Friday, 8 November 2013

Treason (The Grimoire Saga #2) & Heritage (The Grimoire Saga #3), S.M. Boyce - Book Blast

 Kara Magari ignited a war when she stumbled into Ourea and found the Grimoire: a powerful artifact filled with secrets. To protect the one person she has left, she strikes a deal that goes against everything she believes in. But things don’t go as planned.

Braeden Drakonin can no longer run from who—and what—he is. He has to face the facts. He’s a prince. He’s a murderer. He’s a wanted man. And after a betrayal that leaves him heartbroken, he’s out for blood.

To survive, both Kara and Braeden must become the evil each has grown to hate.

Buy Links:
Amazon Barnes & Noble

Kara Magari isn’t normal, even by Ourea’s standards—and in a world of shape-shifters and soul stealers, that’s saying something. To the royalty, she’s a loose cannon. To the masses, she’s a failure. But Kara’s arrival in Ourea started a war, and she’s going to end it. 
An ancient isen named Stone takes an interest in Kara’s training, and it turns out he has more answers than he originally led her to believe. In an effort to unearth a secret that might end the bloodshed, Kara instead discovers an ugly truth about her family—and how much she has in common with an infamous mass-murderer. 
Braeden Drakonin has slowly rebuilt his life after the betrayal that tore it apart. His father wants him dead, and frankly, his so-called allies wouldn’t mind that either. Private alliances are formed. Secrets are sold. Tension is driving the armies apart. A single battle will end this war, and it’s coming. Braeden may be a prince, but it will take more than that to survive. He must take the fight to his father’s door—and win.

Buy Links:

About the Author:

International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.
S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.
Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

Connect with the Author:

One Lucky Winner will get a Signed Copy of Lichgates (Grimoire Saga #1) by S.M.Boyce. 
Giveaway Open to US Residents Only.

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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Lichgates (TheGrimoire Saga #1), S.M. Boyce - Book Blast

Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea's royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

About the Author:

International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.
S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.
Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

Connect with the Author:

One Lucky Winner will get a Signed Copy of Lichgates (Grimoire Saga #1) by S.M.Boyce. 
Giveaway Open to US Residents Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 14 October 2013

Nosetalgia (My Name is My Name, Track #10), Pusha T ft. Kendrick Lamar - The Review

...this is timeless, simply 'cos it's honest

Two dope emcees illustrate the dope game from the perspectives of a dealer and a washed up dealer's son.

The Concept
Cocaine, coke, crack, dope.

It's a fact of life in the hood.

Who better to speak on it than Pusha T, a former dope boy who still celebrates (and always has since appearing on the hip hop scene) his association with the dope game, and Kendrick Lamar, a young man grown up around the dope (in his very house it seems) but doing his best to take the other road (a personal anti-drug use stance).

Oh and a dope beat from Nottz.

The Characters, The Cast, and their Craft
Pusha T delivers an honest verse as a successful drug dealer, both as a happy go lucky young kid at school and a happy living, stressed out unrepentant adult, faced at any moment with impending death.

Lamar takes up the role of a washed up drug dealer's son, with an auntie who's hooked on the dope.He also briefly switches into the character of his washed up drug dealer dad.

As for the craft, suffice it to say, they both spit pure honest fire!

The Story
Pusha T uses the imagery of baby powder and nappy rash to clue us in on how early in his life he was introduced to the dope game. He goes on to detail his life as the big man pushing dope at school, getting girls, and generally just living it up. A doctor easing the pain of the hood with his drugs. 
And then as a grown man the stakes are far higher, with death such a frequent occurrence that the only response it evokes is a tattoo of the dead man's name, a bigger chain?, and a redistribution of the dead man's assets - including his girl.

Kendrick Lamar enters the scene with a continuation of the death theme, asking; "you wanna see a dead body?" He then proceeds to detail how the crime and stress involved in the dope game affects a dealer's family. With his auntie hooked, his younger brother crying and he himself having nothing but trouble on his mind all the time. He goes on to speak on how, his dad starts every now and then to get high off his own supply, and resorts to underhand tactics to keep himself in the game but eventually loses it all.

