persistent guy trying to say sorry and make it up to Clement in his own special way to sweep not only Clement off his feet but also its readers.

Five stars to The Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper. Here’s to hoping we read more of them and more of this universe.

Thank you to NineStar Press for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book

Autosmith Clement Dyer wants to create his life-like, mechanical animals in peace. He’s tired of being badgered about selling his business to his long-time rival and former lover, Duke Goodwin. He also craves appreciation for his living works of art.

Unfortunately, not all of Clement’s clients see his clockwork creations the way he does, and a prominent but dissatisfied customer threatens to sink his struggling business into the ground.

 About the Author

Elliot Cooper is a creativity addict who prefers writing stories that embody adventure, a hint of the taboo, and shadows that are deeper than they appear at first glance. All the better if romantic or erotic elements are key.

Elliot also enjoys video games and knitting, and lives in the southern US with his human and feline family.

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Genre

 

Book Review: Two for the Show by Megan Derr

Nikko needs a scandal. Something, anything, that will keep media eyes on him and far away from the fight for his deadbeat brother’s children. When he sees Jake Hallow in a bar, it seems a perfect solution. What would cause more noise than planting a kiss on a ruler-straight country star? He didn’t expect Jake to kiss him back.

Jake’s faced a lot of surprises in the forty-four years he’s been alive. But being kissed senseless by the beautiful Nikko Star is something else entirely, and he doesn’t at all know what to do with the long-banked feelings that Nikko turns into a blaze. Or the disappointment he feels when he learns the real reason Nikko kissed him.

But hearing Nikko’s story, Jake decides to help, and agrees to give the world a fake love affair for the sake of protecting a couple of kids. And he’s always believed in putting on one hell of a show—no matter how much it leaves him hurting when the lights go down.

About Megan Derr

Megan is a long time resident of m/m fiction, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she’s not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies (especially all things James Bond). She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all around the internet.

maderr.com
maderr.tumblr.com
maderr.livejournal.com
lessthanthreepress.com
@amasour

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My Review
Warning: Review is angsty plus it contains spoilers
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

I loved Two for the Show! It is a quick read and the story is straightforward and uncomplicated yet sweet and heartbreaking.<3

Nikko has to find a way how to distract the paparazzi always tailing him for fresh news if he wanted their noses out of his custody battle with his brother for his nephews.

This story struck a chord within me because the children reminded me of myself and my cousins when we were kids. My cousins’ father, my uncle, was most often tying one of them with a rope and hanging him upside down or whipping them with an uninsulated electrical wire or putting one of my cousins inside a sack. For three years I bore witness to the atrocities committed by a father to his own children and a decade later, when one of those cousins died, I would dream of these incidents over and over.

So I guess this is why I loved this book. Apart from the fact that I love Megan’s flawless writing and how effortless she weaved the scenes of the story together. I loved that Nikko loved his nephews, that he cared enough to look after them and take them in.

Maybe a huge part of me wished someone saved us from a similar situation. But I also acknowledge that I should have told an adult or two about our situation in the house then maybe someone really would.

Since my grandparents died, a lot of people wanted to take me away from home: my uncle Dieg, my godmother,  my English teacher who got alarmed at the essay I wrote for the class. No, I didn’t write about the domestic abuse but I told him I have no family because they are all dead and while I did have a sister, she was in Manila; I did have a father but I have yet to meet him as did my brother. To my teacher, this sounded off because I lived with my cousins, aunt, and uncle. Why did I not talk about them in my essay instead? My wise teacher had read between the lines and told the nuns who ran our school who, in turn, talked to me and tried to pry the truth out of me.

For the first time I would lie knowingly. The only thing running in my head at the time was how the nuns would take me away from home. I couldn’t leave my cousins behind, so I lied my way out. I told her yes, we have food at home. Yes, we eat three times a day. Yes, I have lunch money every day. Yes, my aunt and uncle were taking good care of us. It didn’t occur to me to tell them my problem lay on how my uncle would beat the shit out of an “errant” family member.

By the end of that school year I would leave the house anyway. I’d had enough. For three years I stood and watched in silence as these things happen and then one day I discovered my sister Ate Mae’s letters in one of our cabinets in second floor, torn to shreds. How long had my aunt been doing this? Did she do this while my grandmother waited for my sister’s letters when she went to Manila for college? For over a year my grandma waited and waited for the letters that never came.

And then she died thinking my sister had forgotten us.

