Myra Danvers-Delirium

Last week, after I blogged about Livia Bourne’s book and said that scifi was my first love, Myra got in touch with me and told me that she loved scifi and space opera too, and she had one that she thought that I’d like, and she sent me Delirium. And she was right. I loved it. I loved it so much, I think that I might reread it this weekend. If you like harder scifi, space opera, or completely deranged heroines, then this is definitely a book for you to try out.

Iris has spent many years as a space cargo transport pilot. She has her ship, her androids, and her opium, which she grows on her ship. She pays off people so that she can fly under the radar, and she’s very happy being alone. As long as she has her opium and is high, she’s perfectly happy. This is who she is in the After, and it’s good. There’s just one thing that causes her problems, and that is Big Evil, who is floating around somewhere. She’s trying very hard to avoid him, but that’s OK, she has some very shocking plans around for him if he shows up.

You see, Iris isn’t just a junkie pilot. She’s also a Mech. That means that she can McGuyver anything, with even less than McGuyver would need. She could probably make a death ray out of nothing but a chewing gum wrapper and scotch tape. She wouldn’t even need duct tape for that. She’s also a little bit crazy. And by little bit, I mean full-on sociopath with little to no morals and ethics. I love her. I wouldn’t want to be around her, because the amount of chaos that surrounds her, even when she’s asleep, is at an epically high level. I mean, I can’t even describe the chaos when she’s not trying. When she does try, stand the fuck back. I mean allllll the way back.

Myra’s dedication is a thing of beauty, and that needs all the acknowledgment. And now that we have done that, let’s talk about the way that Myra describes things. Her use of descriptive language is beautiful and elegant. It really brings the story to life and pulls you in. I could practically feel the world because of the textures that she created with words. I want to say that it’s not world-building, not quite, maybe it’s world-building adjacent. I’m not saying that Myra didn’t create a rich and wonderful world, because she did, it’s just something different. I don’t think I’m explaining it well, and that’s sad. I guess that means you are going to have to go read it and find out for yourself, won’t you?

One of my favorite heroines in all the books I’ve read is Sigil from Addison Cain. I’m going to have to put Iris right there next to Sigil. And they are totally in a category of their own.

Big Evil and Daxx are definitely interesting. Daxx has no clue what he is doing. And Big Evil? Well, his name is pretty descriptive, don’t you think?

This is one of those books that I’m almost mad that I’ve read because I can never read it for the first time again.

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OMG, that poor Nanny! And the Detox Fairy. And Daxx is just stupid.

OK, go check this out. You’ll thank me. Happy reading!

 

Tracy St. John-Kalquor

So, lately I’ve been working my way through Tracy St. John’s Kalquor universe. It started out as one series, but now has spun off with two more solid series, and then some shorts. I am really enjoying these books, and I keep going back and forth in between the two main series, The Clans of Kalquor, which was first, and Clan Beginnings. There’s also a new series called Clan Companions.

OK, so here’s how the books work. Kalquor is an alien planet (obviously) where women are slowly dying out. There was a virus that went through and killed off a lot of women back in the day, and what Kalquoran women are left are often infertile. To help make the most of the remaining women, and to, you know, give the guys some relief, they form family groups, or clans. Kalquor men break down into 3 distinct breeds, Dramok, Nobek, and Imdiko. Dramok are the leaders, Nobek are the warrior/protectors, and Imdikos are the caregivers. Each clan has one man from each breed in them. And they get together the same way that any relationship would. The guys meet, court, fall in love, and have awesome sex, often seriously kinky.

When the Clans books start out, the Kalquorans are at one generation or so away from extinction. The best scientists have been working on trying to figure out what to do to make their women fertile again. They’ve also taken to testing out other species to see if they can cross-breed, but so far no one has shown up. Then, voila, Earthers happen.