Enter Kendrick as a young man to console his dad with promises of getting him a kilogramme of cocaine and thus making him a rich man however he decides to sell it. His dad is having no talk of his son doing cocaine though and wants to know the meaning of Kendrick's talking out the ass.

Kendrick then tells his dad that he raised him right and the dope he's talking about is himself.

The Resolution
It is easy for a good ear listening to the song as one story, to envision the young drug pushing Pusha T, from the first verse growing up into Kendrick's dad from the second verse.

And then the song becomes a powerful message of how, people in the hood should focus on improving themselves, or their children, and then their professions would become the new dope/cocaine that gets them rich.

The Verdict
The best example of how you can speak about the truth of your life, in a bad or good situation, and use it to inspire (subliminally or directly) your community.

Best song I've heard this year.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Unison (The Spheral #1), Eleni Papanou - The Review

The importance of Damon's purpose on Earth is such that even time must wait on him. Time seems to reset itself for him whenever he fails to fulfill any one of his life missions. But how many chances will he have? How soon before Earth and its inhabitants have to contend with the full implications of his failures?

The  Concept
Imagine if you could explain the idea of Reincarnation to make some type of scientific sense. Wouldn't that be so cool?

What if you could journey through several lifetimes with a person whose success in life is crucial to the survival of Earth and its galaxy.

The Writing
It at first seems as though Miss or Mrs. Eleni Papanou doesn't know what she's doing, and a big brained fellow is forced to wonder how she can be so confused and yet keep writing in such a linear and logical manner. But as you get deeper into the book, you are forced to recognize that she had  a well thought out plan all along.

So yeah it is not genius writing but it's far better than it seems.

The Story
At around year nine Damon bumps his head and realizes there's a channel in his head that allows him to tune in to the future (and maybe, the past too) sometimes. Along with this special gift comes an improved intellect which allows him to cross the normally uncrossable class boundaries, as well as making him slightly less susceptible to the dogma that keeps the colour-coded classes separate.

The coming to pass of one or two of his unpleasant visions makes him review the fast track lane to success he his on. Forcing him into direct confrontation with the leaders, principles and ideals of his society.

He sort of runs away and seems to enjoy a full life.

On his death however, he is sent back to relive his 'failed' life. Again and again until either time runs out on Earth (an actual possibility) or he gets it right.

The Critique
I am the first person to berate a fellow for claiming the personality traits, or choices, or character of a main character should influence the readability or essential-ness of his life story, but even I have to admit a little empathy for the main character is good for the enjoyment of a book story. And by the time I come to find out the reasons (some of them you have to describe as deeply subconscious-embedded for them to make any sense) for some of Damon's more out-there actions, I'd already written him off as some type of bad guy with a bunch of excuses.

In the end, Eleni does a great job of bringing together a story, that as early as page 100 and for long periods after, I'd already dismissed as impossible. But she leaves herself so much work to do that, it must have either overwhelmed her or she overwhelmed my mind. Either way, there're quite a few things that I frankly still don't believe can happen or could have happened. My mind quite simply just refuses to accept them.

The Resolution
In the end the The Six have to break the rules just so they can save not only the Earth, but its entire galaxy.

The Verdict
It's great mindfuckery, but it is not tight enough to make a mind say; that's the best I ever had.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Boleyn Deceit (The Boleyn King #2), Laura Andersen - The Review

In an age when you may be put to death for marrying without the King's consent, the lovely Minuette Wyatt must negotiate with the affections of an already betrothed King (William is betrothed to a princess of France), deal with the politics and implications of the King's affections in a polarized court, and also manage to conceal the affections of her heart for the King's right hand man and best friend, Dominic Courtenay.

The Concept
People are so gullible it makes me sick!

Just because a couple of old farts calling themselves historians say something happened doesn't mean it did. Burn your so called history books and prepare to self flagellate. Queen Anne Bullen never had any miscarriages. She had a son and he lived to be king!

This is part of his-story!

Go punish yourselves now.

