Worth His Freedom by Adonis Devereux

Fantasy has always had a special place in my heart. Being a D&D geeky girl, when authors create an exotic setting to plunk their characters in I eat it up. It’s a lot of work. From building a city to the landscape to the hierarchy, it has to be mapped out and any gaping plots spackled like no one’s business.

This alone is the reason I decided to give Worth his Freedom my money. I wanted to see what Adonis Devereux came up with. The husband and wife team really know how to click everything into place. So, I’m breaking out a review–something I’ve tapered off lately.

Adonis Devereux weaves a new world without the annoyance of me needing a dictionary at the end of the book to figure out what the terminology means. It's a classic example of showing the reader instead of straight out telling what the meaning of the words are. I grit my teeth when half the book is a volume on the unique words the author masturbated out in their mom’s basement, if you know what I mean. Thank, Adonis, for not doing this!

I like the parallels between Tsalrin and Miria, the connection between them both being slaves. Again, I can't say this enough… very good world building. I think Miria finding the similarities in their lives is what draws her to Tsalrin. Seeing the tender side he still has, once she breaks down his wall of distrust for her race, makes her fall in love with him. What better way to break free of the chains of being a woman in a society where men have the power than to choose your own lover?

The only thing I would have really, REALLY loved to see a few chapters from Tsalrin's PoV. That's just my personal preference because I read a lot of high fantasy where multiple PoVs (not head hopping, mind you) is the norm.

…I wonder if I could get them to do a high fantasy… hmmmm….

While this didn't have the naughty factor my dirty side likes to see, I love how the few scenes stick to the over all feel of the book. Using the word 'phallus' instead of more erotic terms fit. If it would have used more explicit verbage, I think the whole feel of the novel would have been tainted. Again, my opinion on that.

If you love a tale of love against all odds, I highly recommend Worth His Freedom.

You can follow Adonis Devereux on their blog and Facebook.

An Interview with Georgia Fox

Evernight Publishing’s Georgia Fox

I’m a real stickler when it comes to books. Perhaps it’s because I’m a writer myself or perhaps I’ve become cynic in my *cough, cough* age. I think it changes your perspective on story structure and how its written. I’ve been down right harsh in some of my reviews.

So I decided to broaden my horizons and try not only erotica, but one with menage. Yes, I lead a sheltered life.

Enter Georgia Fox and her Conquerors series. Needless to say, I was amazed at not only the quality of her writing but the depth. She reeled me in (I read Ever Night in one day) and had me pounding the mouse to order the others in the series.

Yes, they’re that good. I felt like a naughty school girl wondering if it was such a bad thing if I got caught and spanked for reading such devilish words.

I had to ask if Georgia would be gracious enough to allow me to interview her for my blog. The great person she is, she accepted. So I present to you, my interview with the lovely Georgia Fox.

First I wanted to say that what I liked most about Ever Night and The Virgin Proxy was even though you had what I consider traditional romance elements, you didn’t overindulge it. For example, the female main character being a virgin. You made the character strong and free-willed. On top of that, they weren’t shying away with intimacy. What inspired you to take that direction?

Well, I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing about strong female characters who take control of their lives and don’t sit around waiting for a man, or anything else, to come along and save them. Of course, in medieval times it was very difficult for a woman to have any voice or purpose – beyond popping out babies for the next generation – so that makes it quite a struggle for my heroines and they have to be twice as determined to make their mark.

People often think it’s unrealistic to have a woman speaking up and getting her way in a medieval-set story. However, it wasn’t impossible for women to be smart and strong. Anyone heard of Eleanor of Aquitaine? An amazingly powerful woman in her day and she lead quite an adventurous life. Yes, most women back then were not educated and wouldn’t think of trying to be anything other than a wife and mother. But the fact is, women were women – yes even back then. They might have had some different issues to deal with than we do today, but they must have longed for the same things that we desire today. The rules were different and stricter for women, but hearts and bodies still worked the same way. Women were always smart, always intuitive and I’m sure they enjoyed sex back then too with the men they found desirable. I’d rather read about women who enjoy sex, so that’s what I write too.

Until your books, most of the romance books I read were of the supernatural sort, mainly Christine Feehan, and historical ones by Connie Mason. None of then had multiple partners. I must say, your deflowering methods leave me hot and wanting. What made you choose this type of romance to write?