This Earth is a world-wide theocracy. And not a nice theocracy. We’re talking the nasty, conservative, makes evangelicals look liberal kind. It’s the kind where women don’t do anything that may draw attention to themselves, because they all know that they are just one teeny tiny step away from work camps or even execution. Women who are sexually assaulted are found guilty and punished because they tempted the men into assaulting them and they are now sexually impure. It’s not a nice place for anyone to live, let alone women. The Kalquorans come to them and ask them if they can test to see if they are compatible, because apart from one real difference, they are identical, physically. The one difference? The Kalquoran males have two self-lubricating cocks.

Well, Earth, of course, wants to have nothing to do with the demons who mate in groups, have the wrong number of appendages, and have sex with other males. Plus, you know, Earthers are God’s only creations, so they can’t possibly be related to or compatible with aliens.

Some women manage to leave the planet, but they are still watched very carefully by the government, and they are all told to stay away from the Kalquorans. But one woman didn’t listen. Amelia was talking to one of the clans while they were on another planet, and they tested her and found out that Earther women were compatible. When the Earther government found out, it turned really ugly.

The rest of the series involves clans finding their Mataras, or lifebringers, and the struggles that they go through. That’s all set against the larger story arc. You could, maybe, read them as a standalone, but you would be confused, so you really should read them all in order.

Beginnings is the stories of the various clans that show up in Clans as they get together. You get to see what brought each clan together and what they had to deal with to get there. The books aren’t in order to the way that they show up in Clans, and there aren’t as many of those as there are Clans, at least as of yet. It really is interesting to get to know those guys before they get together with their women. There is a lot of sex, a lot of it kinky, but very awesome.

The Clan Companions series only has one book so far, but it deals with one Kalquoran male who prefers males and an Earther male that is gay. It’s a great book, and is related to the greater series.

I really enjoy reading these books, and I think when I get to the last one, I’ll have to turn around and reread them.

 

Grace Goodwin-Ascension Saga 3, 4, & 5

So, we’re back in Grace’s Interstellar Bride Program ‘verse, and back to the story of the planet of Alera, its long missing queen, and the 3 surprise women who have lit up 3 additional spires in the Citadel, right next to the Queen’s spire.

Ascension 3 is the final part of Trinity’s story and 4 & 5 are the first two parts of Faith’s story. Grace has left us hanging at the end of the 5th, just like she did at the end of 2. She’s so mean to us. I almost wanted to cry at the end because I just can’t wait until the next one.

So, starting with 3, Trinity is now settled into the palace and Leo is pretending to be her guard, right up until someone sneaks into her bed, when he says that he is her mate and everyone is going to know. Trinity agrees with that. But that doesn’t mean that trouble is over. Sure, everyone knows that Trinity and Leo are mates, but there are still plots afoot, and they still have no clue who took the queen or where she is.

In 4, Faith is working undercover at the Jax household. The Jaxes may be one of the traitors involved in taking Queen Celene, and since no one knows what Faith looks like, she’s perfect to be there. Even if she has to work as a maid. That’s OK, she likes Lord Jax the elder, but she doesn’t get a lot of snooping time. Things happen and she meets Thor Jax who she Awakens.

In 5, Faith and Thor know that they are mates, but there are still questions about traitorous activity. Faith and Thor both think that they are the traitor. Once again, all kinds of things happen.

Yeah, I know, it seems like I’m like I’m breezing over things, and yeah, alright, I am. That’s because these are short reads and they are serials, so if I say anything about one, then I start to spoil others, and I’m trying really hard not to do that.

There are a lot of things that I like about this particular Saga. One is that the fact that the men are virgins until they meet their fated mates. I mean, not just virgins, but literally, their cock doesn’t even work until all of a sudden, boom, major lust and unending hardon. But, that doesn’t mean that they don’t know what they are doing. The Aleran males have very interesting sex ed courses, where they are taught not the birds and the bees, but how to make the birds sing and keep their ladies happy. I think that there are a lot of human men who need to know that. I can’t wait for the rest of the story to come out.

Trinity’s story will be out all as one volume in the very near future, and the same will happen with Faith and Destiny when their stories are complete.

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Not too many spoilers here except for the end of 5. Goddammit. I’m not happy.

Go check out all Grace’s books. Happy reading!