The Writing
It is written in a sharp and concise language. Definitely not spare, but as befits the telling of true history no unnecessary words have been used.

Switches between the viewpoints of Minuette, Dominic and Elizabeth (yes, the Elizabeth you think you know).

There're even excerpts from Minuette's journal/diary, translated into modern English for your easy reading.

The Story
To appease Catholics who still feel that Mary, daughter of Katherine of Arragon, is the rightful heir to the throne, eighteen year old William commits to marry Marie (a princess of France) when she reaches an appropriate age.

In the now however, he only has eyes for Minuette (main character) - his sister Elizabeth's attending gentle woman (or whatever they're called), and friend. Minuette likes William but loves Dominic. Dominic likes William but loves Minuette.
How soon before William discovers that the apple of his eye and his best friend believe they have been arrowed together by Cupid.
Dun dun dun du-dunnn.

The word about town is that William is thinking only with his little head and intends to follow in the footsteps of his father (King Henry the Eighth), and break a royal union just so he can marry his mistress. Somebody has to dissuade William, dissuade Minuette or eliminate Minuette. Somebody will try all three, but to what degrees of success though?
Dun dun dun du-dunnnn.

Then there's the added intrigue of the politics of ambitious families and gentlemen at court.

Of course if you've had the pitiful pleasure of being plied with the story of that time according to your dour historian, the similarities between the events chronicled in this book and the happenings of King Henry the Eighth's court may lessen your enjoyment of this Laura-story.

The Resolution
The ending is an end, and a good ending too but it is hard to not notice that what it really is, is a set-up for the final book of the trilogy.

The Verdict
When I thought the author had invented the majority of the history in this book, I rated it as a great book, but then a dour historian got to me and succeeded in souring my elation.

So this one is only a good book.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell #1), Hilary Mantel - The inteRview

But it is no use to justify yourself. It is no good to explain. It is weak to be anecdotal. It is wise to conceal the past even if there is nothing to conceal. A man's power is in the half-light, in the half-seen movements of his hand and the unguessed-at expression of his face. It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires

A walk in the footsteps of Thomas Cromwell, from his son of an abusive blacksmith childhood, through his teeth-cutting apprenticeship with the Cardinal of York - Cardinal Wolsey, to his becoming the second most revered gentleman of King Henry the Eighth's Court.

Lazy, Crazy And Too Busy So Why,
Pick up a thousand and something pages of historical fiction covering what must be the most covered period of British History?

It is the critically acclaimed ManBooker prize winner of 2009 with an equally critically acclaimed sequel which also won the ManBooker prize in 2012.

And I was reading another storybook, attempting to rewrite the history of King Henry VIII's court and I wanted to be able to separate fact from fiction without reading the actual history.

They say it is a tough read, it's a long read and it's a good read. Reading it has got to put you in some type of exclusive club right?

So Are You Going
To say it is awesome and become a part of that club, or are you going to trash it and put yourself in an even more exclusive club?

It is awesome. A real piece of technical quality. Never read a book like it. Flirting with confusing my mind but always managing to keep everything straight in my mind.

It is a piece of trash. It has no soul. Written it seems only to prove how great a writer the author is.

They say, it casts fresh light on the life, work and thoughts of a much maligned but great English gentleman.

So Are You Going
To agree that he is far better than he is  usually portrayed, or do you wish to seem an intelligenter-than-all critique and reveal how much of nothing this book has added to the image of Thomas Cromwell?

The book fails. Thomas Cromwell is still the devil. Or his incarnate. He appropriates other people's properties by force of logic (aka stealer), he interprets fact and fiction to suit his aims and ambitions (aka liar), and he separates individuals from their personhoodness without a second thought (aka killer).

The book is a masterful depiction of human nature. Thomas Cromwell is a great man who rose from the gutter to become second in command to a king; all by virtue of his own hardwork and ingenuity. Managing all the while to keep his honour and dignity in an age when those things were being auctioned to dogs (going to the dogs).

They say, the writing is pure genius.

So Are You Going
To finally have an answer that doesn't seem contradictory?

The writing is pure genius, except for its blatant discrimination against even numbered persons.