I’ve always enjoyed historical romance. I love the fact that there were so many rules for women and I’m sure they had to be very sneaky to get around them. Sometimes they had to put up with a lot of arrogant men thinking they knew better – kind of like we still do today – but there was always the fact that men and women needed each other for one very important reason. The next generation. Sex was there first. I find it fascinating that love came along somewhere in all that, because it really didn’t have to, but something in the human heart just worked that way. In the eras when arranged marriage was the norm it made it all that much trickier. I guess I find romance in a historical period more challenging to write because love could really throw a spanner in the works back then. As for the adventurous sex, I’d like to think its bringing a bright pink flush to whoever is reading it and then a giggle. That way I get a bit of a devious chuckle out of my mischief too. I like to push the boundaries. What will those naughty characters do next? Hey, men have their girlie mags to titillate and we have our hot romances. Everybody’s happy. Funnily enough I read a review recently where someone accused me of adding something “just for titillation” in one of my books – and I thought – well, duh! Isn’t that what any good smutty book does? I hope my books do titillate – and intrigue and inspire!

The Craftsman is the third in your Conquerors series and from the description on Evernight Publishing’s site, you’ve cranked it up a bit. At the end of The Virgin Proxy, I grinned at the set up for The Craftsman. I love that you do that in this series without spending pages upon pages on it. Was this by design to hint at the next path of the series and to explore different areas in the bedroom so to speak?

Yes, I’d like to let my characters continue to explore and discover! At the end of The Craftsman I hadn’t really decided what was coming next and then my editor suggested that I write the next story about Thierry (who has appeared so far in two books), so I put in a little hint about that right at the end. I do like to give the reader a tease and hopefully they’re intrigued enough to want to follow the series to the next book. I don’t think its necessary though to read all the books in the series in order to enjoy any one of them. I don’t like readers to feel cheated – as if they haven’t had a full story if they don’t get all the books. So each one of mine is a contained love story with a very special HEA.

I’m sure you’ve heard this question before but I must ask: What inspired you to pursue not only writing but getting published?

I’ve ALWAYS been a storyteller, but didn’t start writing them down until a few years ago. Originally I wrote just for myself. I found it a good way to cope with stress from a horrible office job – an escape from reality. My characters were like friends to me really – wow that sounds sad. Anyway, I ended up letting a few of my real friends read them and they suggested I try to get published. I had no idea how that all worked and, of course, I soon found out how hard that is. Then it became like this challenge to make somebody, anybody read my work and not just answer my sweated-over query letter with a form rejection. I am the sort of person that if you tell me something can’t be done, I’m going to prove you wrong. Or die trying.

Would you like to give us a tidbit on what you’re working on next?

In addition to The Conquerors series, I’m also writing another series for Evernight and this one follows a country girl in eighteenth century France through her sexual awakening and subsequent misadventures, until she finally realizes the man she’ll love forever is right under her nose – the man who has been her tutor and her rock. (Yes I said ‘rock” that’s not a misprint). It’s a very erotic story, but it is also a romance. I would describe it as Bridget Jones meets Dangerous Liaisons. I have several books planned in that series and the first is LUMINA – MISADVENTURES OF A WANTON HUSSY.

A little blurb tease perhaps?

Isabelle is about to have her virginity auctioned off to the highest bidder. Only stern, sensible Salvatore, her cruel aunt’s solicitor, can rescue Isabelle. While he’s been her tutor, she’s fallen deeply in love. But Salvatore has dark secrets that keep him from temptation. Their futures seem destined to be apart.

Her pride wounded by his rejection, and trust broken by a shocking discovery, Isabelle tries to forget him. Determined never to endanger her heart again, she finds another man to satisfy her sexual needs.

Until a surprise inheritance brings her back to Salvatore. Now named “Lumina”, she wants two things from him – the cock he once denied her. And vengeance.

Salvatore, now a free man, has other ideas. He bitterly regretted losing her before and he’ll do anything to keep her this time, even sharing her with other lovers.

Until she’s ready to commit herself solely to him.

Do you write any other genre?

I write historical romance of a slightly less erotic nature (but still steamy) under my real name. I like to keep the two worlds apart. At least for now.

Do any authors influence your writing?