 

Raisa Greywood-The Leopard Mage

Raisa Greywood has brought out the next book in her Shifter’s Mates series, The Leopard Mage. Then time around, we are getting a new shifter, Chen Daiyu, and a new mate, Dakar. Daiyu is almost as epic as Renata. Renata is scarier up close and personal, but Daiyu is a strategist and tactician. Renata will fuck you up immediately, Daiyu will fuck you, your friends, your family, and the people you knew in 1st grade up.

Daiyu is a snow leopard from high in the Himalayas. For the shifters, snow leopards are revered. They are the mystics, the priests, the wise people, the ones who are in contact with the spirits. Daiyu left her family and people in Tibet and traveled from Tibet all the way over to Canada and then down to Atlanta. It took her YEARS to do that. But, she was going to have to go to Ximera, meet her mate, and help the shifters adjust to their new home. And the migration off Earth has to happen soon, because it only has a couple of more years left when it comes to supporting life. Daiyu got her match, but, just like Renata, she was captured. Daiyu spends the time meditating and pretending to be unconscious. Then, when she gets the chance, she and her leopard escape.

Dakar has been matched to Chen Daiyu. However, he’s sworn to not take a mate because his brother helped with a genocide and is now stealing shifters. But when the First Councillor, his uncle and almost father, and War Mate Renata tell him that he has to go rescue Daiyu and help to head off Soledad, a piratical jaguar shifter who managed to free herself and is now taking her vengeance, he does his duty. He’s just going to do everything he can to make sure that he doesn’t bond in any way to Daiyu.

I like Daiyu. I think that she’s insanely emotionally and mentally strong. She’s been trained by everyone to be mindful and mystical and scholarly, but she’s also a wicked fighter. I mean, she uses two swords and kicks serious butt. And that’s not even what it’s like when she’s a leopard. Big kitties are scary. Dakar is kind of stupid sometimes. OK, more than sometimes. He needs a cluex4 big time. He’s an idiot. But, he’s an honorable idiot, if still an idiot. He made me mad, but Daiyu handled him so well. I have to say, I really love that Raisa has written her heroines to be the badasses in this series. I mean, their guys are no slouches, and they are pretty damn Alpha, but when it comes to Renata and Rakon or Daiyu and Dakar, the women are the BAMFs.

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I love that when the rescue comes, it’s Daiyu who is making the plan for them to do the rescue and that Dakar just lets her. I also love what his leopard tells him at that point. And I’m wondering if that’s going to be very important in the future. Oh hell, I’m not wondering, I’m pretty damn sure it’s going to be important.

I’m eager to find out the story of the last addition to the book. That’s going to be very interesting. I do love the Dalai Lama. He’s pretty cool. I’d love to see more of him in the next books, and I think that putting him and the First Councillor together would be AWESOME!

I’m so looking forward to Soledad. Raisa promises that she is even more BAMF-ier than Renata.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. You really should go check out the whole series. Happy reading!

 

Grace Goodwin-Ascension Saga Books 1 & 2

So, over the time I’ve had the blog, you’ve heard me talk about Grace Goodwin and her Interstellar Bride Program books. Well, today, Grace has started a new series in her IBP ‘verse. The Ascension Saga is different than her regular books. For one thing, they are a serial, so if you don’t like cliffhangers, you may want to wait until all 6 books come out. Today, we have books 1 &2. There is also a free prequel so that you can understand what’s going on with the series. Another way that the Ascension series is different is that we’re focusing on the women a whole lot more and the entire saga follows 3 sisters.

So here’s the way this works. Alera, a planet that’s part of the Coalition, has a queen, Queen Celene. In the prequel, a coup is happening, the king is dead, and Celene is trying to get somewhere safe because she’s pregnant, which no one else knows, and she knows that she and her daughter need to get somewhere safe so that her daughter can be born and grow up and then they can come take back Alera. Celene’s lit spire in the Citadel will stay that way as long as she lives, no matter where she is, so her people will know that she lives.