Exclusivity for first persons (presumably the author, I) and for third persons (Thomas Cromwell, he), and a lumping with the masses for second persons (the reader, you) and for fourth persons (everybody else in the book, ? )

Plus if you think chicken feet pitpattering is beautiful art, there's a classical piece of work for you in chapter two of part two of the book.


Are You Going
To answer questions pertaining to your uselessness or bitterness as a critic?



So Are You Going
To say who you think should pick this book up and look forward to reading it?

Everybody with a brain.

Go On,
Speak your thoughts and feelings on this book so we can get going.

My mind says Congratulations, book!

But it is not about to succumb to its gravitational pull of love.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Perpetual Motion Club, Sue Lange - The Review

PMC cover

Elsa negotiates her adolescence in a future where the three pillars of acclaim and achievement in high school are; science (mainly computer programming, not proper science), sports, and music (rock&roll stardom).

The Concept
Look at today's celebrities (ignoring movie stars for whatever reason), then do a linear extrapolation to arrive at what the future at point X might look like if we keep celebrating them most.

Have a smarter than your average (but otherwise normally abnormal) teenager discover her hormones, rebel against society and attempt the impossible.

Fascinating idea that perpetual motion theory is, isn't it? Incorporate it!

The Writing
It is well written and very funny in the early chapters. Nothing revolutionary. I remember being bothered by a thing or two, but I have already forgotten what. Bad critique-r.

The Story
Elsa is a sophomore in high school (sometime in the future), when it is imperative that you start putting a good cv together if you're going to get into a good college that is. Mr. Brown, her geometry teacher, offers her the perfect opportunity to pad up her resume by inviting her to join the science club. But Elsa is at the age of revolution. She decides to start her own club instead - The perpetual motion club.

Elsa has no boyfriend, partly because her hormones haven't kicked in yet, but getting knocked to the floor in the middle of an empty hallway by the tall new-basketball-star tall guy (who Mr. Brown regards disdainfully) changes the hormones part, but also partly because they are no boys in the picture except Jimmy who is proscribed because her mother likes him and because he is a twerp. Jason basketballstar Bridges she shall have whether he be accused of murder or not. It is the age of rebellion, isn't it?

The Perpetual Motion Club will not be recognized as an official club unless it has at least five members. Recruitment Drive. Members found. Now convince the panel. Mr. Brown the ogre.

No matter, achieve the impossible - build a perpetual motion machine. It is the age of discovery.

The Resolution
When you fall, pick yourself up and keep running in a direction as close to the one you were on as you can.

The Verdict
It starts out as a great book for science lovers, promising either a great invention or a recognition of failure as an inevitability in life, and ends up as an overcoming impossible odds in a dystopic world young adult book. Not for me.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Desperate Duchesses (Desperate Duchesses #1), Eloisa James - The Review

Rapiers. Dawn, Wimbledon Commons, near the windmill. Tuesday. I have a chess game planned with Lord Bonnington tomorrow and can’t bother with this. You are a hot-headed Fool who clearly has no sense of the Importance of Women (none whatsoever) nor of a good Sleep (vastly to be desired). I shall, however, resign myself to killing you.

Roberta St. Giles knows that if she leaves the matter of getting her married off in the hands of the Mad Marquess (her poet dad), she will die an old hunchbacked maid, so when she meets and instantly falls in love with  the most eligible bachelor in the kingdom, she takes matters into her own hands. She pursues the duke of Villiers to London intending to have his hand in marriage one way or another.

The Concept
So what do you do when you commit to writing a historical romance novel/series but you are too gifted of a writer to just write a typical girl meets boy ....... boy marries girl story?

You give us a whole cast of beautifully drawn characters who all have so much interesting stuff going on with them, and then expertly weave into the story, references to and games of that wonderfully elitist, pseudo-intelligent game of chess.