Some authors I like better than others and I read their work whenever I get the chance – which isn’t often these days. I love Susan Johnson’s sexy historicals and Virginia Henley’s. Whether or not that’s influenced the way I write, I have no idea. I’ve been told I definitely have my own distinctive voice. Hopefully that’s a good thing ! :)

If an aspiring writer asked you what’s the one thing that will help them on their path to getting published, what would you tell them?

Perse – bloody- verance!

I would like to Thank Georgia Fox for taking time out of her busy schedule. You can follow Georgia Fox via her Facebook Page.

Darkness & Light by J.A. Belfield

Before I delve into the specifics of this book, I must come clean about a few things.

First, I’ve come to respect the author of Darkness & Light—J.A. Belfield—as a writer and interweb friend I had the privilege of meeting through Scribophile. Seriously, if you’re a writer looking for unbiased feedback and constructive criticism, Scribo is one of the better sites out there and it’s private.

Second, I have a crush on this book because I designed that lovely ying-yang wolf symbol that graces the (original) cover. Mrs. B even sent me a signed copy of the book for my efforts. I have it locked in my dungeon away from harmful molds and prying fingers wanting to bend the spine. It’s my precious.

Third, I’ve been getting a sneak peek at one of the other installments of the Holloway Pack yummifest which makes me appreciate the world and stories more.

That being said, my review will go forward leaving those thoughts behind. The one thing that would do a disservice in any review is to let personal feelings and relationships get in the way of giving an honest cheeky opinion. Expecting someone you consider a friend to give you a review on that basis is just, well, idiotic. How well would it look to salivate the words all over on how this work brought you to tears (in a good way) to help boost sales and then have someone who has no relationship with you come along to crap on your parade?

Nothing is worse than your friend saying your butt isn’t fat and then be chorused by a Sir Mix-A-Lot song on your way to the bar.

Enough bantering. Time to get to business.

Darkness & Light starts out with Jem, the main character, living through the lens of first person. The beauty of using this PoV is the emotional impact achieved. The only thing that makes me whine about first person is you only get what that character sees. Usually, this has me in fits. What about the other characters? I don’t get in their head at all? THIS SUCKS!

Not so with J.A. Belfield’s offering. I get a clear picture of the other characters with vivid detail. I get a sense of their demeanor and personality. Needless to say, she’s got a good start to a wonderful series of novels.

Let’s get into the meat of Jem’s story. She’s married and a housewife to a man that provides everything. When I say everything, I mean it. We see a cowed woman who thinks her only purpose in life is to hand and foot to her husband. While not wholly happy, she’s content with her life.

There’s only one problem—she’s been having dreams that seem all too real to her. Worse yet, a mysterious man stalks them. It’s only when she finds this man doesn’t just exist in her dreams that the demise of her marriage—and the true demon her husband is—comes about.

What J.A. Belfield does at this point had my jaw dropping. The plight of an abused woman comes full force and the heartbreaking scenes of her trying to make things go back to the ‘perfect’ marriage again hurts to read. To see the building up of Jem as a character and watch her rise above what is was in this life and to grasp what she was in another life.

Sigh…. It’s a romance that doesn’t want me to toss my cookies and milk into the porcelain goddess. That stereotypical ‘OMG! He’s doesn’t love me, he’s hiding stuff’ bullshit is nowhere to be seen in this book. How I loathe seeing that in any romance novel. Hooray to the heavens it’s not in Darkness & Light.

Another thing I love to see in books is peaks and valleys. That little calm before the storm. You get it tenfold. I dare you not to get caught up in the emotional pull. I dare you not to look at Jem’s soule mate Sean and go—I’ll have what she’s having. ;)

I can’t say that this is the best book I’ve read in a while because I read Brent Week’s The Way of Shadows two books ago and absolutely loved it. I’m just waiting to read the other two in the series before doing a review. Patience, my followers.

I will say this is one of the best books I’ve read recently. I’m looking for more from this author and the best thing? I know there’s going to be more. Well deserved indeed.

Being as she’s from the land of tea and crumpets, the language shows it. I get a giggle every time I see the word ‘rear’. I think it’s the immature part of me. For those words that gave me pause, my Kindle dictionary snickered the answer to me with a big BRIT in the definition.

You can follow J.A. Belfield on Twitter or Facebook. Check out her author page at J. Taylor Publishing and her blog.