Flash forward 27 years and Trinity and her younger twin sisters Faith and Destiny are speeding to the Interstellar Bride Processing Center as quickly as they can, while being chased by a black SUV. They want to ask the sisters about the spaceship that landed in their front yard and took their mother from her bed. The sisters just want to get to Alera so that they can start to find their mom, and oh yeah, declare themselves to be Princesses of Alera. They make it by the skin of their teeth and stand behind a couple of huge Atlan warriors who block the black SUV from getting in. With the help of Warden Egara and Prime Nial, the sisters make it to Alera, where they are greeted by a lord that Nial trusts, and a Consort to help slake Trinity’s Aleran Ardor, which is a kind of heat that Aleran women go into. Nial has also called in a friend, Leo, to help guard the women, but he doesn’t tell them who they are. All Leo knows is that when he sees Trinity, he realizes that she’s The One, his mate.

Because it’s a serial, if I talk too much about what happens in any of the books, it really spoils the one before it. So, in vague terms, we have true love, laser battles, torture, spanking, lots of sex, and untold secrets. We also have 3 sisters who are pretty kick ass. Trinity, as the oldest, has been trained to really think of her people and her planet first and herself after. She’s also been taught to value the rule of law and all that kind of thing. Destiny is pretty much a battle goddess. If you can kill someone with it, she can use it. Faith isn’t going to kill you, but she’s not a pushover either. All three sisters have been trained in defense and the things that all good rulers need to know. Don’t mess with them. They will hurt you in all kinds of ways, in all the ways. The series looks like it’s going to really focus in on the sisters. There are going to be mates, of course, because well, it’s a romance, but I think that they are going to be not as prominent as they have been in other books. We’re also going to get a different kind of story because here we’re focusing on the women taking their planet back and trying to save their mother. I’m really looking forward to it.

There are going to be 6 books in total, and each of the sisters will have 3 books focusing on her. 1-3 are for Trinity, and 3&4 come out in November.

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ARGH! The cliffhanger in 2. OMFG. I just about screamed out loud for real. The only reason I didn’t was that it was the middle of the night and my husband gets grumpy if I wake him up in the middle of the night because of a book. I don’t need his grumpiness when I’m reading.

I have the feeling that Celene may not be found, and I’m not sure what I think about that. I guess we’ll have to see what happens.

OK, that’s all I have to say about these. Go check them out. Happy reading!

Sahalie Blue-Love Under the Western Star

Before I say anything at all about Love Under the Western Star, I need to just say how freaking awesome the name Sahalie is. Don’t you think it’s pretty damn awesome? I know I’ve reviewed a book by this author before on here, but I don’t remember if it was under this name or a different one. It was a great book though, all about a female rodeo rider through the years. You got to see history through her eyes and see how things progressed. I really liked it.

This one, though, is all futuristic mixed with Wild West and is definitely scifi. It is based on a real story that took place out in Arizona, back in the day. It was called The Pleasant Valley War, and it made Romeo and Juliet look like a sweet fluffy story. Nearly all the male line of both the Tewksburys and the Grahams were killed during the conflict, and it delayed Arizona’s statehood. Interesting reading about it, and it made me appreciate Love a little more knowing some of the real background behind it. So how does a western range war fit into a scifi book? Well, just wait and I’ll tell you.

This book takes place well into the future. People left Earth on ships and landed on something like a dozen different planets. However, it’s been long enough that many of the people on those planets don’t have the history of Earth anymore, and the majority of those planets are lost. There are some planets, like Eden, who are really advanced scientifically and technologically, and then you get the ones that aren’t. Love takes place on a planet that isn’t all that advanced. They are stuck, technologically speaking, right around the late 1800s. They have steam engines and other similar things, but that’s as far as they get.

We start out with Hope Tewksbury and Joseph Graham. She’s supposed to be off to teacher college, but she couldn’t do it, so she got back on the train to go back to the town of Payson. She sat next to a nice military man who was headed to Payson as well. It isn’t until he’s driving her home that she finds out that he’s a Graham, which earns her her first spanking. Joseph does end up taking her back to the train so she will go to school. He kisses her and she never forgets him.