The Writing

The Story
Roberta is twenty one and unmarried! Even more tragic, there are no prospects on the horizon. All the eligible bachelors are in London and she is stuck in the backwaters of somewhere. She is therefore not about to ignore fate when it brings the magnetic - 'He was a dangerous mixture of carelesness and supreme elegance' - Duke of Villiers into her life. He promptly offers her a roll in the hay, not caring whether he shall have her or not. She declares "You shan't have me" and proceeds to immediately fall in love.

Jemma, recently arrived from a life of pleasure, balls, and sin in Paris to bear her husband, the Duke of Beaumont an heir before he unexpectedly drops dead from overworking himself in the house of Lords, decides to take Roberta on as a project. She will take advantage of the fact that she is a superb chess player to get the chess obsessed Duke of Villiers to give up his lady killer ways and settle down with Roberta.

Who have we left out? Jemma's brother of course. And her husband. And her childhood bestfriend.

What have we left out? It is set in late eighteenth century United Kingdom.

The Resolution
After the duel at Wimbledon Commons, near the windmill, Boy marries Girl.

The Verdict
Reading the book is like watching Sergei Bubka jump. You are wowed until you realize he's holding himself back just so he can break the world record again next week. And the week after that.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Skios, Michael Frayn - The Review

Dr. Norman Wilfried and Fox Oliver (Mr.) exchange identities (accidentally so for only one of them) and proceed to take us on a hilarious journey where we are invited to choose to ponder existentialist theories or not ponder.

The Concept
Suppose you write a book with a perfect mix of humour which tickles the thoughts of the mind's eye and humour that overwhelms the vision of the mind's eye, would the mind's sense of humour be grateful or be resentful?

Throw in questions about the meaning of life, the beginning of life, the idea of predestination, the non-rigidity of identity and other questions, to ensure the sourpuss mind without a sense of humour comes away with something as well.

Write the book well.

The Writing
It is very well written.

The Story
Oliver Fox mostly lives up to his reputation. He is a live in the moment guy - see a fork in the road, take it, go where it goes, and if it goes nowhere/somewhere unpleasant, retrace your steps.

Oliver has had his plans for a fuck filled weekend in the Greek island of Skios fucked up by a last minute rescheduling/cancellation.

Oliver sees a fork in the road on arrival at the airport - an enticing, well put together gentle woman, holding up a sign for Dr. Norman (or Wilfried, it has been at least a month, I forget which is which), entreats him with a smile to be the said doctor.

Oliver becomes Dr. (two first names), having, surely, by some act of providence been mistakenly stuck with said doctor's luggage.

Phoksoliva is the unlikely Greek salutation, which alters the course of Dr. Wilfred Norman's (or Norman Wilfred's) Greek adventure. Instead of the pampering his well earned reputation as a sought after, international, guest speaker deserves, he ends up in a remote cabin miles away from any living creature, save for a herd of goats, until he is joined first by Mr. Fox's intended sexual feast for the weekend and then by Mr. Fox's somewhat estranged long term girlfriend.

There's little chance you'll forget at any point in this book that it is a farce.

The Resolution
There is a moment of horror when it seems all the book will leave behind are probabilities and possibilities of several endings. In the end though, we are treated to an outrageous and fantastical ending, which in my opinion takes more away from the story than it adds.

The Verdict
If you fail to have a successful relationship filled with love and laughter with this book, be not mistaken, it's you not the book.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Blind Sight (Through The Eyes of Leocardo Reyes), Ermisenda Alvarez - The Review

The Concept 
Here's this normal ordinary guy, Leocardo, at home with his normal ordinary blind sister on a normal ordinary day.

Blind sister, Odette, starts to act strange, and next thing you know, Leo and Odette are installed in a new apartment, as the newest reluctant immigrants on a picturesque, magical island nation, Edaion, on which you may only use your magic in the winter - when all the tourists are gone. 

No Leo, you are no tourist, you can't leave. Yes Leo, this is where you belong, nobody not even your parents remember you in your former existence. Focus Leo, your sisters' gifts may have put her in peril of her life, you must protect her. What now Leo, you like the princess?! She may be with the bad guys, you know? 

So magic, got it. Intrigue, check. A pseudo-kidnap, got it. Romance, check. Add in the philosophical question of whether (and if yes why?) history repeats itself and top it off with a race against time and circumstance to save the lives of a number of strangers and as well as the beloved Odette's. 