The thoughts racing in my head over and over enraged me. How Nanay waited and waited, how worried, disappointed, and sad she felt. How cruel my aunt was for doing that. Oh I knew why she did it. My aunt did it for the small amount of money my sister had inserted on the letter.

Minutes later when my aunt came upstairs I made sure she knew I was pissed. All those years of holding back and then just like that, I threw the cabinet doors closed with a loud bang.

I made sure she saw the pieces of paper, my sister’s handwriting visible. I scowled at her. These things are a no-no in the Filipino culture.The kids aren’t supposed to talk back, fight, scowl, etc. etc. on their elders.

If I said something about the letter directly I have no recollection. I have no idea either if she understood why I got angry but the next thing I know she was hitting me with her slippers and then she was dragging me down the stairs and I was thinking, why am I here? Why did I not leave this wretched place?

After that incident I wasted no time. I sent word to my uncle via my sister, would they please get me the fuck out of there when the school year ends? No, I didn’t use those words but close. I asked my best friend Jihan to mail the letter for me and from then on, Ate Mae addressed all her letters for me to Jihan.

I left town at thirteen with a resolve to come back for my cousins but when I did, I couldn’t take them away and then one of them died hence the beginning of my many regrets.

So yeah, I may or may not have cried while reading this book. I thought that every kid should have an uncle like Nikko and every Nikkos out there deserved a Jake by their side. 🙂 Maybe it’s why I read fiction, too. In fiction, kids suffer but as a rule they cannot die. They get to have their happy ending, too.

Five stars for Two for the Show from me. That the story is music-themed is a bonus, the audition scenes being my most favorite part of the book.

Go read the story here:

https://www.wattpad.com/story/50968984-two-for-the-show

Book Review: The Hometown Hazard by Dawn Lanuza

Jules Coronado has been away from her hometown for almost a decade but when an intruder breaks in to her childhood home, she finds herself coming back. Changes evidently took place in her small town, including her childhood best friend’s younger brother, Kip – now tall, slightly scruffed, all grown up and caught climbing into their garden wall.

Kip Villamor has a mission and despite Jules’ doubts, they team up: going on fieldtrips, tackling unsuspecting men, and trespassing offices to dig up dirt. But Jules has secrets of her own, one that might be exposed – unless she keeps her walls up. But climbing walls are Kip’s forte, remember?

Will her secrets keep her on his side, or will it force her to disappear again?

Published January 29th 2016 by Indie Sisiw Books
Edition Language: English

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My Review
Warning: Contains Spoilers
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

The Hometown Hazard by Dawn Lanuza is a fun read. 🙂 I enjoyed Kip’s and Jules’s adventure as they tried to unravel the mystery in their parents’ joint business.

Kip is everything Jules is not. He is brash, daring, spontaneous. And did I mention he’s such a looker, too? ^_^ Kip doesn’t have plans, he loves winging it. Jules, on the other hand, can’t live without it. The two clearly are at opposite poles when it comes to so many things and yet their chemistry sizzles.

But more than that, I loved reading about their adventure. I could literally feel the pound of Jules’s heart because of what Kip’s been doing. He literally is The Hometown Hazard (Love the title, btw, and the cover of the book) and Jules was right to worry about him from the get go.

With The Hometown Hazard, it’s the adventure, the journey of the two characters that you’ll love. How they got to know each other and how they are together. The twist of the story as well, albeit heartbreaking.

Five stars for The Hometown Hazard. I’m definitely going to read more of Dawn Lanuza’s works. ❤

 

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Posting this. Because. Victoria Aveyard will be in National Book Store, Glorietta 1 at 2pm tomorrow, March 6. More info here for those who are interested in going.

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

Paperback, 383 pages
Published February 12th 2015 by Orion (first published February 10th 2015)
Original Title: Red Queen
ISBN 1409155846 (ISBN13: 9781409155843)
Edition Language: English
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My Review
Warning: Contains Spoilers
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

 

I LOVED the world author Victoria Aveyard built and I’m looking forward to reading the next book.Red Queen starts slow. At least for me. Normally, I’d drop books like that, but this is one of my niece’s favorites and she had been asking me for over two months about my progress. Lol. Although I must say it took me a while to get into this book, I’m mighty glad I continued reading it.

Mare Barrow is a simple Red girl from the Stilts working as a thief while waiting to get conscripted until fate intervened and her life, as she knew it, changed.

Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen has a “Cinderella” feel to it, that plus X-Men (because of the powers the Silvers possessed). If you’re someone who prefers these things in a book, then I recommend you read Red Queen. ❤