Meanwhile, on Eden, Dr. Amy Toller is talking about her latest project. They are going to go to Chi-4 and see if they can find relating to Earth. Her goal is to find out where Earth is which can help them figure out where all the other planets are. So they are going to get on their spaceship and do some covert research.

Two years after the first scene, Amy and her people are infiltrating Payson, Hope is coming home from school as a teacher, and the feud between the Grahams and Tewksburys is getting worse. Cue Romeo and Juliet, only call Joseph and Hope.

Sahalie did a hell of a job mixing up the scifi and Wild West stuff in here, plus adding in some spanking and romance. Really, we have 3 main characters who we get to see a lot of and find out what they are doing, as well as some side characters we see more of. I think that it could’ve been really easy to drop a thread when you are trying to weave together two distinct genres, include some history, keep track of various main characters, and make sure that everything comes out well. However, Sahalie made it look effortless and gives us a really tight story. The one thing I wish we had, though, was more of Osimov, the android captain.

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I have to wonder how much Joseph’s dad knew about the ship and all the info, since he had stuff hiding all over the place about the ship. I wouldn’t trust the man further than I could spit, and since I can’t spit all that well, that’s not very far.

Well, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out. You’ll enjoy it. Happy reading!

Michael Kilman-Mimi of the Nowhere

So, one day, I’m just sitting minding my own business, stalking people on FB, you know, as one does, and Nicolina Martin says to me, hey, my friend Michael has a book that’s free on Kobo called Mimi of the Nowhere. It’s scifi, you like scifi? And when I told her that scifi was one of my first loves, she was all like hey, you wanna review it? And me being me, I was like sure, why the hell not. It’s a new book to me, it’s a new author to me, and we all know those are things that I love. So I went over to Kobo, got the book, and even better, figured out how to put it on my Kindle. Yay me! And I proceeded to read the fuck out of this book. And hey, spoiler. Mimi is still free on Kobo, and the 2nd book is currently 1/2 off, until 9/4, so rush over there and grab them.

Mimi is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel of the far future. In Mimi’s world, cities can actually walk. As in all of Manhattan was put on legs and is now walking around, trying to avoid the other cities, and trying to keep going. I almost see it as some kind of weird Baba Yaga like thing, and tried to imagine Manhattan being balanced on a pair of giant chicken legs. Left me with some interesting visuals, for sure. Inside the city, you have the Uppers, the Mids, and the Lowers. And each of those have their sub-categories as well. It’s a pretty strict class system that keeps everyone in one place pretty well. Then you have the Nowhere people. They are the people that everyone would like to forget about, the homeless, the forgotten, the despised. And our hero Mimi is one of those people.

Mimi is taking her current lover, Shannon, and showing her all the places in the Underground, and the ways to get around without anyone else knowing or seeing. Mimi knows all about these places, and more, because she’s been around for centuries upon centuries, almost as long as the city has been around. She also knows about these places because she can skim the minds of other people, which lets her know when she’s safe, when people are going to be around, and other things that she needs to know. Mimi hasn’t told Shannon her full story, even if she loves Shannon with her whole heart. Mimi is afraid to lose her, because everyone else who has learned even part of the truth has died. Mimi is pretty sure that she’s a curse to those she loves. But she does tell Shannon and takes her to the place she calls home. Shannon is totally accepting.

I feel so sorry for Mimi. She has lived for centuries, watching everything and everyone she loves die. She believes that she is the only person like herself out in all the millions of people in Manhasten. She lives lies and can’t tell her lovers everything. The last one she did, prior to Shannon, met a grisly end. I really did like this book. There is some romance, but it’s only a bit of flavoring, not the entire story. I’m really looking forward to the next one and seeing how it goes.

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The group that Mimi is now hooked up with is going to be really interesting to watch, as well as the group on the other side. I’m really looking forward to seeing how that plays out.

I’m wondering about the AI too. Is it sentient? That would be terrifying, considering that it appears to run everything.

Watching what happens with Shannon is going to be another interesting thing to pay attention to.

Go check it out on Kobo. I didn’t look to see if it’s on Amazon, but it’s pretty easy to sign up on Kobo and relatively easy to add to your device and read it there. Happy reading!