The Writing 
It didn't go down as easy as it should have. 

There didn't seem to be much wrong with the writing though, so I figure it had more to do with the often-times strange usage of language. Chalked it down to English not being the author's first language. 

The Story 
Leocardo Reyes and his sister Odette are transported by what can only be magic, from their home in Barcelona, to a beautiful and strangely alive land, minutes after the blind Odette had drawn that land to exquisite detail and immediately after they'd both been captivated by the flashing of the name of an island nation, Edaion, on TV. 

Leocardo does his best to settle them in Edaion while carrying on an inner battle with the magic of Edaion, to remain in charge of his desire to go back home. 

Thoughts of escape soon give way, to the more pressing matters of whether Odette's unique gifts place her in the center of a historical political intrigue which would cost her, her life, and what the right thing to do to save her is.  

The Resolution 
When the end comes, many of the key questions still remain unresolved. There is the big build-up, the fire, and the collaborative heroics, but it didn't feel like an appropriate end, if only because the link to Odette's recovery is imo a bit tenuous. 

The Verdict 
I couldn't really get into it. 

It's a good story and even with the sometimes not so familiar English language, it is well written. 

So much as I hate to admit that my like or dislike for a main character greatly influences my take on a book, my feelings about Leocardo, (I saw a whiny, gay, twelve year old bitch! - he was none of these things of course but that was my impression of him), may have had a bit to do with my inability to really like the book. 
This post is part of the Blind Sight Blog Tour. Blind Sight is an urban fantasy novel written in two volumes, each telling the story through a different character's perspective. preview on Barnes and Noble preview on Amazon

Blind Sight (Through The Eyes of Leocardo Reyes), Ermisenda Alvarez - Author Insights

Ermisenda Alvarez on Dreams, Imagination, and Perspectives
Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes by Ermisenda AlvarezI had a dream; I wanted to write novels. I have been writing since I joined a Harry Potter guild on Neopets at twelve years old. You could write short pieces to receive points. Writing didn't stop there. I had a vivid imagination; I wanted to know more. Often, after finishing a book I pondered about how the story could have been retold from a different perspective, maybe a different character. What if we were able to read the story of Snape over the course of seven novels rather than Harry Potter? I had chance on my side; I met Eliabeth and we were two young women crazy about writing. So, what did we do? We wrote. How did we write? The nature of our friendship began on a role-playing site whereby we wrote from different characters to create scenes and stories. We had a dream, vivid imagination and each other. What more did we need? Not much else as we embarked on an amazing journey and wrote Blind Sight despite living half the globe away. Writing a novel was a dream I have had for a long time but I was so excited to write a two-sided novel that followed two different perspectives. It was an ambitious choice for us to make but one of the best. We have not only challenged ourselves but have provided readers with a new way of reading. For those who only wish to read one side, that is okay, but for those of us who are interested in the power of different perspectives and multiple stories we have another side to offer. The power of multiple stories cannot be emphasized enough in our daily lives. How many times have we heard one story about an acquaintance but once we have met them, we receive a second story, in which might completely contradict the first. Is either one wrong? Maybe not. But your understanding of the person, or novel in the case, is enriched. Growing up in a Spanish family and living in Australia has taught me a lot about language in my, so far, short life. My very first language was Spanish, but when school started English became my "mother" tongue. A simple saying can dramatically change through translation, those of you who know more than one language will understand this perfectly. I have had to translate pieces of Spanish into English for friends and even though the words I have translated make sense in English, only I can grasp the full meaning and implications of the phrase. Staying open minded, listening to varied opinions and soaking up what we can from the zillions of stories out there in the world is part of life. Eliabeth and I have channeled the essence of that concept into our first two-sided novel. We live on an earth with billions of people. We all think differently, we see the world differently and together, we are the characters of humanity. I am inspired by dreams, imagination and people. The story of Leocardo, Aniela, and Odette in Blind Sight can be enjoyed through one color, one perspective but, why limit yourself? There is not only another color to live through but together, a new range of shades to enjoy. Ermisenda Alvarez This post is part of the Blind Sight Blog Tour. Blind Sight is an urban fantasy novel written in two volumes, each telling the story through a different character's perspective. preview on Barnes and Noble preview on Amazon

Blind Sight (Through The Eyes of Leocardo Reyes), Ermisenda Alvarez - An Excerpt

Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes by Ermisenda Alvarez

Blind Sight is an urban fantasy about a blind girl who suddenly develops the ability to draw. Told in two different novels, Ermisenda tells the story through the eyes of the blind girl's brother, Leocardo. He thinks Odette is having premonitions. The other volume written by Eliabeth, tells the story through the eyes of Odette's best friend Aniela, who thinks Odette is a medium channeling voiceless spirits. This is the prologue to Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes.

Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes


by Ermisenda Alvarez

  Something was wrong. Leocardo’s blind, sixteen-year-old sister Odette was drawing. She stood next to the fridge and scribbled feverishly on a piece of paper.   “Odette?” he walked over, certain his eyes deceived him. He quickened his pace when she didn’t respond. “Odette what are you doing?”   Something was wrong with her eyes; her pupils were huge, and they engulfed her usual chestnut color.   “Odette, stop.”   He tried to pull her arm, but like a cat that didn’t want to be picked up, she seemed to become instantly heavier. The pen continued to run across the page as her silence persisted. He frowned, growing angry.   “Odette!” She did not flinch.   He glanced down at the paper and realized her scribble was actually an image. Trees and mountains framed a large lake on the paper and Leocardo was frozen in confusion. How was she drawing? The pen fell onto the paper as Odette collapsed into Leocardo’s arms.   Twisting her around to face him, he demanded, “What were you doing? Answer me!”   Her limp body shook in his arms; her eyes closed and she was barely audible as if on the brink of passing out. “I don’t feel good,” she murmured weakly. Even though she was naturally petite and fragile, now she looked like she was about to shatter. “I want to sleep.”   The warm brown crept back into her unfocused eyes and her pupils normalized.   “Odette,” he started again, but her trembling became more violent so he stopped. “Okay.” He scooped her up in his arms and carried her to her room. As soon as she hit the sheets, the trembling stopped and almost as quickly, snoring followed.   Leocardo wanted to wake her up so he could question her, but he wasn't sure if she would have any answers. He couldn’t help but wonder if this had happened to her before. He stormed back to the kitchen, picked up the paper, and examined the drawing. The sun’s rays tore through the clouds, and Odette had even added glimmer to the lake’s rippled surface. Odette had been blind since birth; so how could she have drawn this so perfectly? If he hadn’t seen her doing it, he never would have believed it.   Leocardo slouched into the leather couch, still holding the paper. He felt a throbbing pain behind his eyes. Staring at the drawing, he tried to glean some divine understanding of what it meant or how she had done it. His black labrador, Cielo, had abandoned him to sit outside Odette’s bedroom. He was stunned; he knew he shouldn't have been angry with her, but he had been scared and confused.   An hour passed; he was no more enlightened. He looked up to find Odette standing in the open doorway to her room. He kept silent, but his gaze followed her. She seemed better, no longer moving with the mechanical gestures she had used when she was drawing. Cielo’s nails clicked on the hardwood floor as she followed Odette’s every move.   With disbelief, he watched as Odette began to prepare some sandwiches. “Odette,” he called softly, not wanting to startle her.   “Yeah?”   Leocardo hesitated; why was she acting like nothing happened? “What happened to you before?”   She shrugged, “I guess I had low blood sugar. It was just a headache.”   “What do you remember?” he pried. How could she not remember?   “I had a headache. I went to the fridge. I got dizzy for a second. You caught me.” She paused. “How’d you get from the couch to the fridge that fast?” she asked, as though he was the one who did something strange.   “What?” Irate, he marched over. “Don’t you remember drawing this?” He flapped the page so she could hear it rustle. “What are you trying to pull? This isn’t a game.” He was losing his already short patience. Something could be seriously wrong and she was being evasive.   Her brow pressed together and her lips thinned as she let out a frustrated huff. She spoke slowly, as if concerned he was losing his mind. “Leo…you know I can’t draw, much less see whatever it is you might be holding.”   “I know you can’t,” he said a little defensively. Why was she questioning him when she should be providing answers? “You got up and went to the fridge before you started to draw this. I’m not making this up. I have the drawing right here in my hand!” He restrained himself, shaking the paper again, as if hearing the sound made his story more believable.   Odette’s calm expression indicated that she was not amused.   “How can you not remember?” he asked angrily.   He sighed and dropped the drawing onto the floor. His fingers ran through his hair as he tried to make sense of everything without flying off the handle.   “I’m sorry,” Odette murmured, “but I don’t know what you’re talking about.”   “It’s okay…sorry,” The moment was awkward and disjointed; he was unsure what to do. Odette went back to making the sandwich, and Leocardo returned to the sofa. He snatched the remote and flipped between channels until he settled on the news.   Tragedies flashed on the screen as Leocardo watched, desperate for a distraction. Something wasn’t adding up, cognitive dissonance, ironic that something he was learning in school was relevant to his life for a change. Maybe he imagined it all. Maybe the lack of sleep was getting to him and he had drawn it. Television bored him, but he didn’t know what else to do. The news changed topics, now featuring Alaska and its trading partners.   “Edaion,” Leocardo repeated one of the countries listed. A sudden and overwhelming desire to visit this island nation overtook him.   Odette came over and sat next to him, her unfocused eyes in the direction of the screen. Leocardo leaned forward as if being pulled into the screen. He was mesmerized. Slowly he felt his eyelids droop.   “Edaion,” Odette whispered. A silence fell over them and a supernatural film began to wrap around them. Invisible to all, it pressed down on them. Cocooned in this new state, he continued to stare in a trance at the screen. Unable to understand why, he had never wanted anything in his life as much as he wanted to travel to Edaion.   When he tried to stand, he felt an immense pressure upon his shoulders, face, and chest. He reached out to Odette, feeling as though he was falling through the sofa itself. Cielo whined and nuzzled his knee. His grip around Odette’s hand tightened. Suddenly the pressure snapped and he felt the painful sensation of being rammed from all sides, as if hit by a train.   In a dreamlike state, he stumbled forward with Odette sandwiched between him and Cielo. They were somewhere else, no longer in the cozy Barcelona apartment. The air was clean and chilly. A stranger’s arm brushed up against him as a group huddled together, all looking lost and confused. Half a dozen dogs circled and sniffed them. While trying to restore his equilibrium, he noticed the dogs wouldn’t leave Odette alone. They sniffed and licked her palms causing her to wipe them on his shirt. Someone asked him if he was okay, but he didn't answer. The speaker herded the group onto a bus, and as soon as he was seated, Leocardo’s head fell against the windowsill. Blackness engulfed his vision.   The bus lurched and Leocardo was propelled into the seat in front of him. His eyes flew open; his throat felt dry and his nose was pink from the cold. Someone held a colored version of Odette’s drawing before his eyes. It was blurry, and as he reached out, his fingers hit glass. With his sleeve, he wiped the window to see the drawing become clear. Something was wrong.   Why was it behind glass? Where was he? Why was he on a bus? His gaze darted back to Odette who had Cielo nuzzling her affectionately. Her eyes were closed. He woke her up with a shake of the shoulders.   “What is this?” Leocardo demanded as if she would know.   “What’s what? You’re the one who can see, remember?” Her voice was soft and timid. He realized she was just as confused. He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close and then placed a soft kiss on her forehead.   His gaze returned to the window. It was still there. As the bus meandered through perilous mountains, he never lost sight of the lake. It was glistening, majestic and overwhelming in size, but it was not a drawing. This time he knew it was real. Something was terribly wrong.   -end excerpt- This post is part of the Blind Sight Blog Tour. Blind Sight is an urban fantasy novel written in two volumes, each telling the story through a different character's perspective. preview on Barnes and Noble preview on Amazon